Seppo Poutanen

Senior Research Fellow

From 1. 1. 2018Poutanen kuva.JPG
Management and Information

Systems Science (shared)

Areas of expertise

-sociology of science, research policy and innovations
-economic sociology
-sociology of health and illness
-methodology of social sciences
-social theory
-social epistemology


Tel.: +358 40 723 8993
Office: Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, 4th floor, room 4.17b


Seppo is trained both in philosophy and in sociology. He is Docent of sociology from University of Turku (2007–). He has acted as Researcher of Academy of Finland, Post-Doctoral Researcher of Academy of Finland and Academy Researcher of Academy of Finland (Director of Research Project) in several research projects in 2002–2014. He has also acted as Vice-Director of EU 6th FP Research Programme Project in 2006–2008. Seppo is doing research in the fields of sociology of science, research policy and innovations, economic sociology and social theory. He has supervised and supervises (both formally and informally) several doctoral theses in 2009–. In January 2015 Seppo acted as opponent of PhD thesis at University of Helsinki. From the start of his academic career Seppo has created strong collaborative connections with many foreign universities:
Visiting Scholar at the SCANCOR-Weatherhead Partnership at Harvard University (fall semester 2018)

Visiting Professor at University of Technology (Sydney, Australia), UTS Business School (2013)

Visiting Fellow at Roskilde University (Roskilde, Denmark), Department of Society and Globalization (2013)

Visiting Fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science (London, UK), Gender Institute at Department of Sociology (2011–2012)

Faculty Research Fellow at Stanford University (Stanford, USA), Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, School of Humanities and Sciences (2011)

Visiting Scholar at University of Essex (Colchester, UK) Department of Sociology (2007–2008)

Visiting Scholar at University of London (London, UK), Goldsmiths College (2005–2007)

Visiting Scholar at University of Sussex (Brighton, UK), Department of Sociology (2005)

Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (Stanford, USA), Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research (SCANCOR) (2004)

Visiting Scholar at University of Massachusetts (Amherst, USA), Management Department of the Isenberg School of Management (2004)

PhD student (funding from Academy of Finland) at University of Plymouth (Plymouth, UK), Department of Sociology (2001–2002)


Doctor of Social Sciences (sociology) 2003, University of Turku
Licentiate of Social Sciences (philosophy) 1999, University of Turku
Master of Social Sciences (philosophy) 1993, University of Turku


Seppo’s teaching extract for docent position in sociology at the University of Turku was accepted in 2007 with the evaluation “Good”. From the year 2015 Seppo has given advanced international seminar courses (for PhD students) on qualitative research methods with professors Anne Kovalainen and David Silverman in Brussels. In the spring 2016 he gave a similar course with professor Kovalainen at Tartu University in Estonia. Seppo has developed his pedagogical insights through long and multifaceted experience in giving numerous lectures, praktikum courses and seminars in both philosophy and sociology, starting from the year 1996. Feedback from his students has been overwhelmingly positive. For example, when Seppo substituted for lecturer of sociology in 2009–2010 at University of Turku, he instructed  a workgroup of students in his praktikum course to develop their research report into a published scientific article (Keskinen, K., Lehtinen, S. & Leino, M.: ‘Kaikki tiet vievät Hansaan – Nuorten ajanvietto osana kauppakeskuksen arkea’, Nuorisotutkimus 4/2011). His interests in teaching relate mainly to methodological and philosophy of science questions.

Research Interests and ongoing research projects

Seppo’s current main project, Knowledge Governance –project (2015–2017, strategic University level funding from University of Turku) aims to develop new multidisciplinary collaboration between social sciences, economics, humanities and future studies. Furthermore, one central goal of the project is to strengthen interdisciplinary research in science and technology studies at University of Turku. Seppo’s current research interests include hybrid organizations that mediate in between state, academia and business; critical and multidisciplinary innovation studies, women’s innovation activities in business and science; theorization of ‘old’ and ‘new’ economy; research methodology. 

Recent publications

Poutanen, S.: Critical perspectives in entrepreneurship research. In DeClercq, D., Heinonen, J. & Blackburn, R. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Sage, London & Thousand Oaks & New Delhi 2018.

Poutanen, S. & Kovalainen, A.: Gender and Innovation in the New Economy: Women, Identity and Creative Work. Palgrave MacMillan, New York 2017.

Poutanen, S.: Kaksi aforismia. Teoksessa Salo, T. (toim.) Tiedeaforismikirja - uusia ajatelmia tieteestä. Into Kustannus Oy, Helsinki 2017. 

Poutanen, S. & Kovalainen, A.: Innovating is not of the spirit world - depicting a female inventor's unique path with materiality-friendly gender concepts. In Alsos, G., Hytti, U. & Ljunggren, E. (eds.) Research Handbook on Gender and Innovations. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham 2016.

Poutanen, S. & Kovalainen, A.: Professionalism and Entrepreneurialism. In Dent, M., Bourgeault, I., Denis, J-L. & Kuhlmann, E. (eds.) Routledge Companion to the Professions and Professionalism. Routledge, London 2016.

Poutanen, S., Kovalainen, A. & Jännäri, J.: Construction of the female global top manager in The Economist. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics 2016: Vol. 12, 2: 193-212.

Poutanen, S. & Kovalainen, A.: What is new in the ’new economy’?  Care as Critical Nexus Challenging Rigid Conceptualizations. In Gruhlich, J. & Riegraf, B. (eds.) Transnationale Räume und Geschlecht. German Sociological Association Book Series. Westfälisches Dampfboot Verlag, Munster 2014.

Poutanen, S. & Kovalainen, A.: Gendering Invention Process in Industrial Plant – Revisiting Tokenism, Gender and Invention. International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship 2013: Vol. 5, 3: 257–274.

Poutanen, S.: From Gendered Research Interview toward Ontologized Co-creativity: Reformulating the Methodological Underpinnings of the Well-worn Practice with Metaphorizing. The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies 2013: Vol. 10, 3:1–15.

Poutanen, S. & Kovalainen, A.: Epistemic communities facing a new type of agora? Centres of Science, Technology and Innovation defining the research landscape in Finland. Sociological Research Online 2010: Vol. 15, 2. < 15/2/12.html> 10.5153/sro.2143

Poutanen, S. & Kovalainen, A.: Critical Theory. In: Mills, A. J., Durebos, G. & Wiebe, E. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. Sage, London, Thousand Oaks & New Delhi 2009.

Felt, U., Poutanen, S. et al.: Knowing and Living in Academic Research. Convergence and heterogeneity in research cultures in the European context. Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague 2009.

Poutanen, S.: Critical Realism and Poststructuralist Feminism – The Difficult Path to Mutual Understanding. Journal of Critical Realism 2007: Vol. 6, 1:28–52.

Some academic expert tasks

Invited reviewer of a research proposal for the National Science Foundation (USA) 2016

Invited member of evaluation panel (humanities and social sciences), CSP-UNINA funding call an process 2016

Invited pre-examiner and opponent of Master of Political Sciences Anna Kuokkanen’s PhD thesis ”Johtamisen ihmissuhdekoulukunta Suomessa: työntekijäkeskeiset johtamisopit suomalaisen työelämän muutoksessa” (16. 1. 2015 University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research)

Invited commentator on Professor Steven Woolgar’s presentation “Mundane Governance: Ontology and Accountability” (19. 9. 2013 University of Turku, Department of Social Research)

Invited commentator on Professor Philip Mirowski’s presentation “Has the Modern Regime of Commercialization Harmed Science?" (7. 6. 2010 University of Helsinki, Professor Uskali Mäki’s Centre of Excellence)

Referee of The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, an international and interdisciplinary scientific journal (2012–2013)

Referee of Sosiologia, a national scientific journal (2007)

Referee of International Journal of the Humanities, an international and interdisciplinary scientific journal (2006)

Referee of Organization, an international and interdisciplinary scientific journal (2006)

Referee of Critical Public Health, an international and interdisciplinary scientific journal (2001)

Significant research grants

2016-2019: Academy of Finland, Research Consortium "SWiPE". Director of a subproject: Seppo Poutanen

2015–2017: University of Turku, Research Project “Knowledge Governance”. Co-Director: Seppo Poutanen

2010–2014: Academy of Finland, Research Project  “Meta-level analysis of knowledge formation and epistemological connections”. Director: Seppo Poutanen

2006–2008: EU 6th Framework Programme, Research Project of the 5-country project “KNOWING – Knowledge, Institutions, Gender: An East-West Comparative Study”. Vice-Director: Seppo Poutanen

2005–2008: Academy of Finland, Post-Doctoral Research Project on “Feminist social research, sociology and social epistemology: how to develop shared theoretical and discursive space?”. Director: Seppo Poutanen

2002–2005: Academy of Finland, Research Project on “Values in Knowledge Creation.” Director: Seppo Poutanen