Driving innovation: Lessons from understanding sticky knowledge and innovation diffusion

Walker, D and Maqsood, T 2007, 'Driving innovation: Lessons from understanding sticky knowledge and innovation diffusion', in Proceedings of the IRNOP VIII Conference, Brighton, UK, 19-21 September 2007, pp. 1-22.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title Driving innovation: Lessons from understanding sticky knowledge and innovation diffusion
Author(s) Walker, D
Maqsood, T
Year 2007
Conference name IRNOP VIII Conference 2007
Conference location Brighton, UK
Conference dates 19-21 September 2007
Proceedings title Proceedings of the IRNOP VIII Conference
Publisher IRNOP
Place of publication Brighton, UK
Start page 1
End page 22
Abstract The aim of this paper is to explain how sticky-knowledge theory (Szulanski,1996;2003) is applicable to both knowledge transfer as well as innovation diffusion when applied to promoting innovation. Knowledge about how innovation drivers and inhibitors can assist project-based organisations to be more competitive is important in improving processes of applying innovation that can enhance project management (PM) practice and performance. Thus, a model of reducing stickiness of knowledge transfer will be offered using results from two recently completed PhDs on organisational learning and innovation diffusion. That highly practical research work focussed upon three large construction organisations that are representative of the top tier of less than 10 global contracting organisations based in Australia that each has an annual turnover of about £200 million. We combine those results with findings from another part of that research work relating to developing capability maturity models (CMMs). This paper presents lessons learned from research upon highly competitive and commercially successful organisations that routinely practice project management in their core business. The paper concludes that sticky knowledge provides a useful way of understanding the forces of inertia that often undermine effective knowledge transfer. A key finding is that closer attention to people, process and technology interaction could be used to reduce knowledge stickiness. Also measurement of the impact of stickiness on innovation can be measured using a CMM approach.
Subjects Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) innovation
project management
sticky knowledge
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