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Knowledge Gatekeepers,roles,Knowledge Economy,Identity,Culture

Knowledge Gatekeepers,roles,Knowledge Economy,Identity,Culture

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  • 1. Knowledge Gatekeepers : Developing a Mechanism of Knowledge Creation and Transfer Presented by Professor John Rees, on behalf of Deogratias Harorimana Southampton Solent University
  • 2. Structure of the Presentation
    • Knowledge based-economy: An overview
    • Preliminary concepts
    • Knowledge gatekeepers –who they are and how they work.
    • Why do firms need a Knowledge gatekeeper ?
    • The future directions of knowledge gatekeeper’s research
  • 3. Knowledge Based Economy
    • Drucker (1966:2) in The Effective Executive, described the difference between the manual worker and the knowledge worker
    • Bell put forth the concept of a post-industrial society or information age (1973). Later, he re-named this concept the information society( Bell,1979)
    • Bell (1974) called for a re-writing of the rules and practices that determined success in the industrial economy for an interconnected world where resources such as know-how are more critical than other economic resources
  • 4. Preliminary Concepts
    • Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) knowledge creation and conversion model in which “Knowledge creation is a continuation dialogue between tacit and codified knowledge”
    • There must be a shared repertoire: Culture and Identity
      • The degree of cultural distance is widely considered as one of the major obstacles to successful performance in cross-cultural business relationships
      • Cultures heavily influence what is perceived as useful, important, or valid knowledge in an organization
      • Culture shapes what a group defines as relevant knowledge and this will directly affect which knowledge a unit focuses on. De Long and Fahey (2000)
  • 5. Identity
    • Best formed through community relationships
    • Communities develop around things that matter to people (Wenger 1998).
    • Organising around some particular area of knowledge and activity gives members a sense of joint enterprise and identity
    • For a community to function it needs to generate and appropriate a shared repertoire of ideas, commitments and memories.
  • 6. Seci Model : Knowledge creation and knowledge transfer is a continuing dialogue between tacit and codified forms of knowledge : Table adapted from Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) Tacit Knowledge Tacit Knowledge Tacit Know. Socialization: Empathizing Sharing tacit knowledge through a face to face communication and shared experience. Externalization: Articulating People are able to develop concepts. These concepts are combined with tacit knowledge thus facilitating its communication via interactions and recordings Explicit Know. Tacit Know.    Internalization : Embodying Can be associated with learning by doing and Legitimate Peripheral Participant ( LLP ) .External knowledge becomes part of individuals’ knowledge base, and organizational asset as an ultimate outcome Combination :Connecting This is a result of combining various elements of explicit knowledge such as building a prototype. Explicit Know. Explicit Knowledge Explicit Knowledge
  • 7. Knowledge Gatekeepers –Who They Are and How They Work
    • “ A small number of key people to whom others frequently turned for information. These key people differ from their colleagues in the degree to which they exposed themselves to sources of technological knowledge outside their organization. Their features are such as they constitute a small community of individuals, they are at the core of an information network, they overexposed to external sources of information, and the linkages they develop with external actors are more informal.” Allen (1977: 145).
  • 8. Knowledge Gatekeepers –Who They Are and How They Work
    • They can be seen as:(1) knowledge senders; or(2) knowledge brokers (Sverrison 2001)
    • Allen (1970) identified gatekeepers according to the degree of interconnectivity with other colleagues in other organizations
    • Organisations acting as gatekeepers through creating platforms of knowledge sharing can fulfil several functions at a time
    • As gatekeepers expand their networks of interactions, they can access valuable knowledge from their networks and bring it into the operation of daily formal or informal businesses
  • 9. Why Do We Need Knowledge Gatekeepers?
    • Knowledge transfer is an essential element for building the knowledge based-economy
    • There are barriers that hinders the implementation of Knowledge creation and transfer:
      • The cultural distance between players that hinders an effective knowledge sharing among both individuals and organisations. The cultural distance hinders the codification of knowledge as well, and its transmission in codified forms.
      • Since the issue here is the need for a "shared" socio-cultural context that enables the condivision of "tacit" meanings and, whenever possible, their codification and transmission, a possible solution is to implement networked environments where this can occur
  • 10. Why Do We Need Knowledge Gatekeepers?
    • A first solution, often analysed in the literature, is the implementation of communities of practice
      • Culturally homogeneous space and a set of shared interpretative elements that facilitate knowledge exchange, often by means of ICT tools
      • However, implementation of communities of practice is limited by their specific scope
      • Useful inside the single organisation, but are less effective for connecting different organisations.
    • A second solution is represented by " gatekeepers "
  • 11. Why Knowledge Gatekeepers?
    • The presence of gatekeepers can be found in inter-organisational networks
    • Leading firm that connects a network of clients and suppliers that may not interact one with another directly, but are indeed be connected through the leading firm that, in this way, acts as knowledge gatekeeper
    • A gatekeeper represents an element that resolves the problem of the cultural homogeneity, and provides functions of "meaning translation", trust building, and tacit-explicit conversions
  • 12. Gatekeeper Problems
    • However, leading firms cannot necessarily serve as knowledge gatekeepers.
    • Some may develop (Morrison 2004:30) “ A creative-destruction mechanism then favors the survival of the most efficient ones. On the other side they could produce perverse effects. They may strengthen internal asymmetries and in turn exasperate conflicts, in particular between large and medium firms”
  • 13. Gatekeeper Benefits
    • Intangible benefits associated with information collected from participants: organisations are able to strengthen their internal capacity of knowledge development and knowledge translation.
    • They develop inter-organisational strategies arising through shared platforms
    • Knowledge conversion into tangible results is supported by two things
      • (1) trust, where company directors and companies encourage knowledge sharing and new products developments involving customers; and
      • (2) by social relationships and products which are tailored to meet local and individual needs
  • 14. Knowledge Gatekeepers Outside Company Boundaries
    • The knowledge transfer process should be considered as an adaptive process of interactions that relies partly on spatial proximity to spread and create knowledge
    • Separating gatekeepers from their outside connections could drain them of their meaning
      • The role of gatekeepers within wider networks is a key feature of the process of knowledge creation and transfer that opens knowledge renewal and possible recombination
  • 15. Knowledge Gatekeepers Outside Company Boundaries Cont.
    • In a network economy, there is a fundamental difference between innovation that comes from R&D programs and innovation that occurs by coincidence
      • In the former, we know who is participating and what the aim is
      • The latter may occur when firms engage in mutual discussions and assessment:
      • “… .individuals caught up in this discussion will often arrive at insights that would otherwise have remained hidden from them” ( Scott 2006 )
  • 16. Direction of Gatekeeper Research
    • Historically Knowledge Gatekeeper received interest from areas of Technology Transfer, Knowledge Management and Knowledge Transfer research in general
    • Clear shift in recent studies from an informal communication system to a much more serious economic matter for organisations
    • Growing confidence among researchers that knowledge gatekeepers are essential for business performance and delivering results
    • Increased focus onto the subject from economics and Knowledge Management research
  • 17. Motivation of Shift in Focus
    • Why the change in emphasis?:
    • Basic subject diversification?
    • or
    • (b) Potential Importance of Knowledge Gatekeeper?
    • Deo would say the latter: potential for analysis, understanding, and later design and implementation of mechanisms