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Knowledge Management: Organizational and Systems perspectives


Organizational Leadership, Cultures and Process Maturity Closed System View of Org. ... of the same event across subcultures will generally be very different ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Knowledge Management: Organizational and Systems perspectives


Please make sure to bring all the lecture notes
(up to week 10) as I will be summarizing all
the notes today
LECTURE 10 Amare Michael Desta
Decision Support Executive Information Systems
Organizational Leadership, Cultures and
Process Maturity Closed System View of Org.
  • Many different perspectives
  • - Closed system perspective
  • Organization as instrument to achieve defined
  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness
  • Flexibility / adaptability
  • Job satisfaction
  • - Four activities follow from the above
  • Complexity and specialization of tasks
  • Centralization of authority
  • Formalization of jobs
  • Stratification of employment levels

Closed System View - Criticism
  • View sees humans as machines
  • Resources are optimised
  • Not true in all cases
  • Responses fit into the defined plan
  • Environmental influence seen as only noise

Open System View of Organizations
  • Interested in both the objectives and responses
    to internal and external influences
  • Organizational activities (Weick)
  • Enactment, selection and retention
  • Results of these are
  • Understanding of the environment
  • Recognizing problems
  • Diagnosing causes for problems
  • Identifying policies to solve problems
  • Evaluating the efficiency of the policies
  • Selecting priorities for problem solving

Organizational Learning Model(Daft Weick)
  • Three major components
  • - Scanning
  • Monitoring the environment
  • - Interpretation
  • Translating observations
  • - Learning
  • Knowledge about relations between organizations
    state and environment
  • Actions

Generic Roles for Executives
  • To achieve the defined goals FOUR different
  • Roles are needed by executives
  • - Administration
  • Caretaking role
  • Management
  • Concerned with efficiency
  • Leadership
  • Setting of a vision and seeing it through
  • Governance
  • Stakeholder management

Organizational Topographies
  • Inactive organization
  • Tries to avoid problems
  • Waits them to go away
  • Reactive organization
  • Problem solving organization
  • Internal environment
  • Interactive organization
  • Tries to adapt to external environment
  • Development of responses to external environment
  • Proactive organization
  • Learning to learn better
  • Adaptive behaviour

Organizational Learning
  • Organizational learning is needed to anticipate
    changes and improve behaviour
  • Situation assessment
  • Problem detection
  • Solution
  • Evaluation of outcome
  • Resulting discovery
  • The learning is not always beneficial in practice
  • E.g. improperly simplified causal models

Theory of Reasoning, Learning and Action
  • Two major inhibitions to learning
  • 1) Distortion of information
  • Quality of decisions affected
  • 2) Lack of receptivity to feedback
  • Types of organizational learning
  • Single-loop
  • Present policies to achieve present goals
  • No questioning of goals
  • Double-loop
  • New understanding developed
  • Goals are put under scrutiny
  • Poor performance organizations usually use
    single-loop learning

Theory of Reasoning, Learning and Action (2)
  • There are other inhibitions to learning
  • Distancing
  • Not accepting responsibility
  • Disconnectedness
  • Limited information about theories in use and the
    associated actions
  • Five dilemmas
  • Incongruity
  • Inconsistency
  • Ineffectiveness
  • Disusability
  • Unobservability

Learning Organization
  • Organization where people continually expand
    their capacity to create results they truly
    desire, where new and expansive patterns of
    thinking are nurtured, where collective
    aspiration is set free, and where people are
    continually learning how to learn together
    (Peter Senge)
  • Five disciplines enable this learning
  • Systems thinking
  • Personal mastery through lifelong learning
  • Shared mental models of markets and competitors
  • Shared vision
  • Team learning
  • Lack of capability in one of the five disciplines
    is called a learning disability

11 Laws of Systems Thinking
  • Future problems come about because of what were
    presumed past solutions
  • Every action has a reaction
  • Short-term improvements lead to long-term
  • Easy solution is no solution at all
  • Solution may be worse than the problem
  • Quick solutions lead to more problems
  • Cause and effect not necessarily closely linked
  • Best actions not obvious at first
  • Low cost and high effectiveness need not to be
  • The entirety is more than the sum of its parts
  • Entire system must be considered together

How to Build a Learning Organization?
  • Leaders must be
  • Designers
  • Stewards
  • Teachers
  • Three pragmatic needs
  • Meaning
  • Management
  • Measurement
  • Five building blocks
  • Systematic problem solving process
  • Experimentation
  • Learning from past mistakes
  • Learning from others
  • Transferring the knowledge through organization

Problem Solving Process
Assess situation and select problem for resolution
Problem definition
Generate solution options
Evaluate options and select preferred option
Implement solution
Evaluate solution
Organizational Cultures
  • Culture closely related to learning
  • Socially transmitted behaviour patterns
  • Critical success factors of organizational
  • Shared vision
  • Motivational faith
  • Distinctive skills
  • Change in culture must be controlled
  • Reasons for failure
  • No shared vision of impending crisis
  • No shared vision of a way out of crisis
  • Culture change produces wrong results
  • People learn in a wrong way

Changing Culture
  • Change is often resisted even though it is known
    to be needed
  • People do not know in which way or how to change
  • Poor abilities at double-loop learning
  • Past competence a path to success
  • Stereotypical thinking
  • Fall into ideological routines
  • Multiphase approach to change
  • Access corporate culture
  • Identify approaches to culture change
  • Negotiate a shared vision
  • Deploy the shared vision

Culture Clash
  • Three different cultures
  • Corporate culture stresses loyalty to
  • Professional culture emphasises given knowledge
  • - Loyalty to profession greater than loyalty to
  • Social culture represents the values of
  • Clash areas
  • Specialization
  • Managers lt-gt Employees
  • Overspecifying practice
  • Underspecifying the end
  • Employees want autonomy
  • Tight supervision
  • Formalization of control
  • Principles more important than practice
  • Short-term profits vs. ethics

Culture and leadership
  • A number of studies discuss the interaction of
    culture and leadership and the role of these in
    creating excellence
  • E.g Hickman and Silva suggest strategy and
    culture as foundations for excellence
  • They further identify six new age skills
    aggregated under three more generic (need)

Hickman and Silva
  • The need to forge a strong foundation for
    excellence through
  • creative insight
  • sensitivity
  • The need to integrate organizational and
    individual skills through
  • vision and
  • patience
  • The need for adaptation through
  • versatility and
  • Focus

Kotter and Heskett
  • Kotter and Heskett identified several important
    cultural realities
  • Organizational culture has a significant impact
    on the long term performance of an organization
  • The importance of culture will increase in the
  • Organizational cultures that are debilitating to
    long term performance are not uncommon
  • Organizational cultures can be changed to allow
    enhanced performance
  • Effort is primarily concerned with identification
    of the characteristics of cultures that will be
    most supportive of excellence performance.

Leadership and management Studies of individual
and organizational leadership
  • Coveys SEVEN habits of effective people
  • First three relate to individual concerns
  • Next three relate to group and organizational
  • The last concerns learning and renewal
  • counterbalance independence and
  • dependence relations

  • Covey also identifies THREE primary traits of
    effective leaders (a) integrity (b) maturity and
    (c) abundant mentality and THREE types of power
  • Principle-centered power, based on honor
  • Utility power, based on fairness
  • Coercive power, based on fear
  • Related to various contexts for learning

  • FOUR paradigms that could be used as a basis for
  • The scientific management paradigm
  • The human relations paradigm
  • The human resources paradigm
  • The principle-centered leadership paradigm

Badaracco and Ellworth
  • Badaracco and Ellworths identified THREE
    leadership philosophies based on a set of
    fundamental assumptions about human nature and
    the resulting behavior patterns of people in
  • Political leadership
  • Directive leadership
  • Value-driven leadership
  • Philosophies are also provided with suggestions
    for operational management and task control

Rothschild - identified FOUR major leadership
  • Risk-takers, often creators of an organization
    who have the dedication and talent to implement a
    strategic vision
  • Care-takers, who nurture an organization beyond
    its growth stage into a healthy maturity
  • Surgeons, who examine diseased portions of an
    organization and correct or remove those portions
  • Undertakers, who harvest and/or merge the
    organization in order to mercifully lay to rest
    an unsalvageable organization rescue those
    portions that are capable in need of rebirth in
    a new form

  • Kotter has distinguished between leadership and
  • Kotter indicates that leadership involves moving
    people from one state to a better state without
    transgressing on the rights of other
  • To do this, leadership involves three principal
    activities that roughly correspond to the
    definition, development, and deployment effort in
    systems engineering

Kotter continues
  • 1. Agenda creation. Direction setting is needed
  • establish a future vision and strategies for the
  • needed changes to enable realization of the
  • 2. Developing human networks. Communication of
  • the vision and developing a set of shared
  • and understanding the vision are needed to
  • an alignment of people who are committed to
  • organizational progress.
  • 3. Action implementation or execution. Motivating
  • and inspiring people to move in directions
    appropriate to
  • achieve the strategic vision despite the
  • challenges and bureaucratic barriers.

Cultural Framework Models
  • Sage introduces two separate works on cultural
  • Bolman and Deals (1991), and
  • Bergquist (1992).
  • They all are built for a university environment.
  • These are suggested to be applicable in a more
    general organizational setting.

Bolman and Deals Cultural Framework Model
  • Bolman and Deal (1994) identify FOUR frameworks
    for modeling organizational culture
  • 1) structural framework formal rationality and
    analytical methodologic approaches are preffered
    for organizing
  • 2) human relations framework purpose of
    organization is support for the people in the

Dolman and Deal (cont.)
  • 3) political framework organization viewed as a
    coalition of diverse interests - most of which
    based on differing values and perceptions of
  • 4) symbolic framework sees that meaning, or
    interpretation, of the same event across
    subcultures will generally be very different
  • ambiguity in organization
  • -gt formal rational analysis becomes difficult
  • -gt humans create symbols that become surrogates
    for more fundamental and meaningful events.

Bergquists Cultural Framework
  • Berguist (1992) divides organizational cultures
    into FOUR
  • 1) collegial culture sees diversity of
    perspective and autonomy of effort -gt supports
    academic governance
  • -gt supports disciplinary scholarship and
  • 2) managerial culture closely associated with
    junior- college culture and any very strongly
    top-down leadership
  • -gt acceptance of detailed plans expected

Bergquist (cont.)
  • 3) developmental culture orgzns and their
    processes designed to effectively accommodate
    needs of university (organization)
  • -gt supports fulfillment of university
    (organization) mission
  • 4) negotiating culture very concerned with
    personal and financial needs of faculty and staff
  • -gt change takes place through confrontational
    efforts and effective use of scarce resources -
    often includes bargaining efforts

Cultural Dynamics Model of Oraganizational Forms
  • This model is developed by Henry Minzberg and
    aims to describe organizational forms, to help
    design effective organizations.
  • FIVE mechanisms describe work coordination
    approaches in industrial organizations
  • Mutual adjustment
  • Direct supervision
  • Standardization of work processes
  • Standardization of skills and knowledge
  • Standardization of norms.

Process maturity Process models
  • 1) organizational lifecycle process maturity
  • represents the extent to which specific processes
  • explicitly defined, managed, measured, controlled
  • and effective in achieving their intended purpose
  • 2) disciplined process, teams with common values,
  • systems management infrastructure, strong
  • Leadership ? process mature organization

  • five stages of development of quality maturity
  • inspiration for the other maturity models
  • Uncertainty
  • Awakening
  • Enlightment
  • Wisdom
  • Certainty

Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
  • originally developed by the Software Engineering
    Institute (SEI) at Carnegie-Mellon University
  • it provides software organizations with guidance
    on processes for developing and maintaining
  • five levels with key process areas

1. Initial level
  • the process is not under statistical measurement
    control at even the operational level, and no
    systematic process is possible
  • no key processes

2. Repeatable level
  • a measure of thorough operational level product
    control is achieved through metrics associated
    with cost, schedule, and product configuration
  • basic program management processes are

2. Repeatable level (cont.)
  • Requirements Management
  • SW Project Planning
  • SW Project Tracking and Oversight
  • SW Subcontract Management
  • SW Quality Assurance
  • SW Configuration Management

3. Defined level
  • the process has been understood and specified so
    that operational quality control is able to yield
    products with predictable costs and performance
  • the organization has a set of standardized,
    consistent, and repeatable processes
  • process management is interactive and processes
    are well integrated five levels with key process

3. Defined level (cont.)
  • Organizational Process Focus
  • Organization Process Definition
  • Training Programs
  • Integrated Software Management
  • Software Product Engineering
  • Intergroup Coordination
  • Peer Reviews

4. Managed maturity level
  • comprehensive process-related measurements are
    possible and improvements in product quality are
    possible through the understanding and control
  • interactive process management processes are well
    in place
  • Quantitative Process Management
  • Software Quality Management

5. Optimizing level
  • the highest possible level of maturity is reached
  • the organization is able to make continuous
    improvements in products, services and processes
  • process management is highly proactive
  • there are also interactive and reactive controls
    and measurements

5. Optimizing level (cont.)
  • Defect Prevention
  • Technology Change Management
  • Process Change Management

Key process areas
  • Each of the key process areas have a set of SIX
    common features associated with them.
  • Goals
  • Commitment to perform
  • Ability to perform
  • Activities performed
  • Systematic measurement and analysis efforts
  • Implementation verification

Process Maturity Conclusion
  • The majority of organizations in practice today
    are at levels 1 and 2, with very few at levels 3,
    4, and 5
  • There are only few programs which are at levels 4
    and 5 the further research will focus on them
    and the evolution of the CMM at these higher
    maturity levels
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