Dr Lena J. Jaspersen (née Kruckenberg)

Dr Lena J. Jaspersen (née Kruckenberg)


Profile Overview

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

Since taking up a Fellowship in Innovation Management, Lena has been developing a portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects on medical device innovation. Her first projects investigate categorization dynamics in medical technologies (in collaboration with Dr Sanaz Sigaroudi), and innovation ecosystems developing technology-enabled healthcare solutions for low-resource settings, with a special focus on innovative solutions for urinary incontinence (with Dr Dani Barrington in Civil Engineering). In collaboration with Co-I Dr Samit Chakrabarty (School of Biomedical Sciences), Lena is working on an Impact Acceleration Project on collaborative innovation in community-based rehabilitation in rural India. 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.

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). With co-author Christian Stein, she has recently published a paper presenting a relational framework for the analysis of nexus governance (The Geographical Journal).

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) and has recently published an article on visual methods for qualitative network research in the British Journal of Management (with Christian Stein). 

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).


  • Member of Editorial Board of Journal of Participatory Research Methods
  • Member of ESRC IAA Panel, University of Leeds
  • Reviewer for Energy Policy and California Management Review
  • Co-founder of Management Research Seminar Series @ Leeds

Recent Awards

2021    LITE Fellowship, with Tony Morgan and Louisa Hill, Supporting the new ‘Leeds Curriculum’: Developing an evidence base for digitally enhanced, interdisciplinary, student-centred and team-based learning that enhances employability skills and addresses global innovation challenges in collaboration with external partners.

2018    Best Full Paper Award. British Academy of Management Conference 2018 (Inter-Organizational Collaboration Track). Paper: Inter-organisational Partnership Strategies for Technology Transfer to Marginalised Contexts

2018    Research Development Funding. Project: Open innovation for community-based rehabilitation in rural India, with Samit Chakrabarty. 

2018    Research Development Funding & Civil Engineering Research Development Fund. Project: Open innovation for addressing gendered experiences of incontinence: Developing a patient-led research agenda, with Lata Narayanaswamy & Dani Barrington. 

2018    ESRC International Development NGO Data Impact Acceleration Account. Project: Open innovation for community-based rehabilitation in rural India; PI with Dr Samit Chakrabarty. 15. June 2018 - 15 February 2019. In collaboration with Mobility India, Association for People with Disability (APD) India and Birla Institute of Technology & Science.

2018    ESRC WRDTP Collaborative Studentship, with Owen Johnson. Funding for a three-year PhD or a 1+3 programme covering the cost of fees and maintenance. Project: A culture for success? How the culture of open source communities shapes eHealth solutions for developing countries

 2018    University of Leeds, Interdisciplinary Research Scholarship for a three-year PhD covering the cost of fees and maintenance. Project: Technology innovation and social innovation for the adoption of open-source eHealth systems in urban slums

2017    Small Research Grant. Project: Categorization dynamics in medical technologies, with Sanaz Sigaroudi. Leeds University Business School

2016    Session Leader, Session at 2016 UNESCO Conference on Technologies for Development, 2-4 May, EPFL, Lausanne. Session Title: Social Innovations for Energy Access: Organizing Sustainable Energy for All

2015    White Rose DTC Best Paper 2015, White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre




  • Deputy Director Postgraduate Research Studies - Management
  • LUBS Strategic Review - Digital Cross Cutting Theme Lead

Research interests

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

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 (see profile).

Current Projects:

  • Categorization dynamics in medical technologies, with Dr Sanaz Sigaroudi
  • Collaborative innovation in community-based rehabilitation, with Dr Samit Chakrabarty
  • Understanding the magic of design thinking, with Tony Morgan
  • Breaking the silence on urinary incontinence, with Dr Dani Barrington, Dr Bethan Davies and Isobel Saale
  • Partnership strategies for technology transfer
  • Social networks of hybrid organizations


  • PhD (with Recognition of Research Excellence) in Sustainability Research, University of Leeds
  • MRes/ Diplom  (Distinction) in Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • MA (Distinction) in International Relations, Keele University, UK 

Professional memberships

  • European Group for Organizational Studies
  • British Academy of Management

Student education

1. Qualitative research methods, research design & advanced qualitative methods (UG to PhD level): LUBS5281M Advanced Qualitative Methods (module leader), LUBS5285 Introduction to Research Design and Methods (qualitative methods workshops)

2. Innovation management and design thinking: LUBS3990 – Innovation Thinking and Practice

3. Supervision of dissertations

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Technology Innovation and Engagement

Current postgraduate researchers