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Managing knowledge in IT-based innovation: the case of business-to-business electronic commerce implementation

By Jan Tribiahn


This thesis is concerned with understanding the way in which knowledge is managed in IT-based innovations. Although there is a growing body of research on how to leverage knowledge to improve organisational performance, particularly in the field of "knowledge management", most studies divorce knowledge from its context and fail to consider the purpose for which knowledge is managed. One such purpose is the integration of IT-based innovations, during which knowledge about complex IT is integrated with context-specific organisational knowledge, in order to develop firm-specific solutions. However, existing research in IS implementation and IT-based innovation tends to be fragmented and falls short of providing a comprehensive analytical framework for understanding the management of knowledge in IT-based innovations.\ud \ud An analytical framework based on the processes of knowledge creation, sharing and retention is developed by reviewing literature in the area of knowledge management, IS implementation, IT-based innovation and organisational knowledge. As this research adopts a constructivist view of IT and knowledge, an interpretive case study approach was selected for the empirical investigation. The implementation of B2B e-commerce was selected, as it has been commonly described as knowledge-intensive. This research provides both a chronological and thematic description guided by the analytical framework of the integration of B2B e-commerce at ComCo and AutoCo, two large original equipment manufacturers in the vehicle manufacturing sector.\ud \ud One major contribution of this research is the development of an analytical framework that focuses specifically on understanding the management of knowledge in the integration of IT-based innovations. The analysis has revealed the existence of "knowledge phases" - periods of time in which the relationship between knowledge creation, sharing and retention is based on a stable pattern of organisational activities in order to serve a specific purpose

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