oa South African Journal of Information Management - Conceptual framework to align knowledge development aspects of research and innovation : peer reviewed article



Historically, business institutions base their growth strategies on their research and development (R&D) function. This function is fairly established and sets out to acquire new knowledge in a systematic process of research in order to produce or improve products, services or processes. In fact, innovation and research are two of the main thrusts for economic growth. Research is planned, assessed, managed and rewarded, innovation is not. However, without acknowledging and aiding the growing importance of innovation for growth in a rapidly more chaotic environment, this function is set for failure. Where research is valued, innovation is feared as radical and disruptive. There is little evidence to link them and show how they, jointly, can add more value than separately. They remain independent entities in separate clusters of the economy. The article explores the convergence of innovation and research, focusing on the development of a conceptual model in terms of the technology framework required for the accomplishment of convergence. In this sense, technology is defined as knowledge, tacit or explicit, in human, document or electronic format. The proposed convergence requires the use of knowledge frameworks to drive the innovation and research. The contribution of the article lies in the knowledge developmental aspects of research and innovation convergence. An existing knowledge development system is reviewed and a conceptual framework presented to outline the possible courses of action for knowledge and innovation alignment. This framework incorporates aspects of technology (as knowledge) into the innovation and research functions.


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