Knowledge Management Strategy and Practices Using the Appreciative Inquiry Approach for Organizational Transformation: The Indian Context

Knowledge Management Strategy and Practices Using the Appreciative Inquiry Approach for Organizational Transformation: The Indian Context

Abhilash Acharya (Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ranchi, India) and Soma Bose Biswas (Heritage Business School, Kolkata, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9675-2.ch005
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Knowledge management itself is a complex activity related to building organizational capabilities to integrate various forms of interactive technology with critical social, cultural, and organizational issues of knowledge workers. This becomes the core of all aspects of KM—knowledge creation, sharing, transformation, and retention—in the organization. Development of an effective KM strategy via adopting the appreciative inquiry approach can decide on the future of the robustness of organizations, organizational transformation, and eventually enhances the scope of competitive advantage. This chapter will incorporate the tenets of KM and ancillary practices, theory of organizations, though the lens of appreciative inquiry approach and the way an organization's structural transformation can be influenced by strategic management of knowledge within the organization. It will concurrently demonstrate the index of strategic influence within the overall organizational network.
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One fine morning when the resplendent sun seemed to kiss the zenith of our existence, we decided to visit ABC Limited and understand their knowledge management strategy and practices (KMS & P) to the core. We were convinced enough to explore them in the best possible manner and found out that ABC limited is running at an unwarranted loss! At the same time, they were jolted when Mr. Rastogi, the regional sales manager, had put in his papers and was absolutely prepared to quit the company! Were we supposed to be disappointed by this chain of events? Let’s delve deeper into the context and decipher the available undercurrents, albeit related to their KMS &P.

ABC limited is engaged as a channel partner (sales and service) of a highly revered MNC based out of India and deals in high-end and advanced scientific instruments (sale and distribution). Their notable clients include R&D laboratories of national importance, universities, institutional research facilities and other industrial research centers across the Indian sub-continent. Mr. Rastogi was the key person in ABC who earned them significant business returns, primarily in the eastern part of the country. This became possible as he was in direct contact with the largest chunk of ABC’s clientele. Being exceptionally shrewd and as high-performer, he understood the nitty-gritty’s of each product that he handled, had excellent marketing capabilities and interpersonal adeptness. He was also very popular within the team as he always helped others to perform by going beyond their comfort zones. This kind of success was credited to the top-level executives for getting the orders without much difficulty. The corporate bliss was expressed through rewarding and recognizing the contributions of those top-level executives. However, the career advancement program at the middle level was not adequately structured. Rewarding the right talent was also ambiguous. Overall, there was no incentive system in place. The company was too satisfied with and complacent about the degree of loyalty shown by Mr. Rastogi– he had been working with them for 12 long years until now. Honestly, ABC limited was shell-shocked when they received that dreaded resignation letter and fell hook, line and sinker for the same! They tried really hard to retain him, but the person joined one of their competitors when he was offered a lucrative job-role with higher compensation and more benefits. So, what went wrong here with the company ABC Limited?

Had it not been great if the organization could have developed a culture of sharing core values throughout the organization?

Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield- (Marcus & Curt, 1999)

Organizations are generally casual about discovering the individual competencies of the employees, and also a dream to chase excellence – by defining the organizational vision in a concrete manner. It has thus been witnessed that many organizations failed to sustain the pressures and stay put in business in the long run due to incongruous talent management at the individual level and the integration of that individual knowledge units with the overall business strategy.

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