Knowledge Management Strategies Implementation in Innovation Intensive Firms

Knowledge Management Strategies Implementation in Innovation Intensive Firms

Fatima Guadamillas-Gomez (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) and Mario J. Donate-Manzanares (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-176-6.ch011
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This chapter analyses the implementation of knowledge management strategies (KMS) in technologyintensive firms. Firstly, a review of KMS in the knowledge management (KM) literature is carried out in order to conceptually establish the focus of the chapter. Next, some key factors for successful KM implementation, such as corporate culture, technological systems, ethical leadership, human resources management practices and organizational flexibility are identified and explained. After that, the case study of two firms which have successfully implemented a KMS in innovation-intensive industries, such as electronics and information technologies, is shown. Finally, and based on the results of the case study, some suggestions are extracted and recommendations are made from a managerial perspective in order to implement a KMS effectively.
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The knowledge-based view of the firm, in line with the resource-based view, considers knowledge as the most important strategic resource for ensuring an organization’s long-term success and survival, because it is unique and difficult to imitate (Winter, 1987; Kogut and Zander, 1992; Grant, 1996; Conner and Prahalad, 1996; DeCarolis and Deeds, 1999). Hence, processes to manage this asset –e.g., transfer, storage and application– are recognised to be basic for the firm, and their strategic consideration imply they are fundamental to attain a firm’s objectives (Zack, 1999a; Earl, 2001). In relation to this, some researchers understand knowledge management strategy (KMS) as the design of the processes related to the management of organizational knowledge and their implementation for the fulfilment of a firm’s goals, among which innovation is included (e.g., Bierly and Chakrabarti, 1996; Hansen, Nohria and Tierney, 1999; Earl, 2001; Schulz and Jobe, 2001; Clarke and Turner, 2002; Maier and Remus, 2002; Choi and Lee, 2003; Garavelli, Gorgoglione and Scozzi, 2004; Donate and Guadamillas, 2007).

Research interest and empirical efforts in the study of the relationship between knowledge management (KM), innovation and competitive advantage have grown recently, and significant contributions have been made (see e.g., Gopalakrishnan and Bierly, 2001; Thomke and Kuemmerle, 2002; Nerkar and Roberts, 2004; Kor and Mahoney, 2005; Smith, Collins and Clarke, 2005; Subramanian and Youndt, 2005). Essentially, these works show that the knowledge base of the firm determines innovation efforts and may have a strong influence on their cost and performance. Thus, one firm can also achieve superior performance on the basis of its ability to generate new knowledge and utilize the existing base more effectively and efficiently than competitors (Grant, 1996; DeCarolis and Deeds, 1999). In this sense, the development of an effective KMS can be regarded as an important factor in contributing to a firm’s pursuit of competitive advantage based on innovation (Zack, 1999a; Donate and Guadamillas, 2007).

For a KMS to be effective an adequate implementation approach is required (Donate and Guadamillas, 2007). For example culture, leadership or the kind of organizational structure are aspects, among others, which the companies have to take into account in order to put its selected KMS into practice. But although certain researchers in KM have broadly highlighted the role of the KMS formulation (see e.g., Bierly and Chakrabarti, 1996; Hansen et al., 1999; Choi and Lee, 2003) to date less has been published on the issue of the implementation. In this sense, more research on KMS implementation frameworks and the key elements that should be including in them is still necessary to ensure firms the success of their KM endeavours (Wong and Aspinwall, 2004: 94). Moreover, the analysis of such elements can help to better understand the main difficulties associated with this process –i.e., implementation– and identify how the firm can encourage its staff to use certain formal instruments in order to make the KMS implementation easier. Thus, the aim of this work is to explore what factors were present in two innovative firms that made significant progress in achieving their strategic objectives through appropriate implementation of KM strategies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Knowledge Management Strategy (KMS): Design of processes related to the management of organizational knowledge and their implementation for the fulfilment of a firm’s strategic goals.

Knowledge Management Systems: All those applications based on information technologies which are used by the firm in its knowledge management tasks

Innovation-Intensive Firm: A company developing businesses in technology-intensive industries with knowledge considered as the main productive asset.

Knowledge Management Practices: Specific methods or initiatives used by the organization to support the creation, transfer, storage, retrieval and application of knowledge, and they can include technical as well as human components.

KMS Implementation Support Systems: Organizational aspects that should make the development of knowledge management processes easier, such as culture, leadership human resources practices, flexible structures, and technical systems.

Case Study: Methodology of research which involves researchers undertaking an in-depth study of particular organizations with a wide variety of evidence being collected as a result.

KMS Objectives: A company’s orientation towards the solution of the “gap” of knowledge in different operative and strategic areas within the organization.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Dariusz Jemielniak, Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Dariusz Jemielniak, Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Chapter 1
Davydd J. Greenwood
This chapter questions the clarity of the concepts of “knowledge society” and “knowledge-intensive organization”. In particular, the author asserts... Sample PDF
Are Research Universities Knowledge-Intensive Learning Organizations?
Chapter 2
Juha Kettunen
The aims of knowledge management are to create knowledge and stimulate innovation. Knowledge management allows the knowledge of an organization to... Sample PDF
Construction of Knowledge-Intensive organizations in Higher Education
Chapter 3
Jeff Gold, Richard Thorpe
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is usually conceived as a planned and formulated process for individual members of professional... Sample PDF
Collective CPD: Professional Learning in a Law Firm
Chapter 4
Paul Trott, Andreas Hoecht
The United States and European economies have witnessed an enormous increase in the amount of specialized business services, which now provide... Sample PDF
Innovation Risks of Outsourcing within Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS)
Chapter 5
Lars Steiner
A new knowledge management perspective and tool, ANT/AUTOPOIESIS, for analysis of knowledge management in knowledge-intensive organizations is... Sample PDF
Actor-Network Theory and Autopoiesis: A New Perspective on Knowledge Management
Chapter 6
Jo A. Tyler, David M. Boje
This chapter fits the theme, the interplay between creativity and control in organizations. Story is often claimed to be a way to elicit tacit... Sample PDF
Sorting the Relationship of Tacit Knowledge to Story and Narrative Knowing
Chapter 7
Louise Grisoni
The central discussion in this chapter is that poetry can be used to provide a bridge between tangible, rational and explicit knowledge and tacit or... Sample PDF
Exploring Organizational Learning and Knowledge Exchange through Poetry
Chapter 8
Ester Barinaga
“How do we define our project goal?” “How are we going to coordinate our independent national studies?” “Who is responsible for what?” “How are... Sample PDF
Vagueness: The Role of Language in the Organizing Process of Knowledge Intensive Work
Chapter 9
Stephen Sheard
In this chapter the author offers an argument towards the resurgence of a proto-alphabetic imagination in electronic and mobile communications. It... Sample PDF
Tyranny of the Eye? The Resurgence of the Proto-Alphabetic Sensibility in Contemporary Electronic Modes of Media (PC/Mobile Telephony); and its Significance for the Status of Knowledge
Chapter 10
Krzysztof Klincewicz
The chapter discusses the role of IT Research & Analysis firms in the diffusion of knowledge management. The research is based on content analysis... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management and IT Research and Analysis Firms: Agenda-Setters, Oracles and Judges
Chapter 11
Fatima Guadamillas-Gomez, Mario J. Donate-Manzanares
This chapter analyses the implementation of knowledge management strategies (KMS) in technologyintensive firms. Firstly, a review of KMS in the... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management Strategies Implementation in Innovation Intensive Firms
Chapter 12
Arla Juntunen
This chapter focuses on the development of the Knowledge Management (KM) platform, and, more generally, the knowledge- and resource based view (RBV)... Sample PDF
Developing a Corporate Knowledge Management Platform in a Multibusiness Company
Chapter 13
Jonathan D. Owens
Success in new product development (NPD) can be considered a general aim for any company wishing to survive in the 21st Century. It has been found... Sample PDF
Modeling the New Product Development Process: The Value of a Product Development Process Model Approach as a Means for Business Survival in the 21st Century
Chapter 14
Anders Örtenblad
The ambition of this chapter is to pay some attention to more obvious, as well as more subtle, methods for organizations to become independent of... Sample PDF
Achieving Organizational Independence of Employees' Knowledge Using Knowledge Management, Organizational Learning, and the Learning Organization
Chapter 15
Angelo Ditillo
Knowledge-intensive firms are composed of various communities, each characterized by specialized knowledge. These communities operate as critical... Sample PDF
Balancing Stability and Innovation in Knowledge-Intensive Firms: The Role of Management Control Mechanisms
Chapter 16
Aino Kianto, Jianzhong Hong
Nowadays knowledge and competencies are the key productive factors, and the organizational capability for continuous learning, development and... Sample PDF
The Knowledge-Based Approach to Organizational Measurement: Exploring the Future of Organizational Assessment
Chapter 17
Vidar Hepsø
In knowledge management literature, common information spaces (CIS) are believed to be instrumental in the development and sharing of knowledge.... Sample PDF
Common Information Spaces in Knowledge-Intensive Work: Representation and Negotiation of Meaning in Computer-Supported Collaboration Rooms
Chapter 18
Agnieszka Postula
This chapter presents and discusses two factors – creativity and control – which correspond to every organizational reality. IT specialists’... Sample PDF
Creativitiy and Control in IT Professionals' Communities
Chapter 19
Patrocinio Zaragoza-Saez, Enrique Claver-Cortes, Diego Quer-Ramon
Knowledge is one of the basic production factors owned by enterprises, and knowledge management is one of the main dynamic capabilities on which... Sample PDF
A Qualitative Study of Knowledge Management: The Multinational Firm Point of View
Chapter 20
Cliff Bowan, Pauline Gleadle
The chapter addresses a central dilemma from the viewpoint of dynamic capabilities and the resource based view of the firm: how to manage creativity... Sample PDF
Culture as a Dynamic Capability: The Case of 3M in the United Kingdom
Chapter 21
Maria E. Burke
The purpose of this chapter is to consider an original way of improving Knowledge Management relationships. This is done within the context of an... Sample PDF
Cultural Issues, Organizations and Information Fulfillment: An Exploration Towards Improved Knowledge Management Relationships
Chapter 22
Darius Mehri
The author worked in the research and design department at a large Toyota company in the late 1990s and experienced an innovative process where... Sample PDF
Engineering Design at a Toyota Company: Knowledge Management and the Innovative Process
Chapter 23
Federica Ricceri, James Guthrie
The shift towards a knowledge based economy is at the core of the debate of contemporary management and accounting literature and organisations are... Sample PDF
Critical Analysis of International Guidelines for the Management of Knowledge Resources
Chapter 24
Christiane Prange
Internationalization has accelerated the speed of knowledge generation and innovation. Thus, companies increasingly need to pool and create new... Sample PDF
Strategic Alliance Capability: Bridging the Individual Back into Inter-Organizational Collaboration
Chapter 25
Meryem Sevinc, Lawrence Locker, John D. Murray
In the contemporary context of knowledge discovery, the amount of information and the process itself has increased in complexity. Relevant to the... Sample PDF
Automation vs. Human Intervention: Is There any Room Left for the Analyst in the Data Mining Process?
Chapter 26
Joanna Shih
The hi-tech firms that predominate in Silicon Valley contain a large proportion of knowledge workers—employees with high levels of education and... Sample PDF
Temporality and Knowledge Work
Chapter 27
Alice MacGilivray
Knowledge management is often associated with the need for change and related shifts in ontologies, ways of knowing and ways of working. Combine the... Sample PDF
Knowledge Intensive Work in a Network of Counter-Terrorism Communities
Chapter 28
Tatiana Andreeva
Contemporary literature usually views knowledge creation and knowledge sharing as either independent or positively related processes. However, based... Sample PDF
Tensions between Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Sharing: Individual Preferences of Employees in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations
Chapter 29
Steffen Boehm, Chris Land
Knowledge is implicitly assumed to form an increasingly important, or even the dominant source of values for today’s knowledge based organizations.... Sample PDF
The 'Value' of Knowledge: Reappraising Labour in the Post-Industrial Economy
Chapter 30
Alexander Styhre
This chapter discusses the use of media in knowledge-intensive organizations. Media is defined here as the integration of technologies, practices... Sample PDF
New Media and Knowledge Work
Chapter 31
Ben Tran
This chapter examines knowledge and innovation as invaluable factors affecting the longevity of large organizations. It presents the history and... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management: The Construction of Knowledge in Organizations
Chapter 32
Premilla D’Cruz, Ernesto Noronha
Scholars researching the area of the sociology of professions had earlier predicted that as occupations seek to improve their public image... Sample PDF
Redefining Professional: The Case of India's Call Center Agents
Chapter 33
Dariusz Jemielniak, Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Knowledge management and knowledge-intensive work are two of today’s hot buzzwords, though both already have a history of managerial usage. While... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management: Fad or Enduring Organizational Concept?
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