InnoSpring Knowledge Protection and Sharing in Global Value Networks

Lenght of the project 1.7.2011 - 31.3.2013
Increasingly complex products and services demand integration and coordination of various types of knowledge, which is usually possessed by various firms and their employees. Therefore the firm’s ability to efficiently and effectively both protect and share knowledge has become increasingly important. The effectiveness of knowledge protection and sharing varies between firm as well as value creating networks. Knowledge protection and sharing can therefore become a differentiating factor and a source of competitiveness for a knowledge-based firm.
We take a novel perspective to knowledge protection and sharing by emphasizing informal mechanisms as complements for the formal mechanisms in product life cycle knowledge management. This both complements and widens the current IPR-driven research. We believe that understanding the contingencies with different combination of formal and informal knowledge protection and knowledge sharing mechanisms, and adaptation for optimal fit in various contexts provides competitiveness for firms. Our results will be based on the state-of-the-art literature review, expert interviews and empirical evidence about the different contingencies, e.g. markets (Finland, U.S, and China), phases of product life cycle, type of knowledge, different partners and industries, as well as the legal, regulative and cultural environment.
Research deliverables for participating firms are

  • Understanding of the informal mechanisms (especially HRM) for knowledge sharing and protection

  • Analysis of the suitability of these mechanisms in different contexts (such as different legal and cultural environments, phases of product life cycle and products with various partners) to support firm growth and adaptation to new markets

  • Tools for creating and capturing value through novel knowledge-sharing environments such as online communities

Miia Kosonen
Lappeenrannan yliopisto
Heidi Olander
Lappeenrannan yliopisto