New associate professor to strengthen research into the social dynamics of innovation
In August, Ghita Dragsdahl Lauritzen was appointed associate professor at the Department of Sociology, where she will be working at the intersection of sociology and innovation. She brings a multifaceted academic background – and practical experience as game designer.
Often innovation is encouraged as something positive, but most attention is directed towards technological and commercial solutions, and less towards the social dynamics of innovation processes.
However, it is this under-exposed area that is at the centre of Ghita Dragsdahl Lauritzen's work. As a new associate professor at the Department of Sociology, she focuses on how social conflicts can limit and drive innovation processes, including how unexpected and unanticipated effects may follow.
"There is a tendency within the innovation field to focus on solutions and less on how we identify problems and what new forms of complexity innovation projects and new technologies bring. In this context, sociology plays a key role in providing a critical perspective on how we innovate," as she puts it herself.
Ghita Dragsdahl Lauritzen brings many years of experience working with innovation both in commercial, public, and academic environments, which also includes practical experience: For example, as a game designer, she has used management simulations to support innovation in organisations.
Her academic career builds on a bachelor’s degree from Roskilde University in social science studies and philosophy, a master’s degree from CBS in political communication and management, and a PhD in technology and innovation management from DTU. As a researcher, she has been part of professional environments at DTU Management Engineering, MIT Sloan School of Management (USA), University of Cambridge (UK), CBS Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy and UCPH Science.
At the Department of Sociology, Ghita Dragsdahl Lauritzen is preparing a new project on socially vulnerable citizens' encounters with the welfare state.
This project involves social conflicts, but also expands beyond her innovation research. Together with colleagues from Aalborg University, she will, among other things, examine how conflicting experiences of time between vulnerable citizens and their professional social workers effect the benefits of welfare initiatives. For example, some social benefit receivers experience a more 'stagnant' and circular time compared to more linear time descriptions among social workers who focus on the individual's development potential.