Essays on Knowledge Management and Innovation Annotated Bibliography

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The paper "Knowledge Management and Innovation" is a perfect example of management annotated bibliography.   Knowledge Management (KM), though an ancient concept has been attracting much attention for the past two decades as noted by Lundvall & Nielsen (2007, p. 207). Specifically, KM’ s relevance to innovation has elicited debates among scholars and researchers who have linked it to human capital, information management and quality movement. Seeing that KM is a considerably new concept in the scholarly circles, its definition ranges from one school of thought to another. One thing that most scholars seem to agree about, however, is the fact that KM affects innovation in contemporary firms.

The annotated bibliography below includes research articles that have shed more light on the relationship between KM and innovation. Article #1 Title and reference for the article Maqsood, T & Finegan, A. D 2009 ‘ A knowledge management approach to innovation and learning in the construction industry, ’ International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 297-307. Purpose of the research: This research was meant to find out how KM supports innovation and learning in the construction industry. Analysis, Findings and Interpretation: The authors of this research start by noting that the construction industry has over the years operated in a culture that has resisted the changes that come from adopting and using innovative practices and knowledge.

The authors found out that in addition to being slow in absorbing innovative knowledge, organisations in the construction industry are also reluctant in harnessing intellect from its human capital, thus slowing down innovation. This is interpreted to mean that the construction firms do not fully integrate technological processes, the people (knowledge and expertise) and the processes available in the contemporary, to gain maximum performance. Significance of KM findings: The research demonstrated through theoretical research findings that KM can be used to enhance innovation and learning in firms which work within the construction industry. Shortcomings or weaknesses: Since the research was based in Australia alone, the findings may not be true about the construction industry in other countries. Summary of themes: Citing Kamara et al.

(2002), Maqsood and Finegan (2009, p. 29) argue that knowledge management is a vehicle that firms in the construction industry can use to improve their business performances.

More so, the two authors argue that KM is also a vehicle that the firms can use to attain and utilise innovation. They propose that this should be done by firms locating external innovative knowledge, bringing such knowledge into their firms, and incorporating it into their work practices. Overall, this article contributes to the topic subject by linking KM to innovation and states that the former is necessary for the latter to occur in any organisation. Article #2 Title and reference for the article Scarbrough, H 2003, ‘ Knowledge management, HRM and the innovation process, ’ International Journal of Manpower, vol.

24, no. 5, pp. 501-516. Purpose of the research: This article was meant to shed light on the implications that KM has on human resources management, and how it deals with innovation in the contemporary workplace. Analysis, Findings & Interpretation: The author of this article has based his research on Castells (1996, pp. 176), who argues that KM is both an outcome and a medium of innovative processes. Having noted this, however, Scarbrough (2003, p. 501) notes that how successful KM is in fostering innovation depends on the prevailing HRM practices in specific organisations.

The author argues that in addition to recruiting innovative people, the HRM must put good enough compensation strategies and career systems in place for effective KM to occur in any firm. The author interprets his findings to meet that maximum innovative practices are likely to be seen when HRM is performing at it’ s optimal to encourage knowledge-sharing, and where KM practices maximally encourage the knowledge flow in all units of an organisation. Significance of KM findings: This article points out that KM is a combination of concepts and tools, which the HRM organ in any firm needs to take a deliberate action to adopt, in order to exploit knowledge and hence attain and utilise innovation. Shortcomings or weaknesses: None noted Summary of the main themes: The social nature of knowledge is one of the main themes that the author has focused on.

According to him, a wealth of knowledge is available in the social setting, and such knowledge is also better utilised if it is easily shared in a social setting (for example across units in the workplace).

The second theme explored by the author relates to the role of HRM in the proper management of employees since they are the source and users of the innovative practices that emerge from prudent knowledge management. Article #3 Title and reference for the article Kamasak, R & Bulutlar, F 2010, ‘ The influence of knowledge sharing on innovation, ’ European Business Review, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 306-317. Research Purpose: This article aimed at investigating the effects that knowledge sharing had on innovation. Specifically, they examined how knowledge collecting and knowledge donation worked Analysis, findings and Interpretation: The authors found out that knowledge gathering affected innovation and the skilfulness of people in a significant manner, while knowledge donating had a positive effect on exploitative and exploratory innovation both when done in and outside a group.

The researchers analysed the results by regressing them on exploratory innovation, ambidextrous innovation and exploitative innovation and observing the effect that each had. In the end, it was found out that knowledge donating and knowledge sharing had affected all three kinds of innovations identified in the study. Significance of KM findings: Although the authors do not use the term knowledge management, it’ s quite clear that by the knowledge collecting and sharing indirectly refers to KM.

As such, the authors’ findings indicating that knowledge collecting and sharing affected skill innovation, the ability to exploit external innovation and the ability to investigate and make good use of innovative practices attained both internally and externally. Shortcomings in the research: This article lacks a clear definition of words; hence one has to find out what the terms exploitative, exploratory and ambidextrous means from other sources. Summary of themes: The first theme apparent in this article is the importance that knowledge plays towards innovation.

Citing Darroch and McNaughton (2002, p. 212), the authors observe that organisational innovation is attained when traditional ideas are replaced with new cultures, disciplines, approaches and ideas. The second theme apparent in this article is the importance of knowledge sharing in boosting innovation. The authors identify knowledge collection and donation as the two dimensions that would contribute significantly to knowledge sharing in the future. Article #4 Title and reference for the article Du-Plessis, M 2007, ‘ The role of knowledge management in innovation, ’ Journal of Knowledge Management, vol.

11, no. 4, pp. 20-29. Purpose of the research: The article sought to clarify KM’ s role in driving innovation. The article also intended to identify the role and value of KM in driving innovation. The analysis, findings and Interpretation: This research article states that KM’ s cultural role in innovation can only be realised if human resource management plays its role well and recognise KM as a competence building tool. Citing Scarbrough (2003, p. 505), Du-Plessis (2007, p. 26) notes that through HRM, employee behaviours and skills can be aligned to maximise the flow of knowledge, which is essential in developing innovations.

The analysis of the findings in this article is based on the author’ s own experiences and her understanding of the KM concepts. Overall, the author interprets her findings to mean that KM enables collaboration thus making innovation more possible; KM should include both tacit and explicit knowledge for it to encourage maximum innovations to occur, and KM enables the codification and sharing of tacit knowledge. Significance of KM findings: This article reinforces earlier studies identified in the same article that KM is indeed essential in enhancing innovation and competitiveness. Shortcomings/ weaknesses: In addition to a review of existing literature, the researcher relied to a great extent, on her own interpretations of the role of KM in innovation.

This means her findings were not quantitative. Summary of themes: This article revolves around a single theme: KM’ s role in innovation. According to the author, “ knowledge management assists in creating tools, platforms and processes for the innovation process” (Du-Plessis, 2007, p. 27). The author further notes that without proper KM, a firm is likely to lag behind in innovative practices and this may, in turn, affect its competitiveness negatively. Article #5 Title and reference for the article Darroch, J 2005, ‘ Knowledge management, innovation and firm performance, ’ Journal of Knowledge Management, vol.

9, no. 3, pp. 101-115. Purpose of the research: This article was intended to provide empirical evidence linking KM to innovative practices in firms, and their performances. Analysis, findings & interpretations: The author found out that KM provides a coordinating mechanism to firms, which enables such firms to convert “ resources into capabilities” (p. 101). In analysing the findings, the researcher developed a measurement model that was meant to help support or disapprove 11 hypotheses she had formed earlier in the study.

The model was constructed around three knowledge constructs namely, knowledge acquisition; knowledge dissemination; and responsiveness to knowledge. In interpreting the findings, the author found out that a firm which performed well in all the three constructs as identified above was more likely to be innovative. Significance of KM findings: The findings in this article suggest that how a firm manages the knowledge it acquires either internally or externally is just as important as acquiring that knowledge. Shortcomings or weakness: In the author’ s own words, “ the sample used in this study over-represented firms with over 200 employees and was not completely representative of industry sectors” (Darroch, 2005, p.

113). Summary of themes: The first apparent theme in this article is the important nature of knowledge is both a tangible and an intangible resource. Citing Hall (1993), Darroch (2005, p. 111) states that the intangible and tangible nature of knowledge makes it a necessity in the decision-making processes in any organisation. Innovation, on the other hand, is indirectly identified as a result of the decisions made in an organisation.

The second theme apparent in the article relates to KM being different from information technology. According to the author, IT is a tool used by firms to facilitate better knowledge sharing and by extension, knowledge management. Conclusion All the articles featured in this annotated bibliography link knowledge management to innovation. Different authors have however taken different perspectives in linking the two. Darroch (2005, pp. 1010-115) for example sees KM as a coordinating mechanism that enables firms to adopt and make use of innovation. Du-Plessis (2007, pp. 20-29) and Scarbrough (2003, pp.

501-516) on the other hand argues that without the human resource management taking deliberate actions to embrace knowledge management, then the full potential of KM as a facilitating factor in innovation cannot be fully realised. Kamasak and Bulutlar (2010, pp. 306-317) have made understanding knowledge management easier by dividing it into knowledge collection and knowledge donation. They link each of these KM aspects to innovation. Finally, Maqsood, T & Finegan (2009, pp. 297-307), have investigated how knowledge management can be used to enhance innovation in Australia’ s construction industry.

The overriding theme in all articles featured herein remains the contribution that KM makes, or is capable of making to enhance innovation.

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