مدیریت ائتلاف های خلاق : تأملاتی درباره بعد اجتماعی نوآوری خدمات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2225||2009||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Management Journal, Volume 27, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 83–89
This article considers the third dimension of the oft-discussed triumvirate of services science, concentrating on how social and managerial knowledge can be integrated with science and engineering to promote services innovation. Given the backgrounds and occupations of the authors, it represents an exploration in the sort of cross-boundary collaboration and joint analysis that is vital in this area, straddling the contrasting perspectives of social science and engineering, as well as the worlds of the academic and the practitioner. Our dialogue about the principles that may be capable of supporting a multidisciplinary approach to services innovation has underlined the importance of straight talking about disciplinary tensions and priorities, and mutual sensitivity to contextual conditions and constraints. Recognizing that creative insights and options for innovative activity emerge from the lower as well as the upper levels of organizational hierarchies and that viable improvement projects must connect with local insights and aspirations, this article cautions against designer tendencies to innovate from above or beyond the service workplace. Extending the logic of boundary-breaking collaboration, it argues for a more open approach to programme shaping from a broader alignment of engineering and the physical and social sciences with practitioner perspectives from manager, employee and other stakeholder groups on the ground.
The economic significance of the service sector and services innovation has underlined the importance of knowledge, creativity and collaborative networking for organizational effectiveness in the advanced economies (McLaughlin and Paton, 2008a). Of course, the underlying theme of harnessing stakeholder insights and purposefully managing flows of knowledge and information is far from novel. The challenges associated with organizational learning for competitive advantage, with creating and distributing knowledge in modern business environments, have occupied policymakers, scholars and management commentators for a significant number of years (Drucker, 1993). They have also triggered debates about appropriate institutional contexts, structural arrangements and systems of regulation and facilitation that can support the knowledge economy. Unfortunately, much of the discussion of knowledge as an economic resource has been conducted at quite a high level of abstraction, with a great deal of general, speculative and prescriptive commentary claiming space for organizational learning and extolling the virtues of knowledge networks, without illuminating the processes, relationships, issues and complexities involved. There is, of course, a rich library of relevant research insights, assembled over many years, that can help to counteract the influence of ‘quick to market’ promotional scenarios and superficial calls for synergy teams, the cultural fusion of knowledge workers and the ‘leveraging’ of complementary skills to meet market demands. The research itself tends to be segmented, however, and is often less than accessible to practitioners who require an integrated understanding of key issues and a consistent, well-grounded and explicit logic of action. Relevant research within traditional academic disciplines and subject configurations can seem partial or remote from organizational pressures to respond to developing conditions and contingencies, which is why the services science agenda for inter-disciplinary, silo-breaching research is both timely and important (Paton and McLaughlin, 2008). Straddling established boundaries and attending to the social organization of mutual learning is problematical here as elsewhere, however. Engaging researchers from the constituent disciplines of services science – engineering together with the physical and social sciences – to deliver a coherent approach to services innovation is a knowledge management project that underlines the difficulty of supporting collaborative alliances and sustaining creative coalitions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
All of this signifies a need to re-focus and re-energize management thinking about organizational learning and what it means to be knowledge driven. The challenges associated with this transition, with reaching beyond traditional operating principles, priorities and patterns of interaction in anything other than a temporary and precarious fashion should not be underestimated, however (McLaughlin and Paton (2008b)). Case evidence indicates that regulatory instincts and traditions remain potent, and that mutual distrust is a lingering feature of organizational life, certainly in Britain and the United States (Findlay et al., 2000 and Beirne, 2006). If the learning capabilities and contextualised knowledge of natural workgroups and stakeholder communities of practice are to be engaged for wider benefit, the process must be underpinned by mutual trust. This requires a reciprocal exchange, notably in the terms of participation, with acknowledged autonomy at group level reinforced by a collective experience of positive outcomes (over reasonable periods of time) so that stakeholders, including managers, can feel confident that the process is robust and worthwhile. Unfortunately, conservatism acts as a drag chain on progress, adversely affecting perceptions and the exchanges between stakeholders, and making it difficult to secure progressive episodes and events. As prominent commentators such as Tom Peters and Rosabeth Kanter regularly lament, too many of us are locked into orthodox patterns of thinking that reflect more of an allegiance to scientific management priorities and principles than those of inclusive innovation. Despite a rhetorical commitment to creative networks, to displacing functional silos and dislodging hierarchy, the continuities with the past are often more striking than the departures, in services as in other sectors. The view from the sharp end of knowledge sharing and participative working initiatives, from many managers as well as professional and employee groups, is that they frequently degenerate to what Legge (1978) described as ‘conformist innovation’. They fail to deliver, or to live up to expectations, and are contained within familiar boundaries. Inertia, parochial concerns and insular, often defensive, notions take hold, are not addressed or managed, and the hidden, socio-cultural realm of organization comes to operate against, rather than for, significant change. Yet there is also evidence that large numbers of knowledge workers and managers are keen to be innovative and to apply their insights and experience in a more co-operative manner (Milkman, 1998 and McCabe, 2000). Those who have experience of traditional and more participative arrangements strongly prefer the latter, despite any criticisms they register about particular issues or features in practice. The problem is that they are too often ‘turned off’ by the failure to manage emerging constraints or to ensure that consistent support systems are in place to make the most of their contributions. While they remain positive and ‘keep the faith’, the pooling of insights and experiential knowledge does offer discernible advantages, not least with the development of skills and abilities that can make cross-boundary ties and collaborative partnerships viable at the level of the group (Beirne, 2006). Sustaining these initiatives over the medium to long term and generalizing on the basis of solid, episodic achievements remains problematical, however. Nonetheless, there is an impetus here and a potential for innovation that offers encouragement, and hopefully inspiration for those with an appetite to manage and achieve change. The challenges are considerable, and the need for broad-ranging structural as well as socio-cultural interventions should not be underestimated. There are real tensions to be addressed, between innovation and orthodoxy, knowledge devolution and codification, situated learning and standardization, natural group working and sectionalist behaviour. Progress has become a matter of knowledge leadership rather than knowledge management, since the latter phrase, in popular usage, offers a limited appreciation of the social and cultural contexts in which learning and influencing occur. We need to add knowledge management itself to the list of inhibitors in order to observe Paton and McLaughlin’s warning about the dangers of adopting an unduly narrow and puritanical view of service innovation (2008, p. 77).