A Case Study of the Link between Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Creation in Emerging Technology in China

Peder Veng Søberg

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter explores challenges and enablers for Chinese high-tech startup companies in nascent emerging industries as they pertain to knowledge creation, particularly concerning the development of advanced technical capabilities. Notwithstanding the empirical bias towards big industrial companies in much knowledge creation research, the empirical insights come from a case study in a Chinese startup SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) within the emerging industry of visual intelligence/surveillance systems. The findings, extracted from semi-structured interviews as well as observations, suggest that advanced technical knowledge is difficult to externalise using linguistic verbalisation. In emerging industries, user needs are not always clear and explicit, which necessitates socialising with customers to specify their needs. Using conceptual elements from operations management and neuroscience, the analysis elicits that counter to the prevailing emphasis on linguistic verbalisation and verbal group interaction, field tests and prototypes are better tools for externalisation and the further development of advanced technical knowledge. The upfront taxation of stock options is a barrier, but the lack of consent requirements when collecting information and a willing population makes China an ideal test bed for visual intelligence technologies. The chapter exposes the shortcomings of the existing knowledge creation theory and bridges these with insights on how to overcome them in different contexts. The chapter adds 3-D artefacts and the notion of a pre-linguistic embodiment of tacit knowledge as the necessary but currently missing elements in the SECI model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovativeCapabilities and Globalization of Chinese Firms: Becoming a Leader inInnovation Spaces
EditorsMaureen McKelvey, Jun Jin
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Knowledge creation
  • field test
  • prototype
  • knowledge management
  • visual intelligence
  • externalisation

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