Innovation in Russian District Heating: Opportunities, Barriers, Mechanisms
Contrary to more advanced countries, Russia’s district heating hardly embraces radical innovations. Moving forward with breakthrough solutions, even if they have proven their effectiveness at leading European companies and are supported by federal and regional authorities, encounters significant obstacles. These obstacles include inflexible corporate management, including when interacting with customers, and inexperience in creating internal corporate startups and managing risks in the early stages of R&D. The authors review the innovation activity of heating companies, analyze the difficulties in adopting innovations, and compare the strategies and performance indicators of Russian and Finnish energy companies. Special emphasis is given to the Moscow district heating system. Analysis shows that its’ strategic development in the past decade has focused primarily on reframing the organizational set-up, not innovation. As a result, business processes and cash flows were largely streamlined but European level of productivity was not achieved. The creation of a single vertically integrated entity in Moscow’s energy industry has limited the ability to develop alternative district heating and cooling systems. Energy infrastructure innovation centres are sparse and feature limited specialization and competition. Large companies tend to follow the ‘closed innovation’ model where R&D activities are concentrated within an organization, and focus on incremental innovations while lagging in radical innovations in cogeneration and trigeneration. Under these conditions, short-term planning dominates, while mid- and long-term planning are virtually non-existent. The paper concludes with recommended measures to support the innovative development of Russian heating companies that can be split into institutional and corporate recommendations. The first group concerns stimulating competition in the heat supply market and creating a stable legal and investment environment. The second group calls for technological modernization, development of long-term corporate strategies that include investment programmes, systematic analysis of the best international practices for innovative development, and the formation of partner networks involving foreign innovative, consulting, and research centres.
These proceedings represent the work of researchers participating in the 11th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning – ICICKM 2014, which this year is being held at The University of Sydney Business School, The University of Sydney, Australia. The Conference Co‐Chairs are Dr John Dumay from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and Dr Gary Oliver from the University of Sydney, Australia. The conference will be opened with a keynote by Göran Roos, Advanced Manufacturing Council, Adelaide, Australia who will address the topic of “Intellectual capital in Australia: Economic development in a high cost economy”. The second day will be opened with a from James Guthrie, University of Sydney, Australia on the topic of “Intellectual Capital and the Public Sector Research: Past, Present, and Future”. The ICICKM Conference constitutes a valuable platform for individuals to present their research findings, display their work in progress and discuss conceptual advances in many different branches of intellectual capital, knowledge management and organisational learning. At the same time, it provides an important opportunity for members of the IC, KM and OL communities to come together with peers, share knowledge and exchange ideas. ICICKM has evolved and developed over the last decade, and the range of papers accepted in this year’s conference ensures an interesting two‐day event. Following an initial submission of 144 abstracts that have undergone a double blind peer review process, 53 Research papers, 13 PhD Research papers, 1 Master’s Research paper, 1 Work‐in‐Progress papers are published in the ICICKM 2014 Conference Proceedings, representing work from Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iran, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and USA. We hope that you have an enjoyable conference.
The paper investigates the process of evolutionary transformation of cooperation and integration modes of industrial and construction enterprises in St.-Petersburg. The study has been performed at the period since 1998 to nowadays. The network form of integration was chosen as the main objet of this research. The paper is aimed at identifying the path of knowledge management development in different types of networks.
One of the peculiarities of the network form of integration is the high level of independence of the network participants that interact with each other. Key issues in this cooperation would be the following:
How to organize an effective transfer of knowledge and technologies within a network?
How to find a balance between open systems of innovation and the protection of the intellectual property of network participants?
How to evaluate the intellectual capital of a network? Is it necessary to make an assessment for each participant separately? Should one take into account synergies that increase the value of the intellectual capital because of the network participants’ interaction and knowledge sharing?
How to increase competitiveness of each company and of the whole network by the effective use of the intellectual capital?
How to measure the impact of open innovations on the intellectual capital of the companies interacting within a network?
Thus, it is important to reveal how knowledge management system is developing within a network of inter-related enterprises.
On the base of interviews of top-managers of companies in industrial and construction companies there were identified five different types of networks and knowledge management systems within these types. It is demonstrated how the knowledge management model is growing and becoming mature from the amorphous type of network cooperation to the integrated type. Factors, influencing this evolutionary development, have been revealed. Also, the paper proposes an approach to the evaluation of knowledge management systems based upon the value-based management indicators.
The article presents analysis of the impact of human resource management systems (HRM) on the financial performance of banks operating in the Russian market. The sample includes 67 banks with different organizational characteristics (nationality of capital, ownership, lo-cation of the head office, number of years of operation in the Russian market). The research is based both on qualitative (a survey of heads of HR services of banks) and quantitative (analysis of financial statements of banks). Data were collected in the period from 2011 to 2015. Initially, the main indicators characterizing the effectiveness of the HRM system (labor productivity and return on investment in human capital), as well as indicators of the financial performance of banks (return on assets and return on capital), were calculated. Further, with the help of the system of econometric equations, the impact of performance indicators of HRM systems on financial results of banks was determined. The study revealed that, on one hand, implementation of the functions of the HRM system does not have a positive impact on financial performance of the bank. At the same time, the impact of effects of some particular variables characterizing the HRM system itself (orientation on the strategic goals of the bank, the composition of the functions performed, the automation of functions, the flexibility and innovation of the HRM system, the amount of personnel costs) on performance of banks was revealed. So, the positive effect of the HRM system arises from its orientation towards the strategic goals of the bank, as well as with the use of electronic systems that automate the functions of HRM and thus improving the timing and quality of their implementation. Together, these variables, characterizing the HRM system, increase the return on investment in human capital. If the bank also achieves the flexibility and innovation of the HRM system, then labor productivity also increases. This, in turn, has a positive impact on the financial performance of banks.
This article describes the application of currently most promising methods of (1) network (graph) theory, (2) content analysis and (3) subject-oriented approach to business process modeling for creating and automation of innovative process and therefore for maximization of ROI (return on investments) in intellectual and social capital of enterprises. Described approach delivers opportunities for unstructured information utilization in order to increase efficiency of innovation activity in organizations. As a result, virtual community with a multiple content centers is created presenting a prototype of intellectual neural network with distributed association nodes. In a course of development, instant full-text indexation takes place and taxonomic picture of different branches for such community is formed. In due course system gathers the statistics and builds-up maps of intercommunication with priority allocation of most discussed topics. A group of predetermined experts begins discussion on development prospects of this or that subject afterwards. The strategic map of investments into innovative development that can be offered to group of investors for competitive investments eventually turns out. In this process all steps except final (gathering of experts) are human nondependant, what increase efficiency of this process in general.
In many organizations implementation of innovation is initiated by the management with application of so-cold “top-down” approach: strategic targets and key success factors with the initiatives of its achieving are formed and consolidated in different regulations, procedures, rules and instructions, which are brought to concrete employees later. The feedback from employees is occurred on the fact of initiative execution in form of corrective procedures locally, but the forming of innovation is still the top-management prerogative.
Such centric approach is mostly demotivating approach for initiative employees, who generate, implement and use innovation ideas. For this problem correction hybrid methods are used. The creation of special department inside the company is supposed to be done. It bears duties of innovation catalyst (usually R&D and HR departments have this role). Among other things this department is responsible for inspiration of average executive on development of innovation, determination and consolidation of corporate values and standards of behavior. In the end, the employees orientation on single corporate targets, the increase of corporate spirit would again “top-down” imposed and the department is just the retransmitter of values that are determined by the management.
How should the politics of relations between colleagues, clients and partners be naturally created and how to establish the awareness by the company employees of their personal responsibility and their personal role in corporate values realization, creation of innovation atmosphere inside the organization that does not resist the innovation? The approach, which is described in this article, supposes the forming of distributed network inside the organization with the transfer to it the general effort in the sphere of creating innovations and implementing the corporate ethics principals.
Papers have been double-blind peer reviewed before final submission to the conference. Initially, paper abstracts were read and selected by the conference panel for submission as possible papers for the conference. Many thanks to the reviewers who helped ensure the quality of the full papers. These Conference Proceedings have been submitted to Thomson ISI for indexing.
The author investigates issues related to the methodology and technology of applying the knowledge management system in an organization, describes infrastructure types needed to successfully practice a complex project of introducing an organizational, social and technological system of knowledge management.