Patterns and Structures of Intra-Organizational Learning Networks: Forthcoming in Journal of Information Technology

jitI have co-authored a paper with Miha Škerlavaj (University of Ljubljana) and Vlado Dimovski (University of Ljubljana) that examines network-based learning. The paper will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Information Technology. I hold a five-year honorary visiting professor appointment at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana.

This paper employs the network perspective to study patterns and structures of intra-organizational learning networks. The theoretical background draws from cognitive theories, theories of homophily and proximity, theories of social exchange, the theory of generalized exchange, small-worlds theory, and social process theory. The levels of analysis applied are actor, dyadic, triadic, and global. Confirmatory social network analysis (exponential random graph modeling) was employed for data analysis. Findings suggest: (1) central actors in the learning network are experienced and hold senior positions in the organizational hierarchy, (2) evidence of homophily (in terms of gender, tenure, and hierarchical level relations) and proximity (in terms of geographical and departmental distances) in learning relationships, (3) learning relationships are non-reciprocal, and (4) transitivity and high local clustering with sparse inter-cluster ties are significant for intra-organizational learning networks.

Speaking at the Washington Technology Industry Association: Securing Organizational Knowledge – Human Intelligence Operations

wtialogo_intI will be giving a talk for the Washington Technology Industry Association based on my recent book, Managing Knowledge Security (Kogan Page, 2007). The talk will take place on December 7, 2009 at Seattle University. For details, please click here [Link]

Based on his recent book, Managing Knowledge Security: Strategies for Protecting Your Company's Intellectual Assets (Kogan Page, 2007), Desouza will describe how human intelligence operations are conducted to ascertain competitive intelligence. Warning his audience of business practitioners that most organizations fail to understand that their core resources intellectual assets are constantly under attack, and that protecting these resources is as important as any other part of the strategic agenda. Desouza, gives advice on how to recognize dangers of human and technological breaches, hazards of outsourcing and business alliances, implementation of breach prevention measures, and the necessity of working with disaster scenarios. He illustrates his advice with cases from his personal experience working in the fields of competitive intelligence, knowledge management, crisis management, and security operations.

The Future of Innovation in the Insurance Industry: Talk at PEMCO Insurance

pemcoOn September 10th, I will be giving a talk at PEMCO Insurance on the Future of Innovation in the Insurance Industry. I plan to outline how insurance providers can enhance service offerings and enrich customer experiences through crafting sustainable innovation processes. This talk is part of PEMCO’s @pfslive series, which brings together over 100 business professionals from the following organizations: PEMCO Insurance, School Employees Credit Union of Washington, Evergreen Bank, PEMCO Corporation, and PEMCO Technology Services, Inc.

Speaking at Talent Management – 2009

PLSI will be speaking at the 2009, Talent Management: A Systematic Approach to Acquiring, Developing, and Retaining Talent and Organizational Knowledge Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona (November 4-6, 2009). My talk will discuss key strategies global organizations employ to build effective knowledge transfer and retention strategies.

Knowledge Transfer: A System for Capturing and Transferring Institutional Memory
As an organization prepares for the departure of valuable staff, a key challenge is how to capture, store, and transfer knowledge. Managing knowledge and ensuring its transfer will increase productivity.

This session will provide useful tools and processes for selecting the best strategy to fit your organization’s culture. Participants will explore the use of technology as well as best practice approaches and tools to preserve and transmit institutional memory. Topics include:

  • The role of technology in collecting, storing, and retrieving vital knowledge
  • Methods for knowledge transfer
  • The role of document management processes
  • A process map for knowledge management and transfer
  • Best practices and alternatives

To register for the event, please click here.

Paper: Improving Data Visualization for High-Density Information Transfer in Social Network Analysis Tools

Chris Rivinus (Parsons Brinckerhoff), Peter Baloh (University of Ljubljana) and I have authored a paper for the itAIS VI Conference -  Toward Fusion in the Interconnected World: Exploring the Connection between Organizations and Technology (October 2-3, 2009). The paper titled, “Improving Data Visualization for High-Density Information Transfer in Social Network Analysis Tools”,  examines highlights from the last 30 years of dialogue about visualization as a basis for decision making in urban design, and suggests three areas in which SNA software designers should focus efforts to evolve more effective tools for organizational and IS design: realism, detail and changes over time.

One of the core issues in data and knowledge transfer is the appropriateness of transfer mechanisms. Often, understanding of problems and decision making by knowledge workers, can be improved by appropriate information and knowledge visualization. As businesses turn towards collaboration and innovation for competitive advantage, Social Network Analysis (SNA) tools have provided means of understanding existing employee network dynamics including the pathway of information shared between individual members. However, these tools have not been widely adopted for the purposes of organizational and information systems (IS) design. Possible explanations as to why SNA has not been more widely adopted as a design tool can be found in literature focusing on visualization as a modeling and decision making tool for urban design. This paper examines highlights from the last 30 years of dialogue about visualization as a basis for decision making in urban design, and suggests three areas in which SNA software designers should focus efforts to evolve more effective tools for organizational and IS design: realism, detail and changes over time. This discourse not only furthers applicability of SNA as a tool on its own by proposing how to design improved technological solutions, but it also suggests areas of exploration for IS product development generally

Greetings from South Africa – Visiting Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand

slice_r1_c1I am currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa and loving it. I am a visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Economic & Business Sciences. In addition to conducting several research projects and beginning work on two books, I will be teaching two courses on strategic management of information systems during the next few weeks. This is my second occasion serving as a visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. Before arriving into Johannesburg, I spent time visiting two other cities in South Africa - Durban and Port Elizabeth.

Keynote Speaker: First International Conference on Information Society and Information Technology, Slovenia (12-13 October 2009)

header_3I have been invited to deliver a keynote lecture at the First International Conference on Information Society and Information Technology in Novo Mesto (Dolenjske Toplice), Slovenia. The conference is being organized by the Faculty of Information Studies.

The Value-Creation Imperative for the Information System Academy: Lessons from Three Radical (Risky) Projects

The Information System (IS) Academy continues to falter in its attempt to create value-added artifacts for its stakeholders. IS researchers are seldom invited to participate in significant projects at private organizations and government establishments. Stakeholders, from management practitioners to government policy makers, are frustrated by the current state of IS research. In this talk, I draw on three of my recent research projects the change management book as part of the global text project, leveraging ideas for organizational innovation, and an examination of information management challenges in complex, networked, settings (e.g. government intelligence communities and terrorist organizations) to propose a new model for IS research. The new model puts value-creation as the central measure of IS research impact. Given this, the model illustrates how to engage stakeholders to co-create value that not only benefits the theoretical knowledge bases, but also contributes directly and deliberately to the state of practice. Furthermore, the model outlines how to commercialize research so as to benefit society at-large through the widespread diffusion and implementation of research results.

How to Implement a Successful Outsourcing Process? – PMI Services & Outsourcing SIG

polisheditionoutsourcingbook9780749444303I will be delivering a webinar on June 17th, 2009 to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Services & Outsourcing Special Interest Group (SIG). My presentation will examine the basic, yet critical question, How to Implement a Successful Outsourcing Process? The presentation will draw heavily from my book, The Outsourcing Handbook (Kogan Page, 2006). For more information, please click here: LINK

To purchase a copy of my book, please click here: LINK

To purchase a copy of the Polish edition, Outsourcing: Podr?cznik sprawdzonych praktyk, published by Wydawnictwo MT Biznes, please click here: LINK

Two Research Seminars at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana

I enjoyed delivering two research seminars in Slovenia. Thanks to all that attended. I gained a lot from your feedback and comments.

Seminar prof. dr. Kevina C. Desouze (University of Washington, Seattle, WA), z naslovom Designing the Innovation Process: Building, Managing, Communicating and Measuring, bo v sredo, 13. maja 2009, ob 17. uri, v klubski sobi CISEF-a

Seminar prof. dr. Kevina C. Desouze (University of Washington, Seattle, WA), z naslovom Challenges in Inter-Disciplinary Research: Strategies from Crafting Research Ideas to Publishing, bo v ponedeljek, 11. maja 2009, ob 16. uri, v sejni sobi CISEF-a.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements: Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 2009

I will be delivering two invited lectures at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana in May. logo_eng

The first talk, Challenges in Inter-Disciplinary Research: Strategies from Crafting Research Ideas to Publishing, will take place on May 11, 2009. In this presentation, I will share my experiences in executing inter-disciplinary research projects. Studying complex phenomenon requires us to undertake research that (1) draws on multiple disciplines, (2) engages a diverse group of stakeholders, (3) appreciates a plurality of research approaches, and (4) communicates to a diverse set of audiences. Executing inter-disciplinary research is no easy feat to accomplish. Researchers face daunting challenges from the onset, beginning with the very inception of ideas, crafting of problem statements, executing the research process, and communicating the results via publications in academic and practitioner outlets. However, these challenges should not be viewed as an excuse to abandon inter-disciplinary research in favor of narrow-minded and singular research exercises, which reduce complex phenomenon in deterministic fashions so as to arrive at simplistic problems that lack relevance. I will present a method (process) for executing inter-disciplinary research that has served me well. Illustrative examples of research projects will be used to exemplify this process and outline strategies for researchers to consider when conducting inter-disciplinary research projects.

The second talk, Designing the Innovation Process: Building, Managing, Communicating and Measuring, will take place on May 13, 2009. In this presentation, I will describe the process of innovation and propose mechanisms to measure the value of innovation. The innovation process will be broken down into the discrete stages of idea generation and mobilization, screening and advocacy, experimentation, commercialization, diffusion and implementation. For each stage, context, outputs and critical ingredients are discussed. Findings are based on extensive study of over 30 top US and European companies with mature innovation processes.