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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2004

Fiona Murray and Mary Tripsas

While it is widely recognized that firms in an era of technological ferment exist under conditions of significant uncertainty and ambiguity, little is known about the…

Abstract

While it is widely recognized that firms in an era of technological ferment exist under conditions of significant uncertainty and ambiguity, little is known about the exact processes through which firms explore their ideas and resolve uncertainty. Arguing that our understanding of the era of ferment is much less developed than other aspects of the technology life cycle, we examine the micro-dynamics of technology-based entrepreneurial firms during this period. We focus on the role of purposeful experimentation as a key form of learning for start-ups firms in the era of ferment. Our approach contrasts with the prevailing view in the literature in which the era of ferment is characterized by extensive experimentation across firms, with each firm representing a single data point in an industry-level experiment. It also extends the learning literature by focusing on start-ups and taking the perspective that learning can encompass purposeful experimentation as well as local search and chaotic adaptation in the era of ferment. Building on the literature on experimental design, we propose a definition and taxonomy of purposeful experimentation. The taxonomy defines the experimental landscape as having three domains – technological, product and business model; and two dimensions – degree of simultaneity and degree of parameter manipulation. We examine this framework using data from a technology-based start-up and find evidence for purposeful experimentation as a key element of the firm’s learning strategy. We also highlight the organizational constraints and challenges that are associated with experimentation. Our findings emphasize the importance of entrepreneurial action, choice and internal experimentation processes.

Details

Business Strategy over the Industry Lifecycle
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-135-4

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2020

Carolina Lopez-Nicolas, Shahrokh Nikou, Francisco-Jose Molina-Castillo and Harry Bouwman

By drawing on various theoretical approaches and a gender perspective, this paper aims to examine business model (BM) experimentation as a step towards BM experimentation

Abstract

Purpose

By drawing on various theoretical approaches and a gender perspective, this paper aims to examine business model (BM) experimentation as a step towards BM experimentation capabilities as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, using a unique data set of 444 European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the authors draw on various theoretical perspectives to devise a structural equation model that examines BM experimentation as a step towards business model innovation (BMI) as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance. Potential differences are examined between female-owned and non-female-owned businesses with regard to hypothesized relations.

Findings

Multi-group analysis results reveal that drivers of BM experimentation and the paths linking BM experimentation to overall firm performance are different for female owners in comparison to male owners.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance.

Practical implications

Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance.

Originality/value

Despite the increasing number of papers focussing on the relationship between BM and firm performance, the focus on female entrepreneurship, gender differences and BMI, more specifically the process of BMI as BM experimentation, is relatively rare.

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Martin Brynskov, Adriënne Heijnen, Mara Balestrini and Christoph Raetzsch

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how experimentation with open Internet of Things data can be institutionalised in an inclusive manner at scale.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how experimentation with open Internet of Things data can be institutionalised in an inclusive manner at scale.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is conceptual, addressing key challenges discussed in the literature on experimental cities. This exposition of the problem of scaling experimentation is anchored in findings from two projects (Dampbusters and OrganiCity), which seek to implement experimentation as a practice of sustainable digital urban development.

Findings

One central finding is that local interventions need transferable frameworks and mechanisms to achieve scaling effects of experimentation as a practice. In addition, experimentation must embed common engagement principles, structures of data and interfaces, and governance principles across use cases to be scaled.

Originality/value

The authors outline how and why experimentation can be a useful approach to address challenges of implementing urban informatics into concrete uses and procedures for co-creation. Based on reports from two projects, the authors develop recommendations for experimentation at scale that reflect the need for engagement principles, the need for common data structures and interfaces, as well as governance principles.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2020

Brian Leavy

In this interview with Harvard innovation expert Stefan H.Thomke about his latest book, Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments, he pays…

Abstract

Purpose

In this interview with Harvard innovation expert Stefan H.Thomke about his latest book, Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments, he pays tribute to the scientific method and “the engine that has powered” it over the centuries, the “humble experiment.”

Design/methodology/approach

Professor Thomke anticipates a burgeoning role for business experimentation, one that it is already playing across the value chain, particularly in leading online companies.

Findings

Digital experimentation tools have the potential to revolutionize a company’s R&D, but they can also transform entire industries by shifting experimentation–and thus product innovation–to users and customers.

Practical implications

The ability to access large customer samples, to automatically collect huge amounts of data about user interactions on websites and apps, and to run concurrent experiments gives companies an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate many ideas quickly, with great precision, and at a negligible cost per additional experiment.

Originality/value

Product development is being transformed by rapid experimentation: all aspects of software–including user interfaces, security applications and back-end changes–can now be subjected to A/B tests.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2020

Stephen Denning

Some organizations are responding to the opportunity of innovation, while others are not. Harvard innovation expert Stefan H. Thomke says a key reason for the slow pace of…

Abstract

Purpose

Some organizations are responding to the opportunity of innovation, while others are not. Harvard innovation expert Stefan H. Thomke says a key reason for the slow pace of innovation is that most organizations lack "a culture of experimentation." In this article the author explains the impediments to establishing such a culture. 10;

Design/methodology/approach

In his latest book, Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments, 10;Thomke says, to create a culture of experimentation, firms need “a new model of leadership,” which cultivates curiosity, emphasizes data-informed decisions, experiments ethically, sets grand challenges and establishes systematic training and support for rapid experimentation. Those are all positive steps in the direction of creating a culture of experimentation.

Findings

But they won’t be enough because the underlying management model of most big organizations is explicitly aimed at preventing the very kind of experimentation that Thomke is recommending.

Practical implications

In a digital world, technology has made it radically simpler and quicker and cheaper to carry out and evaluate multiple experiments. The whole organization needs to become an organic living network of high-performance teams. In such firms competence resides throughout the organization and that innovation can and must come from anywhere. 10;

Originality/value

An important discussion of how top down managements squelch experimentation and thus throttle innovation.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Anne Douglas and Melehat Nil Gulari

The purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: in what sense does experimentation as improvisation lead to methodological innovation? What are the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: in what sense does experimentation as improvisation lead to methodological innovation? What are the implications of artistic experimentation as improvisation for education and learning?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper tracks the known concept within research of “experimentation” with a view to revealing how practice-led research in art works distinctively with experimentation. It proposes experimentation as improvisation drawing on a research project Sounding Drawing 2012 as an example. The paper situates art experimentation as improvisation in art (Cage, 1995) anthropology (Hallam and Ingold, 2007; Bateson, 1989) and the theoretical work of Arnheim (1986) on forms of cognition.

Findings

Arts research as improvisation is participatory, relational and performative retaining the research subject in its life context. The artist as researcher starts with open-ended critical questions for which there are no known methods or immediate answer. By setting up boundary conditions from the outset and understanding the situatedness and contingencies of those conditions, the artist as improviser seeks ways of not only avoiding chaos and the arbitrary but also being trapped by what is already known.

Originality/value

This approach is important within and beyond the arts because it consciously draws together different forms of cognition – intuition and relational knowledge and also sequential knowledge. It is also significant because it offers a different epistemology in which new knowledge emerges in the relationship between participants in the research taking form in co-creation. These qualities all position improvisation as a research paradigm and a counterpoint to positivism.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Maria Cristina Longo

The research analyzes good practices in health care “management experimentation models,” which fall within the broader range of the integrative public–private partnerships…

Abstract

Purpose

The research analyzes good practices in health care “management experimentation models,” which fall within the broader range of the integrative public–private partnerships (PPPs). Introduced by the Italian National Healthcare System in 1991, the “management experimentation models” are based on a public governance system mixed with a private management approach, a patient-centric orientation, a shared financial risk, and payment mechanisms correlated with clinical outcomes, quality, and cost-savings. This model makes public hospitals more competitive and efficient without affecting the principles of universal coverage, solidarity, and equity of access, but requires higher financial responsibility for managers and more flexibility in operations.

Methodology/approach

In Italy the experience of such experimental models is limited but successful. The study adopts the case study methodology and refers to the international collaboration started in 1997 between two Italian hospitals and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC – Pennsylvania, USA) in the field of organ transplants and biomedical advanced therapies.

Findings

The research allows identifying what constitutes good management practices and factors associated with higher clinical performance. Thus, it allows to understand whether and how the management experimentation model can be implemented on a broader basis, both nationwide and internationally. However, the implementation of integrative PPPs requires strategic, cultural, and managerial changes in the way in which a hospital operates; these transformations are not always sustainable.

Originality/value

The recognition of ISMETT’s good management practices is useful for competitive benchmarking among hospitals specialized in organ transplants and for its insights on the strategies concerning the governance reorganization in the hospital setting. Findings can be used in the future for analyzing the cross-country differences in productivity among well-managed public hospitals.

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Pedro Henrique Dutra de Abreu Mancini de Azevedo and Larissa Passos Silva

Project management practices have been losing its central place in innovation processes within the companies due to its excessive control-oriented phased approach. Hence…

Abstract

Purpose

Project management practices have been losing its central place in innovation processes within the companies due to its excessive control-oriented phased approach. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to propose and examine the project management practitioners' experiences on the systematic use of an experimentation framework to manage innovation projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Three case studies were carried out in three different Brazilian companies for a ten month period. The authors have chosen these companies for the following reasons: they were all in an innovation context; they have never carried out a project based on experimentation and they had previous experience with project management traditional tools.

Findings

The findings have shown that our framework can contribute to the project management available toolkit; once the rigid experimentation process, the authors’ proposed made it easier for project management practitioners to adapt to more flexible approaches. Nonetheless, stakeholders' involvement has shown to be a key success factor on the deployment of the framework.

Practical implications

Managers still need to add expertise in flexible methods into their managerial skills, so they are able to deal with innovation just as they deal with traditional processes they were trained to. This suggestion can also be extended to the business schools.

Originality/value

The case studies have shown that traditional project management practices can also be applied in innovation projects. So despite of generally being the opposite of an experimentation process, those practices are relevant in project management discipline, which means that formal project management training is still a good ally to project management practitioners.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Book part
Publication date: 28 August 2020

Virginia Cha, Yi Ruan and Michael Frese

This study enriches the theory of effectuation by discussing the four independent dimensions of effectuation and their relationships with causation. Additionally, we fill…

Abstract

This study enriches the theory of effectuation by discussing the four independent dimensions of effectuation and their relationships with causation. Additionally, we fill the gap in prior literature by showing how entrepreneurial experience moderates the relationship between effectuation and innovativeness of the venture. Our study of 171 practising entrepreneurs regarding their entrepreneurial decision-making logic yielded multiple findings. The authors find that entrepreneurs rely on causation as well as effectuation in their decision-making; the more experienced entrepreneurs are, the more they actually use causation; and entrepreneurial experience moderates the relationship between effectuation and innovativeness of the venture firm.

Details

The Entrepreneurial Behaviour: Unveiling the cognitive and emotional aspect of entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-508-6

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Susan E. Parker

The Morgan Library at Colorado State University in Fort Collins suffered catastrophic flooding as the result of a historic rain storm and flood that swept through the town…

Abstract

The Morgan Library at Colorado State University in Fort Collins suffered catastrophic flooding as the result of a historic rain storm and flood that swept through the town on July 28, 1997. This study examines this single library's organizational disaster response and identifies the phenomena that the library's employees cited as their motivation for innovation.

Purpose – This study provides an example of a library where a pre-disaster and post-disaster organizational environment was supportive of experimentation. This influenced the employees’ capacity and motivation to create a new tool meant to solve a temporary need. Their invention, a service now called RapidILL, advanced the Morgan Library organization beyond disaster recovery and has become an effective and popular consortium of libraries.

Design/methodology/approach – This is an instrumental case study. This design was chosen to examine the issues in organizational learning that the single case of Morgan Library presents. The researcher interviewed employees who survived the 1997 flood and who worked in the library after the disaster. The interview results and a book written by staff members are the most important data that form the basis for this qualitative research.

The interviews were transcribed, and key phrases and information from both the interviews and the published book were isolated into themes for coding. The coding allowed the use of NVivo 7, a text analysis software, to search in employees’ stories for “feeling” words and themes about change, innovation, motivation, and mental models.

Three research questions for the study sought to learn how employees described their lived experience, how the disaster altered their mental models of change, and what factors in the disaster response experience promoted learning and innovation.

Findings – This study investigates how the disruptive forces of disaster can influence and promote organizational learning and foster innovation. Analysis of the data demonstrates how the library employees’ feelings of trust before and following a workplace disaster shifted their mental models of change. They felt empowered to act and assert their own ideas; they did not simply react to change acting upon them.

Emotions motivate adaptive actions, facilitating change. The library employees’ lived experiences and feelings influenced what they learned, how quickly they learned it, and how that learning contributed to their innovations after the disaster. The library's supervisory and administrative leaders encouraged staff members to try out new ideas. This approach invigorated staff members’ feelings of trust and motivated them to contribute their efforts and ideas. Feeling free to experiment, they tapped their creativity and provided adaptations and innovations.

Practical implications – A disaster imposes immediate and often unanticipated change upon people and organizations. A disaster response urgently demands that employees do things differently; it also may require that employees do different things.

Successful organizations must become adept at creating and implementing changes to remain relevant and effective in the environments in which they operate. They need to ensure that employees generate and test as many ideas as possible in order to maximize the opportunity to uncover the best new thinking. This applies to libraries as well as to any other organizations.

If library leaders understand the conditions under which employees are most motivated to let go of fear and alter the mental models they use to interpret their work world, it should be possible and desirable to re-create those conditions and improve the ability of their organizations to tap into employees’ talent, spur innovation, and generate meaningful change.

Social implications – Trust and opportunities for learning can be central to employees’ ability to embrace change as a positive state in which their creativity flourishes and contributes to the success of the organization. When leaders support experimentation, employees utilize and value their affective connections as much as their professional knowledge. Work environments that promote experimentation and trust are ones in which employees at any rank feel secure enough to propose and experiment with innovative services, products, or workflows.

Originality/value – The first of its kind to examine library organizations, this study offers direct evidence to show that organizational learning and progress flourish through a combination of positive affective experiences and experimentation. The study shows how mental models, organizational learning, and innovation may help employees create significantly effective organizational advances while under duress.

An original formula is presented in Fig. 1.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-313-1

Keywords

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