Managing Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship

Managing Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship

Maureen McKelvey and Astrid Heidemann Lassen

The book uniquely combines an academic review of theoretical and empirical contributions with an analysis of the practical implications for engaging in and learning about venture creation. The authors concentrate on specific types of firms reliant upon advanced knowledge and show how a systemic perspective of entrepreneurship is required, involving design thinking, in order to capture the relationships between individual, venture and eco-system.

Chapter 6: Design thinking as a tool for entrepreneurship

Maureen McKelvey and Astrid Heidemann Lassen

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, knowledge management, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


Design thinking has been introduced in previous chapters as a way to combine planning with uncertainty and unexpected events that occur during the process of KIE. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 have discussed various aspects of KIE and KIE ventures. They have illustrated different elements and phases of KIE, different perspectives of KIE and different ways of understanding the value created through KIE. Throughout the discussions, a number of concepts have continuously arisen as essential to the understanding of KIE. Among these are emergence and proactivity in relation to all aspects of KIE venturing. But what exactly do emergence and proactivity teach us about how to understand KIE and engage in orchestrating knowledge in entrepreneurial ventures ourselves? In this chapter we address such questions, which are related to the sixth proposition of the book: Our view is that design thinking can be developed and utilized to play an important role for the successful exploration and exploitation of KIE. Without this, there is a lack of tools and techniques to manage tensions between creativity and order or structure. With this, we can develop a systemic approach to shaping the thinking about venture creation and innovation for developing KIE ventures. Generally speaking, two common perspectives prevail on how to act to create value through entrepreneurship. One perspective emphasizes nov- elty, intuitive thinking and creativity. The other attaches importance to analytical thinking, logic and certainty. This difference in perspectives is also visible through the fact that businesses generally emphasize either exploration (seeking, creating and generating something new) or exploitation

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