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Knowledge Ecosystems: Technology, Motivations, Processes, Performance

Date & Time:
12:00:00 - 13:00:00,
Thursday 31 January, 2008


Knowledge represents the most strategically valuable resource of any organization. For organizations seeking to cultivate valuable knowledge, knowledge ecosystems embody a ‘bottom-up’ (i.e. grassroots) knowledge management strategy that combines knowledge technologies, organizational stimuli, and knowledge exchange processes.

Knowledge technologies include computer interfaces and networked systems that enable organizational knowledge exchanges among human actors. Organizational stimuli include formal incentives, normative values, and competence-based trust to motivate human actors to transfer knowledge intra- and inter-organizationally. Knowledge exchange processes embody intra- and inter-organizational knowledge creation, transfer, and protection activities.

This seminar will illuminate previously ambiguous aspects of knowledge ecosystems, to include the influential relationships among knowledge technologies, organizational stimuli, knowledge exchange processes, and performance outcomes. The ‘bottom-up’ nature of knowledge ecosystems influence the ability of a knowledge-intensive, information-sensitive organization to adequately adapt to a turbulent environment; moreover:

    • Knowledge technologies indirectly motivate organizational actors to transfer knowledge by augmenting organizational stimuli

    • Organizational stimuli influence actors to engage (or not) in knowledge exchange processes

    • Knowledge exchange processes consequentially influence performance outcomes, to include organizational responsiveness and organizational efficiency

This seminar reaches these conclusions by employing three interrelated studies, each from a perspective that helps illuminate influential relationships of multiple knowledge ecosystems elements.

Study 1 examines structure and ‘top-down’ vs ‘bottom-up’ knowledge management strategies by extending March’s (1991) model of exploration and exploitation to demonstrate how these elements, given environmental turbulence, influence aggregate individual knowledge levels within an organization.

Study 2 examines knowledge technologies and other organizational stimuli by empirically testing a proposed model that extends existing research literature to explain and predict how these knowledge ecosystem elements influence knowledge exchange processes, thereby indirectly influencing organizational responsiveness.

Study 3 examines roles and knowledge exchange processes by empirically exploring how the role-criticality of personnel influences knowledge sharing and knowledge protection, and then exploring how these two constructs influence organizational responsiveness and organizational efficiency.

The relevance of knowledge ecosystems in informing both distributed problem-solving networks and collective intelligence activities will also be discussed.

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  • David A. Bray
  • Name: David A. Bray
  • Affiliation: OII Visiting Associate
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