In Service for Sharing: Leadership and Leader – Follower Relationship Factors as Influencers of Tacit Knowledge Sharing in the IT Industry

Tacit knowledge is an organizational resource that is difficult to cultivate. It requires that responsible agents in the organization take an active role in encouraging trust and the development of relationships where individuals feel that their voice will be heard and that there will be a benefit from them passing knowledge onto someone else. In knowledge work tacit knowledge is especially important.
This research found that servant leadership is an important factor in influencing tacit knowledge sharing, however leader-member exchange is a factor that will strongly support the sharing of tacit knowledge.
If there is a dearth in servant leadership, then leader-member exchange quality is able to act as an influencer of tacit knowledge sharing. This indicates the conclusion that while servant leadership has its virtues, it is possible that other leadership constructs will be useful in encouraging tacit knowledge sharing.

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Analysis of Economic Liberalization and Telecommunication Sector Performance in Nigeria

In this paper, we examined the empirical relationship between economic liberalization and telecommunication sector performance in Nigeria between 1986 and 2010 using the Stock and Watson (1993) Dynamic Ordinary Least Square (DOLS) technique. The study utilized secondary data and they were sourced from Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Statistical Bulletin and World Development Indicator (WDI) Database.
The study found that a positive and significant relationship exists between telecommunication sector performance which is proxied by employee per telecommunication subscribers and the parameter of the dummy variable for economic liberalization (LIDUM) (t= 4.6400, p-value<0.01) and competition in the telecommunication market (t-value = 2.7889, p<0.05). The study concluded that economic liberalization enhanced performance of telecommunication sector positively.

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Build a Better Brainstorm: How to capture all the ideas in the room

In recent years, typical business brainstorming has gotten a bad rap for a lot of reasons: It is ineffective. It is dominated by loudmouths. Most people think better alone. So why is brainstorming still widely utilized by businesses intent on idea generation? The answer has more to do with the inherent biases and shortcomings we do not see in brainstorming than what is observable in the process.

“Most people go through brainstorming sessions in which only half of the ideas that exist in the room get expressed,” says Loran Nordgren, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School. “Very often the best ones don’t get expressed, and participants walk out feeling like it was a productive meeting.”

With that in mind, Nordgren recently designed the mobile app Candor as a handy way to generate, capture, organize, and evaluate ideas while bypassing some of the main obstacles posed by traditional brainstorming. With Candor, ideas are generated in advance and then discussed and evaluated in person—which increases the number and diversity of ideas that are brought to the table.

This process often feels counterintuitive or unnatural for people raised on group idea generation, but Nordgren is trying to overcome their resistance by showing them how effective the process can be.

“You want to let people think before they see what other people have thought about, and then you give them an opportunity to explain what they came up with,” Nordgren says.

“Once ideas are collected, there are really a lot of options. You can project all the ideas on the board via the website to see what everyone has done. You see it all simultaneously. It is a tool that makes a helpful practice easier to do.”

Anchors Away

Just why do all these great ideas never see the light of day via traditional brainstorming sessions? The answer lies in the structure of brainstorming itself.

Because we do not want to be rude, cut each other off, or all talk at once when presenting and discussing ideas out loud, we take turns. “There are a host of problems with that,” Nordgren says. But two main factors act to constrict idea flow in this scenario: anchoring and conformity pressure.

With anchoring, someone presents an idea and subsequent ideas gravitate in relation to the first. This reduces the diversity of the brainstorm and means that ideas presented early in the conversation have a disproportionate influence on the subsequent discussion. So our tendency to gravitate toward a good idea might just act to crowd out even better, more innovative ideas.

Conformity pressure is predicated on how we anticipate our ideas being received and how much mental energy we spend thinking about that reception. “Very quickly, we begin to get a sense of what ideas seem appropriate or not,” Nordgren says. “If the first person says ‘let’s do charitable work,’ and my idea was ‘let’s have a party,’ I may not share my idea, because I would take the first idea as a cue that my idea isn’t appropriate.”

Invisible Issues

Worst of all, neither of these factors is readily apparent in most brainstorms. What feels to everyone involved like a freewheeling session—“We captured new sales pitches for next quarter!”—may in fact be hamstrung by a combination of ideas that others then build upon and a subconscious pressure to conform to the ideas presented, no matter how unoriginal—“Wait, aren’t these pitches the same as last quarter’s?”

By allowing participants to separate generation from evaluation, Candor eliminates anchoring and conformity pressure. There is nothing to drag subsequent ideas toward the immediate orbit of what has been said and nothing to shy away from for fear of saying the wrong thing.

Being able to sort the captured ideas makes it easy to see which are gravitating into groups—and which are the gems. There is also nowhere for brainstormers to hide. “When you get people into groups, there is a lot of social loafing,” Nordgren says. “But when you ask them to do this individually, you’re maximizing the brain power of each person.”

Functionality Matters

Perhaps fittingly, it takes some collective intelligence to design an app that takes advantage of collective intelligence. In response to feedback from early users, a series of video introductions has been added to Candor’s website. Additionally, several features of the app have been tweaked in an updated release to give users more choice in when and how to share brainstorms.

“The ability to go live and easily share all the aggregated information with everyone else, and not just through the creator of the discussion, is a big advance,” Nordgren says.

Other tweaks made the app simpler for inexperienced users. “In version 1.0, we gave people the option of selecting the color of their idea cards,” Nordgren says. “This was kind of a throw-away decision that one of the app designers suggested as a little customization.”

“A lot of people—and understandably so—imagine that color choice is communicating something. We didn’t mean that at all, but users have invented theories about what the colors mean,” Nordgren says. “It has become clear that each element has to be super-clearly articulated to everyone, because when you’re generating ideas, all these things have an evaluative content.”

It may seem impossible to account for the myriad ways an app and its design elements function, but Candor itself may prove to be the most effective tool for improving future versions of Candor. One needs to look no further than the app’s name, which is the crowdsourced result of an idea-generation session using the app.

Artwork by Yevgenia Nayberg

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The Eight Cs of Transformational Change

Agile Innovation is an execution-based model, not a control-based model. This means that the focus is on what you do (execution) rather than on what you are instructed to do. Hence, this approach requires inner motivation, and it’s not going to thrive in environments characterized by extrinsic, hierarchical, or fear-based motivational schemes. In this final excerpt from Agile Innovation, Langdon Morris discusses approaches necessary to transform organizations to achieve innovation actions and outcomes.
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The Impact of Manager Influence Tactics on Innovation Implementation of a Knowledge Management System

Innovations can bring desired benefits to organizations if implemented successfully. Managers are a critical factor for influencing employee attitudes and behavior for adoption of innovations. We study employee (n=237) attitudes and behaviors for 13 different manager influence tactics in the innovation implementation phase of an e-learning system, which is regarded as the knowledge management system, in a manufacturing company in Taiwan. With regard to attitudes toward using the e-learning system, the influence tactics of apprising and collaboration were significantly associated with increased attitudes, while exchange and pressure were significantly associated with decreased attitudes. With regard to two separate behavior outcomes of the number of e-learning courses taken and the number of times online, the influence tactics of coalition, collaboration, and pressure all had significant increased associations; while ingratiation, inspirational appeals, legitimating, and rational persuasion all had significant decreased associations. Also, the influence tactics of apprising and persistence had significant increased associations only for the number of e-learning courses taken. Managers attempting to adopt innovative practices should consider the importance of influence tactics when adopting innovative practices in the corporate workplace.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Category Research Article
  • Pages 185-204
  • DOI 10.1260/1757-2223.6.4.185
  • Authors
    • Holly H. Chiu, Department of Finance and Business Management Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    • Joshua Fogel, Department of Finance and Business Management Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Empowerment Strategies for Ideation through Online Communities

Successful ideation is vital for new product development. In a novel approach, firms have recently and successfully empowered their customers through online communities by applying democratic principles to open innovation. In this paper, we borrow insights from the democratic system to examine the enhancement of, and the boundary conditions for, the adoption of this empowerment strategy. We conducted three series of experiments to investigate whether online community size and lead user status might affect the link between empowerment strategy and perceived impact. This study also highlights the double-edged influence of the selected outcome of an empowerment task by focusing on the negative emotions that threaten the effectiveness and sustainability of empowerment strategy. Our results show that empowerment strategy in small communities and higher lead user status can produce higher perceived impact. In addition, the outcome of empowerment strategy may engender positive and negative emotions in members of the community, which leads to distinct and different corresponding behaviour. The theoretical and practical implications of our research are discussed in the conclusion.

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Starting an Innovation Program? A Strategic Approach to Create Success

Many innovation leaders tend to be tactically driven, but their corporate leadership is looking for more strategic planning and analysis. This tension often contributes to high turnover in innovation management roles, based on a misalignment around leadership’s expectations. In this article Anthony Ferrier suggests perspectives and actions that should be considered part of your innovation strategy plan.
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