Blog of the GREITM resarch group, with a focus on generation and dissemination of knowledge in Innovation, IT Management and Entrepreneurship. 

21 May 2019 | Posted by Editorial Team GREITM

La Salles' professor acts a external doctoral examiner in research about knowledge ecosystems

On April 27th, Dr. Llewellyn Thomas acted as the external doctoral examiner of Argyro Almpanopoulou's thesis 'Knowledge ecosystem formation: an institutional and organizational perspective' at the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, Lappeenranta, Finland.

We thank LUT and particularly Professor Paavo Ritala for inviting him. It was a memorable day, with a fascinating dissertation, some challenging thinking, and a stimulating discussion. The highlight, of course, was the traditional karonkka celebration, given in honor of the external examiner!

About the topic and findings of the dissertation

Broadly speaking, ecosystems are communities of interconnected actors (individuals and organizations) that come together in the search for solutions, creating knowledge and defining and commercializing new offerings. There are different types of ecosystems depending on the main goals or focus of the activities and participating actors.

In her dissertation, Argyro particularly focused on knowledge ecosystems (KE), which she sees as organizations where multiple diverse and autonomous actors (e.g. individuals, companies, universities, research institutions) are bonded together by the quest of valuable knowledge.

Why should we care about knowledge ecosystems?

Knowledge ecosystems aim to create scientific knowledge which can then be used as the foundation for the development of innovation and other technological applications. In other words, KEs generate new ideas, principles, and theories, which may not be immediately utilized, nonetheless, form the basis for the development of another type of ecosystem (like business and innovation ecosystems). This means that knowledge ecosystems might be the key to resolve large-scale scientific and societal problems as well as promote growth and social welfare as successful collaboration in such collectives might lead to unprecedented scientific breakthroughs.

How are knowledge ecosystems formed?

In her dissertation, Argyro showed that KEs are organized to perform a joint search and the nature of this joint exploratory process shapes their form of organization. Nevertheless, the formation of KEs can be influenced by the constraining, enabling, and orienting effects of the wider institutional environment, all of this in phases before the joint search is initiated. Particularly, she found a strong and interdependent set of regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive barriers and related field sustaining mechanisms that could restrict KE formation.

Finally, her study shows that policy intervention can facilitate the initial social interaction among potential ecosystem actors. By creating forums for collective action and initiative-taking, ecosystem formation can be enabled and oriented. In other words, public policy can create possibilities for action but also it can actively encourage or guide actors' specific actions.

Find more about this research:

The electronic version of the dissertation can be found from LUTPub-database

 http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-335-355-8 

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