Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship

Lund University School of Economics and Management

How to measure innovation

Published: 2017-09-20

New publication

For most companies, innovation is a top managerial priority. Business executives look at successful innovators such as Apple and Google with envy, wishing their companies could be half as innovative. To boost and benchmark innovation, managers often use quantitative performance indicators, but they often struggle with identifying the right metric for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of innovative work. Anders Richtnér (Stockholm School of Economics), Anna Brattström (Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lund University School of Economics and Management), Johan Frishammar (Luleå University of Technology), Jennie Björk (KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm) and Mats Magnusson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm) has been taking a closer look at these problems. 

Our research suggests that the key managerial challenge is not identifying metrics - there is no shortage of measures to choose from. Nor should the goal be to find the perfect metric, since that quest is often futile. 

Rather, the crux of effective innovation measurement is to understand the problem that measurement should solve for the organization and, based on that insight, to design and implement a useful and usable innovation measurement framework appropriate to the organization’s needs. The aim of this article is to help managers ask the right questions about how to measure innovation and translate their insights into effective innovation measurement practices. We have developed a practical, step-by-step framework that helps managers identify whether their current innovation measurement practices need to change and, if so, how to go about measuring innovation more effectively.

MIT Sloan Management Review is an international, peer reviewed journal and one of the leading platforms for dissemination of scientific research to business executives. The purpose of the journal is to disseminates new management research and innovative ideas so that thoughtful executives can capitalize on the opportunities generated by rapid organizational, technological and societal change.

The article is available in full here

More information regarding Anna Brattström and her research is available in the Lund University Research Portal.