In order to coordinate mega-events such as the Olympic Games, the
transfer of specialist knowledge from a global organisation like the
IOC to the local level of host cities is a key factor. This transfer
of knowledge presents a major challenge, since it requires bridging
scale levels from the global to the local and adapting knowledge of
how to host the same mega-event to ever new local contexts. What
adds to the challenge is the tight time frame and the massive scale
of mega-events which require completely new forms of organisation
This project proposes to examine how knowledge on the organisation of mega-events circulates between the organising committees, the IOC and FIFA as well as third parties and how, in the course of this circulation, it is adapted to varying contexts and put into practice. It compares the practices of knowledge transfer, adaptation and application for the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 as well as the Football World Cup 2014 in Brazil and 2018 in Russia with regard to three key questions:
1) How and where does knowledge circulate?
2) How is knowledge adapted and put into practice in local contexts?
3) When and why does knowledge transfer work ‘according to plan’? When and why does it produce unintended effects?
In order to capture the social and material substance of the knowledge networks and trace the emerging processes of association, the project will draw on a combination of organisational ethnography, qualitative interviewing and quantitative survey research.
Focussing on how immutable mobile carriers of knowledge create what Bruno Latour, Michel Callon and John Law have dubbed an actor-network, this project contributes to an emerging research agenda around actor-network theory (ANT) and the circulation of knowledge within economic geography, organisation studies as well as planning and urban studies. On the empirical side, it aims to work towards a better understanding of the circumstances under which knowing practices evolve and are shaped in the transient, translocal settings that have become more and more commonplace through the proliferation of projects in the modern organisation of work.
knowledge management, knowledge transfer, knowledge governance, mega-events, host cities, actor-network theory, networks
|type||fundamental research project|
|start of project||2013|
|end of project||2017|
cities, knowledge transfer, knowledge governance, mega-events, host
cities, actor-network theory, Olympic Games
ethnography, qualitative interviews, regression
|profile area||SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Märkte (KIM)|