The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Journal Article

Complexity Theory and Knowledge Management Application  pp21-30

Zoë Dann, Ian Barclay

© Dec 2005 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 90

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Abstract

This article traces the development of complexity theories and proposes a Complexity Representation Model (CRM) for management processes. The purpose here was to translate key elements of complexities theories (e.g. self organisation, adaption, co‑evolution, chaos) into a recognisable form and relate these to management practice (particu‑ larly knowledge management and learning). A further Complexity Application Model (CAM) is offered that shows the relationship between the formal and informal aspects of the management environment and the CRM. It models an active environment that should learn and adapt to minor perturbations and major schisms. It is a conceptual guide as to the "ideal" management system, one that self‑ organises, learns, adapts and evolves with its environment. The application of the CAM is discussed in terms of practical methods and processes that can be used to manage and encourage managers to feel they are in control of a complex adaptive management system.

 

Keywords: Complexity theory, complexity theories, complexity representation and application, knowledge, learning

 

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Journal Article

Action through a Learning History  pp49-58

Matti Koivuaho, Harri Laihonen

© Dec 2005 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 90

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Abstract

This paper offers a view of communication networks in which professionals are connected via knowledge flows and communication processes. The discussion focuses on a case study of software business processes in two small‑ size Finnish software companies. The paper has two objectives. First, it assesses the knowledge flow model as a tool that can be used for developing knowledge‑intensive services. Second, it offers a new way of seeing a software project from a communication and knowledge flow perspective.

 

Keywords: Knowledge flows, communication, software development, complexity thinking

 

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Journal Article

Dear Diary: Recommendations for Researching Knowledge Transfer of the Complex  pp191-198

Carol Webb

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 198

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Abstract

A rich‑picture can unfold itself to the researcher who engages management practitioners as research participants in the task of qualitative, open‑ended diary‑writing while also 'feeding' the participant with reading material to consider and reflect on in the diary itself. The particular work referred to in this paper is the result of a three year long research project, from 2002‑2005, where 13 research participants were, in such a vein, asked to write a weekly work‑ based diary over the course of a year — a goal which some met and others did not. The three year study sought to find out how individual managers demonstrated making sense and learning using complexity science principles in work‑ focussed diaries. A key insight derived offers a way forward for future research on the topic of knowledge transfer of the complex by means of diaries as a qualitative research data collection tool in conjunction with ongoing, qualitatively rich interactions between researcher and research participant. The use of diaries by researchers shows their versatility as a research tool. Diaries have been used by researchers in the evaluation and interpretation of the practice of teaching, training and learning, in the study of meaning and emotions over time, in investigations into workers' and management's responses to change and uncertainty, to conduct research into personal relationships, in addition to the subject of personal identity and life transition, health, and the study of diaries themselves. The domain of complexity science provides thought‑provoking material that both challenges and complements perspectives of day‑to‑day work, thinking, and life. The ways in which people contextualise complexity science principles and other complexity science material in their work differs from case to case. While the extant literature conveyed value in making sense of experiences in working life with complexity science, there was a lack of grass‑roots practical evidence from the field provided in the literature. The use of the diary as a research tool was considered invaluable in the study undertaken and insights suggest the value of the diary in researching knowledge transfer of the complex in general. The underpinning literature, the method followed, highlights of the findings, and an overview of conclusions and implications for practice and future research are provided.

 

Keywords: qualitative diaries knowledge transfer complexity research

 

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Journal Article

Perceptions on Complexity of Decisions Involved in Choosing Intellectual Capital Assessment Methods  pp615-626

Agnieta Pretorius, Petrie Coetzee

© Jan 2010 Volume 7 Issue 5, Editor: Kimiz Dalkir, pp535 - 662

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Abstract

Intellectual capital (IC) is increasingly acknowledged as a dominant strategic asset and a major source of competitive advantage for organisations. Despite an overwhelming body of literature on methods, models, systems and frameworks for assessment of IC, and increased awareness of the need for such assessment, relatively few organisations are actively and comprehensively assessing their IC. Choosing an appropriate method is problematic. It has been argued that, due to the complexities involved in choosing (selecting and customising) an appropriate method for assessing intellectual capital in a particular context, management support systems with knowledge components are needed for managing the evolving body of knowledge concerning the assessment of intellectual capital. To empirically test this argument, a survey making use of a self‑administered questionnaire was performed to test perceptions of suitable consultants, practitioners and researchers on the complexity levels of decisions to be made in selecting and customising methods for assessment of IC. Respondents were selected through convenience sampling coupled with snowball sampling. Data collected on respondents themselves confirms their expert status regarding IC and aspects thereof. The majority of these respondents indicated that, given any particular context, the decisions involved in selecting and customising an appropriate method for assessment of IC is often or always very complex. Decisions involved in selection are perceived as marginally more complex than decisions involved in customisation. Respondents provided valuable insights and rich examples of scenarios on the higher and lower regions of the complexity scale for the decisions involved in the selection, as well as, for the decisions involved in the customisation of IC assessment methods. It is concluded that the perceived complexity of the decisions involved in choosing IC assessment methods supports the notion that supporting systems are required to assist human decision makers in making sense of the complexities involved in choosing IC assessment methods.

 

Keywords: intellectual capital, intangible assets, methods of assessment, complexity of choice, management support systems

 

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Journal Article

Designing a Strategy Formulation Process for New, Technology‑Based Firms: a Knowledge‑based Approach  pp245-254

Antonios Livieratos

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, ICICKM 2008, Editor: Kevin O'Sullivan, pp199 - 296

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Abstract

In the knowledge‑based economy the nature of what is strategic has been modified along with the importance of knowledge and its management. One of the most important implications of these changes is the expansion of resources and products that are globally tradable, highlighting the importance of knowledge as the key economic resource of lasting competitive advantage. As a consequence of this shift in the economy, an increasing number of industries are moving from the closed innovation model to the open innovation model that created porous boundaries between the innovative company and its surrounding environment, changing the interand intra‑organizational modes of coordination. In an environment where knowledge is the key economic resource and the open innovation model is applied in more and more industries, we are experiencing the increasing importance of the New Technology‑Based Firm (NTBF). NTBFs face a number of difficulties mainly associated with a lack of resources and entrepreneurial skills and in order overcome the difficulties NTBFs strive towards flexibility while accelerating the development and commercialization processes by creating andor entering business networks. By adopting a knowledge‑based view for NTBFs and consequently placing knowledge in the centre of a systemic innovation model, knowledge networks constitute an asset for NTBFs. As this new form of cooperation takes multiple and often unpredictable forms it is thus essential to develop strategy formulation tools and processes that can help NTBFs to face their challenges. Until now little attention has been given to the development of strategy tools and processes tailored for the requirements of NTBFs. The present paper presents a concept to cope with NTBFs' by developing a generic process for strategy formulation. In this respect, an action research project was initiated. The proposed concept was initially designed, although not exclusively, for a Greek NTBF, Astrofos Ltd. The author, who is coordinator of the incubator where Astrofos is sited, is acting as a strategy consultant for the firm and has taken part in all its major decisions since summer 2007. In order to build the strategy formulation process, this paper proposes a mapping technique that attempts to depict a NTBF's tangible and intangible transactions as well as the strength of ties between the focal NTBF and its partners and the complexity of the knowledge. In developing the mapping technique, we have used a combination of the concept of weak ties, derived from social network analysis, with the notion of complex knowledge, as this combination was initially proposed by Hansen (1999). Additionally, a set of questions is proposed that have to be answered in order to pass from knowledge identification to knowledge transfer, from a strategic point of view. In this regard, the presented methodology constitutes an effort, on the one hand, to study the emergent patterns in what is considered to be a chaotic or disordered system and, on the other, to stimulate the creation of new patterns in the system that would be consistent with the NTBF's strategy.

 

Keywords: new technology-based firm, NTBF, innovation, strategy formulation process, value network, mapping technique, social network analysis, knowledge complexity

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 4 Issue 1 / Jan 2006  pp1‑90

Editor: Charles Despres

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Keywords: Active learning, Africa, Business intelligence, Case study, Cognitive diversity, CommonKADS], Communication, Complexity, Complexity representation , Complexity theory, Complexity thinking, Cross-functional teams, e-Commerce, Enterprise semantic web, First order reflection, Group dynamics, Human capital, Intellectual capital, Knowledge acquisition, Knowledge acquisition, Knowledge capital, Knowledge cooperation, Knowledge co-production, Knowledge creation, Knowledge flows, Knowledge learning, Knowledge sharing, Knowledge transfer, Knowledge transfer cycle, Lightweight ontologies, Organisational practices, Performance measurement, Predictive maintenance, Relational capital, Second order reflection, Semantic information retrieval, Semantic interoperability, Social networks, Social Software, Software development, Structural capital, Tourism, Value creation, Weblog, Wiki

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 2, ICICKM 2008 / Jun 2009  pp199‑296

Editor: Kevin O'Sullivan

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Keywords: competitive intelligence, conceptual umbrella metaphor, e-business performance, elicitation, enabling context, Ba, European firms, external knowledge, framework G-U-I-N, globalization, higher education, human networks, industry attractiveness, information age, information and communication technology, information communication, integration, intellectual capital, KM in agribusiness, knowledge capitalization, knowledge complexity, knowledge maps, knowledge modelling, knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, leadership, mapping technique, merging, mind map, m-k toolkit, mobile knowledge, new technology-based firm (NTBF), ontology, research network, risk, social aspects, social network analysis, social software, strategic alliances, strategic information management, strategy formulation process, technologies, technology adoption, technology, Thailand, triple helix model, university-industry interaction, value network, virtual knowledge management, wicked problems

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 3 / Jun 2009  pp297‑397

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Keywords: competitive intelligence, conceptual umbrella metaphor, e-business performance, elicitation, enabling context, Ba, European firms, external knowledge, framework G-U-I-N, globalization, higher education, human networks, industry attractiveness, information age, information and communication technology, information communication, integration, intellectual capital, KM in agribusiness, knowledge capitalization, knowledge complexity, knowledge maps, knowledge modelling, knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, leadership, mapping technique, merging, mind map, m-k toolkit, mobile knowledge, new technology-based firm (NTBF), ontology, research network, risk, social aspects, social network analysis, social software, strategic alliances, strategic information management, strategy formulation process, technologies, technology adoption, technology, Thailand, triple helix model, university-industry interaction, value network, virtual knowledge management, wicked problems

 

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