Integral Core Knowledge Management for Global Manufacturing: A Business Architecture Perspective on Learning from Leading-Edge Companies

By Yukihiko Nakata.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.13-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.924MB).

Prof. Yukihiko Nakata

Professor, Graduate School of Management, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Oita, Japan

He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Kobe University, Japan in 1969 and 1971 and Ph.D. of Engineering from Osaka University in 1992. He joined Sharp Corporation, Central Research Laboratories in 1971. He has been engaged in the R&D of electroluminescence (EL) devices, Solar Cells, and Tin Film Transistor for Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). He, then, worked at Sharp Microelectronics Technology as a Deputy General Manager of LCD Group and Sharp Laboratories of America as a Director of LCD at U.S.A. from 1997 to 2000. He worked at the LCD Laboratories, Sharp Corporation, Japan as a Chief Technical Research Fellow from 2000. Also, He worked at Advanced LCD Technologies Development Center Co. Ltd., Yokohama. Then, He joined Asia Pacific University as a Professor from 2004 to present. He received the Chairman’s Award of Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation as a pioneer of EL.

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