Knowledge Integration in Problem Solving Processes: A Case Study - Perceptions of Workers

Knowledge Integration in Problem Solving Processes: A Case Study - Perceptions of Workers

Maria José Sousa (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal & Universidade Europeia, Lisboa, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9562-7.ch088
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Abstract

This article analyses the knowledge integration in problem-solving situations which requires a high level of interaction and trust among workers. Literature review explores the main barriers associated to knowledge integration and use and even if most problem situations are solved in an unconscious way, automatically and in a few seconds, others situations requires more time, effort, teamwork, collaboration and extensive abstract knowledge. This research goal is to analyses the perceptions of the workers from Alpha Organisation. The research findings allow us to conclude that depending on the complexity of the workstation, the Operator decides if he has the knowledge and the tools to solve the problem or if he needs help from Managers. The use and share of employees' knowledge is an important factor to solve problems and strengthen performance. However, several organisational and individual barriers condition the process.
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Knowledge Concept

The goal of this research is to analyse the knowledge integration processes in problem solving situations. To analyse this association its important to mention that we have supported our research in the knowledge management literature and It shows us that knowledge can be an enabler or a disabler of problem situations because individual knowledge transfer and use is a very complex social interaction process (McAdam & McCreedy, 1999; Nonaka, et al., 2000).

According to this idea it’s important to analyses the concept of knowledge, as the nuclear element of this study. Thus (Davenport & Prusak 2000) refers that knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. On another perspective, (Polanyi, 1958) associates knowledge to action, saying that knowledge is the ability to act. Nonaka & Takeuchi (1995) explain that knowledge is created by the flow of information associated with the beliefs and commitment of those who possess it. In their perspective, knowledge is created within the company to make it more successful, to keep it on the market, to increase competitiveness and to keep it ahead of its rivals.

To make a more wide analysis to the concept, (Coulson-Thomas, 2002) remarks that today's organisations do not compete in terms of products, services or technology but in terms of know-how, processes and values.

The analysis of the concept leads us to conclude that the immaterial nature of knowledge difficult the process of sharing and integrating knowledge in new practices and products and even in problem situation solving.

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