University of Oulu

Suorsa, A., Suorsa, T. and Svento, R. (2019). Materiality and embodiment in collaborative knowledge processes: knowledge creation for a virtual power plant. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 16-19, 2019. Information Research, 24(4), paper colis1930. Retrieved from (Archived by the Internet Archive at

Materiality and embodiment in collaborative knowledge processes : knowledge creation for a virtual power plant

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Author: Suorsa, Anna1; Suorsa, Teemu2; Svento, Rauli3
Organizations: 1Department of Information Studies, University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Educational Psychology, University of Oulu, Finland
3Department of Economics in Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: University of Borås, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-05


Introduction: The study introduces a theoretical framework for examining knowledge creation and results of an empirical examination, based on hermeneutic phenomenological approach, emphasising the dialogical, embodied nature of human beings, who act and interact in their material environment.

Method: Ethnographic approach, focusing especially on the interactive events, is used to examine the process of knowledge creation in a multi-disciplinary research community, developing scientific knowledge for a virtual power plant. Analysis. Video materials, observational data, field diary and documents were analysed in different stages, focusing on the content of the discussions, modality of interaction and the phenomena of knowledge use, sharing and creation in the process.

Results: The analysis of the videotaped discussions in relation with the data from the longer knowledge creation process of a virtual power plant suggests that to create interdisciplinary knowledge, there has to be means and tools to move flexibly from ideation and verbal discussions to more detailed means of sharing, using and creating scientific knowledge.

Conclusions: Examining knowledge creation as a dialogical, hermeneutic process enables us to see, how the problems faced can be understood and solved by acknowledging the embodied nature of the human beings, their limits and possibilities.

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Series: Information research. An international electronic journal
ISSN: 1368-1613
ISSN-E: 1368-1613
ISSN-L: 1368-1613
Volume: 24
Issue: 4
Article number: colis1930
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 518 Media and communications
Funding: This study has been funded by the Strategic Research Council, Finland, Project no 292854.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 292854
Detailed Information: 292854 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The authors, 2019. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).