Informations and abstract
The paper deals with the organizational innovation in the firm, relating it to the progressive success of the knowledge economy and the parallel problems of valorizing workers' human capital in the current phase of economic development. After a historical analysis of the theoretical convergence points among knowledge economics, growth theory and the theory of the firm, it addresses the structural reasons for the uncertainty characterizing knowledge management, due to the peculiarities that economic analysis recognizes to knowledge as a good, and to its transaction. The issue of knowledge management for organizational innovation is then examined in the light of logic schemes of the 'lean production' and the 'learning organization' models, and in the perspective of the transformation of knowledge into competence. Finally, the paper brings into the light the problems facing the creation of knowledge communities within the firm, and the corresponding spreading of the "cognitive participation" competence. A brief presentation of this "Economia & Lavoro" special issue, dedicated to organizational innovation in Italian companies, with particular reference to World Class Manufacturing (WCM) and the FIAT-Chrysler model, concludes the paper.