Msc In Information Systems And Management Knowledge Innovation And Change Business Essay Example
Msc In Information Systems And Management Knowledge Innovation And Change Business Essay Example

Msc In Information Systems And Management Knowledge Innovation And Change Business Essay Example

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  • Pages: 11 (2818 words)
  • Published: October 9, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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Assessment Subject: The phenomenon of why certain knowledge-based organizations excel in innovation but struggle with efficiency is explored. The extent to which information systems can help address this imbalance is examined. This submission fulfills the requirements for the MSc in Information Systems and Management.

The work contained in this assignment is my own, unique, and original work and has not been used in whole or in part for any other assessment on this or any other degree. I have read and understand the University regulations on Plagiarism.


Innovation is the central focus in the contemporary world. Some organizations prioritize efficiency over innovation, while others question the importance of innovation. Knowledge-based organizations have determined that future sustainability relies heavily on innovation, whether it involves creating new knowledge or repurposing existing knowledge to increase efficiency.

Skilled professionals and experienced workers within administrations


often engage in logical and innovative work (Alvesson, 1999). The ultimate outcomes of these innovations are unknown, but there is a strong desire for revolutionizing. Knowledge boundaries across the organization are larger, requiring continuous collaboration with relevant groups to ensure efficiency. Innovation in knowledge-based organizations raises concerns regarding knowledge management, information flow, managing people, and organizational structure. The core asset of knowledge-based organizations is their 'knowledge,' with consulting firms treating it as central. Information technology is utilized by consulting firms to capture information from various knowledge workers and convert it into valuable knowledge.

The main objective of this job is to enhance the way engineering assists in knowledge management and exploring alternative methods for managing and utilizing knowledge within an organization. In knowledge-based administration, the challenge lies in the flow of information, where the community of practice holds mor

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significance than the actual practices. According to Szulanski (1996) and Wernerfelt (1984), the flow of information within a practice can be characterized as both 'sticky' and 'leaky'.

The upcoming sections will discuss in depth the issue of how information flow will be coordinated both internally within the administration and externally. A major challenge faced by administrations is managing people and organizational structure. The most difficult part in today's world is collaborating knowledge workers across different business units in order to share knowledge and create value. According to Dodgson (1993), collaboration poses critical concerns in terms of the relationships among knowledge workers. When information is shared among these diverse workers, there needs to be a high level of trust and common goals. Additionally, innovation can be structured in various ways within an administration, such as through projects or a task-based approach. The administration may have either a bureaucratic or organic structure. Innovation can lead to the development of new processes, services, and products, which may indirectly impact the administration's structure.

The main issue is the integration of knowledge and the management of cognition, which is closely associated with the dynamics of inter-organizational power such as authority, resources, and intellectual legitimacy. There have been various concerns regarding innovation in knowledge-based administration, particularly in terms of efficiency. To address these concerns briefly, there is a need to focus on socialization, the creation of practical knowledge, training, and the dissemination of knowledge (Blackler's model, 1995 ; Nonaka's model, 1994), which can help resolve the inconsistencies in knowledge-based organizations. While knowledge-based administrations require systems that can handle the ever-changing economic and competitive global market, information systems can significantly contribute to this to

some extent. If properly utilized and leveraged, information systems can guide knowledge-based administrations toward increased competitiveness and sustainability in the long run.

Literature Review

Knowledge-based administrations excel in innovation, partly due to their workforce possessing creative knowledge that allows organizations to gain a competitive advantage in the long term.

The administration of resource allocation, standardization, specialization, and ongoing activities in the ever-changing world of innovation is complex. Innovation is often described as a constrained "object" that is built externally, delivered to customers, and gives companies a competitive edge (Wolfe, 1994). Coombs (2003) and Miles (2003) explain that innovation involves managing knowledge and knowledge work. This includes encoding, articulating, and accumulating experience to create and modify operational work in the pursuit of innovation (Bjorkman et al., 2004; Zollo and Winter, 2002).

The focus of administrations on the connection between innovation and knowledge has shifted, as the literature rarely questions the capture of knowledge. Knowledge management systems can alleviate pressure on administrations; development and exploration are the core activities in knowledge management (Levinthal and March, 1993). Exploitation, in particular, can efficiently utilize existing knowledge to avoid duplication, while exploration is focused on sharing knowledge, which is crucial for innovation and can lead to new approaches in administrations. Scholars explain that knowledge assets enhance innovation in a business context, which emphasizes the need for administrations to protect their knowledge workers and their work. It is also evident that ideas originated in research institutes or in the mind of individuals, which would then be analyzed and further developed as innovation.

Today, the interaction among key members of administration groups relies heavily on distributed knowledge. Therefore, knowledge management is crucial in organizations. The focus here

is on code and personalization strategy, which can transfer knowledge to specific individuals or groups for maximum efficiency in future projects. In general, there is a lot of literature and practical applications that deal with the flow of information in knowledge-based organizations. This literature emphasizes the importance of networking, especially in cases involving radical innovation. Networking typically facilitates knowledge sharing among communities and is often seen as a social communication process. According to Weick (1990), knowledge is naturally sticky and needs to be given meaning through active networking processes that allow participants to engage in dialogue and sense making.

The most complex issue in house is knowledge stickiness, where the internal linkage to administration makes it difficult for people to be reassigned. Conversely, knowledge can be leaked through unwanted information flow, which can be a valuable loss for the house and an advantage for rivals. However, the architecture of social networking can simplify these problems and provide individuals with an opportunity to develop the practice of sharing knowledge. From this perspective, social networking is the occasion where individuals from both internal and external houses can share their common concerns, facilitating the diversion and construction of knowledge through networking.

The pattern webs in the house may have a knowledge leak, which cannot be controlled and may stop the flow of information from other organizations. For healthy competition with rivals, administrations encourage this kind of pattern. While webs as communities lack structure and scope, it is the shared identity, practice, and common ideas that enable the free sharing of innovative information. Additionally, employees in knowledge-based organizations expect autonomy in their work, but the organization wants collaboration. People management in

these organizations focuses on collaboration, power, and control as individuals have diverse backgrounds and specializations that may hinder synergy and ultimately impede knowledge creation due to knowledge boundaries.

According to Carlile (2002, 2004), multi-disciplinary teams face obstacles in sharing knowledge, including syntactic, semantic, and practical boundaries that can be overcome through transferring, interpreting, and transforming. Additionally, groupthink in teams can lead to unwise decisions due to power dynamics and pressure for conformity, as seen in the Challenger space shuttle explosion. Currently, team decisions are riskier than individual decisions due to issues of power and control. To effectively manage people, communication channels, socialization (Nonaka, 1994), role delegation, merging individual skills and know-how, reward systems, and empowering specific individuals are necessary. Trust is also essential in bringing individuals together within organizations, as trust is needed to share tacit knowledge in innovative projects.

Autonomy enables cognitive workers to explore new ideas and promotes innovation within an organization. However, management cannot impose strict rules on these workers, as they often work in teams and enforcing rules may hinder efficiency. Innovation projects involve professionals with different areas of expertise who join and leave at different stages based on the project's demands. Because they do not have a shared goal or practice, these professionals may not fully participate in such projects. Additionally, time constraints make it difficult for these professionals to transfer knowledge to other project members.

According to Kotnour (1999), there are information systems and databases in place for project members to learn their lessons, but the willingness to use them varies. The problem lies in the actual practice and technology, as they can only capture and transfer knowledge, but it is up

to the project members to utilize it. Interestingly, these types of projects can also generate knowledge by bringing professionals from different backgrounds together to work towards a specific goal, thus enabling knowledge sharing within the wider organization. Knowledge is abundant within organizations, but professionals only access it when a problem arises or when a project requires solutions; there is a lack of awareness within organizations about the existing knowledge available. This is due to organizations having nested learning structures which create boundaries between projects and processes.

Both decentralization and centralization are necessary in administrations to balance between innovation and efficiency. The CEO of Netscape supports this idea, stating that companies need loose control at times for creativity and tight control for efficiency. However, achieving this balance is challenging. Only a few organizations have a clear command hierarchy following a process-driven approach to tasks, ensuring synchronicity among team members and allowing for knowledge exploration.

Practice without procedure is intolerable and procedure without pattern produces loss in freshness. As a result, procedure and pattern are mutually interconnected.


EPC was a large pharmaceutical company with a distributed geographic presence that focused on continuous product innovation and timely drug sales. In other words, it developed drugs using traditional methods, which required significant time and effort. These traditional methods involved labor-intensive processes to identify new targets and connect molecules with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of potential drugs.

Importantly, the compound will undergo an extensive process of clinical tests to assess the effectiveness and value of the candidate drugs. During this time, EPC has faced various challenges including retaining staff, facilitating knowledge sharing, reducing redundant activities, overcoming time constraints, streamlining clinical testing procedures,

and improving communication among globally distributed workers. One persistent barrier has been the limited knowledge of organic chemistry among medicinal chemists, particularly as senior professionals approach retirement. Losing these experts would disrupt the balance between drug performance and valuable output. Additionally, the research and development (R;D) team has encountered significant delays and resource limitations when testing compounds, which hampers the company's efficiency in meeting deadlines.

Competition between pharmaceutical companies has become highly intense, with each company striving to bring their products to the market before their competitors. The European Pharmaceutical Company (EPC) recognized this trend and realized that the only way to become more efficient in product delivery was by reducing the time spent on research and development (R&D) cycles, sharing knowledge, and collaborating in research efforts. To achieve this, EPC implemented strategies such as innovation through web-based technologies, utilizing available technology, fostering collaboration within and across organizations, and assigning decision-making responsibilities to different departments. Additionally, the information system (IS) played a crucial role in providing access to gene information databases, facilitating virtual collaboration among different pharmaceutical companies or research teams for analyzing chemical compound designs, monitoring business activities within the company, and significantly reducing R&D cycles through rapid compound testing. Furthermore, the IS ensured the capture of both explicit and tacit knowledge from retiring medicinal chemists, which was then codified into documents or databases and disseminated across the company boundaries to enhance individual or group knowledge bases.

The EPC was structured in a way that combined the IS and Knowledge direction sections, effectively promoting recycling of knowledge. This streamlined the clinical trial process, reduced the time for drug discovery, and allowed for repeated activities with

minor changes in compound design, thus reducing costs. Additionally, the EPC management launched the 'Reach-In' web, which facilitated information flows and knowledge exchange within the organization. This web implemented a cognitive and community model that included discussion forums. All individuals connected to the Reach-In web had user IDs and passwords for both intra and inter-company communication. The web also included a database for storing information, chat functionality, file sharing capabilities, and other applications to support employees. Overall, this approach enabled the timely delivery of significant products by effectively utilizing resources and fostering the development of unique knowledge and capabilities.

The Reach-In web and IS in particular have helped groups in tackling problems, sharing ideas, creating communities with shared values, and facilitating employee communication. As a result, EPC has achieved a successful balance between innovation and efficiency by implementing appropriate strategies at the right time.

Analysis of Issue

Recent assessments indicate that knowledge-based organizations face various risks when attempting to balance innovation and efficiency. These organizations often undergo changes to maintain performance, and knowledge workers also adjust their work approaches. From my perspective, these changes involve capturing knowledge more effectively, promoting socialization in both formal and informal ways, managing knowledge workers, offering incentives, educating workers on knowledge management systems, and structuring the organization according to emerging trends.

Additionally, Information Systems (IS) are capable of accepting or rejecting new ideas and play a crucial role in decision making. However, there are risks associated with this, including changing work patterns, strategy, time constraints, and costs. The belief that IS in an organization can lead to operational excellence or improved decision making is a controversial one. For example, educational institutions recognize the value

of individuals' knowledge in decision making. Each staff member possesses specific information in their memory that informs daily decisions, providing context and a basis. The implementation of IS in these institutions can enhance or hinder the decisions made by the administration, marketing, or finance departments based on real-world practice.

The successful implementation of information systems (IS) in administration relies on several key factors, including acceptance behavior, structural agreements, engineering issues, and changes to the business model. Additionally, organizations must consider the skills of their employees, the commitment of senior executives, and the redistribution of power and resources. Information systems serve as a medium that combines people, procedures, and technology to share knowledge through a knowledge management system. This is achieved through coding, which allows workers to quickly retrieve information through clicks or searches. The virtual space serves as a repository for all available information, accessible through information communication technology (ICT).

ICT will allow individuals to share the 'best practice' knowledge within an organization. On the other hand, IS implemented in networking spans multiple organizations, breaking boundaries to transfer knowledge and provide the appropriate information to individuals, enabling them to make informed decisions. In fact, networks connect people from different parts of the world through local connections to global networks for the exchange of explicit forms of knowledge. IS will authenticate and empower when information is shared among network participants, thus facilitating trusted networking without hindering organizational performance.

In addition, IS can also play a role in shaping the structure of administration, whether it is vertical or horizontal, depending on market trends. In my opinion, organizations can be divided into smaller subsystems based on tasks, with independent processes connected

through social networks. ICT can connect people working on different tasks, leading to increased efficiency and innovation in both organic and bureaucratic administrations. Additionally, IS brings new business models that can decentralize business units, reduce hierarchical structures by eliminating mid-level managers, shorten product development lead times, and provide global opportunities through partnerships.

Managing people in this type of administration presents a challenge for directors as they strive to find a balance between freedom and control. It is evident that the information system (IS) can monitor the progress of each employee in the company and reward those who excel. These rewards or incentives will motivate employees to perform better, leading to future success. Directors can utilize the IS as a decision-making tool to enhance efficiency and maximize returns on investments. However, there is a risk involved in training employees on knowledge management systems, networking policies, new technologies, and IS tools.


In summary, it is preferable to measure the value of knowledge-based administrations based on their business success rather than solely relying on performance, utilization of information systems, knowledge recycling, and standardization.If knowledge-based administrations are able to effectively utilize information systems in the assembly, processing, storing, distribution, and utilization of information and associated technologies, it can benefit multi-disciplinary teams in their operational and decision-making activities. While information systems have the potential to balance innovation and efficiency, it is the actual implementation that matters. Users may encounter difficulties in utilizing these systems, which can undermine performance and result in under-utilization of information systems. The key factor here is that people from diverse cultures collaborate with different skill sets, which requires time for adaptation to these systems.

However, if these knowledge-based

administrations are able to acknowledge cultural differences, various forms of work, and thus strategically plan on using information systems and allocate resources carefully, they can undoubtedly achieve a certain level of balance between innovation and efficiency.

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