Competetitive Advantage

Topic: How does the 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 has a Ph.D. 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 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 Helmut discovered a potential design for larger cargo, which could result in double the number of packages held in the cargo hold. This potential idea is one that Fredrick has contained in his notes and would like to pursue but 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 US Helmut discovered that this design would, in fact, secure a great promotion.

Joanna Bockman, the current team leader, reviewed Helmut’s notes upon his arrival to the team to understand the level and type of work Helmut was doing in London. When she came upon the discovery note she questioned Helmut further he hedged on his answers because he was not sure he wanted to discuss his findings quite yet. Joanna assured him that the company would never take the credit from him if the design was useful, but Helmut was not so sure. His colleagues suggest that a new design is not always welcome. In fact, his colleagues in London agree. Joanna was sure the information would be useful but decides to wait for Helmut to change his mind about reporting the design.

Joann received an email several weeks later from Rockfish saying that they 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? Joann was more than unhappy with the news and wondered if Helmut was placing obstacles in the company’s success deliberately to get ahead or could the rumors be true that people were not willing to share their new ideas because they thought the company was not willing to learn or work with them. Jane had to get to the bottom of this so she sought out Helmut and asked him to reconsider. He said he would think about it and get back to her shortly. Jane 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 success.

  • As if you were Joann draft an email to Helmut explaining the situation.
  • Why sharing information is important to a company.
  • A discussion of the relationship between knowledge management and competitive advantage.
  • The benefits to Helmut in sharing the information
  • Decide if you want to include a recommendation as to whether to include a possible incentive or motivation to encourage Fredrick to share and note your decision to Helmut.
  • Is the fact that Helmut listened to his colleagues from London and Chicago the influence of communities of practice? Should Joann remark about this to Helmut?
  • You must use course material to support your responses and APA in-text citations with a reference list.