Innovative Approaches to Corporate Management
Introduction In the fast-paced modern environment, innovation in corporate management becomes a distinctive competitive advantage the organizations can exploit to sustain their position in the market. Some of the most conspicuous innovations relate to the way organizations learn and process information nowadays, embracing knowledge asset management models and types of organizational learning. Being more focused on customers than ever, many businesses are trying to develop models that will strengthen their relationship with the customer.
In addition, a number of businesses are willing to add a distinct socioeconomic touch to their operations. All these factors combine to produce often groundbreaking changes in corporate management these days. 1. Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning 1. 1. Importance of Knowledge in Modern Organizations These days, most organizations have realized that their most valuable resource they possess is skill set and knowledge of every employee (Nagumo, 2005). Information often defines success or failure of the organization, as well as its position relative to its competitors.
Accumulation and augmentation of knowledge therefore become a priority of most companies. These two tasks require two mechanisms: first, the construction of models governing the development of knowledge within an organization; second, implementation of process that will enable employees to creatively participate in the development and usage of organizational knowledge. 1. 2. Knowledge Asset Management Models The vast bulk of information accumulated by organizations at this point necessitates usage of a variety of knowledge asset management models.
Presentation of information to decision-makers can have dramatic influence on the outcomes of the decision-making process. Thus, scholars investigating ecosystems in West Coast marine communities have discovered that their findings are much more appealing to managers when presented in a format linking these findings to the life of coastal communities. This improvement occurred since “the currency with which the information is presented needs to be more relevant to the managers’ experiences” (Francis, 2005).
In the process termed knowledge asset management, organizations utilize ubiquitous networks that serve the purposes of knowledge augmentation and knowledge accumulation. Accumulation occurs where “many widely scattered experts and specialists linked via networking can each take a little time to provide answers and/or assistance in response to inquiries”, and knowledge augmentation includes cases when highly qualified professionals come together in an effort to pool their knowledge to solve sophisticated problems (Nagumo, 2005, p. 6). 1. 3. Innovative Corporate Learning.
Organizational learning also remains a robust area of growth as “corporations will continue to strengthen and reinforce the applied side of learning to make sure that investments in learning are effective and efficient” (Plompen, 2005). Oftentimes, this means empowering the employee to deal with issues he or she has never dealt with before. Plompen (2005) notes that contemporary corporate learning has begun to take on an increasingly applied character: “the current trend is de-contenting learning interventions whilst contextualizing learning to the maximum”.
In this context, formal learning is likely to be compressed into a few periods during the year, with more learning taking place in an on-the-job setting. Organizational learning is likely to remain a key area for most organizations. In this area, applied learning is expected to gain in importance since most managers are willing to see immediate results from their training programs. Another crucial aspect of learning is employee empowerment: delegating authority to lower-level employees so that they can begin to tackle a wider range of responsibilities, enhancing their expertise and ability to cope with different issues.
2. Customer-focused Business Models 2. 2. Increasing Customer Focus as a Source of Competitive Advantage An ideal model of the modern business entity is “a constantly renewing organization, an organization that astonishes its customers and the community to which is belongs” (Plompen, 2005). A drive to improve relationships between an organization and its customers has always been a slogan of most companies; today, however, corporate management is a field constantly generating new models in order to take these relationships to a new level.
Customer focus means a transition from process- and transaction-oriented business models to those that concentrate on “human inter-relationships and trade-offs” (Francis, 2005). Modern companies strive to “become a strategic partner” with their customers, sharing their risks and concerns, aiming to provide the greatest customer value for consumers and partaking in the success of their business customers (Kirkpatrick, 2006). These goals are naturally reflected in innovative corporate management practices such as concierge business models. 2. 3. Concierge Business Models.
Among other things, customer focus has to deal with “expectation management” – dealing with the expectations of both customers and employees” (Kirkpatrick, 2006). One of the forms this focus can take on is the “concierge business model” where the organization tries to be “very attentive to the customer when needed” (Nagumo, 2005, p. 2). A lot of people in different countries today are concerned about matters related to health problems, aging, economic instability, and environmental degradation. An organization can make efforts to assist people in getting rid of these anxieties. 3.
Incorporation of Socioeconomic Issues into the Framework 3. 1. Changing Perceptions of the Consumer Consumers are increasingly concerned with the approach organizations take to social issues, including their actions related to corporate social responsibility, environmental problems, and other similar concerns. Even specialized organizations like fishery management companies are expected to evaluate their actions in terms that link the biological aspect to the social dimension, leading to the so-called “bioeconomic valuation” concerned with impact of environmental phenomena on society (Francis, 2005).
3. 2. Socioeconomic Issues Driving Development These days witness a new approach to socioeconomic issues even in seemingly unrelated disciplines. For many corporations, this means a stronger accent on their relationships with employees as a driving force of their success. Development of staff and “talent pool management” are taking on a new meaning (Plompen, 2005). Some businesses are willing to go to the extent of nurturing their employees where they declare that employees are becoming a priority even relative to the customer base (Kirkpatrick, 2006).
On the other hand, community power becomes another topical issue to the extent that modern networks ensure “incorporating communities in business processes such as product development” (Nagumo, 2005, p. 2). Conclusion Organizations will continue to improve their corporate management, taking advantage of the new approaches to business models. At this point, managing knowledge seems to stand out as a priority in corporate management. In addition, customer focus and incorporation of socioeconomic elements are increasing in importance.
These innovations in corporate management are called upon to make organizations more agile, better able to respond to changes in external environments, and better adapted to achieve their mission and goals.
References Francis, R. (2005, April). Innovative Approaches to Fisheries Management: Sea Grant-Funded Scientists Offer Fresh Perspectives to Resolving Long-Standing Environmental and Economic Concerns. Retrieved October 29, 2006, from http://www. wsg. washington.edu/publications/seastar/archive/storyarchives/innovativeapproaches. html Kirkpatrick, D. (2006, April 14). The world’s most modern management – in India. CNN Money.
Retrieved October 29, 2006, from http://money. cnn. com/2006/04/13/magazines/fortune/fastforward_fortune/index. htm Nagumo, T. (2005). Innovative Business Models in the Era of Ubiquitous Networks. NRI Papers, No. 49. Plompen, M. (2005, March 30). Innovative Corporate Learning: Excellent Management Development Practice in Europe. Palgrave.