Role of mediators in city and university collaboration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we analyse university and city collaboration, a research and development platform for joint activity, Innovative City -program from knowledge creation and sharing perspective. We assume that academic and city actors can be considered as distinct communities of practice (Lave and Wenger 1991) where the participants of a community share similar values, norms and practices that follow community specific dominant logics (von Krogh and Grand, 2000). We propose there is a need for mediators to enable and overcome barriers created by differing values and norms; dominant logics (see e.g. Wenger 1998; Jyrämä and Äyväri 2007). The concept of mediators is elaborated from different perspectives focusing on mediating discussions and actor roles in innovation and knowledge sharing contexts (Wenger 1998, Kauppila et al. 2011, Jyrämä and Äyväri 2007, updated 2015, Nyström et al. 2014). The findings of our analysis pointed out that there were a multitude of overlapping and intersecting communities of practice. Moreover, the mediating took place by various actors depending on the context. Our results strongly suggest that there is a need for further study to take a closer look at the respective roles and joint mediating of these various mediators and the ways different communities of practice affect the collaboration. Moreover, analysis of mediators as gate openers and interpreters, as well as the learning occurring within the actors participating in joint activity provides interesting insights both for theory as well as for practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, ICICKM 2018
EditorsShaun Pather
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912764-10-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-912764-09-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 29 Nov 201830 Nov 2018
Conference number: 15

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ... international conference on intellectual capital, knowledge management & organisational learning
PublisherAcademic Publishing
ISSN (Print)2048-9803
ISSN (Electronic)2048-9811


ConferenceInternational Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning
Abbreviated titleICICKM
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • City
  • Mediators
  • Research and development collaboration platform
  • University collaboration


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