Main Article Content

Klemen Širok
Dr. Borut Likar


Front end, innovation, outsourcing, distance learning, CWS


Purpose: The paper presents a new concept of somewhat extreme open innovation which focuses on mastering the front end of innovation and technology is based on a collaborative working environment that helps mainly small- and medium-sized enterprises to attain the knowledge, skills, and culture required to master the front end of innovation. The concept is a sort of "umbrella methodology", a well-defined set of procedures which can be simultaneously adapted to the particular innovation challenge, wherein various methods for problem identification and idea creation can be applied, depending on a company’s needs. It is based on the proactive involvement of the company's employees, supported by an appropriate methodology and external experts via a mix of face-to-face and online activities.

Methodology: The methodology is based on a collaborative working system (CWS) and learning management system (LMS) principles that help SMEs attain the knowledge, skills, and culture required to master FEI. We also argue that CWS is an efficient approach for addressing SMEs’ inherent limitations related to managing innovation process in open innovation (OI) modus operandi. Additionally, the concept also tackles configurations of organizational settings related to innovation.

Main Findings: Within the pilot study, positive results were observed regarding the direct innovation result, as well as sustainability. Moreover, it was observed that the presented concept had a positive effect on culture and climate-related to the whole innovation and technology process.

Implications/Applications: eMIPS has some important advantages. The first is a clear focus on the very first phase of the innovation and technology process, the problem/opportunity phase. By using a flexible methodology, various problems can be addressed. Since the eMIPS concept uses a distance working platform, its additional advantage is related to fostering the OI paradigm, CWS, and LMS, which have significant potential for SMEs. The complementary benefits are related to the organizational aspects of FEI and positive effects on innovation culture.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...
Abstract 124 | PDF Downloads 86 XML Downloads 1 ePUB Downloads 14


1. Appio, F. P., Achiche, S., Di Minin, A., & McAloone, T. C. (2011). Influence of tools input/output requirements on managers core front end activities in new product development. In 18th International Product Development Management Conference. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2GirnRS
2. Ayuningrat, M. P., Noermijati., & Hadiwidjojo, D. (2016). Green product innovation’s effect on firm performance of managerial environmental concern and green communication. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 2(2), 56-63. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-2.2.1
3. Bernik, B., Azis, Y., Kartini, D., & Harsanto, B. (2015). Managing innovation of SMEs in creative industry for interactive game subsector and TV and Radio subsector based on local wisdom in development of competitiveness business (Case Study SMEs in Bandung). International Journal of Business and Administrative Studies, 1(2), 49-53. https://doi.org/10.20469/ijbas.10001-2
4. Bizon, W. (2016). Stimulating entrepreneurship by introducing behavioural incentives, propensity to use financial instruments in the context of decision makers' personal characteristics and their financial knowledge in Polish SMEs. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 2(6), 270-279. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-2.6.2
5. Boeddrich, H. J. (2004). Ideas in the workplace: a new approach towards organizing the fuzzy front end of the innovation process. Creativity and Innovation Management, 13(4), 274-285. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0963-1690.2004.00316.x
6. Bommer, M., & Jalajas, D. (2002). The innovation work environment of high–tech SMEs in the USA and Canada. R&D Management, 32(5), 379-386. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9310.00269
7. Boonvut, S. (2017). The quality financial statements of Small and Medium Enterprises Business (SME's) in view of the tax auditor. International Journal of Business and Economic Affairs, 2(6), 335-340. https://doi.org/10.24088/IJBEA-2017-26002
8. Bullinger, A. (2008). Innovation and Ontologies: structuring the early stages of innovation management. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
9. Carayannis, E. G., & Sipp, C. M. (2006). E-development toward the knowledge economy. New York, NY: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230508736
10. Cooper, R. G. & Kleinschmidt, E. J., (1995). New product performance: Keys to success, profitability & cycle time reduction. Journal of Marketing Management, 11(4), 315–337. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1995.9964347
11. Dasig Jr, D. (2017). A frontier in organizational and business process innovation in service management through lean six sigma Kaizen project implementation. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 3(6), 263-283. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-3.6.2
12. Deppe, L., Kohn, S., Paoletti, F., & Levermann, A. (2002). The holistic view of the front end of innovation. Proceedings of IMTs and New Product Development. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2JWy1yp
13. Di Minin, A., Frattini, F., & Piccaluga, A. (2010). Fiat: open innovation in a downturn (1993–2003). California Management Review, 52(3), 132-159. https://doi.org/10.1525/cmr.2010.52.3.132
14. Dornberger, U., & Suvelza, A. (2012). Managing the fuzzy front-end of innovation. Leipzig: Intelligence 4 innovation.
15. Due Au, T. (2016). Using open innovation model to enhance knowledge sharing in Vietnam University. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 2(5), 241-247. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-2.5.4
16. Dyah, S., Apriliyadi, E. K., Saparita, R., & Abbas, A. (2017). The speed of technology diffusion and its role in SMEs’ growth. International Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, 3(5), 204-214. https://doi.org/10.20469/ijhss.3.20003-5
17. Feldman, S. P. (1993). How organizational culture can affect innovation. The Psychodynamics of Organizations, 85-97.
18. Ford, P., & Woudhuysen, J. (2012). The fuzzy front end of product design projects: how universities can manage knowledge transfer and creation. Proceedings of the DMI 2012 International Research Conference on Leading Innovation through Design. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Y50TJw
19. Gassmann, O., Enkel, E., & Chesbrough, H. (2010). The future of open innovation. R&d Management, 40(3), 213-221. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2010.00605.x
20. Grimaldi, M., Quinto, I., & Rippa, P. (2013). Enabling open innovation in small and medium enterprises: A dynamic capabilities approach. Knowledge and Process Management, 20(4), 199-210. https://doi.org/10.1002/kpm.1423
21. Hagedoorn, J., & Duysters, G. (2002). External sources of innovative capabilities: the preferences for strategic alliances or mergers and acquisitions. Journal of Management Studies, 39(2), 167-188. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-6486.00287
22. Hansen, P. A., & Serin, G. (1997). Will low technology products disappear? The hidden innovation processes in low technology industries. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 55(2), 179-191. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0040-1625(97)89490-5
23. Herstatt, C., & Verworn, B. (2004). The ‘fuzzy front end’ of innovation. In Bringing Technology and Innovation into the Boardroom (pp. 347–72). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230512771_16
24. Humaidi, N., Shahrom, M., & Abdullah, Q. A. (2018). The effect of innovation success factors towards organizational performance in automotive industry. International Journal of Business and Administrative Studies, 4(3), 129-136. https://doi.org/10.20469/ijbas.4.10005-3
25. Hüsig, S., & Kohn, S. (2003). Factors influencing the front end of the innovation process: A comprehensive review of selected empirical NPD and explorative FFE studies. Proceedings of the 10th IPDMC, 14. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2XPsNy2
26. Hüsig, S., & Kohn, S. (2009). Computer aided innovation—State of the art from a new product development perspective. Computers in Industry, 60(8), 551-562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compind.2009.05.011
27. Irai, P., & Lu, A. C. C. (2018). Exploring the relationship among psychological safety, knowledge sharing, and innovation. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 4(3), 126-135. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-4.3.1
28. Jingnan, W., Yunus, N., & Kamal, Y. (2018). The relationship between corporate entrepreneurship and innovation in manufacturing companies in Perak. International Journal of Business and Economic Affairs, 3(1), 33-39. https://doi.org/10.24088/IJBEA-2018-31004
29. Jones, O. (2003). Competitive advantage in SMEs: towards a conceptual framework. In Competitive advantage in SMEs: Organising for innovation and change. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
30. Koen, P. A., Ajamian, G. M., Boyce, S., Clamen, A., Fisher, E., Fountoulakis, S., & D’Amoe, R. (2002). Fuzzy front end: effective methods, tools, and techniques. In Belliveau, P., Griffin, A., & Somermeyer, S. (Ed.), The PDMA tool book 1 for new product development. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
31. Kurniawati, E. P., & MeilianaIntani, A. (2016). Effect analysis of the use of accounting information, managerial performance and employee performance Towards SMEs. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 2(3), 130-142. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-2.3.4
32. Lee, S., Park, G., Yoon, B., & Park, J. (2010). Open innovation in SMEs—An intermediated network model. Research policy, 39(2), 290-300. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2009.12.009
33. Likar, B., Širok, K. (2015). The art of managing innovation problems and opportunities (unpublished thesis). Faculty of Management, Koper.
34. Malinda, M. (2018). Effectiveness of entrepreneurship and innovation learning methods. Case study at Universitas Kristen Maranatha, Bandung, Indonesia. International Journal of Business and Administrative Studies, 4(3), 122-128. https://doi.org/10.20469/ijbas.4.10004-3
35. Meissner, D., & Kotsemir, M. (2016). Conceptualizing the innovation process towards the ‘active innovation paradigm’—trends and outlook. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 5(1), 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13731-016-0042-z
36. Muller, P., Gagliardi, D., Caliandro, C., Bohn, N. U., & Klitou, D. (2014). A Partial and Fragile Recover. Annual Report on European SMEs 2013/2014 (Final Report). Brussels: European Commission, Directorate General for Enterprises and Industry.
37. Nijssen, E. J., & Frambach, R. T. (2000). Determinants of the adoption of new product development tools by industrial firms. Industrial Marketing Management, 29(2), 121-131. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0019-8501(98)00043-1
38. Piyachat, B. (2017). The relationships among resources’ commitment reverse logistics innovation reverse logistics performance and reverse logistics cost savings: Manufacturing vs service industry. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 3(3), 122-135. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-3.3.2
39. Ripain, N., Amirul, S. M., & Mail, R. (2017). Financial literacy and SMEs’ potential entrepreneurs: The case of Malaysia. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 3(2), 60-68. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-3.2.1
40. Saputri, M. E., & Mulyaningsih, H. D. (2016). Blue Ocean strategy for creating value innovation: A study over Kedai Digital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 1(1), 14-20. https://doi.org/10.20474/jabs-1.1.3
41. Souchkov, V., & Training, I. C. G. (2005). Skills and Tools to Support Productivity in Creative Work. Proceedings of the European Summit for the Future. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Lxtm9o
42. Staber, U. (2004). Networking beyond organizational boundaries: the case of project organizations. Creativity and Innovation Management, 13(1), 30-40. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8691.2004.00291.x
43. Thompson, M. P., Jensen, R. J., & DeTienne, K. (2009). Engaging embedded information: Toward a holistic theory of knowledge transfer in organizations. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, 19(4), 323-341. https://doi.org/10.1108/10595420910977434
44. Tiwari, R., & Buse, S. (2007). Barriers to innovation in SMEs: Can the internationalization of R&D mitigate their effects? In Proceedings of the First European Conference on Knowledge for Growth: Role and Dynamics of Corporate R&D-CONCORD (pp. 8-9).
45. Vanhaverbeke, W., Van de Vrande, V., & Chesbrough, H. (2008). Understanding the advantages of open innovation practices in corporate venturing in terms of real options. Creativity and innovation management, 17(4), 251-258. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8691.2008.00499.x
46. Varsani, M. (2018). Concept for strategic management and innovation: Perspective of balance theory. International Journal of Business and Administrative Studies, 4(3), 93-104. https://doi.org/10.20469/ijbas.4.10002-3
47. White, M., Braczyk, J., Ghobadian, A., & Niebuhr, J. (1988). Small firms innovation: Why regions differ. London, UK: Policy Institute Studies, Policy Institute.
48. Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods. New York, NY: Sage publications.