Knowledge management and hybrid governance

Just finalized and submitted a short abstract. What else would a researcher do on a beautiful Saturday morning?

In my abstract, I discuss the implications of increasing hybridization on strategic knowledge management. The actual article will use illustrative case examples to pinpoint some of the critical knowledge management questions that arise from the collaboration of different types of organizations (i.e., for-profit and non-profit) and governance models (i.e. hierarchy, markets and networks).

My argument is that the literature on knowledge strategies has paid little attention to these questions despite of their obvious importance and high practical relevance. I am trying to make a point that hybrid governance will challenge some of the basic principles of a knowledge strategy as those are perceived in the knowledge management literature.

Based on my previous research related to performance management and knowledge management, I am now wondering if there is a need to update our thinking on knowledge strategies. The questions arises from my previous observation that “the development focus is turning from individual organizations to horizontal service processes, meaning that the unit of analysis needs to be changed” (Laihonen and Mäntylä, 2018).

Now, I am asking myself, what would this change mean in practice, and what kind of implications this change would have on knowledge management theory and practice?

Theoretically, I will try to link the discussions on knowledge strategies and governance. Whereas the unit of analysis in the strategic knowledge management literature is an organization, and its objectives and business strategy, the hybrid governance literature acknowledges the presence of, for example, mixed ownership, goal incongruence and competing institutional logics.

I think, and have seen this in practice, that in hybrid settings several open questions regarding, for example, organizational identity, legitimacy and accountability arise. Moreover, I also argue that knowledge management literature is not able answer these questions alone. Instead, there is a clear need to consider the very nature of the hybrid organization and its governance models.

With my glasses, the literature on knowledge governance makes some important contributions on the topic but focuses too much on governing knowledge management initiatives and lack some of the critical viewpoints of more general governance discussions.

What a way to start your weekend. New questions, new challenges and a beautiful summer day ahead.

P.S. if you have already done something in this area or even solved the puzzle, drop me a link to your paper so I will not be re-inventing the wheel.

P.P.S. check our project’s website http://hyper.uta.fi

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