Knowledge development through regulation : a case study of the knowledge contribution of the public regulator to electronic bingo technology

Sibuyi, Johannes Zeni (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Knowledge development for innovation often occurs in a regulated environment, raising the question whether regulation inhibits knowledge development. In most regulated industries, organizations are required to submit their new products to a regulator to get approval prediffusion for consumption. Innovating organizations routinely perceive those responsible for implementation and enforcement of the regulations as incompetent, lacking in both understanding and capacity to evaluate the new innovations. The typical regulator's strategic knowledge posture is therefore regarded as knowledge exploitation of already existing products and services, due to the perceived lack of incentive to enable innovation and knowledge creation. Classical economic theory affirms the view of regulation as a compliance burden that increases opportunity costs for innovating organizations, since many resources used to comply with regulatory requirements could have been used for innovation efforts instead. The Porter Hypothesis (1991) counters this view of the relationship between regulation and innovation based on empirical evidence that, where the environment allows, regulation induces innovation and enhances competitiveness. The thesis proceeds from the Porter Hypothesis and aims to highlight specific instances where knowledge development was enhanced by the regulator. To do this, the thesis focuses on gambling regulation in South Africa and takes the development of the Electronic Bingo Terminals (EBT) gambling product as a case study. Through document review and interviews of stakeholders in the EBT product development and regulation process, empirical evidence is presented of instances where the public regulator induced knowledge development and supported innovation. A data analysis framework inspired by Boisot's (1998) I-space and Schumpeterian learning is used to analyse the interview and documentary data about how the EBT product came into existence and to highlight the knowledge creation and development aspects identified in the process of evaluating and approving the EBTs by the public regulator. It is demonstrated that the EBT product was unlikely to meet the diffusion equirements and the success thresholds in the gambling market without the knowledge contribution from the public regulator. The contribution from the regulator was found to spring from knowledge embedded in its employees, their practices and operational methods. For this reason, it is argued that such contributions are likely to manifest in other products and approval requests. It is concluded that the public regulator supported knowledge development in several ways in the case of the development of EBTs and that a closer look at regulatory knowledge contribution offers an important perspective on the management of knowledge for innovation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Kennisontwikkeling vir innovasie vind gereeld in 'n gereguleerde omgewing plaas, wat die vraag laat ontstaan of regulasie kennisontwikkeling inhibeer of nie. In die meeste gereguleerde industrieë word van organisasies verwag om toestemming van die reguleerder te kry alvorens nuwe produkte versprei mag word. Innoverende organisasies sien gewoonlik die reguleerder as inkompetent, met 'n tekort aan beide insig en vermoë om die nuwe produkte te evalueer. Die tipiese reguleerder se strategiese kennishouding word gesien as kenniseksploitasie van reeds bestaande produkte en dienste, aangesien die insentief om innovasie en kennis-skepping te ondersteun blyk te ontbreek. Klassieke ekonomiese teorie bevestig die siening van regulasie as 'n nakomingslas was die geleentheidskoste vir innoverende organisasies verhoog, want baie bronne wat toegespits word op regulasies kon eerder vir innovasie gebruik word. Die Porter Hipotese (1991) stem nie met hierdie siening van die verhouding tussen innovasie en regulasie saam nie, gebaseer op empiriese bewyse dat, waar die omgewing toelaat, regulasie innovasie kan induseer en kompeteerbaarheid verbeter. Die tesis beweeg van die Porter Hipotese uit en poog om spesifieke gevalle waar kennisontwikkeling deur die reguleerder ondersteun is te bespreek. Die tesis fokus op dobbelregulasie in Suid-Afrika en beskryf 'n gevallestudie van die ontwikkeling van Elektroniese Bingo Terminale (EBTs) as 'n dobbelproduk. Deur dokument-analise en onderhoude met persone betrokke by die produkontwikkeling- en goedkeuringsproses van EBTs, word empiriese bewyse aangevoer van geleenthede waar die publieke reguleerder kennisontwikkeling en kennis-skepping aangehelp het. 'n Data-analise raamwerk geïnspireer deur Boisot (1998) se I-space en Schumpteriaanse leerproses is gebruik om die onderhoud en dokumentêre data te analiseer oor hoe die EBT produk ontstaan het en om die kennis-skepping en kennisontwikkelingsaspekte te identifiseer in die proses van evaluasie en goedkeuring van die EBTs deur die publieke reguleerder. Daar word gedemonstreer dat die EBT produk onwaarskynlik die verspreidingsvereistes en die suksesmerk in die dobbelmark sou bereik het, as dit nie vir die kennisbydra van die publieke reguleerder was nie. Daar is gevind dat die bydrae van die reguleerder van die kennis ingebed in werknemers, hulle praktyke en operasionele metodes spruit. Vir hierdie rede word geargumenteer dat sulke bydraes moontlik ook in ander produkte en goedkeuringsnavrae neerslag mag vind. Daar word afgesluit met die waarneming dat die publieke reguleerder kennisontwikkeling op verskeie maniere ondersteun het in die geval van EBTs en dat regulatoriese kennisbydraes 'n belangrike perspektief bied die bestuur van kennis vir innovasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103700
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