Using TRIZ Systematic Innovation Methods for Redesign Services in Small and Medium Enterprises

Using TRIZ Systematic Innovation Methods for Redesign Services in Small and Medium Enterprises

Nadhmi Gazem, Azizah AbdulRahman, Faisal Saeed
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSS.2017070105
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Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in service sector take the lion share of the market compared to other sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. The increasing number of SMEs in the service sector brought the competition in the market to its peak, which forced SMEs to invest in improving their services. However, solving service problems requires more resources such as skilled labor or research and development funds that might be limited for many SMEs. In this paper, we review the systematic innovation methods, TRIZ, for redesign services in Small and Medium Enterprises.
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According to Bayarcelik, Tasel, and Apak (2014), the management skills is the most important factors to support innovation inside SMEs. The innovation champion characteristics such as age, education, experience, and psychological traits strongly influence innovation adoption (Hazbo, Branka, Marinko, & Arnela, 2006), and plays a minor role in fostering innovation within the organization and generating variant solutions in order to solve the service problem (Bayarcelik et al., 2014; Dess et al., 2003; Man, Lau, & Chan, 2002). Therefore, any efforts to prompt SMEs owner’s skills in term of innovation, indeed it will improve the SMEs innovation capability.

Systematic innovation method such as TRIZ provides problem solvers with different tools/methods that can generate effective and innovative solutions with low cost. Even though the TRIZ was designed to be used in technical areas, current studies are focusing on using TRIZ in non-technical sectors such as the service sector (Chai, Zhang, & Tan, 2005; Chen, Shie, Wang, & Yu, 2015; El Hassan, 2014; Lin & Su, 2007; Regazzoni, Pezzotta, Persico, Cavalieri, & Rizzi, 2013; Retseptor, 2003; Ruchti & Livotov, 2001). Mann and Domb (1999) indicated that the power of TRIZ is in its ability to eliminate contradictions rather than using the conventional methods, such as compromises or trade-offs. In fact, solving contradiction problems usually produces innovative solutions (Hsia & Pu, 2013).

This paper presents the most common TRIZ tools/methods that can be used to improve the SMEs managers’ innovation capability for improving the method of solving their existing service problems in order to generate innovative solutions.


TRIZ is Russian acronym for “Teorija Rezhenija Izobretatelskih Zadach” which means “The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving” (Rantanen & Domb, 2007). The founder of TRIZ is Genrich Altshuller, a Russian mechanical engineer, in 1946. Altshuller studied over than 400,000 patents in engineering systems and technologies and found that those patents had common patterns of evaluation (I. Ilevbare, Phaal, Probert, & Padilla, 2011). TRIZ has been used in Russia, but was not introduced worldwide until the late 1980s (Stratton & Mann, 2003).

TRIZ is a systematic innovation methodology for solving inventive problems, which means that the problem structure has at least one contradiction, and the solutions that can eliminate the whole or part of that contradiction are called the inventive solutions (Chai, Chuan, Liao, & Jun, 2012; Stratton & Mann, 2003). TRIZ offers resolving contradictions toolkit for identify problems in a system and generating better and effective ideas for overcoming the problem and further improvements (Ilevbare et al., 2011).

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