Exploration of Knowledge Sharing Challenges in Value Networks: a Case Study in the Finnish Grocery Industry pp505-514
Business activities are increasingly organized through networks. This article considers the value network of the Finnish grocery industry, a network where the web of relationships between two or more companies creates tangible and intangible value through the complex and dynamic exchanges. In value networks the relationships between the participants of the network tend to be more complex than the traditional make‑buy‑relationships, as companies create value together through different types of relationships such as deep buyer‑supplier‑relationships or strategic partnerships. This variance in the nature and level of collaborative relationships poses new challenges to knowledge sharing. Complementing previous research on the challenges to knowledge sharing in other network settings, this article explores the knowledge sharing challenges specific to value networks based on a qualitative case study about the value network of the Finnish grocery industry. The data consists of 32 thematic interviews of top and upper management representatives from 16 companies in the value network. The results show that the current collaborative relationships in the Finnish grocery industry are functional and working, but mostly just traditional "arms‑length" buyer‑supplier‑relationships. However, the challenges to knowledge sharing seem to be somewhat different to those present in other network settings. The challenges to knowledge sharing in value networks do not seem to concern so much the opportunities for knowledge sharing, but the motivational and cultural factors affecting what knowledge is shared and how much knowledge is shared. Based on these results, the knowledge sharing challenges of the value network can be crystallized under three points. First, the focus of knowledge sharing has been on information, and the organizational arrangements do not encourage the sharing of valuable know‑how. Second, the organizational cultures and top management directives do not encourage external knowledge sharing, and therefore knowledge is not shared. And third, the experiences of past abuses of trust and the retail groups renewed focus on price bargaining undermine the trust between the companies, thus inhibiting knowledge sharing.
Keywords: knowledge sharing, knowledge sharing challenges, value networks, collaboration, case studies
This paper explores the relevance and awareness of IC in two hotel chains in the Caribbean. A qualitative exploratory case study method was used to gain an in‑depth understanding of the constructs relating to IC within indigenous Caribbean hotels. The dat a collection procedures employed were documentation, archival records and twenty interviews with top managers. Content analysis was used as the major technique for analyzing the data. The major finding is that there is no formal recognition of the constru ct of IC, but the embedded practices within the organisations suggested the presence of such. The data clustering and analysis of the evidence suggested two themes for HC ‑personal competencies and human resource praxes; three themes for RC ‑ customer ca pital, brand and community capital; and three themes for SC ‑ information systems, innovation and organization. The case studies further revealed that the chains had embedded human resource practices and well established customer relationship management systems which created linkages among the components of IC.