The Role of Boundary Objects in Public-Private Innovation Networks The Story of Næstved Health School

  • John Damm Scheuer
Part of the Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy book series (SSRI)


This case study concerns a public-private collaboration in 2005–2008 between a private company, Falck Healthcare, and a municipality, Næstved commune, aimed at establishing a health school. The health school organised training courses of 10 weeks for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), type 2 diabetes and heart failure. The school was developed, tested out for a short period and then closed. The research project described and analysed the process through which the health school was established and showed how the inability of involved actors to construct an attractive boundary object may explain the lack of further public-private collaboration around the health school and thus the project’s lack of success. Boundary objects are objects that exist at the points where various social worlds meet in an arena of mutual concern. They have different meanings in different social worlds but their structure is common enough to make them recognisable, and a means of translation. Data were generated by means of document studies, interviews and talks with key actors.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Boundary Object Health School Conceptual Innovation Municipal Council 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Damm Scheuer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication, Business and Information TechnologiesRoskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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