Barker on Infrastructures for Resolving Novelty in Product Development: a View from the Fast Paced World of Imaging and Printing

Abstract

Change is an absolutely essential component of product development. However, some changes are too difficult to manage. It is contended that the difficult changes stem from the emergence of novelty. The significance of novelty is that it is not immediately apparent and can be overlooked. It is a common element in disruptive technology, knowledge management, and firefighting research. This work examines the effects of emergent novelty in a complex product development system. In order to do this a framework is developed to categorize potential types of novelty that are encountered. In addition, a unique perspective on the concept of organizational capability is introduced. What makes it unique is the idea that organizational capability is composed of the capacity to do work and the ability of actors to use that capacity. "Organizational infrastructure" is used to speak more concretely about organizational capability. These conceptual models are used to analyze the events of three case studies developed from actual projects in the Imaging & Printing division of Hewlett-Packard. Through the case analysis it is shown there is significant pressures to approach development as if all novelty is understood. However, by doing so almost guarantees problems late in development if latent novelty exists. It is speculated that the addition of excess capacity to the organizational infrastructure will allow for greater novelty detection. This in turn should decrease the complications from resolving issues related to the emergence of novelty. Thesis Advisor: Paul Carlile Title: Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies Sloan School of Management

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Gilbert2014BarkerOI, title={Barker on Infrastructures for Resolving Novelty in Product Development: a View from the Fast Paced World of Imaging and Printing}, author={Steven M. Gilbert and David Simchi-Levi}, year={2014} }