Knowledge Creation Processes (KREPRO)




UTU Geography (J. Jauhiainen)


SA/Academy of Finland

The research group Knowledge Creation Processes (KREPRO) studied how knowledge is created in processes through various combinations of space and time. The project studied knowledge creation in different fields of activities such as academy, arts, business and community. They also developed novel research methods to study knowledge creation.

KREPRO conducted research from the remote peripheries of Lapland to the international metropolis of Berlin and from the Earth’s northernmost inhabited areas in Svalbard to subtropical Zanzibar. The research questions were: 1) How knowledge is created in academy, art, business and community? 2) How time and space come together in the knowledge creation processes?

Knowledge develops in time and space. One can define space through material, communicative and cognitive dimensions and time through linear and relational viewpoints. These form various combinations of space and time in the knowledge creation processes. KREPRO developed and used novel methods to study the knowledge creation processes in various combinations of space and time. Methods used include participatory observation, observation, interviews, questionnaires, diaries, mental mapping, visual analysis, etc.

KREPRO was led by professor Jussi S. Jauhiainen from the Section of Geography at the University of Turku. The external funding for KREPRO came from the Academy of Finland and other sources.

The the focus and studied fields were:

Academy – knowledge creation processes

How international academic knowledge is created by international research groups. The development process of academic knowledge is considered through material, communicative and cognitive space and linear and relational time. Empirical research is conducted about distinguished international research groups in Finland and Svalbard (Norway). The FiDiPro (the Finland Distinguished Professor Program) groups have been launched by the Academy of Finland and the TEKES technology funding agency to promote the top-level internationalization of academic research in Finland. KREPRO makes a longitudinal study of specific FiDiPro research groups in fields of science and technology. The research about Svalbard focusses on advantages this remote northern location offers for scientific and technological environment-related research. The materials mainly include interviews, diaries and observations. In addition, reference information of articles and web-pages will be applied.

Art – knowledge creation processes

There is analyzed how knowledge is created in the processes of internationally renowned artists and creative entrepreneurs living in remote Lapland of Finland as well as about Finnish artists in Berlin, Germany. As regards the case of Lapland, special attention is directed to three aspects: (1) living and working in remote Lapland, (2) distances and proximities of artistic knowledge creation, and (3) communicative space of artistic work including, for instance, interaction with animals, forest, personal past and becoming artwork. It is considered how these aspects are reflected to the artistic work. The empirical case of Lapland studies the knowledge creation of 11 artists. The materials include interviews, visits in the studios and web-pages of the artists (home pages, blogs, videos and radio interviews). Three artists have been analyzed more closely including videos of working, observation of meeting clients and setting up art exhibitions and visiting inspiring places. The research on Finnish artists in Berlin focuses on the inspirations the temporary art residence in a global metropolis offers for visiting artists.

Business – knowledge creation processes

There is analyzed how knowledge creation takes place in the interaction between developers, clients and consumers as well as in the cooperation between different businesses. Social media, mobile working, global markets and other contemporary developments are challenging organizational boundaries and different practices of knowledge sharing are emerging. This raises questions of uniqueness as well as locality, and highlights the contextuality of processes of knowledge creation. Specific attention is here paid to the role of strategic management, everyday routines and surprising coincidences in the practices of knowledge creation in the studied enterprises. Empirical research is conducted about globally successful mobile technology enterprises in Estonia and a local network of design firms in Finland. The methods include, among others, interviews and observations.

Community – knowledge creation processes

There is analyzed how knowledge creation takes place in communities living in challenging contexts in Namibia and Tanzania. Specific attention is paid on the meeting of indigenous locally generated knowledge and practices with external, globally linked realms. The themes include developing a national innovation system in Namibia and the role of indigenous knowledge in it, living and struggling for local resilience under floods and global climate change in northern Namibia, global tourism and local survival strategies in Zanzibar (Tanzania) and indirect land use and employment changes in the mainland Tanzania connected to global biofuel policies. The methods include questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and observation.

Articles and links

  1. Hautala, Johanna (2011). Academic knowledge creation as a spatio-temporal process. The case of international research groups in Finland. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis A 584. http://jultika.oulu.fi/Record/isbn978-951-42-9649-9

  2. Hautala, Johanna (2011). Cognitive proximity in international research groups. Journal of Knowledge Management 15(4): 601–624.

  3. Hautala, Johanna (2011). International academic knowledge creation and ba. A case study from Finland. Knowledge Management Research & Practice 9(1): 4–16.

  4. Hautala, Johanna (2013). Artistic knowledge creation in space and time: international artists in remote North. Manuscript.

  5. Hautala, Johanna & Jauhiainen, Jussi S. (2013). Spatio-temporal processes of knowledge creation. Manuscript.

  6. Hooli, Lauri (2013). Manuscript.

  7. Jauhiainen, Jussi S. (2013). Avoin ja suljettu tieto. [Open and closed knowledge]. Manuscript

  8. Häkkinen, Lotta & Nina Kivinen (2013) Writing spaces – performativity in media work. In Francois-Xavier de Vaujany & Nathalie Mitev (eds.) Materiality and Space in Management and Organization Studies. Palgrave, London.


  1. Hautala, Johanna (2013). Artistic knowledge creation in space and time: International artists in remote north. Association of American Geographers, April 9–13, Los Angeles, USA.

  2. Hautala, Johanna (2013). Creative entrepreneurs of the Lapland of Finland: Knowledge creation and communicative spaces. Regional Studies Association, May 5–8, Tampere, Finland.

  3. Hooli, Lauri (2013). Building regional resilience through developing a national innovation system in Namibia: the role of indigenous knowledge. FSDR Development Research Day, Helsinki, Finland, February 8, 2013.

  4. Hooli, Lauri (2013). Building of national innovation system in Namibia: The role of indigenous knowledge. AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, April 8–13, 2013

  5. Jauhiainen, Jussi S. (2012). Knowledge creation processes. Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, December 12, 2012

  6. Jauhiainen, Jussi S. (2013). Knowledge creation in space and time: A conceptual framework with empirical reflection. AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, April 8–13, 2013

  7. Kivinen, Nina (2013) Love, marriage and silence. Competing logics of exchange in an online magazine for young women, Standing Conference of Organizational Symbolism, Warsaw, July 13-16, 2013 (with Lotta Häkkinen)

  8. Kivinen, Nina (2013) Between lifestyle bloggers, teenage angst and messy relationships – Performing brands through co-operative practices in media. European Group of Organization Studies, Annual Colloquium, Montreal, July 4-6, 2013 (with Lotta Häkkinen)

  9. Kivinen, Nina (2012) Among gossip girls, hungergames and puberty. Spatiality of media work in a magazine for girls. University of York, November 14, 2012

  10. Kivinen, Nina (2012) Scared of the girls? Performing an ambiguous audience in media work. Standing Conference of Organizational Symbolism, Barcelona, July 11-14, 2012 (with Lotta Häkkinen).