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Table 3 The research methodology applied by project leaders of innovation projects

From: Leadership in innovation projects: an illustration of the reflective practitioner and the relation to organizational learning

Innovation leadership by applying a research methodology as a stepwise approach Team01 project leader
(A and B here refer to 2 critical incidents)
Team06 project leader Team17 project leader
1 Sensing an unexpected outcome: what is going on? Reflect on one’s understanding, feelings and experience of an incident A Pre-sensing possible risks with IP rights
B Experiencing delay and redefinition of objectives
Anticipating issues that are expected to emerge Sensing that present design is not going towork
2 Experiencing and acknowledging an unexpected outcome: is there a problem? Structuring the incident and bringing it to the surface (explicating what is implicit) A IP distribution needs to be settled
B Objective must be made clear in system description
No unexpected outcomes due to anticipation and being alert; risks are explicit Acknowledging that a new design is needed
3 Assessing (‘scoping’) the implication of the outcome (defining boundaries and governing values; critical evaluation of outcomes) A Action is a single-loop solution: intervention by expert
B Action is a double-loop solution: arranging a special session
Action is single-loop: keeping risks within manageable boundaries and double-loop: creating workarounds when needed Action is single-loop: finding new ideas partly based on former feasibility studies and double-loop: developing additional solutions based on new technical insights
4 Assessing the outputs and outcomes and developing alternatives (conceptualizing, restructuring) A Agreement on IP rights will continue the project with the partner
B Developing routes will continue cooperation and team work
Back-up plans are made for likely deviations Developing a new design by consultation of others and team
5 Experimenting and testing alternatives (general hypothesizing, (re)designing new actions) and striving for validated data (operationalization; incorporating new actions into a testable framework) A Consensus is drive for sharing business with partner
B Trust is a drive for collaboration with the partner team but not always achieved
Solutions for emerging issues are designed on the spot Gathering evidence-based information, preparing and giving presentations
6 Anticipating effects of the newly chosen solution; pre-evaluation (specific hypothesizing) A IP-right distribution is a condition for sharing
B A good business case will convince business side of partner
Solutions for issues are provided to stakeholders in advance to gauge their responses Building a business case for the new design
7 Executing the new solution (intervention, implementation of new action) A Effectuated
B Effectuated
Effectuated Effectuating new plan
8 Evaluating the outcome of the new action or solution (feedback, a return to ‘reflection-in-action’ and ‘on-action’) A Cooperation continued
B Five prototypes were developed in the end
Project debriefed to gather lessons learned Execution is underway; expectations are favourable