A Topic Modelling Analysis of Living Labs Research

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewScientificpeer-review


  • Mika Westerlund
  • Seppo Leminen
  • Mervi Rajahonka

Research units

  • Carleton University
  • South Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
  • Aalto University


This study applies topic modelling analysis on a corpus of 86 publications in the Technology Innovation Management Review (TIM Review) to understand how the phenomenon of living labs has been approached in the recent innovation management literature. Although the analysis is performed on a corpus collected from only one journal, the TIM Review has published the largest number of special issues on living labs to date, thus it reflects the advancement of the area in the scholarly literature. According to the analysis, research approaches to living labs can be categorized under seven broad topics: 1) Design, 2) Ecosystem, 3) City, 4) University, 5) Innovation, 6) User, and 7) Living lab. Moreover, each topic includes a set of characteristic subtopics. A trend analysis suggests that the emphasis of research on living labs is moving away from a conceptual focus on what living labs are and who is involved in their ecosystems to practical applications of how to design and manage living labs, their processes, and participants, especially users, as key stakeholders and in novel application areas such as the urban city context.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-51
Number of pages12
JournalTechnology Innovation Management Review
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • living lab, living laboratory, innovation, topic modeling, topic modelling, big data, text analytics, data mining, research trends

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