[Journal:] Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity [ISSN:] 2199-8531 [Volume:] 3 [Year:] 2017 [Issue:] 1 [Pages:] 1-16
This study aims to find the factors of scientists' creative thoughts by observing directly their laboratories in Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT). The participant observation was performed for 5 months from December 2013 through April 2014, and the research object was the lab which had been selected both as Top KRICT laboratory and Top National R&D Project. For in-depth examination, the target lab was supposed to be observed for a long time, taking part in the lab meetings, interviewing the researchers. From the interview data, Protocol analysis or Verbal data analysis was employed to analyze the recorded data. The research results are as follows. First, as several studies had suggested, the frequent use of analogies was verified as an important source for scientists' creative thoughts, in that those analogies were used for 12 times in 2 lab meetings, which was 6 times per each. Secondly, the frequent appearance of unexpected findings was found, that is, 8 out of 15 experiment findings were unexpected. We found that the scientists pay close attention to the unexpected findings in that 67 out of 88 intra-group interactions were about the unexpected findings, and 21 out of 24 individual reasoningblocks were about the unexpected findings. Finally, we found that the seeds of new knowledge and ideas sprouted and spread through the distributed reasoning process, which is the major characteristic of modern science that is generally conducted by group of scientists. The findings have two theoretical implications. First, it may increase the availability of Ikujiro Nonaka's knowledge-creation model by adding another case study. It may also contribute to balance between supply-side and demand-side perspective of Innovation. System studies by supplementing supply-side perspective.