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Macro process of knowledge management for continuous innovation

Jing Xu (Laboratoire du Génie de la Conception, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France)
Rémy Houssin (Laboratoire du Génie de la Conception, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France)
Emmanuel Caillaud (Laboratoire du Génie de la Conception, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France)
Mickaël Gardoni (Laboratoire du Génie de la Conception, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 20 July 2010

5690

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to explore the mechanisms of knowledge management (KM) for innovation and provide an approach for enterprises to leverage KM activities into continuous innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

By reviewing the literature from multidisciplinary fields, the concepts of knowledge, KM and innovation are investigated. The physical, human and technological perspectives of KM are distinguished with the identification of two core activities for innovation: knowledge creation and knowledge usage. Then an essential requirement for continuous innovation – an internalization phase – is defined. The systems thinking and human‐centered perspectives are adopted for providing a comprehensive understanding about the mechanisms of KM for innovation.

Findings

A networking process of continuous innovation based on KM is proposed by incorporating the phase of internalization. Three sources of organizational knowledge assets in innovation are identified. Then, based on the two core activities of innovation, a meta‐model and a macro process of KM are proposed to model the mechanisms of KM for continuous innovation. Then, in order to operationalize the KM mechanisms, a hierarchical model with four layers is constructed by integrating three sources of knowledge assets, the meta‐model and the macro process into the process of continuous innovation.

Practical implications

According to the lessons learned about KM practices in previous research, the three perspectives of KM should collaborate with one another for successful implementation of KM projects for innovation; the networking process of innovation provides a new way to integrate KM process in innovation; the hierarchical model provides a suitable architecture to implement systems of KM for innovation.

Originality/value

The meta‐model and macro process of KM explain how the next generation of KM can help the value creation and support the continuous innovation from the systems thinking perspective. The hierarchical model illustrates the complicated knowledge dynamics in the process of continuous innovation.

Keywords

Citation

Xu, J., Houssin, R., Caillaud, E. and Gardoni, M. (2010), "Macro process of knowledge management for continuous innovation", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 573-591. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673271011059536

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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