Inter-organizational knowledge creation during conflict of interest - a study of interaction in a facilitated workshop

Antero Hirvensalo

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

The dissertation examines the facilitated interaction process of knowledge creation across organizational boundaries during conflict of interest. The dissertation combines two inter-related phenomena: knowledge creating interaction between the members of different organizations, and the activity of a facilitator in guiding such interaction. The objective is to create new theoretical knowledge in the area of organizational knowledge creation where a need to examine the political process on the micro level of interaction has been identified. The objective is also to create new theoretical knowledge in the area of facilitation of knowledge creation. The context of the dissertation is a facilitated workshop aimed at developing two firms´ joint sales process towards a joint customer. Different interests between the two firms lead to conflicts in the interaction between the employees of the firms and to the political process of kowledge creation. I apply conversation analytic research methods and theory to the study of this situation from the viewpoint of verbal interaction. I draw conclusions of how the structure of interaction and the firm's interests relate to each other, and how the interests emerge as a result of the interaction. Further, I draw conclusions of the political process of knowledge creation and the activity of the facilitator in guiding the process. As a result, I provide an empirically grounded description of the events observed in the political process. These events are (1) explication of the interests, (2) conflict of interests, (3) stance change, (4) warranting of interests and (5) transition from the political process towards knowledge creation. The facilitator influences directly the explication of interests. The facilitator influences change in the employees' viewpoints by guiding the iteration of the political process, thus influencing indirectly the transition toward knowledge creation. The results contribute to the study of organizational knowledge creation by showing how organizational interests manifest themselves through interactional structures and by identifying the events of a political process, during which conflicting interests both create barriers to and stimulate knowledge creation. The results contribute to the study of facilitation by describing how a facilitator can influence the political process. Facilitation assists organizations to manage their differences in a constructive manner. In this way conflicting interests can be utilized as grounds for accelerating inter-organizational innovation.
Translated title of the contributionInter-organizational knowledge creation during conflict of interest - a study of interaction in a facilitated workshop
Original languageFinnish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Ekman, Kalevi, Supervising Professor
  • Tanskanen, Kari, Supervising Professor
  • Smeds, Riitta, Thesis Advisor
  • Alin, Pauli, Thesis Advisor
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6152-8
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6153-5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Keywords

  • inter-organizational collaboration
  • knowledge creation
  • facilitation
  • interaction

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Inter-organizational knowledge creation during conflict of interest - a study of interaction in a facilitated workshop'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this