Innovation management: complexity and systems thinking

Paul Otterson, Zoe Dann, Ian Barclay, Peter Bond

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    New Product Development (NPD) is one of the most complex organisational environments that exist. The NPD process ranges from the simple repositioning of products in new markets through to the development of products that are entirely new to the world. In the latter case, the degree and level of complexity and innovation can be extreme because we are introducing a new component into a complex adaptive system. In this case, not only is the NPD process inherently difficult, the problem of complexity is extended by the nature of the product developed and the market into which it is to be launched. It is the role of management that must bring together the product's development process and launch it into the market successfully. In the last few years, the science of complexity theory has been developed and various attempts have been made to relate this to the NPD environment. This paper describes our work in this area and shows how we have developed a NPD Complexity Application Model (CAM) that represents the management processes encompassing the three dimensions of NPD: - Activity and process management - Knowledge management, development and dissemination - Learning development and application The paper then goes on to show how the use of systems thinking may be used to address the details of the CAM to allow practitioners to better understand the knowledge requirements of the NPD process. It shows how the use of soft systems thinking may be used to aid the practitioners' understanding of the root definitions of NPD knowledge and to define customer requirements and educate customers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th European conference on knowledge management 2006
    EditorsPeter Feher
    Place of PublicationReading
    PublisherAcademic Conferences Limited
    ISBN (Print)9781905305285
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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