Volume 7 Issue 2, ICICKM 2008 / Jun 2009 pp199‑296
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
Knowledge Management in the Brazilian Agribusiness Industry: a Case Study at Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (Sugarcane Technology Center) pp199‑210
Investigates and analyzes "Knowledge Management" (KM) practices effectively implemented in the Brazilian agribusiness industry. The main objective is to investigate and analyze the conceptions, motivations, practices, metrics and results of a KM process in a genuine Brazilian firm. The qualitative research strategy used was the study of a single case with incorporated units of analysis, and two criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawingverification. The results confirmed the presuppositions and the firm of the study is a benchmark for a KM process in the context of Brazilian organizations. The conclusions suggest that organizational knowledge cannot be managed, it is just promoted or stimulated through the creation of "Ba"or an enabling context. It was also identified that the main challenges facing organizations committed to KM in Brazil have its focus on change management, cultural and behavioral issues and the creation of an enabling context that favors the creation, use and sharing of information and knowledge.
Keywords: knowledge management, strategic information management, enabling context or "Ba", knowledge management conceptual umbrella metaphor, KM in agribusiness
The various dimensions of the problems of productivity and technology cannot be found in technology alone, but rather there are also human factors that either facilitate or constrain the ability of firms and workers to adopt and implement new technologies. This paper discusses the factors that contribute to Knowledge Management Systems effectiveness. Through a case study and literature reviews a general framework has been delineated. This framework describes dimensions involved in the adoption of technology at both the users and organisational level.
Keywords: information communication, technologies, technology adoption, information, social software, social aspects, knowledge management systems
Information is becoming the engine, resource, and commodity that drives the economy and social institutions, as well as our personal and professional lives. Because we are living in a unique period of human history, we may not appreciate the scope, speed, and impact of Information Age change. Framing six characteristics of the Information Age, this paper suggests resulting imperatives for leaders who must create and lead Information Age organizations. They must leverage human and other resources, and solve today's complex and wicked problems to achieve organizational and cross‑boundary goals. Global engagement, no longer limited by time or space, is enabled by worldwide information communication and technology networks that are instant, non‑hierarchical, and dynamic. Smaller devices, tagging, and the integration of media and sources foster communication, collaboration, and innovation, along with new expectations for ourselves and others to be "always on" and responsive. In this dense information environment leaders face the danger of heightened decision uncertainty in a sea of meaningless, fragmented but apparently inter‑connected data. Increasingly complex, chaotic, fragmented, interdependent wicked problems require new cross‑boundary perspectives and deeper understanding. In the Information Age solo action focused on control of resources is giving way for former competitors to create win‑win partnerships. Dynamic human networks are replacing, complementing, and competing with hierarchical organizations as powerful systems for communicating, sharing, and organizing. The authors, faculty members at a U.S. Government graduate institution, explore the essential elements of the Information Age and their imperatives for leaders, especially government leaders, who can create and lead organizations in this new environment.
The intersection and common elements of the fields of knowledge management (KM) and competitive intelligence (CI) are receiving growing attention, particularly in the latter discipline. Not only are the two areas similar in terms of managing knowledge resources, albeit of different types in most cases, but the presence of competitive intelligence activities begs the question of how widely knowledge assets should be developed and shared, as well as how and whether said assets should be protected. One framework for developing a strategy to balance knowledge development with knowledge protection suggests that there are specific risks (knowledge management or KM Risk and competitive intelligence or CI Risk) that move in alternate directions as knowledge is developed and shared more widely. Previous work has measured KM potentialrisk and CI risk in a variety of industries, theoretically providing industry participants with a tool to more strategically develop and protect knowledge assets. This paper continues that work, including not only the industry evaluations but in‑depth analyses of firms within those industries, allowing for even deeper insights concerning optimal KMCI strategies. These insights are drawn from evaluation of the circumstances surrounding each industry and representative firm, including the nature of the knowledge assets (explicittacit), their complexity, and their specificity (stickiness). In a sense, this is an illustrative study, providing a template for how an individual firm can evaluate its own circumstances and better manage its knowledge assets. This paper provides another step forward in establishing a framework to help firms in discovering optimal strategies for developing and protecting knowledge by extending the discussion from industries to specific firms. Continuing to draw on the same framework that defines the KM and CI tradeoff, this paper examines illustrative firms in each KMCI situation, reviewing their circumstances and their relative place in the industry vis a vis KM and CI. From this result, we can continue to develop and refine theory and practice concerning how and when KM is practised as well as how and when CI activities are deployed and defended.
Enhancing the Reusability of Inter‑Organizational Knowledge: an Ontology‑Based Collaborative Knowledge Management Network pp233‑244
Researchers have developed various knowledge management approaches that only focus on managing organizational knowledge. These approaches are developed in accordance with organizational KM strategies and business requirements without the concern of system interoperation. The lack of interoperability means that heterogeneous Knowledge Management Systems from different organizations are unable to communicate and integrate with one another, this results in limitation to reuse inter‑organizational knowledge. Here, inter‑organizational knowledge is defined as a set of explicit knowledge formalized and created by other organizations. In this research, a collaborative inter‑organizational KM network is proposed to provide a platform for organizations to access and retrieve inter‑organizational knowledge in a similar domain. Furthermore, ontology and its related mediation methods are incorporated in the network. The concept of ontology enables organizations to explicitly represent their knowledge of a specific domain with representational vocabulary in terms of objects and their interrelated describable relationships. Although different organizations may possess their own set of ontologies, the mediation methods that include mapping, merging and integration are capable of reconciling the underlying heterogeneities of ontologies. In this way, it is possible for the participant organizations to reuse inter‑organizational knowledge within the network even though there are fundamental differences among organizations in terms of KMS structures and knowledge formats. The retrieved inter‑organizational knowledge could then be used to support knowledge creating, storing, dissemination, using and evaluation of the organizational KM process. In additional, a selection framework is also proposed to assist organizations in choosing suitable ontology mediation approaches, ranging from mapping approaches, levels of automation, mediation methods to matching techniques. While knowledge engineers could reuse inter‑organizational knowledge to create and evaluate organizational knowledge, general users are benefit from the effectiveness and efficiency in searching for relevant inter‑organizational knowledge within the network.
Designing a Strategy Formulation Process for New, Technology‑Based Firms: a Knowledge‑based Approach pp245‑254
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
One of the main objective of educators is to identifying inspiring and interactive approach to learning, and to encourage students to be more receptive and co‑operative in the classroom. To help educators in achieving these goals we employed constructivist epistemology and constructivist cognitive psychology, together with the use of Mind Maps and Mobile Knowledge (M‑K) Toolkit. The toolkit can serve as the foundation for a new kind of integration of Internet resources and all classroom, laboratory, field experiences, and when used with "expert skeletal" Mind Maps to scaffold learning. It is our thesis that good theory‑based use of the appropriate technology can increase the benefits of using Mind Maps in education and lead to dramatically improved education. In this paper we first explored the Mind Maps Concept, then we presented and explained the advantages of M‑K toolkit and how this can support mind mapping and integration of a whole array of learning experiences. In the last section we presented two case studies to provide the evidence of how the M‑K toolkit and Mind Maps can lead to education paradigm shift and enhance the outcome of the learning experience in higher education.
Dynamic Knowledge Management Toolkit pp261‑266
An important aspect of knowledge management is the implementation of methods to share the unstructured knowledge of expert practitioners within an organization. The existence of unstructured and dynamic knowledge represents a challenge to experts due to the dynamic and non‑sequential nature of such knowledge. In order to make such knowledge sharable, it is necessary to have both an effective elicitation method and a useful representation toolkit. In this paper we describe a Dynamic Knowledge Toolkit (DKT) that is used in knowledge elicitation and representation based upon Knowledge maps. Knowledge Maps content is different from the more general information in typical reference material and that is organized quite differently than standard textbook knowledge or mainstream hypermedia learning systems. These knowledge models tend to be large and complex with interwoven themes and rich interconnections of the concepts based on the expert's highly articulated mental model of the domain. Knowledge Maps have been used in all facets of education, training and business. With the fundamental goal of fostering learning and knowledge sharing they have been shown to be an effective tool for displaying prior knowledge, summarizing, planning, scaffolding for understanding, consolidating experiences, improving affective conditions for critical thinking, decision making, supporting cooperation and collaboration, and organizing unstructured knowledge content. We describe the use of the toolkit in a case study on the capture and representation of local weather forecasting knowledge. We also show how Knowledge maps can be used to support activities such as the preservation of institutional memory, the "recovery" of expertise that might reside in less accessible forms such as archived documents, for performance support, and for other knowledge‑intensive pursuits such as weather forecasting or crisis management.
Questioning the Positive Effect of External Knowledge Transfer Incurred by Industry Attractiveness: the Case of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) pp267‑276
The contribution of knowledge transfer to an organization's overall performance outcomes has become one of the central themes of investigation among the theorists and scholars in the field of knowledge management. This paper questions the positive effect of external knowledge transfer on an organization's financial performance, taking into account that even coordinated knowledge transfer is time consuming and likely to impair the performance outcomes when the conditions appropriate for obviating the inherent difficulty of knowledge transfer are not established. Its aim is to examine the fundamental role of the attractiveness of industry as a main moderator in an external knowledge‑transfer activity which takes place between two parties in an alliance. Consistent with prior work on knowledge management this study argues that transfer costs are determinative factors for an organization's performance and include: (i) the considerable amount of time spent searching in order to identify the appropriate new knowledge required, (ii) the effort to effectively distribute this knowledge between the parties of an alliance and (iii) the time needed for the external knowledge to be implemented effectively to an organization's daily processes. The case to be examined is that of organizations which are in great need of obtaining and using new knowledge to achieve business model innovation. This kind of organizations is more likely to be affected by search and transfer costs since they are trying to reduce time‑to‑ market entry, thus, achieving first mover advantage. A plausible source of knowledge for these organizations (knowledge seekers) is the formation of strategic alliances with organizations which not only possess the required knowledge (knowledge keepers) but also operate in attractive environments. An attractive environment, among others, is liable to frequent entries of new players and this may not give time to such organizations to elaborate and effectively utilize the knowledge that is externally derived. These assumptions are shaped on an overarching conceptual framework, which identifies the role of the attractiveness of the industry and delineates research propositions, taking the Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) as a case study. To determine the attractiveness of the mobile telecom industry we apply Porter's five forces framework and then we draw on a number of interviews which allows us to provide data suggesting that with an increase in the number of new entrants in the mobile telecom industry, an increase in the amount of knowledge derived externally may reduce the organization's ability to increase its performance outcomes.
Assessing the Drivers of Virtual Knowledge Management Impact in European Firms' Performance: an Exploratory Analysis pp277‑286
e‑Business is a phenomenon that has progressed over the past decades at record speed, with considerable promise and hype. It has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm and impact by both large and SME firms. Parallel with its development, E‑Business has attracted research interests, seen in a plethora of new modules, programmes, models and tools. Knowledge Management (KM) is one tool that has seemed to gain a more relevant role, especially as managing knowledge becomes increasingly important to all companies. Appropriate KM practices within organisations can be seen as one of the prerequisites of enhancement of continuous performance improvement in the interne‑based context. Thus, our aim is to develop a conceptual framework related to KM practices in a virtual context and to identify the nature of the relationship existing in those knowledge‑driven elements and performance achievements. This paper aims to bridge the gap between the KM and e‑business performance‑related literatures from the viewpoint of European firms by establishing a model tested in European companies. For this purpose, we used a structural equation modelling analysis. The results show that KM has a positive impact on the maximization of e‑business performance and that some elements individually have a positive influence on e‑business performance. As limitations of the study, we consider the need for more research into this field and the inclusion of news elements such as technological readiness and management support to KM initiatives. The present study advances knowledge on the nature of the relative importance of different components of Internet‑based KM as drivers of e‑business performance and reinforce its importance as an integrated e‑business tool.
Keywords: virtual knowledge management, e-business performance, European firms, information and communication technology
The "triple helix" model is considered as being a spiral model of innovation contributing to the country and regional improvement by fostering interactions between academic, industry and government. This model highlights the ties between the three parties at different stages in the process of knowledge capitalization and flow. Although, this model has proven to be effective in some countries, some questions remain regarding its effective implementation in Thailand. This paper presents an adapted version of the helix model that could contribute to development of ties among stakeholders through strategic alliances. The success key factors leading to an economic development mission by universities are as well discussed.
Keywords: triple helix model, knowledge capitalization, Thailand, research network, innovation, university- industry interaction, framework G-U-I-N