Knowledge creation and interaction in an R&D project: the case of the energy weather forecast

Anna Reetta Suorsa (Department of Information Studies, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Rauli Svento (Department of Economics, Taloustieteiden Tiedekunta, Oulun Yliopisto, Oulu, Finland)
Anders V. Lindfors (Ilmatieteen Laitos, Helsinki, Finland)
Maija-Leena Huotari (Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 5 September 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine knowledge-creating interaction in developing an innovation in a multidisciplinary research community with hermeneutic phenomenology, to understand how previous experiences and future prospects shape the process and to examine the circumstances, which support or limit knowledge creation.


The approach of this study is phenomenological and the empirical case study has been conducted using ethnography. The data consist of field notes, videos, interviews and documents of a BCDC energy consortium, developing energy weather forecast (EWF) in a new type of research environment.


The results indicate that the role of actual interactive events was crucial in the development of EWF. Hermeneutic approach illustrated that the roots of that event were in the past experiences of the participants and the circumstances, which promoted the development of the innovation, but the acknowledgment of the future prospects was crucial in finalizing the process. The role of a leader organizing the interaction and collaborative work was also substantial.

Practical implications

The results of this study could be used to plan and organize knowledge creation processes in organizations, especially in universities and research communities, striving to create multidisciplinary research environments and practices.


This study proposes a new approach based on hermeneutic phenomenology to examine it in a unified way, by focusing on the key aspects of elements affecting knowledge-creating interaction.



This study has been funded by the Strategic Research Council, Finland, Project No. 292854.


Suorsa, A., Svento, R., Lindfors, A. and Huotari, M. (2019), "Knowledge creation and interaction in an R&D project: the case of the energy weather forecast", Journal of Documentation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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