Skilled Toy Train Discussions about Business Innovation

Jacob Buur, Marie Rosa Beuthel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In this paper we show how industrialists in an innovation workshop employ tangible material – a toy train set – to innovate their business model. In multidisciplinary teams the process of co-creating new understandings is crucial for work to progress. Based on video data form this participatory innovation session, we investigate how participants get to new concepts through analysing their skilled behaviours, movements, actions and negotiations. We observe that the final result of the workshop is indeed innovative and is co-constructed by all group members. We show why the toy train works: While encouraging group discussion of the ‘customer journey’, it keeps both hands and mind busy, it allows silent participation, and it expands the vocabulary of the discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Participatory Innovation Conference : PIN-C 2013
EditorsHelinä Melkas, Jacob Buur
PublisherLappeenranta University of Technology
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-952-265-391-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-265-392-5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event3rd Participatory Innovation Conference: Participation as performace - Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti, Finland
Duration: 18. Jun 201320. Jun 2013


Conference3rd Participatory Innovation Conference
LocationLappeenranta University of Technology
SeriesLUT Scientific and Expertise Publications. Tutkimusraportit – Research Reports

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