Balancing knowledge strategy: codification and personalization during product development

Balancing knowledge strategy: codification and personalization during product development Purpose – This paper aims to understand the knowledge strategies followed by product development (PD) units in Indian manufacturing firms. Design/methodology/approach – Following literature, knowledge strategy was characterized in terms of “codification” and “personalization”. A total of 284 employees across 19 different PD units spread across India were surveyed to understand the knowledge strategies followed. Using SPSS, various statistical tests and analyses were conducted. Findings – Personalization was consistently the preferred strategy across the PD units; however, the balance of personalization and codification was not quite in the 80‐20 ratio (one strategy practised predominantly with the other in a supporting role) as suggested by some strands of previous research, and this did not have any strikingly visible negative influences on product development performance. Further, organizations do not differ as much from each other on levels of codification, as they do on personalization. Research limitations/implications – In contexts such as product development, it may be important to pursue knowledge strategies with greater equanimity compared with other contexts that previous research has highlighted. The study bears implications not only for the formulation and implementation of knowledge strategies during product development, but also for the body of enquiry into managing knowledge in organizations. Originality/value – The research contributes to a relatively less researched area in knowledge management and suggests directions for future work in the area. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Knowledge Management Emerald Publishing

Balancing knowledge strategy: codification and personalization during product development

Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 15 (1): 18 – Feb 22, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1367-3270
DOI
10.1108/13673271111108738
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to understand the knowledge strategies followed by product development (PD) units in Indian manufacturing firms. Design/methodology/approach – Following literature, knowledge strategy was characterized in terms of “codification” and “personalization”. A total of 284 employees across 19 different PD units spread across India were surveyed to understand the knowledge strategies followed. Using SPSS, various statistical tests and analyses were conducted. Findings – Personalization was consistently the preferred strategy across the PD units; however, the balance of personalization and codification was not quite in the 80‐20 ratio (one strategy practised predominantly with the other in a supporting role) as suggested by some strands of previous research, and this did not have any strikingly visible negative influences on product development performance. Further, organizations do not differ as much from each other on levels of codification, as they do on personalization. Research limitations/implications – In contexts such as product development, it may be important to pursue knowledge strategies with greater equanimity compared with other contexts that previous research has highlighted. The study bears implications not only for the formulation and implementation of knowledge strategies during product development, but also for the body of enquiry into managing knowledge in organizations. Originality/value – The research contributes to a relatively less researched area in knowledge management and suggests directions for future work in the area.

Journal

Journal of Knowledge ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 22, 2011

Keywords: Knowledge management; Product development

References

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