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Virtuous Spiral or Vicious Circle?
Creating and Distributing Innovative Knowledge within Universities
Martin Rehm, Amber Dailey-Hebert, Katerina Bohle Carbonell & Karen D. Könings
20th International EDiNEB Conference,
Milton Keynes (UK), June 2013
universities are challenged to
tackle interconnected, ill-defined
problems in need of innovative
solutions
vs.
Top-Down Approach Bottom-Up Approach
Bottom-Up Approach
• make use of faculty’s tacit knowledge
composed of their on-the-job experiences
(e.g. Gherardi & Nicolini, 2000)
• transforming individuals’ tacit knowledge
into new explicit knowledge
 contribute to the process of (innovative)
knowledge creation within organizations.
Tacit  Explicit Knowledge
Social Interaction
&
Innovative Knowledge
Communities (IKC)
Main Research Question
How do educational innovators
collaborate and spread their newly
gained knowledge throughout an
organization in “bottom-up” initiatives?
Research Model
Setting
• Maastricht University
– 3-year project: “Learning and Working”
• all faculties
• new target groups
• innovative learning approaches
Instruments
• Social Network Analysis
– In- & Out-Degree Ties
• The amount of connections sent / received
• Knowledge Sharing Attitudes
– Individuals’ knowledge sharing
intentions (IKSI)(Bock, Zmund, Kim, & Lee, 2005)
Social Network Analysis
all ties among members
only “frequent” out-degree connections
Knowledge Sharing Attitudes
Question M SD
My knowledge sharing
does …
strengthen the ties between existing members in the
organization and myself.
4.60 0.52
get me well-acquainted with new members in the
organization.
4.20 0.42
expand the scope of my association with other members
in the organization.
4.60 0.52
draw smooth cooperation from outstanding members in
the future.
4.20 0.79
create strong relationships with members who have
common interests in the organization.
4.60 0.52
[…]
My knowledge sharing with
other organizational
members is …
good. 4.10 0.57
harmful. 1.50 0.53
an enjoyable experience. 4.60 0.52
valuable to me. 4.80 0.42
a wise move. 4.60 0.52
[…]
I always provide my manuals, methodologies and models for members of my
organization.
4.40 0.52
I intend to share my experience or know-how from work with other
organizational members more frequently in the future.
3.90 0.32
Note: Group A; N = 10 (50%); Likert scale 1 (strong disagreement) – 5 (strong agreement)
Conclusion
a first preliminary idea of how
educational innovators
collaborate and spread their
newly gained knowledge
throughout an organization in
“bottom-up” initiatives
Outlook
• expand the scope to include a broader
group of individuals from within an entire
organization  Groups B & C
• cross comparison of initiatives
– Park University
• 2-year project
 innovate faculty
development
rehm@merit.unu.edu

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Virtuous Spiral or Vicious Circle?

  • 1. Virtuous Spiral or Vicious Circle? Creating and Distributing Innovative Knowledge within Universities Martin Rehm, Amber Dailey-Hebert, Katerina Bohle Carbonell & Karen D. Könings 20th International EDiNEB Conference, Milton Keynes (UK), June 2013
  • 2. universities are challenged to tackle interconnected, ill-defined problems in need of innovative solutions
  • 4. Bottom-Up Approach • make use of faculty’s tacit knowledge composed of their on-the-job experiences (e.g. Gherardi & Nicolini, 2000) • transforming individuals’ tacit knowledge into new explicit knowledge  contribute to the process of (innovative) knowledge creation within organizations.
  • 5. Tacit  Explicit Knowledge Social Interaction & Innovative Knowledge Communities (IKC)
  • 7. How do educational innovators collaborate and spread their newly gained knowledge throughout an organization in “bottom-up” initiatives?
  • 9. Setting • Maastricht University – 3-year project: “Learning and Working” • all faculties • new target groups • innovative learning approaches
  • 10. Instruments • Social Network Analysis – In- & Out-Degree Ties • The amount of connections sent / received • Knowledge Sharing Attitudes – Individuals’ knowledge sharing intentions (IKSI)(Bock, Zmund, Kim, & Lee, 2005)
  • 12. all ties among members
  • 15. Question M SD My knowledge sharing does … strengthen the ties between existing members in the organization and myself. 4.60 0.52 get me well-acquainted with new members in the organization. 4.20 0.42 expand the scope of my association with other members in the organization. 4.60 0.52 draw smooth cooperation from outstanding members in the future. 4.20 0.79 create strong relationships with members who have common interests in the organization. 4.60 0.52 […] My knowledge sharing with other organizational members is … good. 4.10 0.57 harmful. 1.50 0.53 an enjoyable experience. 4.60 0.52 valuable to me. 4.80 0.42 a wise move. 4.60 0.52 […] I always provide my manuals, methodologies and models for members of my organization. 4.40 0.52 I intend to share my experience or know-how from work with other organizational members more frequently in the future. 3.90 0.32 Note: Group A; N = 10 (50%); Likert scale 1 (strong disagreement) – 5 (strong agreement)
  • 16. Conclusion a first preliminary idea of how educational innovators collaborate and spread their newly gained knowledge throughout an organization in “bottom-up” initiatives
  • 17. Outlook • expand the scope to include a broader group of individuals from within an entire organization  Groups B & C • cross comparison of initiatives – Park University • 2-year project  innovate faculty development

Editor's Notes

  1. SNA allows to determine:an individuals position within a larger network  draw possible conclusion on influence / prestige / impact of an individual on the networkwhether a network consists of smaller subsets (cliques) that work toegtehr more closely KSA are a valuable measure, because:providing the possibility to share information does not necessarily equate into an active participation of individuals KSA can help to determine factors supporting or inhibiting individuals' knowledge sharing attitudes
  2. Project initiators and managers have been able to connect all relevant project members. This looks quite promising and can be considered a „solid basis“ for effective knowledge exchange within the context of IKC. However, at this stage, this merely takes into account whether there have been a connection between individuals, which can range from „once, or twice“ to „very frequently“. NOTE: The difference between in- and out-degree ties is limited. It has therefore been decided (for the moment) to report both measures in aggregation.
  3. This figure represent only connections that have been indicated as „frequent“ and might therefore be considered as an indication of how the network structure looks like for the daily operations of the project (IKC).As can be seen:existence of two cliquesInterstingly, these two cliques are also geographically dispersed across Maastricht (divided by the river Maas):Upper leht-hand side – Medicine & Health SciencesLower right-hand side – Social SciencesBoth cliques have access to / included a set of „support staff“Project initiators appear to have taken the role of „catalysts“ initiating the project, connecting the relevant team members, and then gradually withdrawing from the daily operations.
  4. The data clearly indicate that the “spirit of sharing knowledge and experience” is deeply embedded in the members of group A  which is a positive finding for the underlying IKCTeam members share knowledge not only because they want to share existing ties, but also to possibly “reach out” to other colleagues within the university  make themselves heard and recognizable. Similarly, team members apparently consider sharing knowledge to be positive for basically two reasons:they enjoy the experiencethey consider it valuable and a wise move to takeTeam members seem to operating at the peek of their knowledge sharing activities  while they indicate that they always share their insights, they (to a lesser extent) are planning to increase their efforts in the future.