A Technology-Focused Framework for Integrating Knowledge Management into Strategic Innovation Management

A Technology-Focused Framework for Integrating Knowledge Management into Strategic Innovation Management

Marc Henselewski (Deloitte Consulting GmbH, Germany), Stefan Smolnik (European Business School, Germany) and Gerold Riempp (European Business School, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-270-1.ch019
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Abstract

Today’s business environment is characterized by highly transparent markets and global competition. Technology life cycles are decreasing due to the fast pace at which development of new technologies is progressing. To compete in this environment, it is necessary to identify upcoming innovations and trends as early as possible to decrease uncertainty, implement technology leadership, and create competitive advantage. In a parallel development, the amount of information available is already vast and increasing daily. As a result of these developments, strategic innovation management has become increasingly challenging. The goal of our chapter is to investigate to what extent knowledge management technologies support and improve strategic innovation management to face the aforementioned problems successfully. Consequently, we will develop a characterization scheme which works as a framework for the subsequent evaluation of knowledge management technologies and apply this to a real-world case.
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Introduction

Competition in today’s business environment is intense. The influences of the rapid pace of globalization, and of national and international markets’ on-going liberalization lead to the emergence of new problem settings and, consequently, increased pressure on companies. Companies therefore face greater risks due to the higher number of players in the market. However, environmental influences created outside the market are not the only factors that have an impact on companies’ complexity. The increasing speed at which innovations and new developments occur, the resultant shorter product life cycles, and decreasing production costs also add to the pressure felt by firms and their decision-makers. High technology companies that have high research and development (R&D) expenditures, have to specifically plan their research programs more carefully, because they run a higher risk of losing the competitive advantage when “going the wrong way”. Consequently, decision-makers have a greater need to anticipate or forecast future developments and apply these insights in business strategies and strategic innovation management in order to keep risk levels low and the company competitive. According to Bright (1979), all “firms and governments dealing with technology have been and are doing technology forecasting. This is because each decision to explore, support, oppose or ignore a technological prospect incorporates the decision-maker’s assumptions about that technology and its viability in the future” (p. 228).

Over the last few years, firms have increasingly realized that knowledge plays a key role in the development of strategies for future success and stronger market positions. The most striking examples of such firms are technology and service-oriented companies, but retailers also engage in activities to use knowledge as factors of competitive advantage. A paradigm shift can be observed in business strategies: from a focus on tangible assets to one that prioritizes intangible assets (Drucker, 1996, p. 203; Stewart, 1997, p. 23). However, information and information sources’ quantity is continuously increasing, and what at first seemed to be the solution to several business problems has itself become a unique problem for today’s companies—too much information. In order to gain from information and to facilitate knowledge creation within a company, new ways of filtering and selecting information have to be applied. Furthermore, the nature of knowledge is highly dynamic. The value of knowledge is difficult to measure and can change from one moment to another. Companies try to control this uncertainty to some extent and to obtain as much advantage as possible from their knowledge by integrating knowledge management paradigms into competitive strategies.

The question arises if it is possible to successfully support knowledge and strategic innovation management alignment on an operational level. With technology forecasting being an essential discipline of today’s innovation and innovation management processes, it is of specific interest to know whether technology forecasting can be improved by integrating knowledge management—particularly by means of current knowledge management technologies. In the following, we understand the latter as instruments of information and communication technologies that support knowledge management processes.

In order to answer the stated question, this chapter’s objective is to develop a characterization scheme that integrates aspects of both fields: knowledge management as well as innovation management process’s technology forecasting. Furthermore, selected knowledge management technologies will be evaluated by applying this scheme to derive conclusions regarding the most promising solutions with which to support technology forecasting.

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Dedication
Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos
Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Jakob Lauring, Toke Bjerregaard
This chapter deals with the role of language use and knowledge sharing in the context of international subsidiaries. The chapter analyzes the role... Sample PDF
Knowledge Sharing and Sociality: On the Linguistic Embeddedness of Knowledge Exchange in International Subsidiaries
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Chapter 2
Ruth Alas
This chapter analyzes organizational changes and organizational learning in Estonian companies. During the last decades, Estonia has transformed... Sample PDF
Organizational Learning During Changes in Estonian Organization
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Chapter 3
Giovanni Schiuma
Today’s global business is characterised by interconnectedness, interdependence, and an increasing level of complexity that force organisations to... Sample PDF
Strategies for Assessing Organisational Knowledge Assets
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Chapter 4
Poul Houman Andersen
In order to capture market dividends and stay at par with the competition in the knowledge-based economy, firms must constantly develop their skill... Sample PDF
Division of Interfirm Activities in the Knowledge-Based Economy: The Crucial Role of Knowledge Processors
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Chapter 5
Luiz Antonio Joia, Paulo Sérgio da Silva Sanz
Since the early 1990s, research has been conducted in an attempt to establish a viable and reliable manner of measuring the intangible assets, also... Sample PDF
The Conundrum of Valuing a Company's Intellectual Capital: The Role of Taken-for-Granted Indicators
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Chapter 6
Tongo Constantine Imafidon
This chapter avers that over the past years, monolithic organizations, as opposed to multicultural organizations, have been created by many top... Sample PDF
The Multicultural Organization: A Historic Organizational Theory for Gaining Competitiveness in Global Business Environment
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Chapter 7
Arla Juntunen
This chapter focuses on the challenges of developing a knowledge management platform to support organizational memory and knowledge transfer. The... Sample PDF
Developing a Corporate Memory as a Competitive Advantage in the ICT-Sector
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Chapter 8
Corrado lo Storto
This chapter reports the findings of an empirical study whose purpose is to identify the attributes of the organization infrastructure that support... Sample PDF
Learning Organizations or Organizations for Learning? How Small Firms can Learn from Planned and Random Technical Problem-Solving: Implications for Technical Education
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Chapter 9
Ernesto Villalba
The present study explores the relationship between the knowledge-enabling environment and the demand of training in 18 small private companies... Sample PDF
Learning at the Core: Knowledge Management as an Employer Strategy for Lifelong Learning
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Chapter 10
Dimitris Bibikas, Iraklis Paraskakis, Alexandros G. Psychogios, Ana C. Vasconcelos
The increasing pressure of today’s highly globalised markets has lead organisations to continuously compete for knowledge and innovation. Despite... Sample PDF
An Integrated Knowledge Innovation Process Management Model: The Case of Skandia
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Chapter 11
Christian Nielsen, Robin Roslender, Per Nikolaj Bukh
During the last decade, many calls for improving disclosure practices, in relation to intellectual capital and intangibles, have been uttered in the... Sample PDF
Intellectual Capital Reporting: Can a Strategy Perspective Solve Accounting Problems?
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Chapter 12
Huei-Chen Hsu
The main points of this chapter are probing for the combination of information technology and virtual work, and how to change the distribution of... Sample PDF
Managing the Information Technology: Knowledge Transfer in Virtual Teams
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Chapter 13
Miltiadis D. Lytras, Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos
Multinational companies (MNCs) are facing important challenges within the current economic context. Rapid technological changes, the globalization... Sample PDF
The Building of the Intellectual Capital Statement in Multinationals: Challenges for the Future
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Chapter 14
Pedro López Sáez, José Emilio Navas López, Gregorio Martín de Castro
During more than a decade, the literature has provided several intellectual capital models. Nevertheless, empirical evidence is still necessary in... Sample PDF
Intellectual Capital in Knowledge-Intensive Firms: Exploring the Concept and Main Components in Boston's Route 128
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Chapter 15
Weiling Ke, Kwok Kee Wei
This chapter uses organizational learning as a lens to study how firms implement the enterprise system. The core research questions are: What are... Sample PDF
Organizations and Learning Process: Its Antecedents and Consequences in Enterprise System Implementation
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Chapter 16
Kholekile L. Gwebu, Jing Wang
Improvements in technology have led to innovations in training such as Electronic Learning (E-learning). E-learning aims to help organizations in... Sample PDF
The Role of Organizational Environmental, and Human Factors in E-Learning Diffusion
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Chapter 17
Mikel Sorli, Dragan Stokic
Managing of knowledge for innovation in an extended enterprise (EE) environment is a key issue. This in turn requires effective utilization of... Sample PDF
Supporting Innovation Through Knowledge Management in the Extended Enterprise
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Chapter 18
Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes
Contemporary organizations face the challenge of growing and advancing in a complex and changing environment (Johannessen, Olaisen, & Olsen, 2001;... Sample PDF
Government Innovation Through Knowledge Management
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Chapter 19
Marc Henselewski, Stefan Smolnik, Gerold Riempp
Today’s business environment is characterized by highly transparent markets and global competition. Technology life cycles are decreasing due to the... Sample PDF
A Technology-Focused Framework for Integrating Knowledge Management into Strategic Innovation Management
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About the Contributors