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

Pauli Alin

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

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.
Translated title of the contributionCrossing organizational boundaries for innovation probing knowledge transformation in the context of interorganizational collaborative strategy process development
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Smeds, Riitta, Supervising Professor
  • Smeds, Riitta, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-3145-3
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-3146-0
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Keywords

  • innovation
  • knowledge management
  • knowledge transformation
  • interorganizational networks

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