Knowledge creation in innovative projects: Comparison between the planning and implementation phases using multiple case studies

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
International Business
Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
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<Objectives> During the past two decades, there have been intensive discussions around knowledge management. One of the most cited models is suggested by Nonaka and his colleagues (e.g., Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; and Nonaka et al., 2008). They focus on knowledge creation, and suggest a perspective that knowledge is created dynamically. Most cases in knowledge creation research are shown with respect to projects for innovation, as knowledge creation research is historically related to innovation research. However, the two fields have not been integrated with each other. This research works toward further integration between two research fields, by analyzing a process of innovation from the perspective of knowledge creation theory. In particular, this research divides the process associated with an innovative project into the planning phase and the implementation phase, and analyzes the distinctions between the two phases using Nonaka’s theory. <Methodology> As the literature relative to the topic is limited, this research adopts a theory building approach, in which theory is developed through a continuous loop between proposition and testing. Then, this research sets out initial propositions about the topic, and tests them through empirical study. Multiple case studies are selected as the research method. Six cases are extracted in following three companies: Valio Oy, Fujitsu Services Oy, and Rautakirja Oy. <Findings> As a result of the research, some differences are identified between the project planning phase and the project implementation phase. Especially in the planning phase, opportunities about innovation are recognized by individuals subjectively, and the opportunities are articulated in organizations. Because the process is different from the Nonaka-proposed spiral process within teams in the implementation phase, it requires a new process specific model. As a result, the thesis concludes with a second set of propositions, which will be tested in future research.
Knowledge Creation, Knowledge, Innovation, Innovative Project, Case Study