• Forskere: Are Jensen, Nhien Nguyen, Jens Ørding Hansen
  • Failure is an inevitable feature of innovation, and management research promulgates the importance of learning from it. Key to excelling at an innovation‐based strategy is understanding the processes that can turn failures into successes. However, post‐failure success remains elusive. Although failure signals that the innovation journey is off course, shifting trajectory is difficult, because it may require revising assumptions and reformulating the project’s problem representation. Using comparative case studies, this study set out to understand how problem representations are reformulated. Employing case method and comparing data versus theory iteratively, the important role of sensemaking and of leadership behaviors in driving post‐failure success became salient. Findings show that problem representations post‐failure require a process of problem formulation characterized by sensemaking and that innovative solutions are enabled by the reformulation of problem representations that spring from prospective sensemaking. Furthermore, this article identifies leadership change behavior as the linchpin driving a problem formulation process characterized by prospective sensemaking that catalyzes innovative solutions and explains why some projects thrive post‐failure and others do not. This article provides empirical support to the theoretical work of the literature on problem formulation, while extending the learning‐from‐failure literature by emphasizing and demonstrating the process driving post‐failure success. The major implication of our study is that different leadership behaviors may foster different types of sensemaking (retrospective or prospective), and that, in turn, the type of sensemaking matters for how a problem is reformulated. Ultimately, this article concludes that in the context of project failure, problem reformulation that springs from prospective sensemaking enables innovative solutions post‐failure.
    Forskere: Nhien Nguyen, Marta Morais-Storz, Alf Steinar Sætre
  • Forskere: Tali Padan, Nhien Nguyen
  • Forskere: Jens Ørding Hansen, Are Jensen, Nhien Nguyen
  • Forskere: Nhien Nguyen, Åge Mariussen, Jens Ørding Hansen
  • There are two ways of meeting the challenges of restructuring: (1) as reactions to disruptions, market shifts or other types of turbulence that come as a surprise, or (2) proactively, by continuously enhancing the capacity to explore new opportunities and develop new products and areas of business through diversification and innovation (Mariussen et al., 2018). The reactive strategy often involves an over-reliance on the exploitation of existing technologies, markets and products; while the proactive strategy using innovation and a co-creation approach can lead to sustainable development and growth. To proactively restructure the economy, a country should search for the new domains of knowledge, business, industry to confer the ability and capacity to change before the economic situation becomes desperate. The search process is best undertaken jointly between the innovators, that is, innovation firms, entrepreneurs, researchers, and other parts of the innovation system, such as the government and organizations promoting innovation policy. This allows a stronger emphasis on exploration through partnerships between policy makers, entrepreneurs, and scholars, which is the core idea of the smart specialisation approach. This chapter discusses a proactive approach to economic restructuring and growth, specifically, smart specialisation. The study begins by introducing several approaches to, and strategies of, economic growth, such as diversification and the complexity model. The complexity concept in this model is one of complicated composition rather than complex systemic behaviour (Price, 2004; see also extensive discussions in Chapters 7 and 9 in this volume Aasen, 2018; Virkkala and Mariussen, 2018). To facilitate this point of departure the chapter uses secondary data from the Atlas of Economic Complexity (Hausmann and Pritchett, 2018) to illustrate a gap in these theories. Next, we use smart specialisation theory to explain this gap, and how its mechanism, the entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP), can contribute to economic growth in advanced countries. One of the important conditions for EDP to work is the ambidextrous capability of firms to explore new domains and exploit current strengths at the same time. Norway is used as an illustration case.
    Forskere: Nhien Nguyen, Åge Mariussen
  • Forskere: Nhien Nguyen, Jens Ørding Hansen, Are Jensen
  • This scoping paper defines a conceptual framework for implementing economic restructuring in Norway as an experimental process, based on advice from OECD and EU.
    Forskere: Åge Mariussen, Nhien Nguyen, Jarle Løvland
  • Forskere: Nhien Nguyen, Åge Mariussen
  • Purpose The purpose of the present article is to revive interest in the question, never definitively answered, that Stephen Watson raised in the title of his 2000 paper “Why is it that management academics rarely advise on their own institutions?” We argue that finding the answer to the question would not only be interesting in and of itself but could also lead to valuable contributions to the theory of the learning organization. Design/methodology/approach Taking inspiration from Watson’s original article and a new interview we made with him in 2017, we discuss the possible explanations for why management academics rarely advise on their own institutions and set out an agenda for future research. Findings We suggest a simple three-way categorization of the nine hypotheses identified by Watson (2000), grouping them by the themes of management knowledge, motivation of HEI (higher education institution) managers, and incentives for academics to engage. We propose an integrated framework to illustrate how these three categories of hypotheses are connected and can jointly explain the observed phenomenon. We provide theoretical underpinnings for the most promising hypotheses and suggest an agenda for future research, emphasizing the potential of such research to contribute to the learning organization field. Research limitations/implications This article should not be interpreted primarily as an attempt to provide support for any particular hypothesis. Rather, our principal aim is to sketch out a future research agenda and inspire others to contribute empirical evidence that can help shed light on the paradox of why management academics rarely advise on their own institutions. Originality/value The theoretical contribution of this article is to revive the important research topic of “why management academics do not seem to be widely engaged in advising university managers” (Watson, 2000, p. 99) and to introduce a research agenda that can help realize the potential contribution of this topic to the learning organization literature. The practical contribution is to re-address the difficulties of HEIs in becoming full-fledged “learning organizations” and to suggest that HEI managers re-examine the possibilities for using hitherto untapped internal expertise.
    Forskere: Nhien Nguyen, Jens Ørding Hansen
  • Purpose – This paper provides an overview of the concept organizational unlearning and its development since it was first introduced to the management literature, and presents a useful perspective that can help to advance the conceptual development of this topic. Design/methodology/approach – Through a conversation with celebrated scholar William H. Starbuck, the paper discusses several topics that are still up for debate in the organizational unlearning literature, and argues for a number of viewpoints relevant to the application of this concept. Findings – Unlearning is an important requirement for organizational learning and adaptation. Change cannot occur in organizations until old knowledge and practices are replaced by new ideas and methods. Researchers and managers should pay attention to the distinction between individual behavior and organizational behavior regarding unlearning. Originality/value – The discussion of the contested topics of unlearning and its implications for organizational learning and adaptation will be of value to academic researchers as well as managers working in a context of environment change.
    Forskere: Nhien Nguyen
  • Purpose: This paper aims to: (1) conceptualize what it means to be resilient in the face of our current reality of indisputable turbulence and uncertainty, (2) suggest that continual metamorphosis is key to resilience, (3) demonstrate the role of unlearning in that metamorphosis, and 4) suggest that problem formulation is a key deliberate mechanism of driving continual cycles of learning and unlearning. Design/methodology/approach: The paper entails a conceptual analysis. Findings: It is found that both the unlearning and resilience literature streams are stuck in a paradigm whereby organizational behavior entails adaptation to the external environment and reaction to crisis. This paper suggests that, given a world of turbulence and uncertainty, a more useful paradigm is one where organizations take action before action is desperately needed, and that they proactively contribute to enacting their environment via their own continual metamorphosis. Research limitations/implications: Future research should explore further the factors that can (1) facilitate sensing the early warning signs, and (2) facilitate the cyclical learning-unlearning process of metamorphosis. Practical implications: The primary practical implication is that in order to assure strategic resilience managers must be able to identify early-warning signs and initiate metamorphosis. This means understanding the processes needed to support unlearning, namely, problem formulation. Originality/value: The originality and value of the present paper lies in that it suggests a shift in paradigm from adaptation and reaction, to action and enactment. Further, it proposes a cyclical process of learning and unlearning that together define periods of metamorphosis, and suggests problem formulation, whereby the mission statement is assessed and revised, as a mechanism in that endeavor.
    Forskere: Nhien Nguyen, Marta Morais-Storz
  • Forskere: Evgueni Vinogradov, Tone Magnussen, Merete Kvamme Fabritius, Nhien Nguyen
  • Nader Chokr’s book “Unlearning or How Not to Be Governed” aims to show why unlearning should be viewed as crucial for education reform. Challenging the prevalent doctrines in the tradition and the Enlightenment philosophy, Chokr contends that unlearning enables us to realize and tackle the “problem of governmentality” (p. 18), which has become manifest after the 2008 financial crisis (Pedler, 2014). Unlearning, which is about “unshackling oneself” (p. 6) and rejecting the false assumptions that belong to obsolete knowledge, provides the means to liberate ourselves from entrenched ways of thinking by posing such questions as: How are we governed? Do we wish to be governed or to be self-governed instead? The author asserts that unlearning is a pivotal component of education that helps to bring out critical and self-reflective citizenship, and thus contributes to radical and inclusive democracy, or democracy-to-come. I found many of Chokr’s arguments interesting as they offer important implications for the organizational learning and unlearning perspective.
    Forskere: Nhien Nguyen