Innovation in Living Labs: A Quantum Approach

Main Article Content

Seppo Leminen
Mervi Rajahonka
Mika Westerlund


Living lab research is a well-accepted stream of innovation management literature. Although previous research has documented living labs from a variety of perspectives, the core of living labs and their principles remain largely underexplored. The present study analyses innovation in living labs inspired by the lens of quantum theory and its key concepts, including superposition, entanglement and wave function collapse. More specifically, the study applies insights from quantum theory to improve our understanding of innovation endeavours in living labs. The framework developed in the study illustrates how and why living labs advance innovations: they enhance collisions of individuals with different backgrounds and knowledge, thereby increasing potential realities (superpositions) and their collapses. The study contributes to living lab literature by suggesting that living labs can be seen as a realisation of quantum computing in real-life environments, speeding up innovation activities. While the study explores conceptual aspects, its findings can offer valuable insights for policy makers and practitioners engaged in living labs.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Mervi Rajahonka, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Xamk, Finland.

Mervi Rajahonka, DSc (Econ.), works as an RDI Specialist at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Xamk, Finland, and she is an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University in Canada. She earned her doctoral degree in Logistics from the Department of Information and Service Economy at Aalto University School of Business, Finland. She also holds a Master’s degree in Technology from Helsinki University of Technology and a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include digitalization, business models, service modularity, and service innovations. Her research has been published in a number of journals in the areas of logistics, services, and operations management.

Mika Westerlund, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 5029 Nicol, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada.

Mika Westerlund, DSc (Econ), is an Associate Professor teaching technology innovation management and entrepreneurship at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He previously held positions as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley and in the School of Economics at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. Mika earned his doctoral degree in Marketing from the Helsinki School of Economics in Finland. Mika has published widely as a scholar and his research interests include emerging technologies, practices and phenomena that may have major social, economic, ecological, and other implications on our current and future societies.