Organizational Knowledge in the Making: How Firms Create, Use, and Institutionalize Knowledge

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The final layer of the model is split into two forms of complementary enablers: personal and organizational knowledge capabilities. Personal knowledge, links with personal capabilities such as ambition, skills, and behavior, coupled with experience and relevant tools. The organizational capabilities include the mission, vision, strategy, design of structures and processes, and company culture.

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To make a better use of project experience, the authors propose a process based on the following five steps:. In the collection step, lessons are captured and identified, as said before, through a collective effort to analyze facts from past experience. Information overload and loss of focus are some of the causes of the ineffectiveness of the traditional process. The aim of the documentation step is to document the prioritized lessons in a consistent and standardized format to facilitate future retrieval. The communication step refers to the publishing of lessons to the people that are intended to use them.

Make a habit to add items in these checklists with the lessons identified in every project. Do the same with templates, procedures, and KPIs. So we can say that the only way to assimilate lessons is to incorporate them into process assets Midha, In this case study, the project team has selected four major players in the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates and conducted more than 10 interviews with C-level executives and program directors, conducted over 30 surveys and reviewed over 50 documents, including project plans, databases, reports, and memorandums.

The recommendations to successfully design and implement a knowledge management system in the case companies are as follows:. Marco Negri is an IT manager with more than 16 years of working experience with Italy's major national infrastructure companies Italferr, Italy's leading national railway engineering company, and Anas, Italy's national administrator of the network of roads and highways. He is specialized in enterprise project management and enterprise content management, specifically tailored for the civil works environment. Dulgerler specializes in leading mid-sized teams of highly skilled engineers to solve some of the most pressing challenges in enterprise IT.

As an enterprise architect at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, he is responsible for defining the technology and business platform to execute strategy. He is also a widely recognized project management trainer in the Middle East. Alavi, M. Knowledge management systems: Issues, challenges and benefits. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 1 7. American Productivity and Quality Centre.

Successful implementing knowledge management executive summary: Consortium learning forum best practise report. Retrieved from www. Boudreau, A. System integration and knowledge management. Information Systems Management, 16 4 : 24— Broadbent, M. The emerging phenomenon of knowledge management. Australian Library Journal, 46 1 , 6— Brussels, BE.

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Covey, S. The 7 habits of highly effective people. Dalton, Jeff. Can CMMI save us from the black hole of lessons learned? Davenport, T.

Organizational Knowledge in the Making: How Firms Create, Use, and Institutionalize Knowledge

In an attempt to see organizational learning as a strategic approach, Crossan and Berdrow have described the process of organizational learning in a 4I framework. It consists of four stages: intuiting, interpreting, integrating, and institutionalizing. The stages are similar to the SECI model. Organizational learning is building on the intuition of the individual. These experiences are interpreted and integrated on a group level, so that in the end new knowledge is institutionalized in the organization. First, there is expert intuition, which is the ability to recognize past patterns.


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Entrepreneurial intuition is the second kind. It is the ability to realize parallel events and make new connections to foresee future possibilities. This intuitive and innovative insight , contrary to expectations, was not attributed to the CEO.

Organizational knowledge in the making : how firms create, use, and institutionalize knowledge

In other words, the ability to come up with innovative solutions is not associated with the CEO of a company. Even though the CEO in the former top-down organized CPC had the decision making power, he lacked the most up-to date knowledge to anticipate new trends. Without knowing what is going on it made his decision making power obsolete.

Organizational Knowledge - ISO 9001 2015 (Sub-Clause 7.1.6)

In a top-down organization the information flows only in one direction. Therefore, the CEO does not receive feedback from lower hierarchy levels. The knowledge available is simply ignored and thus cannot be institutionalized and implemented in processes and routines in the organization. The knowledge about the customers is gained by employees through their daily interactions with them.

As Nonak and Konno point out:. Does that not equip the employees on the lowest hierarchical level with the most power? As it can be seen in the bottom-up chart, now the customers as well as the employees who interact with them on a daily basis are on the top. That not only emphasizes the customer focus, but also that the knowledge about the customer is valued.

It also creates employee involvement, since the individual with the knowledge is involved in identifying and delivering optimizations. This again increases job satisfaction and motivation through higher commitment and identification with being part of the solution. Employees are treated as partners on eye-level , who are involved in decision making processes.

They are valued by asking for their opinion to solve a problem. They are seen as individuals who are capable of contributing to the success of the whole organization. Their skills and knowledge are appreciated. With all the benefits the bottom-up approach brings and the way employees are treated, the question arises are managers and executives redundant?

Although for many employees the work and purpose of middle managers seem not apparent, there is a theoretical importance in the position. By definition , a manager is the one who controls resource allocation. They are the ones who provide the employees with the support and material so that the individuals can do their best job. Stewart et al. Their research states that a solely top-down focus failed to create enough commitment from employees.

However, a pure bottom-up approach was not able to generate the necessary resources for the implementation of an initiative. Combining both approaches allows an organization to thrive. The direction for the development of the organization is set by management. How milestones to reach the defined vision are accomplished lies now in the responsibility of the individual, autonomous employee.

Third, drawing on the three-lens framework, the book presents a phenomenological enquiry on knowing and organizing processes within two large car-manufacturing plants at Fiat Auto, Italy. The book highlights the need to re-think organizational knowledge from an action-based perspective and suggests a new vocabulary for understanding knowledge-oriented phenomena in organizations. The book is addressed both to scholars of strategy and organization and to reflective practitioners.

Academics will be stimulated to reflect upon concepts they normally take for granted and habitually use in their research. The book is also suitable for young researchers and doctoral students whose research interests lie in the areas of knowledge and organization.

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The Fiat case study, on which the book is based, offers interesting insights to practitioners as far as classical themes like change, innovation, and organizational design are concerned. Contrary to mainstream knowledge management texts, however, this book does not provide any recipes about alleged best ways for managing organizational knowledge. Rather, it invites managers and practitioners to reflect about the repertoire of knowledge they possess and yet cannot articulate.


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Review As a whole the book represents an important contribution by highlighting key issues theoretically, empirically and methodologically.