Knowing in Firms: Understanding, Managing and Measuring Knowledge


Edited by: Georg von Krogh, Johan Roos & Dirk Kleine

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    In Memory of Gunnar Hedlund

    This book is dedicated to the memory of Gunnar Hedlund, a great contributor in the management field, who was born on 14 December 1949 in Skellefteå, Sweden, and passed away on 18 April 1997 at a hospital in Stockholm. Gunnar studied at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), where he received his master's degree in 1972. He completed his PhD in 1976, at the age of 27. That same year, a new institute was formed at SSE: the Institute of International Business (IIB), founded by the leading Swedish industrialists Ruben Rausing and the two brothers Marcus and Jacob Wallenberg. Gunnar was committed to the Institute from the very beginning, and in 1980 he became the Director of IIB, a position he held for 10 years over the 20-year period he was active at IIB. Gunnar led the Institute to the internationally renowned position it enjoys today.

    Gunnar became a full Professor at SSE in 1988 where, amongst other accomplishments, he actively participated in creating two other important institutes at SSE: the European Institute of Japanese Studies and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Leadership. Over the years, Gunnar sat on the boards of numerous academic institutes and organizations, and served on the editorial board of some 10 academic journals. He spent long periods at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University. Gunnar published many important books and articles in the area of international business and organization theory. He was the father of important management concepts that have had a great influence on many of us. He constantly sought new perspectives and had a unique ability to cross over disciplines - seeing new research opportunities. We will remember Gunnar as a truly exceptional scholar. While his research has come to an end, his spirit and works will live on in the continuing efforts of the Institute.

    Notes on Editors and Contributors


    Georg von Krogh was born on 24 May 1963 in Norway. He is Professor of Management at the University of St Gallen and member of the board of directors at the Institute of Management. He studied engineering at the Norwegian Institute of Technology where he graduated in 1986. In 1990 he received his PhD from the Division of Organization and Work Science at University of Trondheim. From 1991 to 1994 he was an Associate Professor of Strategy at the Norwegian School of Management and Director of the School's MSc programme in international strategy and marketing. Professor von Krogh has been Assistant Professor at SDA Bocconi, Milano. He has been a Research Fellow at the University of Munich and the University of Aachen, and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Hitotsubashi University, Japan. He has also worked as a management consultant at the Center for Applied Strategy in Zug, Switzerland, and he is an active adviser to European and American firms in the area of corporate and competitive strategy. His present research interests are in the area of strategic management: cooperative strategies; strategic processes including knowledge and competence development; strategic management practices in emerging industries; and the foundations of qualitative research in the field of strategy. He has published several books as well as some 30 articles in international scientific journals.

    Johan Roos is a Professor at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Switzerland. He researches how companies become and remain healthy enough to keep adapting to and shaping their own environments. Related areas of research include: knowledge development and ways of knowing in companies; concepts and practices of intellectual capital; the firm as a complex adaptive system; and effective strategy processes in emerging industries. Professor Roos has consulted widely on these issues for both US and European corporations and associations, and frequently presents these ideas at international conferences for both management scholars and practitioners. Professor Roos is the author, or co-author, of more than 40 articles and book chapters, and 12 books. He is Swedish. Before joining IMD as a Professor of Strategy and General Management, he was affiliated with the Norwegian School of Management, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Stockholm School of Economics. He was awarded a PhD degree in international business in 1989, and a MSc degree in agriculture in 1985.

    Dirk Kleine is a Research Associate and doctoral candidate at the University of St Gallen, Institute of Management, in Switzerland. He holds a bachelor degree from Berufsakademie Mannheim, Germany, and an MBA from Lancaster University, United Kingdom. He has been working on different research projects with major European multinationals. Those projects have mainly focused on the pharmaceutical industry and cooperative strategies. Currently he is conducting empirical research on the changing roles and functions of strategic planning departments, involving companies such as BMW, Bayer, Hewlett-Packard and Siemens. He is co-author of a book on environmental information systems and has co-authored articles on knowledge transfer, the pharmaceutical industry and argumentation theory.


    Thomas Bertels is a consultant with Rath & Strong and helps clients accelerating organizational learning through process design efforts involving teams. He is co-author of the book The Intelligent Enterprise: Faster Learning as a Competitive Advantage and several articles on organizational learning and knowledge management. Prior to consulting Mr Bertels was with Asea Brown Boveri, managing a customer service organization.

    Frank Blackler is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Lancaster University Management School. He trained in philosophy and psychology before specializing in organizational psychology and organizational theory. His research has included studies of job design, organizational change and the introduction of new technologies. Currently he is undertaking a major study of innovation in high-technology organizations which involves an analysis of knowledge, learning processes and competitiveness. His books include Job Redesign and Management Control and Whatever Happened to Shell's New Philosophy of Management (with Colin Brown), Applying Psychology in Organizations (with Sylvia Shimmin), Information Technology and People (with David Osborne) and an edited collection Social Psychology and Developing Countries. A collection of papers entitled Organizations and Knowledge edited jointly with Bente Elkjaer and David Courpasson is soon to be published by Sage.

    Bettina Büchel holds a degree in public administration from the University of Constance, Germany, and a master's degree from Rutgers University. After finishing her PhD at the University of Geneva she became an Assistant Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Thailand. She is currently teaching MBA students from 25 different Asian countries. Her research interests include cooperative strategies, organizational learning and knowledge management. Dr Büchel is a consultant to several multinational corporations and international organizations, including AT&T, Hewlett-Packard and the World Health Organization. In 1995 she co-founded the Geneva Knowledge Group.

    Norman Crump is a research fellow at Lancaster University Management School. He has a degree in organization studies from Lancaster University, following a former career in the public sector. He is currently involved in a major research project looking at the innovative management of innovation in high-technology industries. His research interests include knowledge, learning and the influences of globalization on organizations.

    Peter Gomez was born in 1947 in St Gallen, Switzerland. He followed graduate and doctoral studies at the University of St Gallen. From 1977 to 1978 he was Visiting Professor at the State University of New York; from 1978 to 1989 he was Senior Vice-President of Switzerland's leading publishing house Ringier Group and press distribution house Distral Group; and in 1989 he became founding partner of Valcor, consultants for strategic management and M&A. Since 1990 he has been Professor for Management and Organization and Director of the Institute of Management at the University of St Gallen, and from 1995 to 1997 Dean of the Business Administration Faculty. He is the author of 10 books and over 50 other publications on strategic management, systems thinking in management and creating shareholder value.

    Lars Huemer is a PhD candidate in business administration at the Umeå Business School, Umeå University, Sweden. He graduated with a BS in business marketing and organizational theory from Umeå University in 1989. His research interests include the nature and roles of trust in business relationships, and the link between trust and knowledge development and knowledge transfer in organizations.

    Tom Housel specializes in telecommunications, information technology, value-based business process reengineering and knowledge value management. He is currently Visiting Associate Professor for Information Management at the University of Southern California. He has been the Chief Business Process Engineer for Pacific Bell and his last assignment in the corporate world was as the Chief of Consumer Market Research for Telecom Italia in Venice. He is Managing Partner for Business Process Auditors, a firm which specializes in management development using a methodology for measuring the return generated by business processes and corporate knowledge assets. He received his PhD from the University of Utah. Dr Housel won the prestigious Society for Information Management award for the best paper, and his work on measuring the value of intellectual capital has been featured in a Fortune cover story and Investor's Business Daily articles.

    Kazuo Ichijo is an Associate Professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. He received a BA (social sciences) and an MA (social sciences) from Hitotsubashi University, and a PhD (business administration) from the University of Michigan. His research interests are focused on knowledge development and management in organizations, and on innovation at three levels: the project level, the organization level and the industry level. Professor Ichijo has published papers in Japan and the US, and has conducted numerous management seminars.

    Valery Kanevsky is currently Senior Industry Consultant at Hewlett-Packard, and was the Lead Member of Technical Staff at Pacific Bell Telephone in San Ramon, California. He is an expert in the application of complexity theory to fundamental business problems such as calculating the value added by component processes and information technology. He is also an internationally recognized authority in mathematical modelling and simulation.

    Rodrigo Magalhães is currently Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the London School of Economics, Department of Information Systems. His research topic is the impact of information systems implementation on the organization's knowledge system. Other research interests include information systems and organizational change, and inter-cultural management. He is faculty member of the Department of Economics and Management at the Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon. He holds an MBA from the University of Sheffield, an MA from the Leeds Metropolitan University, and a BA from the University of Natal, South Africa.

    Donald A. Marchand (PhD, MA, UCLA) is Professor of Information Management at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). He was formerly Dean and Professor of Information Management at the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University and Professor of IS and Director, Institute for Information Management, Technology and Policy, College of Business Administration, University of South Carolina. Professor Marchand is a consultant and speaker to numerous corporations and government organizations on the strategic management of information and technology. His research interests include the strategic role of IT in enterprise transformation and business process redesign, managing information and knowledge assets, and reengineering IS/IT strategies and organizations.

    Seonaidh McDonald is a research fellow at the University of Lancaster Management School. As an undergraduate she studied management science at Stirling University, where she later undertook a PhD in the waste management field. Following a period at the Department of Management Science at the University of Strathclyde, evaluating group decision support methods with Professor Colin Eden, she joined a multi-disciplinary research team at Lancaster looking at the management of innovation. Seonaidh is interested in how boundaries between different specialists and interest groups can be successfully managed, and in teaching the realities of research.

    Günter Müller-Stewens studied business administration at the University of Regensburg. He was Research Assistant at the Department of Statistics and at the Institute for Organizational Science at the University of Munich. He did a research stay at both Harvard Business School and Stanford Business School. He was Professor of Strategic Planning, Organization and Human Resource Management at Duisburg University. Since 1991 he has been Professor of Management and Organization at the University of St Gallen and Director of its Institute of Management. He is author of several books and publications on statistics, strategic management and organization. He is editor of the M&A Review and member of the editorial board of the CEMS Business Review. He is consultant to several international companies.

    Ikujiro Nonaka is a Professor and Director of the Institute of Business Research at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. He received MBA and PhD degrees from the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley. Professor Nonaka's research on the management of innovation and organizational structure has been widely published in English and Japanese journals and books, and he has conducted numerous seminars for Japanese and English scholars and managers. His recent work The Knowledge-Creating Company (co-author, Oxford University Press, 1995) was awarded the Best Book of the Year in Business and Management.

    Gilbert Probst is Professor for Organization and Management and Director of the MBA programme at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He did his PhD and habilitation at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. Professor Probst has written more than 20 books and over 80 journal articles, mainly in the fields of systemic and cybernetic thinking in management, problem solving, organizational learning, developmental management and knowledge management. He is a member of the board of Neue Warenhaus AG (EPA/UNIP), SKU and Kuoni Travel (all in Switzerland) and a consultant to many multinational corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Ciba-Geigy, Winterthur Insurance, Hilti and Swissair. In 1995 he was a co-founder of the Geneva Knowledge Group.

    Steffen Raub holds degrees in business administration from the University of Mannheim (Germany) and ESSEC (France). Since 1994 he has been a Research Assistant with Professor Probst at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. His research focuses on organizational learning and knowledge management, strategic management (in particular organizational capabilities) and qualitative research methods. Publications include two books and several journal articles. He is a consultant to a variety of national and multinational corporations, including Falke (Germany), Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Swiss Bank Corporation and Coop (Switzerland). In 1995 he co-founded the Geneva Knowledge Group.

    Keigo Sasaki is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics and Business Administration, Yokohama City University. He received a BA (economics) from Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, and an MA (commercial science) from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan. His current research interests are focused on organizational technological knowledge and individual skill, and knowledge creation and learning in organizations.

    Charles Savage is President of Knowledge Era Enterprises, Inc. in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and author of the newly revised edition of Fifth Generation Management: Co-Creating through Dynamic Teaming, Virtual Enterprising and Knowledge Networking.

    Jürgen Schüppel was born in 1963. He is partner of the Munich-based Pi Group (Partner for Change and Innovation). The main focus of his work as a consultant is on strategy, business process reengineering and systemic aspects to realize the fundamental management of change. In 1997 he was appointed Professor for Strategy and Organization at the Kolping-Fachhochschule in Riedlingen. He studied business administration and psychology at the University of Munich, Germany, and received his doctoral degree for his dissertation on knowledge management at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland.

    Gabriele Troilo holds a PhD in business administration and is Assistant Professor of Marketing at University L. Bocconi. His main research areas are focused on resource-based marketing, cognitive mapping and environmental management. He is author of several articles and books.

    Katsuhiro Umemoto obtained a BA in economics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, studied information science at Syracuse University in New York and communication science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He holds a PhD in public policy from Washington University, USA. Currently Dr Umemoto is Professor of Social Systems at the Graduate School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. His major research interests include epistemology of public policy and indigenous peoples’ knowledge systems.

    Markus Venzin is Assistant Professor at Bocconi University of Milan, Italy. He got his doctoral degree at the University of St Gallen (HSG) and is working with a number of innovative firms in the field of strategic management, focusing on knowledge processes in strategic conversations. His research concentrates on the development of a knowledge-based model to understand and create the company's future.

    Salvatore Vicari is Professor of Business Administration at Bocconi University, Milan, and the Director of Human Resources Development at SDA Bocconi, the Graduate School of Business Administration. He has published extensively in the fields of strategy, marketing and organization theory. His current research interests cover the new sciences as they apply to firms, among them autopoiesis and chaos theory. Professor Vicari is a member of several editorial boards and also an active management consultant in the areas of strategy and management.

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