Change Knowledge Management: Transforming a Ghost Community Into a Real Asset

Change Knowledge Management: Transforming a Ghost Community Into a Real Asset

Alberto Carneiro (Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-829-6.ch007
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Abstract

Besides being a basic way to understand the world and an appropriate behavior to survival and development of organizations, the knowledge – acquisition, updating, and use – must be managed to increase creativity, and should be taken as a force to drive the human being in the field of competitive innovation. In this chapter the potential contribution of knowledge workers is discussed. Considering an assets approach, these reflections may enable the organization to promote and use the creativity of their knowledge workers, which are seen as a specific set of assets in the organization. This specificity should be considered in the policies of human resources management and also in the formulation of competitive strategies. Some suggestions are made for improving the utilization of knowledge workers to increase the level of productive creativity.
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Building Organizational Innovation

The organizational abilities to generate and gain from innovation are sources of durable advantages of firms. As technological innovation is an organized process, more research on the existence, diffusion and effectiveness of organizational innovations and knew management practices is needed.

As a complex concept “Organizational innovation” includes several dimensions, such as competitive strategy (i.e. role of innovation, costs, knowledge, personnel, and technologies); structural characteristics of the organization such as hierarchy, functional lines, and organizational boundaries; work processes including the use of different production inputs, the flow of work, job design, work allocation, and use of suppliers and subcontractors; and industrial relation practices involving the strategies and institutional structures affecting the labour-management relationship.

In another perspective, organizational changes include three broad streams:

  • 1.

    the restructuring of production processes, which include business reengineering, downsizing, flexible work arrangements, outsourcing, greater integration among functional lines, and decentralization;

  • 2.

    product/service quality-related practices emphasizing total quality management and improving coordination with customers/suppliers; and

  • 3.

    human resource management practices, which include performance-based pay, institutional structures affecting the labour-management relations, flexible job design, employee involvement, and improving employees’ skills.

By improving the employees’ skills in what concerns knowledge acquisition, top management can attract and retain better qualified knowledge workers, that is, technicians charged with creating and evaluating knowledge, thinking creatively, analyzing and solving business problems, and contributing to organizational innovation.

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