Department of Organization

Research, Innovation and Organization (RIO) Group

RIO News


Congratulations Lars Oehler, PhD!

Lars Oehler

On 15 April 2021 RIO member and PhD Fellow Lars Oehler successfully defended his PhD Thesis entitled: Technological Change and the Decomposition of Innovation: Choices and Consequences for Latecomer Firm Upgrading. The Case of China's Wind Energy Sector. The defense took place over Teams and was widely attended by colleagues, friends, and family from many places around the world. Congratulations!

Dr. Oehler has embarked on a new professional opportunity at KfW DEG, a development finance institution, where he structures, monitors, and evaluates sustainability projects in developing and emerging countries as part of the develoPPP initiative set up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. We wish Dr. Oehler the best in this new journey!

Below is a short abstract, as well as information on the supervisory and assessment committees. The thesis is available from

Technological Change and the Decomposition of Innovation: Choices and Consequences for Latecomer Firm Upgrading. The Case of China's Wind Energy Sector.

Technological change associated with the green and digital transformation is radically transforming previous forms of industrial organization. This dissertation analyzes how these changing conditions in the global economy affect the development of latecomer firms. Drawing on the empirical case of latecomer firms in China’s wind energy sector, the overarching research question guiding this thesis is: what consequences do technological change and the decomposition of innovation have for the upgrading of innovation capabilities in latecomer firms? The thesis contributes to the literatures on catching up, technological learning, and the upgrading of innovation capabilities in emerging market firms and speaks to the broader debates on economic development and industrial upgrading in an era of technological change.

Primary Supervisor: 

Associate Professor Stine Haakonsson

Department of Organization

Copenhagen Business School

Secondary Supervisors:

Professor Liu Xielin

School of Economics and Management

University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences


Professor Susana Borrás

Department of Organization

Copenhagen Business School

Assessment Committee:

Professor Ari Kokko (Chair)

Department of International Economics, Government and Business

Copenhagen Business School


Professor Roberta Rabellotti

Department of Political and Social Science

University of Pavia


Professor Teis Hansen

Department of Food and Resource Economics

University of Copenhagen



RIO group work featured in EU-SPRI Early Career Research (ECR) Webinar Series

aixa David

Two RIO members – David Howoldt and Aixa Alemán-Díaz- are featured speakers in the inaugural EU-SPRI Early Career Research (ECR) Webinar Series launched in April 2021. David gave his talk entitled Characterizing Innovation Policy Mixes in Innovation Systems on 15 April 2021. Aixa will give hers entitled National Science and Innovation Policy: between Curiosity, Market and Mission on 20 May 2021. Below you can find abstracts for their talks and details on how to register to participate:

Characterizing Innovation Policy Mixes in Innovation Systems David Howoldt
Along with increases in the economic relevance, scope and complexity of innovation policy, attention to the concept of the innovation policy mix has surged. Yet, we have limited knowledge about how innovation policy mixes relate to innovation systems. In this paper, I present a new approach to mapping innovation policy mixes and analyze how the prevalence of key elements in these mixes is associated with different aspects of innovation system performance. Moreover, I consider how structural and institutional country characteristics affect this relation. Based on expert survey data on 4.500 policies, my results indicate positive associations between policies for the research system and scientific output, and between policies for private sector innovation and technological output. They indicate that associations between policies for developing the innovation system and aspects of innovation system performance are mixed. My results also suggest that dynamics between different governance levels play into the design of innovation policy mixes. These findings advance the debate about the factors influencing innovation policy design and demonstrate the usefulness of a novel dataset and natural language processing methods for innovation policy studies.

National Science and Innovation Policy: between Curiosity, Market and Mission Aixa Alemán-Díaz
What determines the distribution of national public funding for science and innovation (S&I)? While the literature has described a move towards “mode 2,” with strong focus of applied science and user-involvement, there are also voices emphasizing the value of basic science and “Nobel Prizes”. We trace the changing balance between such ideas in selected national S&I policies. Proposing an analytical framework outlining three ideas about what research should be driven by - “curiosity”, “market”, or “mission” - we analyze their presence over time in selected national S&I policies in the US, China and Denmark in the years 2003-2020. By analyzing 14 national S&I documents, we identify similarities and differences in the presence and influence of these ideas. We also point to inner tensions and changes within each set idea. Contrary to what is often predicted in the literature, we find a co-existence and mutual influence of these ideas over time. We discuss the dynamics behind these patterns and what the implications are for national S&I strategies and public policy. We also contribute to the theoretical understanding of these ideas by proposing the term “isomorphic difference” to capture the simultaneous spread and translation of ideas across contexts

The ECR Webinar Series takes place on the third Thursday of every month until June 2021. The series is free but it requires registration in advance:

The “European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation” (Eu-SPRI Forum) aims to strengthen the vibrant but dispersed interdisciplinary community of researchers focusing on interdisciplinary dimensions related to policy and governance in the field of knowledge creation and innovation. The Eu-SPRI Forum was founded in Paris in June 2010. 


RIO group work published in Research Policy
Assistant Professor Jane Bjørn Vedel, Professor MSO Signe Vikkelsø, Professor Alan Irwin
(Please check publication links below)

jane signe alan


julia kirkegaard

Researcher Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, Department of Wind Energy, DTU (and post doc at IOA/CBS)

New Project: Controversies in the green transition: The case of wind turbine sound and its politicisation (Co-Green)

This project aims to further our understanding of how controversies over green transitions are exacerbated by a technical framing of the green transition and its solutions. Such disengagement of the green transition from politics through “technification” paradoxically leads to politicization and controversy. To examine this, we focus on wind power development, in particular how the matter of wind turbine sound becomes constituted as contestable ‘noise’. Informed by Science & Technology Studies, we explore the various existing forms of knowledge about wind turbine sound. Based on this, we examine how wind turbine sound is politicized in specific wind farm projects. This informs our experimentation with co-creation workshops, to explore how different forms of knowledge of sound can reach consensus. The project contributes to the field of Science Communication by coupling it with transition and social acceptance studies and to controversy studies by combining it with co-creation theory.

Phd Fellowship position: Deadline 8 March, 2021. Apply here
Read more about the new project (TBA)

Read more about another project that Julia Kirch Kirkegaard is also part of at IOA/CBS here (i.e. Green transition through dynamics of problematizations: How forms of expertise influence the financial and social valuation of energy resources in Denmark)


susana og stine

Associate Professor Stine Jessen Haakonsson and Professor Susana Borras
New Project: Public Actors’ Capacities in the Governance of Green Transitions (CAPACITOR)

Public actors (like municipalities, national agencies, public utilities) have been entrusted to reduce CO2 emissions, and are taking the lead in the governance of green transitions. However, the governance of green transitions is complex (coordinating many stakeholders, creating market and institutional contexts for investments, adapting standards and safety regulations, etc.). Hence, public actors need organizational capacities. CAPACITOR project asks, How are public actors developing and using their organizational capacities in the complex governance processes of green transitions? And, What specific combinations of public actors’ capacities are required for achieving green transitions? We will compare 24 in depth cases in the energy and maritime transport sectors, collecting data from 250+ interviews, 24 observations, and 450+ documents. The findings will help developing a theory on public actor’s organizational capacities for green transitions, and identifying deficiencies in current capacities. 








The page was last edited by: Department of Organization // 04/23/2021