Mechanisms for Effective Knowledge Integration in Consulting Firms
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Knowledge is considered nowadays as the main source of competitive advantage and, therefore, its appropriate application has been gaining great attention. The present study focuses on the use of integrative mechanisms in consulting firms as part of the knowledge application process during the action-planning stage of projects. Concepts such as knowledge, types of knowledge and Knowledge Management processes are clarified and then developed in a consulting firm context, in order to identify the advantages and disadvantages that this type of project-based organisations has due to the important role that knowledge plays in the consulting process. Furthermore, two main paradigms of Knowledge Management in consulting firms are developed based on a synthesis of the relevant literature. Next, different views of Knowledge Integration are exposed and the four mechanisms for Knowledge Integration proposed by Grant are assigned to each paradigm. These paradigms are used as theoretical base for the research and as selection criteria of two representative consulting firms, which constitute the unit of analysis of a qualitative study, which aims to rank the importance of the above mentioned Knowledge Integration mechanisms in the action-planning stage of the consulting project life-cycle.
The research approach is deductive and subjective in terms of ontology. Critical realism more closely represents the study in terms of epistemology and the main sample characteristics are non-probabilistic, purposive and heterogeneous. The data are collected through surveys and semi-structured interviews and are analysed following a commonly accepted qualitative data analysis method.
The study results regard the ranking of the four integrative mechanisms in terms of their usefulness during the action-planning stage of consulting projects. The results cannot be generalised due to the sample characteristics but they qualitatively reflect the importance of mechanisms for integration of knowledge in these two firms during this particular stage. By doing so, the study implies that, although the two consulting firms represent different paradigms of Knowledge Management, they have a similar predisposition to give priority to a certain Knowledge Integration mechanism against another.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 74 p.
knowledge, knowledge management, knowledge integration, consulting firms, knowledge integration mechanisms
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-31385OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-31385DiVA: diva2:292810
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Blomquist, Tomas, PhD
Nilsson, Kerstin, Tf studierektor