Innovation communication ecosystems?

Photo credit: Joan M. Mas

What is the role and relevance of communication in the innovation process? This is a question I’ve been pondering lately; one that I look forward to investigating.

The existing research stresses the importance of innovation ecosystems to firm performance and economic development. An innovation ecosystem can be loosely defined as the diverse array of participants and resources that contribute to and are necessary for innovation. Examples of participants include researchers, funders, entrepreneurs and experts, and examples of resources include financial/human resources and tangible/intangible assets.

With the importance of innovation ecosystems acknowledged, the question of what keeps these ecosystems thriving is key. Research is beginning to reveal that communication may be one of the key answers to the innovation question. Take this very interesting paper by Vilma Luoma-aho and Saara Halonen at the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), for example. In the paper, the authors state that communication has a role in constructing and sustaining a fertile culture for innovation, as well as in maintaining trust and organizational efficiency. Moreover, the authors describe the professional communicators in innovation ecosystems as ‘attention workers’ who broker attention to ensure ecosystems develop and adopt innovations. As the authors note, brokering attention is vital in today’s attention economy. For those interested in innovation ecosystems and innovation, this paper is  worth a read.

With that said, my literature review revealed that very little research has been conducted on the role and relevance of communication in innovation ecosystems, the actors involved, and the impact of these aspects in different settings and on different outcomes. I’m looking forward to helping to address some of these research gaps going forward. For now, check out a selection of content on innovation communication below:




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