Session Details: Session 1056

Discussing Approaches on How Knowledge Matters in Organizations

Track A

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Time: 14:30 – 15:45

Common Ground

Room: Salon 6

Richard Whittington, University of Oxford

Title: Characteristics of Festival Organizations and their Influence on Knowledge Sharing - The Colorado Music Festival as a Community of Practice


  • Julia Mueller, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  • Dagmar Abfalter, University of Innsbruck
  • Raphaela Stadler, University of Innsbruck

Abstract: Knowledge sharing is a challenging process, especially in festival organizations, where a limited number of staff works all year long, whereas seasonal staff joins during the actual festival season. The article’s objective is to analyze this process at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, CO, showing how knowledge can be shared efficiently with new and seasonal members. For this purpose, interviews were conducted and analyzed by means of GABEK® (©Josef ZELGER), a software-tool to analyze text-based data. The results show that this festival resembles a Community of Practice, where knowledge is shared across different levels of participation. In the conclusion, the authors draw on this concept in order to show implications for knowledge sharing in festival organizations as well as expert and project organizations.

Title: Competing Perspectives on the Practice of Knowledge Management


  • Taman Powell, Cardiff University

Abstract: Hansen et al (1999) state that the management of organizational knowledge is a choice between two distinctive strategies - codification or personalization. Firms must make their choice and stick with it. In reviewing these strategies from an organizational perspective, an epistemological perspective, and a practice perspective, I suggest that rather than organizations selecting one approach and maintaining this approach that organizations are likely to start with the codification strategy then move to the personalization strategy. In doing so, I put forward a dynamic view of the practice of knowledge management. I hypothesize that the next stage of this process would be a focus on facilitating the creation of social networks (Burt, 1992). This dynamic path suggests a very different approach to the practice of knowledge management than the static one that is currently being endorsed.

Title: How Does Knowledge Matter in the Project-Based Organization?


  • Laurent Bourgeon, ESSEC Business School
  • Timothy Devinney, University of Leeds

Abstract: The emergence of project-based structures and the resulting questioning of company structure based on centres of competence necessitate a new portrayal of organizational knowledge. Exploring existing definitions of knowledge, this article proposes a typology of the various forms of organizational knowledge encompassed in the concept of Organizational Knowledge Cube and taking into account the horizontal and action oriented dimension of the company structure: the projects. Through the progressive transformation of the Opera de Paris, the second part of the paper offers a dynamic view of the project competence’s development process following the implementation of a project-based organization in the company.

Title: Information Organization and Knowledge Evolution - Strategy as Seen From Epistemology and the Natural Sciences


  • Carl Henning Reschke, Institute for Management Research Cologne

Abstract: The paper draws together research and perspectives on change in information organization developed by strategy researchers, sociologists, biologists and physicists. Conceptually, it is based upon an ‘epistemological-cognitive’ interpretation of evolution as learning process that accumulates information and transforms it into ‘knowledge’ via codification and structural organization of information. The result is often ossification of mental and organizational structures along the lines of a tight ‘Weltbild’. These mental representations and their material expressions form constraints to strategy-making. Strategic Management faces the challenge of developing and controlling the field of knowledge, interpretation mechanisms and associated organizational structures of organizations. The paper presents the necessary conceptual elements and useful modeling elements.

Title: Strategic Change and Identity Dynamics: a Knowledge-based View


  • Christophe Lejeune, ESTA School of Business and Engineering
  • Alain Vas, Catholic University of Leuven

Abstract: Research on strategic change indicates that organizational identity may be destabilized and is susceptible to transformation. Further, recent research suggests that knowledge is an important factor for understanding identity stakes through a process of strategic change. However, little attention has been given to the understanding of identity dynamics through knowledge exchanges between external certifying agencies and knowledge-intensive organizations. In particular, the case of business schools facing a strategic change through the accreditation process seems interesting in this regard. Based upon previous works on organizational identity and knowledge, we develop a Knowledge based Identity Dynamics (KID) model, which shows how the accreditation process involves knowledge conversion likely to explain the identity dynamics for business schools. The main contributions of the model are then briefly discussed.

Title: The Performance Consequences of Cross-Boundary Ambidexterity: Balancing Exploration and Exploitation in the Fuel Cells Industry


  • Clodia Vurro, Bocconi University
  • Angeloantonio Russo, LUM Jean Monnet University

Abstract: Notwithstanding the popularity of ambidexterity, there have been few empirical findings reported in the literature on how exploration and exploitation can be synchronously pursuit and the effect of such balancing on performance. In this paper, we present theory and evidence on how firms balance exploration and exploitation strategies across organizational boundaries and the effect on innovative performance. Hypotheses are tested through a sample of 1,237 firm-year observations referred to worldwide formal interorganizational agreements in the fuel cell industry, in the period 1999-2006. Overall, firms that exploit internally tend to explore significantly less externally, thus not complementing the internal exploitation of existing technological trajectories with more explorative agreements. Nevertheless, those firms effectively balancing exploration and exploitation through cross-boundary ambidexterity reveal higher innovative performance.

All Sessions in Track A...

Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1036: Knowledge and Learning
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1041: Knowledge, Collaboration, and Performance
Session 1061: Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1040: Knowledge Transfer and Diffusion
Session 1042: Capabilities, Value Creation, and Performance
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1035: Strategic Dynamics in Industry Architectures: The Challenges of Knowledge Integration
Session 1055: Governing Knowledge in Interorganizational Relationships
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1039: Knowledge and Governance
Session 1045: Capabilities and Governance
Session 1056: Discussing Approaches on How Knowledge Matters in Organizations
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1038: Knowledge and Networks
Session 1057: Knowledge as a Driver of Innovation, Learning and Competence-Building
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1044: Technology and Performance
Session 1046: Knowledge Across Boundaries
Session 1058: Knowledge Strategies: Collaboration and Governance

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference