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Muddling through in innovation: On incremental failure in developing an engine
Dept of Business Administration, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 65, no 6, 807-813 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Researchers often use Lindblom's concept of “muddling through” to explain how complex and incremental processes can lead to satisfactory results even without the systematic application of “management”. However, this tendency to look for positive outcomes from muddling might be limiting, as this tends to ignore muddling that ends in failure. This article aims to extend the work following Lindblom by studying the failure of an innovation in engine technology. The key argument is that by paying more attention to failures, business research can develop a more complete theory of muddling through, and this article uses the case of how a new engine for lawnmowers incrementally failed to become an innovation as an illustration. In this, the term “sliding” is introduced to clarify the role of incrementalism in the processual study of business failure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 65, no 6, 807-813 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-167282DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2010.12.020ISI: 000304690900014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-167282DiVA: diva2:483029
Muddling through, Failure, Technology marketing, Innovation
Available from: 2012-01-24 Created: 2012-01-24 Last updated: 2012-09-27Bibliographically approved

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