Knowledge criteria for organization design

Knowledge criteria for organization design Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual and practical basis for developing new organization structures by augmenting the old through virtual knowledge based structures. While organization structure has a major impact on knowledge exchange, its design nevertheless continues to be governed by criteria that are often in conflict with the needs of knowledge management. In an era where knowledge is increasingly acknowledged to be a central factor of production in the modern enterprise, the resulting deficiencies in the design often lead to sub‐optimal capability for organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach – Borrowing from Drucker's elucidation of the characteristics and determinants of a successful organization in the new economy, the consequences of the transition from an economy of goods to that of knowledge are analyzed briefly in the background of KM. The study highlights an enduring deficiency in present day organizations, wherein structure is relatively uninfluenced by knowledge considerations even as organizational functions have come to depend more on knowledge exchange. A design approach that addresses this lacuna is elaborated and illustrated through a case study. Findings – This paper explores knowledge criteria for designing organization structure, proposes a hybrid solution with knowledge units (KUs) superimposed on a conventional structure and illustrates its practical application in developing KUs to create sustainable drivers for organizational value, performance and growth. Originality/value – Provides knowledge criteria for the design of organization structure to aid organizational growth, responsiveness and performance. For theorists, provides a conceptual base for efficient organizational design; for practitioners in the areas of planning, knowledge management and organizational effectiveness, provides design criteria for optimal performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Knowledge Management Emerald Publishing

Knowledge criteria for organization design

Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 13 (4): 11 – Jul 17, 2009

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1367-3270
DOI
10.1108/13673270910971815
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual and practical basis for developing new organization structures by augmenting the old through virtual knowledge based structures. While organization structure has a major impact on knowledge exchange, its design nevertheless continues to be governed by criteria that are often in conflict with the needs of knowledge management. In an era where knowledge is increasingly acknowledged to be a central factor of production in the modern enterprise, the resulting deficiencies in the design often lead to sub‐optimal capability for organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach – Borrowing from Drucker's elucidation of the characteristics and determinants of a successful organization in the new economy, the consequences of the transition from an economy of goods to that of knowledge are analyzed briefly in the background of KM. The study highlights an enduring deficiency in present day organizations, wherein structure is relatively uninfluenced by knowledge considerations even as organizational functions have come to depend more on knowledge exchange. A design approach that addresses this lacuna is elaborated and illustrated through a case study. Findings – This paper explores knowledge criteria for designing organization structure, proposes a hybrid solution with knowledge units (KUs) superimposed on a conventional structure and illustrates its practical application in developing KUs to create sustainable drivers for organizational value, performance and growth. Originality/value – Provides knowledge criteria for the design of organization structure to aid organizational growth, responsiveness and performance. For theorists, provides a conceptual base for efficient organizational design; for practitioners in the areas of planning, knowledge management and organizational effectiveness, provides design criteria for optimal performance.

Journal

Journal of Knowledge ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 17, 2009

Keywords: Knowledge management; Organizational structures; Organizational design

References

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