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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4011||2004||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 24, Issue 6, June 2004, Pages 483–498
Just as ‘innovate or die’ is one of the mantras of today’s economy, knowledge is increasingly recognized as the key underpinning resource. Effective innovation that improves the ability of an organization to remain competitive within an uncertain environment requires the creation, capture, harvest, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise. The ability of an organization to ‘learn’ means that knowledge must be utilized on problems and opportunities as they emerge and is generated through an ongoing evaluation of how those responses have impacted on the organization and its operating environment. Much has been written about the process of innovation from idea generation through downstreaming and operationalization to commercialization. Organizational culture has been recognized as a primary determinant within innovation and the need to better understand this relationship or process is a necessary prerequisite to nurturing it in a more structured and systematic manner. Innovation is holistic in nature and is inseparable from the culture that facilitates or constrains the ability to ‘add value’. This paper explores and presents organizational culture as a ‘bundle’ of knowledge repositories with storing and information processing capabilities. Drawing upon the knowledge management and innovation literature the location, attributes and characteristics of these repositories are provisionally identified and mapped. Primary data drawn from an R&D environment within telecommunications is then used to develop a tool for auditing, intervening, changing and maintaining knowledge repositories. This is a three-stage process comprising an audit tool that identifies various cultural archetypes and their respective audited knowledge layers; an intervention tool that suggests various interventions and strategies for targeted change to the audited knowledge layers and an innovation maintenance tool that proposes strategies for ‘maintenance’ of the desired organizational culture archetype. It will be argued that organizational learning plays an important part in ensuring that knowledge repositories are continually replenished and updated to enable efficient responses to changes in its competitive environment.
The key role of innovation in managing the uncertainty facing organizations and creating added value is becoming recognized as increasingly important as are the dynamic knowledge capabilities underpinning it (Tidd et al., 2001). Innovations are, in part, the result of a group’s knowledge of new markets and or new technical possibilities leading to improved product development. Efficient operations emerge from ensuring that both tacit and explicit knowledge is shared and contribute to a collective understanding about how things work and how they could work. This is close to the definition of culture as the ‘way we do things around here’. This is what inspired Hewlett-Packard’s Lew Platt to say: “If only HP knew what HP knows, we could be three times more productive!” This is especially true in a globalized world of constantly changing and challenging competitive markets. To remain competitive, organizations must, therefore, efficiently and effectively create, capture, harvest, share, and apply their knowledge and expertise. They must also have the dynamic capability not only to bring that knowledge to bear on problems and opportunities as they emerge, but also to develop a dynamic capability to continually replenish it. Rapid change means quicker knowledge obsolescence and entails constant internal adaptation including new strategies, structures, processes and tools and most importantly a need for people and organizations to learn quickly (Prusak, 1997). Because knowledge is not simply data or information, but is rooted in human experience and social context, its management demands that close attention is paid to the people and culture as well as to organizational structure, and information technology (Havens and Knapp, 1999). Earl (1994) suggests that knowledge management requires a combination of technological and social action while Davenport et al. (1998) stress the need to successfully navigate the political, organizational, and technical challenges, as well as appreciating the depth of the cultural change required. Organizations must develop ways of ensuring that the culture is conducive to knowledge sharing (Wharton, 1998). Wah (1999) puts forward the idea that the key issue is to ‘instill a corporate-wide culture that encourages knowledge sharing’, while Martiny (1998) stresses the human side of managing knowledge as the most difficult. All this points towards the importance of the softer, social aspects of organizational culture and knowledge sharing. Individuals acquire the information to facilitate problem solving and decision making and individual cognition is a central element in how and what data are acquired, how they are organized (information) and subsequently assimilated and used (knowledge) within an organizational context. What constitutes a problem and potential solution inevitably varies with individuals. In other words behavior is tied to the world as it is perceived (Green and Lemon, 1996). The latter point is important in a cultural sense because the ‘world view’ that underpins organizational behavior may not coincide with that of the individuals or groups carrying out that behavior. It is only through the process of sharing and assimilating information, often determined in large part by high levels of reciprocal trust, that organizations can move from collections of individuals to a more collective culture. This culture may, for example, retain knowledge of the past even when key organizational members leave (Weick and Gilfillian, 1971). The information used for decision making is stored in various physical locations (Simon, 1976). It is collected, stored and accessed through a range of standard procedures (Cyret and March, 1963) and can be influenced by protocols in dress and social interaction and the physical environment within which that interaction takes place e.g. office layout, status attached to office space and fittings (Smith and Steadman, 1981). This paper presents a conceptual model of organizational culture as a multilayered knowledge repository. Drawing upon a range of literatures (e.g. knowledge management, organizational learning and innovation) culture is conceptualized as a ‘bundle’ of knowledge repositories with knowledge storing and information processing capabilities. The location, attributes and the characteristics of these repositories are then identified and mapped onto a knowledge matrix. Primary data, collected from interviews with R&D personnel in the telecommunications industry, is then used alongside this model to develop a tool for auditing, intervening, changing and maintaining knowledge repositories. This is a three-stage process comprising an audit tool that identifies various cultural archetypes and their respective knowledge layers; an intervention tool that proposes a range of interventions and strategies for targeted change in the knowledge layers and an innovation maintenance tool that suggests strategies for ‘maintaining’ the desired archetype.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6.1. Managing the transition between archetypes It is important to reiterate that there is not necessarily a qualitative improvement as one moves from a controlled culture for innovation towards a cultivated archetype. Rather, different archetypes are appropriate for different organizational contexts. The ability to move between archetypes is, however, determined by the current position. For example, the cultivated archetype will incorporate the attributes of the other archetypes and it should be possible to draw upon these when a more structured approach is required. In contrast, a controlled innovation culture will not include the attributes that are necessary for operating according to the cultivated archetype. The transition in this direction will require the acquisition of new attributes as opposed to the selection of, and reconfiguration from, those that are already evident (Fig. 7). Let us term the movement from a cultivated archetype towards one exhibiting more control as ‘reassigning’ and the movement in the opposite direction as ‘fostering’. It has been argued that the culture of innovation and the learning associated with it is dynamic. Consequently, it is important to consider strategies for actively maintaining an existing archetype when this is considered to be appropriate.The paper will conclude with a brief discussion about how movement between archetypes and the dynamic maintenance of an existing one might be facilitated. This phase of the work is ongoing and the discussion will present a number of examples rather than a comprehensive set of intervention strategies and associated techniques. 6.2. An example of a reassigning strategy—from cultivated to control A reassigning strategy might be necessary in one of the two situations. First, a change in which personnel and the related tacit knowledge is lost possibly as a result of downsizing, re-engineering, or take-over. The recovery of knowledge and lost skills might be facilitated through moving to a more controlled archetype involving formal training, clearly defined roles and competences etc. Leaders take charge, and organizational members’ working lives are increasingly shaped by rules and contractual and competence as opposed to relationship trust. Secondly, a refocus away from creative activity and towards product development requires a more structured working environment and clearer direction from management. The knowledge matrix for the controlled archetype suggests what strategic action might be required for this transition. The knowledge in the controlled archetype is explicit, collective and encoded. The mission statement provides a sense of direction as the management style exerts greater control by making the organizational structure bureaucratic. Fayol (1949) describes an ‘espirit de corps’ and a sense that ‘union is strength’. It is the executive function to promote this widespread belief in a common purpose. Barnard (1938) suggests that organizations are co-operative systems that have a unifying purpose. He continues that it is the belief that is important, not necessarily the detailed understanding of common purpose. Cyret and March (1963) and Thompson (1967) develop the notion of a core set of beliefs and values that serve as motivating reasons for individuals to join together in an organization. The knowledge structures are also closely linked to an organization’s strategy for survival and more subject to change. Changes in knowledge structures occur as a result of the impact of environmental events, past organizational actions, the influence of key decision makers and the advocacy positions of coalitions within the firm (Lyles and Schwenk, 1992). During the process of development, organizations with simple structures attempt to find segments of the environment in which they can operate without being traumatized by too many jolts (Meyer, 1982), or they will ignore the jolts, remaining unaffected by them and maintaining the viability of the its structure. Lyles and Schwenk (1992) propose that firms that have a tightly coupled structure i.e. the core (mission—knowledge about the most basic of the firm’s purposes and goals) and the peripheral (cause-and-effect belief structures—knowledge about sub goals and about their behavior or steps to achieve those goals) need to maintain stability and to avoid jolts. They view knowledge structures as a combination of the mission and the shared perspective of the management core, that are treated as separate issues. This suggests that the mission and values of an organization and the strategy to achieve those objectives should be clearly and explicitly stated and expressed in a controlled archetype. Consequently, the firm will seek to maintain the status quo and to avoid change. A firm with a tightly coupled structure will seek the similar market conditions so that it can use the same business models. The key decision makers in tightly coupled firms are interested in reducing disagreement because it could lead to ‘uncoupling’ and trauma for the firm. This suggests a ‘protectionist’ or ‘shielding’ responsibility for management. It is important that when a strategy of greater control is implemented the work force is well informed. The reinforcing cycle of this controlled archetype leads to greater control measures and if the balancing process is not aligned to the benefit of the organization, increased worker dissatisfaction will result. This should be a continuous process and in a format that is accessible and comprehensible to personnel aligned to interventions designed to increase extrinsic motivation and retain self-esteem under conditions of uncertainty. 6.3. An example of a fostering strategy—from fuzzy to inspiring An example of a fostering strategy is the movement from a fuzzy to inspiring archetype. This requires a shift from dominant embrained knowledge to that which is embodied and is typical of an organization where there is decreasing standardization and a more responsive attitude to new ideas and ways of working. This might be exemplified by a shift from single to multiple work processes. The capacity to react to changing situations becomes a key characteristic and individuals have to be given greater autonomy and more discretion in how they undertake their work. This is aligned to a more enthusiastic attitude to experimentation and interactive problem solving. Skills that support creativity are actively sought as the innovation worldview expands. The formal knowledge of an organization’s members, alongside the embodied practical problem-solving skills of external experts, becomes increasingly necessary. Greater tacit knowledge is generated through experimentation and problem solving and learning should occur as experts of diverse fields collectively solve problems. The dominant knowledge type within the inspiring archetype is the action oriented, context specific embodied knowledge that is individual and tacit. As in the fuzzy archetype, this is found in individuals and teams, however, there is increased collaboration leading to the generation of new knowledge. Issues such as trust, empowerment, open communications, and a greater degree of freedom become essential in encouraging innovative activity through collaboration and individual satisfaction. Motivation becomes intrinsic and the knowledge structure more complex. This influences the ability of the organization to respond to environmental change. Stored knowledge can become difficult to retrieve and what is retrieved depends on the frequency of use, how recently it was used, its usefulness and location alongside individual and group preferences, self-interest competence in retrieval (Douglas, 1986, Levitt and March, 1988, March and Olsen, 1975 and March et al., 1991). More complex structures, however, allow for more diverse information to be recognized and processed. As the organization gains more experience and learns from it, it becomes more of an expert at what it is doing and as a result is able to encompass a greater number of new situations and problems (Lyles and Schwenk, 1992). The strategy here regarding the mission, value and the knowledge structures is that of a loose coupling. Firms with a loosely coupled structure incorporate and are more accepting of alternative interpretations about how to carry out the firm’s mission. Changes can be made more easily and there will be more flexibility of action. According to Weick (1979), environmental jolts do not affect such firms as greatly as tightly coupled firms. The firm can adjust its strategies with changing environmental conditions and the ability to incorporate new knowledge is increased. In order to develop a successful strategy the communication channels need to be improved and worker empowerment should accompany more trust and risk taking. The style of management should become more participative with major decisions being taken in an increasingly collaborative and consultative manner. The individual motivation within this archetype is more intrinsic and supported by a conducive working environment, knowledge sharing tools and improved downstreaming methods. Scanning and networking activities, such as attendance at seminars and conferences, and membership of communities of practice and interest should also be encouraged. 6.4. An example of a maintenance strategy—the cultivated archetype The cultivated cultural archetype is necessary when an organization is operating in a knowledge intensive sector with a highly volatile and competitive environment. These organizations are in the business of creating added value through the exploitation of current activities, products and the skills embedded in the firm. The need to experiment and anticipate future trends is important. This links the exploitation of resources and the available knowledge base to compete in the short-term market place (exploitation program) and the development of knowledge that helps sustain this competition in the long run (experimentation program). In order to meet these challenges the organizations have to be entrepreneurial. The dominant knowledge type of this archetype is embedded and encultured with an emphasis on collaboration, team working, and putting in place working practices that are conducive to creativity and innovation. Continuous double-loop learning becomes the norm. Learning at the collective level also results from the interplay individual and group knowledge through social interaction, team working and communities of practice. There is agreement that collective knowledge that comprises embrained, embodied, encoded, and encultured knowledge is the most powerful strategically. The organizational memory, which is defined by Walsh and Ungson (1991) in its most basic sense as ‘stored information from an organizations’ history that can be brought to bear on present decisions’, has to be continually updated through learning. Failure to do so would result in the organization slipping into the common attitudes of ‘the not invented here syndrome’ and ‘this is the way things are done around here’ and engrossed in self perpetuating routines. Social networks, both formal and informal, therefore, have to be encouraged and the skills of individuals and teams should be continually upgraded through additional resources. The personal development of the knowledge worker is important. Knowledge building (Leonard-Barton, 1995), knowledge conversion (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995) and knowledge linking activities (Badaracco, 1991 and Wikstrom and Normann, 1994) have to be made the routine. In knowledge conversion (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995), the organization continuously creates new knowledge by converting between the personal, tacit knowledge of individuals who produce creative insight, and the shared explicit knowledge, which the organization needs to develop new products and innovations. Tacit knowledge is shared and externalized through dialogue that uses metaphors and analogies. New concepts are created, and the concepts are justified and evaluated according to their fit with organizational intent. Concepts are tested and elaborated by building archetypes or prototypes. Finally, concepts, which have been created, justified, and modeled, are moved to other levels of the organization to spark new cycles of knowledge creation. In knowledge building (Leonard-Barton, 1995), the organization identifies and nurtures activities that build upon knowledge and strengthens the organization’s distinctive core capabilities, enabling them to grow over time. These knowledge-building activities are shared problem solving, experimentation and prototyping, the implementation and integration of new processes and tools, and the importation of knowledge. Individuals with diverse signature skills work together on solving a problem and through experimentation and prototyping the organization can extend its existing capabilities and build new ones for the future. The successful implementation of new tools and related processes requires users and technology to mutually adapt and complement each other and knowledge about the technology as well as the market is imported from outside the organization and absorbed. In knowledge linking (Badaracco, 1991), the organization forms intimate learning alliances with other organizations in order to transfer knowledge that is situated in specialized relationships, work cultures, and operating styles of the partner organization. As the organization becomes more dynamic, and innovation widespread, internal competition may cause conflict through knowledge becoming specialized and only available to a few. Henderson and Clark (1990), distinguish between component knowledge (knowledge of specialist elements in an organization) and architectural knowledge (knowledge about how such elements interact). Architectural knowledge is submerged within routines yet is central to an understanding of an organization’s strengths and weaknesses. The need to retain staff is a defining feature of the cultivated archetype because a great deal of specialist knowledge has been developed. This highlights the importance of identifying and addressing both the extrinsic and intrinsic motivational issues.