Integrating professional and academic knowledge: The link between researchers’ skills and innovation culture
Approaches to innovation have been thoroughly studied in the last decades. It’s well understood that an organizations’ culture is among the crucial factors for success and renewal of organizations. Yet culture is made by people and their attitudes. Innovation culture requires skills and competence by employees which are presumably beyond the traditional basic knowledge taught at undergraduate, graduate and post graduate level. This is even more evident for university graduates who’re mainly finding professional careers in the private sector who has special requirements to employees. Graduates’ skills are strongly influenced by curricula and the cultural values and norms outside curricula transferred by universities to students. But frequently these skills are designed by universities without profound knowledge of the actual skills required. At the same time organizations acting as potential graduates’ employers value researcher skills and competencies differently from how these are perceived. The paper suggests that understanding the professional and universal skills of researchers perceived and needed is one element of innovation culture. Thereby the skills in discussion go beyond purely academic skills only; instead it is proposed that skills which increase the absorptive capacity of companies are crucial for implementing effective productive innovation management.