An action learning method for increased innovation capability in organizations
2010 (English)In: Action Learning: Research and Practice, ISSN 1476-7333, E-ISSN 1476-7341, Vol. 7, no 2, 167-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Product innovation in highly complex and technological areas, such as medical technology, puts high requirements on the innovation capability of an organisation. Previous research and publications have highlighted organisational issues and learning matters as important and necessary for the development of innovation capability. Action learning requires reflection on the ways things are carried out, changes in current actions, implementation and improvement and thereafter another round of reflection. This could be difficult for one organisation to carry out internally and so this research uses a learning network set-up involving several organisations for inter-organisational action learning. The purpose of this article is to describe the learning network set-up used in a current action learning project in the medical technology industry and to discuss the initial experience gained. The research project aims at increasing the innovation capability of the participating organisations. The method used is based on action learning and involves representatives from industrial partners, public health organisations and academic partners. The different organisations run innovation projects over a time period of three years and meet three times a year in learning network sessions with the purpose of developing knowledge by action learning interaction between the different organisations. During these learning network sessions the participants are facilitated to go through different phases: reflection, new concepts, new actions, implementation and new reflection. The paper elaborates on theories of innovation capability and learning networks and thereafter the methods of action research, experiential learning and action learning. The action learning network structure, the experience gained in the initial phases of the project and the experience of action learning and learning networks is then presented. The importance of trust-building between partners in the network in order to facilitate action learning and development of innovation capability is discussed, as is the learning that takes place in the interaction between academics from different disciplines in their interaction with the practitioners.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 7, no 2, 167-179 p.
Action learning, Innovation capability, Inter-organisational learning, Learning network;, Product innovation, Trust-building
Economics and Business
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-150334DOI: 10.1080/14767333.2010.488328ScopusID: 2-s2.0-79960167517OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-150334DiVA: diva2:742440
QC 201409012014-09-012014-09-012014-09-18Bibliographically approved