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Convince me or commit me? Avoid the cognitive trap induced by Non-Human Actors in early stages of NPD

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  • Fabien Jean

    (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Pascal Le Masson

    (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Benoit Weil

    (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Akrich, Callon & Latour's concept of interessement has been broadly used in NPD. A gap in this theoretical stream of research remains in the difference between human actors' commitment and convincement. The first concerns the enrolment of competent allies while the second concerns arousing top managers' approbation. To address this gap, our qualitative research takes place at SAFRAN, a corporate conglomerate of highly specialised companies. We take the focus of non-human actors (NHA) involved in early stages of NPD analysing 28 NHA of 5 different representational media in 4 different contexts. To characterise NHAs we review the literature on artefacts made within NPD and identify two utmost types (A and B). We find that NHAs which match type A artefacts do better at convincing in prospect of an entry gate to development and that NHAs which match type B artefacts do better at committing in the ideation process. The difficulty for managers is that type A or type B artefacts cannot be recognised according to their representational medium. The consequence is a misunderstanding: some NHA which match type B artefacts create no interessement because type A artefacts were expected, introducing the risk of missing an innovation opportunity. However their failure may not be definitive as managers have the ability to switch from convincement logic to commitment logic. This change in interaction is more probable to happen in informal meetings than in distant artefacts review. Some NHA take advantage of their A-B artefact ambiguity, human actors interact with them by alternating logics, inducing richer decisionmaking and ideation. We conclude that if managers were aware of the two types of artefacts they could adapt their attitude accordingly and take better decisions. We suggest that managers favour artefacts presentations in informal meetings to favour switching between convincement and commitment logics and avoid the cognitive trap.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabien Jean & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2014. "Convince me or commit me? Avoid the cognitive trap induced by Non-Human Actors in early stages of NPD," Post-Print hal-00976059, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00976059
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00976059
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    innovation; prototype; artefacts; ideation; decision; actor-network theory;
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