Knowledge creation processes in small innovative hi‐tech firms

Martin Spraggon (Department of Management, Marketing and Public Administration, School of Business and Management, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Virginia Bodolica (Department of Management, Marketing and Public Administration, School of Business and Management, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Publication date: 12 September 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore knowledge creation processes in small innovative hi‐tech firms operating in the software industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The research framework examines specific action and interaction processes aiming at creating knowledge. This exploratory research is constituted by five case studies, each of them being represented by a small Canadian software firm. Analysis draws upon four sources of data. A total of 15 interviews (three per case) had been conducted and subsequently transcribed and coded using qualitative software – Nvivo 07.

Findings

The results of the study reveal that interaction processes permitting the creation of knowledge in small hi‐tech firms can take place via: formal meetings; informal communities; project teams; external interaction; and information technology‐tools. Rapid prototyping represents the kernel activity of knowledge creation through action. Details of the results, implications of the findings, and conclusions are presented and discussed.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on a limited number of case studies, therefore empirical results cannot be generalized. Future research on larger samples of small Canadian software firms is needed, using the same eligibility criteria and comparing the same knowledge creation processes as those explored in this study. Other promising avenues of inquiry include such questions as the way small knowledge‐based firms operating in turbulent environments organize internally to create knowledge, the conditions enabling the generation of knowledge, and the particular “spaces” in which knowledge creation occurs in these firms.

Practical implications

The systematic description and comparison of knowledge creation processes in each explored company contribute to the better understanding of specific “interaction” and “action” processes through which knowledge is generated, enabling practitioners in small innovative hi‐tech firms to design appropriate policies and procedures for enhancing knowledge creation behaviors of their employees.

Originality/value

This research is among the first and most exhaustive exploratory and comparative studies carried out in the Canadian context of small firms operating in the software industry.

Keywords

Citation

Spraggon, M. and Bodolica, V. (2008), "Knowledge creation processes in small innovative hi‐tech firms", Management Research News, Vol. 31 No. 11, pp. 879-894. https://doi.org/10.1108/01409170810913060

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.