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Two Ways to Make It Easy to Engage a Global Workforce

global

Two Ways to Make It Easy to Engage a Global Workforce

I attempt to blend scholarly concepts with real-world applications. I place a great deal of emphasis on the literature of information technology and corporate strategy as two significant indicators for financial success. This article adds to a relatively small body of literature but pays homage to the scholarly contributions. I highlight the direct impact of these organizational internal resources factors on financial performance.

Executives will also see that I expand upon the subject matter of a firm’s internal resources. Insufficient consideration of the impacts of these internal resources on financial performance has been exposed and I attempt to address this concern. This article can portray a more detailed picture of the effects of information technology and corporate strategy on financial performance that have been not placed in a model in the past.

Information Technology

Information technology encourages employees to embark on technological facilities, such as shared electronic workspaces, to provide new ideas and possible solutions for solving organizational problems. Information technology plays a critical role in creating a competitive advantage and is therefore aligned with the resource-based theory.  Information technology is necessary to build high-performing companies and also may be necessary as global market demands are increasingly difficult to adapt and sustain profitability.

Financial performance in global markets is dependent on continuous learning. Corporate learning plays a critical role and is a strategic prerequisite for increasing sales and market share in today’s knowledge-based economy. Effective corporate learning can enable companies to actively respond to environmental changes and customer needs and organizational members’ growth needs. Thus, information technology is a key factor that should be embraced at the senior level of organizations to enable financial performance in globalized markets by building a learning climate and empowering organizational members. In the absence of effective information technology management, companies cannot implement successful plans in order to adapt to today’s global business environment.

Information technology is a key factor to improve financial performance for companies. Earlier studies clearly indicate that effective IT implementation significantly contributes to a company’s’ financial performance. These researches acknowledge that information technology is an important enabler to effectively manage business processes. Information technology can reduce paper-based transactions for companies that can potentially decrease costs and subsequently improve profitability for companies.

Furthermore, it can be seen that information technology enables companies to effectively identify opportunities in an external business environment that leads to identifying the best opportunities for investment that potentially improves financial performance in terms of return on investment. Information technology can also help companies to effectively create more innovative solutions for their organizational problems. More innovative solutions and better ideas can improve the quality of products and services, which in turn increases sales and market share for companies.

Business success for companies in today’s global business environment can be, therefore, achieved when information technology is effectively applied and widely used to achieve a higher degree of financial performance. When information technology can create a learning workplace and inspiring vision for future expansion into global markets, companies will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global marketplace. Thus, I recommend that executives should consider information technology as a key driver for improving financial performance in today’s hypercompetitive environment.

 Corporate Strategy

Executives view organizational strategy is a sum of objectives, plans, and procedures designed to efficiently and effectively upgrade organizational capabilities and interact with their environment more effectively. In particular, strategy defines a pattern to deploy organizational capabilities and interact with both the internal and the external environment. Executives, therefore, manage their knowledge assets to create new ideas and knowledge aimed at achieving commercial objectives. First and foremost, just as one organization is holding knowledge back from competitors they are following suit. Knowledge could be the most important component of success in this ever-changing technological environment of today. Thus, the organizational strategy is an organizational internal resource affecting knowledge and in most cases, knowledge is the most strategic factor of competitive advantage.

Executives are aware that corporate strategy mainly encompasses four aspects: analysis, pro-activeness, defensiveness, and futurity. Analysis strategy is regarded as the tendency to search for problems and their root causes and generates better alternatives to solve them. Analysis strategy, an academic term that is very applicable to the executive span of control is also concurrently aired in the academic circles of higher education. For instance, the analysis strategy is highly related to firms’ capacity to generate new ideas and knowledge and plays a crucial role in acquiring knowledge. Therefore, I appeal to executives across the globe that analysis strategy could improve the quality of products and services, which can in turn enhance profitability and market share.

I also feel that as executives use the pro-activeness strategy which refers to finding new opportunities and proactively responding to current challenges in external environments, they are also enhancing their span of control. Therefore, the pro-activeness strategy can provide a higher degree of knowledge through developing interactions with external environments. As executives effectively use knowledge management for projects and organizational investments they require a continuous investigation from external business environments. The pro-activeness strategy enables companies to identify changes in external environments and accordingly help them to actively respond to these emerging rapid changes.

Some executives feel that a defensive strategy, while necessary, sets a negative connotation on their span of control. However, it is believed that a defensiveness strategic approach enhances efficiency through cutting costs which in turn increases organizational revenue and company’s financial performance.

Futurity strategy can also enhance financial performance by providing a series of clear guidelines for companies to track future trends in the business environment, and accordingly, conduct “what-if” analysis and allocate organizational resources. My explanation of this is clearly within the executive span of control and potentially limits operational risk. My conclusion for executives is that organizational strategy has a positive association with financial performance. Therefore, I suggest that a firm’s ability to enhance financial performance can be highly affected when executives develop and implement an effective corporate strategy.

In Conclusion

This article may be the answer executives need but may also lack the fundamental fortitude necessary to be an all-encompassing model to predict financial performance. Executives can contribute to meet dynamic market needs, through reshaping a firm’s internal resources (i.e. information technology and corporate) to meet the needs of customers in the marketplace. This article has been focusing on thus far is the needs of companies for enhancing financial success. This article also presents executives with organizational internal resources that can be effectively manipulated to improve financial performance and become more profitable.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

knowledge management

Why Knowledge Management is Important to the Success of Your Company

Executives today are more focused on strategic management decision making due to the hypercompetitive global environment and the public and private sector evaluation and opinion. Executes still wonder where is knowledge and how can it be captured, utilized, and enhanced when it comes to decision-making. Executives found that within organizations, knowledge resides in various areas such as management, employees, culture, structure, systems, processes, and relationships, and its role is to enhance organizational functions.

Executives across the globe have found that knowledge is critical to business success. Knowledge, in of itself, is not enough to satisfy the vast array of changes in today’s organization. Therefore, knowledge management is only a necessary precursor to effectively managing knowledge within the organization.

First executives must understand the concept of organizational knowledge itself. Organizational knowledge cannot merely be described as the sum of individual knowledge, but as a systematic combination of knowledge based on social interactions shared among organizational members. Executives can categorize followers based on their human knowledge which focuses on individual knowledge and manifests itself in an individual’s competencies and skills. Executives, being more conceptual, agree with Haridimos Tsoukas who determines organizational knowledge as a collective mind, and Kiku Jones and Lori Leonard who explain organizational knowledge as the knowledge that exists in the organization as a whole. Most importantly, organizational knowledge is owned and disseminated by the organization.

The key take-away for executives is that knowledge is a resource that enables organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making. The key is for executives to convert individual knowledge into valuable resources to ensure that the knowledge is actually helping the organization grow both professionally for individuals and profitably for all stakeholders.

Companies are increasingly investing in knowledge management projects. But knowledge management in companies is still quite limited. Knowledge management can help companies identify their inefficiencies in organizational processes, and subsequently recover them on an instantaneous basis which enables executives to prevent further operational risk. The question remains. How does knowledge management impact executive success?

Executive success is tantamount to organizational performance and in many cases, their salary is concurrently determined on organizational success. By combining knowledge management and executive success, executives are able to answer the questions necessary to apply knowledge management without having to delve through all the models and theories to find what works well for them and what does not. Knowledge is firstly accumulated by creating new knowledge from organizational intellectual capital and acquiring knowledge from external environments.

This knowledge exchange with external business partners develops innovative environments that can enable executives to create a more innovative climate in companies. The knowledge management process enhances the capabilities of executives to play the role of inspirational motivation, which enables executives to directly set highly desired expectations to recognize possible opportunities in the business environment. The knowledge exchange also positively contributes to executives to develop a more effective vision, including a more comprehensive array of information and insights about external environments.

Executives then integrate knowledge internally to enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies in various systems and processes, as well as to be more responsive to market changes. Knowledge integration focuses on monitoring and evaluating knowledge management practices, coordinating experts, sharing knowledge, and scanning the changes of knowledge requirements to keep the quality of their products or services in-line with market demand. It is apparent that knowledge integration activities can help executives assessing the required changes to keep the quality of both products and services at maximum levels. Furthermore, a systematic process of coordinating company-wide experts enables executives to propel the role of intellectual stimulation, which creates a more innovative environment within companies.

Executives must also curtail knowledge within organizations. The knowledge within organizations needs to be reconfigured to meet environmental changes and new challenges today. What worked yesterday or a few years ago is changing rapidly as technology has increased in a prolific way. Knowledge is globally shared with other organizations through domestic and global rewards such as the Malcolm Baldridge Award in the United States and the Deming Award in Japan. However, past studies have posited that companies might lack the required capabilities or decide to decline from interacting acting with other companies or even suffer the distrust to share their knowledge. Therefore, expert groups may not have sufficient diversity in order to comprehend knowledge acquired from external sources.

Based upon these limitations whether natural or caused, networking with business partners is a key activity for companies to enhance knowledge exchange and it should not take an award to be the impetus to initiate interaction. Ergo, networking with external business partners may enhance executive success, thereby empowering executives to better develop strategic insights to develop a more effective vision incorporating various concerns and values of external business partners.

The knowledge transference among companies itself improves the effectiveness of learning, which in turn enables executives to empower human resources by creating new knowledge and solutions. Thus, I suggest that networking takes place among companies in both domestic and international markets which may lead to enhance the effective use of leadership. Therefore, if executives in senior positions effectively use knowledge management then they may be able to improve executive success through increased learning opportunities.

In conclusion, this article actually investigates the crossover potential of scholarly research and how it can be applied in the organizational boardroom. I offer practical contributions to managers at all levels of the organization. This article introduces a new and dynamic perspective of knowledge management within organizations, and adds to a relatively small body of literature but pays homage to the scholarly contributions. I stress that knowledge is a strategic resource for organizational portfolios.

This article suggests that knowledge management constitutes the foundation of a supportive workplace to improve executive success and reduce operational risk. The key here is that there are positive effects of knowledge management on executive success. I highlight the direct impact of knowledge management on executive success by facilitating important components of performance. When business leaders ensure executive success they increase control and lesson operational risk. In fact, I suggest that if knowledge management initiatives are not completely in favor of supporting organizational processes, companies may become obsolete, taken over, or acquired.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

HR tech

The Real Digital Transformation In HR Tech: How Global Leaders Can Manage

All executives across the globe should embrace HR technology to represent a complete answer to the need for innovation and continuous learning in today’s global market environment. In doing this, first executives must have an understanding of the concept of knowledge in companies. To analyze knowledge in organizations, there is an important taxonomy of organizational knowledge that needs to be discussed. The following section addresses this taxonomy in depth to set the record straight upon the importance of HR Technology.

Human, Social, and Structured Knowledge

Two prominent scholars that are well known in the Academy of Management, one of the largest leadership and management organizations in the world by the names of David De Long and Liam Fahey argue that knowledge can also be classified using individual, social, and structured dimensions. Executives can categorize followers based on their human knowledge which focuses on individual knowledge and manifests itself in an individual’s competencies and skills. This type of knowledge includes both tacit and explicit knowledge. David De Long and Liam Fahey suggest that this form of knowledge comprises the skills gained by individual experiences, and learned as rules and instructions formulated by executives for followers to use as a guide.

Social knowledge, on the other hand, is categorized as tacit knowledge that is shared so that it can become collective knowledge. Executives can use structured knowledge that emerges informal language from annual reports, memos, and other means of communication to be represented as statements, and is considered explicit knowledge. Therefore, consultants can classify knowledge in this way so that it emerges at three levels—-individual (i.e. human), group (i.e. social) and organizational (i.e. structured).

Executives can implement HR technology to create conducive organizational climates that foster organizational learning in which individual knowledge is shared and utilized. Unshared individual knowledge is like lettuce in the refrigerator—if shared, everyone enjoys it, if not, it could not have any use. In the next section, I present a factor that executives have embraced—–HR technology.   

Managing Knowledge and Innovation through HR Technology

HR technology is an internal resource that increasingly facilitates HR business processes and improves the search for information and knowledge around the company. For example, HRIS (Human Resource Information System) software enables companies to overcome space constraints in communications and promotes the depth and range of knowledge access. HRIS software can be also employed to enhance the conversations and knowledge exchanges between organizational members. Three prominent scholars in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by the names of Andrew Gold, Arvind Malhotra and Albert Segars argue that this knowledge shared through technology could positively contribute to knowledge integration. Executives can apply HRIS software to develop and disseminate information throughout the company which can improve the search for information in order to adapt to today’s uncertain business environment.

HCM (Human Capital Management) software is an important resource for strategic planning for knowledge integration. Robert Grant highlights knowledge integration as a major reason for the existence of a company. This software enhances learning and sharing information by providing access to accurate information and knowledge. HCM software also stimulates new knowledge generation, through transferring knowledge to other members and departments. Knowledge sharing itself can in turn develop more innovative climates and facilitate knowledge creation in organizations. HCM software can, therefore, play a crucial role in improving knowledge creation and transference. Executives can use HCM software to develop an effective learning culture that disseminates knowledge around the company.

HRMS (Human Resource Management System) software can be also used by executives to facilitate of the knowledge creation process through providing the essential infrastructures to store and retrieve organizational knowledge. HRMS software encourages executives to embark on technological facilities to provide new and possible solutions for solving organizational problems and transferring individuals’ knowledge to other members and departments and improving knowledge capturing, storing, and accumulating to achieve organizational goals.

In Conclusion

This article advances the current literature on HR technology and knowledge management by offering novel insights into how better HR technology leads to better knowledge management. Executives can apply HR technology in their decision-making processes in order to investigate various alternatives and options.

Success in today’s global business environment can be more effective when HR technology is effectively applied and widely used to achieve a higher degree of competitiveness. Importantly, knowledge management performance at all levels of the company is positively associated with using HR technology and setting up useful software and systems to enhance strategic decision-making. Executives can implement HR technology by employing IT professionals and allocating more budgetary resources to share and utilize knowledge within companies.

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References

Gold, A.H., Malhotra, A. and Segars, A.H. 2001. Knowledge management: An organizational capabilities perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18(1), 185-214.

Grant, R.M. 1996. Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17(S2), 109-122.

Long, D.W.D., & Fahey, L. (2000). Diagnosing cultural barriers to knowledge management. The Academy of Management Executive, 14(4), 113-127.

Knowledge management

The Design and Implementation of Effective Knowledge Management System in Multinational Corporations

Executives agree with Doyle McCarthy, who sees society as a product of knowledge. [1] Defining culture as various forms of knowledge and symbols that make up an organization’s culture. However, knowledge is a by-product of culture and knowledge’s role in guiding and facilitating people’s action is key to executive decision-making.

Knowledge also creates values, thereby fulfilling the strategic functions of “producing and guiding social action, of integrating social organizations, of protecting the identity of individuals and groups, of legitimatizing both actions and authorities, and of serving as an ideology for individuals, groups, classes, and entire nations”. [2] In addition, Thomas Beckman explains that knowledge management is “the formalization of and access to experience, knowledge and expertise that create new capabilities, enable superior performance, encourages innovation and enhances customer value,” [3]  and Bernard Marr and his colleagues define knowledge management as a set of activities and processes aimed at creating value through generating and applying intellectual capital.

[4] Moreover, knowledge management has also been regarded as a “conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time and helping people share and put information into action in ways that strive to improve organizational performance”. [5] Executives direct practices that create value from intangible organizational resources. For executives, it is clear that the objective of managing knowledge is to add value to organizations. The focus here is that executives consider the fact a firm’s knowledge is positively associated with its outcomes. This article portrays a more detailed picture of the effects of leadership and organizational factors on knowledge management performance that have been mentioned but not placed in a model in the past. Executives can use the model proposed in this article to improve knowledge management performance in companies.

What Can Executives Take From Previous Academic Research?

Executives that manage knowledge and use it as an important driving force for business success find their organization to be more competitive and on the cutting edge. However, knowledge management implementation in organizations is determined by a set of critical success factors, one of which is the strategic dimension of leadership. For now, executives can develop conducive organizational climates that foster collaboration and organizational learning in which knowledge, as a driver of improved performance, is shared and exploited. Academicians point out that if leaders do not adequately support knowledge dissemination and creation through various mechanisms such as rewards or recognition for employees who create new ideas or share their knowledge with others, knowledge management cannot be successful.

Furthermore, it is safe to say that knowledge management effectiveness can be enhanced today with the use of information technology. Information technology can play a critical role in the success of knowledge management.

For instance, a scholar in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) by the name of Kuan Yew Wong highlights the importance of information technology in facilitating knowledge flow and communication. [6] Ying-Jung Yeh and his colleagues at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and National Chung Cheng University indicate that the effectiveness of knowledge management implementation is positively associated with using information technology and setting up useful software and systems to enhance strategic decision-making. [7] Effective leaders can, therefore, develop information technology through employing IT professionals and allocating more budgetary resources to share and utilize knowledge within organizations.

Moreover, it is clear that executives around the globe realize that they play a critical role to achieve the best climate and for implementing knowledge management that creates learning and growing the organization. Engaging followers and getting them to participate in leadership activities is an important part of knowledge management practices. Scholars subsequently suggest that success is also dependent upon how executives formulated their organization’s mission, vision, and strategy.

The key is for executives to inculcate an effective strategy, culture and structure so that information can be found and used instantaneously. The fact that executives steer the strategic direction of organizations is indicative of empowering people and making them more responsive to the constant changes in technology, economic fluctuations, and other pertinent and vita changes that occur on a day-to-day basis.

Executives Are Now Introduced to the Proposed Model

Based on an integrated framework of the above ideas and scholarly research, I depict and applicable and reliable model for executives as Figure 1. This framework of the model highlights a relationship between knowledge management, leadership, strategy, culture, structure and information technology. I show the relationships in Figure 1. In Figure 1, leadership has a positive impact on knowledge management which leads to higher knowledge management performance. And finally, better strategy, better culture, better structure and better information technology lead to better  performance.

In Conclusion

This article blends scholarly concepts with real world application and investigates how scholarly research can be applied in the organizational boardroom. Also, scholars see that I expand upon the subject matter of organizational factors. Through introducing a more comprehensive model for implementation, I add to the current and extant literature. In particular, I suggest that if these factors are not completely in favor of supporting knowledge management, organizations cannot effectively implement knowledge management projects and may become obsolete, taken over, or acquired.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

References

[1] McCarthy, E.D. (1996). Knowledge as Culture: The New Sociology of Knowledge, New York: Routledge.

[2] Strasser, H., & Kleiner, M. (1998).  Knowledge as Culture: The New Sociology of Knowledge, European Sociological Review, 14(3), 315-318.

[3] Beckman, T.J. (1999). The Current State of Knowledge Management. In J. Liebowitz, (Eds.), Knowledge Management Handbook, New York: CRC Press.

[4] Marr, B., Gupta, O., Roos, G., & Pike, S. (2003). Intellectual Capital and Knowledge Management Effectiveness. Management Decision, 41(8), 771-781.

[5] O’Dell C., & Grayson C.J. (1998). If only we knew what we know: identification and transfer of international best practices, New York: Free Press.

[6] Wong, K.Y. (2005). Critical Success Factors for Implementing Knowledge Management in Small and Medium Enterprises. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 105(3), 261-279.

[7] Yeh, Y.J., Lai, S.Q., & Ho, C.T. (2006). Knowledge management enabler: a case study. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 106(6), 793-810.

information technology

Investing in Technology to Build Knowledge-Based Companies

Executives understand how knowledge management as facilitating organizational processes and activities uses information technology to organize existing information. Information technology plays a crucial role in creating, retrieving, storing and applying organizational knowledge stated by Maryam Alavi and Dorothy Leidner’s MIS Quarterly review.

Executives focus on individuals as the major source of knowledge and show how followers tie together so that they can affect the sharing, storage, transfer, and apply knowledge within organizations. Executives, therefore, see these connections, and the related shared knowledge and memory, as central to the effectiveness of knowledge management.

How Technology Matters?

Executives are well versed today on information technology and usually have a fleet of followers in this department that they can depend on. Sandy Weil, a financial executive, wanted one number when he left the office that determined his value at risk. His technology team delivered and came up with one number called VAR (Value At Risk). Wiel slept much better knowing what risk he faced while running one of the largest financial organizations in the world. He was controlling operational risk and inspiring employees to follow where he leads.

Technology, as one would imagine, is often associated with information and communication dispersed within companies. Considerable alignment between information technology and the knowledge-based view connects the two to develop and disseminate knowledge throughout the organization which, in turn, is an important factor of sustainable competitive advantage.

Executives agree with Robert Grant, who states that knowledge integration is one of the main reasons for the existence of companies. Furthermore, Andrew Gold, Arvind Malhotra, and Albert Segars suggest information technology as an important resource for strategic planning for knowledge integration. Olivier Caya posits that information technology enables knowledge integration by using three possible mechanisms:

1. Impersonal

2. Personal

3. Collective

Executives can use the impersonal mechanism to enact regulations, procedures, and rules aimed at coordinating intellectual capital within organizations. Information technology disseminates protocols among members and allows them to be knowledgeable of their progress toward meeting determined milestones stated in the strategic plans.

The personal mechanism is used by executives to vertically and horizontally exchange knowledge between employees and collective mechanism is used when information technology manifests itself as a synthesizer of ideas and knowledge acquired from multiple organizational members. Thus, information technology encourages people to embark on technological facilities, such as shared electronic workspaces, to provide new ideas and possible solutions for solving organizational problems. As a result, it is viewed that information technology plays a critical role in integrating knowledge and is therefore aligned with the knowledge-based view.

Executives can use information technology as a communication mechanism manifestation and deployment and decision-aid technology. For example, Hsin-Jung Hsieh argues that communication technology provides ways to enhance interactions among members and departments within organizations. This type of technology eliminates the barriers of organizational communications while improving the extent of knowledge sharing and access for all followers at various levels of the organization.

Thus, there is a strong correlation between communication technology and social capital view that sheds light on the development of relationships within organizations to aggregate human capital into social capital so as to provide further information and opportunities for all members. This subsequently creates valuable resources for an organization as a whole.

Furthermore, decision-aid technology develops cohesive infrastructures to store and retrieve the knowledge to enable followers in creating more innovative solutions to problems and managing operational risks. Ergo, information technology supports knowledge by enabling interactions and providing more comprehensive and effective solutions to solve organizational problems.

Unleashing the Power of Knowledge in Companies

Today, technology has changed the business world ten-fold. Every day there is an easier way to process, access, and disseminate information. Technology – now referred to as Information technology – is an internal resource that increasingly facilitates organizational communication and improves the search for knowledge. When executives have people in place to manage information technology, the organization can see increased revenues, better satisfaction by employees and customers, and most importantly enhance their own effectiveness as leaders.

The social capital view supports the idea that knowledge creation is highly dependent on developing organizational communications and interactions. Information technology enables organizations to overcome space constraints in communication, and promotes the depth and range of knowledge access and sharing within companies.  More specifically, communication technologies can be employed to enhance the conversations and knowledge exchanges between organizational members. Scholars such as Andrew Gold, Arvind Malhotra and Albert Segars argue that this knowledge shared through information technology could positively contribute to knowledge integration.

I also introduced executives to what the scholar Robert Grant describes using the knowledge-based view. Highlighting knowledge integration as a major reason for the existence of a company. Knowledge sharing itself can develop more innovative climates and facilitate knowledge creation in organizations. Thus, communication technologies can play a crucial role in improving knowledge creation.

Communication technology is an internal resource that develops and integrates organizational knowledge as the most strategic factor of competitiveness. As executives use expert systems for decision-making, technology becomes a decision-aid. As mentioned earlier, decision-aid technology can be also considered as a facilitator of the knowledge creation process by providing the essential infrastructures to store and retrieve organizational knowledge.

Executives agree with Shahnawaz Muhammed who highlights major functions for information technology and explains that information technology enhances learning and sharing knowledge by providing access to knowledge, and stimulates new ideas and knowledge generation, transfers an individual’s knowledge to other members and departments, and improves knowledge capturing, storing, and accumulating, aiming at achieving organizational goals. Bringing us to the conclusion that information tech has a positive association with knowledge management performance in companies.

In Conclusion

Standing on the shoulders of scholars before us, I indicate that information technology is a major factor for knowledge management success and supports the positive impact of information technology on knowledge management performance.

For executives, this article can portray a more detailed picture of the effects of information technology on knowledge management. Many organizations still implement knowledge management initiatives without sufficient consideration of their technological infrastructures.

When executives ensure the effectiveness of knowledge management projects they increase control and lesson operational risk. I also suggest that a firm’s ability to enhance knowledge management can be highly affected when executives implement information technology. Furthermore, I suggest that scholars take these ideas and continue to conduct research using executives as the focal point so that academic scholarship can meet the needs of managerial implications at the higher echelons of organizations worldwide.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

leadership style

How to Change Your Leadership Style and Adapt to the Changing World

A scholar in Nova Southeastern University by the name of Chien presented executives with a correlation between leadership effectiveness of different leadership styles adopted by executives in international companies. Although this empirical study was primarily designed to investigate global leaders and in this case Taiwan, there are kernels for all executives to learn from. For example, there was a strong positive correlation between the effectiveness of leaders and adopting a transformational leadership style at the highest organizational levels.

Executives began to listen and respond to the plethora of information in the form of articles and books attempting to provide transformational leadership as an adaptable and applicable leadership style to help impact not only the productivity and profitability of the organization but also the competitive advantage. One example is the concept of intellectual stimulation which is another important aspect of transformational leadership. Intellectual stimulation positively impacts the effectiveness of leadership in building learning through facilitating knowledge sharing by all leaders and followers of the organization. Executives require people who are engaged and inspired to meet the demands of day-to-day operations.

Transformational leadership also suggests that executives inspire their followers. Ergo, transformational leadership is a suitable leadership style to analyze leadership in international companies. By adopting a transformational leadership style, executives are able to answer the questions necessary to apply leadership without having to delve through all the leadership styles to find what works well for them and what does not. To prove the correlations between transformational leadership and the effectiveness of leadership in global environments today, I take a further look at new industry researches so that executives can see the correlation and application.

An Industry Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills found relevant information that may help leaders embrace transformational leadership. The task force first critiqued top managers and found them to be inadequate effective leaders. The report illustrates the weaknesses of leaders, such as failing to develop a clear vision for the future of their organization. Similarly, a more recent report on Management Matters illustrated that top managers in the manufacturing sector scored the least in the very important organizational behavior tenet of people management when compared to two other areas of operations- and performance management. This particular report highlighted that companies need to enhance leverage on human assets in order to achieve sustained competitiveness.

In both cases, companies have been ranked low in almost all dimensions of people management. After careful review of these findings for both case studies, the scholars recommend that companies must improve their human resource-related practices with a target of attracting, retaining, and promoting their human resources. This article goes further and suggests that the way for these managers and leaders, and leaders across the globe, to make the effective changes that are posited in the transformational leadership. The recommendations of transformational leadership are to focus on developing a strategic vision for their future strategic initiatives. When transformational leaders can generate a shared and inspiring vision for the future expansion into the global business environment, they will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global marketplace. Thus, executives that act as transformational leaders are capable to overcome their deficiencies and lead better in our hypercompetitive environment of today.

These industry researches also identify the transformational leadership style as a primary driver of organizational competitiveness. Unfortunately, while the characteristics of transformational leaders are positively associated with the competitiveness of international companies, it is somewhat underutilized in organizations worldwide. This is suspect and alarming because numerous empirical studies have found that there is a direct correlation between transformational leadership and organizational competitiveness. Scholars highlighted transformational leadership as an enabler of organizational competitiveness. Therefore, leaders that may not be utilizing the transformational leadership style which has been posited as a managerial-based competency for organizations operating in today’s innovative business environment can now explore the virtues of using this leadership style to improve competitive advantage.

In conclusion, executives in international companies can now take a new view of managerial decision-making and leading – transformational leadership. Transformational leadership lies at the focal point of executive success. Therefore, I suggest that these executives embrace transformational leadership. This leadership style influences some of the spans of control of executive responsibility. For the scholar’s corner, I place a great deal of emphasis on the literature on transformational leadership as a significant indicator for business success. Scholars see that I expand upon the subject matter of transformational leadership. Through articulating the impacts of transformational leadership on the competitiveness of international companies, I add to the current and extant literature. Organizational competitiveness is essential for business growth and prosperity in today’s global business environments.

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References

[1] Chien, HJ 2001, A comparison of leadership characteristics in public and large and small private organizations in Taiwan, Nova Southeastern University.

[2] Report of the Industry Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills 1995, Renewing Australian’s managers to meet the challenges of the Asia-pacific century.

[3] Management Matters in Australia: Just how productive are we? 2012, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Australia.

companies

How to Build High-Performing Companies

There are some executives that like to look at academic journals but unfortunately the crossover literature has not reached them enough. I attempt to blend scholarly concepts with real-world applications. For the executive’s corner, I place a great deal of emphasis on the literature of knowledge management, information technology, strategy, and culture as four significant indicators for financial performance.

This article adds to a relatively small body of literature but pays homage to the scholarly contributions. I highlight the direct impact of these organizational factors on financial performance. This article actually investigates the crossover potential of scholarly research and how it can be applied in the organizational boardroom. Executives will also see that I expand upon the subject matter of a company’s internal resources. Insufficient consideration of the impacts of these resources on financial performance has been exposed and I attempt to address this concern. This article can portray a more detailed picture of the effects of knowledge management, information technology, strategy, and culture on financial performance that have been mentioned but not placed in a model in the past.

 Why Knowledge Management Is So Important To Financial Performance?

Executives across the globe have found that knowledge is critical to financial performance. Knowledge, in of itself, is not enough to satisfy the vast array of changes in today’s business environment. Knowledge management is only a necessary precursor to effectively managing knowledge within the organization. Organizational knowledge cannot merely be described as the sum of individual knowledge, but as a systematic combination of knowledge based on social interactions shared among organizational members. Executives agree with Haridimos Tsoukas who determines organizational knowledge as a collective mind, and Kiku Jones and Lori Leonard at The University of Tulsa who explain organizational knowledge as the knowledge that exists in the organization as a whole. [1] [2] Organizational knowledge is owned and disseminated by the organization.

The key take-away for executives is that organizational knowledge is a resource that enables companies to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making. The key is for executives to convert individual knowledge into valuable resources to ensure that the knowledge is actually helping the organization grow profitably for all stakeholders.

Knowledge management can help companies identify their inefficiencies in organizational processes which can enable them to prevent further operational risk. The question remains. How does knowledge management impact your company’s financial performance? By answering this question, executives are able to answer the questions necessary to apply knowledge management to exploit financial performance for companies.

Knowledge is firstly created and acquired from external environments. This knowledge exchange with external business partners develops innovative environments that can enable companies to create a more innovative climate. This knowledge exchange also enhances the capabilities of companies in recognizing possible opportunities in the business environment and developing a more effective vision, including a more comprehensive array of information and insights about external environments.

Furthermore, executives need to focus on coordinating experts, sharing knowledge, and scanning the changes of knowledge requirements to keep the quality of their products or services in-line with market demand. It is apparent that this can help companies assessing the required changes to keep the quality of both products and services at maximum levels. Also, a systematic process of coordinating company-wide experts enables companies to effectively meet customer needs.

The knowledge within organizations also needs to be reconfigured to meet environmental changes and new challenges today. Knowledge is globally shared with other organizations. However, companies might lack the required capabilities or decide to decline from interacting acting with other companies, or even suffer the distrust to share their knowledge. In addition, expert groups may not have sufficient diversity in order to comprehend knowledge acquired from external sources. Networking with business partners is a key activity for companies to increase financial performance, thereby transferring knowledge among companies which creates better solutions for capturing the interest of customers and developing market share. The key here is that there are positive effects of knowledge management on financial performance.

Does Information Technology drive Financial Performance?

Information technology is necessary to build high-performing companies and also may be necessary as the globalized market demands are increasingly difficult to adapt and sustain profitability. Financial performance in global markets is dependent on continuous learning. Corporate learning plays a critical role and is a strategic prerequisite for increasing sales and market share in today’s knowledge-based economy. Effective corporate learning can enable companies to actively respond to environmental changes and customer needs and organizational members’ growth needs. Thus, information technology is a key factor that should be embraced at the senior level of organizations to enable financial performance in globalized markets by building a learning climate and empowering organizational members. In the absence of effective IT management, companies cannot implement successful plans in order to adapt to today’s global business environment.

Information technology is a key factor to improve financial performance for companies. Earlier studies clearly indicate that effective IT implementation significantly contributes to companies’ financial performance. These researches acknowledge that information technology is an important enabler to effectively manage business processes. Information technology can reduce paper-based transactions for companies that can potentially decrease costs and subsequently improve profitability for companies.

Furthermore, it can be seen that information technology enables companies to effectively identify opportunities in external business environment that leads to identify the best opportunities for investment that potentially improves financial performance in terms of return on investment. Information technology can also help companies to effectively create more innovative solutions for their organizational problems. More innovative solutions and better ideas can improve the quality of products and services, which in turn increases sales and market share for companies.

Business success for companies in today’s global business environment can be, therefore, achieved when information technology is effectively applied and widely used to achieve a higher degree of financial performance. When information technology can create a learning workplace and inspiring vision for future expansion into global markets, companies will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global marketplace. Two important dimensions that all managers world-wide can learn from this article is that information technology can help companies to accomplish their goals that they would not ordinarily consider part of their competencies.

The question posited for top management executives and leaders in any and all companies is to accept the challenge of information technology implementation in order to address the current gaps in business effectiveness and improve their competitiveness in global markets. Thus, I recommend that executives should consider information technology as a key driver for improving financial performance in today’s hypercompetitive environment.

If Corporate Strategy Comes First, Company’s Financial Performance Will Follow

Executives are aware that corporate strategy mainly encompasses four aspects: analysis, pro-activeness, defensiveness, and futurity. So how can you as an executive use these four dimensions? Scholars provide a blueprint to follow:

-Analysis refers to the degree to which the roots of problems are analysed to provide the best solutions, which ultimately results in a more efficient allocation of resources to solve problems and also achieve organizational goals.

-Pro-activeness is defined as the extent to which a firm continuously searches for emerging opportunities in its business environment, and then actively participates in these opportunities by responding to changing trends.

-Defensiveness, which recommends undertaking defensive behaviors that manifest themselves in enhancing efficiency and in cutting costs while maintaining continuous budget-analysis and break-even points.

-Futurity is reflected in the degree to which the strategic decision-making process takes a two-way approach—-an emphasis on both long-term effectiveness and shorter-term efficiency concurrently.

Analysis strategy is regarded as the tendency to search for problems and their root causes and generates better alternatives to solve them. Analysis strategy, an academic term that is very applicable to executive span of control is also concurrently aired in the academic circles of higher education. For instance, analysis strategy is highly related to firms’ capacity to generate new ideas and knowledge and plays a crucial role in acquiring knowledge. Therefore, I appeal to executives across the globe that analysis strategy could improve the quality of products and services, which can in turn enhance profitability and market share.

I also feel that as executives use the pro-activeness strategy which refers to finding new opportunities and proactively responding to current challenges in external environments, they are also enhancing their span of control. Therefore, the pro-activeness strategy can provide a higher degree of knowledge through developing interactions with external environments. As executives effectively use knowledge management for projects and organizational investments they require a continuous investigation from external business environments. The pro-activeness strategy enables companies to identify changes in external environments and accordingly help them to actively respond to these emerging rapid changes.

Some executives feel that a defensive strategy, while necessary, sets a negative connotation on their span of control. However, it is believed that a defensiveness strategic approach enhances efficiency through cutting costs which in turn increases organizational revenue and the company’s financial performance.

Futurity strategy can also enhance financial performance by providing a series of clear guidelines for companies to track future trends in the business environment, and accordingly conduct “what-if” analysis and allocate organizational resources. My explanation of this is clearly within the executive span of control and potentially limits operational risk. My conclusion for executives is that organizational strategy has a positive association with financial performance. Therefore, I suggest that a firm’s ability to enhance financial performance can be highly affected when executives develop and implement an effective corporate strategy as the primary form of managing people, resources, and profitability.

Does Corporate Culture Increase Financial Performance?

Corporate culture is the resource that builds upon the foundations that helps organizations prosper. Andrew Pettigrew initially introduced the term corporate culture into the business literature. [3] Edgar Schein, one of the prominent management scholars, describes corporate culture as a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. [4] Corporate culture is, therefore, reflected in shared assumptions, symbols, beliefs, values and norms that specify how employees understand problems and appropriately react to them.

To analyze the relationship between corporate culture and financial performance, corporate culture could be visualized by its three major aspects, including collaboration, trust and learning. Both cultural aspects of collaboration and trust positively contribute to companies to effectively and actively respond to environmental changes and customer needs and employee growth needs through developing effective learning workplaces within these companies. Thus, these two cultural aspects can help companies to improve the quality of products and services and increase financial performance in terms of profitability and sales.

Learning culture is another cultural aspect sheds light on organizational capabilities to develop learning. It is quite understandable that this cultural aspect can particularly increase financial performance for companies, by developing suitable workplaces for employees to effectively share their knowledge with others. People, in fact, recognize how old resources can address new and problematic situations by sharing their knowledge within companies, and this can help to create more innovative ideas for organizational problems. David Maister in Harvard Business School in his book, Managing the Professional Service Firm, says that innovative ideas generation can improve profitability for companies. [5] Thus, I suggest that executives should consider corporate culture as an important enabler to enhance financial performance.

In Conclusion

This article may be the answer executives need but may also lack the fundamental fortitude necessary to be an all-encompassing model to predict financial performance. This article has started a mindset that encourages executives to investigate scholarly work to increase financial performance, enhance profitability and improve shareholder value. Executives can contribute to meet dynamic market needs, through reshaping an organization’s internal resources (i.e. knowledge management, information technology, strategy and culture) to meet the needs of customers in the marketplace. In fact, this article has been focusing on thus far is the needs of companies for enhancing financial success. This article presents executives with organizational factors that can be effectively manipulated to improve financial performance and become more profitable.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

References

[1] Jones, K., & Leonard, L.K. (2009). From Tacit Knowledge to Organizational Knowledge for Successful KM. In W.R. King (Eds.), Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning, (pp. 27-39), Berlin: Springer.

[2] Tsoukas, H. (1996). The Firm as a Distributed Knowledge System: A Constructionist Approach. Strategic Management Journal, 17, 11-25.

[3] Pettigrew, A.M. (1979). On studying organizational cultures, Administrative Science Quarterly, 24(4), 570–581.

[4] Schein, E. (1984). Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture, Sloan Management Review, 25(2), 37–50.

[5] Maister, D.H. (1993). Managing the professional service firm, Free Press, New York.

talent acquisition

What’s Next For You? How Knowledge Management is Transforming Talent Management in Global Markets

Knowledge management seeks to apply organizational knowledge in order to satisfy and exceed employee’s expectations. All executives need to be aware of how to better control knowledge management which coincides with talent management and to do this, they should understand the strong correlation between two important factors. The focus of this article is based upon the critical role of knowledge management which allows a rich basis for understanding the mechanisms by which talent management is influenced.

6 Key Practices to Integrate Talent Management and Knowledge Management

Since executives are constantly dealing with employee development, talent management is something they pay a great deal of attention to. Of course, this is not new but worth mentioning. A mistake in this area may be vital to the organizations and executives must choose their practices wisely. This article addresses these knowledge management practices in depth to set the record straight upon the importance of talent management.

1. Prioritize Candidate Experience

Knowledge is a collection of meaningful experiences. The key take-away for executives is that prioritizing candidate experience can enable organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making.

2. Tailor Talent Acquisition Strategy to Business Goals

Executives must determine their business goals for the next three years and develop a talent acquisition strategy that focuses on planning the work and technically supporting newly-hired employees to achieve the business goals. A talent acquisition strategy helps companies to achieve their business goals that reflect excellence and some kind of higher-order effectiveness. This is where executives can attempt to achieve business goals—stemming from a talent acquisition strategy across pivotal areas on the organization.

3. Educate the Hiring Manager

Hiring managers can become familiar with employee recruitment practices through education. Education is more active, broad, flexible, experimental, synthetic, and strategic compared to training. Why is this, you may ask? Because education is a process that leads to acquiring new insights and knowledge, and potentially to correct sub-optimal or ineffective actions and behaviors that cause companies to spiral out of control.

4. Enhance Training Efficiency

Executives must provide work-related training programs for newly-hired employees when beginning onboarding and must be aware of their training efficiency programs. As executive trainers, I agree with Jennifer Rowley who suggests training courses as an effective way to share knowledge. Most importantly, applying knowledge aimed at providing better decision-making and work-related practices and creating new knowledge through innovation. Knowledge has to be measured in some way, many trainers talk about return-on-investment of training which is hard to measure, training satisfaction measurement by participants and their desire to apply it to the workplace is an excellent barometer of learning new skills or building upon old ones. The key point in the training is the knowledge use coupled with testing and re-testing to ensure that the knowledge is actually helping the organization grow professionally for employees and profitably for all stakeholders.

 5. Write No Strict Job Descriptions

When newly-hired employees come on board, they are given job descriptions. But how can executives write no strict job descriptions? The answer to this question lies in an executive’s demonstration to motivate employees to approach organizational problems in a more novel approach. In doing this, executives can inspire employees to rethink problems and challenge their current personal attitudes and values. Most importantly, executives can transform organizations by attempting to change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of employees so that they are willing to perform beyond their previous or originally level specified by the organization in their job description.

6. Be More Flexible

Flexibility in the workplace may enable executives to improve departmental and managerial interactions and develop relationships among managers, business units, and departments. Through flexibility in the workplace, executives can also shift the power of decision-making to the lower levels and inspire newly-hired employees to create new ideas and implement them, which can in turn propel interdepartmental communications and improve knowledge exchange.

In Conclusion

This article can offer several implications for practice. First, this article highlights that there is a strong correlation between knowledge management and talent management within organizations. Importantly, this approach advances the current business literature on talent management by offering novel insights into how knowledge management affects talent identification, satisfaction and retention. This article suggests new insights to identify knowledge management as a primary driver of effective talent management for companies. Therefore, I suggest that executives embrace knowledge management. My primary focus is on one factor (talent management) but there are many more important components of the managerial function that can be enhanced when knowledge management is embraced. The key here is that there are positive effects of knowledge management on talent management.

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Rowley, J. (2001). Knowledge management in pursuit of learning: the learning with knowledge cycle. Journal of Information Science, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 227-237.

diversity

Diversity Makes Firms More Productive

This article raises a vital question as to how executives can successfully improve financial performance at all levels of the organization and might be the answer executives need but may also lack the fundamental fortitude necessary to be an all-encompassing model to predict financial performance. This article has started a mindset that encourages executives to investigate scholarly work to increase financial performance, enhance profitability and sales, and improve shareholder value. A new managerial approach may be necessary as the new business environment demands are increasingly difficult to adapt and sustain profitability.

Drawing from the existing literature, this article suggests new insights to identify workplace diversity as a primary driver of sales, profitability and financial performance for companies. Executives will see that improving financial performance and sales requires developing diversity and inclusion within organizations—not only at the higher echelons of the organization but at every level.

The global markets represent require top management executives who can adapt to various environments successfully. Executives can contribute to meet dynamic market needs, through adopting a diversity and inclusion strategy to meet the needs of customers in the marketplace. This article presents executives with diversity and inclusion strategies to improve financial performance and become more profitable. Executives can see that I expand upon the subject matter of a diversity and inclusion strategy.

Insufficient consideration of the impacts of this significant contributor on financial performance has been exposed and I attempt to address this concern for the first time. Hence, this article can portray a more detailed picture of the effects of diversity and inclusion strategy on financial performance that have been not mentioned in the past. Furthermore, the focus of this article is based upon the critical role of corporate leadership which allows a rich basis to understanding the mechanisms by which diversity in the workplace and financial performance are significantly influenced.

The critical and unanswered question is: How can corporate leaders improve financial performance? There are many academic studies that focus on the organizational and managerial factors that drive sales, profitability and financial performance. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is one such area that plays a critical role and is a strategic prerequisite for business success in today’s hypercompetitive global environment. In particular, a diversity and inclusion strategy can help companies to improve financial performance in terms of achieving commercial goals and the quality of products and services. This is the reason that this strategy is so popular among practicing managers today.

The ultimate business outcome is financial success which narrows the gap between success and failure and this can be achieved by the commitment of its members and facilitated by an executive acting as a facilitative-leader. In doing this, corporate leaders need to focus on the critical human assets such as commitment and thus help followers to effectively implement organizational changes with both efficiency and effectiveness. They can shed light on the strategic role of follower attitudes and values to accomplish a higher degree of effectiveness, and highlight the importance of employees in implementing changes at the organizational level.

When corporate leaders show concern for the employee’s individual needs, individuals begin to contribute more commitment and they become more inspired them to put extra effort into their work. This extra effort improves the quality of products, customer satisfaction, and impacts the return on assets, sales, shareholder value, and finally improves financial success and operational risk management.

Financial success mentioned above can be only achieved by a diversity and inclusion strategy. Follower’s diversity of skills and interpersonal relations that is based on trust and reciprocity can improve innovation and the performance of group cohesiveness. At this point, you’re probably asking why the diversity of skills is so important. The simple answer is that companies that may lack diversity in the workplace cannot share their knowledge. With an effective diversity and inclusion strategy, global leaders may improve knowledge sharing and learning that can eventually enhance financial performance in global markets through empowering human resources and enabling change at the organizational level.

Executives can increase workplace diversity to facilitate knowledge sharing and build relationships, aiming at improving customer satisfaction through acquiring additional knowledge from customers, developing better relationships with them, and providing a higher quality of service and/or products for them. Furthermore, creating an expert group or steering committee may be shortsighted because such groups may not have sufficient diversity to comprehend knowledge acquired from external sources.

Leadership in some companies has failed to pay attention to this important matter and create a team that makes diversity a priority and represents a variety of ideas and perspectives. A leadership status that is not only a failing platform but one that represents destruction as opposed to innovation and expansion. This leadership gap can provide lessons for CEOs and executives in today’s organizational challenges. The fact remains that leaders that manage diversity and use it as an important driving force for financial success find their companies to be more competitive and on the cutting edge.

In conclusion, the question posited for top management executives and leaders in any and all companies is to accept the challenge of diversity and inclusion strategy implementation in order to address the current gaps in business effectiveness and improve their financial performance and competitiveness in global markets. Thus, I suggest that executives embrace a diversity and inclusion strategy. I attempt to blend scholarly concepts with real world application through thoroughly looking at an effective strategy for maximizing financial performance.

Based on this article, executives can now see that they must be aware that their diversity in the workplace can fundamentally affect the way a corporation performs its functions and can make a fundamental change in the processes by which a company achieves commercial objectives, improves sales and profitability and also increases financial performance. Thus, financial performance is dependent upon how executives formulate their diversity and inclusion strategy. And business success for companies in today’s global business environment can be better achieved when a diversity and inclusion strategy is effectively applied and widely used to achieve a higher degree of effectiveness and financial performance.

Therefore, when companies can have a very diverse employee population, they will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global business environments.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

competitive

How to Develop Your Competitive Advantage in Global Markets

Executives are aware that activities related to managing knowledge at the individual level and the practices associated with knowledge management at the organizational level are handled at different points on the organizational chart. In order to create a sustainable competitive advantage, executives need to focus on the interactions among the facets of knowledge to minimize the possible limitations of managing all facets of the business units and components on an organizational chart.

Can Social Capital Create Effective Knowledge Management?

Executives across the globe have found that knowledge management is critical to business success. Knowledge, in of itself, is not enough to satisfy the vast array of changes in today’s organization. Therefore, knowledge management is only a necessary precursor to effectively managing knowledge within the organization. One tool for executives to improve organizational knowledge management and use it to lessen the gaps between success and possible failure is to adopt leadership and become a social architect. Executives can do this by using what is known in the academic realm as social capital.

Social capital, however, is different from human capital in that human capital focuses on individual behavior and knowledge while social capital emphasizes relationships and the assets created by these relationships. Leaders aggregate human capital into social capital so as to provide further information and opportunities for all members, and subsequently contribute to organizational knowledge management through developing relationships with subordinates that link follower’s individual interests to the organization’s collective-interests.

Executives want to know how social capital can be defined and used in organizations. At this point, you’re probably asking why Social capital is so important. Just as human resources is a huge component of organizations, social capital is the resource that keeps the culture together and builds upon the foundations that help organizations prosper. Social capital focuses on developing relationships to create valuable resources. Executives may not be as interested in social capital as much as scholars are but there is a kernel worth looking it in this theoretical framework for executives. For example, social capital enables executives to improve organizational knowledge management and help close the gap between success and possible failure.

Many executives would agree with John Girard, who sees knowledge management as an outcome of various factors such as leadership, interactions, and communications, formal policies and rules, and a climate inspiring innovation and creativity within organizations. Organizational knowledge cannot merely be described as the sum of individual knowledge, but as a systematic combination of knowledge based on social interactions shared among organizational members. Thus, executives need to see organizational knowledge as the knowledge that exists in the organization as a whole and use social capital to convert individual knowledge into a collective mind for their organization to close the performance gap and help organizations prosper. Therefore, firms need to consider a range of other factors such as social capital that is also reflective of their knowledge management performance.

Can Knowledge Management Processes Create A Sustainable Competitive Advantage?

Executives know that discontinuity exists at all levels of product and services and they do not want to find themselves caught off guard and become obsolete. To remain competitive, executives realize that they have to quickly create and share new ideas and knowledge to be more responsive to market changes. Importantly, knowledge held by organizational members is the most strategic resource for competitive advantage, and also through the way it is managed by executives. Executives can enhance knowledge accumulation which is associated with coaching and mentoring activities by sharing experiences gained by imitating, observing, and practicing. Executives can, in fact, help followers add meaningfulness to their work in ways enhancing a shared understanding among members to enhance engagement.

In the integration process, organizational knowledge is articulated into a formal language that represents official statements. Organizational knowledge is incorporated into formal language and subsequently becomes available to be shared within organizations. Executives have their internet technology departments to create a combination that reshapes existing organizational knowledge to more systematic and complex forms by, for example, using internal databases. Organizing knowledge using databases and archives can make knowledge available throughout the organization—–organized knowledge can be disseminated and searched by others. Most importantly, in knowledge integration, organizational knowledge is internalized through learning by doing which is more engaging. It is important to note that executives have found that shared mental models and technical know-how become valuable assets.

Organizational knowledge, which is reflected in moral and ethical standards and the degree of awareness about organizational visions and missions can in-turn be used in strategic decision making. Organizational knowledge can be, therefore, converted to create new knowledge that executives can view and implement immediately in managerial decision making. Applying knowledge aimed at providing better decision-making and work-related practices and creating new knowledge through innovation.

Finally, when executives agree to share knowledge with other organizations in the environment, studies have shown that that knowledge is often difficult to share externally. One reason is that other organizations have too much pride to accept knowledge or are apprehensive to expose themselves to the competition. Therefore, executives may lack the required capabilities to interact with other organizations.

Learning in organizations is the ultimate outcome of knowledge reconfiguration by which organizational knowledge is created and acquired by connecting knowledge with other companies that want to share successes and failures. This leads to converting acquired knowledge into organizational processes and activities to improve processes that contribute to success. Executives can now see that a company’s capability to manage organizational knowledge is the most crucial factor in a sustainable competitive advantage. This core-competitive advantage relies within and among people. Figure 1 illustrates how social capital can create knowledge management and competitive advantage for companies.

Figure 1: Social Capital, Knowledge Management and Competitive Advantage

In Conclusion

Executives began to listen and respond to the plethora of information in the form of articles, books, and models attempting to provide social capital to help impact knowledge management and organizational competitiveness. This article articulates a different approach and introduces a new and dynamic perspective of social capital by showing how executives can create social capital as collective actions, meaning that organizational knowledge is power and can be used as an asset when competing with rivals.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

References

Girard, J.P. (2006). Where is the knowledge we have lost in managers?. Journal of Knowledge Management, 10(6), 22 – 38.