Knowledge diffusion: a classification of modern knowledge management's role within the innovation process

Claudia Tittmann*, Kevin Reuther, Christian-Andreas Schumann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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The purpose of this paper is to deliver new perspectives on and an improvement of innovation management by critically analyzing the role of knowledge management within the innovation process. This is accompanied by an assessment of organizational learning and the innovation diffusion theory that will lead to a better understanding of the distribution of innovation-related knowledge within today’s organizations to benefit the innovative capacity.

We propose a mixed methods approach that includes a review of the literature to gather qualitative insights on the theories used in this research and a quantitative study that has been conducted in Saxony, Germany in 2015. The data of this study has been collected and used jointly for several innovation- and knowledge management related research projects that are linked. The Methodology of Theory Building enhances the research design of this paper by delivering a strong theoretical basis for the development of the conceptual model of knowledge diffusion within the innovation process that is proposed in this paper.


The adoption of innovation diffusion theory for knowledge and innovation management and the process of distributing and sharing knowledge within organizations as a basis for creative ideas constitute a fundamentally new approach to the topic that has not been part of the academic debate yet. It enhances the understanding of innovation processes within today’s organizations and how they are permeated by knowledge.

Practical implications
The outcomes of this research project include a new approach to understand corporate innovation processes and especially how they emerge and how knowledge flows within organizations’ work to support the innovation process. The conceptual model developed in course of this paper shows where diffusion processes within the innovation process take place and provides information on how to support or improve such processes and therefore today’s companies’ innovative capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 12th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics IFKAD 2017, St. Petersburg, Russia 7-9 June 2017
Subtitle of host publicationKnowledge Management in the 21st Century: Resilience, Creativity and Co-creation
Place of PublicationSt. Petersburg
PublisherInternational Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics
ISBN (Electronic)9788896687109
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2017
Event12th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics: Knowledge Management in the 21st Century: Resilience, Creativity and Co-creation - St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 7 Jun 20179 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameIFKAD Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2280-787X


Conference12th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics
Abbreviated titleIFKAD 2017
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
CitySt. Petersburg
Internet address


  • Knowledge management
  • Knowledge transfer
  • organizational learning
  • Innovation process
  • Innovation diffusion


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