Conjoint communication and knowledge use/needs analysis in a financial services firm

Abstract

The act of communication in an organisation, while necessary for the transmission of knowledge, is not synonymous with it. Communicative acts may contain large or small amounts of knowledge, and, moreover, may bear knowledge that is not of importance for the organisation. We report on an extended intervention in a financial services firm, using a conjoined analysis of knowledge use/need and a communicative network analysis, the latter being targeted by (a) a categorisation of the knowledge used and required for the business operation and (b) a knowledge of the human agents using and requiring that knowledge. The joint analysis provides better-targeted KM interventions, since knowledge transfer mechanisms can be tailored to the needs of disaggregated knowledge types rather than to knowledge as a single, aggregated resource of the firm.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8

References

  1. Brown JS and Duguid P (1991) Organizational learning and communities of practice: toward a unified view of working, learning and innovation. Organization Science 2(1), 40–57.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Cross R, Laseter T, Parker A and Velasquez G (2006) Using social network analysis to improve communities of practice. California Management Review 49(1), 32–57.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Cunliffe A (2008) Orientations to social constructionism: relationally responsive social constructionism and its implications for knowledge and learning. Management Learning 39(2), 123–139.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Czarniawska B (2001) Is it possible to be a constructionist consultant? Management Learning 32(2), 253–266.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. De Beer P (2011) Beehive Survey Results. Acsis Ltd, Cape Town.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Edmondson AC (2008) The competitive imperative of learning. Harvard Business Review (July–August), 60–67.

  7. Gratton L and Erickson TJ (2007) Eight ways to build collaborative teams. Harvard Business Review (November), 101–109.

  8. Gupta AK and Govindarajan V (2000) Knowledge management’s social dimension: lessons from Nucor Steel. Sloan Management Review 42(1), 71–80.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Hicks J, Nair P and Wilderom CPM (2009) What if we shifted the basis of consulting from knowledge to knowing? Management Learning 40(3), 289–310.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Lave J and Wenger E (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge University Press, New York.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  11. Nonaka I (2007) The knowledge creating company. Harvard Business Review (July-August), 162–171.

  12. Nonaka I and Toyama R (2007) Why do firms differ? The theory of the knowledge-creating firm. In Knowledge Creation and Management: New Challenges for Managers (Ichijo K and Nonaka I, Eds), pp 13–26, Oxford University Press, Inc, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Nonaka I, Toyama R and Konno N (2007) SECI, ba and leadership: a unified model of dynamic knowledge creation. In Managing Knowledge: An Essential Reader (Little S and Ray T, Eds), pp 23–25, Sage publications, London.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Okoroafor H (2014) The barriers to tacit knowledge sharing in franchise organizations. Knowledge Management Research & Practice 12, 97–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Pfeffer J and Sutton RI (1999) Knowing ‘what’ to do is not enough: turning knowledge into action. California Management Review 42(1), 83–108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Powell JH and Swart J (2005) Men and measures: using qualitative system modelling to map knowledge in firms. Journal of the Operational Research Society 57, 10–21.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ringberg T and Reihlen M (2008) Towards a socio-cognitive approach to knowledge transfer. Journal of Management Studies 45(5), 912–935.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Roxas R, Battisti M and Deakins D (2014) Learning, innovation and firm performance: knowledge management in small firms. Knowledge Management Research & Practice 12(4), 443–453.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Schneider U (2007) Coping with the concept of knowledge. Management Learning 38(5), 613–633.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Spender J-C (1994) Knowing, managing and learning. Management Learning 25(3), 387–412.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Strati A (2007) Sensible knowledge and practice-based learning. Management Learning 38(1), 61–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Swart J (2011) That’s why it matters. The value generating properties of knowledge. Management Learning 49(3), 319–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Tsoukas H and Vladimirou E (2007) What is organizational knowledge? In Managing Knowledge: An Essential Reader (Little S and Ray T, Eds), pp 86–95 101–104, Sage publications, London.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Vermaak H (2011) Nobody has all the answers, but collectively we can find them: using causal loop diagrams to deal with ambiguity [WWW document] http://www.hansvermaak.com (accessed 1 August 2014).

  25. Vygotsky LS (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John Powell.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Powell, J., van den Heever, S. Conjoint communication and knowledge use/needs analysis in a financial services firm. Knowl Manage Res Pract 14, 376–389 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/kmrp.2015.2

Download citation

Keywords

  • knowledge management
  • strategy
  • communication
  • social network analysis
  • systems
  • communications