Harnessing the innovative potential of knowledge in the digital enterprise


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The open, flexible affordances of pervasive digital technologies have fundamentally altered the nature of organisational innovation. In the extreme, these technologies become platforms for digitally enacted organisational innovation. At its core, innovation is a process of creating and using new ideas and concepts. In the digital realm innovation becomes a process of enacted knowledge creation. This research contributes to a growing discourse on the relationship between innovation and knowledge creation by building and testing a hybrid model of organisational knowledge creation and innovation. Its findings illustrate the utility of using knowledge-based perspectives to investigate organisational innovation and have significant implications for fostering digital innovation in the firm

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  • There is little understanding of how knowledge is created in firms (McFayden and Cannella, 2004; Yang, Fang and Lin, 2010) or how the knowledge creation process should be managed (Yang et al., 2010) or evaluated (Chen and Edgington, 2005).
  • Working on the relationship between innovation and knowledge creation nowLast year’s ECIS paper
  • VWs: novel and unique (high levels of domain specific knowledge creation with excellent opportunities for data collection on behaviours and interactions with others and with the actual environment
  • Blend of exploratory and exploitative behaviours
  • Type | Problem | Useful approach Feedback and feedforward
  • Harnessing the innovative potential of knowledge in the digital enterprise

    1. 1. Dr Niamh O Riordan National University of Ireland GalwayDr Philip O’Reilly University College CorkProf. Frederic Adam University College CorkSaturday, June 8th 2013
    2. 2.  Motivation Evolving perspectives in the literature Research Approach Findings Conclusion
    3. 3. It is well established that…Knowledge is a key organisational resourceand a core performance driver∴The literature on storing, capturing andretrieving knowledge (information?) is matureHowever…We know a lot less about how knowledge is created in thefirst placeand we’ve only just started to think about IS/ITas generative platformsIndividuals’generative capacity:their “ability toproduce somethingingenious or at leastnew in a particularcontext”
    4. 4.  Initial theory building using propositions1. Knowledge exists in declarative and procedural forms2. Knowledge is created when changes take place in mental frameworks3. Knowledge creation occurs through experience and ongoing social processes4. Knowledge creation is shaped by one’s needs and initial mental frameworks5. Knowledge creation affects one’s capacity for actionInnovation and knowledge creation are intertwined such that innovations areconceived and enacted at that point in the knowledge creation process whereexisting knowledge structures are changed Multiple case studies investigating 2 questions1. If knowledge creation is shaped by initial stocks of knowledge, then is it possible to(empirically) classify initial knowledge stocks?2. If knowledge creation is triggered by experiences, then are there particular kinds ofexperience that are more likely to lead to knowledge creation than others (takinginto account the importance of prior knowledge)?6 case studies of innovative VW projects
    5. 5. KnowledgecreationprocessRecreates or reconstructsExisting knowledge frameworks:Enables and shapes theOpportunistic co-operationPurposeful self-relianceOpportunistic self-reliancePurposeful co-operationNewexperiencesand newinformationTIMETIME
    6. 6.  Core contributions:◦ Addresses a gap in research on knowledge creationand its relationship with innovation◦ Also contributes to our understanding of emergingtechnologies as generative platforms◦ Provides a starting point for managers wishing tobetter utilise organisational knowledge Limitations:◦ Case studies are used to illustrate the utility of theframework but there are issues associated with thegeneralisability of the findings◦ The analysis operates at the level of the individual
    7. 7. 1. Knowledge exists in the minds of individualsTo understand how knowledge is created, we mustconcentrate on how individuals’ mental structuresare changed over time2. Knowledge exists in declarative and proceduralformsIt is time to look beyond SECI and the (flawed) tacit /explicit classification3. Knowledge is created when existing mentalstructures changeWe cannot afford to ignore existing or priorknowledge
    8. 8. Niamh O Riordanniamh.oriordan@nuigalway.iewww.niamhoriordan.comie.linkedin.com/in/niamhoriordan/