Adaption‐innovation theory and knowledge use in organizations

Michael A. Chilton (Department of Management, College of Business Administration, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA)
James M. Bloodgood (Department of Management, College of Business Administration, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 7 September 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how an individual's cognitive style influences the type of knowledge they prefer to work with, and to identify how this relationship influences knowledge management strategies and their outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper integrates adaption‐innovation theory and aspects of knowledge management theories.

Findings

Adaptors are likely to prefer to work with knowledge that is relatively more explicit and innovators are likely to prefer to work with knowledge that is relatively more tacit. Understanding these preferences, and making the appropriate type of knowledge available to the right mix of adaptor and innovator types of individuals may influence organizational performance.

Research limitations/implications

Conceptual and empirical research should consider how individuals' cognitive style influences their ability to utilize organizational knowledge resources.

Practical implications

Organizations should consider evaluating the cognitive style of their members in order to be able to better assign them to knowledge tasks. Group tasks should be planned with the mix of individuals' cognitive style in mind. These efforts should help to avoid underutilization of appropriate knowledge as well as overuse of inappropriate knowledge.

Originality/value

The paper proposes that cognitive style influences the degree to which an individual prefers to work with tacit or explicit knowledge. This preference can influence the type and degree of knowledge use when performing organizational tasks.

Keywords

Citation

Chilton, M. and Bloodgood, J. (2010), "Adaption‐innovation theory and knowledge use in organizations", Management Decision, Vol. 48 No. 8, pp. 1159-1180. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251741011076726

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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