Supporting Knowledge Communities: Examples from Organisations with Innovative Management Models
Keywords:knowledge community, knowledge, management model
The paper discusses how three organisations with innovative management models support the creation and work of knowledge communities. In the current unstable environment, knowledge, the ability to acquire it, create it and share it becomes one of the most critical aspects of the success of any organisation. Even though organisations may not be consciously aware of this, some adopt specific innovative management models that support their work with knowledge. The management model is how an organisation is managed, e.g. how managerial activities are executed, interlinked and organised into the systemic approach. Traditionally, management models were based on hierarchies and clear rules concerning managerial functions (planning, deciding, organising, leadership and controlling). Innovative management models are flatter; employees are empowered to decide and set objectives; control is decentralised. Some innovative management models are self-managing and look unusual, even crazy, as they deny our expectations about how organisations should be managed. Innovative management models help improve knowledge flow and sharing in an organisation. The paper provides examples of organisations whose unusual management models go even further and support or are intended to support the creation and work of knowledge communities. Knowledge communities usually benefit organisations by providing an environment where employees extensively interact, share and create knowledge. They are the silos of new knowledge, inventions and innovations. Organisations with unusual management models use different managerial tools and methods to support knowledge communities. Some organisations are successful, and some fail. In the paper, we show examples of both groups of organisations and explain why some management models work and support knowledge communities, and others do not. The paper uses secondary data about organisations available in the theoretical and managerial literature on these organisations and information from their web pages.
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