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Knowledge Management Framework to Enhance Innovation

Hanlie Ippel, Adeline Du Toit


This article questions whether knowledge resources can act as critical enablers for successful innovation in an enterprise in the South African information communications technology (ICT) industry, and discusses the role of knowledge resources in enhancing innovation. The research reported on indicated that there is little empirical evidence that knowledge resources are used to enhance innovation in the enterprise. A case study was conducted in an engineering enterprise functioning in the high-end market of the ICT industry. Data was gathered through in-depth interviews with managers and documents were reviewed for an in-depth understanding of the enterprise. The enterprise has defined its software development processes as agile processes and has placed a very high premium on learning and knowledge transfer within these processes. The Development Engineering Division relies on small teams for knowledge resource sharing. The Sales and Marketing Division collects information to transfer into knowledge resources. The Research and Technology Design Division identifies solutions that are ahead of the market and employees share knowledge on lessons learnt from practice. The Business Services Division ensures that structures and practices are in place to support and encourage innovation. The Internal Support Services Division provides operational support and knowledge resources harnessed through these processes may enhance innovation of the product offering. A knowledge creation (KC) model was developed by combining several models and theories to analyse the use of knowledge resources for knowledge creation in the enterprise. It is recommended that knowledge management be aligned with the enterprise’s business strategy to enhance innovation.


case studies; enterprises; innovation; knowledge management; knowledge resources

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