Essentially, knowledge creation is one of the most critical aspects that determine the success of an organization (Jakubik, 2010). Indeed, it is a crucial determining factor when it comes to innovation and attainment of new strategies of organizational operations (Chou & He, 2010; Tomi, 2009). In that regard, there is the essence of conducting research in order to identify some of the solutions to problems that may hinder this process or impede its success. In that line of thoughts, this paper seeks to review some of the research conjoined to knowledge creation.
In addition to this, the discussion will focus on how the research studies conducted previously have addressed the problem of scholars who work in a practitioner environment. The organization under study has been faced by a situation in which a group of scholars have been mandated to develop new technologies and come up with new management system for the future. However, it has been noted that the group has been subjects of attrition. Critical questions arise as to whether the organization is conducting its motivation of the scholars wrongly. In addition, this has evoked the question of whether the scholars should be treated differently from the practitioners. As such, this implies that there are two issues which will be evaluated in this critical evaluation of literature. Evidently, they include the knowledge creation in an organization and the manner in which scholars should be treated in a practitioner-based environment in order to ensure maximum results from both groups of organizational members.
Puga and Trefler (2014) conducted a research concerning the knowledge creation and the ways of controlling organizations. The authors stated that the increasing innovations that have caused rapid and profound economic development are caused by changing the aspects of products to come up with new ones. They acknowledge that this undertaking has the capacity to cause tension within the organization. The tension is occasioned by the fact that the introduction of new products demands equivalent changes with regards to the operation of the employees and their level of skills. This research focuses on a very controversial, but important area of research. Evidently, they state that there are some incompatibilities existing between interdependent variables and can be overshadowed by the main energies. The main decision makers can control the innovation process in an attempt to maintain a sensible pace of change. However, the authors state that controlling the innovation process might lead to adverse effects on the agents of innovation. Whereas this tension might be conceived as a critical imbalance and conflict of interest, the authors believe that it plays a fundamental role to shape the forms of the organizational management.
Importantly, the authors discuss the theory of knowledge creation based on various assumptions which inform the entire research. First, they indicate that there are underlying uncertainties that revolve around the process of creating knowledge. In this regard, the authors substantiate that innovation is a process of changing the nature of products in unpredictable ways. As such, the organization can change the nature of products due to the prevailing conditions of the market. These conditions are mostly uncertain because they are caused by factors which cannot be controlled by the organization. The second interesting statement made by the authors is the suggestion that knowledge is essentially a public commodity. They argue that employers mostly hire employees to work for organizations and create knowledge. However, in case the contract between the employee and employer is terminated, the agent of innovation can walk away with the knowledge that was developed jointly. With regards to this research problem, the scholars are agents of knowledge creation. However, it is possible that the essence of owning knowledge publicly may be the source of attrition.
Indeed, the discomfort developed by the scholars in the practitioner environment might be arising because the scholars want to own the knowledge and preserve their pride and relevance. As such, this ideology is a crucial point of exploration and interest for this research study. The third concern of the researchers is related to the incompatibility of changes made to a product in an attempt to innovate. They suggest that when scholars are making changes on a product, the undertakings are dependent to each other. This statement implies that changing a single aspect of the product affects another attribute of the product. Whereas this might be viewed as irrelevant to this discussion, it cannot be disputed that different aspects are mostly changed by different players in order to come up with a new products. As a result, the players must collaborate in order to coordinate effectively and ensure that one change does not affect the others negatively. This necessitates the questions as to whether this coordination might be lacking among the scholars in the organization. In that light, therefore, the statement becomes very crucial to the entire research study.
Choo and Bonits (2002) also conducted a research touching on creation of knowledge, sense-making, and decision making within an organizational setup. The authors acknowledged that organizations have three different knowledge bases. The first one is known as the tacit knowledge. This knowledge is concerned with the experiences that have been incurred by the member of the organization. It is based on the fact that people gain cumulative knowledge as a result of engaging in organizational activities. As such, they are destined to improve with time as they involve themselves in their day-to-day activities. The second one is known as the explicit knowledge that arises from organizational rules and regulations. In essence, the regulations provide a framework that guides the organizational members on how to behave when accomplishing their duties.
The rules, therefore, instill some behavioral skills such as time management, record keeping and other routine-based aspects which may arise as a result of the rules of the organization. Lastly, there is cultural knowledge used to give meaning and value to certain development within the organization. As such, it is based on the fact that people interpret events and development differently according to how they perceive eventualities. The authors proceeded to indicate that knowledge is created when the members recognize a gap in the body of knowledge. These gaps can be the obstacles that hinder the solution of problems or development of new strategies as well as products. It was also indicated that the creation of new products and commodities is realized when tacit it converted to explicit knowledge in order to develop new ideas. This process is very crucial to the development of innovative products in this organization by the scholars since it can be used to determine the point at which the process if failing.
Tavallaee et al. (2012) conducted a research on the creation of knowledge and the development of networks that helps to manage it within the oil and petroleum industry. Essentially, this research was specific since it focused on the manner in which the petroleum industry can innovate by creation of knowledge in Iran. As such, it was viewed to have a narrower scope as compared to the previous studies that have been discussed in this review. The most critical finding of this research indicated that the complexity of the petroleum industry and its special properties necessitate management of knowledge which is very crucial. It indicated that effective knowledge management can be achieved if the organization adopts networks. The networks are involved in order to ensure that organizational members are able to create and share knowledge with each other.
Importantly, this research study focuses on the various tools used to obtain knowledge in an organizational setup. These tools have been listed below as presented by the author.
- The use of data mining and created networks whose interactions, forms, and organizations are created by the member of the organization.
- The application of information search engines that enable the member to find new information and plan it. Some of the tools used for structuring information include the spider-like pattern of knowledge organization.
- The knowledge stores where employees store information and revisit it when they need to use it.
- The work-flow management system that is applied to analyze information and control it effectively in order to avoid cases of unnecessary changes.
These aspects of the knowledge creation are very crucial when it comes to the issues discussed in this research. Evidently, one of the crucial concerns of this research is whether the scholars require a different type of motivation in order to achieve the desired results. Probably, the motivations can arise from the type of tools used for the sake of obtaining new information and creating knowledge. If the tools are not efficient and effective, the scholars may become discouraged due to the lack of proficiency. On the other hand, the use of efficient tools when searching for new information can be a motivating factor to the scholars. In addition to this, the research sought to investigate some of the aspects that could have gone wrong in the organizational system of knowledge creation. As such, investigating the sufficiency of tools used to obtain knowledge will be a major milestone that can be used to find the organizational problem incurred in this situation.
Aspects Conjoined to Scholar-Practitioner Model
Schultz (2010) sought to conduct a research to investigate the core values of scholar-practitioner leadership program. The research indicated that there are five core values of this leadership program, including democracy, equality among people, social justice in the community, care, and embracement of the community. The community mentality is a value that encourages the focus groups, including schools and organizations, to consider themselves as communities. As such, each individual within the group should be set in a manner that the actions portrayed consider the implications on others. Importantly, the core value asserts that one person is responsible for what happens to another member of the group when discharging their roles. With regards to the second value of this leadership program, the author indicated that democracy is a core aspect that determines the operation of a scholar. When an organization embraces democracy, all the employees are allowed to participate equally and interact on the same platform to develop new ideas and share them. As such, organizations are encouraged to be reflective in all their undertakings so as to determine whether there is equal participation of each organizational member.
Third, the leadership program is aimed to instill the sense of social justice. In essence, it indicates that people should be treated equally within social groups. This implies that the idea of having scholars working with the practitioners should be developed from this perspective. As such, they should work harmoniously to ensure that no individual is marginalized within the group. The fourth value of scholar-practitioner leadership program deals with the idea of caring about each other. As such, it is found on the fact that the organizational member should be compassionate for others. They should be concerned about the implications of their actions to each other. This becomes very relevant to this research especially when it comes to the issue of pressure exerted on the organization members and attritions. Lastly, the author reveals that equity is also a core value that should be considered when managing people within an organization. In this regard, it was indicated that people should have the willingness to make structures that do not essentially elevate some members above other. The important thing to note in this case is that structures can lead to unequal treatment of people. This implies that inequality does not only arise from a mere treatment of members by their seniors. Instead, it is an indication that the manner in which the members have been organized is crucial to their operations.
In a different research study conducted by Sewell (2005), the use of scholar-practitioner ideology can be used to promote research and creation of knowledge. The research indicated that knowledge domains of fundamental aspects of research various disciplines are expressed in form of explosive developments. It is indicated by the author of this research that developing collaboration among the members of a group is essentially difficult especially when the organization plans to sustain them for the sake of their well being. Education conducted across various aspects of those disciplines is crucial when it comes to benefiting the member of a given group. With regards to this research, the scholars mandated to develop new products for this organization are the pertinent group. As such, it advocates for the development of an all-inclusive system that takes the opinions of all group members. In addition, it enables a group to work harmoniously with other groups in order to give a common result.
Post Modernism and Knowledge Creation
Kilduff and Mehra (1997) used post modernism as a tool of supporting epistemology that integrates skepticism with the pursuit to accept the development of knowledge. In this case, the authors discuss the aspects of their model in five different perspectives, including truthfulness, normal scientific models, representation, the generalizability and style. These dimensions were restated by Alvesson (1995) as well as Chia (1995) while discussing the benefits and limitations of post-modernism. Importantly, the skeptical ideology changed my perception towards the creation of knowledge in an organization. Importantly, skepticism indicates that any form of knowledge must be supported by enough evidence. In another aspect, skepticism is based on the fact that knowledge must be obtained by questioning. The questioning provides the developer with an opportunity to provide factual knowledge concerning the developed knowledge. As a result of this sentiment, the knowledge process must be skeptical in nature. This implies that the scholars and innovators should present enough evidence when it comes to creation of knowledge. Of course, this is integrated with the aspect of using scientific models in research and practice. From that perspective, therefore, organizations must ensure that knowledge creation is laden with facts and evidence-based approaches.
Critical Management Studies and Knowledge Creation
Fournier and Grey (2000) indicated that critical management studies follow a number of traditional frameworks, including the critical theory, feminism, and post-modernistic mentality among others. The authors proceed to suggest that although there are disparities exiting among this traditional theories, CMS can be distinguished by some attributes such as reflexivity and non-performativity. In addition, Alvesson and Deetz (1996) explained that critical theory is the backbone of postmodernism development. Importantly, reflexivity of CMS has affected the manner in which I view the creation of knowledge. Indeed, reflexivity indicates that there is circular-like relationship between the cause and effect of something. This implies that the cause leads to an effect that may also influence it after some time. Evidently, the process of creating knowledge nearly follows this condition because it is a continuous process. For example, when a product is changed due to a new demand in the market, the nature of those transformations can either increase or reduce the demand. As such, it might require some more alterations in order to keep on increasing or sustaining demand.
Application of Theoretical Tendencies
Calas and Smircich (1999) focused on the importance of post-modernism for organizational development and use of theories over a decade starting from 1990 to 1999. In the research, authors focus on the various views of post-culturalism that have affected the process of handling and developing knowledge. In this regards, they consider four cultural tendencies, including the theorizing of feminist poststructuralists, the theory of actor-network development, analysis of postcolonial aspects, and the narrative approaches (Callas & Smircich, 1999). In essence, these theories can be used to solve the issue raised in this research study as the area of interest. In this regard, the idea of actor-network can be applied to ensure that the company develops a massive network of scholars from different disciplines. This will help the organization to tap more ideas from the academic realm and implement the innovations for the sake of development.
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