A Knowledge -based Approach to Innovation An Application for Project- based Firms

Essay by arvindharvardUniversity, Master's August 2005

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an individual projects is a lonely phenomenon - this is a perspective that is always propagated by project management theories .however, in practice, projects are not isolated processes, but have to be performed with definite social relationships within the context of project organization . These organizations have specific social identity and organization culture (Grabher, 2002; Hellgren and Stjernberg, 1995; Lundin and Söderholm, 1995; Sydow and Staber, 2002). The view mentioned above is also seen in similar concepts like project network and Project-Based Organizations (PBOs). Project networks, which are temporary, are created to establish healthy relations between interdependent functional groups and individual that exists to achieve project objectives. PBOs create an environment in which all the organizational structures and capabilities are built in project-centric approach.

The project parties in PBO have to interact with several external agencies and they come up with innovative ideas for project completion during the course of the project.

The challenge lies in spreading the knowledge to all the new projects in the portfolio. Lots of times, organizations consider projects as unique and short run and fail to lay down structure for cross- project learning. The ability to learn from projects and dissemination of knowledge depend on networks of relationships in a PBO. Knowledge-based perspective concentrates on building up capabilities during the implementation of projects. Networks are formed by knowledge flows through collaboration, sub contract and strategic alliances.

#Knowledge, Networks and Innovation

According to the Knowledge-based View (KBV), knowledge is of strategic importance and firm's competitive advantage lies in its ability to integrate the knowledge of different processes of goods and services. The advantage is secured by ensuring cooperation in network relationships. Learning also takes place through alliances and joint ventures where by firms gain access to skills and capabilities of there partners.