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Use of information and communication technology to support employee-driven innovation in organizations: a knowledge management perspective

Leif Jarle Gressgård (based at Department of Social Science, International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), Bergen, Norway)
Oscar Amundsen (based at Department of Adult Learning and Counselling, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway)
Tone Merethe Aasen (Senior advisor at University Management and Administration, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway)
Kåre Hansen (Research Director at Department of Social Science, International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), Bergen, Norway)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 8 July 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how organizations focusing on employee-driven innovation (EDI) use information and communication technologies (ICT)-based tools in their innovation work. EDI involves systematic exploitation of knowledge resources in organizations. Thus, the role of ICT for efficient knowledge management is important in this respect.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with employees, managers and union representatives from 20 organizations focusing on EDI were conducted. The sample included organizations from eight different industries, representing both private and public sectors.

Findings

The results show that ICT-based tools can support the processes of acquisition, dissemination and exploitation of knowledge, which are important aspects of EDI. However, use of ICT-based tools has to be aligned with organizational structures and professional role conduct to be efficient.

Practical implications

This study contributes to practice by highlighting several factors that organizations should emphasize to succeed with application of external and internal knowledge in their innovation work.

Originality/value

This study applies a knowledge management perspective on the role of ICT-based tools to support EDI in organizations. The findings contribute to an improved understanding of organizational conditions for succeeding with use of ICT-based tools in innovation work, and emphasize that perspectives on knowledge management, technology management and human resource management have to be combined to understand how EDI can be promoted by using ICT in organizations.

Keywords

Citation

Jarle Gressgård, L., Amundsen, O., Merethe Aasen, T. and Hansen, K. (2014), "Use of information and communication technology to support employee-driven innovation in organizations: a knowledge management perspective", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 633-650. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-01-2014-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited