Researcher finds intuition prevails in innovative decision making

Mar 18, 2013

Decisions concerning innovations in the early stages of product development arise mostly from intuition. Olli Hyppänen has studied development work in strongly innovative ICT companies in his doctoral dissertation for the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management in Aalto University. He shows that innovative decision making is often remarkably intuitive.

Both in the practice of innovation management and in managerial decision making research there is a the size of intuition, Hyppänen has discovered.

"In innovative product development the success rate of launches is, and has been for 50 years, 60 per cent, which could indicate that innovation management is in need of new thoughts and processes," remarks Hyppänen.

Numerous rational and analytical process models have been developed to guide decision making in product development. The challenge of innovation management is to pick the most prime and prospective ideas for further development. Hyppänen noticed in his research that in uncertain circumstances, refined and rational process models are rarely of help.

"The biggest mistakes are made and the biggest success stories initiated precisely in the uncertain front end of development. Decisive action on forwarding innovative ideas into the development pipeline is often taken intuitively."

Hyppänen asserts that organisations can advocate the use of intuition with clearly structured ways of working.

"A strong process culture safeguards intuitive action, because employers trust that the processes of the organisation will actually refine and concretise ideas. Also, for instance, possibilities for quick of enable intuition to be fostered and tested."

Hyppänen encourages seeking ways to manage intuitive decision making and including practices to sustain it in product development. Hyppänen has identified several roles, which decision makers take in organisations and as team members.

"We need to understand the origins and reasons for the different ways people use their intuition. For example technical-minded engineers think and act differently than people of a managerial background."

Hyppänen sees great potential for further research in management.

"How to, for instance, build ideal team dynamics between people who vary in their intuitive ways – and elaborate traditional team-building models?"

Explore further: After Great Recession, Americans are unhappy, worried, pessimistic, study finds

More information: M.Sc. (Tech.) Olli Hyppänen will defend the dissertation Decision Makers' Use of Intuition at the Front End of Innovation on 22 March 2013 in lecture hall AS1, Otaniementie 17, Espoo.
lib.tkk.fi/Diss/2013/isbn97895… sbn9789526050300.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Finding good ideas: How to improve product development

Aug 13, 2009

The development of new products and services is key to business success, but a new study from North Carolina State University shows that businesses could do a much better job of evaluating new ideas in order to identify products ...

Trust your gut ... but only sometimes

Jan 04, 2011

When faced with decisions, we often follow our intuition—our self-described "gut feelings"—without understanding why. Our ability to make hunch decisions varies considerably: Intuition can either be a useful ally ...

Novel methods to support decision making processes

Jan 24, 2013

Mathematical analysis based on numbers and numerical estimates is widely used in decision making everywhere from public administration and business to environmental conservation. Methods for decision analysis evaluate different ...

Recommended for you

Study identifies upside to financial innovations

Aug 27, 2014

Financial innovations can make or break an economy. While the negative impact of financial innovation has been extensively covered, a new study of financial innovations before and during the last financial crisis indicates ...

User comments : 0