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Exploration and Project Management

  • Sylvain Lenfle

    (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X)

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    Project management in academic studies tends to be regarded as an adequate solution to the problems raised by innovation. This paper sets out to question this tendency to equate projects and innovation which, in our view, can lead to the improper use of projects to manage innovation. We argue that, in line with the work on project classification, a distinction should be made between the various types of design situations to which different types of projects are suited. Qualitative research on automotive telematics allows us to identify the management methods suited to the most innovative projects, i.e. exploration projects for which neither technologies nor customer requirements are known at the start of the project. We will show how these situations shake up traditional project management models and will propose five management principles adapted to this new situation.

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    File URL: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/40/41/68/PDF/LENFLE_VA_2008-08-18-1446.pdf
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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00404168.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Publication status: Published, International Journal of Project Management, 2008, 25, 6, 469-478
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00404168
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00404168/en/
    Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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    1. Andrew H. Van de Ven, 1986. "Central Problems in the Management of Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 590-607, May.
    2. Abernathy, William J. & Clark, Kim B., 1985. "Innovation: Mapping the winds of creative destruction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-22, February.
    3. Aaron J. Shenhar, 2001. "One Size Does Not Fit All Projects: Exploring Classical Contingency Domains," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(3), pages 394-414, March.
    4. Billie Jo Zirger & Modesto A. Maidique, 1990. "A Model of New Product Development: An Empirical Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 867-883, July.
    5. Kim B. Clark & W. Bruce Chew & Takahiro Fujimoto, 1987. "Product Development in the World Auto Industry," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 729-782.
    6. V. Krishnan & Karl T. Ulrich, 2001. "Product Development Decisions: A Review of the Literature," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 1-21, January.
    7. Paul S. Adler & David Obstfeld, 2007. "The role of affect in creative projects and exploratory search," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 19-50, February.
    8. Sylvain Lenfle & Christophe Midler, 2006. "The launch of innovative services : lessons from automotive telematics," Post-Print hal-00263133, HAL.
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