Relevant to: research, practice
In this paper, the authors present evidence from which to design and analyse opportunities and challenges fostered by knowledge brokers and knowledge brokering in the process of co-creation of knowledge through Open Innovation. They use three approaches:
– A review of the literature
– Identifying differences between the internal approach of knowledge creation and the network approach of knowledge co-creation
– Analysis of anecdotal evidence from two collaborative innovation platforms, InnoCentive and YourEncore (The two case studies were chosen because they seem to be at the extremes of a continuum going from mere brokerage to ongoing support)
The two case studies present different ways to interact and combine knowledge and capabilities. Both create linkages between solution seekers and expert problem solvers, facilitating knowledge sharing regardless of geographic separation (a recognised limitation of closed innovation systems). Differences between these two platforms can be found in the mechanism they use to match requests with solutions, although interestingly both are successful in their respective approaches.
The authors acknowledge the limitations inherent in using only two case studies; nevertheless they argue that their study has still highlighted diverse and distinct approaches to knowledge cocreation. They recommend further research be undertaken, particularly to examine the complexity of knowledge co-creation models and to further understand the choice a broker should make between the need to control the model of knowledge exchange and the need for ongoing support and consultation.
This paper provides useful insight into mechanisms for knowledge co-creation for the purpose of innovation. It will be particularly relevant to those engaged in or seeking to engage in innovation.
This summary was developed from the following research paper:
Abbate, T. and Coppolino, R. (2011) Knowledge creation through knowledge brokers: some anecdotal evidence. Journal of Management Control 22: 359-371.