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Data, information and knowledge in regional innovation networks: Quality considerations and brokerage functions

Helinä Melkas (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti, Finland)
Vesa Harmaakorpi (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti, Finland)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 25 January 2008




The purpose of this article is to investigate data, information and knowledge in regional innovation networks. Emphasis has been put recently on regional innovation systems, where various actors are involved in innovative processes. The article responds to the need to study matters related to knowledge management and information quality in such environments.


Regional innovation networks and data, information and knowledge as well as research on them are discussed at a theoretical level. An existing innovation network of the Lahti region, Finland, was utilised as a pilot environment when building the knowledge management framework that is introduced. The framework is based on established knowledge management literature and practice.


The results confirm that the aspects of data, information and knowledge need to be addressed systematically in regional innovation networks. They are intertwined with knowledge management and network management. The knowledge management framework introduced incorporates, apart from information quality considerations, future‐oriented self‐transcending knowledge as well as knowledge vision and knowledge assets. Considerations of absorptive capacity and information brokerage in the regional knowledge environment are emphasised.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the framework will be assessed in future studies. This will also improve understanding of practical implications. Research implications are related to data, information and knowledge quality – as well as absorptive capacity between the two subsystems of the regional innovation system.


The article combines in a novel way research fields that have previously barely been combined – information quality, knowledge management and regional innovation networks. It provides new insights into a societally important theme and shows possible avenues of further research.



Melkas, H. and Harmaakorpi, V. (2008), "Data, information and knowledge in regional innovation networks: Quality considerations and brokerage functions", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 103-124.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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