Faculty Profile

Heidi Wiig

Professor - Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship


Professor Heidi Wiig holds a MA in Political Science with a major in International Political Economy from the University of Oslo, and a PhD in Economic Geography from Lund University, Sweden. Currently she holds the position as Associate Dean for BI's operations in China, with a special responsibility for the academic and pedagogical standard, the market relevance and delivery of the BI-Fudan program (Shanghai) and the BI-Tsinghua Educational Program for Entrepreneurs (Beijing).

She has for several years carried out research in the field of innovation studies and her core research competence is related to regional industrial development and studies of innovation dynamics in specific sectors. In recent years she has had a special emphasize on global innovation networks and structural determinants for such activity.

Wiig has carried out numerous research projects, including evaluations of public organizations and policy initiatives, leading to more than 40 reports, book chapters and articles. She has been leading, coordinating and taking part in several research projects financed by both national (Norwegian research council, Innovation Norway, different ministries and county councils) and international sources (EU, OECD), of which many include partners from the Norwegian as well as the international research milieus in the field.


Martin, Roman; Aslesen, Heidi, Grillitsch, Markus & Herstad, Sverre Johan (2018)

Regional innovation systems and global knowledge flows

Isaksen, Arne; Martin, Roman & Trippl, Michaela (red.). New Avenues for Regional Innovation Systems - Theoretical Advances, Empirical Cases and Policy Lessons

The literature on regional innovation systems emphasizes the role of the region as locus for interactive learning and knowledge exchange, stressing the importance of (geographical) proximity for innovation. Even though the importance of extra-regional knowledge is widely acknowledged, there has been only little emphasis on the particular role and the nature of global knowledge flows. The aim of this chapter is to explore the differentiated nature of global knowledge flows in regional innovation systems. We provide an overview of the different ways firms can gain access to global knowledge sources. Identified knowledge sourcing channels include international R&D collaborations, foreign direct investments, personally embedded relationships, international mobility of skilled labour, virtual communities and online platforms, and the participation in temporary clusters such as fairs, exhibitions, and conferences. Depending on regional innovation system preconditions, firms use and combine different knowledge sourcing channels to access global knowledge. Firms in organisationally thick and diversified regional innovation systems have a geographical advantage in accessing knowledge globally, but even firms in peripheral areas can exchange knowledge worldwide, due to improved means of transport and communication at distance. Furthermore, not only multinational companies that are dominated by analytical or synthetic knowledge bases, but even small and medium sized enterprises in symbolic industries are often deeply involved in global knowledge sourcing activities. We illustrate our arguments with interview data collected among New Media firms in southern Sweden and in the Oslo Region in Norway.

Aslesen, Heidi & Pettersen, Inger Beate (2017)

Entrepreneurial firms in STI and DUI mode clusters: do they need differentiated cluster facilitation?

European Planning Studies, 25(6), s. 904- 922. Doi: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1300238

Aslesen, Heidi; Hydle, Katja Maria & Wallevik, Kristin (2017)

Extra-regional linkages through MNCs in organizationally thick and specialized RISs: a source of new path development?

European Planning Studies, 25(3), s. 443- 461. Doi: 10.1080/09654313.2016.1273322

Njøs, Rune; Jakobsen, Stig-Erik, Aslesen, Heidi & Fløysand, Arnt (2017)

Encounters between cluster theory, policy and practice in Norway: Hubbing, blending and conceptual stretching

European Urban and Regional Studies, 24(3), s. 274- 289. Doi: 10.1177/0969776416655860

For more than two decades, cluster theory has served as a basis for widespread implementation of regional development policies in several countries. However, there are still persistent struggles in academia towards agreement on clear operational definitions of a cluster. In this article, we argue that this definitional haziness, reflected by difficulties in demarcating the scale and scope of clusters, leads to a stretching of the cluster concept when put into practice. We show how actors, through cluster projects, are utilizing strategies of “hubbing” and/or “blending” to develop their own understandings of both what clusters are and what they might or should be. Through studies of three Norwegian cluster projects, we argue that national cluster policies, through translation of an academically vague concept, facilitate a stretching of the original definition of clusters, giving regional stakeholders leeway to integrate other theoretical rationales instead. We argue that this is not taken into account in current policies.

Aslesen, Heidi & Isaksen, Arne (2016)

Clusters initiatives, open innovation and knowledge bases

Shearmur, Richard; Carrincazeaux, Christophe & Doloreux, David (red.). Handbook on the Geographies of Innovation

Aslesen, Heidi & Harirchi, Gouya (2015)

The effect of local and global linkages on the innovativeness in ICT SMEs: does location-specific context matter?

Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 27(9-10), s. 644- 669. Doi: 10.1080/08985626.2015.1059897

Aslesen, Heidi & Isaksen, Arne (2014)

Klynger for enhver pris? Kunnskapsbaser og innovasjonssamarbeid

Johnsen, Hans Christian Garmann & Amundsen, Ivar (red.). Forskning møter praksis

Herstad, Sverre Johan; Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Ebersberger, Bernd (2014)

On industrial knowledge bases, commercial opportunities and global innovation network linkages

Research Policy, 43(3), s. 495- 504. Doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.08.003

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Freel, Mark (2012)

Industrial Knowledge Bases as Drivers of Open Innovation?

Industry and Innovation, 19(7), s. 563- 584. Doi: 10.1080/13662716.2012.726807

The article presents an analysis of a large-scale survey with the aim of understanding differences in the open, interactive and distributed nature of external innovation relations amongst firms belonging to different industrial knowledge bases. The thesis is that the source of critical innovation relevant knowledge differs between industrial knowledge bases, making the character and the need of openness contingent on these specificities. Accordingly, we anticipate that we will observe systematic variations in how industries access and combine innovation-related external knowledge. In our analyses we attempt to address a gap in the literature by examining how industrial knowledge bases affect the recombination of knowledge by analysing the different extents, forms (formal and informal) and geography of inbound open innovation. The article illustrates that features and structures of inbound open innovation align, to a large extent, with the industries' knowledge bases and that there is a interplay between an industry's knowledge base, the internal organisation of innovation processes and the channels and geography of inbound open innovation.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig; Isaksen, Arne & Karlsen, James Tommy (2012)

Modes of innovation and differentiated responses to globalisation - A case study of innovation modes in the Agder region, Norway

Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 3(4), s. 389- 405. Doi: 10.1007/s13132-011-0060-9

The main argument of this paper is that firms and industries are dominated by different innovation modes and that they therefore respond differently to challenges of globalisation. The paper differentiates between three modes: science, technology and innovation (STI), doing, using and interacting (DUI) application mode and the DUI technological mode. These innovation modes are based on different dominant knowledge bases, modes of learning and external knowledge. What is the implication of these differences with regard to competing in a global economy? Our empirical research shows that firms innovating according to the DUI application mode are in a position of negative lock-in due to severe competition from low-cost countries. The DUI technological mode firms are globally competitive due to a strong regional technological base built upon broad collaboration and a mixed innovation strategy. The STI firms are often part of international or national corporations, with a constant threat of being relocated to another country if they are not globally competitive.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig (2011)

Roles of KISA in aquaculture in Norway

Martinez-Fernandez, Cristina; Miles, Ian & Weyman, Tamara (red.). The knowledge economy at work: skills and innovation in knowledge intensive service activities

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Isaksen, Arne (2010)

Knowledge-Intensive Business Services as Knowledge Mediators in Different Regional Contexts: The Case of Norway

Doloreux, David (red.). Knowledge-Intensive Business Services : Geography and Innovation

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig (2009)

The Innovation system of Norwegian aquacultured salmonids

Fagerberg, Jan; Mowery, David & Verspagen, Hubertus (red.). Innovation, path dependency and policy. The Norwegian case

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig (2008)

Heterogeneity and knowledge-intensive business services in the city

Carayannis, Elias G.; Kaloudis, Aris & Mariussen, Åge (red.). Diversity in the Knowledge Economy and Society: Heterogeneity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig (2008)

Kunnskapsintensiv forretningsmessig tjenesteyting og storbyer - hva er sammenhengen?

Isaksen, A. A. Karlsen og B. Sæther (red), Innovasjoner i norske næringer - et geografisk perspektiv

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Jakobsen, S (2007)

The role of proximity and knowledge interaction between head offices and KIBS

Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 98(2), s. 188- 201.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig (2004)

Knowledge Intensive Business Services and Regional Development. Consultancy in city regions in Norway

Cooke, Philip & Piccaluga, Andrea (red.). Regional Economies as Knowledge Laboratories

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Isaksen, Arne (2001)

“Oslo, in what way a creative city”

European Planning Studies, 9(7), s. 871- 887. Doi: 10.1080/09654310120079814

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Widding, Lars Øystein (2012)

Entreprenørskap kan læres

DagensNæringsliv [Avis]

Isaksen, Arne; Fløysand, Arnt, Asheim, Bjørn Terje, Aslesen, Heidi, Hydle, Katja Maria, Gjelsvik, Martin, Tveterås, Ragnar, Normann, Roger Henning, Fitjar, Rune Dahl, Jakobsen, Stig-Erik, Herstad, Sverre Johan, Thune, Taran Mari & Iakovleva, Tatiana A (1)

Innovasjons- og næringslivsforskning ved et veiskille

Forskningspolitikk [Kronikk]

Aslesen, Heidi (2017)

Regional institutions and organizations and the interrelatedness with global knowledge exchange. The new media industry in Scandinavia and Beijing.

[Academic lecture]. IBEGIN CONFERENCE.

Aslesen, Heidi (2017)

“Dynamic knowledge linkages and extended innovation spaces”

[Academic lecture]. DRUID17 Annual conference.

Aslesen, Heidi; Herstad, Sverre Johan, Grillitsch, Markus & Martin, Roman (2016)

Regional Innovation Systems and Global Flows of Knowledge

[Academic lecture]. Regional Innovation Policies Conference 2016.

Aslesen, Heidi; Hydle, Katja Maria & Nygaard, Vigdis (2016)

Innovating in MNCs Innovation modes and outcomes at play

[Academic lecture]. International Regional Innovation Policy Seminar.

Aslesen, Heidi; Zukauskaite, Elena & Liu, Ju (2016)

Global knowledge exchange in Scandinavia and China: On the role of institutions and organizations

[Academic lecture]. International Regional Innovation Policy Seminar.

Aslesen, Heidi; Hydle, Katja Maria & Wallevik, Kristin (2016)

Extra-regional linkages through MNCs in organizationally thick and specialized RIS; a source of regional development?

[Academic lecture]. AAG Annual Meeting 2016.

Aslesen, Heidi & Sardo, Stefania (2016)

Extended space as sources for innovation and regional development

[Academic lecture]. AAG Annual Meeting 2016.

Aslesen, Heidi & Pettersen, Inger Beate (2015)

Investigating innovation dynamics in the biotech and subsea industry. How can cluster facilitation aid young firms with radical innovations

[Academic lecture]. Konferanse.

Hydle, Katja Maria; Aslesen, Heidi & Wallevik, Kristin (2015)

Dispersed headquarters’ strategizing for innovation

[Academic lecture]. Strategic Management Society.

Pettersen, Inger Beate & Aslesen, Heidi (2014)

Investigating innovation dynamics in the biotech and subsea industry. How can cluster facilitation aid young firms with radical innovations?

[Academic lecture]. Regional Innovation Policies Conference, RIP.

Hydle, Katja Maria; Aslesen, Heidi & Wallevik, Kristin (2014)

Innovation activities in relation to intra-firm characteristics and geographic patterns

[Academic lecture]. 9th Regional Innovation Policies Conference.

Njøs, Rune; Jakobsen, Stig-Erik, Aslesen, Heidi & Fløysand, Arnt (2014)

Encounters between cluster theory and practice: ‘Hubbing’, ‘blending’ and conceptual stretching

[Academic lecture]. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Herstad, Sverre Johan (2013)

North-South dividing lines in the global innovation network linkages of ICTs” (revised version). Heidi Wiig Aslesen, Sverre Herstad

[Academic lecture]. Paper presented at AAG2013.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Herstad, Sverre Johan (2012)

North-South dividing lines in the global innovation network linkages of ICTs

[Academic lecture]. Globelics International Conference.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Iversen, Eric James (2012)

“Sectoral dynamics and global innovation networks in a North South perspective”

[Academic lecture]. American Association of Geographers - årlig konferanse.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Herstad, Sverre Johan (2012)

North-South dividing lines in the global innovation network linkages of ICTs

[Academic lecture]. 10th Globelics International Conference.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig; Astroza, Alessandro & Gulbrandsen, Magnus (2009)

Multinational companies embedded in national innovation systems in developing countries: the case of Norwegian fish farming multinationals in Chile

[Academic lecture]. GLOBELICS 2009. 7th International conference.

Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Onsager, Knut (2009)

Knowledge bases, open innovation and city regions

[Academic lecture]. The DRUID Society Summer Conference.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2006 University of Lund Ph.D Fil. Dr
1993 University of Oslo Master Cand. Polit.
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2018 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Associate Dean BI-Fudan MBA Programme
2011 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Professor
2008 - 2011 BI Norwegian Business School Associate professor
2004 - 2008 NIFU STEP Senior researcher, Leader of the the programme area Innovation studies
2003 - 2004 SINTEF STEP Senior researcher, group leader, Innovation studies
1994 - 2003 Step-Group Researcher
1991 - 1994 Norsk Regnesentral Research Assistent
1990 - 1991 United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations (UNCTC). New York Intern and research assistant/consultant