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Inside the Virtual Product

How Organizations Create Knowledge through Software Luciana D’Adderio, University of Strathclyde, UK
What is the influence of software systems on an organization’s ability to create knowledge, learn, adapt to change and innovate? While organization, management and innovation theory has primarily focused on the impact of software on measures such as process efficiency and speed, this book argues that integrated systems and digital technologies offer even more fundamental implications for the innovating firm.
Extent: 256 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2004
ISBN: 978 1 84376 210 2
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
  • Organisational Innovation
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Organisational Innovation
  • Technology and ICT
What is the influence of software systems on an organization’s ability to create knowledge, learn, adapt to change and innovate? While organization, management and innovation theory has primarily focused on the impact of software on measures such as process efficiency and speed, this book argues that integrated systems and digital technologies offer even more fundamental implications for the innovating firm.

A series of detailed case studies provides the foundations for a deeper theoretical and empirical understanding of the nature and dynamics of software, knowledge, organization and their complex interactions. The author demonstrates how software induces the radical reconfiguration of organizational knowledge and learning dynamics, including an organization’s ability to create, store, transfer and integrate knowledge across heterogeneous organizational boundaries. The book provides a unique perspective on what organizations know and how they use that knowledge to build, sustain and renew their capabilities. This includes understanding how information systems can be designed or implemented in such a way as to favour innovation and adaptation, and to prevent unfavourable patterns of behaviour.

The book represents an in-depth and systematic attempt to characterize the fundamental influence of software over the processes that underpin an organization’s ability to create and manage knowledge. Scholars and students interested in innovation, technological change and information technology, and managers in software and other hi-tech industries will find this an insightful and highly rewarding study.
‘This is a very insightful book concerning a very real and important issue: how do software and organizations relate to each other? The volume is unique in its well-thought out and advanced approach, and I have no doubt it will open the eyes of many scholars.’
– Hariolf Grupp, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research and Karlsruhe Technical University, Germany
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Knowledge in Theory and in Practice 3. Distributed Knowledge, Situated Action: The Role of Qualitative Analysis and Participant-Observation in Organizational Knowledge Research 4. Integrated Software Systems: The Technology and its Embedded Assumptions 5. The Influence of Integrated Systems on Organizational Memory 6. Bridging Formal Tools with Informal Practices: How Organizations Balance Flexibility and Control 7. Crafting the Virtual Prototype: How Firms Integrate Knowledge and Capabilities Within and Across Organizational Boundaries 8. Conclusions References Index