Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Whelan, E,Remenyi, D,Martins, B
Knowledge integration and the role of technological gatekeepers
PROCEEDINGS OF THE 8TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT, VOL 1 AND 2
2007
June
Published
1
()
Optional Fields
gatekeepers knowledge stickiness ICT Web 2.0 social networks INFORMATION INNOVATION PERFORMANCE MOTIVATION NETWORKS SEEKING FIRMS
1100
1106
In today's rapidly changing business environment, few firms can afford to remain completely self-sustaining. For firms competing on knowledge and the ability to innovate and adapt, it is essential that they keep abreast of the latest scientific and technological developments. Increasingly, this knowledge is dispersed outside the firm's boundaries. Transferring knowledge across boundaries is froth with difficulties, primarily because knowledge does not flow - it tends to be 'sticky'. Previous research has shown that key individuals exist who can 'unstick' external knowledge and deliver it to their local colleagues. These 'technological gatekeepers' are critical nodes in the innovation process yet it has been over 20 years since any significant investigation into the gatekeeper concept has been conducted. In the time since, there have been huge advances in ICT. Technologies such as Web 2.0 have dramatically reduced the costs of accessing external knowledge for the average knowledge worker. From a knowledge stickiness perspective, this paper investigates how ICT impacts the role of the gatekeeper. Previous gatekeeper studies have shown that external knowledge gets integrated into the firm in a two step process - the knowledge seeker contacts their gatekeeper for specific knowledge, the gatekeeper then sources this knowledge from the external environment. This paper proposes that with advances in ICT, a two step process still exists, except that the steps are in reverse order. First, the knowledge seeker is more likely to use ICT to source external knowledge themselves. However, knowledge sourced through the Internet for example, is of a more explicit, generic and codified form. In order to relate this explicit knowledge to the organisational context (and turn it into tacit knowledge), the knowledge seeker will then have to discuss this knowledge with their local gatekeeper. This study is part of the authors PhD research. A multiple case study design will be adopted which will see data being gathered from the R&D labs of 3 high technology Irish companies.
Grant Details
Publication Themes