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Title: Knowledge diffusion in small organization : observational and data-driven case study
Author: Kehal, Mounir
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 0816
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2009
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Attempts to manage knowledge of innovative organizations may prove to be complex, as such is assumed to be one of the main variables whilst a distinguishing factor of such organizations to survive within a marketplace. As their main asset is the Knowledge of certain highly motivated individuals that appear to share a common vision for the continuity of the organization. Satellite technology is a good example of that. From early pioneers to modern day mini/micro satellites and nanotechnologies, one can see a large amount of risk at every stage in the development of a satellite technology, from inception to design phase, from design to delivery, from lessons learnt from failures to those learnt from successes, and from revisions to design and development of successful satellites. In their groundbreaking book The Knowledge Creating Company (1995), Nonaka et al laid out a model of how organisational knowledge is created through four conversion processes, being from: tacit to explicit (externalisation), explicit to tacit (internalisation), tacit to tacit (socialisation), and explicit to explicit (combination). Key to this model is the authors' assertion that none are individually sufficient. All must be present to fuel one another. However, such knowledge creation and diffusion was thought to have manifested and only applied within large organizations and conglomerates. Observational (questionnaire-based) and systematic (corpus-based) studies-through case study elicitation experiments and analysis of specialist text, can support research in knowledge management. Organizations that manufacture, use, and maintain satellites depend on a continuous exchange of ideas, criticisms, and congratulations. One can regard such organizations from NASA to SSTL as amongst a class of knowledge-based organizations. Through selective use of the previously stated approaches, and case study research methodology, we are to investigate on how knowledge flows in a finite organizational setting and could be modelled by specialist text. We aim to describe in this thesis our understanding of the nature of a specialist organization in a quantifiable manner. We have examined how knowledge flows and is adapted between commercial and research types of corpora. One of the major results deduced from the observational study was that knowledge diffusion is paramount within the lifetime of an organization, and could be supported by information systems. Leading us to investigate on how Knowledge diffusion takes place, in an empirical way. Our analysis shows that research papers (created within educational institution) and commercial documents (created within spin-offs of such higher education institution) can be distinguished rather on the basis of single word and compound terms. These two lexical signatures show the potential for identifying points of mutual interest in the diffusion of knowledge from the research institution to the commercialization process, thus to application(s) within a domain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available