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Ambiguity: A Useful Component of “Fuzziness” in Innovation

Abstract : The early phases of new product development (NPD) processes are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty and ambiguity, a phenomenon commonly recognized as the fuzzy front end of NPD. A clear understanding of the term fuzziness is lacking in NPD literature. This paper suggests that its components can be understood through earlier scholars’ use of concepts such as ambiguity, equivocality, lack-of-clarity and uncertainty. It is argued that resolving ambiguity is associated with knowledge creation, and hence that it is possible to separate useless from useful ambiguity and thus purposefully exploit ambiguity in a targeted manner to create new knowledge in innovation.This theoretical paper provides an account of how ambiguity—as a component of fuzziness—has a useful role in the knowledge-building process in NPD.
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Eric Brun. Ambiguity: A Useful Component of “Fuzziness” in Innovation. International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems (APMS), Sep 2011, Stavanger, Norway. pp.412-424, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-33980-6_46⟩. ⟨hal-01524204⟩

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