Into the Depth of Organizational Knowledge: A Systematic Dynamic Perspective
affiliation not provided to SSRN
August 24, 2009
Traditionally, knowledge theory argue that the employment of existing knowledge or new knowledge based on organizational processes can provide with sustainable advantage from the horizontal evolution of knowledge (Grant 1996; vok Krogh et al. 2001). However, the remaining critical issues have not yet been unsolved that the reason why organizational change appears a distinguished dynamism and how organizational knowledge evolves along with its vertical (deep) dimension. This paper argues that there is a closely potential relationship underlying the two principles. To understand the essence of organizational knowledge deep evolution, I propose that in line with knowledge natural attributes, organizational knowledge may be reclassified into three levels (i.e., organizational based-structure (OSK), capability (OCK), and value knowledge (OVK)) in terms of its strategic functions because knowledge is a key strategic asset. As a consequence, I firstly establish the model of organizational deep knowledge’s evolution, which probes the intrinsic dynamic sourcing of a firm’s sustained growth. The findings suggest that it appears that when OKS must be made up from OSK, OCK, and OVK, it can be self-contained and characteristics of the deep evolution. Secondly, this study finds that appropriate new knowledge inflowing can change the evolutionary path and potential of OKS, and the magnitudes of new knowledge inflowing have also effects on the shift of co-evolution. My findings regarding knowledge deep evolution suggest that it is not merely the processes of accumulating knowledge per se, but inflowing new knowledge from outside, Evolution of organizational knowledge system (OKS) may not only provide with a driver for future growth, but also increase the productivities of existing knowledge, and even can help to pull through lack of some temporally critical knowledge. Thirdly, this study illustrates that the two steams of co-evolution (i.e., OSK vs. OCK and OSK vs. OVK) are essentially dynamic sourcing of organizational change. While their complementarities are necessaries to achieve organizational sustained growth, new knowledge inflowing serves as the important trigger of novel change. From an organizational sustainable growth perspective, it appears that the deep and horizontal evolutions of organizational knowledge are complementary and compactable. Evolution of OKS may not only provide with a driver for future growth, but also increase the productivities of existing knowledge, and even can help to pull through lack of some temporally critical knowledge. Finally, organizational boundary is redefined by the deep evolution of OKS. Implications of this study include shifting the emphasis on the research of the sources of “sustained superior performance” (Powell 2001) from knowledge activities based on organizational processes to knowledge dynamics along with the dept of organizational knowledge, and from a focus on management based on organizational processes to management based on the dynamics of deep knowledge for organizational change.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: deep knowledge, organizational knowledge level, co-evolution, organizational change
JEL Classification: F270working papers series
Date posted: August 26, 2009
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