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Knowledge fusion for technological innovation in organizations

Michael Heffner (Vice President for Strategic Development, Software Applications Corporation, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA)
Nawaz Sharif (Professor and Program Director of Doctoral Programs, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 4 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to present a guiding integrative framework for knowledge management that encompasses a fusion process for creating new knowledge and technological innovations, as well as to propose a method for applying the framework in a managerial decision making process.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework integrates multiple perspectives of knowledge formation and technological innovation from both researchers and practitioners. The framework, which the authors label the knowledge fusion process, is presented as an organizational learning cycle, which encompasses sub‐processes for knowledge acquisition and formation, technological embodiment of knowledge, entrepreneurial application of technologies, and assessment of knowledge‐in‐use by an organization. The Analytic Hierarchy Process is then proposed as one method to apply the framework for managerial decision making in an operational context.

Findings

Knowledge, usually embodied in technological innovations, is a strategic resource for organizations in all areas of human endeavor. The framework includes the premise that the most competitive organizations are those that can learn to learn – to incorporate learning processes, including knowledge creation, into everyday operations and management. Much of the learning involves converting knowledge from tacit to explicit forms, especially technologically embodied forms – tools, skills, facts and methods that are the knowledge‐in‐use within organizations.

Originality/value

The framework integrates a number of heretofore disparate research streams, thereby providing a structure for examining the knowledge management activities of organizations against current thinking about knowledge management. The framework also can be applied to categorize observations about an organization in order to support managerial decision making – a method for applying the framework is demonstrated.

Keywords

Citation

Heffner, M. and Sharif, N. (2008), "Knowledge fusion for technological innovation in organizations", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 79-93. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270810859532

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited