Developing Innovation for a Knowledge-Based Economy

One of the more recent ‘buzz-words’ in management is the concept of the knowledge-based organisation. Governments have even begun to talk about promoting “knowledge-based economies”. A knowledge driven economy is one in which the generation and exploitation of knowledge plays the predominant part in the creation of wealth.

Of critical importance to the successful development of a knowledge-based economy is the ability of firms to foster creativity and innovation. Knowledge is more than just information. It is the ideas and intellectual property that can be the wellspring of new business ventures and new product development.

Fostering creativity within an organisation requires some or all of the following:

• A tolerance of risk taking and failure;
• The ability to process information and generate new, original and meaningful ideas;
• A willingness to grant substantial autonomy to employees over decision making;
• • The capacity for employees to set their own goals; and
• The creation of opportunities for employees to exchange ideas, skills and behaviours through a process of interactive learning.