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Category: Studies

A Lack of Ownership. About Pyramids and Teams

The team has to take ownership! That’s what they all say. And they don’t understand, why the team doesn’t. They take ownership themselves. And they told the team to do the same. Yet, it’s not happening. We probably need a new team, this one is useless…

I personally witnessed a gazillion cases like this. People are concerned that software developers don’t deliver high quality or employees don’t keep the kitchen clean. And everything in between. When you think about it, you can probably come up with similar examples from your reality.

But what to do? The underlying concern regarding other people’s behavior is very reasonable. More often than not we judge behavior without thinking about the motives behind them. We forget to look into the underlying reasons for behavior. That’s what humans tend to do, see the ‘what’ and not the ‘why’.

Cross-Cultural Competence

We live in a globalized world. Interacting with different cultures all the time. And it is becoming more and more important to be able to deal with this. Cross-cultural competence is what HR calls it in employment ads. What they mean is, you should be able to successfully collaborate with others from different cultures. And no, telling them what you want, is certainly not the right way. It’s way more complicated than that… 

Leadership – What it is and how it should be done

I work in a company, where we have team leads, supporting the employees to develop and making sure that this development is aligned to the competitive goals of the company. I’m sure you can relate to this one way or the other. Maybe it’s a line manager or a department director or whatnot. That however is the leadership I want to discuss here. Not the leadership of a CEO towards the whole organization or the leadership of HR managers defining the development structures of an organization.

Knowledge Management Strategies

Large parts of my PhD thesis are based on a theory by Morten T. Hansen, Nitin Nohria, and Thomas Tierney [1]. In their article the authors analyze different consulting companies and define two basic strategies for knowledge management: The codification and the personalization. An organization has to follow one of those, the one that fits to the competitive strategy best.

Note: Most of the text from this post is directly taken from my PhD thesis. That is also the reason why this text is so long and detailed…
Sorry for that. 🙂

The Wiki Way

Ward Cunningham was searching for a new way of collaboration while he was cooperating on the Design Patters book by the Gang of Four. He came up with a very simple web application for collaboration. Legend has it that Cunningham attended a conference in Honolulu while he was working on his system. And when the shuttle bus at the airport arrived, he had a name for it. The bus transfer is called “wiki wiki”, after the Hawaiian word for very quick.
That’s how he called his system: The wiki wiki web.

Knowledge… what is that?

You can’t really be involved with knowledge management without asking: What is knowledge? Well, knowledge is probably one of the oldest concepts of mankind. Ancient philosophers already tried to define it and built a whole theory (epistemology) around. I would like to point out a very nice description by Davenport & Pruzak in their book “Working Knowledge” [1]. This blog post however is my own explanation of knowledge.

Engaged Scholarship

During the summer school and the conference I recently attended, the topic was engaged scholarship. Since Van de Ven published his book [1] in 2007, this topic has been broadly discussed, especially in the Scandinavia information systems community. Reason enough for me to take a closer look at the book and a brief explanation, why it makes a lot of noise in northern Europe.