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Innovation-The Missing Dimension (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 30. Oktober 2004

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From 1994 to 2002, almost in parallel with the Internet-led boom in the U.S. economy, researchers at the Industrial Performance Center at MIT developed a series of case studies of technology-oriented companies. These studies allowed the authors of the current book to identify common patterns in the innovation process. What the authors found was startlingly simple: innovation was a function of two basic processes--analysis and interpretation. While there are numerous books on the topic of innovation, this volume's real value is its exposition of the two processes and the illustration of these processes through exhaustive case studies...Innovation is absolutely critical to the economic well-being of the U.S. and is the only bulwark against the migration of jobs overseas. The authors make these points tellingly, using persuasive arguments that illustrate the innovation processes in organizations.--R. Subramanian"Choice" (03/01/2005)

Synopsis

The innovation strategies of some of the economy's most dynamic sectors are examined through a series of case studies of new product development, giving managers and designers the concepts and tools to keep new products flowing.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Die Autoren untersuchen - im Rahmen von Forschungsprojekten am MIT - eine Reihe von Firmen und deren Innovationsstrategien. Eine wichtiges Ergebnis ist die Unterscheidung zwischen Analyse und Interpretation innerhalb des Innovationsprozesses und die Erkenntnis, dass der Großteil der Manager sich mit der Analyse befasst und selten bis nie in den 'interpretativen Modus' kommt. Analyse steht für Klarheit und Interpretation für Unsicherheit und Flexibilität. Die fehlende Verbindung dieser für Innovationen notwendigen Prozesse führt zu eindimensionalen Vorgehen und zu Problemen - so die Autoren.
Bewertung: Gut gelungen ist die Beschreibung der Probleme. Beispielsweise das Phänomen 'Voice of the customer'(S.76: 'the customer has no needs until they are articulated') oder 'Focus on your Core Competence' (S.84) oder der Automatismus, Probleme lösen zu wollen.
Die Lösungsansätze beziehen sich auf die USA und verdichten sich zu 'Verstärkung der interpretativen Kapazität'. Die These, dass Analytik für Innovationen, die ja Neues und Unbekanntes einschließen, nicht ausreichen ist überzeugend. Der interpretative Ansatz ist jedoch noch etwas nebulös.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book on overseen factors behind innovation 8. Juli 2016
Von Ulas Tuerkmen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Innovative ideas need space to germinate, grow, and develop into
complete products. The nature of this space, how it can be created,
and how to steer it are the topics of this book. The authors base
their arguments on studies of companies from various industries that
were either introducing new products to markets where they had no
foothold, or trying to stay ahead of the competition by continuous
innovation. It is very interesting to see how seemingly disparate
industries such as fashion, medical imaging or home lighting face
similar issues when they have to connect different departments within
the same organization or interface with other companies for
information exchange. While Motorola has to balance the gung ho
attitude of radio operators with the more reliability-oriented approach
of telephone network operators, Levi's has to cooperate with stone
washing laundries and share techniques that differentiates them from
the other jean manufacturers.

The authors point out that the way product and manufacturing design is
formulated and studied in the literature and in companies is through
the problem-solving perspective. Design is treated as a problem to be
solved, whereby an analysis is performed to split the problem into
parts, which are then delegated to people with suitable expertise. The
specific insight of the authors is that the analytic approach is
neither accurate, in that it's not what really happens, nor
preferrable if innovation is to be a focus. It's not accurate, because
there is something preceding the analysis step. As one executive
remarks, "by the time I see the parts, I already have the
answer". That is, for a solution to be formed and split into parts,
the exact problem has to be formulated, and this is a very difficult
and specific task on itself. The analytic approach is also not
preferrable if innovation is at stake, because the ideal problem
solving approach is one of taking the shortest distance to the goal
within certain constraints. Innovation, however, requires a
speculative, open-ended process that serves as a precursor to the
analytic episode. During this process, there is radical uncertainty,
meaning that not even the possible outcomes are known, and there is a
lot of experimenting and trial-and-error involved ("You have to kiss a
lot of frogs"). According to the authors, the distinctive component of
this seemingly chaotic phase is interpretation. Interpretation is the
counterpart to analysis, and is charactized by a vague target,
open-ended conversations, and fluid borders.

If analysis is possible with the problem-solving approach, what is the
basic process that enables interpretation? The answer is the above
mentioned conversation, but not within the strict information-exchange
view in which communication is seen in the analytical perspective. If
it is to lead to new insights, and serve as a basis for innovation,
conversation has to be open-ended, include people and organizations
with different backgrounds and perspectives, and not shy away from
ambiguity. Management usually aims to remove all ambiguity from
communication within a company, but for the purposes of
interpretation, the ambiguity that is familiar to us all from our
daily use of language is actually crucial. It is the critical resource
out of which ideas emerge, because ambiguity leads to the participants
inquiring each other about their standpoints, and make new discoveries
about each other and about the object they are organizing around.

The rest of the book is dedicated to understanding the analysis vs
interpretation divide, how companies can create and sustain
conversations to alternate between these, and case studies of
successful and collapsed conversations. The authors compare the role
of the manager in a company that wants to sustain conversions to the
host of a cocktail party, who has to supply the right participants and
environment for conversations, make sure that the conversation does
not get bogged down in bargaining, and rekindle it when it threatens
to die off. One interesting connection made by the authors is how
conversations in the early phase are threatened by the existing
customers of a company, reminiscient of the innovator's dilemma. The
end result of a conversation is not, as a simple extrapolation would
make one believe, a product or a problem to solve; it is a language
community. One of the most interesting and surprising aspects of this
book is the affinity to the developments that were then current in
Cognitive Science (especially Cognitive Linguistics) evidenced by this
characterization. The authors compare the people who develop a common
language after taking part in a conversation for a prolonged period of
time with communities that develop a language of their own, going from
a pidgin to a creole, and characterize them as a language community.
The most relevant property of such a community is that they have
created a space where ambiguity can be recognized as such, but does
not have to be feared. It is rather recognized as a possibility for
interpretation. They further reference the category theory of Lakoff,
who argued against strict category membership, and inherent vagueness
in the linguistic usage of category terms.

The book goes deeper into the relationship of companies to two other
settings that are accepted to be interpretive communities. The first
of these is industrial districts, such as Silicon Valley or the Veneto
region of Italy, famous for its clothing manufacturers, out of which
Benetton emerged as the leader. Although these districts provide the
interpretive communities for whole industries through the knowdledge
and labor that flows between the smaller companies, they are under
pressure from the leaders who make use of these resources, but
contribute little in return. There is a similar relationship between
universities and the industry, especially in the US. Universities are
singular in how they combine analytic and interpretive communities.
They offer the chance for intense occupation with very specific
problems, but also a public arena for chance encounters, open
discussions, and intense social interactions. In this sense, they are
one of the most important locusts for interpretive communities.
Recently, universities have come under financial pressure, thus
reaching for more industry collaboration, and companies are eager to
offload their research to universities. There is a very clear conflict
in the fundamental driving forces of these two spheres, however:
Universities function under the principles of openness and peer
recognition, whereas businesses follow financial incentives. The
authors discuss the various facets of this conflict on concrete cases,
but refrain from proposing simplistic solutions.

Of particular significance for me was the connection the authors made
to the software development context. I think the authors have
recognized the idiosyncracies of software development, and the
exceptional relevancy they present for the book, rather well. Software
is even more difficult to break apart analytically and reassamble than
manufacturing. The pieces interact with one another in unpredictable
ways due to the inherent complexity and brittleness of software
components. Furthermore, one cannot just throw people at a problem
(the notorious 'mythical man-month'), because if they don't belong to
the same "language community", i.e. don't have the same way of
conceptualizing computational problems, the results of their work will
be incompatible. In this respect, as the authors state, "Software is
emblematic because it defies the model of the division of labor that
lies at the heart of mass production and the analytical approach to
product design". The solutions software developers have found to these
challenges are also vindications of the importance the authors
attribute to interpretive communities. Before they were mentioned in
the book, it was obvious to me that the online-first communities that
form around various open source software technologies (languages,
operating systems, programs) are a great example of interpretive
communities. As the authors point out, these communities lead intense
online discussions on how to write software, and the importance of
perfecting the craft of programming. The second software process that
goes in the direction of interpretive communities are agile
approaches. These have arisen as a counter-argument to the analytic,
component-oriented software development methodologies, and have always
argued for independent, self-organizing teams that work on increments
to systems that are always in a running, complete state, even if
diminished in terms of features. Agile approaches furthermore
encourage focusing on communication and cooperation, rather than
documentation and strict processes.

This book is a fresh alternative to all the process-oriented books
that teach well-defined methods that are promised to make your
organization successful, but end up creating another shell. I hope it
moves at least a few managers to provoking conversations among their
workers, and taking the end results seriously.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Good insight for a Product Manager 17. Dezember 2012
Von Michael Plasmeier - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I'm a senior at MIT about to go into Product Management. I found this book changed how I approached Product Management.

A product manger's job is not about productivity, but instead it is about being a cocktail host; bringing people together to discuss and plan. These discussions might not lead to immediate ideas, but they ultimately lead to ideas in this long term way that is difficult to make happen on purpose. I see it all the time at MIT. You look around and find new ideas, but those ideas didn't come out of a concerted effort; rather, random 2AM conversations with the people living near you.

I am very task/productivity oriented at MIT; but I will need to break out of that model to be a good product manager.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen More Interpretation, Less Problem Solving Helps Innovation 12. Oktober 2005
Von Kim Slack - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I work in a business that struggles to be innovative. There's many very smart people who are superb problem solvers. This book explains why a problem solving mindset may actually interfere with listening to customers and stimulating new ideas.

By thinking "who else should I invite into this conversation who might have another perspective," and "how can I get these people together and stimulate a deep conversation," I've begun to see another way to work with my colleagues that may help our organization push the envelope more. The authors offered very specific examples of these kinds of interpretative conversations.

This book has good case studies about garment industry, cell phone industry and biotech. Their economic argument pushing for more public spaces where interpretative conversations can occur was of less interest and I thought weaker than their company examples.
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 5. Februar 2016
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Great book- relevant to any contemporary business.
0 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Three Stars 8. Dezember 2015
Von Kitty Like - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Interesting book for school
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