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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Priscilla A. Arling and Mark W.S. Chun

The purpose of this paper is to describe a framework designed to assess the capacity of a knowledge management (KM) system to facilitate new knowledge creation.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a framework designed to assess the capacity of a knowledge management (KM) system to facilitate new knowledge creation.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal case study methodology, in a single company, Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), was used to test the framework.

Findings

New knowledge creation is best supported through mature KM systems that include all four modes of knowledge creation: combination, externalization, socialization, and internalization. KM systems and environments as a whole reach maturity by progressing through stages, which is presented as a KM maturity model.

Research limitations/implications

By combining Nonaka's knowledge creation theory with Wittrock's generative learning activities, the paper illuminates both the why and how of new knowledge creation, in a way that can be applied to KM technological initiatives. One of the limitations of this study is the generalizability of the findings, which may be limited by the single case study method used.

Practical implications

The framework provides a rubric against which both old and new KM initiatives can be assessed to determine whether they are capable of generating new knowledge. The maturity model provides a template against which organizations can map their progress towards a mature KM environment.

Originality/value

Much of the literature on KM systems has focused on capturing knowledge and disseminating it. Few studies have provided practical, theoretically based advice on how to create new knowledge and what aspects of information systems can facilitate that creation. The framework and maturity model can serve as guides in that process.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Chiara Bartolacci, Cristina Cristalli, Daniela Isidori and Federico Niccolini

Taking Nonaka’s SECI model as the main reference, this paper aims to offer reflections on the virtual evolution of ba, the places for knowledge creation. Indeed, looking…

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Abstract

Purpose

Taking Nonaka’s SECI model as the main reference, this paper aims to offer reflections on the virtual evolution of ba, the places for knowledge creation. Indeed, looking at the current scenario, widening the knowledge spiral to the inter-organizational epistemological level is inevitable. To this aim, information technology tools and virtual communities can establish effective interactions to exchange knowledge, making ba evolve congruently.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the exemplary case of a platform developed during a European research project called “BIVEE: Business Innovation in Virtual Enterprise Environments”. The investigative approach chosen is participatory action research (PAR), with two researchers conducting PAR in real time, and two others involved ex post.

Findings

The paper shows that the virtual evolution of ba can lead the SECI model towards an inter-organizational level. Moreover, through a learning history, it describes how all the phases of the SECI process, even the Socialization one, can take place or be supported in virtual spaces.

Research limitations/implications

Taking into account just one single exemplary case study provides a rich, contextualized understanding of phenomena, while allowing only some theoretical generalizations.

Originality/value

This paper contextualizes the SECI model within a Web platform for open innovation, to investigate whether the knowledge creation process can take place entirely within a virtual environment linking subjects from different organizations. In so doing, it applies the SECI model to the phases of the innovation process, called waves.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2020

Tachia Chin, Shouyang Wang and Chris Rowley

This study aims to characterise an intricate, idiosyncratic knowledge-creating mechanism in the modern digital context of cross-cultural business models (CBM). From an…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to characterise an intricate, idiosyncratic knowledge-creating mechanism in the modern digital context of cross-cultural business models (CBM). From an integrative socio-cultural and philosophical perspective, the authors suggest a novel concept of polychronic knowledge creation (PKC) and its metaphor to theorise such a complex phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual in nature. It critically reviews the literature characterising the flourishing of information and communication technology (ICT)-driven CBMs and clarifies a research gap. The authors draw a dynamic conceptual framework describing how knowledge is created poly-chronically within CBMs, while also articulating and justifying the occurrence of knowledge icebergs as a manifestation of critical cognitive variances and biases in such contexts.

Findings

Building upon existential phenomenology, the authors regard the sea as a parable of the CBM ecosystem and propose the new notion of PKC as a dynamic time-space synthesis and its associated sea-like heuristic metaphor. These elucidate how the intricate interconnectivity of a focal firm with its diverse strategic partners kindles a discursive, multi-path knowledge creation process in ICT-driven CBMs under multiple jurisdictions with manifold cultures.

Research limitations/implications

Implications regarding the role of cross-cultural management in creating new knowledge within CBMs are provided.

Originality/value

The research complements and enriches Nonaka’s (1994) theory and its underlying metaphor “ba” (by incorporating the abstruse yet vital role of culture in the synthesizing process of knowledge creation) to propose the novel ideas of PKC and the sea-like heuristic metaphor in CBMs.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

Steffen Bernius

This paper aims at analysing the impact of open access (OA) on the creation, retrieval and transfer of scientific knowledge. In doing so, the focus is set on scientific…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at analysing the impact of open access (OA) on the creation, retrieval and transfer of scientific knowledge. In doing so, the focus is set on scientific research as one core function of higher education institutions. It also aims to identify potential advantages of OA over traditional subscription‐based publishing models from the viewpoint of academic scientists.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach of this study can be classified as analytical conceptual research. First the SECI model of organisational knowledge creation is applied to knowledge management in science (with the university as organisation). In a second step the resulting framework is used to describe influences of OA on the management of scientific knowledge.

Findings

OA accelerates the creation and widens the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Subject‐based repositories are suggested to provide the best conditions for retrieval of scientific knowledge. Furthermore, in terms of economic efficiency, OA has the potential to significantly decrease the costs of scholarly communication.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper the focus of investigation is academic research. Thus in order to get the “big picture” the influence of openly accessible information on knowledge management processes in teaching and administration should also be evaluated. The approach used in this paper seems to be suitable for such an analysis.

Practical implications

The findings of the paper are of interest for policy makers in higher education institutions – especially when facing decisions regarding the (financial) support of OA initiatives.

Originality/value

The paper adds a theoretically sound approach of analysing OA impacts to the existing literature in this field.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Rachel Itabashi‐Campbell, Julia Gluesing and Sheri Perelli

The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence of engineering knowledge creation in the context of product failure management, thereby extending knowledge

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence of engineering knowledge creation in the context of product failure management, thereby extending knowledge about organizational learning and mindfulness to a largely unexplored context. The study addresses a gap in the literature by illustrating “engineering epistemology” as a critical knowledge asset that gives rise to superior problem solving – and potentially – superior business performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted qualitative research based on phenomenological interviews with product engineers to generate a grounded theory about organizational knowledge creation. Rigorous analysis of narratives detailing the “lived lives” of problem solvers relied on a research protocol recommended by Corbin and Strauss.

Findings

The findings show that engineers' real‐world problem‐solving practices mirror Nonaka and Takeuchi's five phases of knowledge creation and the three stages of sensemaking in enactment theory, the genesis of Weick's notion of mindfulness. A synthesized model illustrates how a five‐step problem‐solving process facilitated by environmental conditions resulting in organizational learning is influenced by an “engineering epistemology”.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was limited to engineers based primarily in the US Midwest. While the authors' methodology (grounded theory) was appropriate for theory generation, the results invite quantitative testing involving a larger and more diversified sample of engineers.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the social aspects of engineering problem solving that firms can optimize for effective problem investigation and higher organizational learning.

Originality/value

The paper conceptualizes problem‐solving teamwork as epistemic collaboration, with the often un‐optimized potential of generating organizational learning. It is, to the authors' knowledge, the first research to concentrate on modeling the dynamics of knowledge creation in an engineering problem‐solving context.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Niamh M. Brennan, Collette E. Kirwan and John Redmond

The purpose of this paper is to understand the influence of information and knowledge exchange and sharing between managers and non-executive directors is important in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the influence of information and knowledge exchange and sharing between managers and non-executive directors is important in assessing the dynamic processes of accountability in boardrooms. By analysing information/knowledge at multiple levels, invoking the literature on implicit/tacit and explicit information/knowledge, the authors show that information asymmetry is a necessary condition for effective boards. The authors introduce a conceptual model of manager-non-executive director information asymmetry as an outcome of the interpretation of information/knowledge-sharing processes amongst board members. The model provides a more nuanced agenda of the management-board information asymmetry problem to enable a better understanding of the role of different types of information in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of information/knowledge exchange, sharing and creation and the resultant conceptual model are based on the following elements: manager-non-executive director information/knowledge, management-board information/knowledge and board dynamics and reciprocal processes converting implicit/tacit into explicit information/knowledge.

Findings

The paper provides new insights into the dynamics of information/knowledge exchange, sharing and creation between managers and non-executive directors (individual level)/between management and boards (group level). The authors characterise this as a two-way process, back-and-forth between managers/executive directors and non-executive directors. The importance of relative/experienced “ignorance” of non-executive directors is revealed, which the authors term the “information asymmetry paradox”.

Research limitations/implications

The authors set out key opportunities for developing a research agenda from the model based on prior research of knowledge conversion processes and how these may be applied in a boardroom setting.

Practical implications

The model may assist directors in better understanding their roles and the division of labour between managers and non-executive directors from an information/knowledge perspective.

Originality/value

The authors apply Ikujiro Nonaka’s knowledge conversion framework to consider the transitioning from individual implicit personal to explicit shared information/knowledge, to understand the subtle processes at play in boardrooms influencing information/knowledge exchange, sharing and creation between managers and non-executive directors.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Malin Brännback, Alan Carsrud and William D. Schulte

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the family business succession process using Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation and conceptualisation of a knowledge‐creating

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the family business succession process using Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation and conceptualisation of a knowledge‐creating place, Ba to enhance one's understanding of critical managerial challenges in family business succession.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on literature review, Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation and knowledge‐creating space is applied to the family business succession process.

Findings

Through literature review and synthesis thereof the paper concludes that Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation is a highly valid framework for analyzing and supporting the family business succession process. The paper proposes that Ba is a perception of a place – the family firm – and a shared purpose among family members in that firm. It is posited that the absence of Ba can be a significant barrier to a family firm adopting a successful succession process. Creating a Ba is essential for family firms to survive.

Research limitations/implications

Only propositions are presented, but they serve as valid research questions for future research.

Originality/value

Previous research of knowledge management processes and applications in family business context is scarce. Moreover, research on succession in family firms has not been considered as a knowledge creating and sharing process. This paper applies a valid and widely used model to the context of family firms and adopts the view that a succession process in essence is a knowledge creating and sharing process.

Details

VINE, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2007

Finn Hansson

The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the failure of science parks to become a central actor in the knowledge economy and, with the help of

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the failure of science parks to become a central actor in the knowledge economy and, with the help of new organizational theory, to propose new solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews a number of recent studies of science parks and their effect on innovation and economic growth, measured by revenue or survival rate of new firms, but demonstrating no positive result of the parks. The paper then introduces modern organization theory, specializing in analyzing the processes of creating, managing, organizing, and transferring knowledge distributed through a number of networks and other volatile organizations in order to investigate the set‐up of science parks in the knowledge economy.

Findings

Using Nonaka's concept of ba as a metaphor for the new tradition in organizational theory, the paper finds very few – if any – signs of these new ways of organizing in traditional science parks. The paper argues that principles from modern knowledge organizations has to be installed in science parks if the parks are to regain the initiative and become an important actor in the new regime of knowledge production. Otherwise, science parks must be viewed as an outdated institution, left over from the industrial society.

Practical implications

The paper proposes a system of certification and quality assessment that might speed up the change in science parks from organizations formed by the industrial society to organizations serving the needs of the knowledge society.

Originality/value

The paper is an original contribution to the theory of science parks and innovation policy. The use of new organizational theory on knowledge management, illustrated by Nonaka's concept of ba, presents a new solution to overcome the traditional thinking on how to organize science parks.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

Maria Sarabia

The aim of this paper is to analyse leadership cycles based on knowledge creation, with learning and culture as key elements for reaching leadership. Following Ikujiro

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to analyse leadership cycles based on knowledge creation, with learning and culture as key elements for reaching leadership. Following Ikujiro Nonaka's viewpoint about knowledge creation in Japanese firms, this paper seeks to provide a link between knowledge management and change in leaders.

Design/methodology/approach

The developed analysis is theoretical and it links the real case of Hoshiden Electronics' homemade breadmaking machine to knowledge distribution in order to attain leadership and using Nonaka's knowledge interplay.

Findings

The paper provides a fresh look on leadership, presenting two types according to how change in leaders is handled and how every leader establishes his/her own knowledge cycle: knowledge amplification and knowledge modulation cycle.

Originality/value

Knowledge leadership cycles establish an insight for future studies and provide a theoretical framework for researchers and managers, identifying how a successful leader is developed.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Yue Wu, Dai Senoo and Rémy Magnier‐Watanabe

This paper intends to propose an “ontological shift SECI model” as a tool to diagnose organizations in the context of knowledge creation, and thereby support the

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper intends to propose an “ontological shift SECI model” as a tool to diagnose organizations in the context of knowledge creation, and thereby support the management of knowledge creation‐related projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This research's hypothesis is based on existing knowledge creation theories and is tested using a case study methodology. The authors first examine the model in a completed project in order to test its validity and second, apply it in Company A's software project to demonstrate its feasibility and usefulness.

Findings

In any given project, knowledge creation activities occur in various ontological entities – individual, group, organization or social‐network. The diagnosis tool, which proved to be useful in this paper, traces such ontological shifts and makes visible all key activities of a knowledge creation project. These activities form an “ontological shift model” and trace an “activity map” which exposes underlying enablers and barriers, and provides viable solutions for improvement.

Research limitations/implications

To carry out the analysis, the key activities identified in the knowledge creation‐related project have to be described in detail according to their ontological and epistemological dimensions. However, such description is complex and requires specialized expertise in knowledge creation and rich knowledge of the ongoing project.

Practical implications

The tool proved useful for supporting project managers in diagnosing their project's knowledge creation shortcomings. When knowledge creation breakdowns occur in a project, the tool can act as a navigator and uncover alternatives to continue the knowledge‐creating spiral.

Originality/value

Knowledge creation process is difficult to manage because of its cause ambiguity and intangibility. What is a knowledge creation activity? And why? This model makes explicit experienced managers' tacit solutions to knowledge creation problems. It can make organizational knowledge creation activities visible and therefore manageable for junior staff, outside consultants and even future software modeling.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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