Title: Formalisation of front end innovation in supply network collaboration

Authors: Erno Salmela; Cláudio Santos; Ari Happonen

Addresses: Faculty of Technology Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, Lappeenranta FI-53851, Finland ' Department of Production and Systems, University of Minho, P.O. Box 4800-058, Guimarães, Portugal ' Faculty of Technology Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, Lappeenranta FI-53851, Finland

Abstract: The research examined the formalisation of front end innovation (FEI) activity in the supply networks of the Finnish machinery industry. The goal of the study is to recognise formalisation practices of FEI activity in the studied environment by best practice benchmarking approach. Research data was collected from ten supply chains with the help of theme interviews and workshops. A formalisation framework was utilised to analyse and structure research data. The recognised formalisation practices were either very new or only in the idea/planning stage in the studied supply chains, as a result there was little empirical data available of their practical influences. Although these limitations, the research recognised numerous formalisation practices in different sub-sectors that could support FEI management and collaboration in the future, which can serve as potential future operations models in the studied supply chains.

Keywords: front end innovation; formalisation practices; innovation processes; collaboration; benchmarking; innovation management; supply networks; Finland; machinery industry; best practice; theme interviews; theme workshops; planning stages; SCM; supply chain management; practical influences; sub-sectors; operations models; regeneration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIRD.2013.052510

International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 2013 Vol.5 No.1, pp.91 - 111

Published online: 02 Jul 2014 *

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