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2011/2012  KAN-CB15  Generating and Managing Creative Ideas

English Title
Generating and Managing Creative Ideas

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for MSc of Social Science
Course Coordinator
  • Christoph Hienerth - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics
Main Category of the Course
  • Economic and organizational sociology
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
The aim of the course is to enable students to:

• identify and leverage company internal and external sources for creative ideas.

• apply different search (such as pyramiding, broadcasting, idea contests or toolkits), selection (such as collaborative filtering) and collaboration (such as the lead user method) methods for the identification of creative ideas and the design of distributed innovation processes.

• demonstrate knowledge of the respective literature for idea generation and evaluation, sources of innovation, new product and service development, distributed innovation processes, entrepreneurship, business model development and use that literature in the exam paper.

• link a theoretical question or problem with a concrete application/illustration.

• apply the knowledge provided in specific cases and practice distributed innovation processes for the generation of novel products and services.

• show writing skills that enable them to develop a report with aspects of their idea, an analytical description of the sources used for the development of that idea, central elements of a business concept (e.g. information about industries, markets, consumers, etc.) and the specifics on a business model.

  • .
15 page Individual mini-project
Assessment Home Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship No censorship
Exam Period December/January
Aids Open Book, Written Aid is permitted
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
This examination is an individual mini-project of max. 15 pages

For the make-up exam, the mini-project must be based on a specific topic predetermined by the teacher.
Course Content

The course will supply central skills and tools needed to deal with the management of distributed innovation systems for generating creative ideas in the very early stages of new product or service development. Students will (1) learn about how to access, leverage and filter distributed sources of ideas in the “fuzzy front end” of innovation processes and (2) practice different tools to perform respective projects. Specifically, the aim is to learn how creative ideas can be generated AND managed: We use new ways of identifying and filtering creative ideas (for example by making problems visible to user communities and then attract creative individuals).

The overall goal of the course is to enable students to systematically manage early innovation stages using both internal and external sources of ideas and feed later stages with the respective results.

More specifically, students in this course will be able to develop their own ideas within the creative industries. They will 1) identify the sources for the creative input needed, 2) evaluate what they find, 3) combine and recombine existing ideas and match them with their own individual experiences and needs/wants and 4) develop a concept out of that. The course is thus a theoretical preparation and practical application for specific situations the students will find and have to manage after having finished their studies. The course is divided into two major parts: During the first part (six classes) the students will get an introduction to the course and the literature and case based classes (see document further below). In the second part of the course (class seven to nine), we will have workshops where we jointly develop the projects of the students, in groups and individually. The course finishes with a final class on writing style and the expectations with regards to the written exam.

Teaching Methods
Teaching includes lecture-style classes and in-class workshops with students presenting and actively participating in discussions. Lecture-style classes will introduce literature and main theoretical concepts. Students will be requested to identify and discuss current literature on the topic of the course.

During the in-class workshops students expand their knowledge from course literature by working on concrete practical examples and real company cases.
Furthermore, the course will include an external practical partner, Crossroad Innovation. Crossroad innovation is a distributed internet platform on which designers from various fields of creative industries can present their ideas and designs and collect supports from consumers and users. Once their designs reach a certain level of support (numbers of votes), manufacturing of the respective designs will be realized. This cooperation will enable the students to test and apply the ideas they identify and develop.
Please note that the litterature list is guiding

Baron, R. A. and Shane, S. A. (2008). Entrepreneurship. A Process Perspective. Thomson South-Western, Mason, OH.
Chesbrough, H.W. (2003), „The Era of Open Innovation,“ MIT Sloan Management Review, 44 (3), 25–41.
Cohen, W.M. und D.A. Levinthal (1990), „Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation,“ Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 128–152.
Cooper, R.G. (1990), „Stage-Gate systems: A new tool for managing new products,“ Business Horizons, 33 (3), 44–53.
Franke, N. and S. Shah (2003), „How Communities Support Innovative Activities. An Exploration of Assistance and Sharing among End-Users,“ Research Policy, 32 (1), 157–178.
Franke, N. and F. Piller (2004), „Value Creation by Toolkits for User Innovation and Design: The Case of the Watch Market,“ Journal of Product Innovation Management, 21 (6), 401-415.
Franke, N., von Hippel, E. und M. Schreier (2006), „Finding Commercially Attractive User Innovations,“ Journal of Product Innovation Management, 23, 301–315.
Hargadon, A. and R. Sutton (1997), „Technology Brokering and Innovation in a Product Development Firm,“ Administrative Science Quarterly, 42 (4), 716–749.
Hienerth, C., Pötz, M. and E. von Hippel (2007), „Exploring Key Characteristics of Lead User Workshop Participants: Who Contributes Best to the Generation of Truly Novel Solution?,“ Proceedings of the DRUID Summer Conference 2007, 1–31.
Huston, L. and N. Sakkab (2006), „Connect and develop. Inside Procter & Gambles’s new model for innovation,“ Harvard Business Review. March 2006, 58–66.
Lakhani, K. R. and E.von Hippel (2003). „How Open Source Software Works: "Free" user-to-user assistance,” Research Policy 32 (6), 923-943.
Lakhani, K.R, Jeppesen, L.B., Lohse, P.A. and J. A. Panetta (2006), „The Value of Openness in Scientific Problem Solving,“ Harvard Business School Working Paper 07-05.
Jeppesen, L. B. and L. Frederiksen (2006), „Why do users contribute to firm-hosted user communities? The case of computer-controlled music instruments,“ Organization Science, 17 (1), 45–64.
Katila, R. and G. Ahuja (2002), „Something Old, Something New: A Longitudinal Study of Search Behavior and New Product Introduction,“ Academy of Management Journal, 45, 1183–1194.
Lilien, G.L., Morrison, P.D., Searls, K., Sonnack, M., und E. von Hippel (2002), „Performance Assessment of the Lead User Idea-Generation Process for New Product Development,“ Management Science, 48 (8), 1042–1059.
Nambisan, S. und M. Sawhney (2007), „A Buyer’s Guide to the Innovation Bazaar,“ Harvard Business Review, June 2007, 109–118.
Ogawa, S. and F. T. Piller (2006), „Collective customer commitment: Reducing the risks of new product development,“ MIT Sloan Management Review 47 (2), 65-72.
Pisano, G. P. and R. Verganti (2008), „Which kind of collaboration is right for you?” Harvard Business Review, 86 (12), 78-86.
Poetz, M. and M. Schreier (2009), „The value of crowdsourcing: Can users really compete with professionals in generating new product ideas?” Proceedings of the DRUID Summer conference 2009.
Poetz, M, Prügl, R. and C. Fabsich (2009), „Systematic identification of problem solvers from analogous markets: an empirical exploration of the potential of the search method Pyramiding,” Proceedings of the 16th International Product Development Conference 2009.
Sawhney, M. and E. Prandelli (2000), „Communities of Creation: Managing distributed Innovation in turbulent Markets,“ California Management Review, 42 (4), 27–54.
Schilling, Melissa A. (2010). Strategic Management of Technological Innovation (3rd Eddition), Mac Graw Hill, New York.
Toubia, O. and L. Florés (2007), Adaptive idea screening using consumers. Marketing Science 26 (3), 342-360.
Von Hippel, E. (2005), Democratizing Innovation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Book available as free download via http://web.mit.edu/evhippel/www/books.htm
Von Hippel, E., Franke, N. and R. Prügl (forthcoming), „Pyramiding: Efficient search for rare subjects. Research Policy.