Knowledge Management for Process, Organizational and Marketing Innovation: Tools and Methods

Knowledge Management for Process, Organizational and Marketing Innovation: Tools and Methods

Emma O'Brien (University of Limerick, Ireland), Seamus Clifford (University of Limerick, Ireland) and Mark Southern (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Release Date: September, 2010|Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 308|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-829-6
ISBN13: 9781615208296|ISBN10: 1615208291|EISBN13: 9781615208302|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781616923600


There has been a significant increase in knowledge-driven industries over the past decade. Despite the importance of knowledge in the innovation process, little research has been conducted into how knowledge management can be applied to make the innovation process more effective.

Knowledge Management for Process, Organizational and Marketing Innovation: Tools and Methods outlines different tools and technologies that can be applied depending on the type of innovation an organization desires. It provides concrete advice on the different types of innovation, situations in which innovation may be useful and the role of knowledge and different tools and technologies to support it.

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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The idea for this book first came into mind when working with organizations regarding problems with their products, processes and general enterprise issues. It was found that many companies particularly SMEs operate in a chaotic, disorganized manner and that when problems arose they simply did enough to plug a hole in it to temporarily fix the problem rather than solving the issue permanently. The reason being was that companies did not invest the time into creating and amalgamating the knowledge to innovate at an organizational, process or marketing level to develop a sustainable solution to the problem that was often symptomatic of other problems in the organization. Furthermore people issues such as inertia to change, cultural issues and historical knowledge developed by senior management were experienced by the editors. There is a lack of structured tools and technologies available to companies to assist them to develop sufficient knowledge to reinvent themselves in order to address problems within the organization resulting in a competitive sustainable enterprise.  The ability of a firm to continuously reinvent and innovate is key to survival in today’s economic climate.

The book focuses on the practical use of knowledge management as a tool for innovation.  It determines the role of knowledge management to facilitate innovation in adding value to the organization.  It focuses on the tools and technologies surrounding different types of innovation and how they can be used to maximize knowledge in order to encourage such outside thinking resulting in innovation. It discusses and identifies tools and technologies to foster product, process and marketing innovation in terms of their ability to add value to the organization.  Furthermore it examines the role of organizational innovation and the management of intellectual assets in supporting these types of innovation and identifies practical applications of enabling such to take place.

Overview of the book.

It has long been recognised the role of innovation in increasing the competitiveness of a firm.  Innovation provides a mechanism for a firm to respond to changes quickly and thus improve its lifecycle.

“Innovation involves the utilisation of new knowledge or a new use or combination of existing knowledge. New knowledge may either be generated by the innovating firm in the course of its innovation activities (i.e. through intramural R&D) or acquired externally through various channels (e.g. purchase of new technology). The use of new knowledge or the combination of existing knowledge requires innovative efforts that can be distinguished from standardised routines”. (OECD, 2005)

Innovation is reliant on the use and reuse of existing knowledge to create new knowledge. Knowledge can be created or obtained internally within a firm or externally. Knowledge is viewed as an asset which is key to the organisations sustainability. Maximising the use of such an asset is crucial to the innovation process. The ability to access and develop relevant knowledge quickly affects the firm’s capacity to respond to environmental changes and survive in todays fast pace business world.  Traditionally innovation was viewed as the development of new products, however this view is changing and innovation is now considered “a new idea, method or device”. Thus as well as at the product level innovation can occur at the organisational wide level, at a marketing level regarding the firms ability to maximise its promotion mechanisms and at a process level regarding the reinvention of methods of conducting key business activities.
Because innovation is largely dependant on the application of existing knowledge to create new knowledge it is imperative that it is effectively managed.  Despite the importance of knowledge in the innovation process, little research has been conducted into how knowledge management can be applied to make the innovation process more effective.

Knowledge Management for Process, Organizational and Marketing Innovation: Tools and Methods provides a practical guide to those companies and academics involved in the area of innovation and knowledge management. The aim is to provide a book from which individuals can take the information and apply it to their own organizations.

This book outlines to companies different tools and technologies that can be applied depending on the type of innovation they wish to adopt in their organisation. It provides concrete advice on the different types of innovation, situations in which they may be useful, the role of knowledge and different tools, and technologies to support it.

The book is divided into five main sections corresponding to the different types of innovation that can take place and the knowledge needed to maximize success in this area. The aim of these sections is to provide measurable results to companies:

  • Section 1 on Organizational Innovation is concerned with looking at assessing the firms readiness for knowledge management, knowledge resources and managing knowledge in project management, such chapters will aid companies to achieve increased organizational efficiency and decision making through organizational innovation.
  • Section 2 on Knowledge management in New Product Development is concerned with the use of knowledge management to encourage NPD resulting in self-sustainable and increased innovation activity through product innovation from idea to launch and post launch follow up.
  • Section 3 on Process innovation looks at the use of a model to maximize the knowledge within the firm to produce process innovations resulting in reduced cost and time to market, improved productivity and quality through process innovation
  • Section 4 on Marketing Innovation is concerned with acquiring market knowledge and the integration of ICT to enhance marketing innovation resulting in increased market share and companies becoming adaptive to customer requirements through marketing innovation.  
  • Section 5 on Intellectual capital is concerned with treating knowledge as an asset and maximizing this asset.

We suggest you use this book chapter by chapter at different stages your organisation might want to adopt different types of innovation.  Rather than reading the entire book it is recommended that you read the relevant sections to your situation at the time.

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Emma is a research fellow with the enterprise research centre (ERC) in the University of Limerick. She has worked on several national and international projects in her time in the ERC. In May 2000 – 2003 Emma worked with an international e-learning company, NetG in which she was responsible for developing e-learning products for the customers. Furthermore she was responsible for Managing the localisation of courses by our Japanese partners and maintaining and editing the course engines for localization. In October 2005 she completed her PhD - eCasme and beyond towards tailoring training in SMEs in which she Identified a framework to assist SMEs to tailor e-learning courses to their training needs. In addition Emma implemented this framework as a practical online tool. Emma is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning and participated as a reviewer for IADIS International Conference in E-Learning.
Dr. Seamus Clifford, BSc, MSc, PhD, NPDP - Enterprise Research Centre, UL. Seamus is a senior research fellow with the Enterprise Research centre in University of Limerick. He is currently working on several Innovation Partnership projects (Industry-University joint research projects) with companies dealing with issues around experimental design / engineering knowledge management, process innovation and new product development. He completed his PhD in 2001 at the University of Limerick. The project was on the Formulation of Capacitor Materials for Reliable Co-fired Capacitor-Varistor Devices and was completed for the New Product Development Department at Harris Semiconductor (Irl) Ltd., now Littelfuse (Ire) Ltd. The aim of the project was to produce a surface mountable co-fired varistor-capacitor device. Prototyping was carried out on the production pilot line based at Littelfuse in Dundalk. Previously, he was also a research fellow for three years with the European Commission at their Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM – based at Geel in Belgium) and he has also worked at the Swiss Federal laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA – based at St. Gallen in Switzerland) as an extractive metallurgist. He has also worked for Tubex Ltd., for three years, at both the Plastics and the Aluminium Divisions on the installation of the ISO 9000 quality system and the definition and control of product specifications.
Dr. Mark Southern, BSc PhD - Enterprise Research Centre, UL. Mark graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 1989 with a degree in Industrial Studies and obtained his Doctorate in 2004 by researching the application of innovative wireless technology applications into SMEs. He is currently working with the Enterprise Research Centre on a European Research project called EURobust. This project is looking at the application of robust design tools in European industry. Mark is an experienced manager with a proven track record in project team management in both multinational’s and SME’s. He has significant experience in managing teams in research, design, development, procurement and installation of complex manufacturing systems in these environments. He is an experienced man manager with a excellent track record in financial metrics management and dead line achievement.

Editorial Board

  • Mark N. Wexler, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • Kenneth J Preiss, Zayed University, UAE
  • Karl Wiig, Knowledge Research Institute, Inc., USA
  • Jon-Arild Johannessen, Bodø Graduate School of Business, Norway
  • Jenny Darroch, Claremont Graduate University, USA
  • Peter F. Drucker, Claremont Graduate University, USA
  • Masatoshi Ito, Claremont Graduate University, USA
  • Irfan Bashir, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Tony Hall, National University of Ireland, Ireland
  • Francisco Javier Carillo, Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM), Mexico