Beyond Knowledge, A Wise Path to Innovation

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The MAIM Class of 2014 shares their individual innovation opportunities in the lead up to their Degree Show, Exploiting Chaos: Innovation in the Making. Here, Yun Ji ‘Olivia’ Cho, proposes different theories and practical examples of innovation through cross-disciplinary and multicultural collaborations.

Because of globalisation and technological development, the availability of information has increased, and access to various knowledge has been made easier. As a result, the ability to select, share and utilise appropriate knowledge has become the key to organisational success. Examining the ways knowledge is seen as something beyond a tangible object or document I was able to investigate how it can instead act as a more fluid and tacit asset for organisations, allowing for more flexible and innovative use.


Identifying the discourse of knowledge used in today’s global business environment I was able to identify which elements of knowledge are essential and/or challenging in the management of organisations. This led me to research different theories of organisational learning such as action learning, chaordic systems thinking and learning routines which gave me insights on how organisations are able to acquire, share and utilise knowledge for making fruitful changes to their businesses.

Wisdom is a composite of curiosity, a willingness to learn, and an openness to learn new things about one’s environment that challenge.

Brown and Starkey, 2000

Situating my theoretical research in context with an international franchising company, which requires efficient knowledge sharing across different countries, the comparisons allowed me to develop further insights and my own suggestions for organisations looking to harness knowledge and learning. Knowledge is important but useless unless it is utilised properly. Especially at the organisational level, a collective effort is necessary to make creative combinations of knowledge and to actually implement the ideas in favourable ways. In order to do so, organisations need to become wise; organisational wisdom enables more accurate and effective decision makings in a time of constant change and progress.


Companies looking to enhance or strengthen their access to and use of knowledge should be open to what is available both within and outside their organisation, and should not be afraid to try new things and make changes. Embedding a learning culture will allow for connectivity – both to the outside world and to the ability to capture new opportunities. And of course, actions should be taken when opportunities arise, with wise use made of them. 


To learn more about organisational knowledge capture and Olivia’s research, please join us at the MA Innovation Management upcoming Degree Show, Exploiting Chaos: Innovation in the Making, from the 18-22 June.