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Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining the Sources of Innovation Paperback – May 6, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

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Leonard-Barton, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, asks why some companies are better than others at successfully developing new products. To answer that question, she interviewed managers in various manufacturing industries who have been successful--and others who have not. The result is an understanding of the process of how better to manage a firm's "knowledge assets." Important is her discovery that a company's core competency can become a "core rigidity." Doing one thing well to the exclusion of anything else stifles creativity. Or, when the competitive environment changes, companies that continue only with what has worked in the past are often put at a disadvantage. She also examines four activities she found to be involved in the innovation process: integrated problem solving, implementation of new methodologies, experimentation, and the importing of know-how. Wellsprings is designed in part for use by academics in training managers, but its practical insights will be helpful to practitioners as well. David Rouse --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"An original and elegant thesis....Provides an actionable framework for competing in a world where value resides in ideas." --IndustryWeek

"A valuable addition to the literature for practicing managers concerned with innovation." --Sloan Management Review

"The analysis and observations are both first rate." --Production Magazine -- Book Reviews

"WELLSPRINGS OF KNOWLEDGE breathes fresh life into the world of corporate creativity...Wellsprings is a refreshing break from hyperbole. Accessible, well-written and realistic, the book provides the foundations for understanding and managing the many sources of organizational genius." -- USA Today, May 18, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (May 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875848591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875848594
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alok Chakrabarti on July 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Professor Barton has written an extremely readable book on a very imporotant topic, knowledge creation. Now a days, knowledge has become a buzz word in alomost every sphere of economic activities. But what does it mean? What does it take to create knowldege? This book addresses such questions. Barton has done important research on the subject and has produced the book with some new concepts that are extremely important in management. Her idea of "core rigidity" is indeed something every senior executive should think about.
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful By on July 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book would serve both seasoned knowledge practioners and those new to the field equally well. The writing is clear and crisp, and the content is well organized. I highly recommend this book for anyone charged with implementing knowledge strategies or at all interested in the topic.
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