Knowledge dynamics and innovation : case studies in a sparsely populated area
Jokela, Harri; Niinikoski, Eija-Riitta; Muhos, Matti (2013-05-29)
Jokela, Harri; Niinikoski, Eija-Riitta; Muhos, Matti. Knowledge dynamics and innovation : case studies in a sparsely populated area. In Proceedings of TIIM 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management, 29-31 May 2013, Phuket, Thailand, S6, pp. 257-268.
© 2013 The Authors.
Purpose: This study describes the sources of essential knowledge for the innovation cases in three micro companies and analyses the knowledge dynamics in these cases. This study seeks to answer the following questions: What are the sources of essential knowledge for the innovation cases in the three micro companies selected? What kind of knowledge is required in these cases, and what phases can be identified in these innovation cases? These questions are answered through a multiple case study that uses the knowledge biography technique.
Method: This is a multiple case study with holistic strategy. The unit of analysis is the innovation case. We analyse innovation cases in three micro companies operating in the Oulu South region. At the heart of the study is the knowledge biography technique, an innovative approach that provides a deeper understanding of knowledge dynamics in firms and regions. The empirical data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and public archives related to the case company. The interviews with key informants were mainly conducted face-to-face during fieldwork in 2013. The data was analysed using an inclusive and iterative process, and the main findings were summarised.
Findings: We tracked the sources of essential knowledge for the three innovation cases and the knowledge dynamics of these cases were described by using the knowledge biography method. This study will serve as an interesting benchmarking tool for any public organisation that offers business services to companies. The findings suggest that public actors should pay more attention to the case-specific needs of innovative micro companies while developing their services.
Value: In the future studies, it would be interesting to analyse more innovation cases using the knowledge biography technique and make comparisons among these cases.
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