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Florian Rittiner studied mechanical engineering and business administration at ETH Zürich before writing his doctoral thesis on the improvement of product development processes at the Chair of Technology and Innovation Management at ETH Zürich. As a postdoc at the Department of Engineering Design and Materials at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim and an affiliate researcher at the Product Development Group Zurich (ETH Zurich), he researched on the interaction between humans, objects and space during the early phases of new product development and design. In particular, he examined the influence of ideation spaces on the creativity of design teams and, as a consequence, the innovation capability of organizations.

Currently, he is a lecturer in Design Thinking at ETH Zürich and involved in several teaching initiatives. Furthermore, he is a workspace consultant at Witzig The Office Company where he is a member of the Office Akademie – a think tank on the future of work and laboratory for strategic workspace design.

In his spare time he coaches children’s athletics and spends as much time as possible in the mountains.

Journal articles

Coradi, A., Rittiner, F. 2015. Räume für transdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit schaffen. KMU Magazin, (3): 76-82

Die Entwicklungsprozesse moderner Produkte und Dienstleistungen werden zunehmend komplexer, was die Einbindung von Spezialisten unterschiedlicher Disziplinen aus Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft erfordert. Neben schlanken Prozessen bilden funktionale Arbeitsräumlichkeiten eine wesentliche Grundlage für transdisziplinäres Arbeiten.

Lee, S., Rittiner, F., Szulanski, G. 2015. The Past, Present, and Future of Organizational Learning Research A Conversation With Professor Linda Argote. Journal of Management Inquiry, March 2015: 1-8

We share an interview on the past, present, and future of organizational learning research from the perspective of one of the field’s foundational contributors—Professor Linda Argote (Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University). This interview was held at the 2013 Strategic Management Society (SMS) annual conference in Atlanta, continuing the emerging tradition of bringing the SMS Knowledge and Innovation Group closer to the people who wrote important, foundational papers at the intersection of strategy, knowledge, and innovation.

Rittiner, F. & Brusoni, S. 2015. The empire strikes back. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015(1)
Tuna, S., & Rittiner, F. 2013. Schlanke Innovation durch eine alternativenorientierte Entwicklung. KMU Magazin: 100-104
Rittiner, F., & Haller, N. 2011. Optimale Entwicklung mit steter Verbesserung. io management, 80(6): 68-71

Books / Book chapters

Viergutz, S., & Rittiner, F. 2016. Product Development: Lean Management in der Entwicklung, 115–133. Erfolgsfaktor Lean Management 2.0, Heidelberg: Springer
Rittiner, F., & Brusoni, S. 2013. Out of the garbage can? How continuous improvement facilitators match solutions to problems, 114. Towards Organizational Knowledge: The Pioneering Work of Ikujiro Nonaka

This chapter builds upon and extends the discussion about knowledge management processes in New Product Development (NPD). We refine Nonaka’s (1994) SECI model by focusing on what and – more specifically – who triggers the transition across the different learning modes, i.e., socialization, externalization, combination and internalization. To do so, this study integrates Nonaka’s distinction between different forms of knowledge – tacit vs. explicit – with Davenport’s (1993) distinction in terms of knowledge content – process knowledge (the knowledge of how to develop products) vs. improvement knowledge (the knowledge of how to improve business processes). To oversimplify a bit, we look at process knowledge as the stock of ‘problems’ waiting for a ‘solution’, stored in improvement knowledge. Process knowledge provides the specific issues, imbalances or errors, which enable engineers to focus their attention on specific problems and start looking for a possible solution that fits their needs. Improvement knowledge provides a stock of possible solutions to such problems. Both process and the improvement knowledge exist in different forms at different places within the organization, or outside. Both can be partly stored and made available in explicit forms through manuals and checklists, and partly mastered in tacit form by the employees or memorized in organizational routines (Nonaka & Toyama, 2003). While the explicit forms of knowledge are typically available to most organizational members, tacit knowledge is managed by heterogeneous and often distant actors. Improvement knowledge is very often available in codified forms through external sources of knowledge: consultants, academics, or professional associations.

Working papers / Conference papers

Heck, J., Rittiner, F., Steinert, M., & Meboldt M. Quantifying Characteristics of Iterations in the Fuzzy Front End of Product Development Processes. Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 2, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016, 2016
Heck, J., Rittiner, F., Steinert, M., & Meboldt, M. Iteration-based Performance Measurement of PDPs in the Fuzzy Front End. Procedia CIRP 26th Design Conference Innovative Product Creation, 2016
Rittiner, F., Heck, J., Meboldt M., & Steinert, M. Space Utilization Patterns and Workshop Furniture – Affordances for New Product Development and Design. Fourth International Conference on Design Creativity, Atlanta, GA, 2016
Rittiner, F., Heck, J., Meboldt M., & Steinert, M. Using Personas in Ideation Workshops. Fourth International Conference on Design Creativity, Atlanta, GA, 2016
Heck, J., Rittiner, F., Steinert, M., & Meboldt M. Impact Dimensions of Ideation Workshops on the Innovation Capability of SMEs. Proceedings of Continuous Innovation Network 2015, Stockholm, 2015
Rittiner, F., Schulze, A., & Brusoni, S. Process management from a knowledge brokering perspective. ETH Zürich – YNU Research Seminar, 2012
Schulze, A., & Rittiner, F. Continuous Improvement Facilitators and their Relation to Efficiency in New Product Development. R&D Management Conference, Norrköping, Sweden, 2011
Schulze, A., & Rittiner, F. Towards a conceptual role model for efficient continuous improvement activities in new product development. ETH Zürich – YNU Research Seminar, 2011