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TitleCreative leadership as the essential driver of organisational competitive advantage for sustaining the economy of knowledge
AuthorSteyn, Colin Samuel
SubjectCentral University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations
SubjectCreative ability in business
SubjectKnowledge workers
SubjectSuccess in business
SubjectKnowledge management - Economic aspects
SubjectManagement - Employee participation
Format1 691 709 bytes
AbstractThesis (D. Tech.) -- Central University of Technology, Free State, 2008
AbstractIn the twenty-first century knowledge landscape, companies are compelled to compete in a complex and challenging context, transformed by globalisation, technological development, new applications of knowledge and hyper-competition. This new economic landscape requires organisations to perform differently with their knowledge assets to survive and prosper. It has become crucial for organisations to reinvent themselves through new rubrics of leadership, which essentially requires radical change as post-modern perspectives on the knowledge economy emphasise the fluidity, and immediacy of information exchanges that are leveraged through creativity and innovation as the new future sustainable rent. Postmodernist contestations of modernist economic and organisational rationalities have successfully activated discourse from diverse audiences and immense contributions to contemporary knowledge-intensive organisational diagnoses have been proffered. A current issue, which urgently enquires into new conceptions of organisational leadership, is regarded as the global knowledge economy. This economy seeks new sources of inspiration and revitalisation within the dynamic, mutable domains of future knowledge competency construction and enactment. New forms of human capital are now required to manifest tacit and intellectual capacity through exponential creativity and innovation capabilities, rather than explicit production-driven modalities. Therefore, organisations must access this new talent that engages deeply with creative thinking, as they can no longer reproduce themselves within the old traditions of management and control. The need to conjure new aspects of leadership to harness and then transform novel solutions into action should create an environment enabled to validate creativity and innovation as the major building blocks for knowledge transfer and trading. The purpose of this study is to render solutions for future knowledge-intensive organisations and explore new methodologies where leadership realises the paramount importance to nurture the knowledge worker as the most important source of knowledge creation. This study explores the complex challenges faced by contemporary leadership in grasping future value propositions for advancing knowledge trading and offers suggestions to unlock creativity and innovation for the enhancement of knowledge productivity and the development of supportive managerial effectiveness. It is recommended that leadership requires a profound cultural shift from traditional methods of management that can be best described as control orientated, bureaucratic and autocratic. These former hierarchical management structures originated in the modernist paradigm of industrial capitalism. In contrast, contemporary knowledge management is defined within the post-modern debate, where authority is diffused throughout the organisation and leadership engages in sufficient reflexivity to facilitate a more effective understanding of the contemporary knowledge worker. Within this postmodern context, fluidity of knowledge-leadership could actively promote the immediacy of creative exchanges as foundational to deliver the future into the present. The findings suggest a new role for leadership acting as coach and innovation facilitator, rather than controller. Furthermore the findings indicate that creative leadership should involve knowledge workers in defining the mission, vision and strategic intent and secure participation in the knowledge philosophy to mould their respective knowledge roles within a supportive culture. The findings indicated that collaboration between knowledge workers and leadership is crucial to establish formal communities of practice. These, as opposed to informal exchanges amongst knowledge workers, are pivotal to the process of continuous reinvention and proffer the shifts that are essential to drive future knowledge competencies. The findings furthermore revealed that communities of practice should be formally encouraged by leadership who diffuses the strategic intent to initiate forums where formal learning and the sharing of skills occur and creativity is continually advanced. The result is the creation of repositories of knowledge and innovation networks within knowledge concomitance required to enhance knowledge performance and ultimately drive sustainable competitive advantage. The research findings produced novel suggestions to proffer new knowledge-trading opportunities. The recommendations address contemporary leadership to perpetually challenge communities of practice to seek new creative and innovative horisons. This would yield the competencies and capabilities required for improved knowledge performance, based on individual and collective creative contributions. It is imperative for creative leadership to imbibe a new corporate curriculum to embrace the necessary radical innovative approaches required in today’s hyper-competitive economy. The recommendations suggest that the harnessing of creative and innovative potentials of knowledge workers, through the development of the creativity dimensions, namely fluency and elaboration could yield dominant discourse as a central ingredient for collective learning. This, in turn, would propel exponential levels of knowledge productivity, which is the critical component required to drive economic sustainability. Knowledge-leading organisations need to unearth and exploit the economy of knowledge by tapping into subjective experience, creativity and intuitive reflexivity. This study endeavours to offer a compelling vision of the future and recommends an intelligent organisation of the future that utilises a new corporate curriculum achieved by creative leadership to leverage enhanced managerial effectiveness. Finally, a definition for creative leadership is proposed which promotes innovative awareness, fluency and elaboration through formalised communities of practice to leverage enhanced knowledge productivity by means of knowledge worker empowerment and two-way communication. Creating a high-involvement organisation also involves new choices with respect to organisational design. An effective design would be the entrenchment of an organisational culture where the knowledge worker is accountable for and involved in the future success of the organisation. It is recommended that future leadership can achieve new innovative value propositions by structuring new mental models for increased knowledge productivity. The knowledge concomitance model suggests solutions to manipulate and economise knowledge to produce a transformational fusion of discontinuous innovation, nurturing a new syntagma for future knowledge management practitioners.
PublisherBloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State