• Study location Room Filen, MDH Eskilstuna
  • 2020-02-13 13:00

The public defense of Helena Blackbright’s doctoral thesis in Innovation and Design

The public defense of Helena Blackbright’s doctoral thesis in Innovation and Design will take place at Mälardalen University, room Filen (Eskilstuna Campus) at 13:00 on February 13, 2020.

Titel: “Exploring Purposeful Use of Innovation Self-Assessments”.

Serienummer: 305

The faculty examiner is Professor Inger G Stensaker, NHH Norwegian School of Economics, and the examining committee consists of Professor Sofia Ritzén, KTH, Professor emeritus Christian Berggren, Linköping University och Associate professor Yvonne Lagrosen, MDH.

Reserve; Professor Magnus Hoppe, MDH.


There are many different tools that organizations can use internally to measure or assess their current state of innovation. These tools often provide best-practice-based questions and descriptions that are used by the employees to self-assess the current state of the organization. The comparison between one's own current state and good practice is intended to highlight the organizations strengths and weaknesses to identify areas to improve. These improvement areas are often described as a potential basis for development activities that in various ways are intended to contribute to an increased innovativeness, despite that there is little research describing how to actually do.

To better understand why the use of such self-assessment tool become purposeful and how it lead to change, data have been collected in collaboration with nine different organizations in which 14 groups have used different tools to self-assess their own current state.

The extent to which the use of self-assessment tools actually contributes to creating change and how changes emerged showed, among other things, how well you know and can manage the following four areas:

  • Current state: how well those who undertake the self-assessment know the current situation they are assessing, e.g. their knowledge about prevailing working methods, routines and attitudes in a particular department being assessed.
  • Self-assessment area: knowledge of the area being in focus for the self-assessment, e.g. what characterizes an idea management approach that supports innovation and how does it strengthen an organizations capability to innovate.
  • Execution: the knowledge of, and the ability to execute, what can be considered a self-assessment process with regard to e.g. how and when who needs to do what to prepare and undertake the self-assessment and then turn collected information into activities that creates the intended results.
  • Support process: have knowledge of and have sufficient authority to be able to provide the support required for the self-assessment process to be executed with respect to e.g. allocation of resources, knowledge support, coordination and delegating authority to initiate change activities.

Knowledge and ability within these four areas can be described as a self-assessment competence which indicates how organizations are able to utilize from different types of tools and information. However, levels of self-assessment competence might not be the most important thing for an organization that wants to benefit from a self-assessment tool - the most important thing instead seems to be there is a high correlation between expectations and level of self-assessment competence.

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