The role of people management in innovation and NPD processes

In Ramaswamy and Gouillart’s article, the authors stated the importance of co-creation for a company. Co-creation should be conducted with stakeholders, who are related to the company such as suppliers, employees, consumers etc. Unlike traditional business design strategy which takes economic as a priority, co-creation strategy can satisfy different stakeholders need and make a mutual benefit.

In the meanwhile, Dean (2015) discuss the tension among teamwork in the company. Tension sometimes can be beneficial, while sometimes would become passive influence so as to reduce cohesion and productivity. Therefore, 3 suggestions were proposed to avoid  passive situation. Including embed leadership at all levels, develop young employees, focus creative tension by forming special-ops team.

From my perspectives, the voice from different parts should be heard in NPD and innovation process, which can help to stimulate creative ideas. Co-creation is not limited to working with one type of stakeholders, such as designers and consumers work together to design a new collection. It also can combine multiple stakeholders together, such as DHL has teamed up with citizens, academics, politicians and public authorities together to reduce traffic pollution (Kazadi et al., 2015). The co-creation of different stakeholders can provide opportunities for the brand to make unique innovation, as creative ideas are generated, and different resources are gathered together because of the ability of different stakeholders to access various areas. There is a report shows that the key drivers for the company to participate with multiple stakeholders is to build up the relationship and enhance reputation (Pera et al., 2016). It is a win-win collaboration. Stakeholders can have more understanding of the company so as to increase trust, while the company can collect direct information through interaction with stakeholders instead of market research (Watchadmin, 2017).

Building a network is an effective way to connect different people together. Take Burberry as an example, the brand regards itself as a social enterprise that suppliers, employees and customers can share the same experience (CVC, 2015). It launches a platform named Burberry World that creates a mini-community. In-store employees can interact with customers and have access to see customers’ social media post and activities. While customers can create a conversation on lifestyle, fashion topics. In this way, the brand can collect useful data from customers which can be helpful for brand development, while customers can gain more information about brand activities and product information.

However, such co-creation would face some conflicts and difficulties due to the communication difficulty and distrust between different stakeholders, as well as different priorities, objectives, and values (Whizlabs, 2014). Therefore, the company should try to make a balance between different expectations.

In addition, the two articles mention the importance of young employees and junior employees to stimulate creativity and innovation. The reason why their voices is so useful is that they are usually in the beginning level in the company, they can view in a new perspective and can find problems easily. While those experienced employees may become stereotype as they are familiar with the process and hard to come up with new opinions. However, older employees have more professional skills and experience in dealing with the difficulties.

The generation conflict usually occurred in the company and increase tension. Therefore, it is necessary for the company to manage the relationship between young employees and older employees. Managers should understand different generations’ modes of working and combine their own strength into a teamwork (Wloczewski, 2014). In the meanwhile, mutual understanding of each generation is important, communication between two generation can also help to release the tension.

To sum up, people management is important in innovation and NPD process, companies should have an effective management among different people to build up a successful business.





ConsumerValueCreation (2015) Burberry world: Co-creation in the fashion industry. Available at: (Accessed by: 28 May 2018)

Kazadi, K., Lievens, A. and Mahr, D. (2016). Stakeholder co-creation during the innovation process: Identifying capabilities for knowledge creation among multiple stakeholders. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), pp.525-540.

Pera, R., Occhiocupo, N. and Clarke, J. (2016). Motives and resources for value co-creation in a multi-stakeholder ecosystem: A managerial perspective. Journal of Business Research, 69(10), pp.4033-4041.

Watcadmin (2017) How to use co-creation successfully. Available at: (Accessed by: 28 May 2018)

Whizlabs, (2014) How to manage stakeholders’ conflicts. Available at: (Accessed by: 28 May 2018)

Wloczewski, C. (2014) Generational Conflict in the Workplace. Available at: (Accessed by: 28 May 2018)


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One Comment

  1. Posted 31st May 2018 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    I think you are quite right about the communication between employees. But in most cases, young employees dare not be brave to express their opinions to junior employees . Most of them have little confidence in their views, because of this, companies might lose creative ideas. So I think companies should provide effective and rich channels for young people to express their views .

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