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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Matthew Hall

The idea that knowledge needs to be codified is central to many claims that knowledge can be managed. However, there appear to be no empirical studies in the knowledge

Abstract

Purpose

The idea that knowledge needs to be codified is central to many claims that knowledge can be managed. However, there appear to be no empirical studies in the knowledge management context that examine the process of knowledge codification. This paper therefore seeks to explore codification as a knowledge management process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on findings from research conducted around a knowledge management project in a section of the UK Post Office, using a methodology of participant‐observation. Data were collected through observations of project meetings, correspondence between project participants, and individual interviews.

Findings

The principal findings about the nature of knowledge codification are first, that the process of knowledge codification also involves the process of defining the codes needed to codify knowledge, and second, that people who participate in the construction of these codes are able to interpret and use the codes more similarly. From this it can be seen that the ability of people to decodify codes similarly places restrictions on the transferability of knowledge between them.

Research limitations/implications

The paper therefore argues that a new conceptual approach is needed for the role of knowledge codification in knowledge management that emphasizes the importance of knowledge decodification. Such an approach would start with one's ability to decodify rather than codify knowledge as a prerequisite for knowledge management.

Originality/value

The paper provides a conceptual basis for explaining limitations to the management and transferability of knowledge.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Xiu‐Hao Ding, Heng Liu and Yongtao Song

After identifying two kinds of internal knowledge transfer strategies, the purpose of this paper is to examine their effectiveness and whether they induce knowledge

Abstract

Purpose

After identifying two kinds of internal knowledge transfer strategies, the purpose of this paper is to examine their effectiveness and whether they induce knowledge spillovers among firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collected data in China and 219 questionnaires were achieved. Then, structure equation model by LISREL was used for hypotheses testing.

Findings

The empirical results suggest that both codification and rich‐media strategies have positive effects on internal knowledge transfer. Moreover, codification strategy has a negative effect on knowledge spillovers while rich‐media strategy does not influence knowledge spillovers significantly. Thus, codification and rich‐media strategies are not double‐edged swords.

Practical implications

This study provides firms with two strategies, codification and rich‐media, to promote internal knowledge transfer. Moreover, these strategies do not accelerate knowledge spillovers, and codification strategy even reduces knowledge spillovers. Firms can use these strategies to construct and sustain competitive advantages.

Originality/value

While many knowledge creation, storage and protection strategies are studied, little is known about internal knowledge transfer strategies. This study suggests two internal knowledge transfer strategies and confirms their effectiveness. Moreover, because the relationship between internal knowledge transfer strategies and knowledge spillovers has been puzzling for a long time, this study clarifies the relationship and finds that these strategies do not accelerate knowledge spillovers and some even restrain knowledge spillovers.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Loubna Echajari and Catherine Thomas

The purpose of this paper is to study organizational learning from complex and heterogeneous experiences. According to March (2010), this kind of high intellect learning…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study organizational learning from complex and heterogeneous experiences. According to March (2010), this kind of high intellect learning is difficult to accomplish because it requires deliberate investments in knowledge transfer and creation. Zollo and Winter (2002) emphasized how knowledge codification can facilitate this process, as long as it is “well-performed”. However, knowledge management scholars have yet to explore what is meant by well-performed codification and how to achieve it.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses this gap and provides a conceptual analysis based on two related but previously disconnected research areas: organizational learning and knowledge management.

Findings

This paper contributes to the literature in three ways. First, a new understanding of different types of experiences and their effects on learning is proposed. Then the codification process using a critical realist paradigm to overcome the epistemological boundaries of knowledge versus knowing is discussed; in doing so, it is shown that codification can take different forms to be “well-performed”. Finally, appropriate codification strategies based on experience type are identified.

Originality/value

The abstraction-oriented codification outlined in this paper runs counter to the logic of concrete codification that dominates both theory and practice. Thus, going beyond the traditional debate on the degree of codification (i.e. should knowledge be fully codified or just partly codified), this paper introduced a new debate about the appropriate degree of abstraction.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2016

Krishna Venkitachalam and Hugh Willmott

The purpose of this paper is to indicate that managers responsible for decision making often have a limited appreciation of strategic shifts between codification and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to indicate that managers responsible for decision making often have a limited appreciation of strategic shifts between codification and personalization of knowledge in different operational environments. This study is motivated by a concern to illuminate the influence of diverse business environments in the shift between strategies of knowledge in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative multiple case-study method was adopted to research four case organizations drawn from multiple industries – manufacturing, research, education and consulting – that are positioned within contrasting operating environments (i.e. local, national, international and multinational, respectively).

Findings

Results from the case studies suggest that four factors condition shifts between codification and personalization strategies in different operational environments that are of critical significance for the effective use of knowledge in organizations. The authors have also found that strategic shifts between codification and personalization are continuous and emergent.

Originality/value

The study suggests that the combination of multi-operational types and four elements (i.e. competition, organizational size, organizational structure and information technology) are highly relevant for determining the shifts between codification and personalization strategies in organizations.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

Jing Li, Saide Saide, Mohd Nasir Ismail and Richardus Eko Indrajit

Business process management (BPM) has been discussed in much literature as a crucial approach to achieve firm-enterprise business performance, however in term of digital…

Abstract

Purpose

Business process management (BPM) has been discussed in much literature as a crucial approach to achieve firm-enterprise business performance, however in term of digital business transformation to face the current digital enterprise business era, there is still much to be explored. Drawing sociotechnical perspective of ETHICS theory, the study develops and conceptualize information technologies/systems (IT/IS) proactive capability and socialization-codification knowledge process that produce business transformation process in digital-based era.

Design/methodology/approach

Of the 173 company-enterprise respondents in Indonesia, the authors empirically test and validate the conceptual model using structural equation model tool-SmartPLS and SPSS statistical. The enterprise respondents were manufactures industry, construction services, hardware and software, plantation and agriculture, financial and insurance services, and other retail trade.

Findings

The authors found different findings of mediating effect and direct relationship effect. Socialization knowledge process has directly influence IT/IS proactive capability and enterprise digital business transformation. Codification knowledge process has successfully support IT/IS proactive capability, but unsupported correlation on enterprise digital business transformation. Also, IT/IS proactive capability positively influence enterprise digital business transformation. Enterprise business process suffers when the firm transform their business process into digital-based only using codification knowledge practices because documented knowledge (codification type) is not strong enough to help company in the way of enterprise digital business transformation. Mediating role show IT/IS proactive capability is crucial approach for enterprise business transformation to maximize codification knowledge practices. The findings present one fully supported results of mediation role through IT/IS proactive capability. A stronger support for enterprise IT/IS strategy in company, a high opportunity for codification knowledge practices to improve the digital ways to transform the enterprise business process. In short, the results can guide enterprise managers on how to manage their knowledge resources and maximizing emerging technologies to achieve enterprise digital business transformation.

Research limitations/implications

The authors acknowledged that future studies would be worthwhile to create, develop and strengthen the model and its related foundation. Future research may try different concept/theory that applicable in enterprise digital business transformation. Also, an opportunity for future study is how enterprise digital business transformation in different context of industries with the current emerging technologies (e.g. IoT, big data, AI).

Originality/value

This study offers a theoretical and conceptual framework to the applicable digital-based within enterprise business transformation context. A knowledge/novel contribution of this study is the integration of a sociotechnical that highly relevant and drives enterprise digital business transformation. This study also is an effort to combine some areas such as business transformation strategy, knowledge-intensive business services, knowledge management and IT/IS.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2011

J. Ajith Kumar and L.S. Ganesh

This paper aims to understand the knowledge strategies followed by product development (PD) units in Indian manufacturing firms.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand the knowledge strategies followed by product development (PD) units in Indian manufacturing firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Following literature, knowledge strategy was characterized in terms of “codification” and “personalization”. A total of 284 employees across 19 different PD units spread across India were surveyed to understand the knowledge strategies followed. Using SPSS, various statistical tests and analyses were conducted.

Findings

Personalization was consistently the preferred strategy across the PD units; however, the balance of personalization and codification was not quite in the 80‐20 ratio (one strategy practised predominantly with the other in a supporting role) as suggested by some strands of previous research, and this did not have any strikingly visible negative influences on product development performance. Further, organizations do not differ as much from each other on levels of codification, as they do on personalization.

Research limitations/implications

In contexts such as product development, it may be important to pursue knowledge strategies with greater equanimity compared with other contexts that previous research has highlighted. The study bears implications not only for the formulation and implementation of knowledge strategies during product development, but also for the body of enquiry into managing knowledge in organizations.

Originality/value

The research contributes to a relatively less researched area in knowledge management and suggests directions for future work in the area.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2013

Hongmei Liu, Kah-Hin Chai and James F. Nebus

This paper aims to provide a systematic framework for organizations to analyze their knowledge reuse processes, and balance codification and personalization within their

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a systematic framework for organizations to analyze their knowledge reuse processes, and balance codification and personalization within their knowledge strategy according to cost/benefit analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper divides knowledge reuse process into a sequence of five stages, and accordingly analyzes costs/benefits under codification and personalization strategies. Markov decision process, a mathematical framework for multi-stage decision-making, is employed to optimize a mixed strategy for knowledge reuse processes within an organization.

Findings

Organizations need to consider factors such as the number of reusable knowledge items, reuse patterns, and intra-organizational interest alignment which are critical to determine their optimal mix between codification and personalization. Companies should determine a knowledge strategy based on their knowledge reuse contexts instead of following success cases blindly.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents an illustrative example to show how this framework might be applied by an organization. However, the validity and reliability of strategic decision-making also depends on the accuracy of the model's parameter values. Firms can adopt many methods as surveys, Delphi method, to determine the parameter values.

Practical implications

The proposed framework offers an opportunity for firms to gain insights by setting the model's parameters to their own reuse contexts/characteristics and conducting what-if analysis.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a formal framework for analyzing knowledge reuse processes and offers organizations guidelines about decision-making of knowledge strategies.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2019

Vladislav Valentinov and Anna Hajdu

The stakeholder theory encompasses instrumental and normative varieties whose mutual relationship remains unclear and exhibits a classic tension between rational…

Abstract

Purpose

The stakeholder theory encompasses instrumental and normative varieties whose mutual relationship remains unclear and exhibits a classic tension between rational self-interest and moral motivation. The purpose of this paper is to develop a strategy for navigating this tension.

Design/methodology/approach

Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory is concerned with the limited ability of social systems to codify, and be receptive to, the complexity of the environment. Drawing on this theory, the paper juxtaposes the codification problems of two types of social systems: the for-profit firm and the economic function system.

Findings

This juxtaposition allows to identify four firm behavior patterns, two of which can be aligned with instrumental and normative stakeholder theories. If the codification capacity of the economic function system is assumed to be sufficient, the codification problems of the for-profit firm are shown to specify the range of applicability of the instrumental stakeholder theory. Dropping the above assumption is shown to specify the range of applicability of the normative stakeholder theory.

Originality/value

The argument offers a fresh way of understanding the institutional economics foundations of the stakeholder theory. Given that the systems-theoretic idea of codification reflects the functioning of the real-world institutions, the argument shows that both instrumental and normative stakeholder theories reflect the institutional texture of the modern society in distinct but equally legitimate ways.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 20 January 2014

Ruby P. Lee, Xinlin Tang and Xitong Guo

The rising opportunities in emerging countries have attracted numerous multinational corporations to invest in the new regimes. Knowledge management between headquarters…

Abstract

The rising opportunities in emerging countries have attracted numerous multinational corporations to invest in the new regimes. Knowledge management between headquarters and their foreign subsidiaries, thus, becomes particularly crucial in navigating host country environmental uncertainties. Despite its criticality, how foreign subsidiaries can benefit from effectively managing knowledge remains unclear. This study examines the extent to which market and technological turbulences influence two specific knowledge management platforms, knowledge transfer and knowledge codification, and subsequently, market responsiveness of foreign subsidiaries. Results from a survey of 140 foreign subsidiaries in China show that knowledge transfer and knowledge codification serve as two important platforms to mitigate the effects of environmental turbulence on local market responsiveness.

Details

International Marketing in Rapidly Changing Environments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-896-9

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

John N. Walsh and Jamie O'Brien

While service scholars see modularisation as balancing the efficiency of standardisation with the value added through customisation the relationships between these…

Abstract

Purpose

While service scholars see modularisation as balancing the efficiency of standardisation with the value added through customisation the relationships between these concepts are under-theorised. In addition, although information and communication technologies can facilitate all three service strategies, the degree to which they codify service knowledge is not explicitly considered in the extant literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a model that examines service strategy trajectories by specifically considering the ICTs used and the degree of knowledge codification employed.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on three qualitative case studies of service departments of firms involved in cardiovascular applications, orthopaedic, spinal and neuroscience product development and information technology support. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews, document analysis and non-participant observation.

Findings

Findings show that ICTs were increasingly used to codify both standardised and customised services, though in different ways. For standardised services ICTs codified the service process, making them even more rigid. Due to the dynamic nature of customised services, drawing on experts' tacit knowledge, ICTs codified the possessors of knowledge rather than the service process they undertook. This study also identified a duality between the tacit development of customised services and modular service codification.

Research limitations/implications

The model is validated using case studies from three companies in the medical and information technology sectors limiting its generalisability.

Practical implications

The importance of considering the degree of tacitness or explicitness of service knowledge is important for service codification. The paper provides managers with empirical examples of how ICTs are used to support all three strategies, allows them to identify their current position and indicates possible future trajectories.

Originality/value

The papers main contribution is the development of a model that integrates the literature on service strategies with knowledge management strategies to classify service standardisation, customisation and modularisation in terms of both service orientation and degree of ICT codification.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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