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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2019

Michael Sony and Subhash Naik

Six Sigma is a well-established powerful business strategy for achieving operational excellence (OPEX). However, previous studies have suggested that the Six Sigma may…

Abstract

Purpose

Six Sigma is a well-established powerful business strategy for achieving operational excellence (OPEX). However, previous studies have suggested that the Six Sigma may negatively impact organizational creativity and innovation. The C-K theory is one of the most widely used technique for design reasoning which promotes the creativity and innovation. The purpose of this paper is to integrate the Six Sigma methodology and C-K theory for enhancing innovative capacity of Six Sigma for achieving OPEX.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes an integration methodology of C-K theory and Six Sigma using the extant literature. Also, a case study is conducted based on the proposed integration model.

Findings

The paper suggests a step-by-step integration methodology for integrating Six Sigma with C-K theory for both (DMAIC and DMADV). The methodology when applied to a live case in mining logistics the results are very encouraging. The solution was cost effective and also technically superior compared to previous solutions.

Practical implications

The paper proposes a step-by-step methodology for the integration of Six Sigma with C-K tools. The methodology is practically applied in a live case. Organizations can use findings from this paper to implement an integration model of Six Sigma with C-K theory.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that proposes an integration methodology of Six Sigma with C-K theory to enhance the innovation capability to achieve the OPEX.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Patrick Corsi

Despite an increasingly explicit professional nature, the futures studies field has suffered an increasing constraining to a collection of specific techniques. The purpose

Abstract

Purpose

Despite an increasingly explicit professional nature, the futures studies field has suffered an increasing constraining to a collection of specific techniques. The purpose of this paper is to harness the foundational shortcomings of current futures studies methods, namely the lack of a well‐defined underpinning theory and of rigorous, rational, systematic, repeatable, traceable, documentable, and transferable method. It proposes a rigorous theory for futures studies whereby futures can be logically designed.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper envisages the futures design activity as an extension and a generalization of decision theories and problem solving. The process is made comprehensible and interpretable thanks to a co‐generation referencing between two spaces named Concepts and Knowledge. It works by undertaking a formal mathematical approach on undecidable root concepts, bearing no logical status, by logically expanding them until a validable proposition in the knowledge space is reached. The paper is based on the concept‐knowledge theory (C‐K theory) from Ecole des Mines ParisTech, explains why it is needed, illustrates it and uses it on two illustrative futures studies examples.

Findings

The proposed research opens a new method for designing futures based on the C‐K theory that has the intrinsic capacity of constructing radical innovations for futures scenarios. While setting clear departure from, for example, brainstorming techniques or Delphi‐based methods, it offers a systematic method for designing futures that rests upon solid theoretical foundation that explains the nonsense or contradictions in producing futures.

Research limitations/implications

While the C‐K theory is fully supported by a scientific basis founded on mathematics and is in widening use in domain‐specific industrial sectors at large, it is still being expanded both theoretically and epistemologically. The theory is not aimed at choosing or formulating suitable or appropriate root concepts, this being the role of domain professionals. Its implementation, however coherent, is only as extensive and covering the problematic at hand as the implementers are congruous to the application domain.

Practical implications

The proposed research can help futurists to develop new breakthrough plans, solutions and alternatives with essential and novel benefits: to help control the rationale of a futures scenario development, to control the degree of innovation (e.g. change, reform, progress, create …) to reach, and to bring to decision makers and policy‐makers the traced explanation of different design paths.

Social implications

The benefits of the C‐K approach are detailed and elements founding further theoretical research are provided, including possible developments of C‐K theory specifically helpful for futurists. The research offers a collective design method for revisiting futures sciences by defining, understanding and developing creative futures alternatives that can collectively mobilize stakeholders. Workshops with stakeholders remain necessary, with experienced coaches catalyzing its field implementation.

Originality/value

The paper pushes the edge of the discussion on philosophical, ontological and epistemological grounds and supplies a theoretical underpinning for futures studies at large. The research is inherited from the creative power of modern mathematics as developed and proven by the C‐K theory, a powerful approach for discussing design phenomena. The author argues that it constitutes a suitable and useful asset for futures scientists insofar as to imagine, understand, develop, manipulate, and assess creative futures alternatives. The paper introduces and discusses the notion of futuron, which can be seen as a “logical quantum particle of future”.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 July 2012

Thomas Gillier, Akin Osman Kazakci and Gerald Piat

Scholars and practitioners have both emphasized the importance of collaboration in an innovation context. They have also largely acknowledged that the definition of common…

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Abstract

Purpose

Scholars and practitioners have both emphasized the importance of collaboration in an innovation context. They have also largely acknowledged that the definition of common purpose is a major driver of successful collaboration, but surprisingly, researchers have put little effort into investigating the process whereby the partners define the common purpose. The purpose of this paper is to explore the generation of common purpose (GCP) in innovation partnerships.

Design/methodology/approach

An action‐research approach combined with modeling has been followed. The authors’ research is based on an in‐depth qualitative case study of a cross‐industry exploratory partnership through which four partners, from very different arenas, aim to collectively define innovation projects based on micro‐nanotechnologies. Based on a design reasoning framework, the mechanisms of GCP mechanism are depicted.

Findings

Regarding GCP, two main interdependent facets are identified: the determination of existing intersections between the parties’ concept and knowledge spaces (“Matching”); and an introspective learning process that allows the parties to transforms those spaces (“Building”).

Practical implications

The better understanding of the GCP and the specific notion of “C‐K profiles”, which is an original way to characterize each partner involved in a partnership, should improve the capabilities of organizations to efficiently define collaborative innovation projects.

Originality/value

The paper explores one of the cornerstones of successful collaboration in innovation: the process whereby several parties define the common purpose of their partnership.

Article
Publication date: 29 September 2020

Sara Shafiee, Anders Haug, Saeedeh Shafiee Kristensen and Lars Hvam

Product configurators are expert systems that support product customization by defining how predefined entities and their properties may be combined. Developers of…

Abstract

Purpose

Product configurators are expert systems that support product customization by defining how predefined entities and their properties may be combined. Developers of configuration systems act as designers, although they do not often recognize that they are performing as such. Moreover, exploring solution spaces is typically not integral to configuration projects, as this task is typically perceived as mapping existing knowledge to the configurator. This article argues that developing configurators may be understood by distinguishing between the problem and solution spaces using design thinking (DT).

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case-study approach with four configuration projects is adopted to study two projects involving DT and compare them to two similar projects not involving DT. Data collection depended on multiple data sources via workshops and semi-structured interviews.

Findings

First, DT methods and concept–knowledge (C-K) theory are integrated into configuration projects. Second, the application of DT during configurator development is presented through workshops and interviews, which demonstrates the benefits of DT in overcoming existing challenges.

Research limitations/implications

The case studies demonstrate the successful implementation of DT in developing configurators. However, a limited number of cases in only one company limits the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

The framework's individual steps create a structured approach to supporting industrial companies with a toolbox of DT techniques and methods for configuration projects.

Originality/value

The results show that the application of DT to configuration projects can improve user motivation, stakeholder satisfaction and knowledge acquisition.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 October 2019

Victor Tang

The purpose of this paper is to present a fresh approach to stimulate individual creativity. It introduces a mathematical representation for creative ideas, six creativity…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a fresh approach to stimulate individual creativity. It introduces a mathematical representation for creative ideas, six creativity operators and methods of matrix-algebra to evaluate, improve and stimulate creative ideas. Creativity begins with ideas to resolve a problem or tackle an opportunity. By definition, a creative idea must be simultaneously novel and useful. To inject analytic rigor into these concepts of creative ideas, the author introduces a feature-attribute matrix-construct to represent ideas, creativity operators that use ideas as operands and methods of matrix algebra. It is demonstrated that it is now possible to analytically and quantitatively evaluate the intensity of the variables that make an idea more, equal or less, creative than another. The six creativity operators are illustrated with detailed multi-disciplinary real-world examples. The mathematics and working principles of each creativity operator are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The unit of analysis is ideas, not theory. Ideas are man-made artifacts. They are represented by an original feature-attribute matrix construct. Using matrix algebra, idea matrices can be manipulated to improve their creative intensity, which are now quantitatively measurable. Unlike atoms and cute rabbits, creative ideas, do not occur in nature. Only people can conceive and develop creative ideas for embodiment in physical, non-physical forms, or in a mix of both. For example, as widgets, abstract theorems, business processes, symphonies, organization structures, and so on. The feature-attribute matrix construct is used to represent novelty and usefulness. The multiplicative product of these two matrices forms the creativity matrix. Six creativity operators and matrix algebra are introduced to stimulate and measure creative ideas. Creativity operators use idea matrices as operands. Uses of the six operators are demonstrated using multi-disciplinary real-world examples. Metrics for novelty, usefulness and creativity are in ratio scales, grounded on the Weber–Fechner Law. This law is about persons’ ability to discern differences in the intensity of stimuli.

Findings

Ideas are represented using feature-attribute matrices. This construct is used to represent novel, useful and creative ideas with more clarity and precision than before. Using matrices, it is shown how to unambiguously and clearly represent creative ideas endowed with novelty and usefulness. It is shown that using matrix algebra, on idea matrices, makes it possible to analyze multi-disciplinary, real-world cases of creative ideas, with clarity and discriminatory power, to uncover insights about novelty and usefulness. Idea-matrices and the methods of matrix algebra have strong explanatory and predictive power. Using of matrix algebra and eigenvalue analyses, of idea-matrices, it is demonstrated how to quantitatively rank ideas, features and attributes of creative ideas. Matrix methods operationalize and quantitatively measure creativity, novelty and usefulness. The specific elementary variables that characterize creativity, novelty and usefulness factors, can now be quantitatively ranked. Creativity, novelty and usefulness factors are not considered as monolithic, irreducible factors, vague “lumpy” qualitative factors, but as explicit sets of elementary, specific and measurable variables in ratio scales. This significantly improves the acuity and discriminatory power in the analyses of creative ideas. The feature-attribute matrix approach and its matrix operators are conceptually consistent and complementary with key extant theories engineering design and creativity.

Originality/value

First to define and specify ideas as feature-attribute matrices. It is demonstrated that creative ideas, novel ideas and useful ideas can be analytically and unambiguously specified and measured for creativity. It is significant that verbose qualitative narratives will no longer be the exclusive means to specify creative ideas. Rather, qualitative narratives will be used to complement the matrix specifications of creative ideas. First to specify six creativity operators enabling matrix algebra to operate on idea-matrices as operands to generate new ideas. This capability informs and guides a person’s intuition. The myth and dependency, on non-repeatable or non-reproducible serendipity, flashes of “eureka” moments or divine inspiration, can now be vacated. Though their existence cannot be ruled out. First to specify matrix algebra and eigen-value methods of quantitative analyses of feature-attribute matrices to rank the importance of elementary variables that characterize factors of novelty, usefulness and creativity. Use of verbose qualitative narratives of novelty, usefulness and creativity as monolithic “lumpy” factors can now be vacated. Such lumpy narratives risk being ambiguous, imprecise, unreliable and non-reproducible, Analytic and quantitative methods are more reliable and consistent. First to define and specify a method of “attacking the negatives” to systematically pinpoint the improvements of an idea’s novelty, usefulness and creativity. This procedure informs and methodically guides the improvements of deficient ideas.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Armand Hatchuel, Ken Starkey, Sue Tempest and Pascal Le Masson

We develop a discourse of strategic management as design, using a conceptual base drawing upon the work of Michel Foucault, as an alternative to the prevailing strategy…

Abstract

We develop a discourse of strategic management as design, using a conceptual base drawing upon the work of Michel Foucault, as an alternative to the prevailing strategy discourse (strategy as “economizing”). We then use contemporary design theory to theorize strategic management as a design activity in which the focus is on innovation, with the emphasis on future strategies based on the creation of desirable unknowns.

Details

The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Shailendra Kumar, I.A. Khan and O.P. Gandhi

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on design for maintainability with emphasis on psychology and cognitive sciences and suggest possible gaps from the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on design for maintainability with emphasis on psychology and cognitive sciences and suggest possible gaps from the point of view of researchers and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper systematically reviews the published literature and then analyzes it methodically.

Findings

The paper discusses a new shift in engineering design, in general, and design for maintainability (DFM) of mechanical systems, in particular.

Practical implications

Literature on DFM of mechanical systems with psychological factors has so far been very limited. This paper reviews a number of papers from the field of mechanical engineering and other related branches of engineering, along with important papers from the field of psychology and cognitive sciences. Subsequently, various merging trends in the field of DFM are identified to help researchers specifying gaps in the literature and direct the research efforts suitably.

Originality/value

The paper contains a comprehensive listing of publications in the field of maintainability from the psychology point of view. The paper will be useful to researchers, designers, maintenance professionals and others concerned with maintainability of a system. This paper is equally useful for the researchers and design professionals from the domain of engineering design irrespective of their field of application.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Torsten Maier, Joanna DeFranco and Christopher Mccomb

Often, it is assumed that teams are better at solving problems than individuals working independently. However, recent work in engineering, design and psychology…

Abstract

Purpose

Often, it is assumed that teams are better at solving problems than individuals working independently. However, recent work in engineering, design and psychology contradicts this assumption. This study aims to examine the behavior of teams engaged in data science competitions. Crowdsourced competitions have seen increased use for software development and data science, and platforms often encourage teamwork between participants.

Design/methodology/approach

We specifically examine the teams participating in data science competitions hosted by Kaggle. We analyze the data provided by Kaggle to compare the effect of team size and interaction frequency on team performance. We also contextualize these results through a semantic analysis.

Findings

This work demonstrates that groups of individuals working independently may outperform interacting teams on average, but that small, interacting teams are more likely to win competitions. The semantic analysis revealed differences in forum participation, verb usage and pronoun usage when comparing top- and bottom-performing teams.

Research limitations/implications

These results reveal a perplexing tension that must be explored further: true teams may experience better performance with higher cohesion, but nominal teams may perform even better on average with essentially no cohesion. Limitations of this research include not factoring in team member experience level and reliance on extant data.

Originality/value

These results are potentially of use to designers of crowdsourced data science competitions as well as managers and contributors to distributed software development projects.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Sylvain Lenfle

There is a widespread agreement in the managerial literature that projects produce much more than what they deliver. However, most of the literature focuses on what…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a widespread agreement in the managerial literature that projects produce much more than what they deliver. However, most of the literature focuses on what project delivers (new products, processes, services …). This can be misleading, especially for highly innovative projects for which neither the goals, nor the means to reach them, are clearly defined at the beginning. Thus, contemporary research argues for a model in which project management is, first and foremost, a way to organize the exploration process. The question becomes the definition of a framework to evaluate the project results (success or failures). The purpose of this paper is to study this question by bridging project management and design literature. Indeed research on design processes propose tools that could help managers to better understand what has been delivered and learned during the exploration journey. The paper relies on the Manhattan case to illustrate the fruitfulness of this approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an exploratory study using an historical case study: the Manhattan project. The author was able to draw on a large amount of historical material which has not yet been used to study the management of exploration projects. The paper focuses on a specific set of events likely to reveal the problems raised by the evaluation of exploration projects. Given the information available, it was considered that the point of “theoretical saturation”, which Glaser and Strauss proposed as the criterion to stop collecting data, had been attained.

Findings

The paper shows how recent development in design theory may provide a fruitful theoretical framework to develop a new evaluation framework to assess the results of exploratory projects in terms of both products designed and knowledge developed.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalisability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to explore this question further.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for the development of new evaluation tools for exploratory projects.

Originality/value

The question of project evaluation is of the greatest importance to enhance the management of exploration processes. The paper's bridging of design theory and project management constitutes an original approach.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2019

Karen Scarlette Sanhueza and Christopher Nikulin

The purpose of this paper is to address the emerging need to map knowledge and information with a novel classification, suitable to have a clear and integrated overview of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the emerging need to map knowledge and information with a novel classification, suitable to have a clear and integrated overview of the design method, models and techniques from both the sides of product and process. The proposed classification allows to understand main relevance of different design methods, models and techniques according their characteristic and also level in where company usually applied.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors decided to structure the research into three steps: from the analysis of background literature, in order to draw the main evidences for the development of a novel classification, to their application. First, the papers search related to collect the different methods used in literature. Second, paper characterization which aims to understand main traits and usefulness of design methods, models and tools. Third, the assessment of design methods, models and tools according proposed classification.

Findings

Each method, model or technique would be more useful according to the context in which is applied. Most of methods and modes can be continuously improving, considering different sub-classification or complement each other, striving to compensate to the extent possible for weakness in any one of the approaches.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed classification did not deliver absolute results in every analyzed model or techniques, it delivered a wide range of possibilities in every sub-classification, thus the engineers get multiple options to choose depending on its main goal or the available resources.

Originality/value

The author’s proposal aims at filling a classification gap in the design method literature, which has to plausible in use. The different alternatives can be represented according to a scalable and hierarchical logic embedding also a more structured evaluation of the methods and tools in practice.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 20000