Building a Knowledge Experience Base for Facilitating Innovation

Building a Knowledge Experience Base for Facilitating Innovation

Pasquale Ardimento (Dipartimento di Informatica, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy), Vito Nicola Convertini (Dipartimento di Informatica, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy) and Giuseppe Visaggio (Dipartimento di Informatica, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/ijesma.2013100103
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Abstract

This paper presents a framework aimed at supporting knowledge transferring inside and outside an organization for innovation purposes. For this goal, the authors propose a Knowledge Experience Base (KEB), which collects Knowledge Experience Packages (KEP), to support the formalization and packaging of knowledge and experience of innovation stakeholders, encouraging gradual explanation of tacit information of bearers of knowledge to facilitate the transfer, minimizing costs and risks.
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Introduction

“The ever greater pressure of competition to which firms are subjected has made product and process innovation a crucial issue” (Ardimento et al., 2009, p.229). If the production and the transfer of technological innovations are meant to be increased, then the effective assimilation of the various competences and different knowledge created and provided by many organizations is crucial (Chesbrough, 2003; Chesbrough, Vanhaverbeke & West, 2006). Innovators who point towards success must add internal knowledge to technologies from outward sources (Ardimento et al., 2009). “Consequently, R&D is shifting from its traditional inward focus to more outward-looking management that draws on knowledge from networks comprised of universities, start-ups, suppliers and even competitors” (Ardimento et al., 2009, p. 229).

Knowledge is a decisive factor of production in IT because it concentrates on the human resource and is “used in order to enforce capabilities in each application domain” (Ardimento et al., 2009, p.229). Thus, the knowledge required is both technical and social. The first category consists of the knowledge of methods, techniques and processes that enable to create and keep software products: the “knowledge of the technologies that apply to software development” (Ardimento et al., 2009, p. 229). The second category is made up of knowledge regarding the developer’s behavior and the stakeholder requirements. In any case, knowledge involves the issue of transferability and successive usefulness”.

In the design-science paradigm, knowledge and understanding of a problem domain and its solution are achieved in the building and application of the designed artifact. (Hevner et al., 2004, p. 75).

Much of the knowledge used in IT development procedures is tacit, and a large part of it is hidden in processes and in products (Foray, 2006). Indeed, it is known that tacit knowledge concepts subsequently come out while events are not by force planned. Knowledge that is out of view in processes and products can often not be read by its authors themselves considering that it has been diffused and confused in various process or product components (Foray, 2006; Laudon & Laudon, 2008). So, until knowledge is not transferable or reusable, it cannot be considered as part of an organization’s assets” (Foray, 2006).

How to support the visibility, searchability and evaluability of knowledge so that it can be transferred and used in software production?

To address this research question we have already set forth a conceptual model, called PROMETHEUS (Practices Process and Methods Evolution Through Experience Unfolded Systematically) that enables to define the knowledge that is meant to be transferred. PROMETHEUS (Ardimento et al., 2007; Ardimento et al., 2008; Ser & Practices, 2013) collects experimental knowledge in a repository Knowledge Experience Base (KEB) in the form of Knowledge Experience Package (KEP). The KEP is the vehicle suggested for the transfer of knowledge. This paper describes:

  • The structure of the KEP and the features which allow contents to be fit and attractive for the target of the innovation;

  • The characteristics of the KEP which ensure the extraction of tacit knowledge and its formalization.

The rest of the paper is structured as follows: the second chapter discusses related works and research activities; the next ones present the proposed approach, focusing on the KEP structure. The last one section makes some observations about Prometheus and possible future research pathways are identified.

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