Table of contents(8 chapters)
Sustaining Competitive Advantage via Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and System Dynamics
Sustaining Competitive Advantage Via Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and System Dynamics
This research explores perceptions of knowledge management processes held by managers and employees in a service industry. To date, empirical research on knowledge management in the service industry is sparse. This research seeks to examine absorptive capacity and its four capabilities of acquisition, assimilation, transformation and exploitation and their impact on effective knowledge management. All of these capabilities are strategies that enable external knowledge to be recognized, imported and integrated into, and further developed within the organization effectively. The research tests the relationships between absorptive capacity and effective knowledge management through analysis of quantitative data (n = 549) drawn from managers and employees in 35 residential aged care organizations in Western Australia. Responses were analysed using Partial Least Square-based Structural Equation Modelling. Additional analysis was conducted to assess if the job role (of manager or employee) and three industry context variables of profit motive, size of business and length of time the organization has been in business, impacted on the hypothesized relationships.
Structural model analysis examines the relationships between variables as hypothesized in the research framework. Analysis found that absorptive capacity and the four capabilities correlated significantly with effective knowledge management, with absorptive capacity explaining 56% of the total variability for effective knowledge management. Findings from this research also show that absorptive capacity and the four capabilities provide a useful framework for examining knowledge management in the service industry. Additionally, there were no significant differences in the perceptions held between managers and employees, nor between respondents in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Furthermore, the size of the organization and length of time the organization has been in business did not impact on absorptive capacity, the four capabilities and effective knowledge management.
The research considers implications for business in light of these findings. The role of managers in providing leadership across the knowledge management process was confirmed, as well as the importance of guiding routines and knowledge sharing throughout the organization. Further, the results indicate that within the participating organizations there are discernible differences in the way that some organizations manage their knowledge, compared to others. To achieve effective knowledge management, managers need to provide a supportive workplace culture, facilitate strong employee relationships, encourage employees to seek out new knowledge, continually engage in two-way communication with employees and provide up-to-date policies and procedures that guide employees in doing their work. The implementation of knowledge management strategies has also been shown in this research to enhance the delivery and quality of residential aged care.
Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from unstructured supply chain practices, lack of awareness of the implications of the sustainability concept and failure to recycle poultry wastes. The current research thus attempts to develop an integrated supply chain model in the context of poultry industry in Bangladesh. The study considers both sustainability and supply chain issues in order to incorporate them in the poultry supply chain. By placing the forward and reverse supply chains in a single framework, existing problems can be resolved to gain economic, social and environmental benefits, which will be more sustainable than the present practices.
The theoretical underpinning of this research is ‘sustainability’ and the ‘supply chain processes’ in order to examine possible improvements in the poultry production process along with waste management. The research adopts the positivist paradigm and ‘design science’ methods with the support of system dynamics (SD) and the case study methods. Initially, a mental model is developed followed by the causal loop diagram based on in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observation techniques. The causal model helps to understand the linkages between the associated variables for each issue. Finally, the causal loop diagram is transformed into a stock and flow (quantitative) model, which is a prerequisite for SD-based simulation modelling. A decision support system (DSS) is then developed to analyse the complex decision-making process along the supply chains.
The findings reveal that integration of the supply chain can bring economic, social and environmental sustainability along with a structured production process. It is also observed that the poultry industry can apply the model outcomes in the real-life practices with minor adjustments. This present research has both theoretical and practical implications. The proposed model’s unique characteristics in mitigating the existing problems are supported by the sustainability and supply chain theories. As for practical implications, the poultry industry in Bangladesh can follow the proposed supply chain structure (as par the research model) and test various policies via simulation prior to its application. Positive outcomes of the simulation study may provide enough confidence to implement the desired changes within the industry and their supply chain networks.