Enabling small firm growth through process innovation - a reflection

Yeong, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-4930-2301 and Stratton, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-5437-4233, 2018. Enabling small firm growth through process innovation - a reflection. In: 25th Innovation and Product Development Management Conference (IPDMC), Porto, Portugal, 10-13 June 2018.

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The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of tacit knowledge in non-product innovation. This is done by reflecting on a successful implementation of a Production Planning and Control (PPC) system in a small MTO (Make-To-Order) manufacturing company. Recent reviews on high failure rate in PPC implementation has prompted calls to implement PPC according to contextual requirement, and the need to assimilate tacit knowledge into the design and implementation process. Drawing from the literature on non-product innovation and knowledge conversion and generation process, PPC implementation is being analysed using the SECI (‘socialisation’, ‘externalisation’, ‘combining’ and ‘internalisation’) knowledge conversion process. Action Research (AR) approach was adopted to capture the knowledge generated throughout the implementation process. Through the lens of SECI, the role and importance of tacit knowledge is evident throughout the PPC implementation process. A year after the inception of PPC into the company’s business process, a new culture has emerged on the shopfloor, which enabled the company to experience a significant year-on-year growth in 2017. This result has the following implication to small firm’s management. Firstly, in order to gain the full benefit of non-product innovation, it is necessary to acknowledge the existence of tacit knowledge within the company. Secondly, is to realise the need for capital equipment (IT infrastructures and PPC software) to be assimilated and become part of the firm’s new tacit knowledge in an incremental way in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. To the academia, other than contribution towards the body of knowledge of innovation and PPC, AR type of collaboration might be the way forward for universities to provide sustainable PPC solutions to the industry.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Yeong, A. and Stratton, R.
Date: June 2018
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 24 May 2018 12:32
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:06
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33714

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