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The Enabling of Knowledge Management Concepts, Annotated Bibliography Example

Pages: 8

Words: 2289

Annotated Bibliography

Van Poots, M. R. (2011). The Enabling of Knowledge Management Concepts in the Implementation of World Class Manufacturing in a Large Brewery. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Publishing.

The present dissertation is dedicated to analysis of knowledge management principles and techniques in the real-life application context – transition to a World Class Manufacturing initiative in a large brewery. Basing his approach on the understanding of tacit and explicit knowledge and its impact on the business operations, and uniting the knowledge management concept with the lean manufacturing focus of the brewery, Van Poots (2011) used a case study method of research to combine various types of qualitative data. Primary data were derived from 27 interviews with the brewery’s employees working at different positions and involved in knowledge management to a certain extent; secondary data were taken from 57 training documents of the chosen organization. On the basis of these data sources, the researcher aimed at finding out the ways in which knowledge management, transfer, and enrichment methods facilitate the adoption of forefront manufacturing initiatives, and strengthen the company’s focus on performance and business success.

The findings of Van Poots (2011) are indeed data-rich, as the researcher managed to answer all research questions in full, research the ways in which various knowledge management practices such as expert networks, knowledge educators and experts, information systems, and communities of practice affect employee performance and skills. The author also managed to elicit data about training and development attitudes and opinions among the brewery’s employees, and perceived links these efforts have with organizational performance overall. The structure of the dissertation is concise and correct, with the researcher’s strong focus on the research problem, method of inquiry, and research design reiterated in every new chapter. Van Poots (2011) has also managed to maintain a strong and explicit focus on his findings’ ability to initiate a positive social change, which adds academic value to his work. One more obvious strength of the dissertation is in Van Poots’ (2011) detailed examination of the case study methodology as compared to other possible methodologies, and the precise rationale for the choice of this specific research method in comparison with other available options. Van Poots (2011) indicated that using a case study is beneficial because this method bridges theory and practice by putting specific real examples in context. Moreover, the researcher noted that case study is a qualitative and non-positivistic approach to research, which makes it specifically beneficial for management research.

However, there are certain discrepancies noted in Van Poots’ (2011) dissertation related to the Walden University’s checklist. In the first chapter, the research did not include the chapter “Nature of the Study” into the structure, and despite giving an extensive and detailed description of concepts on which his theoretical framework relies, Van Poots (2011) did not provide any strong connections between the two core concepts of research – knowledge management and lean manufacturing. The literature review structure is very strong, with all relevant variables and concepts of interest studied in the light of recent research dedicated to them, but the section of method’s discussion does not seem fitting the literature review structure. The methodology chapter is also very detailed, precise, and strong in terms of discussing the methodology of research, selection of the setting and participants, sampling, procedures associated with data collection, variables of interest during the data collection process, etc. Nevertheless, the section lacks such items as the description of the role of researcher in the data collection process, and no ethical considerations section is included in the work as well, which weakens the paper’s trustworthiness aspect. The results section is also a very detailed and academically presented portion of the dissertation, though the new checklist does not require including the researcher’s reflections part, and the present dissertation does not contain a proper account of limitations in the concluding part.

As for the value of this work for my upcoming dissertation, I believe that I have much similarity in the research focus with that of Van Poots (2011) as I also target understanding of how the TKM and TKT techniques facilitate organizational performance. Hence, I can use some aspects of the researcher’s methodological considerations and interview questions in my research. I can also shape the discussion of TKM-related variables of interest around some categories elicited by Van Poots (2011) in the process of data analysis.

Cruz, A. P. (2011). Knowledge Sharing and Competitiveness of Professional Service Firms: A Case Study. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Publishing.

The present dissertation is dedicated to the analysis of knowledge sharing practices in professional service firms, and tries to address the problem of lack of attention to knowledge sharing practices from a behavioral perspective. Cruz (2011) identified little interest among organizations for creating social value of knowledge-sharing culture within organizations. Therefore, Cruz (2011) pointed out the need to understand the behavioral side of knowledge management and knowledge sharing in organization, and to assess their relationship to competitiveness. The author used the case study approach and combined three focus group discussions, individual interviews, field notes, and secondary qualitative data on the organization of interest for the sake of receiving data on parameters and conditions of knowledge sharing and its impact on the company’s competitiveness and business success as perceived by the company’s employees.

The overall focus of the dissertation is quite strong, but it seems that the behavioral aspect of knowledge sharing in a combination with motivation theory is highly specific and at times hard to understand. Knowledge sharing is a part of knowledge management, which is a highly complex but vital system of organizational functioning and knowledge accumulation for boosting organizational performance and improvement of all employees’ professional skills and abilities. Focusing on knowledge sharing only from the behavioral perspective and discussion of such categories as spiritual essence of business, believability, openness, ethical responsibility, and spiritual connection seems to deviate from the managerial focus and the researcher’s intention to establish a link between knowledge sharing practices and organizational success. Another significant drawback of the first chapter is that the author does not establish any distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge, since explicit knowledge is easily accessible and available in all organizations, while it is tacit knowledge sharing that may boost performance and enhance competitiveness of organizations. However, Cruz (2011) provided a highly detailed conceptual framework in the first chapter of the work justifying the use of these variables and concepts, and narrowing the focus of the investigation.

The section “Nature of the Study” provided an explicit focus of the work, but failed to identify the variables of researcher’s interest, which is also a significant deviation from the Walden University dissertation checklist. The case study approach information was included in the conceptual framework of the dissertation, which is also an ambiguous choice because of the proper place for this information in the nature of the study, or proposed methodology. However, the second chapter, literature review, is very strong and detailed. Cruz (2011) included a specific chapter of literature search strategy, discussed the categories and variables of research interest, and then discussed prior research findings on each of them, which makes the literature review section a highly valuable portion of this work.

As for the methodology section of Cruz’ (2011) dissertation, one should note that it is also a highly detailed and precise chapter, but it seems that too much space has been dedicated to the discussion and justification of the case study approach. It took several sections to describe what a case study research is and why it is beneficial for this particular research; hence, the discussion of case study as a research method could be shortened for the improvement of the overall chapter’s outlook. There is also a suggestion that a proper epistemological and philosophical paradigm of research would be included, substituting some space taken by the discussion of case study research in favor of a more scholarly grounding of the chosen research approach. The methodology section also lacks data on limitations and ethical considerations – only information on protection of research participants are given, which is not the whole scope of ethical issues related to conducting an academic research process.

The results section looks impressive, and it discusses all aspects related to the research topic in much detail. However, the outlook of results’ presentation is quite fragmented – respondents’ information is separated from analysis thereof, which makes one get back to the previous page to verify the researcher’s conclusions. The results section would look much better if the portions of qualitative data from interviews and focus groups were integrated into the interpretation of findings, which would create a holistic image and holistic perception of the research material. Conclusion is very small – only one paragraph, and it does not relate the reader to the beginning parts of the research such as research problem and purpose. However, the research indeed opens new dimensions for understanding the knowledge sharing processes and employees’ motivation for their use, especially in the context of service firms.

The value of this study is great, but I cannot relate the dissertation of Cruz (2011) to my work much. The research ties knowledge sharing to competitiveness, which has both a social and economic change value for a large number of organizations, thus making this dissertation highly valuable from both theoretical and practical perspectives. However, I am more focused on the identification of the nature of TKM practices’ impact on organizational performance from a managerial perspective, so a behavioral stance is not quite suitable for me. The methodological focus of Cruz (2011) is however very strong, and I believe that I can use some methodological findings to my benefit when organizing the methodological framework of my dissertation.

Burris, D. (2012). The Influence of Organizational Culture on Knowledge Sharing Among Intergenerational Employees. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Publishing.

The study of Burris (2012) is dedicated to a narrow aspect of knowledge management in modern organizations – intergenerational knowledge sharing. It is a very important sector of KM-related research, and the findings of this dissertation are highly helpful in determining the level of attention intergenerational knowledge transfer and sharing is given in contemporary organization, as well as understanding the ways in which it can be improved. The researcher established a strong connection between intergenerational knowledge sharing and business success, which implies that any organization having employees with different work experiences, of different ages, and belonging to different generations need to employ a wide variety of knowledge sharing initiatives to ensure knowledge retention in the company. The importance of this aspect of study is in the frequent neglect to intergenerational experience exchange often resulting in loss of vital organizational skills and knowledge after aged employees retire. Therefore, the findings of Burris (2012) indeed have a high potential for social, managerial, and economic change of positive nature.

The structure of Burris’ (2012) introduction is the issue of caution because the researcher does not present the background of the problem and research focus but starts the dissertation at once with the discussion of research method that will be employed in the work. Hence, there is a certain deviation from Walden University’s checklist in terms of contents of some sections. The rest of the chapter complies with the checklist except for one point – there is no theoretical or conceptual framework discussion that would familiarize the reader with the researcher’s scholarly stance and approach to the topic of interest. The concepts of central importance, links between them, and theories applied to explain those links are left out of the first chapter, leaving it without a sound theoretical basis that would strengthen the work.

The literature review section is strong and detailed, with the explicit discussion of the literature search strategy at the beginning of the chapter. Various concepts of interest such as knowledge, knowledge management, knowledge sharing, etc. are discussed, but there is a lack of evidence for the need to include the chapter on emotional intelligence in the literature review. As research shows, emotional intelligence comes from a different field of research and has loose connections with knowledge sharing in a business setting, so this subchapter may be considered a little out of place in the literature review. There is a very detailed and academically based discussion of various generations and the ways in which they work, learn, and communicate with each other in the overall context of organizational culture, which is a feasible advantage of the chapter. The methodology chapter is very detailed and compliant with the university’s checklist, but its only weakness is in considering the subheadings on confirmability, credibility, dependability, transferability, and ethics in research in more general terms, without an explicit linkage to this specific work. The results chapter corresponds to the checklist in all issues such as presenting the information about research questions, the setting in which research was conducted, and characteristics of research participants. All categories of interest are discussed in detail, such as teamwork, cooperation vs. individualism, intergenerational interactions, and KM/KS practices. The findings are interpreted precisely and fully, and the research outcomes are very valuable for the overall understanding of the specifics of intergenerational information sharing and exchange. The most significant finding of Burris’ (2012) research is that the shortcomings of KM and KS practices are usually the result of disruptions in the organizational culture, so the issue of intergenerational communication should also be addressed from that standpoint.

This dissertation is very useful for me in my research, since I target TKM and TKT practices in general, and my focus encompasses intergenerational knowledge exchange as well, though only as one of the aspects of interest. However, my dissertation’s approach presupposes recognizing the fact that intergenerational exchange of knowledge is a vital element of knowledge sharing, and I am sure that Burris’ (2012) findings may serve a strong foundation for my work in this aspect.

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