Innovation Processes and Iterative Circles: an Integrative Approach

Christopher Miller, Michael Roeller, Brychan Thomas, Gareth White

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    Purpose - This study attempts to create new insights in innovation management through the integration of innovation processes and iterative circles. Through the exploration of the use of iterative circles in a manufacturing environment this paper explores their role in facilitating customer-focused innovation practices. Other supporting antecedences for innovative behaviour are reviewed and their combined effect upon delivering cost effective product developments are assessed.

    Design/Methodology – Data were collected through semi-structured interviews in manufacturing organizations from the automotive industry. Interviews were conducted with senior functional managers to interpret the application of iterative development circles. Analysis of the data was undertaken via thematic analysis based upon pertinent and emergent themes.

    Findings – Iterative development circles overcame the inherent path-dependency of traditional linear development approaches. Whereas traditional approaches structurate the involvement of key business functions, iterative circles facilitate more flexible approaches to product development that more closely met the requirements of the customer, especially when those requirements are in a state of flux.

    Practical implications – This iterative, customer-centric approach to product development reflects the increasingly dynamic market environments in which manufacturing organisations operate. Using this approach focuses an organisation’s attention upon customer requirements rather than the challenges of adhering to the rigid dogma of a chosen development methodology.

    Originality/Value – This study proposes a new approach towards the development of innovations in manufacturing organizations utilising iterative circles and therefore contrasts with the traditional, linear development methodologies that are usually employed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
    EventInstitute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship 37th Annual Conference: The Future of Entrepreneurship - The Innovation Revolution - Manchester, United Kingdom
    Duration: 5 Nov 20146 Nov 2014


    ConferenceInstitute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship 37th Annual Conference
    Abbreviated titleISBE 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • Innovation
    • Processes
    • Iterative Circles
    • Integrative Approach


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