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Which mode is better for knowledge creation?

Shu‐Chen Kao (Department of Information Management, Kun Shan University, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China)
ChienHsing Wu (Department of Information Management, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China)
Ping‐Chieh Su (Institute of Management and Business, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of knowledge creation mode (e.g. goal‐driven and goal‐free) and organizational culture on knowledge creation performance in the context of high‐tech manufacturing companies having received at least 20 patents.


This paper uses an empirical study to examine the research model.


Both goal‐free and goal‐framed creation modes are more likely to support knowledge creation, while the goal‐driven mode is not likely to be favorable for knowledge creation. Manufacturing companies who are frequently looking for new ideas for product design and manufacturing technologies are more likely to adopt the goal‐free creation mode. Adhocracy culture is more likely to be a predicator of product and manufacturing creation.

Practical implications

This work provides policy implications for government and high‐tech industry associations. A company whose cohesion comes mainly from the task achievements is likely to emphasize manufacturing creation. Companies who would like to emphasize goal achievement with respect to creation in manufacturing should form an organizational culture with a characteristic of market competition. Also, a company with both goal‐free and/or goal‐framed creation modes is more likely to be willing to frame its strategic decisions (or goals) and then freely look for creative ways to reach the goals.


Manufacturing creation‐based companies are becoming increasingly knowledge‐sensitive as the competition becomes more intense, and thus may try multiple modes of knowledge creation to strengthen their creation capability in some areas. The research findings are quite remarkable because the impacts of culture and creation mode on creation performance are statistically examined.



Kao, S., Wu, C. and Su, P. (2011), "Which mode is better for knowledge creation?", Management Decision, Vol. 49 No. 7, pp. 1037-1060.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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