Title: Organisational knowledge flows and structural change - the case of dispersed education organisations

Authors: Harri Laihonen; Pirjo Syysnummi

Addresses: School of Management, University of Tampere, School of Management (JKK), FI-33014 University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland ' Department of Business Information Management and Logistics, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box. 541, 33101 Tampere, Finland

Abstract: The paper studies the implications of structural change for organisational knowledge flows. A qualitative case study was carried out in two vocational education and training organisations in Finland in order to recognise how the system-level structural change has been perceived by the education managers. The paper aims to bridge a research gap in knowledge management in situations of changing organisation structures. The results reveal that the externally driven structural change has led to concurrent and somewhat conflicting organisation structures leading to distortion of knowledge flows. Administrative Bureaucracies, team adhocracies and professional autonomies favour different structures and knowledge flows. The results also show that the integration of smaller organisations into large administrative entities further complicates the flow of knowledge and amplifies management challenges relating to concurrent structures. The paper calls for better integration of knowledge management into the strategic management of knowledge-intensive education organisations. The findings provide practical support for the management of previously independent education institutes to confront the structural change towards regional and geographically dispersed actors. More generally, the discussion contributes to the discussion on managing growing knowledge-intensive organisations and knowledge work.

Keywords: knowledge management; knowledge flows; education management; VET; vocational education and training; structural change; Finland; organisational structure; strategic management; knowledge-intensive organisations; regional institutions; geographically dispersed organisations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2015.072711

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2015 Vol.6 No.3, pp.247 - 260

Available online: 26 Oct 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article