Can innovation be measured? A framework of how measurement of innovation engages attention in firms

Anna Brattström, Johan Frishammar, Anders Richtnér, Dane Pflueger

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Sammanfattning

Many firms manage the innovation process by using metrics. Yet, whether measurement supports or hinders innovation continues to be a topic of debate. To shed new light on this debate, this paper presents a conceptual framework of how measurement engages attention in firms. We draw on attention based theory and conceptualize innovation measurement as an attention-focusing device. We identify two ideal types of measurement practices. i) Directional Measurement: which is based on few and unidirectional metrics and encourages exploitative innovation efforts. ii) Conversational Measurement: which is based on multiple and ambiguous metrics and encourages exploration. We extend theory building in the technology and accounting literatures by theo- rizing the role of metrics and measurement for attention and by discussing the implications of such attentional engagement for innovation performance. In so doing, we engage closely with the managerial task of managing innovation while simplifying its conditions, thereby providing ac- tionable advice.
Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)64-75
TidskriftJournal of Engineering and Technology Management
Volym48
Tidigt onlinedatum2018 apr. 13
DOI
StatusPublished - 2018 apr.

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  • Företagsekonomi

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