In today’s global knowledge economy, global knowledge management is a key factor in any company’s competitiveness. The theories of global knowledge management that emphasize the importance of external knowledge, such as “metanational management” and “open innovation,” however, have critical flaws: the inherent difficulty a company has in obtaining and mobilizing valuable knowledge from global sources and then effectively applying it to companies with strength and ability to solve the complexity. My main objective was to create a theory without this flaw that companies can use to effectively apply global knowledge. I did this by analyzing, from a business architecture perspective, the management styles of many leading companies (Sony, Sharp, Funai, and Vizio in the LCD-TV field; Canon in digital cameras; Honda in automobiles; and NTN in bearing and joints). I developed the idea of an “integral process” by looking at business architectures, especially integral architectures. I defined the integral process as a way to solve complexity of interdependencies and create core knowledge at the organizational and/or inter-organizational level and as a way to integrate diverse knowledge in order to contribute to this new knowledge. Then, I developed a theory of “integral core knowledge management” for global manufacturing. This theory is comprised of three key strategies: Knowledge Convergence, to converge potential knowledge from global sources in order to evaluate and develop it; Knowledge Integration, to integrate knowledge in order to solve complexity of interdependencies and to create new core knowledge at the local level; and Knowledge Divergence, to promote the divergence of knowledge and maximize company value and profits. Knowledge Integration is the key concept with the integral process, while Knowledge Divergence focuses more on the use of “mother factories” to develop production technology locally as a core knowledge, which is then diverged to globally located factories. The application of integral core knowledge management to companies can increase their performance in a way unachievable with the modularity approach and can also shorten the total input time and reduce the resources used by developing core knowledge at the organizational and/or inter-organizational level.
|Keywords:||Knowledge Management, Architecture, Modularity, Integral, Liquid Crystal Display|
Professor, Graduate School of Management, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Oita, Japan
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