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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Nandish V. Patel and Ahmad Ghoneim

The aim of this paper is to examine empirically the relevance of the theory of deferred action for knowledge management systems (KMS) design in practice.

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1506

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine empirically the relevance of the theory of deferred action for knowledge management systems (KMS) design in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a case study approach to examine knowledge work and knowledge management in virtual teamwork in a large UK telecommunications company to understand the occurrence of emergent knowledge and how it is managed by virtual team leaders. The section in the company studied is described as a “knowledge intensive organization” dealing with the company's e‐commerce activities.

Findings

The analysis confirms the complex adaptive system hypothesis – a complex system adapts to its environment through self‐organization. The data reveal the behaviour of the virtual team to be self‐organizing and adaptive to its environment. It confirms the knowledge tacitness hypothesis and social embeddedness of knowledge hypothesis as important determinants of knowledge sharing. Specifically, the data reveal the main issues concerning knowledge sharing practices of virtual team workers and the crucial team leader's role in the effectiveness of the teams' capability to develop social links to externalise and share tacit knowledge to accomplish tasks.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper, the authors contribute “emergent knowledge” as a third category of organizational knowledge in addition to the existing tacit and explicit knowledge that needs to be considered when designing KMS. It also derives socio‐technical systems design principles based on the theory of deferred action, and a tentative development process with metrics is then proposed for KMS design that caters for emergent, tacit, and explicit knowledge.

Practical implications

Existing models such as the SECI model do not acknowledge emergent knowledge or its conversion into explicit knowledge. The theory of deferred action is invoked to derive design principles, termed deferred systems design principles, to depict how explicit knowledge, tacit knowledge, and emergent knowledge can be represented to design knowledge management systems for “emergent organizations”.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the limited research and lack of consideration of emergent knowledge as an integral part of organizational knowledge, especially in an era of emergent organizations.

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Malgorzata Zieba, Ettore Bolisani and Enrico Scarso

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knowledge management (KM) approach followed by small companies. In particular, after introducing the notion of emergent

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1881

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knowledge management (KM) approach followed by small companies. In particular, after introducing the notion of emergent approach, the paper aims to examine if that notion is useful to properly describe the way small businesses approach their KM activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the results of a qualitative survey involving 12 owners and managers of small companies belonging to the knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) sector. The survey uses the case-study method.

Findings

The findings confirm that the approach to KM adopted by small companies can be defined as emergent: in the analysed cases, there were no formal KM plans, despite the fact that the examined companies have all introduced various KM practices. This shows that there can be the need to define KM approaches that better fit smaller companies.

Practical implications

Although an emergent approach may be seen as unplanned, companies should learn how to be aware of their KM practices and, once they are, how to develop them properly. For executives to be able to recognize emergent KM practices, notions and elements of KM need to be introduced in their business background and professional education (e.g. how KM fits into a small organization, what KM processes are, what KM tools and practices exist, etc.).

Originality/value

The study contributes to the understanding of KM in really small entities, still a much under-explored topic.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Fabrizio Maimone and Marta Sinclair

The aim of this paper is threefold: to provide a framework for a better understanding of the relationship between creativity, knowledge creation/sharing, and…

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3009

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is threefold: to provide a framework for a better understanding of the relationship between creativity, knowledge creation/sharing, and organizational change; to define the key elements at individual and collective level that may contribute to the development of organizational spaces that favour a climate for creativity and knowledge creation as precondition of “emergent change”; and to contribute to the development of a multi-perspective approach to creativity and knowledge creation in twenty-first century organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper begins with a review of the emergent non-linear change theories and the change-related processes of knowledge creation. It uses the metaphor of dance to explore the relationship between emergent change and knowledge creation and sharing, and identifies the main factors that may impact this relationship.

Findings

The authors' framework suggests that the identified factors act as precondition to emergent change. These factors are critical for change management in organizations operating in today's chaotic environment.

Practical implications

The authors' framework suggests that the identified factors act as precondition to emergent change. These factors are critical for change management in modern organizations. The authors propose guidelines and provide examples how to manage work spaces and facilitate the organizational dance.

Originality/value

Even though the academic literature already offers some evidence about the role and the centrality of spontaneous change, this paper provides a systematic, multi-perspective approach to the understanding and management of social, cultural and individual characteristics of bottom-up organizational change, focusing on its fundamental aspects of creativity and knowledge creation.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Olivera Marjanovic

The main objective of this paper is to investigate information system (IS) supported coordination in knowledge‐intensive business processes. These are business processes…

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1605

Abstract

Purpose

The main objective of this paper is to investigate information system (IS) supported coordination in knowledge‐intensive business processes. These are business processes that cannot be pre‐defined as their models evolve during process execution from the accumulated experience. Consequently, these processes require a high level of knowledge‐sharing, collection and reuse among all participants in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers a critical analysis of the main limitations of workflow technology that is widely considered to be the leading process‐oriented, coordination technology. It illustrates why this technology cannot be used to support coordination in knowledge‐intensive business processes. The paper then identifies a number of requirements for possible IS support.

Findings

The main conclusion of this paper is that coordination in knowledge‐intensive processes is, in fact, a knowledge‐intensive process itself, and as such it cannot be fully pre‐defined. Therefore, automation of this process is neither desirable nor possible.

Practical implications

Each IS requirement, proposed in this paper, identifies a number of further research and implementation challenges related to support of knowledge‐intensive business process. They will be of interest to researchers and practitioners both in the fields of business process management as well as knowledge management.

Originality/value

In essence, this paper argues that knowledge‐intensive business processes require fundamentally different coordination support from what is currently available in the area of business process support. This paper shifts the main emphasis from process automation to IS support for situated decision‐making.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Book part
Publication date: 3 November 2017

Sally Brown

To explore the funds of knowledge that six emergent bilingual students build upon as they produce multimodal texts, how the practices surrounding these events are…

Abstract

To explore the funds of knowledge that six emergent bilingual students build upon as they produce multimodal texts, how the practices surrounding these events are mediated, and the role of student agency within an ethnographic social semiotics framework. Ethnographic methods were used to document this yearlong study that included videotaping small group interactions, writing field notes, conducting interviews, and collecting multimodal work samples. The researcher served as a participant observer in a third-grade classroom where she met with students two days per week to interact with mulitmodal poetry. The findings reveal the media-rich popular culture and home digital practices students bring with them to school and the ways in which these resources were utilized for designing multimodal poetry. Several essential factors are discussed including funds of knowledge, role of play and creativity, nonlinear writing structures, and agentive design decisions. Multimodal text making requires a revamping of classroom literacy instruction that embraces multiple modes especially noting the importance of images, central role of experiential learning, and space for student choice thus empowering them as learners.

Details

Addressing Diversity in Literacy Instruction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-048-6

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Terence Ahern, P.J. Byrne and Brian Leavy

The purpose of this paper is to extend the learning boundaries of traditional project capability, which follows the linear planning paradigm, in order to include…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend the learning boundaries of traditional project capability, which follows the linear planning paradigm, in order to include non-linear complex projects that cannot be completely specified and planned in advance, and so require continuous learning over their life cycles.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an earlier empirical investigation, where complex-project capability (CPC) is developed through dynamic organizational learning based on non-linear problem solving, the paper examines some of the conceptual and practical implications of this process insight. The focus here is on incomplete pre-given knowledge and emergent knowledge creation during CPC development.

Findings

Using the three interrelated dimensions of project type, knowledge creation method, and organizational learning approach, the paper reinterprets Karl Popper’s linear problem solving model for learning in traditional projects by introducing the concept of knowledge entropy (disorder) for learning in non-linear complex projects. The latter follows a path from “order to disorder to order” rather than from “order to order” under traditional assumptions.

Research limitations/implications

By identifying a common learning process at individual, group, and organizational levels, developing CPC can be viewed as a “learning organization”. This multi-level approach facilitates research into distributed organizing for emergent knowledge creation during CPC development.

Practical implications

In contrast to traditional planned projects with up-front prior knowledge, complex projects are characterized by incomplete knowledge. The challenge of dealing with knowledge uncertainty in complex projects through continuous learning has practical implications for project learning, planning, knowledge management, and leadership.

Originality/value

The concept of knowledge entropy (disorder) extends the learning boundaries of traditional projects, where little learning is anticipated, by including complex projects with knowledge uncertainty requiring continuous learning.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2009

Sheila Keegan

The purpose of this paper is to address the emerging way in which qualitative research is now carried out within the commercial world, the influences of shifting paradigms…

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2306

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the emerging way in which qualitative research is now carried out within the commercial world, the influences of shifting paradigms and the importance of theoretical understanding for current practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The “method” underpinning this paper is qualitative observation drawn from research across a wide range of client companies during more than 30 years of commercial qualitative practice, as well as from recent, ongoing conversations with other commercial practitioners and academics, and from the academic and literature.

Findings

Commercial qualitative research has, largely, moved away from a classic scientific paradigm towards a social constructionist perspective. The paper explores how the concept of emergence derived from complexity sciences and the contribution of neuroscience to understanding the role of emotion in judgement and decision making, can help make sense of current commercial practice.

Practical implications

The implications for commercial practitioners are highlighted. Training in analytical skills and emotional awareness as reflection‐in‐action is needed in order that analysis and interpretation are embedded within the ongoing research process, i.e. training needs to include qualitative thinking as much as practice.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the creative potential of “emergent inquiry”, improvisation “in the moment” and the particular skills required.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

William N. Butos

Purpose – Overview of Hayek's cognitive theory and the contributions of chapters.Methodology/approach – Perspective on significance of Hayek's cognitive theory for the…

Abstract

Purpose – Overview of Hayek's cognitive theory and the contributions of chapters.

Methodology/approach – Perspective on significance of Hayek's cognitive theory for the social sciences.

Findings – Hayek's cognitive theory provides insight into his oeuvre; more importantly, it is relevant for social theory in its own right.

Research limitations/implications – Hayek's cognitive theory warrants further attention by economists and social theorists interested in evolutionary social processes.

Originality/value of paper – To counter a widespread view that the contribution to economics and social science of Hayek's cognitive theory is largely confined to methodology. Hayek's cognitive theory also provides a useful framework for furthering the understanding of evolution within the social realm.

Details

The Social Science of Hayek's ‘The Sensory Order’
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-975-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Christian Fuchs and Wolfgang Hofkirchner

The main purpose of this paper is to consider knowledge production as a social self‐organization process, to clarify ethical implications of such an approach, and to…

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1928

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to consider knowledge production as a social self‐organization process, to clarify ethical implications of such an approach, and to relate it to the thinking of Heinz von Foerster.

Design/methodology/approach

The method employed is the one of dialectical constructions, i.e. existing contradicting approaches on knowledge research are identified and classified and a constructive synthesis of these approaches is made.

Findings

Since Heinz von Foerster's pioneering work, information‐generating systems are considered to be self‐organizing systems. We see knowledge as only a particular kind of information: it is the manifestation of information in the social realm. Thus, the creation of social information is due to the self‐organization of social systems. Heinz von Foerster has given us some indications of how knowledge and self‐organization could be applied to society. In this paper, we try to sketch a position of our own while taking into consideration Heinz von Foerster's relevant ideas.

Practical implications

The research results in this paper imply that a knowledge‐based society can only survive if it is designed in a participatory and socially and ecologically sustainable way. Hence a practical implication is that participation and co‐operation need to be advanced in order to guarantee human development.

Originality/value

The innovative aspect of the paper is that it suggests that all social self‐organizing systems are knowledge‐producing systems and that considering knowledge as a co‐operative process implies responsibility for solving the global social problems. It combines knowledge research and systems thinking based on ideas on self‐organization by Heinz von Foerster in order to describe social systems.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 34 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Masudul Alam Choudhury

A methodological study of religion including moral, ethical, and social values and economics takes us into the search, discovery, and establishment of a formal…

Abstract

Purpose

A methodological study of religion including moral, ethical, and social values and economics takes us into the search, discovery, and establishment of a formal epistemological premise. Social economics is now studied as a methodological investigation of evolutionary and embedded systems integrating the moral, social, and economic systems. Thus an integrated theory of religion representing the realm of moral and social values and economics is formalized. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The author writes on the conjoint methodological perspective of the integrated domain of religion and economics. A formal ontology of the unified field of religion and economics is established in such an inter-causal and organically unified realm of moral, social, and economic values. A phenomenological model of the unified worldview that applies to a systemic concept of “everything” emerges. This methodology and the immanent phenomenological model relating to it convey the principle of inter-systemic organic symbiosis by a unique and universal worldview.

Findings

The systemic integration between religion and economics is formally studied within the immanent system methodology that formalizes inter-disciplinary symbiosis. The result is a new formal model of integration between religion and social economics.

Research limitations/implications

Empirical work can further expand the scope of the paper.

Practical implications

Immense social, ethical, and cross-cultural implications emanate from the study.

Social implications

The morality and ethical implications of religious values are imputed in the formal model and implications of the social economy.

Originality/value

The paper is of an original nature in establishing the episteme and formalism of integration between ethical and moral values of religion into the structure of the social economy. From this both a theoretical rigor as well as logical formalism can be drawn.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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