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

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 Article

Limitations of Network Analysis for Studying Efficiency and Effectiveness of Knowledge Sharing  pp53-68

Remko Helms, Renato Ignacio, Sjaak Brinkkemper

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, pp1 - 180

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Abstract

Knowledge sharing is an important part of an employee's tasks as it is one of the mechanisms through which they learn and innovate. Sharing of knowledge typically occurs in the informal networks in the organization by means of social interaction. Several authors have proposed to use social network analysis to study the knowledge sharing relations in organizations to identify potential barriers concerning knowledge sharing. Although social network analysis has been applied in several cases, it has not been evaluated if this approach results in reliable results in terms of findings problems related to knowledge sharing. One might for instance find an isolated person with network analysis, but given the context this might not be necessary a problem. The goal of this research is to validate the use of social network analysis to study knowledge networks. We have selected one particular technique, called Knowledge Network Analysis, to evaluate in this research. The Knowledge Network Analysis technique has been applied in a case study at an international product software developer to find potential barriers in their knowledge networks. To evaluate these results, a qualitative analysis has been executed afterwards by a different researcher. This analysis was based on interviews, document study and observations. To analyze the qualitative data we developed a new model called Knowledge Sharing Environment Model (KSEM), which identifies knowledge sharing bottlenecks in a structured manner. The results from network analysis and the qualitative analysis have been compared to validate the outcomes of the network analysis. Hence, six out of nine bottlenecks were validated. This research demonstrates that Knowledge Network Analysis is a good tool for the identification of bottlenecks but needs further validation in additional case studies. However, it was suggested to combine the Knowledge Network Analysis technique with another method such as the KSEM to validate and study the causes behind the identified bottlenecks.

 

Keywords: knowledge sharing, communities of practice, learning network, knowledge network analysis, social network analysis

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge use and Sharing into a Medical Community of Practice; the Role of Virtual Agents (Knowbots)  pp64-81

Virginia Maracine, Luca Iandoli, Emil Scarlat, Adriana Sarah Nica

© Jan 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECKM 2011, Editor: Franz Lehner, pp1 - 109

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Abstract

Knowledge‑oriented organizations are bricks for the knowledge‑based society construction. Building knowledge‑based society and economy suppose challenging transition processes from the classical structure of an organization to new organizational forms that help to fill the gap between actual society and the future knowledge‑based society and economy. This transition generates new issues in knowledge creation and sharing processes, related to the particularities of the new organizational forms. Therefore, in the last few years, our researches are oriented to developing and testing a number of forms of organization designed to facilitate an efficient and effective transition toward the knowledge‑based society, like communities of practice, (virtual) networks of professionals or knowledge ecosystems (KE). Under this general frame, this paper presents the results of our research aiming to capture the necessary changes that a medical organization specialized in rehabilitation (the National Institute of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine from Bucharest, Romania ‑ INRMFB) has to undertake for converting its classical structure into a new knowledge‑oriented one, possible and easily to being integrated into a Virtual Network for Home Health Rehabilitation of the impaired people – the meta goal of our research in recent years. Specifically, within its five sections, the paper outlines: 1. An introduction in the macro and micro‑level empirical setting in which the study is carried out; 2. The methodological approach based on Social Network Analysis (SNA). Although quit often used in the medical field, as we will see in the second section of the paper, the SNA methods and models aren’t used yet in the particular area of health rehabilitation; 3. The objectives of the empirical study that can be summarized as follows: Mapping of the knowledge flows & needs in the target community of practice. The aim of this step is to produce an accurate picture of the knowledge flows that the target community identified at the INRMFB actually enacts in the accomplishment of its organizational objectives. Analysis & Diagnosis: Identification of critical aspects and areas of improvements (e.g. knowledge needs, knowledge bottlenecks, structural determinants of inefficiency or of poor performance). Design: definition of the functional specifications for redesigning the agents, network and of the functionalities of Knowbots. 4. The survey we have designed for data collection. According with the particularities of the macro and micro‑level in which our study is carried out, we have designed a survey that will help us both for diagnosing the knowledge‑sharing‑structure of INRMFB, and for finding adequate solutions for potential critical aspects identified in this medical facility.; 5. A set of conclusions and recommendations for the new knowledge‑oriented organizational structure to be created within the INRMFB. Alongside with performing SNA in the health rehabilitation field, an important output of our study is to find answer to the following questions: Cans the classical organizational structure of the INRMFB be transformed into a knowledge‑based one, by reengineering the knowledge flows and agent’s roles? If and where within the actual structure a virtual knowledge agent (knowbot) can and should be integrated? Our paper is a consequent continuation of our work in the KE area, contributing to the completion of an integrate vision over the role of the KM techniques, human and virtual agents in the emerging of knowledge‑based society. It presents a work still in progress, the final results of our study going to be presented within the ECKM2011 conference.

 

Keywords: community of practice, healthcare knowledge ecosystems, social network analysis, knowledge agent, Knowbot, collective learning, knowledge-based organization.

 

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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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