Foundations of the Knowledge Economy

Foundations of the Knowledge Economy

Innovation, Learning and Clusters

Edited by Knut Ingar Westeren

This book presents new evidence concerning the influential role of context and institutions on the relations between knowledge, innovation, clusters and learning. From a truly international perspective, the expert contributors capture the most interesting and relevant aspects of knowledge economy.

Chapter 8: Innovation and Creative Leadership in Local Government

Jan Ole Vanebo and Alex Murdock

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, economics and finance, regional economics, innovation and technology, innovation policy, knowledge management, urban and regional studies, clusters, regional economics


Jan Ole Vanebo and Alex Murdock Introduction This chapter explores the evolution of knowledge management through the example of a Norwegian municipality. It also examines how the leadership of the municipality develops a wider awareness and creativity both within the staff of the municipality and through key stakeholders. The knowledge economy has been conventionally viewed in terms of commercial undertakings and there has been a considerable interest in ‘spillovers’ from individual enterprises to the wider economy (Raspe and Oort, 2008). Such ‘spillovers’ are seen in terms of factors such as geographical and other proximities. In the context of Haram, the ‘spillovers’ are geographically mediated by the nature of local government. However, the key industry stakeholders are often global enterprises which are not so bounded. We also note the importance of the global context and the development of the knowledge economy for the setting of this municipality. Jensen (2008) notes some key factors in the development of a ‘knowledge society’ which we regard as significant in this context. He notes increasing global competition, developments in information and communication technology (the key aspect of more highly skilled labor) and finally the role of the state. In the Haram setting these all are significant factors. We illustrate through the response of the leadership of the commune how this demonstrates the evolution of a knowledge-based economy where the municipality has taken a proactive role with key stakeholders. In this chapter, we link and combine the organizational knowledge approach to the concept of creative leadership...

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