Conceptualising needs to enhance organisational learning and enable knowledge-based innovation

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Organisational learning causes organisational change; it utilises and results in (new) knowledge. Needs are crucial in these processes, since they govern behaviour and cause us to act. Consequently, it seems to be worthwhile to consider what needs are and how they can be exploited in organisational learning processes enabling innovation. In this conceptual paper, I theorise on the concept of need and argue why considering needs is beneficial in learning and innovation processes, such as vision or strategy development, in which various expectations which presumably emerge from shared needs have to be combined. Based on a trans-disciplinary literature review, I emphasise the principle of equifinality and propose a one-to-many relation between needs and their means of satisfaction. In order to take advantage of this relation, we have to understand what needs are and how they are linked to other phenomena. Therefore, I introduce an ontology, which aims at clarifying the concept of need for organisational practice and points at a specific type of knowledge crucial in the transition from needs to need satisfaction. I argue that this knowledge has to be generated and utilised in organisational learning processes.




Kragulj, F. (2016). Conceptualising needs to enhance organisational learning and enable knowledge-based innovation. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 99, pp. 195–212). Elsevier B.V.

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