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Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 1 Science parks as knowledge organizations – The ba in action? Finn Hansson Department of Management, Politics.

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Presentation on theme: "Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 1 Science parks as knowledge organizations – The ba in action? Finn Hansson Department of Management, Politics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 1 Science parks as knowledge organizations – The ba in action? Finn Hansson Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy Copenhagen Business School Porcelænshaven 18 A DK-2000 Copenhagen F Denmark Phone: Fax: Download:

2 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 2 Science Parks EU Definition a place where newly created firms are concentrated in a limited space. Its aim is to improve the chance of growth and rate of survival of these firms by providing them with a modular building with common facilities (telefax, computing facilities, etc.) as well as with managerial support and back-up services. The main emphasis is on local development and job creation. The technology orientation is often marginal (European Union 1990).

3 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 3 The International Association of Science Parks (IASP) definition an organization managed by specialized professionals whose main aim is to increase the wealth of its community by promoting the culture of innovation and the competitiveness of its associated businesses and knowledge based institutions. To enable these goals to be met, a Science Park stimulates and manages the flow of knowledge and technology amongst universities, R&D institutions, companies and markets; it facilitates the creation and growth of innovation-based companies through incubation and spin-off processes; and provides other value-added services together with high quality space and facilities. (IASP 2004)

4 Symbion Science Park Fruebjergvej Copenhagen

5 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 5 3 positions in theories of knowledge production in relation to science parks The National Innovation System Theory – operates very much on the level of the nation state or large regions, with a concept of a coherent system of knowledge and innovation. Technology driven innovations The theory of Triple Helix focus on interaction and relations between universities, government and industry in relation to production and dissemination of knowledge especially oriented toward innovation and economic growth. The theory of mode 1 and mode 2 knowledge. Mode1 picture the classic academic disciplinary knowledge system, solely organized in specialized institutions (universities) while mode 2 is transdisciplinary, based on new forms of cooperation (networking) in the knowledge production including new partners.

6 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 6 Models to evaluate impact of science parks The indicator model limits to traditional firms as the object of observation and to rather well defined and measurable indicators on performance. hinders a systematic registration of activities in science parks that do not bear the mark of a clear-cut firm, or are located inside a single (large) firm. The meso model empirical material related to either a special program or policy initiative, particular to local technology, to a geographical area or to structural changes in the parks. The case study model looking for the complex organizational processes in and around the SPical location - question the conventional wisdom of only measuring and comparing normal firms in and outside science parks.

7 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 7 Science parks as knowledge organizations? The paper tries to demonstrate that concepts from organizational theory – exemplified by Nonakas BA and SECI model, and direct our attention to something that has been outside the boundaries and agendas in normal SP discussions. Science parks, like science park studies, tend to be focused on the firm – and on a rather old-fashioned definition of the firm as a single, independent company - as the basic organizing principle in the science parks. This is reflected in the methodology used in most studies of science parks and the management practice of the parks themselves. Very few indications, if any, was found of serious attempts in science parks to implement or just recognize the many new organizational features necessary for creative knowledge production Few studies of SPs came up with more open approaches – two case studies discussed in the paper, Gothenburg and Newcastle have attempted to go beyond the traditional boundaries.

8 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 8 The Newcastle Case INEX The key strength of the Newcastle model: The vision is not to transfer certain research results with particular commercial potential from the university to the regional economy, The vision is to make the university itself an active player in the regional economy. Traditional SP model is tailored to help commercialise research, whereas the Newcastle model seeks to build an institution that is capable of producing commercialisable research.

9 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 9 The Gothenburg SP Case The Gothenburg case showed: cooperation in knowledge creation between very different types of actors and organization - large firms, small firms departments of firms and university departments – is crucial. Locality and intra regional learning is crucial

10 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 10 How do we evaluate science parks? Most studies tend to assess this effect by rather traditional measures, such as the revenue or the survival rate of new firms,. organization theory has specialized itself in relation to the processes of creating knowledge, and of managing it, organizing it, sharing it, transferring it, etc. The evaluation of science parks has to come to grips with the changed role of knowledge in the creation of economic growth. Nonakas concept of ba, is used to discuss whether and how traditionally organized science parks can become central actors in the new regime of knowledge production. or whether SP must be viewed as an outdated institution, a left over from the époque of industrial society.

11 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 11 ALTERNATIVES TO EVALUATE SCIENCE PARKS IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY cooperation in knowledge creation between very different types of organization -- large firms, small firms and university departments – is crucial. organizational changes in the university in order to foster or nurture potentially innovative ideas as well as setting up support for new start-up business. the role of science parks as providers of ba for knowledge creation serious attempts in science parks to implement or just recognize the many new organizational features necessary for creative knowledge production and exchange as expressed in ba.

12 Finn Hansson Copenhagen Business School 12 CONCLUSION The new production of knowledge theory ought to have directed our attention to problems of managing knowledge and knowledge creation Problems raised by organizational theory exemplified with Nonakas concept of ba have not entered the science park discourse and it has not influenced the science policy discussion and consequently left the concept and organization of science parks almost untouched as well as the evaluation. If science parks are to have an important role to play in fostering creativity in a global knowledge economy it has to do more than offer locality and venture capital to new entrepreneurs. Managing science parks in the future has to go far beyond the practical management we see today. It must become an active organizing partner in the creation of ba inside the park – crossing the boundaries between different firms and adapting to a constantly changing world.


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