I will be a visiting fellow at the Center for International Studies (http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/CIS/) at the London School of Economics (http://www.lse.ac.uk/) during February-April of 2008. I look forward to interesting conversations with new colleagues, students, and visitors at LSE. During my time at LSE, I will continue to work on my ongoing research projects in the areas of national security and government intelligence programs. Specifically, I will focus on two distinct, albeit related, questions. The first question seeks to examine the organizational structures of terrorist entities. The second question examines how these structures evolve in order to deal with pressures in the internal and external environments in which these entities operate in.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I have two quarters off from my teaching responsibilities. I have hence organized a hectic, yet enjoyable, travel schedule. My first stop was Montreal, Canada...
I enjoyed my recent visit to Montreal for the International Conference on Information Systems (see http://business.queensu.ca/icis). I had good conversations with several colleagues of mine and made new friends. Thanks to all who organized the event. The ICIS social was one of the best gatherings of ICIS scholars I have seen in recent times...Next stop, Toronto...
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 4:38 PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Most organizations face dire challenges in adopting new technologies. New technologies are often met with resistance. Resistance is followed by the under-utilization of the technology. This leaves the organization both vulnerable to critical disruptions in business processes and in a poor competitive position. While most organizations face challenges in technology adoption, the challenge for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is even more dire.
SMEs often do not possess the necessary slack resources to give attention to new technologies as they are too busy making ends meet. They may also lack the necessary know-how to decide on new technologies or decipher the value to their organizations. Perhaps the biggest problem they face is resistance from employees tied to the status quo. Based on our experience, we offer 10 lessons for the SME manager to address “technology resisters”, those who oppose new technology for whatever reason, to get them on board.
Reference: Smart, B.A., and Desouza, K.C. “Overcoming Technology Resistance,” Business Strategy Review, 18(4), 2007, 25-28.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:43 AM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I have a new paper accepted for publication. The paper, “Complexities of Large-Scale Technology Project Failure: A Forensic Analysis of the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority”, will appear in Public Performance & Management Review (http://mesharpe.com/mall/results1.asp?ACR=PMR). I co-authored the paper with one of my former graduate students of the Information School (University of Washington), Nina Yuttapongsontorn, and Ashley Braganza (Cranfield School of Management, UK).
Complexities of Large-Scale Technology Project Failure: A Forensic Analysis of the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority
“Being stuck in traffic doesn’t have to be a way of life.” This beautiful prologue came from the Elevated Transportation Company (ETC) board’s letter in the ETC Seattle Popular Monorail Plan, one of the largest public works projects ever proposed in the city of Seattle. Three years after this proposal, the Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) was shut down by voters on November 8, 2005. This paper critically analyzes the SMP through the lens of stakeholder theory. This perspective provides valuable insights into the failure of the SMP. We theorize that SMP’s failure might have been avoided had its leadership recognized the many stakeholders that had power over the plan and, more importantly, the dynamic changes in relationships between the stakeholders. Failure might also have been avoided by managing conflicts in stakeholders’ expectations. Specifically, we use stakeholder theory to develop four propositions that are relevant in the context of large-scale technology projects. One, organizations are more likely to succeed when have effective mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating interactions between stakeholders and changes in their positions in relation to their strategic innovation projects. Two, organizations are more likely to succeed when they tradeoff the conflicts in expectations and interests that stakeholders hold. Three, organizations are more likely to implement complex technology projects by understanding stakeholders’ expectations and the interplay between stakeholders. Four, organizations are more likely to achieve their innovative projects when they define stakeholders in terms of their power over their strategic objectives. The paper makes a contribution both to the research and practice of major technological infrastructure projects, strategic innovations, and government technology management.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 1:04 PM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Once again, good old Jonny's boot comes up big for England...England is back in the Rugby World Cup Finals...I am still recovering from watching the match...Today, South Africa takes on Argentina...
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:55 AM
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Please see the current issue of Manager (http://www.finance.si/manager) for an interview that I gave when I was in Slovenia. The interview was conducted at a local café in Ljubljana by Bojana Humar. She interviewed me on various issues ranging from ideas for entrepreneurship to my views on foreign policy and my work at the University of Washington. During the interview we also touched on issues such as how did I get involved in entrepreneurship and key events/experiences that have informed my current professional (and personal) trajectory.
Reference: Humar, B. “LJUDJE & IDEJE – MLADI: Indijčeve ameriške sanje,” Manager (Slovenian), October 10, 2007, 38-40
Picture Credit: Andrej Kriz
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:15 AM
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Just got back from the Kangaroo and the Kiwi (http://www.kangarooandkiwipub.com/), a pub in Seattle, after watching the England vs. Australia rugby match….England 12 – Australia 10…the difference in the game…good old Wilko (Wilkinson)…The forwards played excellent as well...For those interested in catching some rugby, I will see you at the Pub…next game, New Zealand vs. France…my money is on the All Blacks…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:16 AM
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I will be giving a talk at the 49th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA) in San Francisco, CA (March 26-29, 2008). The title of my talk is "Information Disconnects and Organizational Fragmentation: Lessons for Global Intelligence Failure" and is based on a manuscript that I am currently working on.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:31 PM
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I was recently asked to consider serving as a reviewer for the Qatar National Research Fund. I have gladly accepted this honor. I grew up in Qatar (spent 16 years there) and it is nice to be able to contribute back to the country. More information on the Qatar National Research Foundation (QNRF) can be found at: http://www.qnrf.info/s2/index.php. QNRF is the Qatar’s equivalent to the National Science Foundation (USA).
As noted on the QNRF website:
"Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) was established in 2006 to administer funding for original, competitively selected research in engineering and technology, physical and life sciences, medicine, humanities, social sciences and the arts.
QNRF play a vital role in the development of Qatar's knowledge-based economy: by providing financial support to researchers at all levels, from students to professionals, in the private, public and academic sectors, they seek to advance knowledge and education on a national, regional and international scale. Further, as part of their overall strategy QNRF aim to foster collaborations within academia and through public private partnership inside and outside of Qatar
Qatar Foundation envisions research as a catalyst for expanding and diversifying a country's economy; enhancing the education and well-being of its citizens and the training and development of its workforce. QNRF actively seeks internationally recognized researchers to study topics of regional and global importance; however it is primarily dedicated to funding research in the national interest and fostering improvements in the health, environment and security for the people of Qatar and the region."
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:23 PM
Friday, September 28, 2007
I am going to start working on a new research project with Sumit Roy (LINK). Our project was recently funded through a grant from the Center for Edge Power, [sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration (OASD-NII)], Naval Postgraduate School. Broad Agency Announcement NPS BAA-07-001.
Here is a brief description of the project:
In order to design the ideal command-and-control (C2) structure we consider two ingredients – information and the network. Information is the glue that holds the organizational structure together. Information is generated throughout the organization and must be dissipated by the network via routing across network entities (nodes/peers) to destinations where it is needed. Networks determine the paths that information traverse, and the consequent processing and decision-making by intermediate nodes. In this proposal, we take an inter-disciplinary perspective to the study of hybrid C2 by examining information networks through multiple lenses by drawing on our collective expertise in the fields of information science, organization science, telecommunications network theory, mathematical statistics, and network simulation.
Drawing on these multiple disciplines, our first objective will be to define performance metrics for organizational socio-technical networks. Such measures are plentiful in the telecommunications network theory - such as throughput, scalability, robustness, transfer rates, etc. These are an ideal starting point but need to be customized in the context of socio-technical systems. The most important of such system variables relate to the fact that network nodes can be either human agents or electronic entities (e.g. sensors). For example, socio-technical networks for sense-and-respond operations can be comprised of 80% technical entities (e.g. traditional sensors to monitor changing conditions in the environments and information aggregators that summarize information collected), and 20% human nodes that make sense of this information and relay actions back to the agents and objects in the environments. Consequently, we must account for the (wider) human-centered variations in cognitive and processing capabilities, error tolerances, social theories of interaction etc. Clearly, new models are required to incorporate a) node affinities, b) robustness to interference, c) conflict resolution and error tolerance to characterize the dynamics of our proposed hybrid C2 networks. Accordingly, we propose to draw on decision theory and probabilistic modeling and simulation to develop enabling node and node-clique level properties (micro-level) and study their impact on aggregate network metrics (macro-level). The second objective will be to design and test multiple network structures on the performance measures. Here we will begin by describing broad features of two extreme networks – the pure hierarchy and the pure peer-to-peer (edge) organization.
The proposed research takes a fresh look at the dichotomy between random and scale-free information networks from an inter-disciplinary perspective:
- We will construct performance measures for socio-technical information, and knowledge, networks by building on telecommunication networking theory.
- We will construct tiered networks of modest scale and then proceed to study their properties. The fundamental issues of interest will be what parameters of the tiered network drive the trade-off between connectivity and robustness. The emphasis of this work will be constructive, i.e. relative the network topology (i.e. # tiers, nodes/tier and their connectivity distributions) to structural properties that are predictive of important features such as robustness-connectivity tradeoffs.
I am looking for graduate students at the University of Washington who are interested in working on issues of information networks, multi-criteria decision-making problems, information economics, information theory, information dynamics, and agent-based modeling. If interested, please send me an email.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 8:06 PM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
A brief note about my recent visit to Slovenia for the Bled Strategic Forum can be found in the University Week.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGES: Kevin DeSouza, assistant professor in the Information School and director of the UW Institute for National Security Education & Research, was a panelist in the second annual conference of the Bled Strategic Forum "European Union 2020: Enlarging and Integrating," Aug. 26-27 in Bled, Slovenia. The conference brought together politicians, EU officials, private sector leaders and others to discuss key challenges that Europe is facing.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 3:14 PM
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I gave the luncheon keynote address for the Fall Intelligence Colloquium held at Tennessee State University. My talk focused on the information management challenges facing the intelligence community. Specifically, I addressed challenges in recruiting adequate and capable human sources, evaluating sources of information in dynamic environments, cultural impediments to interpretations, and challenges in coordinating actions among agencies within the IC and across allied intelligence agencies.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 3:22 PM
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I finished giving two lectures at Tennessee State University (http://www.tnstate.edu/) this afternoon. The lectures were attended by students at the College of Business (http://www.cob.tnstate.edu/). My talk focused on how one must understand the changing nature of technology and the impacts on traditional power structures of developed societies. I focused specifically on the discontinuous aspects of technology-enabled innovation and the role of technology in the national security space.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 6:10 PM
Thursday, September 13, 2007
September Collection Sneak a Peek
Aug 29, 2007
"The most important resource of all is time," said Kevin Desouza, PhD. And, how true it is. His suggestion for entrepreneurs both seasoned and new is to try and spend your (precious) time on value-added tasks--those tasks that generate revenue, position your company strategically better than your competition, and bring out innovation. Dr. Desouza stated that "entrepreneurs should not spend their time processing payroll, making travel plans, etc., but should rather spend time building new products and services for strategic gain for their firm. The former is a dangerous activity for entrepreneurs as they view strategic sourcing (outsourcing) as a COST rather than an opportunity cost of saving TIME--time you could spend on your core competencies." The complete article and collection on "Strategic Sourcing" will go live in early September on the eVenturing site.
Desouza Profile [LINK]
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 7:58 AM
Thursday, September 06, 2007
I was interviewed for the lead article for the Kaufmann Foundation collection on Strategic Sourcing: A New Way to Think about Outsourcing.
A summary of the collection:
Using a combination of theory, practice, and real-life stories of entrepreneurs like you, this Collection surveys how outsourcing can best serve today’s entrepreneur, president, or CEO. Which functions make the most sense to outsource? How can you use the practice as a strategy? What pitfalls and possibilities do you face when you turn over important business operations to an “outsider”? Entrepreneurs and experts supply answers to these essential questions and others. Smart entrepreneurs now think about the practice as “strategic sourcing”: It can be an invaluable investment that reduces opportunity costs and leverages the primary skills and talents that truly drive the business. Key point: Outsourcing should now be on the inside at entrepreneurial companies, occupying a seat at the growth strategies table.
See the following: Desouza, K.C. “Outsourcing and Opportunity,” [Lead Article] in Strategic Sourcing: A New Way to Think about Outsourcing, Kansas City, MO: Kauffman Foundation, August 28, 2007.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 5:40 AM
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I will be the luncheon keynote speaker for an Intelligence Community (IC) event at Tennessee State University on September 21, 2007. The event is organized by TSU’s Pilot Center for Academic Excellence in Intelligence Studies. My talk will discuss the information management challenges facing the IC. I will lay the foundation for a more engaged approach to managing information within, and across, the IC. My talk will draw heavily on my current research project which examines information disconnects and organizational fragmentation within the IC. This project is being conducted with my long-time colleague, Tobin Hensgen.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 2:40 PM
Saturday, September 01, 2007
I have completed preparing the syllabi for the courses that I am teaching this Autumn Quarter…
IMT 583: Finance and Accounting Foundations for Information Professionals [Link to Syllabus]
IMT 581: Information and the Management of Change [Link to Syllabus]
Link to the syllabi will only be available to students enrolled at the University of Washington. If you would like a copy of the syllabus, please send me an email.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 4:49 PM
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I am off to Frankfurt (in 1 hr and 34 minutes).
I am writing this entry from the Ljubljana airport.
I have had a great time in Slovenia. I would like to thank my host, Peter and Lidija, for all their hard work in arranging my itinerary and taking me to see the beautiful sites of this great country. In addition, thanks to the organizers of the Bled Strategic Forum, and especially Dr. Rupel for the invitiation. The organizers took care of every detail of my stay, from flights to hotels to visiting Bled and much more...Thank you...Special thanks goes to my foreign liaison officer, the entire security detail at the conference who kept us safe and secure, and even the great staff at Hotel Park in Bled...I enjoyed the discussions with all of the government officials, executives, students, policymakers, and researchers...I can go on thanking several 100 other people from the bartenders to the waitresses to the receptionist to the chef, but will summarize with the following -
Slovenia is a great country...it is a beautiful country...and the people of Slovenia are kind, fun, humble, welcoming...and most importantly, pleasant to interact with...
For those that have not been to Slovenia...it is a must see...
P.S. Yesterday, I went through the Alps and then spent the rest of the day in the Slovenian wine country...Life does not get much better than this...
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 11:20 PM
Monday, August 27, 2007
By all accounts, the discussion went very well. I am thankful to the organizers of the Bled Strategic Forum for putting together an exciting and challenging agenda. I was glad that my comments resonated with several members of panel, including: Marek Belka (Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), prof. Dr. Ali M. Abbasov (Minister of Communications and Information of the Republic of Azerbaijan), Dr Kuniko Inoguchi, (Member of the House of Representatives of Japan), Dr Robin Niblett, (Director of Chatham House, London), and Nalin Surie, (Secretary at the Headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs, India). I enjoyed the lively discussion.
After the talk, I received several favorable comments, and even request for collaboration on future issue, from a number of individuals. Here is a short list - H.E. Kingsley Chinkuli (Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia, Berlin), Chalve Lobe (First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Zambia), Joachim Ritter (CEO, of BAWAG BANKA), Mitja Učakar (Head of IT Development and IT Department, BAWAG BANKA), and Mjusa Sever (Country Director of Uzbekistan, Institute for New Democracies), and Manja Vidic (Institute for Strategic Studies, Ljubjana), among others.
In addition, I had a chance to present H.E. Dr. Rupel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and Chairman of the Bled Strategic Forum, with small gifts and letters of invitation from my colleagues at the University of Washington and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Overall, wonderful and great experience! I hope I did my part to contribute to this important forum on the critical issues facing the EU.
Time to go and grab a few pints…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 12:37 PM
I am now at Bled. I got here yesterday at about 2 PM. The security around Bled is tight (very…very tight). Each of the speakers has their own security detail, and many of them have multiple units. The police are all over the City of Bled and everyone is on high alert. This is good as it makes one feel safe. To put things in perspective, there are two (or four, depending on the hour of the day) undercover police/security officers on my hotel floor alone…
Yesterday, I had a meeting with my foreign liaison officer who is handling my travel, speaking, and other arrangements while in Bled. Soon after this, I attended the keynote panel with presentations by Mr Janez Fajfar, Mayor of Bled; H.E. Dr Dimitrij Rupel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and Chairman of the Bled Strategic Forum; H.E. Mr Janez Janša, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia; H.E. Mr Mikheil Saakashvili, President of the Republic Georgia’ H.E. Dr Ivo Sanader, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia’ H.E. Mr Gediminas Kirkilas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania; H.E. Mr Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia; H.E. Mr Martti Ahtisaari, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Future Status Process for Kosovo. Each of these presentations was very insightful, blunt and frank, and thought-provoking. In addition, I had several conversations with other dignitaries such as members of the Egyptian and the Zambian diplomatic core.
Today, I have a full day of meetings, and then will be presenting my thoughts on the EU Integration Challenges at the Global Preponderance Panel (see LINK)
My escort is knocking at my door…time to head for breakfast…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 12:45 AM
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The past 72 hrs have been nothing short of fun and exciting….Slovenia is a beautiful country…Here is a brief recap of my days in Slovenia…
I arrived in Slovenia at 11 AM on Aug 23, 2007 via Munich. Met Peter at the airport and then headed to Hotel Emonec (http://www.hotel-emonec.com/). After dropping off my bags, we headed out in the city. After roaming through the Ljubljana city center (http://www.ljubljana.si/), we grabbed a pint and some food at a local pub. Then, we took a stroll through the main entertainment part of the city (obviously, stopping at a few pubs and engaging in a few scholarly discussions!) Then, we met up with Miha Škerlavaj (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Department of Management and Organization) and continued our discussions on scholarly activities, research strategies, and publishing nightmares. This was followed by dinner at Pete and Lidija's. The dinner was excellent and so was the conversation (and wine!)…The final event of the night was more evening discussions on scholarly activities with Robert Kaše, a PhD student at the University of Ljubljana.
Aug 24, 2007 – Had an early morning breakfast at the hotel, went for a run through the town, and then got ready for my day of meetings. At 9 AM, drove with Pete to meet with executives from TRIMO (http://www.trimo.si/client/index.php). We had an excellent meeting at TRIMO (originally, the meeting was scheduled for only 1hr and 15 minutes…the meeting ran over by about an hour). I had a chance to hear about the innovation challenges at TRIMO, share some of my thoughts on these challenges, and work to build a collaborative partnership. I want to thank all members of TRIMO who attended the meeting (I counted over 15 senior executives in the room!)…I was honored to receive a gift, and a hand-written thank you note, from the CEO and Director of TRIMO, Tatjana Fink. We then, headed back to Ljubljana and grabbed a quick snack and pint. Next, we met up with Bojana Humara of Manager Magazine (http://www.manager-on.net/). During the interview, we discussed my views on entrepreneurship, national security, business innovation…and even my choice of scotches! We then had another quick break, before meeting Prof. Dr. Talib Damij (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics). We discussed life in Ljubljana, the transformations in academia, especially at the University of Ljubljana and the IS field, and even about language issues in the Middle East. After having a dinner with Pete, I then headed back to the hotel to get some rest. I then met up with Pete about 10 PM, and enjoyed the nightlife of Ljubljana…
August 25, 2007 – Headed to the Slovenian coast at about 2 PM...cruised in Pete’s BMW Z on the way to the coast…Spent most of the day in Piran and Portoroz and loved it…Was able to pass through Trieste (Italy) and see it from Piran and was able to also see Croatia…During the evening, we discussed research progress that Pete is making on his dissertation and collaboration on future research…Headed back to the hotel after a busy work day…
Today, August 26th, I will be heading to Bled in a few hrs for the Bled Strategic Forum (see http://www.bledstrategicforum.org/index.php?id=4&lang=en).
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 12:20 AM
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Peter Baloh (http://www.baloh.net) my PhD student at the Faculty of Economics at Ljubljana University, Slovenia, posted the following comments at - http://www.baloh.net/?p=194
The AOM and the AMCIS conferences and my travel there got me thinking… I consider myself lucky to be living in a quite advanced economy, and even by sharing my room with other doctoral students (thanx Israr, Olivier, Yukika), getting funded by I3M and OCIS AOM division, nevertheless this was a costly affair…
Why organizers of such big gatherings don’t try to get better deals for flight tickets or accommodation? Why are the registration fees so high? Not many scholars can afford going to these conferences — ECIS, AMCIS, ICIS, AOM, at the end of the day are “a must” if you want to stay connected “in” the community, especially with todays’ pressures to publish, limited tenure positions, etc. Are associations such as AOM and AIS deliberately creating elitist communities?
Of course, the costs for running a conference, are high. However, when I think of the 600-pages-printed programme that each of the 9,000+ registered AOM participants received, and which has no value whatsoever after the meeting, i can see some ten or twenty dollars per participant (=100 or even 200,000$ in aggregate) spared. Not to mention the trees. True, the registration fee was only 60 something $. But the hotel room was 200$ a night. I bet AOM could get much better deals for us. Who of the organizers agreed to ridiculous prices of accomodation?
Also, with 1,7mio$ net profit for this year, why does AOM not fly over and sponsor promising research from developing countries, in example? Well, I am not the only one who thinks something is wrong with this “model” of operations.
Or when I think of the fireworks at the social event at AMCIS, which was held over the Keystone’ Lake on Saturday evening, I can again see some 10 or 20,000$ wasted… Literally blown up :( … If I compare that to my travel budget, maybe 10 people could be flown there for free… or, registration fees could be lowered by 20 or 30$ for each participant, if there was no such show-off…
As researchers and knowledge creators in this world, we should know better… Maybe it would be nice if communities such as AOM or AIS started using their buyer-power to manipulate the places where the conferences are going to be held… And review the location-proposals not only to the spectacularity of the setting and the length of the fireworks, but primarily according to the cost per participant… Moreover, why include profits in those yearly reports at AOM or AMCIS? Are these profit organizations? To me, it would make more sense to aim for increased number of journal papers published, or for decreased costs of travel. Honorable mention obviously goes to Prof Katherine Stewart, who got all the OCIS Doctoral Consortium participants a 500$ travel reimbursement. But not from AOM. She invested her own time to deal with burearocracy of US NSF - National Science Foundation. Job well done! Such things push towards increased knowledge creation, not the fireworks!
… Or am i too naive and it is really “elite only club”?
Here is my response...
Pete –Thanks for these excellent comments. You know my stance on the issues (see http://kevindesouza.blogspot.com/2007/08/academy-of-management-report.html). I hope we do not become an Elitist community, but all signs indicate that we are…We have done small (really small) things to provide services to the underserved communities, but these are token efforts at best.I hope that some of the young blood in the community, which includes PhD students, will start a revolution to change some of the practices in these associations.As always, let me know if I can help…
Dr. Kevin C. Desouza
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 7:53 PM
Friday, August 17, 2007
Here is my schedule for my visit to Slovenia. Thanks to Peter Baloh for arranging most of my itinerary during my visit. If you would like to meet with me during my visit, please send me an email. There might be a few more open slots…
- Aug 22 – Leave Seattle, and head to Munich…
- Aug 23 – Leave Munich, and arrive in Slovenia…
· Check-in at Hotel Emonec and see Ljubljana (the Castle, University, and the University Library, among other sites)
· Dinner at Pete’s and Lidija's (see http://www.baloh.net/)
- Aug 24 – Drive out of Ljubljana @ 09:00AM at latest with Pete…
· Meeting with the Executive Board of Trimo (see http://www.trimo.si/client/index_en.php) @ 10:00 AM. Attendees at the meeting will include the CEO, R&D Director, among other senior executives. I will give a presentation on my recent research on Organizational Innovation Programs. The specific goals will be to share details on how to develop global innovation processes, measure the performance of the innovation process, and also tie innovation activities to business value outcomes.
· At 12.30: Coffee/snack en-route back to Ljubljana
· Meeting the press. I will be interviewed by Mrs Bojana Humar, deputy editor-in-chief of the Manager (see http://www.manager-on.net/) @ 1:30pm. This interview will be for a feature article in the ‘Young and Fast’ section of Manager. This section introduces people who, at young age, have achieved much more than their same-age counterparts in the same fields.
· Coffee/snack, meeting with Professor Dr. Talib Damij of the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana (www.ef.uni-lj.si ) and Professor Dr Cene Bavec of the Faculty of Management, University of Primorska (http://www.fm-kp.si/).
· At 4.30 PM lunch reflecting the day (along with a glass or two or three of wine)
· At 5.30 PM back to Hotel Emonec to take a afternoon nap and freshen up
· At 8 PM: Pete will pick me up in the evening for an exploratory study of Ljubljana nightlife (Part I) – not mere ethnography but rather participative observation
- Aug 25 – Visit the Slovenian Coast
- Aug 26 – Lunch in Bled with Pete (we should be discussing his dissertation progress and research projects at this time)…Then, check-in to Hotel Park and get ready for Bled Strategic Forum (http://www.bledstrategicforum.org/)
- Aug 27 – Bled Strategic Forum
- Aug 28 – Visit the Goriska Brda (wine growing region) and then drive to Ljubljana…Evening, exploratory study of Ljubljana nightlife (Part II) – not mere ethnography but rather participative observation
- Aug 29 - Fly back to Seattle, via Munich
I am looking forward to this exciting visit…Cheers…After Slovenia, I then head to the UK for two weeks…the UK initenary is still being finalized, but so far I have events scheduled in York, Wigan, Flitwick, Cambridge, and of course, London…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:09 AM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I have just accepted an invitation to join the Editorial Board of Strategic Outsourcing, an International Journal (see http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/so/so.jsp). Dr. Marco Busi (University of Strathclyde) is the Editor of the journal. It is an honor to be asked to join the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board has several notable researchers such as Professor Bjorn Andersen, Professor Leslie Willcocks, Dr Erran Carmel, Dr Jeanne Ross, and Dr Mary C. Lacity, among others…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 11:22 AM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
See http://ideas4change-ischool.blogspot.com/. I will be teaching a class on change management during the Autumn Quarter at the Information School of the University of Washington. I will be using this Blog to share details on the course, engage students in discussions, and even bring external audiences into the classroom. Feel free to comment on the Blog and add to our discussions. If you have ideas and insights on how I might be able to improve the classroom experience, please share...
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 11:30 AM
I am almost all set for my trip to Slovenia…I will be headed out on Aug 22 and will return on Aug 29. I fly into Munich and will stay there for a day, before heading to Slovenia.
I have prepared my remarks for the panel on Global Preponderance for the Bled Strategic Forum (http://www.bledstrategicforum.org/). I am looking forward to exchanging ideas with various EU leaders, dignitaries from various countries in Asia and Europe, and renowned scholars and strategic thinkers. I will be staying at the Hotel Park (http://www.hotel-park-bled.com/) (see some of the pictures!). I will share a copy of my remarks on the Blog upon my return from Slovenia….
During my stay, I will also visit several leading manufacturing and IT organizations. These visits will be to foster discussions on strategic innovation programs and build collaborative ties. Finally, I will visit the University of Ljubljana (see http://www.uni-lj.si/) and spend a few days with my doctoral student, and friend, Peter Baloh…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:16 AM
Friday, August 10, 2007
Now that I am back in Seattle, well rested, and caught up with my admin chores that built up during my absence, it is time to write my reaction to the 2007 Academy of Management Meeting. Overall, it was a great meeting. I had a chance to catch up with a lot of friends, make new ones, and also hear some interesting research presentations. That said, the most important part of the Meeting was the networking time….The best receptions were sponsored by INSEAD and New York University, second runner ups go to the British Academy of Management and the National University of Singapore…the least enjoyable reception was the OCIS Social Hour (someone needs to provide more input to the organizers on how to set these up and attract scholars from other disciplines, providing a few complimentary drinks would not be a bad start!)… The keynote speech by A.G. Lafley (CEO of Procter and Gamble) was monotone and I really did not get any new insights from his talk…My doctoral student, Peter Baloh (University of Ljubljana), won an award for his post on the OCIS Blog…A must see for all those who need some late night entertainment is Byblos Restaurant and Bar (see http://www.byblosphilly.com/)
Here are five suggestions to the AOM organizers:
- We are living in a digital-era, please do not cut down more trees and destroy more forest by printing the conference programs that run about 550 pages for over 9000 attendees…that is a lot of wasted paper…Ask attendees if they want a printed program and print it for selected people (at a premium). Most attendees already plan their events before they get to the event so why waste paper!
- Since, AOM is in great financial health, it should start a program whereby it provides free registration, and even support the travel costs, of members who are from underserved communities and countries. For example, many professors in the poor nations cannot afford to fly to the US and attend the event…why don’t we pay for them to join, engage, and be part of the community…
- If AOM is a truly “global” or “international” community, AOM should be hosted outside the USA on a regular basis. This is only fair to our global colleagues. Hosting AOM in the US only is an arrogant stance and gives the opinion that we only give lip service to diversifying and globalizing the community…
- There should be an effort to organize social events across the divisions. For example, a joint social between the TIM and OCIS division would be a good idea or even the MC and OCIS divisions…These will foster cross-disciplinary exchanges and dialogue…thereby making our research more sound and practical and ultimately more significant…
- The registration and exhibitions need to be in a central place, not in one corner that is difficult to get to…This makes it difficult for people to see the exhibits during the break and also, I would suspect, makes it difficult for the exhibitors to earn returns on their investments
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:46 AM
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I am at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Philadelphia. I have had a great time so far. Most of the time has been spent meeting with my students, colleagues, and new friends…I will post a complete reaction to the meeting upon my return to Seattle…Tomorrow, I take part in a panel called - Transformation, Change, and Organizational Development: Creating a Global Academic Endeavour (at 10.40 a.m. (EDT)). The panel is chaired by Ashley Braganza of Cranfield University. My fellow panel members are: Steve Leybourne; Plymouth U.; Gerard P. Hodgkinson; U. of Leeds; Gavin M. Schwarz; U. of New South Wales; George P. Huber; U. of Texas, Austin; Terry McNulty; U. of Liverpool; and Ray Hackney; Brunel U.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:38 PM
Friday, August 03, 2007
In my modest opinion, a good book should motivate you, encourage you, challenge you, and even call you to explore new boundaries. This is the barometer through which I judge the quality of books.
I have just completed reading the book – The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace, by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade. This book explores the gaming culture and the behavioral intricacies of game players. The book also discusses how managers should re-think their interactions with the current (and future) workforce that has grown up gaming. Gamers have special skills, aptitudes, views of reality, which if tapped into appropriately, can be used to make them highly productive, engaged, and successful employees, and even high-performing executives.
Too often managers, and even academicians, dismiss gamers and have stereotypical views of their behaviors, capabilities, and even outlooks on life and opportunities. This book provides a engaging discussion of why we need to rid ourselves of these prejudices. Through gathering data from gamers, both quantitative (via large-scale surveys) and qualitative (via interviews and observations), the authors set straight the traditional myths about the gaming culture (e.g. they are wasting their time, they are low achievers, etc).
Here is a brief outline of the book. The Introduction and Chapter 1, provide an account of how the concept of video games, and the gamer generation (or gaming culture), originated and intensified. Chapter 2 discusses the myths about the gaming culture and why some of us (e.g. parents who think that kids playing video games may lead to demonstrating of virtual behavior, like shooting, in a real-world setting) worry too much about these myths. Chapter 3 addresses the traits of the virtual world and why these provide an alternative reality that is very different from the real world. This alternative reality allows gamers to experience emotions, control behavior, and seek goals that do not have equivalent alternatives in the real world. Chapters 4 – 7, discuss various aspects of the gaming culture, such as their desire to succeed to their preference of emergent leadership and the trial-and-error approach to problem solving. These attributes are discussed with an intention to show managers that these behaviors can be tapped into to drive high-performance in organizations. Chapter 8 brings the book to a close.
So, what did I think of the book? Simply put, it is a good (and even a great) book. This book motivated me to think about the concept of games and how they touch the scholarly disciplines that I am concerned with. Have you heard of the new video game – ICED! ICED allows you to take on the role of foreigners who become illegal in the US and have to deal with immigration nightmares (or challenges!). Players have to use strategies to avoid interrogation and detention (e.g. do not commit crimes that will get you arrested, keeping a low profile, etc). ICED will be available next month via free downloads. Another game, in the same genre, is PeaceMaker, which allows players to take on sides, either as a Palestinian or Israeli, and negotiate for peace. These two games have an educational potential in the areas of public policy, international security, international affairs, and law enforcement. I would have not done a search to discover these games, if not for reading this book.
Overall, an excellent book…a must read for managers who are challenged by the new gamer generation…a definite read for all gamers out there as well, this book will give you insights on how to play up your gaming skills and bring them to the forefront in organizations…to all parents and academicians, reading this book will give you a different perspective on games, gamers, and the gaming culture….
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 1:40 PM
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I have just begun reading another book published by Harvard Business School Press - The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace (Harvard Business School Press, 2006) by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade. Michelle Morgan, Publicist at HBSP, sent me a copy of the book for review and comments. I plan to complete the book in the next week and will be posting a review. I have made it through the first two chapters and so far, the book is a “must read”….
See - http://www.gotgamebook.com/
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 8:53 AM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Review of Understanding Knowledge as a Commons. Edited by Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.
Understanding Knowledge as a Commons. Edited by Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. 381 pp. $36.00 (ISBN 0-262-08357-4).
The complete review will be published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Understanding Knowledge as Commons tackles the dynamics of managing knowledge as a collective resource. While the exploration of national resources (e.g. wildlife, forests, etc) as common resources has a rich tradition in the economic and public policy literatures, the examination of knowledge (and information) as commons has been a recent line of inquiry. The study of information as commons, and especially information infrastructures (e.g. the Internet) as common resources, can be traced to the mid-1990s and to the work of Bernardo Huberman, Rajan M. Lukose, and Howard Rheingold, among others. The authors make a critical contribution to this stream of research by examining the critical dynamics that underpin knowledge as a collective resource, and the accompanying dilemmas, mainly social dilemmas, which govern the management of this resource.
The book is organized into three parts. Part I, "Studying the Knowledge Commons," consists of three chapters. The editors, Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, open the book with an introductory overview on knowledge commons. In this chapter, the editors provide a historic account of the study of knowledge commons and traditional commons...The chapter concludes with a map of the remainder of the book.
In Chapter 2, David Bollier does an excellent job illustrating the growth of the commons paradigm. This chapter succinctly demonstrates that even through commons may differ across domains (e.g. environmental, technological, etc), the paradigm remains intact and has been growing in popularity.
The final chapter of this section is also authored by the editors. This chapter thoughtfully describes an analytical framework, The Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The IAD framework provides a lens whereby anyone can dissect the various issues and dilemmas facing a commons...
Part II comprises three chapters and addresses the issues of protecting the knowledge commons. Nancy Kranich, in Chapter 4, describes the forces that are threatening the sustainability of knowledge commons and also negatively impacting scholarly communications. She proposes several strategies (e.g. open access to scholarly journals, the development of sustainable digital repositories and digital libraries, community-based preservation efforts and the development of learning and information communities) to counter these forces through the engaged collective action of librarians and scholars. Kranich also addresses the need to change the role of research libraries to meet the current and future needs of knowledge commons...
In the next chapter, "Mertoniansm Unbound? Imagining Free, Decentralized Access to Most Cultural and Scientific Material," is authored by James Boyle, a leading scholar on knowledge commons. Boyle examines the impact of open access to all kinds of cultural and scientific materials by individuals and groups outside the academic confines, and what effect this might have on scholarship, science, and culture. I particularly found his notes on incorporating users into the design process of commons quite salient...Boyle talks about why there is a need to involve users as designers in the creation of commons and to be more appreciative of the knowledge and information they might possess.
Chapter 6 by Donald J. Waters addresses the issue of knowledge preservation. Specifically, Waters tackles citation in a digital world. In today’s world, it would be rare to find an academic article, report, or book without Internet sources. Waters tackles the issue of how knowledge commons are impacted by these citations not being available at future times, or not being available in their original form as cited by an author (as web pages might change or links may be broken)...
The final part of the book, "Building New Knowledge Commons," contains six chapters. Peter Suber opens this section with a chapter entitled, Creating an Intellectual Commons through Open Access. Suber conducts a thorough expose of Open Access and its role in development of the intellectual commons. This chapter is dense and covers subjects such as an overview of open access, royalty models for open access content, legal foundations of open access, tragedies of open access commons and the role of authors in developing open access content.
The most provocative chapter of the book is by Shubba Gosh. Gosh considers the role played by intellectual property in the development of knowledge commons. I found this chapter to be highly entertaining, interesting, and deep. Gosh does an excellent job of providing an outline of the various roles that intellectual property can play in the development of knowledge goods, from being constructive, to facilitating, and even being irrelevant. Gosh then outlines several guiding principles for the design of commons. He outlines why imitation of knowledge (or information) should not be viewed through the strict lens of copyright infringement. With persuasive and vivid examples and creative arguments, Gosh argues that “imitation has important pedagogical and social functions” (pg. 227)...
The process of knowledge creation is discussed by Peter Levine, in Chapter 9. He rightly argues that this process should also be viewed as a commons. Ideally, the process of knowledge creation should be one of collective action, involve diverse stakeholders, and even call for civic engagement. Levine’s central focus is (1) on the need to involve youth, especially adolescents who are unlikely to attend college, in the knowledge creation process through associations, and (2) why universities need to take a more proactive role in ensuring that the knowledge creation process remains a common and not become an isolated and closed, or private, activity.
In the next chapter, Charles M. Schweik describes how the dynamics of open source software (OSS) collaborations can be applied to other forms of knowledge commons. Schweik provides an overview of the OSS movement and the major practices that are employed in these commons...In a previous issue of JASIST, Yukika Awazu and I (Awazu and Desouza, 2004) outlined a similar argument on how the developments in OSS can be used to inform knowledge management practices in the organizations. The argument centered on moving to open, rather than closed, and collaborative, rather than protective, practices to foster effective knowledge management.
In Chapter 11, Wendy P. Lougee explores the changing role of research libraries in knowledge commons. Lougee conducts an expose of how communication conventions have evolved due to advances in distributed computing and the popularity of open-access protocols. She outlines the transformations that have taken place in content, the publication process, academic disciplines, and libraries. As we advance through the digital world and develop more sophisticated knowledge commons, libraries will need to shift their focus from being archivists and stewards of information goods to one of collaborators and catalysts of internet-based communities. The changes outlined by Lougee are salient. In a prior research project, several colleagues and I (Erat, Desouza, Schäfer-Jugel, et al., 2006) outlined how knowledge-based organizations (e.g. pharmaceutical firms) were undergoing structural changes within their sales force to take advantage of internet-based communities...librarians, as noted by Lougee, will need to embrace the need for changing from the reactive stance of archiving and stewarding information to the proactive stance of enabling the creation of information commons through being a catalyst and a collaborator with stakeholders.
The final chapter of the book by James C. Cox and J. Todd Swarthout discusses the case of EconPort, an open-access digital library of microeconomics housed at the University of Arizona. EconPort was created to provide microeconomics educational resources to the general public. One specific goal of EconPort was to provide resources to facilitate the use of experiments in learning, teaching, and researching of microeconomics. The authors focus their comments on the role of incentives in facilitating the creation, utilization, and maintenance of knowledge commons.
Overall, I found this book very interesting. I commend the editors for assembling an eclectic group of scholars to contribute on an important topic. This book will make for an excellent supplemental text in graduate programs in areas of information science, library science, and even knowledge management. The book balances theory and practice. I found the book easy to read the chapters logically laid out. The only concern I have is the one-sided and unilateral focus on preserving knowledge commons. There are conceivably cases where knowledge commons are not a good thing. For example, knowledge commons can suffer from a bystander effect. By this I mean that everyone thinks someone else manages the common. This may lead to several undesirable consequences. In addition, in the current times, some information goods should be protected and secured (e.g. information on nuclear material and the materials and techniques required to make bombs or improvised explosive devices (IEDs)). Moreover, in the corporate setting of most private enterprises, the issues of how to manage internal knowledge commons is not as simple as the unilateral goal of making all knowledge available to all. This book does not provide the reader with a treatment of some of the unintended consequences of knowledge commons and the need for appropriate measures to secure them from these impacts. Even after accounting for this limitation, the book is an excellent resource for researchers who are examining the social dilemmas associated with the emerging field of knowledge commons. Furthermore, I would encourage that students in the library science fields pay particular attention to the chapters by Wendy P. Lougee, Charles M. Schweik, Nancy Kranich, and James Boyle.
Awazu, Y., and Desouza, K.C. “Open Knowledge Management: Lessons from the Open Source Revolution,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 55 (11), 2004, 1016-1019.
Erat, P. Desouza, K.C., Schäfer-Jugel, A., and Kurzawa, M. “Business Customer Communities and Knowledge Sharing: Exploratory Study of Critical Issues.” European Journal of Information Systems, 15 (5), 2006, 511–524.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 4:57 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Today, I learnt that my Uncle Peter passed away. He passed away in India. Uncle Peter was a good man, a great uncle, and was always one to give good advice. I will miss him. My thoughts are with my Aunty Rita, and cousins Jude, Joyce, Grace, and Ronald, and their families as well.
I will miss you Uncle Peter...I will forever treasure the spicy food we enjoyed...I was planning to come down to India to see you…I guess we missed each other…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 6:18 PM
I was asked to provide a rating of my favorite Scotch. So, here is my top 15 list that I am making available to all…Enjoy…But, as they say, enjoy responsibly…some of these are quite pricey, especially the Top 3…
1. The Macallan 25 yrs
2. Glenfiddich 30 yrs
3. The Macallan 18 yrs
4. Highland Park 18 yrs
5. The Glenlivet 18 yrs
6. Glenfiddich 18 yrs
7. The Macallan 12 yrs
8. Chivas Regal 12 yrs
9. The Glenlivet 12 yrs
10. Highland Park 12 yrs
11. Glenfiddich 12 yrs
12. Balvenie 12 Doublewood
14. Teacher's Highland Cream
15. Grant's Family Reserve
A good glass of Scotch, with a couple of cubes of ice (on a hot day) or neat (most of the time and especially on a cold day), is how I relax after a hard day’s work…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:50 AM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Review of Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy. Edited by Brian Kahin and Dominique Foray. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.
Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy. Edited by Brian Kahin and Dominique Foray. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. 504 pp. $38.00 (ISBN 0-262-61214-3).
The complete review will be published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Developed nations, and developing nations, are in the midst of transforming their economies from industrial economies to knowledge economies. These transitions result in economies where knowledge (in all its forms: human capital, technology, innovation, and even value networks) are the central and critical sources of competitive advantages. Knowledge becomes that which is centrally traded and exchanged, created and communicated, leveraged and transformed. Worldwide continued interest in the field of knowledge management is testament to the realization that there is a need for critical thinking on how to advance our knowledge about managing, living, and thriving in these new economies. Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy pulls together a collection of cutting-edge thinking on critical issues related to thriving in knowledge economies. Topics covered include: measuring knowledge, knowledge communities, the changing role of institutions in knowledge economies, the role of place in knowledge economies, new models of innovation, control and cooperation, and emerging cyber infrastructures. This book grew out of support for conferences by the Organization for Economic Cooperation ad Development (OECD), and the Digital Society and Technology Program and the Digital Government Program of the National Scientific Foundation. The book has seven sections and 25 chapters, which I only briefly review here.
Three chapters set the stage for the book's motivation, the key themes covered, and the OECD’s work on transforming economies to knowledge economies. Brian Kahin opens the book with a discussion of the prospects for a knowledge policy. Kahin’s main argument is that while there is a real need for knowledge policy, the transformational effects of knowledge economies are too new to understand their individual or broad societal impacts. Discussions of knowledge policy thus remain balkanized and isolated. Knowledge policy discussions continue to remain fragmented across academic disciplines and there is a real need to take a holistic perspective at the issue of knowledge policy...Dominique Foray, the co-editor of the book, lays out the major themes covered by contributors of the book in the second chapter. He addresses the deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as knowledge instruments. This is followed by a discussion of the peculiarities of institutions that create and transmit knowledge. Issues such as the patent system, the role of incentives for inventors, knowledge spillovers, trust building mechanisms, division of labor, and the role of universities, are addressed here. Other themes are the co-evolution of technologies and institutions, knowledge division and dispersion, saliency of public knowledge, and open and distributed systems of knowledge...Ásgeirsdóttir, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, discusses the work of the OECD on cultivating knowledge economies. Ásgeirsdóttir puts forth four simple, yet salient, messages to guide the development of knowledge economies. The messages are: (1) good economic fundamentals are critical for stimulating knowledge economies, (2) development of knowledge economies is dependent on four pillars: innovation, new technologies, human capital, and enterprise dynamics, (3) globalization impacts the four pillars of knowledge in significant ways, and (4) there is a need for innovations in organizational practices and knowledge management to realize the benefits of the knowledge economy.
The next section of the book, Measuring Knowledge, contains two chapters. Chapter 4, by Fred Gault, addresses the role of official statistics in measuring the economic effects of knowledge. He discusses challenges faced when using official statistics to measure knowledge-based economies...Chapter 5, Assessing Innovation Capacity, by Reinhilde Veugelers, evaluates the Lisbon strategy developed to enhance the development of knowledge economies in the European Union...
Knowledge Communities, the next section, contains three chapters. Chapter 6, by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, discusses why we need to pay serious attention to learning within communities and the micro social capital dynamics of community-based interactions when measuring economic performance of knowledge economies...Chapter 7 by Tom Schuller, also of a conceptual nature, focuses on knowledge networks using a social capital lens...The final chapter in this section is Knowing Communities in Organization by Patrick Cohendet. The chapter begins by outlining the characteristics, properties, and limits of knowing communities in organizations...
The next section discusses the changing role of institutions. In Epistemic Infrastructure in the Rise of the Knowledge Economy, Margaret Hedstrom and John L. King trace the changing nature of epistemic infrastructures, most notably describing the changes to libraries and museums...Chapter 10, by Robin Cowan, outlines the role of universities in the knowledge economy. Cowan begins the chapter by conducting a historic tour of the changing role of university missions and goals from historic times to the present...Chapter 11, The Impact of ICT on Tertiary Education, by Kurt Larsen and Stephan Vincent-Lancrin, looks at the role of e-learning technologies. Specifically, the authors examine the role of e-learning techniques in furthering tertiary education...The authors make the radical claim that e-learning techniques might, “live up to its more radical promises in the future and really lead to the invention of new ways of teaching, learning, and interacting with a knowledge community made up of learners and teachers” (pg. 167), I remain skeptical of this, but am cautiously hopeful. The final chapter in this section is by David Mowery and Bhaven Sampat. The authors discuss the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which has been held as a model for piece of legislation geared at promoting university-industry technology transfer and the international effort to imitate the act...
Knowledge and Place, the next section, comprises of two chapters. Andrew Wyckoff and Martin Schaaper address the dynamics of global competition for highly skilled workers. This chapter is my favorite from the collection. The authors rightly note that the US is a nation at risk due its weak preparation of students in areas of reading, mathematics, and science...Chapter 14, by Jan Fagerberg, discusses the role of knowledge in enabling for development across the globe. The chapter discusses the current thinking by leading scholars on the role of knowledge for development...
In New Models of Innovation, Eric von Hippel opens the section by discussing the democratizing of innovation...Stefan Thomke, a former student of von Hippel, discusses the role of experimentation in innovation and technology change in Chapter 16. Thomke outlines the need for experimentation in discovery, especially the need to learn from experiments...In Chapter 17, W. Edward Steinmueller carries the discussion on user involvement to its next natural stage – the management of innovation platforms. Platforms, for products and services, have been around for a while. What has changed in recent times is the degree of modularity, ease of assembly (and disassembly), reuse of components, and emergence of standards, which has made the management of platforms less cumbersome...The final chapter in this section is by Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark. The authors focus on the issue of designs, the instruction set crafted out of knowledge than transforms resources into consumable products and services of value. The authors argue that the concept of designs (i.e. how they are architected, deployed, completed, and generate value, etc) is significant enough to warrant a call “to integrate the study of designs across disciplines and make them the focus of unified scientific research in their own right” (pg. 300); I could not agree more.
The next section, Models of Control and Cooperation, contains five chapters. Chapter 19, by Dietmar Harhoff details the current dynamics of the patent system, namely the issue of quantity versus quality, and calls for policy changes to improve the incentive system associated with gaining patent rights. Iain M. Cockburn, in Chapter 20, conducts an excellent exposé of the issues of blurred boundaries between open scientific resources and commercial exploitation of knowledge using the case of biomedical research...In the next chapter, Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole build on the comments on Cockburn by addressing the economics of technology sharing...In the next chapter, Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole build on the comments on Cockburn by addressing the economics of technology sharing. The authors provide a brief historic overview of the open source software movement that has called into question several fundamental economic theories. The authors provide a brief historic overview of the open source software movement that has called into question several fundamental economic theories...Chapter 22, by Arti K. Rai, discusses the dynamics of open and collaborative research in the context of biomedical research. The field of biomedical research is undergoing fundamental changes; there are serious pressures to move from a secretive and closed model of research to one that is open and collaborative...Brian Fitzgerald closes out this section by examining the evolution of open source software. Brian discusses how the open source model called for a shift in the software engineering tensions, and what one might envision the dynamics of the next generation of open source software movement look like for software developers.
The final section of the book contains two chapters on the topic of cyber infrastructure. Paul A. David discusses the challenges faced in leveraging our rather technically sophisticated cyber infrastructure for scientific collaboration. David rightly notes that technical challenges that will not prevent us from exploiting the infrastructure for scientific development, but social and policy, also known as the soft, issues that need to be addressed. C. Suzanne Iacono and Peter A. Freeman close out the book with a discussion of socio-technical challenges the scientific and policy communities will face as the cyber infrastructure continues to evolve.
Overall, this is a highly dense, interesting, and current collection of thinking on the topic of knowledge economies. I enjoyed reading this book. This book will be an excellent supplemental text for graduate courses in the areas of information systems, group and team studies, knowledge management, industrial economics, and technology management. The book is well-organized and the chapters flow logically. The book can be appreciated by both novices and experts in a wide array of disciplines, and its readership could include students, researchers, policy makers, and even curious minds that have an interest in economic development. While the book is quite dense already, I would have liked to see more references made to the mainstream knowledge management, knowledge organization, and even anthropological studies on the development of economies. These references are absent for the most part. This is a major shortcoming. At the very least, I would have expected the editor to state, even if only briefly, why that literature was ignored or not considered salient to the arguments laid forth in the book. The other concern I found is that the collection of authors, each of whom is highly accomplished and noteworthy, did not represent a globally representative group. I would have liked to see comments from authors in knowledge economies that have not yet developed or are struggling with the issues that the book points to. Bringing the perspective of these authors in the book would have made it a more comprehensive and engaging read. These limitations aside, I still feel energized about my own research agenda, in the area of knowledge management and complex informational problems, and the zeal for doing research that furthers the development of sustainable knowledge economies. The editors should be commended for doing an excellent job assembling this valuable scholarly product.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 12:39 PM
Friday, July 13, 2007
I have just been invited to serve as a Panelist on the topic of Global Preponderance at the 2007 Bled Strategic Forum: European Union 2020: Enlarging and Integrating. The invitation came from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Dimitrij Rupel. I have accepted the invitation with pleasure and am excited about the opportunity to contribute my thoughts on this important issue. This is one of the highest honors I have received, and I thank the organizing committee for inviting me. I will be sharing my thoughts on the issue of cultivating global innovation societies, the role of intellectual asset transfer across boundaries, why countries need to consider cooperative innovation systems to work towards greater goals, what are the challenges in establishing these (e.g. immigration, global talents, etc), and what are some of the solutions.
Dignitaries at this event will include: H.E. Mr. Janez Janša, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, H.E. Mr Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr Ali Babacan, State Minister for Economy of the Republic of Turkey and Turkey's chief negotiator in accession talks with the EU, Mr Hans van der Loo, Head European Union Liaison, Shell International, Dr Kuniko Inoguchi, Member of the House of Representatives of Japan, among others. The meeting is sponsored by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Center for European Perspective, Government Communication Office, and the Institute for Strategic Studies. The forum aims to bring together top political leaders, business executives and experts, and generate commitments for implementation of new strategies designed to allow Europe to better use its strategic weight and space. Further, out objective is to help stimulate public-private sector cooperation in developing integrated approaches to resolving outstanding strategic issues.
For details on the conference, please see - http://www.bledstrategicforum.org. The program can be found at: http://www.bledstrategicforum.org/index.php?id=4&lang=en
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 12:59 PM
My first scholarly article written in 2000, originally called "Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare Management", was later published as "Knowledge Management in Hospitals: A Process Oriented View and Staged Look at Managerial Issues" in the International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management (4 (6), 2002, 478-497). A slightly revised version of the paper then appeared in - Creating Knowledge Based Healthcare Organizations (edited by N. Wickramasinghe, J.N.D. Gupta, and S.K. Sharma) in 2004.
Today, I learnt that it has been reprinted in Jennex, M.E. (Editor), Knowledge Management: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (6 Volumes), Hershey, PA: Information Science, 2007, Vol. 5, Chapter 14, 2191-2204
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:26 AM
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I was interviewed by Michael O'Sullivan, the West Coast Bureau Chief of Voice of America on the issue of outsourcing. See - US Lawyer Finds Medical Experts in India, Los Angeles, 12th July 2007, http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-07-12-voa84.cfm. The recording of the interview can be found at: http://www.voanews.com/mediaassets/english/2007_07/Audio/mp3/osullivan_legal_medical_outsourcing.mp3
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 11:11 PM
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Research in the management sciences, from organizational behavior to information systems and public administration, has the potential to play a critical role in informing change in our societies. However, much of the potential for change is ever realized – sufficient research is not conducted in areas of importance to our global society (e.g. improvements to healthcare systems in third-world nations), research is not published in a timely manner (e.g. mainstream information systems journal are notorious for publishing articles that are on average three years out-dated), research is not accessible to global audiences (e.g. most journals still only publish in English), research projects are geared to the needs of funding agencies(hence, most research is centered on the needs of developed nations), promotion and tenure decisions dominate academic creativity and zeal (hence, research that fits established norms and incentive systems is encouraged at the expense of studying difficult problems that may not be easily publishable), and finally the metrics for measuring research impact are academia-centered (e.g. citation analysis), and not society-oriented (e.g. improvements of the quality of life, change in society). In very rare cases, business school academics make a significant and measurable impact on society.
Businesses, on the other hand, continue to make impacts on our societies. After all, they are responsible for providing individuals with a source of livelihood, stimulation through work, and even a sense of achievement through the attainment of professional ranks. While these positives are critical and even recognizing that businesses are a mainstay of our society, we must not ignore the negatives. Businesses have shaped societies into those that are materialistically-oriented – environments where what you own is given as much, if not more, signification as who one is. In addition, the automation of work through the use of technologies has made the lives of many low-skilled workers very difficult and tiring. Even more critical, is the fact that natural resources of the under-developed nations have been exploited towards commercial ends, without consummate repayments to develop these nations.
Hence, an important question for debate is how might academia and industry engage in collaborations so as to enable for positive changes to our societies. To this end, there are three issues that must be addressed. First, is to change the nature of research conducted in the management sciences. Second, to change the outlook
of business on research conducted at business schools. Businesses must appreciate the fact that academia represents a viable medium by which they can make positive and measurable impacts on societies. Third and probably most importantly, is to change the mediums of engagements between academia and business.
I am working on an article on this topic...Feel free to send me any suggestions/inputs/critiques/etc...
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 12:16 AM
Monday, July 09, 2007
Do not miss my next talk:
Two universal truths underpin most business operations: (1) unless businesses can demonstrate value to their stakeholders on a consistent basis they will lose customers and markets, get overrun by the competition, and eventually become extinct, and (2) to generate business value, an organization must constantly innovate, and do so in an effective and efficient manner.
Innovation is a crucial component of business strategy, but the process of innovation can be difficult to manage. To plan organizational initiatives or bolster innovation requires a firm grasp of the innovation process. Few organizations have transparently defined such a process.
In this presentation, I will offer a process framework 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, I will provide context, outputs and critical ingredients as well as mechanisms to measure performance. I will finish by linking these measures to business value measures.
Specifically you will learn:
1. the stages of innovation -- from creating ideas to commercialization -- and diffusing and implementing products and services
2. how successful organizations conduct activities in each of the stages
3. how to measure process performance and improve its maturity
4. how to link the innovation process to business value measures
This talk is hosted by The Management Roundtable. See Link for more details on the talk.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 11:58 PM