PhD Research Fellowship in co-creation, innovation, and firm performance

Deadline: 07.03.2024

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University) is home to over 16,000 students and 1,500 employees, and has campuses in Lillehammer, Hamar, Elverum, Rena, Evenstad and Blæstad.

INN University aspires to build strong and enduring academic and research environments that will spearhead regionally, nationally and internationally. We are developing a new and better institution with high academic and pedagogical quality, aiming at achieving university accreditation by 2025.

Our vision is "Stronger Together".

Inland School of Business and Social Sciences invites candidates to apply for a PhD Research Fellowship in co-creation, innovation, and firm performance

About the position

Inland School of Business and Social SciencesThe PhD program Innovation in Services in the Public and Private Sectors (INSEPP), invites candidates to apply for a three-year PhD research fellowship. The candidate will contribute to the broad field of innovation studies, focusing specifically on how co-creation in innovation processes affects firm performance. Depending on the faculty`s needs, and the candidate`s competence and preferences, employment can be made for a 4-year position, including 25 % teaching.

The purpose of the PhD Research Fellowship for the admitted candidate is to undergo a research training programme that leads to the successful completion of a doctoral degree. The candidate must apply to the PhD programme INSEPP and is expected to participate actively in INSEPP’s activities.

The candidate will be part of the Department of Business Administration. In addition to INSEPP, this milieu represents a valuable resource to the PhD studies. There are also various research groups that the candidate can participate in. The most relevant are; the REDINN-project group (who administrates the data that the candidate is going to work with) and the Business Analytics research group.

The place of work for this position is the Lillehammer Campus.

About the project

Research idea and background:

Interest in improving value for customers has grown in the last decade, and the literature argues that users should be involved in developing new services to create more value (S. L. Vargo & Lusch, 2004; Stephen L. Vargo & Lusch, 2007). In other words, innovation can benefit from co-creation with users, where co-creation involves direct interaction with relevant stakeholders such as users and customers (Loureiro, Romero, & Bilro, 2020). However, little is known about how such co-creation affects firm performance in the long run.

The focus of this PhD project is to quantitatively examine the impacts of co-creation on the innovation and performance of service firms. It also extensively investigates this relationship among the innovation types, various industries, and subsectors, such as Knowledge-Intensive Business Services relative to other services. The objective is to uncover how and in what context co-creation can enhance innovation and firm performance.

The literature reveals substantial gaps in this area. Zhang & Chen (2008) highlighted the theoretical and empirical research gaps regarding the operations research of the co-creation system, particularly in understanding the mechanisms to attain new competence through customer co-creation. Otchere et al. (2019) suggested further investigation into value co-creation and specific innovation performance. While Dada et al. (2021) and Dong et al. (2020) contributed to addressing the research gaps by investigating firm performance impacts of radical innovation and small and medium-scale firms, considerable gaps persist in these domains, including the dynamics of organizational capabilities and their effects on innovation and firm performance.

The PhD project aims to address these gaps using data from the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) and accounting data of Norwegian firms. The fact is that innovation surveys up to date have lacked measures for co-creation with users until the CIS implemented questions addressing whether customers have had an active role in conceptualizing, designing, and developing of new products or services together with the firm (CIS 2018 and 2020). This makes the new data relevant and up-to-date for addressing the mentioned research gaps. For more information about the CIS data, please visit here. Also, we can mention that the 2018 and 2020 CIS include measures on environmental innovation in addition to product - and business-process innovation, allowing innovation analysis with a sustainability focus.

It is desired that candidates who apply write a project description based on above insights. At the same time, candidates are also free to develop the idea further in desired direction.

Competency requirements

Formal competencies:

  • The person to be appointed must have a master’s degree with good grades and of relevance for the announced position. I.e. education within the field of innovation and/or marketing and/or economics.
  • The master’s degree must be composed of 120 ECTS, including a master's thesis of at least 30 ECTS cf. the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s (NOKUT) requirements for admission to PhD education at Norwegian universities and INN’s PhD regulation. As a rule, the average grade must be B or better.
  • Applicants with a master’s degree from universities abroad, must attach “Recognition of foreign higher education” from Directorate of Higher Education and Skills (HK-Dir). Instructions on how to get this master’s degree assessed and approved are given on NOKUT`s website, cf. https://hkdir.no/en/foreign-education
  • Expertise in relevant ICT applications in the PhD program and possibly in teaching.

Personal competencies and experience:

  • Ability to work independently and purposefully but also have a command of cooperation on research tasks and publishing.
  • Expertise in relevant ICT software and statistics program
  • Expertise in statistical/econometric analysis, such as regression analysis, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM), logistic regression or others. Candidates with experience in Frontier analysis (SFA/DEA) or expertise in set-theoretic methodology (Qualitative Comparative Analysis/QCA) are welcoming candidates, but there is no requirement to have these skills.
  • Research experience acquired after completing the master’s degree is considered favourable but not a requirement.

Language proficiency:

  • Oral and written English is required. In addition, it may be necessary to have command of a Nordic or Scandinavian language.

For information on PhD position in general, see Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, research fellow, research assistant and specialist candidate.

Evaluation of candidates for the position will be based on a total assessment of educational background, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation and other eligibility requirements, as defined in the advertisement. In addition, the following will be emphasized: quality of the project description, documented independent research and development work or experience relevant to the project.

The position and associated tasks must be carried out in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations for government employees, including also the Act on Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology, etc. Candidates who, after assessment of the application and attachments, come into conflict with the criteria in the latter act, will not be able to take up the position at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Necessary approvals must be maintained throughout the employment relationship.

How to apply

Relevant applications will be considered by an expert committee. 

The application and all attachments are to be submitted electronically and should include the following:

  • The applicant must submit a project proposal with a progress plan (in Norwegian or English, 5-7 pages) that explains how the research work will be carried out and addresses academic relevance, challenges, and possibilities within the project. The PhD research fellow hired will, in collaboration with a supervisor, prepare a complete project proposal creating the basis for admission to the PhD program. The project proposal plays an important part in evaluating applicants and must show how the project will lead to a successful completion of a doctoral degree within four years.
  • Application letter
  • CV (summarizing education, job positions, and academic work)
  • Other work that is relevant for the application
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas for the whole bachelor’s and master’s degree. An English translation of all education documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian/Scandinavian.
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons.
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF)

Attachments must be uploaded as separate files. If the attachments exceed 30 MB, they must be compressed prior to upload. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all attachments are uploaded. Documents submitted after expiry of the deadline will not be considered in the evaluation of your application.

We offer

  • An academically stimulating and supportive work environment at a developing institution. Possibility of professional development in an exciting academic research environment.
  • Position is paid and placed in position code 1017, PhD candidate in the Government Salary Scale
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension, with among other things, good pension and insurance schemes.

For more information about INN University as an employer, please see here.

General information

HINN believes that there is strength in inclusion and diversity. We desire employees with different competencies, professional combinations, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to an even better way of solving problems. We will facilitate for employees who need assistance to realise their goals. Relevant adaptations can be, for example, technical aids, adapting furniture or adjusting routines, work tasks and working hours.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, gaps in the CV or immigrant background, we shall call at least one applicant in each of these categories for an interview. In order to be considered as an applicant in these groups, the applicants must meet certain requirements. You can read more on this here.

We encourage applicants to tick in Jobbnorge if they have a disability, a gap in their CV or immigrant background. The ticks in the jobseeker portal form the basis for anonymised statistics that all state-owned enterprises report in their annual reports

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Apply for position

Questions about the position

  • Anne Jørgensen Nordli (Postdoctoral Fellow), +47 976 917 36, anne.nordli@inn.no
  • Martin Rønningen (PhD-leader), +47 612 883 18, martin.ronningen@inn.no
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