The change in the organizational- innovation- structure and its influence on the ability to innovate A qualitative case-study in the manufacturing industry regarding CtO and EtO production process business models

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Innovation in the manufacturing industry will always be present for the survival within the competitive market. So, it is important to have a good foundation for maintaining or improving your innovative ability. Process methods of producing products can therefore play a significant role and comes in numerous of forms. The focus of this research paper is on the Configure-to-Order (CtO) modular process method, in which it makes possible to interactively design a product by specifying which parts should be used in the final product (Edwards & Pedersen , 2004). And the contrary process design principle of Engineer-to-Order (EtO). EtO is a process of designing unique products for specific customers which might be time consuming and labour intensive. The different structures can ensure a different execution of the explorative and exploitative innovations, what might jeopardize the viability of an organization. Hence, this study researched the organizational- innovation structures of CtO and/or EtO process business model and what kind of influence it is having on the innovative ability of an organization. The study is performed in a deductive qualitative manner, with the aim of diagnosing the organizational- innovation structure. Therefore, a single case-study was conducted at Movexx International B.V. First, existing knowledge and theories related to the topic were reviewed in the theoretical framework. Secondly, the methodology is explained to discuss the execution of the analysis. The analysis was done by conducting nine semi-structured interviews and by reviewing organizational- innovation related documents. Finally, it was possible to write down the results and recommendations with the help of the Lowlands Sociotechnical System Design (L-STSD) principles of De Sitter (1994), and the ‘Model Innovation and Organization Structure’ (MIOS) developed by Lekkerkerk (2012). These two models do give a comprehensive representation of the organizational- innovation- structure at Movexx International. The results of this research paper showed that the organizational- innovation structure at Movexx International does influence the innovative ability. A few design parameters (De Sitter, 1994) indicated that the organizational structure might be problematic. Furthermore, different functions within the innovation structure are informally present and function problematic. Hence, Recommendations are made for lowering the problematic parameter values and to formalize / improve the MIOS functions. As a result, it might create a healthy balance between the explorative and exploitative innovations.
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