Pragmatic account of the process of knowledge creation in a Chinese context – How Socially-Produced Identity is transformed into economic production
Knowledge is regarded as important for creating organisational value and enhancing organisational competitiveness, especially in an unpredictable environment (Nonaka, 1994). However, there is little understanding of how knowledge is created in organisations, nor of how the knowledge creation process can be managed (Tsoukas & Mylonopoulos, 2004).This study is grounded on the idea that understanding contexts is crucial in managing the knowledge creation process (Glisby & Holden, 2003). More specifically, it is based on the idea that it is important to understand how identity is formed in the Chinese context, and how this leads to social knowledge that supports coordination and communication, which facilitates subsequent transformation of identity into economic productivity that creates a firm’s superiority over competitors (Kogut & Zander, 1996).It examines the process of organisational knowledge creation from the perspective of Chinese entrepreneurs in Semarang, Indonesia, for these reasons: first, studies on Chinese businesses have been predominantly based on Western management concepts, and do not represent the real situations in the Chinese context (Tsui, 2006); second, most of the extant studies on organisational knowledge creation have been inspired by Nonaka & Takeuchi’s(1995) generic model of continuous knowledge conversion as the fundamental process for knowledge creation. Despite the popularity of Nonaka’s work, it is based on business practices in large Japanese firms, which limits its generalisability to other social contexts, including the Chinese one under examination here. Further, the study of Chinese entrepreneurs in Indonesia, particularly in Semarang (a close-knit Chinese society), is undeveloped despite their significant contribution to the national economy.
Conference: Otago Business PhD Colloquium, Otago, New Zealand
Keywords: knowledge creation process; identity is formed; Chinese context; organisational knowledge creation; Chinese businesse; Chinese entrepreneurs; Indonesia
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)