Organisational culture and knowledge creation : the relationship between knowledge creation enablers and organisational culture types

Khanyile, Dumisani (2009-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Information Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The thesis studies the relationship between knowledge creation and organisational culture. To do that the relations between Nonaka's enabling conditions and the four organisational culture types according to the competing value framework of Cameron and Quinn were tested in two organisations. Whilst many authors are critical of the specifics of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s model of knowledge conversion, most seem to agree with their argument about the requisite enabling conditions for knowledge creation. It is argued that these enabling conditions are shaped by the organisational culture and therefore this relation is of some importance. The empirical research was based on two part questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire concerned the knowledge creation enablers. The indicators for this part of the instrument had to be developed from the knowledge creation literature. The second part of the questionnaire was based on the validated Cameron and Quinn organisational culture assessment instrument. Since Nonaka recommends a middle-up-down approach for managing knowledge creation in organisations, the questionnaire was directed at the middle management of the selected organisations. 140 questionnaires were sent out and two organisations had adequate responses for statistical data analysis. The results showed that one organisation has a strong market culture. This organisation displayed requisite variety, creative chaos and autonomy as enablers for knowledge creation. The market culture is an organisation’s response to an environment filled with complexities of the brand market which requires the presence of requisite variety and creative chaos. The organisation uses autonomous work teams, hence the prominence of autonomy. The second organisation competes in the business solutions market. Here, the dominant culture type was that of a clan and the organisation was strong in most knowledge creation enablers except redundancy and ba. The dominance in clan culture is in line with a medium size company that is competing in the big league of providers of business solutions and the organisation believes that its success is in providing unique business solutions thanks to teamwork and working like family. It is concluded that for an organization to be competitive requires one dominant appropriate culture and not necessarily all knowledge creating enablers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die tesis ondersoek die verband tussen kennisskepping en organisasie kultuur. Dit word gedoen deur die relasie tussen Nonaka se omgewingsomstandighede vir kennisskepping en die vier organisatoriese kultuurtipes van Cameron en Quinn in twee organisasies te meet. Terwyl baie skrywers krities is oor die besonderhede van Nonaka en Takeuchi se model van kennisskepping, is die meeste met hulle eens oor die omgewingsomstandighede wat kennisskepping in staat stel. Daar word geargumenteer dat hierdie omgewingsomstandighede hoofsaaklik deur die organisasie kultuur beïnvloed word en daarom is hierdie verband belangrik. Die empiriese navorsing is gebaseer op ‘n tweeledige vraelys. Die eerste deel handel oor die omgewingsomstandighede en die indikatore hiervoor is uit die teorie ontwikkel. Die tweede deel van die vraelys is gebaseer op ‘n reeds gevalideerde instrument van Cameron en Quinn wat organisatoriese kultuurtipes probeer vasstel. Omdat Nonaka klem lê op die sentrale rol van middelbestuur in organisatoriese kennisskepping, is die vraelyste op middelbestuurders in geselekteerde organisasies gemik. 140 vraelyste is uitgestuur en twee organisasies het genoeg response gehad vir statistiese verwerking. Die resultate toon dat een organisasie ‘n sterk markkultuur het. Hierdie organisasie vertoon vereiste verskeidenheid, kreatiewe chaos en outonomie as omgewingsomstandighede wat kennisskepping sou instaat stel. Die markkultuur is ‘n organisasie se respons op ‘n omgewing gevul met kompleksiteit en dit vereis verskeidenheid. Die organisasie gebruik ook outonome werkspanne en daarom meet outonomie ook hoog. Die tweede organisasie kompeteer in die besigheidskonsultasiemark. Hier was die dominante kultuurtipe dié van klan. Die organisasie het hoog gemeet in al die omgewingsomstandighede behalwe oortolligheid en ba. Die dominansie van klan-tipe kultuur strook met ‘n mediumgrootte maatskappy wat unieke oplossings moet bied gebaseer op spanwerk in kompetisie met groter konsultasie maatskappye. Die gevolgtrekking is dat ‘n dominante kultuurtipe ‘n voordeel is vir ‘n organisasie om te kan kompeteer, eerder as die teenwoordigheid van al die omgewingsomstandighede vir kennisskepping.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4045
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