Extending the knowledge advantage: Creating learning chains

  • Maqsood T
  • Walker D
  • Finegan A
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Abstract

Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to develop a synergy between the approaches of knowledge management in a learning organisation and supply chain management so that learning chains can be created in order to unleash innovation and creativity by managing knowledge in supply chains.Design/methodology/approach ? Through extensive literature review, commonalities between knowledge management and supply chain management were elicited. Knowledge Advantage framework, which was developed as a part of CRC for Construction Innovation Australia, research project ?Delivering improved knowledge management and ICT diffusion in Australian construction industry?, has been proposed to extend across the supply chain in order to develop learning chains.Findings ? The paper provides a conceptual grounding for future research in the area of knowledge management and supply chain management and suggests that, as unit of competition changes from organisation vs organisation to chain vs chain under supply chain management, learning organisation itself will not be an answer to the complex and dynamic business environment. The learning chains are to be created instead, through managing knowledge in supply chains that will facilitate innovation and creativity essentially required to thrive in the unpredictable business environment of today.Originality/value ? The paper explores the role of knowledge management to serve as such a vehicle in the emerging paradigm of supply chain management through which innovation and creativity can be unleashed by a collaborative effort of all the members of the supply chain. This paper explains how the benefit derived from a KM initiative termed as ?knowledge advantage framework (K?adv)?, originally developed for a certain single organisation, can be extended across the supply chain partners, which helps creating a culture of knowledge sharing through which a knowledge advantage for the whole supply chain can be developed. It can then be used to unleash creativity and innovation in the construction projects.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Innovation
  • Knowledge management
  • Learning organizations
  • Supply chain management

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Authors

  • Tayyab Maqsood

  • Derek Walker

  • Andrew Finegan

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