UU-MBA717 ESSAY 2
‘inventing new knowledge is not a specialized activity…it is a way of behaving, indeed a way of being, in which everyone is a knowledge worker’ (Nonaka, 1991).
Following this line of thought, and with reference to relevant literature and theory, discuss your company’s approach to strategic management of knowledge and organizational learning. Evaluate its use of strategic frameworks and tools, including the importance of knowledge in strategic development; strategic marketing; sustainability, competitive advantage; and managing strategic corporate change.
A CASE STUDY OF ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES
Student ID: R1907D8930012
Sunday 12th January, 2019
One of the core foundations of strategic thinking is knowledge. Toffler (1990) argues that we live in a society solely based on knowledge and other theologians and co-operations solemnly accepts this claim. In Toffler’s arguments, products are evolving, the factors determining the corporate environment are constantly changing, the markets are not static but dynamic, same with competitors and the behavioural patterns of the customers. How companies then organizes knowledges to achieve a competitive edge is very key. There however exists certain obstacles a company will have to address in this regards and they are related to how knowledge is spotted, created, archived and also shared.
The operations and mannerism of a company is what knowledge is about. This argument was put forth by Nonaka (1991). He further pointed that it is not a form of a specialized exercise or activity rather a pattern of mannerism conversant with every employee. Takeuchi (1995) also added that there exist a synergy between knowledge and learning and that it is often described as what separates tacit from explicit knowledge.
The goal of this research is to take a deeper look into Nonaka’s views above. We want to study and consider how applicable they are to strategic management of knowledge and organization learning of EntriFlex Technologies.
Johnson S. (2011) defined knowledge as the recognition received from experience and learning. Like every other active exercises, Johnson’s definition revealed knowledge has to be exercised and understood. It involves exploration and assimilation of information and putting them in practice where applicable. This actually conformed with Nonaka’s view also, as it describes knowledge as an activity that can eventually become a way of life which thereby becomes part and parcel of the culture of the organization.
Despite the various definitions and attempts by various minds to explain what knowledge is, it is still evident in all of their efforts that it is an ongoing activity of finding, keeping and sharing information in a well presentable and sustainable corporate manner and practice.
Dasgupter (2015) as these to say about knowledge also:
something which can be deduced from careful processes of hypothesizing, variable identification and measurement within experimental designs, resulting in the identification of causality and predictions being made about ‘facts’ which have been properly evaluated by mathematical logic.
In the unstable corporate World, knowledge is a strong aspect and tool by which our case-study ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES can deploy to remain competitive and a leading force in the technological industry. This will be use in researching areas for innovation and technology development, set standards for corporate achievements. This argument was put forth by Smelser (1991). Companies such as ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES ought to invest in knowledge acquisition in continuous and dynamic activities and channel them to produce value.
Yingxin (2013) also added that in order for organization to create goods or services, they will need to adopt knowledge acquisition and rightful application. Companies also need structures and policies in place to identify obsolete procedures and practices so as to learn and unlearn those knowledges as well as swiftly process of adapting to environmental and business needs.
Nonaka (1995) explains that in adopting a knowledge transmission model for a company (as in our case study; ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES), we will have to consider an approach that will fit well in terms of adequate synergy between tacit and explicit knowledge which actually defines a measure in which knowledge is formulated. Nonaka proposed the model; SECI which actually stands for Socialization, Externalization, Combination and Internalization. Each represent the various ways of knowledge sharing;
- Socialization: Tacit knowledge to tacit knowledge
- Externalization: Tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge
- Combination: Explicit knowledge to explicit knowledge
- Internalization: Explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge.
The image below shows the relationship between these nodes;
|Tacit Knowledge to Explicit Knowledge
Linking explicit knowledge
Learning by doing
If the SECI model is adopted, ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will be able to continually have a system that will enable them to learn new external and internal knowledge, discard obsolete knowledge and re-learn current ways of achieving process and information even on the higher tacit level. Yingxin (2013) explains that this process will help companies to gain and keep dynamic knowledge and benefit some advantages competitively.
There are some challenges accustomed with knowledge, such as identifying who actually has ownership right over the information, who is going to safeguard the information and how far can they do it, if there are limitations for the information how will it be resolved, will it be encouraging to deploy the tacit-explicit link, is there any issue that might crop up regarding cultural issues, how do we learn and relearn and lastly how will knowledge be conveniently examined in ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES. All these concerns are expected to be resolved by the use of the SECI model. It will also foster a well tailored pattern of knowledge management and learning.
In finalizing the adoption for an emergent strategy for ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES, the decision of the directors are aware and understand that the strategy has to enable general participation and synergy in mannerism will be evident. The directors are educated about the benefits it will be to the company as well as possible challenges discussed above. These was the commentary of Messori (2016). The company ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES has accepted that they will have the ability to marry knowledge management and the environment in which it is formulated and acquire, and that the human resources involve are developed through the provision of social practices, innovative technological structures that will foster knowledge identification, development, and relearning (Engelbart, 1992).
With the discussed so far, ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will proceed to making plans in human capital development. Employees will first be probably screened to be sure they are qualified and the right training are delivered to them and have accumulated enough experience to ascertain that investment in such intellectual development is retained and managed. In this light, ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will achieve heights, enjoy comparative edges and of course create more value for customers. Rastogi (2002).
Stakeholders and Directors of ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES have decided on how the company’s knowledge management strategy shape out, and that is how information and knowledge are going to be organized and utilized in the company. This adopted strategy will tally’s with the objectives and will anchor and directs where the company is, will be and strategies to get there. It will be of great benefit to the company if all across the organization, these strategic values and patterns are well understood and the understanding of knowledge management is spread across; from the top management to the bottom level. It will serve as yardstick and appraisal for individual and corporate performance.
In this first assessment, we developed a business strategy (plan) for ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES which highlighted boldly the objectives, products and services, targeted industry and marketing plans. We will use this developed business plan will serve as the starting step in assessing and evaluating a knowledge audit for the tacit and explicit knowledge mode. This will make sure management are assured that knowledge will be identified accurately, measured, developed and utilized accurately. In identifying the gaps in knowledge, re-engineering learned knowledge or discarding/replacing obsolete knowledge, knowledge auditing will serve as a tool for these.
With this, the company will be able to find directions again in times it seems they have lost their way or direction and help to know the right knowledge to hold on to in other to get there. ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will then be able to effectively decide on knowledge preservation and dissemination pattern (Liebowitz, 2000).
In marking, ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will implement the knowledge based processes and attempt to understand the patterns that the company might leverage on to achieve market goodwill and also gain advantage competitively (Kohlbacher, 2009). This makes an effective marketing activity a sure path to greatness as products and services will be able to reach the appropriate clients of the company. For a company to achieve this, they will have to first be able to produce accurate marketing information such as a good knowledge of the industry, size and needs of the customer with consideration for other factors such as environmental, which might play a role in customer behavior. They will also have to be able to understand and identify their competitors in the industry and their marketing strategies too.
Sales analysis, trends, pricing systems, product and services quality are all variables also that ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES must deeply consider in the chosen market strategies.
To ascertain product delivery to respective market, ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will have to ensure the conceptual framework for strategic management of information and knowledge are effective and is been deployed to produce, share, keep knowledge as well as letting go of knowledge that are no longer current and has no impact to the current corporate values or market needs. Management of ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will be tasked with staying current for new information that will improve on the knowledge based of the company. They must be exposed and ready to accept opportunity to relearn and update, guard these information and model from their competitors and distribute into tacit knowledge that will formulate the corporate culture of the company. This is the only model that can assure of the continuous survival of the company.
According to Kohlbacher (2009):
Knowledge based marketing creates a conceptual framework that contextualizes customers and suppliers, and competitors and partners and moves from traditional marketing that focused on explicit knowledge to incorporate tacit knowledge.
A good reason for Strategic management knowledge is that it will enable models that supports staying focus and have a detailed approach for information to be produced, saved and distributed and also for obsolete ones to be discarded. An example of this will be ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOIES enjoying the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) approach that enables managing clients portfolio and loyalty system with marketing knowledge. Technology can also be deployed by the management to have a competitive edge by automating how company’s products are designed, produced, marketed and distributed through various channels effectively. It is called Product Data Management (PDM) and Supply Chain Marketing (SCM). Both if understood and deployed effectively, will create a synergy of networks that the company can benefit from in rendering services and delivery products that the customers need in the supply chain.
There are several arguments that managers need to teamup with customers to co-produce tacit knowledge. This form of knowledge co-creation was expressed by Nonaka (2007). It involves taking into consideration of the customers; their needs in a product or service or basically how they want such product and services delivered. Others school of thoughts see this as a radical notion, one of them was Sawhney (2002). They argued that co-creating knowledge with other stakeholders such as competitors, partners or product suppliers are more feasible, but it is also idea that management consider the benefits of co-creating knowledge with customers.
For any business to remain and survive healthily, the management has to have a good understanding and practice of how they manage the finance, social and environmental risks of the company in the same vein they do for identifying opportunities needed to be tapped. The ability for the company to navigate through turbulent times is largely due to they relationship with these factors (economic, social and environmental). These will enable the create value and of course contribute to the ecosystem healthily.
Sustainable marketing implies a company to be able to innovate, create and promote services or products that are solemnly aimed at customers’ satisfactions.
Devine (2012) says these on Business sustainability;
Sustainable marketing draws from the need to be environmentally friendly and socially conscious in the quest to understand the values, emotions and buying patterns of customers and understanding the market place and commitment to customers, the environment and the planet.
When our case study company ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES releases products or services that are in synch with the market, that is customers’ needs and do this in accordance with a well defined marketing plan, then it is almost certain that they will gain a great competitive edge over competitors in the industry, in the shortest time.
Gradually, the company will start identifying channels and strategies to deliver more value to customers, remain competitive and enjoy more goodwill in the industry.
ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES have to rely on innovative product development, market exploration and harnessing of human resources to be able to effectively have the edge in the knowledge industry. Obaide (2004) stated that company’s knowledge is a great strategic asset and has a relationship between intellectual capital and company’s knowledge. Intellectual capital itself is an asset that is intangible and cannot be quantified, these include brands, copyrights, patents, R&D (Research and Development), employee dexterities and experiences.
2.4.2 Human Capital
Intellectual capital of a company is based on how much they are willing to invest in human capital development, structural capital and even up to relationship capital investment. ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will ensure it’s investments on these capitals are adequate enough to be able to benefits on the skills and technical experiences the employees will bring on board upon acquisition ( through capital investments). Investment in structural capital is the provision of sufficient non-physical infrastructure to enable human capital to function via the rightful deployment and utilization. Rational capital investment will enable ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES control other assets such as trademarks, franchises, CRM and other licences.
2.4.3 Social Capital
Social capital, which is the economic resource that a company benefit from by human interactions is an aspect ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES can benefit greatly from, if invested into. Recent technological development suggests that social interaction especially via the internet is a growing trend and area for exploitation and investment for market gain. Products can be advertised and gain new customers as well as direct interaction with the targeted audience. Even companies without a physical location can benefit from Social capital investment, meet with potential suppliers and create an awesome online presence like some shopping stores.
The ability for a company to relearn (acquire new knowledge) and let go of obsolete ones is known as Corporate change. It offers companies the process to replace existing knowledge (that no longer holds) with new information. This is to ensure that the company maintains the competitive edge they enjoy and points the new direction for marketing, embracing new trends and changing polices for achieving the corporate objective.
A sure approach towards improving corporate learning and knowledge is to ensure there exists a pattern for the continuous exchange of knowledge between tacit and explicit and that these patterns are adopted corporately daily and imbibed in the day to day activity of the marketers. Other values have to be encouraged too, such as developing a continuous employee quantitative evaluations and distribute to all, supporting inter-departmental information sharing, both with marketers and also external environment.
With this, ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES will be able to accept and implement an approach to evaluate progress, performances and resource control so as to be able to recognize which areas of the company needs improvement and change in the internal process and how their results affects the external environment. With this model, information about training and knowledge resources will be collected and analyzed and used as a way to ascertain how the utilization of information and conversion is employed to have an edge competitively. Also, the model be able to check the company’s business process to ascertain how the services are developed and products are manufactured. Lastly, it will also check the customer satisfaction reports in respect to quality, availability, pricing as well as also analyze the company’s financial data.
Concluding this thesis, from Nonaka’s statement and views on knowledge management as an aspect of a company’s culture connoted with the beliefs of our company ENTRIFLEX TECHNOLOGIES. In ensuring that company’s knowledge are produced and used effectively, knowledge management is a core culture they will need to embraced. Management will ensure several programs are avenues that encourages continuous learning are implemented and also transferring this explicit knowledge into tacit. The harnessed knowledge should then be converted into explicit knowledge and be archived and distributed across the company.
Companies can gain a strong competitive edge in their respectful industry and market if knowledge management is deployed as the main driver. Companies will be able to innovate in products and services which will move them higher in the competitive ladder and become a market /industry leader. Business relationships with customers (CRM), suppliers, partners and even competitors can act as catalyst to generate new knowledge for the company’s internal and external usage.
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