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Engage engineers as designers to generate new meanings in concept generation

Abstract : The meaning of a product is the profound psychological and cultural reasons people use the product (Verganti 2013). The original meaning resulting from such design-driven research is often compromised when handed-over during concept generation (Dell'Era et al. 2011). Literature gives three models of interactions between designers and their network, i.e. networkers use their knowledge as filter, provide designers with knowledge, or are willing to restructure their knowledge base. Our research question “What is an effective marker event of radical innovation of meaning in concept generation?” is investigated through a multiple case-study comparing 35 marker events in a single organisation. The analysis confirms that meaning attributes are lost when networkers use their knowledge as filter, but surprisingly actors lose attributes even when they adopt methods to prevent it. We also found four main mechanisms for networkers to proactively hand a new meaning. Where the canonical model of gate meeting prevents hand-over to experts, our model of Generative Gate Meetings performs better. Finally engineers play a key role when they elaborate Technology Pretexts which are instrumental for exploring value propositions integrating new meanings. Lastly, we synthesise managerial implications in a process model of concept generation for radical innovation of meaning. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is unique in investigating technology epiphanies in such a technology-intensive organisation as SAFRAN and drawing significant bridges between functional innovation and design-driven innovation.
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  • HAL Id : hal-01148387, version 1

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Fabien Jean, Pascal Le Masson, Benoit Weil. Engage engineers as designers to generate new meanings in concept generation. R&D Management Conference 2015, Jun 2015, Pisa, Italy. ⟨hal-01148387⟩

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