Knowledge Ecosystem Formation: An Institutional and Organisational Perspective
Almpanopoulou, Argyro (2019-04-27)
Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis
School of Business and Management
School of Business and Management, Kauppatieteet
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The main purpose of this thesis is to provide a better understanding on knowledge ecosystem formation, that is, the factors and processes that result in the emergence of knowledge ecosystems and their particular forms of organisation. I mainly focus on the particularities of the institutional environment and its related institutions as well as the intermediate processes of identifying joint interests and developing a sense of a shared purpose. In this endeavour, I adopted institutional and organisational lenses and took a holistic, multi-level approach. Drawing on two qualitative studies, this thesis shows how the institutional environment can constrain, enable, and orient knowledge ecosystem formation and how the nature of the joint exploratory processes has implications for the organisation of knowledge ecosystems. First, this thesis contributes to the nascent knowledge ecosystem literature by providing a comprehensive understanding of the early stages of knowledge ecosystem formation and the influence of the socio-economic context during the pre-formation phase as well as of the organisation of ecosystems in such contexts, where hierarchical organisational forms are not feasible. My findings also contribute to the literature on non-traditional forms of organisation by advancing our understanding on the organising particularities of knowledge ecosystems as a type of meta-organisation. In addition, this thesis contributes to the institutional literature and recent calls to understand field transformation and related constraining forces by identifying a variety of field-sustaining mechanisms mutually reinforcing each other. For policymakers, this thesis provides insights on how public policy can support knowledge ecosystem formation. For practitioners, the findings provide suggestions on how to navigate the complexities and ambiguities of the early phases of knowledge ecosystem formation.
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