Sustainability Science

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 193–204 | Cite as

Shedding light on a neglected area: a new approach to knowledge creation

  • Hiroko NakamuraEmail author
  • Shingo Ii
  • Hidenori Chida
  • Ken Friedl
  • Shinji Suzuki
  • Junichiro Mori
  • Yuya Kajikawa
Original Article


Awareness is needed of sustainability issues that are currently neglected but potentially important. A computer-based approach can highlight unconscious and neglected areas because it can structure vast amounts of knowledge. In this article, we propose a methodology to perceive unconscious areas of sustainability with the support of a computer-based approach, which creates a matrix, named the recognized-unrecognized matrix, which highlights both local and globally neglected problems. A case study is conducted to consider the potential contribution of the aviation industry to sustainability issues. We demonstrate that a citation network analysis is an effective methodology to chart the recognized-unrecognized matrix. We highlight issues of water use in the aviation industry by designing an innovative water and air circulation system, which significantly reduces water and fuel consumption on board airplane flights. We also suggest a new approach to integrating both explicit and tacit knowledge to enable knowledge creation.


Citation network analysis Exploration Innovation Sustainability Aviation 



This work was supported in part by the FY2012 “Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Aviation Program Group Research Announcement.” We would also like to thank those who kindly participated in the interviews.

Supplementary material

11625_2013_226_MOESM1_ESM.docx (95 kb)
Supplementary material (DOCX 95 kb)
11625_2013_226_MOESM2_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroko Nakamura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shingo Ii
    • 2
  • Hidenori Chida
    • 2
  • Ken Friedl
    • 2
  • Shinji Suzuki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junichiro Mori
    • 3
  • Yuya Kajikawa
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Aviation Innovation Research (CAIR)The University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, School of EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Innovation Policy Research CenterInstitute of Engineering Innovation at the University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Innovation ManagementTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan

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