The Interaction between Technology, Progress and Economic Growth
Edited by Terrence E. Brown and Jan Ulijn
Chapter 7: Entrepreneurship and the design process: the paradox of innovation in a routine design process
Jérémy Legardeur, Jean François Boujut and Henri Tiger 1. INTRODUCTION The problematic of innovation has been extensively studied both in the social sciences and in the engineering design ﬁelds. In this chapter our aim is not to address this question in a theoretical and general way. Rather, we prefer to go deeper in a case study to understand the detailed workings of a speciﬁc design situation when a new technology is introduced. In our case, we have witnessed the introduction of a new material (a composite material called SMC1) in a design department of an industrial company. In the following we will call it the ‘composite project’. The aim of this project was twofold: testing the capacity of this material in a semi-structural application, and changing the design practices and organization through the introduction of a new material. The challenge was on the two aspects: moving the technical limits of the technology and making the organization and the actors evolve in the same time. This chapter deals with the second aspect. After presenting the context of this study we will analyse the diﬀerent aspects of this innovation process in this particular design situation. We observed that design habits were deeply rooted in the history of the product and especially they were shaped by the underlying technology used in this industry since the beginning, that is, the steel and its related manufacturing processes. In that context the composite material forced implicit knowledge to elicit and introduce...
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