Session Details: Session 1048

Measuring Knowledge in Organizations

Track B

Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Time: 10:00 – 11:15

Common Ground

Room: Salon 7

Stefano Brusoni, ETH Zurich

Title: Assessing the Possible Costs of External Knowledge Incurred by Moderators: The External Knowledge Transfer in a Strategic Alliance


  • Evangelia Siachou, Hellenic American University
  • Anthony Ioannidis, Athens University of Economics & Business

Abstract: Seeking knowledge sourced outside an organization has become one of the principal activities for organizations that are willing to maximize their business. A plausible source of the necessary knowledge is the formation of strategic alliances with organizations which possess the particular knowledge (knowledge keepers).The effective exploitation of the incoming knowledge, though, may be moderated when other factors exist. This paper questions the assumptions of previous research but aims to expand this work by conceptually examining the fundamental role of two main moderators: that of absorptive capacity, and that of the attractiveness of the sector in an external knowledge-transfer activity which takes place between two parties in an alliance. The proposed overarching theoretical framework identifies the role of the two aforementioned moderators and delineates research propositions, taking the Mobile Virtual Network Operators as a case study.

Title: Dynamic Managerial Capabilities as Cognitive Search and Strategic Alignment of Opportunities


  • Zhi Wang, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Krsto Pandza, University of Leeds
  • Stuart Horsburgh, Manchester Metropolitan University

Abstract: In this study we link cognitive search and opportunity creation and argue that both are embedded in creativity, imagination and the intuition of managerial agency. We argue that not all firms are equally adept in searching for opportunities and firms will differ in respect to the search strategies managers deploy, the opportunities they create and decide to pursue. We adopt a graph-theoretic computer simulation approach, which employs algorithms developed in the computer science literature in modellng ‘real-world’ networks, such as social networks and eco-systems. We contend that searching for new opportunities is essentially a graph-matching problem, but internal selection involves difficult trade-offs as search consists of the integration of complex knowledge combinations.

Title: Enacting Performance Measurement Systems in Strategic Learning Processes


  • Andrea Fried, Chemnitz University of Technology
  • Bernard Marr, Advanced Performance Insitute

Abstract: Performance Measurement Systems (PMS) are widely used by organisations to measure their intellectual capital and knowledge assets. Such systems have traditionally been used for strategic management control purposes. More recently, authors argue that PMS also fulfil a role in strategic learning as they provide feedback and insight that allow organisations to reflect on their strategic business model. We believe that this dual role of PMS requires further investigation and theoretical discussion. Using structuration theory and the organisational learning approach we build a theoretical framework for performance measurement system based strategic learning. The aims are to further our understanding of the relationship between performance measurement and strategic learning and to create a framework which can be subject to empirical investigations.

Title: Experimental Research on Convergent and Divergent Tacit Knowledge Evolution, Measuring from a Network Perspective


  • Zhi Wang, Manchester Metropolitan University

Abstract: This experimental research integrates social science and physics in studying tacit knowledge, and in that networks are used as milieu for the observation of how tacit knowledge evolving through the proposed two sets of mechanism, behaviour and cognitive, to which tacit knowledge is analogized. It then employs methods of simulation and empirical analysis largely adopted in both fields, particularly a geometric graph theoretic approach. Both simulation and empirical investigations provide evidence that managerial interactions in networks contribute to static and dynamic tacit knowing, leading respectively to convergence and divergence of tacit knowledge evolution. This research points to a way forward for researching tacit knowledge and it shows how multiple methods can enhance our understanding of the unknown phenomenon of tacit knowing.

Title: Measuring Knowledge: Exploitative and Exploratory Learning from Strategic Actions


  • Marten Stienstra, Erasmus University - Rotterdam

Abstract: Applying an organizational learning framework, we present and empirically illustrate an innovative research methodology that examines how a firm’s strategic action pattern underlies the accumulation of its knowledge stock over time. The strategic actions a firm undertakes in its alignment with or adaptation to the environment constitute both exploitative and exploratory learning opportunities. Exploitative learning relates to actions that maintain congruence with a firm’s current knowledge stock, whereas exploratory learning is associated with actions that fundamentally deviate from its current knowledge stock. A major strength of our method is the use of contemporaneous reporting on the actual realisation of exploitative and exploratory learning at strategic action level, which overcomes problems of cognitive bias and retrospective sense making associated with interviews and survey research.

Title: Measuring the Leverage Effect Between Individual and Collective Competence


  • Uta Wilkens, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • Daniela Gröschke, Ruhr-University Bochum

Abstract: The aim of the paper is to develop a measurement approach that helps to specify the impact of collective competence on individual competence and vice versa. As a prerequisite we identify a definition and operationalization of competence that includes individual and collective levels. The theoretical basis is the Social Cognitive Theory combined with the theory of Complex Adaptive Systems. Empirical testing is based on a standardized questionnaire to be filled in by the staff members of two research institutes (matched pair) in Germany. It transpires from correlation analysis and cross-tabulation that the model helps to identify company-specific interactions in competence development. The model reveals the competence development activities required and where they should be started in order to profit from identified leverage effects.

All Sessions in Track B...

Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1047: How to Measure Knowledge -- Refining Old, Suggesting New Approaches
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1048: Measuring Knowledge in Organizations

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference