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Boosting Organizational Research Capacity with Research Accelerator

In February 2020 Haaga-Helia took serious steps to strengthen its organizational research profile. The research accelerator was established to boost our organizational research capacity.


Published : 01.04.2020

The new engaging forum of research enthusiasts has three main goals 1) to develop further the research culture in Haaga-Helia, 2) to embed research in our daily work (processes) and last but not least 3) to enhance co-writing, co-publishing as well as co-researching through projects and international networking and partnering. Through these activities the research accelerator enhances the research abilities of our experts and continuously develops and tests our systems, processes and labs to ensure that Haaga-Helia has the capacity to conduct and disseminate high quality research also in the future.

As a first step the amazing group of approximately 100 research experts & enthusiasts re-generated the elements of the Haaga-Helia research culture. Our research culture supports and is part of Haaga-Helia’s organizational culture that keeps evolving during times. The specialty of the research culture is that it provides an open space where meetings without agendas take place. It aims for valued research that turns into action in cross-cultural research teams that keep changing. Inside those teams happens inspiring, sharing, changing of thoughts, co-writing and flexibility. That sounds quite attractive, doesn’t it?

The meaning of professional networks has grown in recent years, thanks to social media. They are important places of cross-organizational capacity building where the learning of individuals and organizations is the key to growth. In these spaces, trust and rapport are quickly established and attitudes and skills are successfully and continuously developed in positive social contexts. A culture between different departments or organizations starts to shape – towards an ecosystem culture. In that culture several new future capabilities pop out – and some of them are vital for organizations to survive. Therefore, establishing overlapping spaces and networks that stretch outside organization borders supports the probing and forecasting of those vital capabilities.

By setting up our Research Accelerator – the communal space for co-research, co-writing and co-publishing, we managed to inspire our researchers and staff members even more than we expected. The knowledge sharing went high up and the need for a “research tinder” was loud and clear (a tool to match our researchers). This only shows how important it is for an organization to remember to recognize the skilled experts and their special competences – and to utilize their expertise in things they are good at. All in all, Research Accelerator seems to be a great place to generate new insights, boost innovative ideas and continuously learn something new – Furthermore, it also supports the development of our organizational structures and leadership practices enabling innovations in practice. Hence, it builds our innovation capacity further in the long run.

To sum-up, here are three tips how to get started with your research capacity strengthening:

  1. Create an open space for research-oriented meetings without agendas to enable innovative ideas.
  2. Measure capacity regularly together. – Utilize researchers’ skills and existing cross-functional tools, such as HEInnovate.
  3. Make sure that strengthening of the research capacity is supported by the directors and keep them involved.