Wednesday, November 14, 2007

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (2)

Christiaan Stam (Kenniskring Intellectual Capital, Hogeschool INHOLLAND & de Baak – Management Centrum VNO-NCW): Knowledge productivity

This presentation is about designing and testing a method to diagnose knowledge productivity and to subsequently make a knowledge management plan. It will address what we mean by ‘knowledge productivity’, how we can diagnose and improve it.

Christiaan wrote a PhD thesis on this topic and will defend it in December (2007).

Christiaan mentioned that addressing and defining knowledge productivity is a real challenge.

Currently there are two approaches to knowledge productivity:

  1. Knowledge productivity as a process. Focus on knowledge, improvement of process on knowledge creation. (Dutch KM-ers like Weggeman and Kessel represent this group.)
  2. Knowledge productivity as result. Focus on productivity. Measuring knowledge results, insight in knowledge performance. (Sveiby is a representative of this group.)

Christiaan definition of Knowledge Productivity is a combination of both of these approaches. ‘Knowledge productivity’ is the process of knowledge creation that leads to incremental and radical innovations.

Christiaan stated that there is general consensus about the fact that the product of knowledge creation is innovation (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). And there are two types of innovation: incremental and radical innovation (of products, services and processes). (Kessels 1996, Zegveld, 2000)

He developed a Knowledge Productivity-amplifier, which consists of the following:

There is a KM problem that can be split in:

  1. process of knowledge creation
  2. incremental and radical innovation

Both leading to improvements for KM, based on the Danish Guideline for IC-statement (STI, 2003). These improvement resulti in a knowledge productivity-statement.

Several versions of this Amplifier were tested in mid-sized companies (50-250 employees).

We’ll round up with one of Christiaan’s thesis: The word ‘productivity’ related to the process of knowledge creation should be avoided.

Do you agree?

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