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Topic: How does a group create new knowledge and share it to improve its effectiveness?

Fredrick Helmut is an ambitious design engineer working in the London Division of GDD. Fredrick Helmut has a PhD in Aero-Space engineering from Emory University. He recently moved back from the London branch to work in the US division headquarters,. He made the move to promote his career.

It was known that the current team leader in Chicago would be retiring at the end of the year and the company was looking for a successor.  Frederick Helmut wanted his job. The Chicago team was working on a different design approach to developing a Plane that would maximize the use of cargo space holding smaller packages only..

During his time in London Frederick Helmut discovered a potential design for larger cargo that could result in double the number of packages held in the cargo hold. This potential idea is one that Fredrick Helmut has contained in his notes and would like to pursue.

However, he wonders if this is something that could be used to benefit his career. He would like to pursue the idea individually but is not sure that this would be encouraged in his new job.  Upon return to the United States, Frederick Helmut discovered that this design would in fact secure a great promotion.

Joanna Bockman, the current team leader, reviewed Frederick Helmut’s notes upon his arrival to the team to understand the level and type of work he was doing in London. When she saw the discovery note she questioned Frederick Helmut further.

He hedged on his answers because he was not sure whether he wanted to discuss his findings quite yet. Joanna Bockman assured him that the company would never take any credit from him if the design were useful, but Frederick Helmut remained tentative (was not so sure). His colleagues suggest that a new design is not always welcome. In fact, his colleagues in London agreed. Joanna Bockman was sure the information would be useful but decided to wait for Frederick Helmut to change his mind about reporting the design.

Joanna Bockman received an email message several weeks later from Mr. Rockfish (CEO) saying that they had lost a contract with a new company because they could not price competitively for the number of large packages in the cargo hold. Could she and the others come up with a design?

Joanna Bockman was quite unhappy with the news and wondered if Frederick Helmut was deliberately placing obstacles in the company’s success to get ahead or could the rumors be true that people were not willing to share new ideas because they thought the company was not willing to learn or work with them. Joanna Bockman was determined to resolve the problem, so she sought out Frederick Helmut and asked him to reconsider his position. He said he would think about it and get back to her shortly. Joanna Bockman thought she would follow it up in writing so he could see how important it was to reconsider his earlier decision. Sharing information was critical to company’s success.


1. By WEDNESDAY, complete the following:

  • Assuming you were Joanna Bockman, draft a memorandum to Frederick Helmut explaining the current situation.
  • Articulate the importance of sharing organizational knowledge.
  • Why is the sharing of information important to a company?
  • Discuss the relationship between knowledge management and competitive advantage.
  • The benefits to Frederick Helmut in sharing the information (individual tacit knowledge).
  • Decide whether to include a recommendation regarding possible incentives or motivation to encourage Fredrick Helmut to share his information.
  • If you do decide to make such a recommendation, specify the incentives or motivation you would like to offer Frederick Helmut.
  • Is the fact that Frederick Helmut listened to his colleagues from London and Chicago the influence of communities of practice? Should Joanna Bockman comment about this to Frederick Helmut?
  • You must use course material to support your responses and APA in-text citations with a reference list. 

2. THROUGHOUT the week, complete the following:

  • Respond to your classmates four or more days throughout the week.
  • Discuss with each other the best arguments to present in this memo and how to present them. 
  • You must use course material to support your responses. 

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