Innovation As A Knowledge Creation And Transfer Process example

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Innovation as a Knowledge Creation and Transfer Process

Table of Contents


II.Innovation and Knowledge

III.Knowledge creation and transfer model



Major economic shift and intensified competition force firms to constantly look for innovations. In globalised world it seems that this is the only way to compete. But becoming innovative and moreover sustaining innovative orientation is not an easy task. In the era of information more and more companies understand that knowledge management is the key to success. A good example is Apple, a company that managed to become and stay innovative for over a decade.

Innovation and Knowledge

There are various definitions of innovation. One proposed by Kanter (1983) posits innovation as “the process of bringing any new, problem-solving idea into use.” (p. 20) According to this approach, it is crucial to define a problem in order to find the right solution. Information is the key factor in this process. Information can be categorized as syntactic and semantic. First type is a raw data, which is quantitative and needs to be processed to become meaningful. The second is qualitative, created by metaphors and analogies more than through deductive process. It is what we call knowledge and while syntactic “information is descriptive - that is, it relates to the past and the present - knowledge is eminently predictive, that is, it provides the basis for the prediction of the future with a degree of certainty based upon information” (Argyris and Schon, 1996, p. 3).

One of the most important values for the company to develop innovation is an ability to create knowledge. Apple is an example of a company that do not only create but also knows how to make use of knowledge correctly. The main idea supported by a majority of HR managers is to hire people with the right attitude and train them inside the company for the desired skills, but Apple does not operate this way. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, mastered the creation and transfer of tacit knowledge throughout his organization and utilized it for his strategy of innovation management. (Takeuchi, 2013)

Knowledge creation and transfer model

According to Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), the capability of organisation to gain an innovative advantage lies in the ability to generate and share new knowledge. Knowledge can be created and transferred through an interactive process consisting of four stages: socialisation, externalisation, combination and internalisation (SECI). This process posits transfer of knowledge from individuals to the organization and throughout their members and teams. During that process information is being transformed from tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge.

Most of organizations focus on explicit knowledge as more rationalized, measurable and easier to express, while “knowledge that cannot be adequately articulated by verbal means” also plays an important role in learning organization (Polanyi, 1966, p. 4) . Apple strategy of innovation management is directly related with SECI model, allowing their employees to share knowledge at any level. Undoubtedly, Steve Jobs played the …

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