Lena Jaspersen (née Kruckenberg)

University Academic Fellow, Management Division

+44 (0)113 343 5747
Academic, Management, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Engagement (C-Tie), Staff, Research Centres, Divisions
2.20 Charles Thackrah

As an early-career researcher with a multidisciplinary background in international sociology and organisation studies, Lena’s overarching research interests are processes of technology innovation and diffusion in hybrid organisational fields populated by private, public and third sector organisations.

In 2016, Lena was awarded a PhD in Sustainability Research for her study of the role of cross-sector partnerships in creating low-carbon development pathways. Results of her critical analysis of how partnerships can facilitate but also inhibit the adoption of off-grid renewable energy technologies in Central America have been published in Energy for Sustainable Development and Energy Policy, and received the White Rose DTC Best Paper Award 2015. Lena chaired a Breakout Session on ‘Social Innovations for Energy Access’ at 2016 UNESCO Conference on Technologies for Development (EPFL, Lausanne).

Since taking up a fellowship in Innovation Management, Lena has been developing a portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects exploring patterns of medical technology innovation and technology convergence. Her first projects investigate categorization dynamics in medical technologies (for which she obtained Seed Funding from the Leeds University Business School), and innovation ecosystems developing technology-enabled healthcare solutions for low-resource settings, with a special focus on eHealth and incontinence. Together with Owen Johnson (School of Computing) and Dr Rebecca Randell (School of Healthcare), Lena has obtained funding for two PhD scholarships on technology innovation and social innovation for the adoption of open-source eHealth systems in developing countries.

With a strong interest in research methods, Lena works on participatory methods and visual tools that can enhance the collection of both qualitative and quantitative network data. She has become co-author of ‘Management and Business Research’ (with Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson) which is about to be published in its 6th edition by Sage Publications.

Together with colleagues working on global development, Lena has further published an interdisciplinary volume on conducting field research in development contexts (‘Understanding Global Development Research’). She has also written an organisational ethnography of the work of the oldest UN human rights treaty monitoring body, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (‘An Unreal World’).


  • PhD (with Recognition of Research Excellence) in Sustainability Research, University of Leeds; funded by the University of Leeds, the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Society of Latin American Studies.
  • Work experience in academic research and administration (University of Leeds, Keele University, University College Dublin, Bielefeld University)
  • MRes/ Diplom  (Distinction) in Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • MA (Distinction) in International Relations, Keele University, UK

Having joined the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Engagement (C-Tie) in September 2016, Lena works on a series of research projects investigating processes of technology innovation and social innovation in the field of medical technology. Current research focusses on technology categorization and regulation, the influence of regulation on innovation strategies in medical technology, and strategies for managing medical device innovation in complex innovation ecosystems.

Drawing on her background in international development cooperation, Lena is developing a project on the role of social enterprises in innovation ecosystems developing eHealth solutions for low-resource settings. In this context, Lena also works on visual methods for more agency-oriented qualitative research on inter-organisational partnerships and networks.

Research Interests:

  • Technology innovation; technology transfer; medical technology; medical device regulation; categorization processes; innovation networks & partnerships; innovation management; relational theory; renewable energy technologies
  • Hybrid organisations; sustainable development;  social entrepreneurship; global/local partnerships; international development cooperation; knowledge-power dynamics in North-South partnerships
  • Qualitative research methods, in particular ethnographic & participatory methods; visual network research; agent-based modelling

Qualitative research methods, research design & advanced qualitative methods

Innovation management and design thinking (with Tony Morgan, IBM)

Corporate strategy

Introduction to qualitative data analysis software, Atlas.ti

Supervision of dissertations

Lena is currently advertising an ESRC WRDTP Collaborative Studentship: engineering.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunity/201323/research-degrees/2615/a-culture-for-success

Supervision of PhD students in the following areas:

  • Qualitative research methods, in particular ethnographic & participatory methods; visualisation techniques; mixed-methods research (including agent-based modelling)
  • Technology innovation; technology transfer; regulation; innovation networks & partnerships; renewable energy technologies; medical technologies; eHealth
  • Network research and relational theory; cross-sector partnerships; NGO-business relations; hybrid organisations
  • Sustainability, sustainable development; social innovation; knowledge-power dynamics
  • International development cooperation; NGOs; aid industry; human rights; social entrepreneurship

Central America/ South America

  • Administration of cross-divisional ‘Technology Innovation’ research group
  • Management Division representative on the Faculty of Business Enhancement Group
  • Medtech4dev@leeds initiative
  • Supervision of dissertation projects

Forthcoming publications:

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., Jackson, P. & Jaspersen, L.  2018. Management and business research (6th ed.). London: Sage. See: uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/management-and-business-research/book258074

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles 

Kruckenberg, L. J. (2015) Renewable energy partnerships in development cooperation: Towards a relational understanding of technical assistance. Energy Policy, 77, 11-20. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2014.11.004 

Kruckenberg, L.J. (2015) North-South partnerships for sustainable energy: Knowledge-power relations in development assistance for renewable energy. Energy for Sustainable Development, 29, 91-99. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.11.004 


Crawford, G., Kruckenberg, L.J., Loubere, N. & Morgan, R. (2017) Understanding research in global development. Fieldwork issues, experiences and reflections. London: SAGE 

Kruckenberg, L.J. (2012) The UNreal world of human rights. An ethnography of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Baden-Baden: Nomos. 

Book Chapters 

Crawford, G., Kruckenberg, L. J., Loubere, N., & Morgan, R. (2017) Global Development Fieldwork: A Relational Perspective. In G. Crawford, L. J. Kruckenberg, N. Loubere & R. Morgan (Eds.), Understanding research in global development. Fieldwork issues, experiences and reflections. London: SAGE Publications, 3-24. 

Kruckenberg, L. J., Crawford, G., Loubere, N., & Morgan, R. (2017) Towards a Relational Understanding of Development Research. In G. Crawford, L. J. Kruckenberg, N. Loubere & R. Morgan (Eds.), Understanding research in global development. Fieldwork issues, experiences and reflections. London: SAGE Publications, 225-250. 

Mosse, D., & Kruckenberg, L. J. (2017) Beyond the Ivory Tower: Researching Development Practice. In G. Crawford, L. J. Kruckenberg, N. Loubere & R. Morgan (Eds.), Understanding research in global development. Fieldwork issues, experiences and reflections. London: SAGE Publications, 193-211. 

Pfaff-Czarnecka, J., & Kruckenberg, L. J. (2017) On the Margins of World Society: Working with Impoverished, Excluded and Marginalised People. In G. Crawford, L. J. Kruckenberg, N. Loubere & R. Morgan (Eds.), Understanding research in global development. Fieldwork issues, experiences and reflections. London: SAGE Publications, 91-108. 

Kruckenberg, L. (2010) Politics of Difference and Activism at Intersections: Romani Women in Eastern and Central Europe. In: Y.-L. Lee, (Ed.): The Politics of Gender. A Survey. London: Routledge, 25-45. 

Reports & Proceedings 

Pandza, K., Kruckenberg, L. & Lawrence, M. (2015) Innovation Strategy Framework: Evaluating Opportunities in Healthcare Technologies. Consultancy Report. Centre for Technology Innovation and Engagement, University of Leeds. 

Loubere, N., Morgan, R., Kruckenberg, L.J., De Beukelaer, C.M. & Hernandez Montes De Oca, P. (Eds.) RiDNet Practical Fieldwork Notes: Conducting Fieldwork in Development Contexts: Reflexive Approaches to Practical Issues, University of Leeds, 27 Sep 2012. RiDNet Practical Fieldwork Notes. University of Leeds, Leeds, 2012. 

Ahrweiler, P., Brandes, A. & Kruckenberg, L. (2008) R&D Governance Rules of the EU Framework Programmes: The EURuleD Archive. NEMO Working Paper 6.

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