Learning environments for sustainable innovation: first steps in designing organizational settings for learners

N.R. Faber, R.J. Jorna

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

61 Downloads (Pure)


Knowledge processes, such as knowledge sharing, knowledge use, knowledge creation or knowledge distribution are core components in sustainable innovation (Jorna, 2006), at both the individual and the group level. Knowledge creation refers to innovation and requires the possibility of learning (single loop, double loop or otherwise). A determinant for learning is the learning environment. The specific environment in which individuals and groups engage into the learning experience influences the effectiveness of knowledge use and knowledge transfer. 12 Strategic Inspiring Learning Opportunities (SILO), i.e., configurations of learning contexts, are distinguished, each triggering the learning experience of individuals and groups in a different manner. This article discusses the theoretical underpinnings of these 12 SILOs from a knowledge management perspective. The underlying dimensions of coordination mechanism (i.e. authority, standardization, and trust), direction of communication (uni-, bi-, and multi-directional), and knowledge type dominance (tacit or explicit knowledge, or sensory, coded, and theoretical knowledge) are identified for each of the SILOs. For instance, the “master class” SILO concerns a traditional configuration, applying an authoritarian coordination mechanism. Knowledge transfer typically is unidirectional, and concerns dominantly theoretical knowledge. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the SILO labelled “entrepreneur café” is based on trust and facilitates multidirectional knowledge transfer. Knowledge of the sensory type is dominantly transferred in this SILO. In between these two extreme forms, the ten other SILOs are positioned. Finally, implications for sustainable innovation and its effectiveness are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherERSCP - EMSU conference
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning environments for sustainable innovation: first steps in designing organizational settings for learners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this