PhD project investigates employees and innovation

Hans Jørn Hansen, head of education at Insero Horsens, and Helle Eskesen Gode from VIA’s Marketing Management
Hans Jørn Hansen, head of education at Insero Horsens, and Helle Eskesen Gode from VIA’s Marketing Management educational programme and VIA’s Centre for Business Globalisation are looking forward to creating new knowledge about innovation. 
Helle Eskesen Gode, associate lecturer on VIA’s Marketing Management educational programme and a member of faculty of VIA’s Business Globalisation, will a write a PhD over the next four years, focusing on how employees can contribute to innovation processes in businesses.

All employees are an important source of innovation. They possess detailed knowledge about the business: its processes, products and services. Therefore they often have good ideas for new products or optimising and rethinking existing processes. 

A new PhD-project, by assistant professor Helle Eskesen Gode from VIA University College, explores how businesses can improve the utilisation of employees’ knowledge through an online idea-platform. 

A digitalised idea box 

In the course of her research, Helle Eskesen Gode will work with 10 businesses in various industries. Among them are Miralix, Neets and LEGO, who have a digitized idea box in place for sharing employees’ knowledge. 

"I would like to gain insight into whether or not there is a difference in how employees contribute to innovative work depending on the size of the business and the products it sells," says Helle Eskesen Gode and continues: 

"With an open, online idea-platform all employees can come up with ideas, but they can also develop or be inspired by the ideas of others. Openness is a good starting point for cultivating innovation." 

Knowledge and economic growth at play 

The digital idea box is an internal social media. The question is how to get employees committed to contributing good ideas: 

"I have to find out what possible barriers there are to some employees participating in this open innovation process, but also what motivates employees to contribute to a business’s innovation processes," explains Helle Eskesen Gode. 

"Innovation is essential for economic growth in Denmark as businesses cannot sustain their competitiveness without thinking innovatively," she says. 

Insero supports active research 

Head of Education at Insero Horsens, Hans Jørn Hansen, welcomes the project. Insero supports Helle Eskesen Gode’s PhD project with 300,000.00 DKK. 

"It is important to examine how social media can be used to redevelop and improve corporate business. And in that context, it is vital that businesses have the tools to organise and improve the way they work on the development of ideas," says Hans Jørn Hansen. 

"The results of Helle’s research project will hopefully benefit many businesses and make them more aware of how they can actively take advantage of digital opportunities," he says. 

If you would like to know more: 

Helle Eskesen Gode, assistant professor and PhD student, VIA University College
T: + 45 87 55 44 29
E: heeg@via.dk 

Hans Jørn Hansen, Director of Education, Insero Horsens
T: +45 41 32 98 37
E: hjh@insero.com 

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