Knowledge Management towards Innovation : How can organizations utilize knowledge management to foster innovation?
Abstract: Being innovative allows organizations to be part of the rapid competitive and environmental shifts and requires the development of knowledge as it builds the pathway of innovation. Since most companies find it troublesome to effectively utilize their existing knowledge towards innovations and literature lacks to offer solutions, this study aims to determine factors that contribute to an enhancement of the spiral of knowledge as well as to develop a concept that provides counselling for business and academia on how to overcome this issue. Therefore, this study contributes with new insights to the field of research in knowledge management and innovation management as well as to organizations with a concept on how to operationalize knowledge management towards innovation. Based on literature review on innovation management, knowledge management and organizational agility, a hypothesis was established that claimed that agile feedback loops at the spiral of knowledge would facilitate the utilization of knowledge management towards innovation. Expert interviews allowed the identification of factors that are relevant for tapping the potential of knowledge towards innovation. The analysis of their responses disclosed a common request to include feedback during the knowledge transformation but also revealed that design thinking and an innovative organizational culture are further relevant factors. Thus, the study postulates a concept that refines the spiral of knowledge to the ‘spiral of knowledge and innovation’, which extents the ‘spiral of knowledge’ with agile feedback loops, design thinking as well as an innovative organizational culture.
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