An adaptive strategy for managing knowledge in organizations
Authors: K. Sherif
Publication Year: 2006
Journal: Journal of Knowledge Management
This article proposes an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge in complex organizations. Specifically, this article aims to extend understanding in the field of knowledge management (KM) by examining how an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge can help organizations become innovative and build dynamic capabilities. Literature on complexity theory and KM is reviewed to propose the development of an adaptive strategy that will assist organization in managing knowledge and becoming innovative. The paper is structured around the following constructs: complexity theory, complex adaptive systems, and KM. A link between an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge, innovation and dynamic capability is established. The central proposition of the article is the organizations that follow adaptive complex processes for managing knowledge are better able to compete in the market today. This article extends prior research on KM by proposing complexity theory as a framework for establishing adaptive strategies for managing knowledge and fostering innovation. With the dramatic environmental changes and fierce competition that organizations are faced with today, managing knowledge becomes critical for driving creativity and adapting to changing markets. Organizations lack direction on how best to develop an adaptive strategy for managing knowledge. The revelation of adaptive processes for managing knowledge in complex systems can lead to more effective KM practices and a higher rate of creativity and flexibility. The study answers recent calls for defining processes for the second generation of KM that shift focus from the codification and transfer of knowledge to the creation of new knowledge. Although previous studies have established a link between complex adaptive systems and KM, this study takes it one step further in defining an integrative strategy for the creation of knowledge based on the processes of complex adaptive systems. The paper provides a foundation for future studies to test the causal relationship between adaptive processes for knowledge creation and innovation.