The Knowledge‑Based Foundations of Organisational Performance Improvements: An Action Research Approach pp333-344
The strategic and management literature grounded on the resource and knowledge based view of the firm, has widely outlined the importance of knowledge assets in a company’s value creation. However, despite acknowledgment of the strategic relevance of knowledge assets and their management for driving organizational performance improvement, there is still a lack of suitable approaches to disentangle, explain and assess how knowledge assets support the achievement of a company’s strategic outcomes. The paper investigates the role and relevance of knowledge assets in a company’s performance improvement and provides some approaches, tools and managerial suggestions regarding the leveraging knowledge assets as value drivers for improving organisational performance. Methodology: The study is based on action research methodology. Findings: This paper highlights the role and relevance of knowledge assets as critical factors to manage for improving a company’s performance. In particular, integrating the results of an action research project with the main insights from a literature review, the paper provides some approaches, tools and managerial suggestions mainly regarding: i) the identification and mapping of knowledge assets to be managed in order to improve performances; ii) the choice and the design of knowledge assets management initiatives; iii) the evaluation of the performance improvement gained by the implementation of knowledge assets management initiatives. Research limitations: The paper investigates the leveraging knowledge assets for a company’s performance improvement in a specific context of analysis, i.e. the New Product Development (NPD) process. In order to have a more holistic view of the interactions between knowledge assets and company’s value creation mechanisms, an extension of the investigation to other organisational processes is required. Moreover, to generalise the research’s results, several applications in different industries and the use of different research methodologies are required. Practical implications: The paper, on the basis of theoretical and empirical insights, provides four managerial practices which managers might use in order to design and implement knowledge assets management initiatives aimed to support the improvement of company’s performances. Originality/value: The paper provides more light on how knowledge assets and complementarities among them enhance organization’s performances and provides approaches, tools and managerial suggestions for supporting managers in developing and leveraging knowledge assets. Especially the proposed approaches and tools intended to provide managers with information to assist them to allocate their managerial efforts to the knowledge assets with significant impact on performance.
Keywords: knowledge assets, new product development, performance improvement, knowledge assets management, action research.
Abstract: As more companies implement knowledge management (KM), they require a practical and coherent strategy and practice anchored in a valid and comprehensive KM life cycle model or framework. Using a knowledge‑based view, this paper aims to improve how firms conceptualize, strategize, and manage organizational knowledge. The paper opens with an analysis of organizational knowledge and knowledge assets. Appropriate conceptualization and partitioning of knowledge is required since the cost, benefit, and imitability of knowledge assets largely depend on their form. Subsequently, the paper provides a historical and chronological overview of some of the most influential KM life cycle models, based on their scholarly adoption and frequency of use by prac titioners. Each represents an advance in the thinking concerning the KM life cycle and introduces valuable new elements to be considered in understanding how organizational knowledge is processed throughout its useful lifespan. Life cycle models examined include Wiig (1993), Meyer and Zack (1999), Bukowitz and Williams (1999), and McElroy (2003). Dalkirs (2005) integrated life cycle model and Heisigs (2009) examination of 160 KM frameworks are also reviewed for their contribution. Building o n these models and prior work by Evans and Ali (2013), the Knowledge Management Cycle (KMC) model is proposed. Finally, sample KM initiatives, activities, and technologies are mapped to the seven non‑sequential KMC model phases (i.e., identify, store , share, use, learn, improve, and create) to illustrate its practical use. The main contribution of the KMC model is that it provides a holistic view of the knowledge life cycle, by building on previous life cycles models and Heisigs (2009) analysis o f KM frameworks. It further extends previous models by including different knowledge forms, integrating the notion of second order or double loop learning, and associating some facilitating initiatives and technologies for each of its phases.
Keywords: Keywords: Knowledge management, KM life cycle, KM framework, initiatives, technology, knowledge, knowledge assets, tacit, codified, encapsulated
Volume 8 Issue 3 / Nov 2010 pp267‑344
Keywords: action research, case study, codification and personalization knowledge management strategies, collaborative projects, components of tacit knowledge, critical knowledge factors, design re-use, engineering design, ethnographic study, evidence-based medical practice., explicit and tacit knowledge forms, explicit knowledge, fixture and tooling, knowledge assets management, knowledge based systems, knowledge capital, knowledge integration, knowledge map, nature of tacit knowledge, new product development, organizational culture, performance improvement, research centre, social capital, tacit knowledge,