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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Petro Poutanen, Wael Soliman and Pirjo Ståhle

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the innovation literature, with special focus on studies applying a complexity perspective. As a contribution in its own right…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the innovation literature, with special focus on studies applying a complexity perspective. As a contribution in its own right to the innovation literature, the review clarifies the concept of complexity, explores possible points of relevance and the “added value” gained from complexity theory (CT) to the study of innovation, and identifies some of the applications of the theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature search was conducted which yielded 20 relevant articles. These articles were analyzed by focusing on the key concepts of complexity and studying their applications in the context of innovation research.

Findings

Based on the approach adopted, the literature was divided into three categories, namely research focusing on microdynamics, macrodynamics, and leadership and management. The key complexity concepts identified in the innovation literature were “edge of chaos”, “phase shift”, “emergence and self-organization”, “(co)evolution”, and “complexity regulation”. The articles reviewed differed in terms of their perspectives on complexity and, accordingly, their operationalization of the complexity concepts. Key areas of development suggested by the authors include forging a stronger link with existing innovation theory and giving greater weight to empirical evidence.

Research limitations/implications

While a systematic review strategy was adopted to identify all relevant research on “open innovation” and complexity, a selective snowball strategy was deemed the only feasible approach to cover research conducted on “innovation” and complexity.

Practical implications

Practitioners can learn to put CT-based research in context and also learn to recognize the value of CT for innovation management. The authors distilled three important lessons for practice from the research done: embracing complexity, embracing ambidexterity, and embracing failure.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge no review has as yet been undertaken to encapsulate the current state of applications of CT to innovation research.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Petro Poutanen, Olli Parviainen and Leif Åberg

The purpose of this paper is to describe the conditions that give rise to and support self‐organizing learning and creativity in blended learning environments. Particular

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the conditions that give rise to and support self‐organizing learning and creativity in blended learning environments. Particular attention is given to theoretical and practical suggestions and the roles of on‐ and offline working environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Iterative grounded theory methodology is used to provide a case analysis of a course held at the University of Helsinki in 2010 in conjunction with theoretical discussions.

Findings

Practical advice is provided for organizers of blended learning courses and a theoretical model for self‐organizing in blended learning settings is proposed. Three key considerations of self‐organizing – space, knowledge, and agency –were located and each of them is discussed with a focus on practical recommendations.

Research limitations/implications

More research is needed, especially in a “classroom” context, in order to further clarify the links of different on‐ and offline learning environments and to reach a better understanding of the interplay between them.

Practical implications

The approach presented here can be useful for implementing web‐based blended learning methods in universities and other educational organizations.

Originality/value

Technology‐ and teacher‐oriented views of learning are not successful in the context of blended learning. Conditions for self‐organizing and creativity are needed.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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