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Knowledge Management & IT Systems - MindTree Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
815 1407 Words (3 Pages) Jackson Chackungal Harvard Business School
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MindTree creates, develops and sustains communities of practice in a highly organized manner. At MindTree a communities of practice is described as a group of people united by a common interest, profession or hobby (Garvin & Tahilyani, 2011). A flexible approach towards communities of practice is adopted at MindTree since the case narrates that a communities of practice can exist on the Internet (such as forums or news groups), as well as in real life (such as regular or agreed in advance of the meeting).

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. How does MindTree create, develop, and sustain communities of practice? b) What role do they play at the company?

  2.  What is Bagchi hoping to accomplish as the Gardener? b) What is your assessment of the Gardening process?

  3. How does the 5*50 initiative alter the roles and responsibilities of the knowledge management function? b) What changes would you propose?

Knowledge Management IT Systems MindTree Case Analysis

The development of knowledge is considered very important to create the conditions for participation in the activity. Knowledge and skills of people are closely linked at MindTree to the application of knowledge and skills. Education is termed largely a process of socialization in which people learn to speak, read and write. According to this approach of MindTree, all training is conceived as a joint activity, which necessarily requires the participation of interested people working in specific area of knowledge (Garvin & Tahilyani, 2011). Analysis of the facts given in the case about scientific communities at MindTree shows that the task is not only to encourage research activity, but also creation and arrangement of space where scientists can share the results of their research. Scientific communities at MindTree support not only research, dissemination of results and access to this information, but also create access to the people, ability to monitor the activities of the experts, ability to contact the experts for advice and help the organizational members in seeking expertise of those experts (Garvin & Tahilyani, 2011).  

Employees at MindTree are members of the community and they share resources and tools for discussing the forms and methods of operation. As a result of entering the community, MindTree’s organizational members are subjected to the possibility of legitimate participation in the activities and discussions. Technology and social institutions are the external factors in relation to the individual. They define the ladder of hierarchy, the scale of values and a system of relationships that a person should learn in the process of education and of building their personal culture (Garvin & Tahilyani, 2011). During the formation of communities of practice, employees not only master the amount of knowledge, but also adapt the value system in those communities, access to which was open to them.

Employees are all members of many communities of practice at MindTree. Membership in these groups is a complex process. The rate of entry and settling funds ways of thinking within the community may also be different (Garvin & Tahilyani, 2011). A person can gradually become a member of the community by adopting their ways and methods. Evaluation of the facts mentioned in the case and the secondary readings show that MindTree’s communities of practice is comparatively easy to adapt to. A sizeable majority of communities of practice requires long-term lessons, exercises, discussions and other activities, which distinguishes this community from other communities (Gorry & Westbrook, 2012).

2. Bagchi is hoping to accomplish leadership development within the organization in the role of a Gardener. Bagchi is highly optimistic regarding the growth of the organization and his vision is aimed at the goal of taking MindTree to the level of a $ 1 billion company. Being an experienced business leader, Bagchi is aware that the above mentioned growth objectives are highly unlikely to be attained unless leadership evolves within the lower ranks of the organization (Garvin & Tahilyani, 2011). Until this point in time, the leadership of MindTree has been restricted to the founders of the organization, which is limiting the growth potential of the organization because of lack of permeation of organizational vision and goals.

Bagchi is hoping that by assuming the role of a Gardner, he will be able to infuse the vision and goals of MindTree within the second tier management and employees of the organization. With greater participation of the aforementioned stakeholders, the efforts will be unified and directed towards a singular growth direction. It is important to identify that Bagchi is not assuming any management role as a Gardner since there are no reporting lines associated with this position (Garvin & Tahilyani, 2011). Rather, Bagchi is acting as a mentor and to nurture the leadership potential within the employees through one-to-one session. This fact that the role of Gardner does not relate to any hierarchical position is a highly positive since the mentees will feel free to open themselves to Gardner without inhibitions or fear of assessment. Therefore, Bagchi’s anticipation from the role of Gardner is justified.

My assessment of the Gardening process is largely positive since it relates to a holistic approach towards leadership development initiative. The discussion during one-to-one sessions is not restricted to MindTree’s business only; rather the Gardner is concerned with both personal and professional development of mentees. The engagement of people through Gardening process is both personal and professional. The participants can discuss not only matter pertaining to compensation and their growth within the organization, but even personal matters like spousal relationships. This is a positive aspect because it conveys to the employee that the organization is truly concerned about the well-being of its people rather than focused on its profits only. Gorry & Westbrook (2012) also affirms this by stating that the most important element of knowledge management and customer service within the organization are the employees. My evaluation of the Gardening process is also positive because it is a confidnetial process and as much importance is assigned to listening to the employees as conveying to them. The entire process and the terminology ‘Gardening’ connotes humbleness of the ownership in dealing with problems of the employees. Hence, overall Gardening is a very constructive initiative by Bagchi.    

3. The 5*50 initiative alter the role of Knowledge Management function by transforming it into the most integral component of organizational growth. The evaluation of the level of financial and resource commitment of MindTree towards 5*50 initiative shows that the future progress of MindTree is dependent on this initiative. In addition, the function of Knowledge Management is no longer connecting employees within the company but also to connect customers and suppliers of the company because they are given the role of co-creators in the 5*50 initiative. To meet this expectation, the Knowledge Management function of the organization will need to evolve significantly.

In addition, the 5*50 initiative provides that the shortlisted candidates will be rotated through an educational program to prepare them with a holistic set of business knowledge. The employees are expected to excel in accounting, finance, marketing, research and other essential areas of business management. For this to be met, MindTree’s Knowledge Management function will need to integrate with universities and institutes. The mini-MBA program entails extensive reading on behalf of the employees who are part of the higher rounds of 5*50 initiative. These employees should be able to access updated theoretical and practical knowledge regarding their specific business plan through the Knowledge Management system of MindTree. Therefore, the roles and responsibilities of the Knowledge Management system of MindTree has advanced by considerable measure owing to 5*50 initiative.

A number of recommendations can be implemented pertaining to the Knowledge Management system at MindTree. The ease of adoption of MindTree’s communities of practice should be enhanced which should enable people to enter into a relationship with the community of knowledge within a short lead period. Within weeks they are able to share and pass a certain path of development within the community. Hansen, Nohria, & Tierney (1999) mentions that members’ inculcation in a community takes place in stages, and members can go from the initial legitimate participation to full membership.

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