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Corporate makerspaces as innovation driver in companies: a literature review-based framework

Finn Rieken (pd|z Product Development Group Zurich, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland) (Managing Innovation and Collaboration – MIC Group, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Koblenz, Remagen, Germany)
Thomas Boehm (Institute of Innovation and Industrial Management, TU Graz, Graz, Austria)
Mareike Heinzen (Managing Innovation and Collaboration – MIC Group, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Koblenz, Remagen, Germany)
Mirko Meboldt (pd|z Product Development Group Zurich, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 18 September 2019

Issue publication date: 23 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Corporates have recently invested in company-owned makerspaces with the goal to skim the potential of makerspaces as innovation driver. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the first framework describing elements and the innovation-related impact on users of corporate makerspaces (CMSs).

Design/methodology/approach

The CMS framework is based on a critical review of 116 scientific articles on makerspaces and the embedding of the review findings into the corporate context.

Findings

A prototyping infrastructure, a community infrastructure and facilitators are proposed to be key elements of CMSs. Further, CMSs are suggested to have an impact on ideation, concept iteration during the innovation process and collaboration of its users.

Research limitations/implications

The framework on CMSs is based on a critical review of makerspace literature and not on empirical research data.

Practical implications

This paper sheds light on key elements and the expected innovation-related impact of a CMS on the users and thus contains useful information for corporate innovation management on how to plan, build and implement a CMS.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first review of makerspace literature with focus on their elements and innovation-related impact. Additionally, the review provides the first academic definition of the growing phenomenon of CMSs and describes elements and the innovation-related impact of CMSs on its users in companies, which paves the way for further research on CMSs.

Keywords

Citation

Rieken, F., Boehm, T., Heinzen, M. and Meboldt, M. (2020), "Corporate makerspaces as innovation driver in companies: a literature review-based framework", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 91-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-03-2019-0098

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited