Saturday, July 15, 2006

Knowledge Processes

A Model of Knowledge Processes in a Manufacturing Company

Jambekar, Anil B., Pelc, Karol I.

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 17, Issue 3, (2006) p. 315 - 331

A dynamic model of knowledge and know-how value creation and its interactions with core product and business processes is proposed. It combines three basic elements: business process problem solving, learning, and knowledge accumulation, into one meta-process. A model of management system incorporating the insights from the dynamic model of knowledge creation as applied to a mid-size manufacturing company is presented. A managerial dashboard is proposed as a tool allowing managers to access information from sources inside and outside the company. The tool operates as a hypertext system and includes modules corresponding to the internal core processes of company and its interfaces with customers, suppliers and external knowledge sources. A case study on an instrumentation manufacturing company is included as illustration of the proposed model.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Knowledge Mapping

Knowledge mapping

Karol I. Pelc

Chapter in: D. Clarke (ed.) Theory of Technology, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, 2005,
p. 25 – 34.


Knowledge mapping is applied for analysis of the emerging discipline of management of technology and identifying its source disciplines such as economics, management science, psychology, engineering sciences, systems science, and sociology.. Influence of three paradigms: (1) engineering management paradigm, (2) technology management paradigm, and (3) technological entrepreneurship paradigm is also presented as an evolutionary mechanism for the new discipline.
Technology Management in Japan

Strategic management of technology in Japanese firms

Kurokawa, S., Pelc, K. I., Fujisue, K.

International Journal of Technology Management, 2005, 30, 3 & 4, p. 223 – 247.


The paper reviews literature on strategic management of technology in Japanese firms. It is divided into five sections, namely: 1. Technology strategy, 2. Inter-firm technological relations, 3. Knowledge management, 4. New product development, and 5. Japanese innovation system and policy. The authors examine literature on technology strategy, including general strategy, studies on de facto standards, global technology strategy, and studies on small high-tech firms. Then, they investigate inter-firm relations, such as keiretsu and supplier management, technological alliances, spin-offs, and R&D consortia. Finally they review studies on new product development processes and tools, and technology policy, followed by implications for further research.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Theory of Technology

On Adam Smith and a Theory of Technology

Karol I. Pelc

Review of definitions and theoretical works concerning technology suggests that different disciplinary frameworks lead to very different interpretations of that basic term. These interpretations are presented in the literature of such disciplines as economics, philosophy, sociology, psychology etc. In search for coherent background and a model of technology, a study of Adam Smith’s (1723 – 1790) historic works and statements was conducted. A hypothesis is formulated that Smith’s economic, social, ethical and legal concepts are relevant to contemporary theory of technology. This connection has been explored. Even though the term technology has never appeared in the Smith’s writings, his concepts refer to multiple aspects of technology and its impact on society. These concepts include: barter and exchange, division of labor, arts and manufactures, inventions, patents, and utility. Mapping of those concepts into a set of attributes of technology, as an object of management, is proposed. It is graphically demonstrated and described.

Keywords: Adam Smith, technology attributes, technology definition, technology model, technology theory, economics history.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Knowledge Networks

Knowledge Generating Networks: A Challenge to Intellectual Entrepreneurs

Karol I. Pelc

Chapter in: S. Kwiatkowski and P. Houdayer (eds.) "Intellectual Entrepreneurship: Through or Against Institutions," Warsaw, PL, L. K. Academy of Entrepreneurship and Management, 2004, p. 99-112.


Knowledge generating networks (KGN), supported by modern information technology, became a new and promising form of collaboration in both basic/exploratory research and in technological R&D. They create new opportunities and represent a challenge to intellectual entrepreneurs. This paper addresses four issues: (1)What are the functions of knowledge generating networks in different phases of R&D activity? (2) What are the properties of knowledge generating networks? (3) What is the role of intellectual entrepreneur and his/her contribution to the success of a KGN? (4) What relationship exists between configuration of a KGN and the need for intellectual entrepreneurship? Review of KGN’s functions indicates that this form of collaborative activity creates favorable conditions for R&D process by improving the flow of knowledge and stimulating creativity of collaborating actors. Importance of KGN in each phase of that process has been assessed in terms of improvement the KGN may offer. Special properties of KGN have been listed, illustrated with examples, and discussed in the context of potential role an intellectual entrepreneur may play in their development and nurturing. This analysis suggests that intellectual entrepreneurs always contribute to success of knowledge generating network which they are actively involved in. However the importance and character of those contributions depend on both the nature of research activity the KGN is oriented at and on the institutional context in which the KGN operates. The entrepreneurial component of knowledge networking is most important in the case of freely configured collaborative system of KGN, which involves actors/researchers on voluntary basis and across institutional boundaries. The same observation applies to business ventures in the form of knowledge/innovation networks, in which small-size R&D firms participate as actors. The conclusion is derived that even though institutions may constitute useful framework for some types of knowledge generating networks, the highest creativity, efficiency and benefits may be expected of those networks, which involve most actively the intellectual entrepreneurs and operate across institutional boundaries or independently of them.