Knowledge Management and Innovation in Networks

Knowledge Management and Innovation in Networks

Edited by Ard-Pieter de Man

As an ever-increasing amount of innovation takes place within networks, companies are collaborating in developing and marketing new products, services and practices. This in turn requires knowledge to flow across company boundaries. This book demonstrates how companies encourage this knowledge to flow in networks that can involve dozens of partners. Substantiated by five in-depth case studies of innovative networks, the authors identify and analyse the solutions implemented by companies in order to meet the key knowledge management challenges they encounter. Theoretical and management implications of the study are then defined.

Chapter 9: Best Practices: Key Lessons from the Cases

Irene Lammers, Hans Berends, Ard-Pieter de Man and Arjan van Weele

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


Irene Lammers, Hans Berends, Ard-Pieter de Man and Arjan van Weele INTRODUCTION This chapter presents the cross-cases conclusions on knowledge sharing in innovative networks. The analysis is based on the five in-depth case studies in this book: METRO Future Store Initiative, Dutch horticulture, pigbreeding, the Glare network and the supplier network of ASML. The main observations are: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● In innovation networks, knowledge processes like finding, accessing and sharing knowledge are important enablers for innovation; Knowledge sharing is sometimes problematic. The four key problems are: problems with motivation, efficiency, free-riding and boundary crossing; In all five networks, managerial strategies are applied to address these four knowledge-sharing problems, be it implicitly or explicitly; Companies use 13 solution concepts to address knowledge-sharing problems. The solution concepts vary in the kind of knowledgesharing problem(s) they address; In different networks, different solution concepts are effective; Decentralized, dispersed networks that aim at developing multiple innovations face more knowledge management challenges than centralized, local networks developing only one innovation; Surprisingly, core knowledge is associated with fewer management problems than expected. Tacit knowledge is harder to manage than explicit knowledge. The structure of this chapter follows the themes of knowledge management in networks discussed in Chapter 1. The themes will be discussed in the order presented in Figure 9.1. Some additional insights will be discussed 174 – Single vs multiple – Centralized vs decentralized – Dispersed vs localized Network type 6 2 Problems Knowledge sharing – Exploration vs exploitation 1 Innovation 4 Solution concepts 3 175 7 Knowledge...

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