Learning to innovate: a series of studies to explore and enable learning in innovation practices

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Author(s)

SGM Verdonschot

Reference

Verdonschot, S. G. M. (2009). Learning to innovate: A series of sudies to explore and enable learning in innovation practices. Doctoral dissertation, University of Twente: Enschede.

Description

This thesis investigates learning and working in such a knowledge economy. In an industrial economy productivity was an important determinant for the success of organizations. However, in a knowledge economy advantage is not so much gained from the ability to produce more products but from the ability to innovate. In a knowledge economy the success of organizations is determined by the extent to which they succeed in developing new knowledge and in applying that knowledge for the gradual improvement and radical innovation of their products, services and operating procedures. Developing improvements and innovations is not an activity restricted to R&D departments and solely focused on the development of new products. Indeed, in a knowledge economy all members of an organization contribute to the process of improvement and innovation. It is actually process innovation that is especially promising. The development of the knowledge economy influences the way in which learning in the context of work takes place. In order to be successful in a knowledge economy learning with the intention of innovating becomes increasingly important. It is this form of learning that is central to this thesis. The first research question aims to trace factors that enhance the learning processes leading to gradual improvements and radical innovations. The second research question examines the extent to which these factors could be deliberately applied to design a work environment that promotes innovation.


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