University of Twente Student Theses


Inter-& Intradepartmental knowledge management barriers when offering single unit solutions

Steffen, Barbara (2016) Inter-& Intradepartmental knowledge management barriers when offering single unit solutions.

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Abstract:Single unit solutions become increasingly important in the Business-to-Business market where, e.g., already existing production facilities of the customer require that new products obey to the integral quality constraint while meeting the customer’s functionality requirements. In order to be competitive, suppliers must be able to fast identify the essential criteria to generate a fitting solution that optimally exploits available components and minimizes the adaptive work. This process of identification is critical, as even minor variations of a contract may substantially increase the production effort, an effect that can typically only be controlled by high engineering expertise. It is the high frequency in which the sales force has to produce offers for single unit solutions which makes the communication between the sales and the engineering department a bottleneck and correspondingly optimized knowledge management a critical challenge. The thesis therefore analyses, to my knowledge for the first time, inter- & intradepartmental knowledge management barriers and their implications in the context of single unit solutions. This analysis aggregates the results of a literature review and the feedback of an empirical study. It reveals strong interdependencies between (the four categories of) the knowledge management barriers and identifies three measures for overcoming them in order to establish a culture of knowledge sharing: Providing standardized processes, e.g., to know when and how to share what, transparent managerial communication and organization-oriented incentives in order to establish a global culture of trust and common goals, and IT-based knowledge management to provide up-to-date knowledge and bridge the semantic barriers. As these measurements need some time to show their benefits and are only effective in combination, this emphasizes the role of the top management which has to allocate a quite substantial budget and to set the scene for a simultaneous start.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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