Crossing organizational boundaries for innovation probing knowledge transformation in the context of interorganizational collaborative strategy process development

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Aalto-yliopiston teknillinen korkeakoulu | Doctoral thesis (monograph)
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Date
2010
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Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
Verkkokirja (715 KB, 219 s.)
Series
Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management doctoral dissertation series, 2010/9
Abstract
Interorganizational networks are replacing traditional hierarchical firms as locus of competition and innovation. In this dissertation research I argue that understanding innovation in networks requires understanding how situated knowledge is transformed at organizational boundaries. I also argue that neither the literature on interorganizational networks nor the literature on situated knowledge addresses explicitly how knowledge is transformed at boundaries between organizations. To address this research gap, I draw from recent developments in practice theoretical knowledge management research and use a knowledge transformation theory framework to observe micro-level knowledge transformation processes at semantic and pragmatic organizational boundaries in the setting of interorganizational collaborative strategy process development. I find that knowledge transformation at the organizational boundary involves the sub-processes of initiation, negotiation, altering, creating new knowledge and validating knowledge. Based on qualitative case analysis, I describe these sub-processes in detail and propose a model of knowledge transformation at semantic and pragmatic organizational boundaries. The model first suggests that at semantic organizational boundaries, knowledge is clarified and altered, but new knowledge is not created. The model also suggests that at pragmatic organizational boundaries, new knowledge is created through synthesizing existing represented knowledge. The model extends research on knowledge transformation toward settings where multiple boundaries are crossed. Finally, this dissertation research suggests that research on interorganizational networks and innovation should pay closer attention to knowledge creation and transformation - not just transfer - at boundaries between organizations.
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Supervising professor
Smeds, Riitta, Prof.
Thesis advisor
Smeds, Riitta, Prof.
Keywords
innovation, knowledge management, knowledge transformation, interorganizational networks
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