Role of Mediators in City and University Collaboration
Jyrämä, Annukka; Äyväri, Anne; Kajalo, Sami (2018)
Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
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In this paper, we analyse university and city collaboration, a research and development platform for joint activity, Innovative City -program from knowledge creation and sharing perspective. We assume that academic and city actors can be considered as distinct communities of practice (Lave and Wenger 1991) where the participants of a community share similar values, norms and practices that follow community specific dominant logics (von Krogh and Grand, 2000). We propose there is a need for mediators to enable and overcome barriers created by differing values and norms; dominant logics (see e.g. Wenger 1998; Jyrämä and Äyväri 2007). The concept of mediators is elaborated from different perspectives focusing on mediating discussions and actor roles in innovation and knowledge sharing contexts (Wenger 1998, Kauppila et al. 2011, Jyrämä and Äyväri 2007, updated 2015, Nyström et al. 2014). The findings of our analysis pointed out that there were a multitude of overlapping and intersecting communities of practice. Moreover, the mediating took place by various actors depending on the context. Our results strongly suggest that the is a need for further study to take a closer look at the respective roles and joint mediating of these various mediators and the ways different communities of practice affect the collaboration. Moreover, analysis of mediators as gate openers and interpreters, as well as the learning occurring within the actors participating in joint activity provides interesting insights both for theory as well as for practitioners.