Academic journal article Competition Forum

Using Bayesian Networks to Manage the Power of Learning, Knowledge and Innovation

Academic journal article Competition Forum

Using Bayesian Networks to Manage the Power of Learning, Knowledge and Innovation

Article excerpt

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Knowledge Management (KM) has emerged as a strategy to improve organizational competitiveness. A challenge of future knowledge management and decision support systems is to combine the storage and effective reuse of data. In this paper, we show that Bayesian Networks, as they have emerged in marketing and in medicine, are now contributing to grand challenge firms, in their endeavor to be more competitive and managing the power of learning, knowledge and innovation. After some essential definitions, we looked into how to apply the Bayesian networks to the Resource-Based View of the firm using a case study based on data from a sample of French professional firms.

Keywords: Organizational learning, knowledge management, innovation, knowledge-based competencies, networks

INTRODUCTION

From its genesis in ancient times, through its pinnacle during the Tang dynasty, until its slow demise seven hundred years ago, the Silk Road played a unique role in foreign trade, religion, culture and political relations that stretched beyond China itself. Its mark is seen on civilizations on all sides of the Asian continent. Travel was then limited to camels and horses. Today's world, with the latest developments in global networks where the Internet connects even the most remote locales, coupled with changes in political and economic systems, makes the Silk Road a global phenomenon. The commonality across the Silk Road and Global Networks is not trade per se, but people. People are and always have been the spark that, when ignited, make things happen (Theme of the AIB 2006 Annual Meeting, Beijing, China, June 23 - 26, 2006).

Educational systems in the Asia-Pacific region are adapting to the new opportunities and challenges of increasingly knowledge-based societies. In the context of this shift towards a new educational paradigm, the mainstreaming of new technologies and the contribution of Bayesian Networks within educational systems can contribute to improving the quality of learning, of knowledge transfer, and in forming potentially creative and innovative generations of people that are the basis of firms' competitiveness. Furthermore, the rapid growth in the market for outsourced research services from India destined for the U.S. and Europe is beginning to expose weak links in the chain. Depending on the nature of the research being outsourced, Indian companies are preparing for the next level of growth by bridging gaps in skills across the organization with investments in training and development.

At one end of the spectrum are easily transferable, cookie-cutter skill sets in data collection and reporting formats. At the other are high-end research programs that involve extremely sensitive and closely guarded insights into corporate business strategies. Softer skills that involve communication, business culture, and general professional standards also form part of the equation. Another reason to foster learning, knowledge, and innovation is that intense and global competition, an explosion in information technology, and the emergence of a knowledge based economy are continually reshaping the world's business environment. As never before, success, indeed survival, requires firms to become learning organizations. They must create the organizational conditions that lead to the continual acquisition of what Dr. W. Edward Deeming termed "profound knowledge." The purpose of organizational learning and the acquisition of organizational knowledge is to provide the foundation for rapid, dramatic organizational change that enhances the firm's strategic flexibility; increasingly the fundamental requirement for organizational success. A company's ability to learn and innovate is a direct driver of the company's capability to increase revenues, profits, and economic value. To launch new and superior products, to continually improve operating efficiencies and to create more value for customers requires the ability to learn. …

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