Emergence of a New Organizational Design

This chapter discusses the results of the case study, hinging on three subjects:

– the design of the learning organization (section 5.1);

– the impact of culture on knowledge management (KM) (section 5.2);

– the management of knowledge boundaries (section 5.3).

5.1. Emergence of a design of the learning organization

Five domains of the learning organization have been identified: strategy, incentive systems, people, technology and structure. These different domains of organizational design must be harmoniously aligned with one another, in order to send a clear and consistent message to the company’s employees. Illustrations drawn from the cross-cutting case study demonstrate the consistency or inconsistency of the design of the learning organization.

5.1.1. Flexibility through integrative devices

In the eyes of Galbraith [GAL 94, GAL 00b, GAL 02a, GAL 02b], “processes” provide an organization with flexibility by way of a network of interactions. Four categories of processes, or means of integration of the units, can be applied: informal groups, artifact-based coordination, creation of integration manager jobs and, finally, the construction of a matricial organization. NSN has implemented all means of integration in its KM activities:

– coordination based on informal groups by the creation of virtual communities (e-communities);

– artifact-based coordination (the artifacts in question being knowledge management systems (KMSs) and communication ...

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