Attitudes towards External Knowledge Sourcing & Knowledge-Oriented Leadership

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle

Sammanfattning: External knowledge sourcing is not only an integral practice within knowledge management, its successful facilitation through leadership has a pressing importance for companies in order to stay innovative and thus competitive in an economic environment, shaped by the dominant and continuous influence of globalization and the increasingly fast pace of technological innovation. Hereby, only limited research has been conducted in the relation between knowledge-oriented leadership, knowledge management, and innovation. This thesis is contextualized in the scientific discourse which concerns itself with the role of individual attitudes towards external knowledge sourcing, as well as the facilitating role of leadership towards changing individual attitudes. This thesis is, furthermore, also contextualized within the concepts of open innovation and absorptive capacity, which, respectively, are consequences of the spatial effects of globalization and the temporal effects of the fast pace of technological innovation. Research Question: Facing the challenges of globalization and the fast-changing pace of technology, what patterns between employee’s attitudes towards external knowledge acquisition and employee’s perceived leadership behaviors can be observed within tech companies in Sweden? In order to answer the proposed research question, we conducted a qualitative research including nine semi-structured interviews with employees with a technical background in tech companies in Sweden, ranging from small to large companies and with local to multinational operations. Our main findings represent a generally positive attitude towards external knowledge sourcing within our research scope, which relates with high levels of transformational leadership. Still, we were not able to explore the existence of knowledge-oriented leadership. This thesis contributes to the body of knowledge management, innovation, and leadership research, as it provides a first look into previously identified research gaps, namely the impact of knowledge-oriented leadership and knowledge management on open innovation (Naqshbandi & Jasimuddin, 2018) and the missing connection of the three separate bodies: leadership, knowledge management, and innovation (Donate & de Pablo, 2015)

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