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Monday, December 11, 2017
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Characteristics of learning environments which support knowledge productivity and which facilitate innovation
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Characteristics of learning environments which support knowledge productivity and which facilitate innovation

12 pages · 3.00 EUR
(September 2011)

 
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Introduction:

Our society is gradually moving towards a knowledge economy: an economy in which the application of knowledge replaces capital, raw materials and labour as the main means of production. The essential ingredient of products and services is the inherent knowledge. The ability to gather information, generate new knowledge, disseminate and apply this knowledge to achieve improvements and innovations is an organisation’s knowledge productivity (Kessels 2004). Knowledge productivity is increasingly regarded as the dominant economic factor in a knowledge society and it highlights the importance of a conducive learning environment that facilitates innovation. This paper summarises two recent studies in the domain of knowledge productivity and innovation, trying to answer the following research questions:

1. If innovation can be regarded as the outcome of a learning process in a social network, what are the main characteristics of the supportive learning environments?

2. Which are the relevant design principles for developing a supportive learning environment for innovation?

The provisional answers to these questions follow from the results of the studies by De Jong, Verdonschot & Kessels (2008), Verdonschot (2009) and De Jong (2010) which examined the innovation practices in 35 cases in the period 2003-2009. The case studies have been conducted on the basis of a conceptual framework which will be presented in the following section.


quotable essay from ...
the authors
Tjip de Jong

is researcher and consultant at Kessels & Smit The learning company, in the Netherlands. In 2010 he successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on Linking Social Capital to Knowledge Productivity, an explorative study on the relationship between social capital and learning in knowledge-productive networks. This domain still holds his main research interest.

Joseph Kessels

is professor of Human Resource Development at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. He formerly held a similar chair at the University of Leiden. His research projects and publications focus on the design of learning environments for corporate education, innovation and knowledge productivity, with a special interest in the role of social capital.

Suzanne Verdonschot

is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and consultant at Kessels&Smit The learning company. In 2009 she successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis "Learning to Innovate", a series of studies to explore and enable learning in innovation practices. On the basis of her research findings she developed guidelines for creating breakthrough processes in innovation projects.