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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2019

Constantin Bratianu and Ruxandra Bejinaru

The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge dynamics process based on the energy metaphor and the thermodynamics framework. Knowledge dynamics is analyzed as a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge dynamics process based on the energy metaphor and the thermodynamics framework. Knowledge dynamics is analyzed as a transformational process that goes beyond the Newtonian logic used to date.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is based on metaphorical thinking, critical analysis of the mostly used knowledge metaphors to date, and the logic of thermodynamics, which is the science of energy transformation.

Findings

Knowledge is conceived as a field, composed of three fundamental forms: rational knowledge, emotional knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Each form of knowledge can be transformed into another form, thus generating an iterative and interactive dynamics. The unity of knowledge is supported by the brain’s organic structure.

Practical implications

Understanding knowledge dynamics as a transformational process helps managers in their problem-solving and implementation of strategies in their organizations. Knowledge dynamics is fundamental to the learning and unlearning processes, and for stimulating innovation. Knowledge dynamics, as a transformational process, is influencing both organizational behavior as well as consumers’ behavior.

Originality/value

The present research uses for the first time a thermodynamics approach in understanding and explaining the knowledge dynamics, which is a transformational process of three fundamental forms of knowledge: rational, emotional and spiritual.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Ettore Bolisani and Constantin Bratianu

Knowledge strategy and its planning are affected by uncertainty and environmental turbulence. This paper aims to discuss these issues and present knowledge strategy…

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge strategy and its planning are affected by uncertainty and environmental turbulence. This paper aims to discuss these issues and present knowledge strategy planning as an integrated approach for facing these conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an extensive survey and an original re-elaboration of the literature, the paper addresses these research questions: What is the meaning of knowledge strategy, and how can it be related to concepts such as strategic thinking, business strategy and knowledge management (KM) in organizations? What are the limitations of a pure rational approach to knowledge strategy in turbulent environments and under uncertainty? and What approaches can be consequently proposed to formulate knowledge strategies?

Findings

The study provides a critical reading of the current literature. Also, it proposes an integrated approach that sees planning as a continuous effort of learning and adaptation to needs and opportunities that dynamically emerge from daily practices.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework can inspire a new research agenda to detect how knowledge strategies are planned in companies and how they are continuously adapted on the basis of a dialog between rational contributions and perceptions of reality, practical views, intuitions and emotions. This can also inspire a new agenda for company strategists and KM professionals.

Originality/value

In the literature, little attention has been devoted to knowledge strategy planning. The paper contributes to fill this gap and proposes a new way to see knowledge strategy as an integration of rational thinking and dynamic learning.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Constantin Bratianu and Elena-Madalina Vatamanescu

The classical approach of teaching and learning mostly based on knowledge transfer is questionable as knowledge life cycle is shortening and new type of jobs appear every…

Abstract

Purpose

The classical approach of teaching and learning mostly based on knowledge transfer is questionable as knowledge life cycle is shortening and new type of jobs appear every day with new knowledge request. In this vein, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how to switch the focus from learning knowledge to learning generic skills liable to help future professionals to think and learn by doing.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a 30-item questionnaire that was addressed to over 500 students involved in management and business undergraduate and graduate programs from two well-reputed Romanian universities. Three hundred and forty questionnaires were filled in and processed using SPSS, version 19. Additionally, a factorial analysis was performed, with a view to extract the most important factors that are involved in developing generic skills in university programs.

Findings

Results demonstrate that most of the students from the undergraduate programs prefer the classical approach – less implication and responsibility in doing a harder conceptual work – while most students from the master programs are open to the new perspective of learning to learn, namely, to developing generic skills.

Research limitations/implications

In the new turbulent business landscape, universities face a significant change in teaching their students. Although the research adds to the value of the extant literature on generic skills (also known as core skills), it is mainly focused on a Romanian sample, thus reflecting a context-based perspective.

Originality/value

The current study provides a preliminary insight into the perception of Romanian students about developing generic skills and into their readiness to assume the role of main actors in the learning process.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2020

Constantin Bratianu, Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu, Sorin Anagnoste and Gandolfo Dominici

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the influences of different types of knowledge and their inherent dynamics on the effectiveness of the decision-making (DM…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the influences of different types of knowledge and their inherent dynamics on the effectiveness of the decision-making (DM) process. Knowledge dynamics (KD) is envisioned through the lens of the knowledge fields theory while effective DM process is objectivised via organisational appreciation and reward, higher business performance, sustainable partnerships and managerial satisfaction with previous achievements.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire-based survey was conducted with 275 middle managers from companies operating in the business consulting field. The conceptual and structural model was tested using the partial least squares structural equation modelling technique.

Findings

The study advances novel insights into the significant positive influences of various knowledge fields on KD on the DM process within real-life business environments. Even though rational knowledge exerts a noteworthy effect on DM, its influence is exceeded by the KD, which proves that integrating emotional and spiritual knowledge in the decisional equation may become a pivotal input to making good managerial decisions regardless of the level of regulation and standardisation in the field.

Research limitations/implications

The research relied on threefold knowledge fields as predictors for the DM process, thus providing a starting point for the development of more complex models.

Originality/value

The study emerges as a groundbreaking approach via the integration and application of the knowledge fields theory within a more comprehensive and empirical outlook on the DM process. Simultaneously, it places DM beyond the unidimensional outcomes of rationality and intuition by urging its intricate and interactional nature.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Constantin Bratianu and Ramona Diana Leon

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the main strategies used in organizations to enhance intergenerational learning (IGL) and reduce knowledge loss. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the main strategies used in organizations to enhance intergenerational learning (IGL) and reduce knowledge loss. The emphasis is on universities that have an age layered or nested structure.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an integrated approach of literature search, content analysis, survey based on interviews and questionnaires and the analytic hierarchy process method. The research questions are as follows: What is the level of awareness in organizations about knowledge loss and the role of IGL in reducing its consequences? What kind of organizational structure is adequate for promoting IGL? What are the most suitable strategies for enhancing IGL and reducing knowledge loss?

Findings

Universities have a nested generational structure, which makes them adequate for IGL. The most used strategies for enhancing IGL are mentoring, intergenerational research teams and intergenerational creativity workshops.

Research limitations/implications

Empirical investigations covered only four universities. Research should be extended to a larger number of universities and also to companies.

Practical implications

Findings are valuable for organizations having an aging workforce and which want to reduce knowledge loss through the IGL process.

Originality/value

The study provides an insight look of how organizations experiencing a workforce aging phenomenon can enhance IGL to reduce knowledge loss.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Constantin Bratianu and Ettore Bolisani

Abstract

Details

VINE, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2010

Daniel A. Glaser‐Segura, Suzanne Mudge, Constantin Brătianu and Ionela Dumitru

This study aims to focus on the role of learning activities on the development of Romanian students making the change from academia to the workplace, specifically focusing…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on the role of learning activities on the development of Romanian students making the change from academia to the workplace, specifically focusing on the role of three learning activities: classroom teaching pedagogies (in‐vitro); field experiences (in‐situ); and self‐development experiential activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a 12‐factor scale developed by the authors to measure the role of learning activities on professional identity (PI), 364 students in an English‐language BBA program at a prominent Romanian university were surveyed via an online survey service. From this sample 97 valid responses were obtained and these were regressed on a measure of PI to test three main hypotheses.

Findings

In‐vitro, in‐situ, and self‐development experiential activities exhibited a positive relationship to PI. The two most significant predictors of PI were found to be membership of a professional student group and the use of case studies in class.

Practical implications

The findings of the study have practical implications for the business community and business educators, for activities such as curriculum development, course design and delivery. The findings reinforce the need for more practical pedagogies.

Originality/value

The paper makes an empirical contribution to the field of PI development in Romanian business students and by extension to students in similar post‐Communist countries. To this date there have been no studies that link practical learning activities to the development of PI in a transition society.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 52 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Harri Laihonen, Antti Lönnqvist and Juha Metsälä

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the connections between an organization’s knowledge management and growth management strategies. The study shows how knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the connections between an organization’s knowledge management and growth management strategies. The study shows how knowledge management can support organizations’ growth objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first connects the literature streams of growth management and knowledge management. This conceptual understanding about growth-oriented knowledge management is then advanced through an exploratory case study of a company aiming at rapid growth in the construction industry.

Findings

The paper recognizes two knowledge perspectives to growth management. First, the perspective of knowledge assets concerns whether an organization has the needed knowledge resources to enable growth. Second, to make informed decisions, the management needs relevant and up-to-date information. From these viewpoints, the paper derives the case-specific cornerstones of growth-oriented knowledge management and suggests some paths forward in terms of future research.

Practical implications

Although growth strategy defines an organization’s growth aims and clarifies how the intended growth will be attained, knowledge strategy takes a stand on the needed knowledge assets and paints a path from the existing knowledge base to a state where organization’s knowledge assets enable reaching of its business goals. The paper helps practitioners to plan growth-oriented knowledge management strategies.

Originality/value

The paper contributes by extending the analysis of knowledge strategy to growth management and by providing a practical illustration of the development process where knowledge was put into prime focus of organization’s growth strategy. The paper also provides original data and perspective to the roles and interaction of the board and the management team in the case of growth management.

Details

VINE, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Ettore Bolisani and Enrico Scarso

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and propose a taxonomy of approaches to the strategic planning of knowledge management (KM). The concept of KM strategy is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and propose a taxonomy of approaches to the strategic planning of knowledge management (KM). The concept of KM strategy is relatively recent and has been developed based on the assumption that any KM programme requires the definition of long-term goals, resources and plans, i.e. a KM strategic planning. Empirical evidence shows that the conditions for the successful implementation of KM can change from a company to another and in relation to the external context, and this may call for different appropriate approaches to KM planning.

Design/methodology/approach

By drawing inspiration from the classic literature about strategic planning and combining it with the KM literature, a taxonomy of four possible approaches to KM strategic planning is developed. This taxonomy is based on the combination of two dimensions, namely: the nature (rational vs emergent) of the planning process, and the competitive factors (internal vs external) that drive the strategy formulation. Examples of companies, drawn from an analysis of recent case studies based on secondary data, are then provided, with the purpose to depict the features of each KM strategic planning approach, as well as asses the consistency and usefulness of the formulated taxonomy.

Findings

The analysis of available empirical data shows that the proposed taxonomy fits cases that can be found in real life. The two dimensions of KM strategic planning previously presented allow to highlight the differences in the behaviour of companies. This can provide important food for thought for strategic thinking applied to KM, and can also reinforce the link between KM and other areas of management.

Practical implications

The awareness that companies can follow different approaches to KM planning is important for executives that consider KM as a primary activity for their companies. In particular, in the case of an emergent KM strategy, managers should be able to recognize it, and, as far as possible, to align it with the company’s overall strategic goals.

Originality/value

To date, the literature has primarily focused on the definition of different types of KM strategies, while the process that can lead to the formulation of these strategies has been less studied. The paper aims to fill this gap by identifying, discussing and classifying different possible approaches to KM strategic planning that a company can adopt.

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Lorella Cannavacciuolo, Luca Iandoli, Cristina Ponsiglione and Giuseppe Zollo

This paper aims to present a methodology for the mapping and evaluation of suppliers’ competencies and know-how. The authors operationalize the concept of organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a methodology for the mapping and evaluation of suppliers’ competencies and know-how. The authors operationalize the concept of organizational competence and provide companies with a customized management tool to map suppliers’ critical competencies for screening strategic from non-strategic suppliers and providing inputs for suppliers’ development.

Design/methodology/approach

Competencies assessment, carried out through a fuzzy knowledge management system (VINCI), is performed through the aggregation of indicators related to the control of critical resources, the degree of implementation of critical processes, the competitive positioning and the financial situation of a supplier. Competencies description and operationalization are based on the bottom-up elicitation of the subjective knowledge managers actually use to assess suppliers’ capability. Such subjective knowledge is then validated and formalized through a top-down approach based on strategic literature.

Findings

The authors tested VINCI on a sample of 38 suppliers of a large company. The results show that the methodology provides its users with a highly customizable knowledge map and its associated decision support tool that keeps into account the peculiar strategic needs of the company in the management of an existing portfolio of suppliers.

Practical implications

VINCI outcomes can be used to perform benchmarking analyses, define entry criteria and thresholds for suppliers’, identify improvement targets and service levels to be considered in the definition of supply contracts, supporting the alignment of supplier’s management with business strategy.

Originality/value

The most important original contribution of this work resides in the operationalization and measurements of firms’ competencies based on the elicitation of subjective knowledge that managers use in the actual assessment. A further distinctive feature of this paper is that the method is applied to small and medium companies, whereas large part of the literature on core or organizational competencies assessment is focused on large companies.

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