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Title: Knowledge orchestration and digital innovation networks : insights from the Chinese context
Author: Liu, Jiayuan
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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As digital innovation increasingly pushes heterogeneous actors to connect with each other across multiple organizational and community boundaries, a doubly distributed innovation network may emerge, leading to the knowledge being too fragmented and heterogeneous. Facing this problem, I place an emphasis on material artefacts and social network structures in the cultural context of Chinese digital innovators. On the one hand, as innovation is increasingly mediated by material artefacts, I focus on epistemic objects and activity objects, which are able to motivate the process of innovation. On the other hand, as innovation transforms the network actors’ social space, I focus on the role of “guanxi” (i.e. a system of influential relationships in Chinese culture) and structural holes (i.e. the absence of a connection between two contacts) in digital innovation networks. At the same time, as the literature recognizes knowledge orchestration as a useful starting point to address the knowledge fragmentation and heterogeneity, I identify five activities as knowledge orchestration: knowledge mobilization, knowledge coordination, knowledge sharing, knowledge acquisition and knowledge integration. As traditional tools used to support knowledge management can no longer handle the fragmented and heterogeneous knowledge, there is limited studies contributing to our understanding of how the Chinese innovators use objects and social network structures to orchestrate knowledge in their innovation networks. With these paucities of research in mind, this thesis explores how the material objects and the social network structures orchestrate knowledge for coordinating the fragmented and heterogeneous knowledge in Chinese digital innovation networks. From the perspective of material artefacts, my first study explores how epistemic objects affect the acquisition, integration and sharing of knowledge among collaborative organizations during their IT innovation alliances. My second study explores how activity objects affect the sharing, acquisition and integration of knowledge for crowdsourced digital innovation. From a social perspective, my third study explores how guanxi and structural holes affect the mobilization and coordination of knowledge among Chinese digital entrepreneurs in their innovation networks. Following the three studies, I show my key contributions, and discuss my theoretical and practical implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions