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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2020

Muhammad Saleem Sumbal, Eric Tsui, Susanne Durst, Muhammad Shujahat, Irfan Irfan and Syed Muhammad Ali

The purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual framework on knowledge loss in a manufacturing sector based on three aspects: likelihood of knowledge loss, critical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual framework on knowledge loss in a manufacturing sector based on three aspects: likelihood of knowledge loss, critical areas of knowledge loss and relevance of each of these knowledge areas in terms of utilization and alignment with organizational goals and strategy. Such a conceptual framework can be helpful to the practicing managers in understanding the types of knowledge that is lost of a given departing employee and thus deciding on a measure to retain the critical employees or capture their knowledge before they leave.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, data has been collected from a multinational battery manufacturing company based in Hong Kong. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted and analyzed through CAQDAS ATLAS.ti to generate the themes which were then used to develop the conceptual framework.

Findings

The findings revealed that the likelihood factors of knowledge loss in the manufacturing sector include layoffs, retirement, immigration and job change. The critical areas of knowledge loss comprise the knowledge of relationships and networks, especially with the customers and suppliers, the technical knowledge (battery and process technology) and knowledge of management, among others. The relevance of each of these knowledge areas needs to be determined through proper analysis whether these knowledge areas are needed in future projects, up to date and aligned with organizational goals and strategy along with other factors.

Research limitations/implications

Using the developed conceptual framework, managers and executives can identify critical employees in the manufacturing sector and accordingly take some appropriate measures to retain their knowledge. Caution should be taken while applying the findings of this study in other industries and context.

Originality/value

This paper is an attempt to reduce the dearth of empirical studies by exploring knowledge retention in the manufacturing sector, especially in the development of proper conceptual frameworks to assess the potential knowledge loss of employees.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2018

Susanne Durst, Birgitta Lindvall and Guido Bruns

This study aims to contribute to the understanding of knowledge risk management (KRM) and a range of related knowledge management practices in the public sector through a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to contribute to the understanding of knowledge risk management (KRM) and a range of related knowledge management practices in the public sector through a case study conducted in a Swedish municipality.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study was conducted in a Swedish municipality involving two offices. Data were collected through an online survey, group interviews and group exercises involving members of the offices who represented different functions, roles and age groups.

Findings

The findings underline the need for a systematic approach to KRM for being in a position to continuously deliver the municipality’s products and services, specifically against the knowledge challenges ahead. In addition, the authors identified a number of internal and external factors that are challenging KRM.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected from a single case study, to generalize the findings future research should study additional local governments.

Practical implications

A holistic KRM framework is proposed intended to help managers tackle present and future challenges in the public sector.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the underdeveloped field of KRM by providing insights into KRM and KRM-related activities found in a Swedish municipality.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Susanne Durst and Pietro Evangelista

This paper aims to explore knowledge management (KM) practices implemented by third-party logistics service companies (3PLs) and the main barriers slowing down the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore knowledge management (KM) practices implemented by third-party logistics service companies (3PLs) and the main barriers slowing down the adoption of such practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach used in this paper is based on a multiple case study analysis involving a set of 3PLs operating in Italy and Sweden. The empirical analysis has explored the KM practices used by 3PLs and the main barrier hindering their adoption.

Findings

In spite of some adoption, the findings suggest that 3PLs are not sufficiently realizing the full potential of KM. The evidence also indicates that there is a link between the type of 3PL company (in terms of the breadth and complexity of the services supplied) and the sophistication of KM tools adopted.

Research limitations/implications

From a research point of view, further research should focus on the validation of the link between the number and sophistication of KM tools used and the breadth of services supplied. Further research should also focus on exploring how KM can support 3PL companies in enhancing their performance.

Practical implications

From a practical point of view, the findings may help the management of 3PL companies to take a more strategic approach to KM and thus its contribution to the firms’ overall goals. Additionally, it is critical to conduct a careful analysis of current and future KM needs to identify the most suitable KM solutions linked to the specific characteristics of the business in which 3PLs operate.

Originality/value

This study provides fresh insights into the adoption of KM practices in logistics service organizations. The findings advance the limited body of knowledge regarding this topic and contribute to the further development of the study of KM.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2020

Serdal Temel and Susanne Durst

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to name and categorize risks related to emerging technological innovations and to propose a number of countermeasures. The emphasis…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to name and categorize risks related to emerging technological innovations and to propose a number of countermeasures. The emphasis is placed on knowledge risks that are grouped under human, organizational and technological spheres and are presented from a small business perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The presented paper takes into account the prior literature and the authors’ thoughts and experiences to identify potential knowledge risks and countermeasures.

Findings

Having a better overview of possible knowledge risks that may emerge in conjunction with the adoption and application of emerging technological innovations can help small businesses to better assess these new developments and their possible upsides and downsides. The proposed risks and countermeasures can also help policymakers as well as other organizations working for or together with smaller businesses to help them maintain and even increase their competitiveness.

Practical implications

Different implications are suggested for not only managers and employees in small businesses but also other stakeholders working for or with small businesses.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first one that focuses on how small businesses can improve their decision-making regarding the adoption of new emerging technological innovation from a knowledge risk perspective.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 January 2019

Susanne Durst

This paper aims to review research on the topic of knowledge risks to establish the current body of knowledge and, on this basis, to suggest some promising avenues for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review research on the topic of knowledge risks to establish the current body of knowledge and, on this basis, to suggest some promising avenues for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

This study consists of a systematic review of 52 refereed articles on knowledge risks.

Findings

The findings contribute to a more holistic view of the topic and related aspects and, thus, complement the study of knowledge management. Additionally, a number of research questions are proposed, aimed at guiding and informing future research activities.

Research limitations/implications

This study may not have enabled a complete coverage of all articles in the field of knowledge risks. Yet, based on the chosen research methodology, it seems reasonable to assume that the review process covered a large share of studies available.

Originality/value

To the best of the author’s knowledge, no systematic literature review on knowledge risks and related issues has previously been published in academic journals.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 49 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2020

Muhammad Shujahat, Minhong Wang, Murad Ali, Anum Bibi, Shahid Razzaq and Susanne Durst

The high turnover rate of knowledge workers presents a challenge to both organizational and personal knowledge management. Although personal knowledge management plays an…

Abstract

Purpose

The high turnover rate of knowledge workers presents a challenge to both organizational and personal knowledge management. Although personal knowledge management plays an important role in organizational knowledge management, empirical research on the practices for its application is underdeveloped. This study aims to examine the role of idiosyncratic job-design practices (i.e. job definition, job autonomy, innovation as a job requirement and lifelong learning orientation) in cultivating personal knowledge management among knowledge workers in organizations, to increase their productivity and safeguard the organization against knowledge loss arising from knowledge workers’ interfirm mobility.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 221 knowledge workers pursuing various knowledge-intensive jobs through a questionnaire survey and were analysed using partial least squares modelling.

Findings

The results demonstrated that three job-design practices (job definition, innovation as a job requirement and lifelong learning orientation) have a positive impact on personal knowledge management among knowledge workers and thus improve their productivity. However, job autonomy can affect personal knowledge management negatively.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are confined to a specific context and should be replicated across different contexts for better generalizability in future research.

Practical implications

Organizational managers should pay attention to (re)designing knowledge-intensive jobs to cultivate personal knowledge management by clearly outlining job responsibilities, offering opportunities to add relevant job activities and drop irrelevant ones, and making innovation and lifelong learning a formal job requirement. In addition, job autonomy should be judiciously provided along with sufficient social and network support to avoid lost opportunities in knowledge creation and sharing, and should be linked to job responsibilities and performance appraisals to avoid negative effects.

Originality/value

The high turnover rate of knowledge workers presents a challenge to both organizational and personal knowledge management. This study contributes to the literature by addressing the research gap in two aspects. Firstly, based on Drucker’s theory, this study identifies four idiosyncratic job-design practices (job definition, job autonomy, innovation as a job requirement and lifelong learning orientation) that reflect the distinctive characteristics of knowledge-intensive work. Secondly, this study examines whether and how these practices can cultivate personal knowledge management among knowledge workers, which can support their productivity.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2020

Ingi Runar Edvardsson, Guðmundur Kristján Óskarsson and Susanne Durst

This paper aims to present findings on outsourcing practices in small service firms in Iceland, where the prime focus is on knowledge-intensive service firms.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present findings on outsourcing practices in small service firms in Iceland, where the prime focus is on knowledge-intensive service firms.

Design/methodology/approach

To gain information on the scope and reason for outsourcing, telephone and online surveys were used. In total, 802 firms participated in the surveys, which were conducted in the period 2009-2018.

Findings

The results show that knowledge-intensive firms outsource far more than other service firms and are also more likely to have an outsourcing strategy. The grounds for increased outsourcing are cost reduction and strategic reasons, such as a focus on core competency and the search for external knowledge. In comparison with other firms, knowledge-intensive firms are increasingly outsourcing cleaning, security services, canteen and transportation, IT processes, human resource management, training and consulting. Additionally, managers of these firms select suppliers more on the basis of cost and quality. They also realize more cost savings as a consequence of outsourcing. Outsourcing had a very limited effect on employment in the firms, while cost reduction was achieved in 48.3 per cent of the firms involved.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are in line with the resource-based theory and, interestingly, this is not limited to knowledge-based firms, but to a large portion of service firms as well.

Originality/value

This is the first in-depth study on outsourcing patterns in knowledge-intensive firms, which uses theoretical classification in empirical analysis.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Ingi Runar Edvardsson, Susanne Durst and Gudmundur Kristjan Oskarsson

So far, there are very few empirical research studies available on the outsourcing pattern among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

So far, there are very few empirical research studies available on the outsourcing pattern among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The purpose of this paper is to examine strategic outsourcing among Icelandic SME service firms, from 2009 to 2018.

Design/methodology/approach

The data presented in this paper cover responses from 802 small service firms, which were collected through telephone and online questionnaires. In order to have sufficient data on strategic outsourcing and to ensure a decent analysis, three surveys were combined.

Findings

The main finding of the present paper is that SMEs that have a developed strategy on outsourcing seem to perform better than those who do not have. The former are more likely to have achieved cost reduction, especially in housing and finance, and they use outsourcing to increase core businesses. They select vendor firms more on the bases of cost and services, rather than personal contacts. Also, these firms have improved service quality, by focusing on their core competences.

Originality/value

To the authors‘ knowledge, the present study is one of the few empirical studies that have examined outsourcing in SMEs from a strategic perspective. The findings are valuable for managerial practice and could be a base for outsourcing strategies in SMEs.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Florinda Matos, Valter Martins Vairinhos, Renata Paola Dameri and Susanne Durst

The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss possible solutions to integrate the concepts of smart city (SC) and intellectual capital management, especially…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss possible solutions to integrate the concepts of smart city (SC) and intellectual capital management, especially referring to structural capital. On the basis of this, the authors propose a theoretical framework that highlights the relevance of structural capital for strategic and operational planning of smarter cities.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a neuropsychological analogy, the authors assume that the development of SCs corresponds to the development of a sensorial or even a nervous system for cities based on their structural capital, and the development of city intellectual capital (CIC) corresponds to a further phase of the cities’ mind development. The authors propose a practical framework that combines the concepts of city nervous system and city mind. It can be used as an instrument for project management. In this model, sensorial data – associated with the implementation of cities’ sensorial systems – should naturally contribute with open data to the development of higher abstract functions that in turn supports the creation of CIC.

Findings

This paper highlights the interrelations between intellectual capital (IC) (especially its structural component) and SC and their synergic capability of improving both an SC’s competitiveness and sustainability, and by this illustrates the benefits of combining both concepts in a common theoretical framework.

Research limitations/implications

Given the paper’s theoretical nature, the empirical validation of the proposed framework is missing. This limitation will be addressed in forthcoming empirical research.

Originality/value

By proposing a framework that combines the concepts of SC and IC, the paper contributes to theory development regarding the strategic management of cities and the application of IC.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Susanne Durst, Mariano Martin Genaro Palacios Acuache and Guido Bruns

Crises of any type have become an integral part of business activity and responses to them could make the difference between survival and failure. This applies in…

Abstract

Purpose

Crises of any type have become an integral part of business activity and responses to them could make the difference between survival and failure. This applies in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Taking the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a starting point, this study aims to investigate how Peruvian SMEs have been coping with COVID-19 so far. Based on that a conceptual framework is proposed which highlights the practice of SMEs trying to deal with a new type of crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an exploratory qualitative research design involving 25 semi-structured interviews conducted in Peruvian SMEs.

Findings

The findings demonstrate how the Peruvian firms studied to adapt to the new situation and initiate responses to increasing the chance of survival. Furthermore, the role of the companies’ decision-makers, as well as the role of crisis management and other related approaches in the companies are shown.

Research limitations/implications

The paper expands the underdeveloped body of knowledge regarding crisis management in Latin America in general and crisis management in SMEs by providing insight into how Peruvian SMEs perceive and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical implications

The findings presented in this paper have implications for both managers and managerial staff of SMEs but also for the people in charge of the curricula at universities and other teaching-focused institutes.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirical study of crisis management on the impacts of COVID-19 with a dedicated focus on SMEs from Latin America. It provides fresh insight into current reactions to the Pandemic.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

Keywords

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