Title

An Examination of the Nexus between Innovation, Knowledge Management and Information Communication Technology

Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Business and Law

First Advisor

Dr Richard Fulford

Second Advisor

Associate Professor Llandis Barratt-Pugh

Third Advisor

Dr Robyn Morris

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore how knowledge management processes (KMP) and information and communications technology (ICT) impact on the innovation performance of Australian organisations. Innovation is well established as an essential core capability for enterprises that intend to be sustainable and develop. This study brings these two areas of study together to explore what actions have the greatest utility in generating innovative performance. This thesis aims to extend the literature by bringing together ICT, KMP and innovation performance into a single study.

This research specifically investigated the relationship between ICT and KMP by disaggregating these constructs to identify nuances between the components to provide a more insightful understanding of this relationship. Also, this research examined the relationship between ICT and KMP and a broad range of innovation performance that has been investigated in previous studies. This study comprehensively assessed through a broad management survey how enterprises employed specific aspects of KMP and ICT, and what impact these actions had on subsequent innovation performance in terms of innovation of products and services, innovation quality and customer satisfaction with innovation.

A quantitative approach was taken in examining the roles of ICT and KMP in improving innovation performance by building on the components of ICT and KMP embedded in previous studies. The survey explored the relationship between the components of ICT and KMP as well as investigating the relationship between the independent variables of ICT with KMP and the dependent variables associated with innovation performance. Five hundred industry managers in the sectors of the business community were surveyed through internet responses and telephone interviews, with 148 completed responses from information communication and technology managers, knowledge management managers and technical managers from medium and large Australian companies.

The findings indicate that overall ICT use positively affected each element of KMP: knowledge creation (KC), internal knowledge sharing and storage (IKSS), and external knowledge sharing (EKS). It was also found that the different forms of these technologies had a differential impact on KMP, with at least one component of ICT having a significant influence on each component of the KMP dimensions. In addition, the empirical evidence in this study indicated that while overall KMP positively influenced each aspect of innovation performance, only the KC component of KMP seemed to uniquely affect the three aspects of innovation performance (process, outputs and customer satisfaction with innovation).

Finally, the evidence showed that each element of innovation performance was found to be positively related to overall ICT use but that only the capture technology (CaT) had a significant unique influence on all forms of innovation performance.

Scholars can use these results to examine further the impact of specific elements of ICT use and KMP on the different components of innovation performance through a larger sample of managers in diverse cultures, while also exploring the rationale and approach of action through a qualitative study. Practitioners can use these findings to improve their local processes of innovation by investing in specific ICT and KM projects that are relevant to their context and are likely to impact on particular components of innovative activity. For managers and enterprises wishing to develop their innovative capability, the findings of this study provide a framework for development and action.

Access Note

Access to this thesis - the full text is restricted to current ECU staff and students by author's request. Email request to library@ecu.edu.au

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