فرآیند و ساختار در شیوه های مدیریت دانش شرکت های چند ملیتی بریتانیایی و آمریکایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|11713||2002||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2002, Pages 29–48
This paper suggests that the conventional opposition of ‘global’ versus ‘local’ strategies in knowledge management processes is not only unhelpful but misleading. It investigates the process of knowledge management, its impact on organisational structure and, in particular, its spatial aspects. Using three detailed case studies of multinational firms, it finds that knowledge configurations, which are both dynamic and ‘glocal’, are utilised to extract value from sticky local sources of knowledge and to evolve better solutions. The paper moves away from the unidirectional flow of knowledge to a picture showing conflicts between the preexisting organisational structure and the desire to manage spatial separated knowledge sources. The analysis encompasses the strategic active subsidiary as a special, possibly intermediate case, of the problems of managing spatially separate knowledge sources.
This paper investigates three key issues. (1) What determines the process of knowledge management? This process involves creating value from localised knowledge by combining spatially separate sources of knowledge. The firm needs to know where its knowledge assets and sources are located, and it needs to find a means of combining specific knowledge. (2) What effect does the process of knowledge management have on the organisational structure of the firm? The organisation structure can be investigated to show if it facilitates or inhibits the knowledge management process. The management imperative is to move towards structures that enhance knowledge combination. (3) How are process and structure affected by the key local competence versus centralised global management divide within the multinational firm? Can we envisage ‘glocal’ solutions to the management of knowledge? The case studies below show that spatial issues are important in knowledge management practices and in potential organisational solutions. It also appears that successful strategies to combat knowledge “stickiness” will involve combinations of local and global configurations of knowledge. There is a potential conflict between the process and the organisational structure of the firm, which depends on (1) the preexisting alignment of process and structure (this is dynamic and interactive over time), (2) the critical sequencing of the knowledge management process and (3) boundaries in knowledge, which represent “frontiers” across which management must operate to achieve integration. Our framework has two drivers (knowledge characteristics and the value from combining knowledge) and two constraints (the participants and the technology of knowledge transfer) and two outcomes—on the organisational structure of the firm and the performance characteristics of the process. The approach of the paper synthesises earlier papers and applies the resulting theoretical framework to the spatial issues driving the knowledge management practices of multinational enterprises using illustrative case studies. It is apparent that these management practices have local versus central conflicts inherent in them. Knowledge characteristics may have a local flavour because of market conditions that are particular to geographical location, or they may be due to the historical localisation of particular industrial specialisations (Krugman, 1994). The value from combining knowledge may arise from geographical separation—this is the classic rationale for the existence of a multinational firm—internalising externalities by putting together within an internal market attributes, resources or activities generating synergy, which can be exploited with profit (Buckley and Casson, 1976). The participants in the process will be separated by physical and cultural difference—the combination of previously distant activities yielding a return to the coordinator. The technology of knowledge transfer may reside in the firm, perhaps centrally, and may be an important factor in releasing and combining local competencies. The organisational structure of the firm may be a result of central management dictate, or may have evolved over time, but may well be in conflict at any given time with the needs of smooth knowledge transfer and efficient knowledge management. How far do firms transfer best practice from subsidiary to parent or parent to subsidiary in order to achieve greater success in knowledge management? The paper reports findings from three case studies in which firms are concerned with combining localised competencies, often from different source locations, into an overarching knowledge strategy, which will enable the application of these competencies within other (localised) markets. In these examples, while there is some degree of tension between the local needs of operating business units and the global requirements of each corporation as a whole, these needs are not in inevitable opposition to one another, but instead they are mutually supportive. The corporations we describe have endeavoured to “think globally” in order to improve the effectiveness with which they “act locally”, that is to say that they are concerned with strategies of “glocalisation”. In order to illustrate some of the crucial issues of local and global knowledge management, our study represents a stripped down version of the complexities facing multinational firms. We have only a single parent and affiliate. We examine distinct, individual processes within each firm, reflecting only a part of any firm's overall activity, but each of which is an exemplar of larger issues. Parents and affiliates are respectively from either the USA and the UK or the reverse, so that we have only two (broadly similar) cultures and one language (almost!) of operation. We have only two industries. This eliminates many extraneous effects and allows us to concentrate on the process in a pure form. The conclusion attempts to relate this simple analysis to more complex situations.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
All three case studies illustrate the importance of spatial issues in knowledge management. In all three multinational firms, there was not one unique source of knowledge, but the resources were dispersed, and each firm had to find a way of combining their knowledge assets in a dynamic process with changing parameters. Moves towards an organisational structure that facilitated knowledge sharing could be on a planned incremental, almost staged, basis (Frecknall) or in an evolutionary format (Devonian) or in the creation of a particular new structure (Braxia). The strategies all had both a spatial and temporal dimension. Furthermore, all strategies had both global and local components. These examples indicate that knowledge strategies, which are both dynamic and ‘glocal’ are likely to be widespread, although their detailed forms may be rich and varied. Our research suggests that conceptualisation of knowledge management should move away from thinking of unidirectional flows of knowledge towards much more complex interactions, which, nevertheless, can be captured within a conceptual framework such as what we put forward in 2 and 3. Spatial and temporal issues also interact in an interesting fashion and the age of a firm and of a subsidiary needs to be factored into any spatial analysis of knowledge management practices. The analysis of the input into strategy of the Frecknall subsidiaries would be very different, depending on the time at which it was examined. The ‘window of observation’ is crucial in coming to clear conclusions on appropriate knowledge management structures. The limitations of our approach are clear. We provide three illustrations of spatial issues in knowledge management, but in order to generalise, a wider study is necessary. Such a study would move from a relatively “stripped down” context to problems set in a greater degree of complexity, including wider cultural differences and firms chosen explicitly to illustrate the impact of overt company strategy (hierarchical control, internal capital market operations, multiple sources of strategic direction). However, our limited study shows great scope for extension, conceptually, in practice, and in guiding management thinking.