Making sense of an innovation in a safety-critical megaproject

Kirsi Aaltonen (Corresponding Author), Nadezhda Gotcheva, Jaakko Kujala, Karlos Artto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: In megaprojects, changes in scope and organization may occur continuously. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how actors in a project network make sense of a safety-related process innovation introduced during the design phase. Design/methodology/approach: An inductive single case study of an ongoing nuclear power plant project in Europe was employed to elucidate sensemaking processes using a narrative approach. Findings: The empirical analysis yielded nine distinct narratives regarding the innovation each advancing a different account of the rationale for implementing the new method, and the subjects, objects and implications of the change. The findings suggest that actors’ differing framings of innovation may increase ambiguity and equivocality. Originality/value: These insights augment existing knowledge of innovation management and system safety in safety-critical megaprojects by revealing project actors’ discrepant sensemaking processes with regard to innovations. To successfully manage sensemaking and its consequences for innovation adoption, managers need to take account of any such discrepancies in sensemaking processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

Safety
Innovation
Sensemaking
Innovation adoption
Process innovation
Management of innovation
Empirical analysis
Nuclear power plant
Rationale
Systems of innovation
Equivocality
Design methodology
Project network
Discrepancy
Managers

Keywords

  • Change
  • Innovation management
  • Megaprojects
  • Project networks

Cite this

@article{e663d9618e7e4d3b868811534433c013,
title = "Making sense of an innovation in a safety-critical megaproject",
abstract = "Purpose: In megaprojects, changes in scope and organization may occur continuously. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how actors in a project network make sense of a safety-related process innovation introduced during the design phase. Design/methodology/approach: An inductive single case study of an ongoing nuclear power plant project in Europe was employed to elucidate sensemaking processes using a narrative approach. Findings: The empirical analysis yielded nine distinct narratives regarding the innovation each advancing a different account of the rationale for implementing the new method, and the subjects, objects and implications of the change. The findings suggest that actors’ differing framings of innovation may increase ambiguity and equivocality. Originality/value: These insights augment existing knowledge of innovation management and system safety in safety-critical megaprojects by revealing project actors’ discrepant sensemaking processes with regard to innovations. To successfully manage sensemaking and its consequences for innovation adoption, managers need to take account of any such discrepancies in sensemaking processes.",
keywords = "Change, Innovation management, Megaprojects, Project networks",
author = "Kirsi Aaltonen and Nadezhda Gotcheva and Jaakko Kujala and Karlos Artto",
year = "2019",
month = "11",
day = "14",
doi = "10.1108/IJMPB-03-2019-0060",
language = "English",
journal = "International Journal of Managing Projects in Business",
issn = "1753-8378",
publisher = "Emerald Publishing Limited",

}

Making sense of an innovation in a safety-critical megaproject. / Aaltonen, Kirsi (Corresponding Author); Gotcheva, Nadezhda; Kujala, Jaakko; Artto, Karlos.

In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 14.11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Making sense of an innovation in a safety-critical megaproject

AU - Aaltonen, Kirsi

AU - Gotcheva, Nadezhda

AU - Kujala, Jaakko

AU - Artto, Karlos

PY - 2019/11/14

Y1 - 2019/11/14

N2 - Purpose: In megaprojects, changes in scope and organization may occur continuously. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how actors in a project network make sense of a safety-related process innovation introduced during the design phase. Design/methodology/approach: An inductive single case study of an ongoing nuclear power plant project in Europe was employed to elucidate sensemaking processes using a narrative approach. Findings: The empirical analysis yielded nine distinct narratives regarding the innovation each advancing a different account of the rationale for implementing the new method, and the subjects, objects and implications of the change. The findings suggest that actors’ differing framings of innovation may increase ambiguity and equivocality. Originality/value: These insights augment existing knowledge of innovation management and system safety in safety-critical megaprojects by revealing project actors’ discrepant sensemaking processes with regard to innovations. To successfully manage sensemaking and its consequences for innovation adoption, managers need to take account of any such discrepancies in sensemaking processes.

AB - Purpose: In megaprojects, changes in scope and organization may occur continuously. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how actors in a project network make sense of a safety-related process innovation introduced during the design phase. Design/methodology/approach: An inductive single case study of an ongoing nuclear power plant project in Europe was employed to elucidate sensemaking processes using a narrative approach. Findings: The empirical analysis yielded nine distinct narratives regarding the innovation each advancing a different account of the rationale for implementing the new method, and the subjects, objects and implications of the change. The findings suggest that actors’ differing framings of innovation may increase ambiguity and equivocality. Originality/value: These insights augment existing knowledge of innovation management and system safety in safety-critical megaprojects by revealing project actors’ discrepant sensemaking processes with regard to innovations. To successfully manage sensemaking and its consequences for innovation adoption, managers need to take account of any such discrepancies in sensemaking processes.

KW - Change

KW - Innovation management

KW - Megaprojects

KW - Project networks

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85075147943&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/IJMPB-03-2019-0060

DO - 10.1108/IJMPB-03-2019-0060

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85075147943

JO - International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

JF - International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

SN - 1753-8378

ER -