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Learning to innovate collaboratively with technology: exploring strategic workplace skill webs in a telecom services firm in Tehran

Alyani, Náder; (2018) Learning to innovate collaboratively with technology: exploring strategic workplace skill webs in a telecom services firm in Tehran. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores innovation and learning within the context of an entrepreneurial new technology based firm (NTBF), operating in the creative sector of telecommunications valueadded services located in Tehran, Iran, along with a partner in London, UK. Whilst backgrounding the socioeconomic and geopolitical characteristics of the operating environment, and historical antecedents of independence and self-sufficiency, plus chronic sanctions within the economy, the argument focuses on the interplay between intermediated learning via strategic ‘skill webs’ leading to innovation. Drawing on innovation and workplace learning corpus, collaborative innovation with technologies is organised as a competitive action in an unstable and unpredictable market: learning and skill enhancement in firms provides the stabilisers to remain and compete in the market. It is the juxtaposition of learning and innovation in service-innovation/-delivery design, while utilising pervasive and emerging telecoms technologies that provides the empirical base for this research. Conceptually, an emergent type of distributed learning, entitled as ‘DEAL’ (Design, Execute, Adjust and Learn) model, by enabling knowledge brokerage facilitated by ‘skill webs’, is identified and explored. This then acts as an analytical tool to examine the empirical elements which are in the form of longitudinal organisational ethnography on site visit waves, spanning 2004 to 2013, focusing on project learning breakthroughs and cul-de-sacs as observed by learning episodes, often utilising informal networks and skill webs in technical and non-technical tasks. The case study findings within a conceptual model has implications for learning and education policy, and upskilling in firms located where regional clustering is not apparent. Furthermore, extrapolating on the theoretical and empirical inquiry and exploring policy vistas, emphasising the hybridised and socio-cultural nature of the innovation processes in transitional economies, the thesis highlights the paramount nature of NTBFs’ inquiry-based learning capabilities, and distributed interprofessional judgement formation evolving in an incremental and contextdependent manner, duly shaping the sustainability of learning to innovate.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Learning to innovate collaboratively with technology: exploring strategic workplace skill webs in a telecom services firm in Tehran
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040576
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