The aim of this paper is to analyze the influence to the collective production know-how made by the change of the individual knowing of the manager of the considered organization. The case study taken into consideration is an haute cuisine French restaurant. A longitudinal study has been performed within eight years. During these years three head chefs took over each other’s’ (Bouty and Gomez 2010). The individual knowing of each of them influenced in a different way the collective production know-how development (Ferdows 2006; Hislop 2013). Hence, this paper after a short presentation of the case, analyzes in detail how each set of the different head chefs’ individual knowing have impacted the establishment of shared practice and the consequential change in the production know-how growth.
The case study taken into consideration within this analysis is an haute cuisine restaurant located in France. Its business core is providing high fining dining combined with distinctive designs. So, its focus is on high quality food not only carefully prepared, but also carefully presented. Within this context the three-star Michelin rating is the measurement of prestige. Hence, the restaurant competitive success is measured based on the amount of stairs it gains.
In detail, the restaurant employees 70 people in total, and 25 of them work in the kitchen. The kitchen staff is divided into three categories: cooks, chefs and head chefs who manage all others. The kitchen is divided into stations, which are meat, fish, garde manger and pastry. So, there are 5 cooks and one chef in regard to each kitchen station. Then, the head chef coordinates chefs, and the respected cooks (Bouty and Gomez 2010). As a result, the staff is hierarchical distributed.
To this case study a longitudinal analysis has been performed: during eight years three chefs have changed, and in respect to each chef different collective knowledge development have been observed (Bouty and Gomez 2010; Hislop 2013). It’s important to point out that the reason beyond these clear different phases is the change of the head chef as the main manager of the kitchen. Indeed, he is the one who manages and coordinates all kitchen staff. In this way, it’s possible to convert the hierarchical structure into a network, where from the head chef starts the knowledge flows that goes through the whole staff.
Figure 1 Kitchen Staff Hierarchy seen as a network. Own figure.
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Therefore, once it has been observed that the variation of individual knowing of the head chef have influenced the development of the collective core knowledge, it’s interesting to investigate further about how the change of the set of the head chef individual knowing affects changes in the production know-how and, as a consequence, in the mechanism of its transfer.
Indeed, the production know-how can be considered as a set of bricks, and each brick corresponds to an individual knowing. Now, it’s interesting to study how the change of the “brick” of the head chef individual knowing changes the whole set of the production know-how. In addition, production know-how transfer is an interest point to be analyzed because of its tacit critical component that as a tacit knowledge is difficult to teach.
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- Syddansk Universitet (University of Southern Denmark)
- collective production know-how Change Management Production Know-how development French Restaurant Restaurant know-how Knowledge Management