Management of knowledge creation and sharing to create virtual knowledge-sharing communities: a tracking study

Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2015.
Purpose The main aim of this study is to address the lack of research on the potential impact of the radical changes in social networking in the so-called network society and indirectly the need to manage and constructively share in the collateral knowledge creation. To do this, a tracking study of the knowledge creation and sharing in a discussion forum has been conducted from a knowledge management perspective. Design/methodology/approach A quantitative content analysis research design has been adopted in accordance with which content, text and messages on the website were critically examined, categories and themes identified and analysed, content coded and interpreted, and the results reported, relative to the research problem and theory.

Both substantive decisions (what and how to code) and technical decisions (how coding will be interpreted) were made during the coding process and the interpretation of the results (Keyton, 2015). Three levels of division were used in the development of the coding system, namely message construction; a summary of criteria and subcriteria; and main links and sublinks (Wagner et al., 2012). The unit of analysis was a website, specifically the southafrica.com online discussion forum, which presented an observable and measurable unit for the dissection of the text into components, criteria, subcriteria and elements to be analysed. Findings Two main findings emerged.

First, it was found empirically that knowledge intervention by an expert in the organisation is in fact possible (and indeed needed as a proactive means) to ensure new knowledge is created and shared by individuals in the forum on a continuous basis. Second, it was found that a good theoretical foundation or framework can indicate the importance of various aspects which should be considered to obtain useful results from the participants or members of the forum through knowledge management. Research limitations/implications The study is limited by the fact that it only focused on the measurement of knowledge management in one online discussion forum, southafrica.com, during two time frames from an organisational perspective in terms of the three Cs. Further research in other settings would enhance the findings of this study, and researchers are encouraged to use the theoretical framework in future studies.

Practical implications The main implication for managers in practice is that the research proved that participants in an online discussion forum quite often regard those members who manage the discussion forum as ‘experts’, but organisations then run the risk that the knowledge created and shared might not support, and/or might be detrimental to, the overall objectives and brand of the organisation. Originality/value This article proposes the use of a theoretical framework to measure knowledge management, as applied to the identified online discussion forum, focusing on the three main components of content, communication and consumer with subcriteria and elements of the knowledge management perspective specifically.

The main findings indicated that knowledge creation and sharing in online discussion forums is best supported if these components are proactively managed by an expert in the organisation to sustain and enhance successful communication.
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The interaction effect of organizational practices and employee values on knowledge management (KM) success

Abstract

Purpose – The authors examine the interaction effect of organizational practices and values of employees on KM success in organizations.Design/methodology/approach – An online survey was undertaken covering two hundred and seven employees from the IT, Telecommunication, Food and Beverages and Banking industries in Sri Lanka. The data was analyzed with Partial Least Squares (PLS).Findings – Teamwork, incentives for KM and continuous learning influence employee propensity for KM positively. Furthermore, employee self-transcendence and employee openness to change, moderate the effect of both teamwork and incentives for KM on employee propensity for KM respectively. Yet, openness to change does not moderate the impact of continuous learning on employee propensity for KM.Research limitations/implications – A multi-level study which measures organizational practices at organizational level and individual values at individual level is a necessity in order to corroborate the present findings. The type of industry and gender should be further examined since they are found to influence values of employees.Practical implications – Not only organizational practices such as compensation, job design and performance management but also employee values should be aligned to KM. Thus, recruitment and selection as well as training and development become imperative for the success of KM initiatives.Originality/value – This is one of the first attempts to consider individual values in the context of KM and report an empirical study from Sri Lanka from where relatively few studies are reported.
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The place of communities of practice in knowledge management studies: a critical review

Abstract

Purpose – Since its introduction, the notion of Communities of Practice (CoPs) has gained immediate popularity, especially among Knowledge Management scholars. The paper aims at reviewing the past and discussing what has been done. In particular the purposes are: a) to assess the importance of CoPs in the KM literature; b) to trace how this notion is defined and used, both in practical and theoretical terms; c) to classify the approaches used by KM research on CoPs; d) to discuss the results that research and practice in CoPs have led so far, the open issues, and the potential role of this notion in a future KM research agenda.Design/methodology/approach – The paper illustrates and discusses the findings of a systematic literature review on CoPs focusing on papers published in the most influential Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital Journals.Findings – The study analyses 82 articles published in 12 different KM and IC leading journals from 1997 to 2012. Each article was examined to determine the following information: type of study; domain of application; research methodology applied and addressed topic. Emerging trends, open questions and further research needs are identified and discussed. In particular, an issue for researchers is the necessity to formulate an agreed definition of CoPs under the KM umbrella, which can also help to implement comparable empirical studies and to build theories that provide understanding of how CoPs can be managed. Practical implications – The outcomes of the review is particularly important for KM scholars dealing with CoPs, who can find suggestion for their future research. It can also provide food for thought to practitioners, by illustrating the state-of-the-art and prospects of this important organisational form. In addition, the paper highlights that, despite the huge amount of studies on this topic, the notion of CoP is still used in different ways and the specific experience of each company is difficult to generalise and transfer to other cases.Originality/value – This is the most up-to-date analysis of research on CoPs in its elective field of application that is Knowledge Management.
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An approach to filling firms’ knowledge gaps based on organisational knowledge structure

Abstract

Purpose – The objective of this paper is to propose a practical and operable method to identify and fill organisational knowledge gaps during new product development.Design/methodology/approach – From a microscopic view, this paper introduces the tree-shaped organisational knowledge structure to formalise the knowledge gaps and their internal hierarchical relationships. Based on the organisational knowledge structure, organisational knowledge gaps are identified through tree matching algorithm. The tree-edit-distance method is introduced to calculate the similarity between two organisational knowledge structures for filling knowledge gap.Findings – The proposed tree-shaped organisational knowledge structure can represent organisations’ knowledge and their hierarchy relationships in a structured format, which is useful for identifying and filling organisational knowledge gaps.Originality/value – The proposed concept of organisational knowledge structure can quantify organisational knowledge. The approach is valuable for strategic decisions regarding new product development. The organisational knowledge gaps identified with this method can provide real-time and accurate guidance for the product development path. More importantly, this method can accelerate the organisational knowledge gap filling process and promote organisational innovation.
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Can e-business adoption be influenced by knowledge management? An empirical analysis of Malaysian SMEs

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this research paper is to evaluate the effect of knowledge management on the adoption of the e-business in the supply chain of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia.Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires were distributed to 200 Malaysian SMEs with a response rate of 68%. Data were analyzed by employing multiple regression analysis.
Findings – The results showed that knowledge management processes such as knowledge acquisition and knowledge application are significant in affecting Malaysian SMEs’ decision to adopt e-business in their supply chain. Knowledge dissemination was found not be significant in affecting the adoption of e-business among Malaysian SMEs.Practical implications – This study has addressed the previous lack of literatures on the relationship between knowledge management processes and e-business adoption among Malaysian SMEs.
Originality/value – Although existing literatures have shown a relationship between knowledge management processes and technology adoption, this study empirically verify an adoption model based on knowledge management processes. SMEs can use this model to do a pre-test baseline measurement and reassessment of effect by any KM changes on e-business adoption periodically. Organizations planning to adopt e-business would also be able to apply strategies based on the findings from this research.
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Got a New Strategy? Don’t Forget the Execution Part

When it comes to executing strategy, the old saying “the devil is in the details” holds true for many companies, according to Wharton emeritus management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak. While executives may readily participate in the development of new strategies, execution tends to get short shrift, because it is often viewed as a lower-level task or concern, he notes. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Hrebiniak — who just published the second edition of his book, Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change – explains why it’s critical for firms to create a “culture of execution” in order to succeed.
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Open Innovation for Government

The InnovationExcellence website asks what does Open Innovation mean for a public sector organisation? Consider the possibility of open innovation within policy development, imagine how collaborative and dispersed groups from across a spectrum of society might be engaged to collectively develop potential new policy ideas, to explore these democratically within a social platform, and maybe even help to bring these forward as policy once they are fully worked through with experts.

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