The MAC-SSIIM training and support solution is composed of 5 integrated MAC-SSIIM Key Themes:

MAC-SSIIM Key Theme 1 - Intellectual Capital & Knowledge Management

“It is important to establish a clear distinction between the concept of intellectual capital management and knowledge management”
According to Marti both concepts overlap, and they are in practice the same thing but taken from different perspectives.
Those ideas have attracted a lot of attention both in the research and private sectors.
Based on international research it can be demonstrated that according to corporate managers themselves, the future success of their companies depends on utilising intangible assets for 80 to 95 %.
More traditional assets such as machines, equipment and financial capital, remaining at 20 % at most.

Creating competitive advantage and maintaining it therefore require that firms take intangible asset-based questions into account, both for strategic decisions and their everyday operations.

  • Intellectual Capital management (ICM) helps build and govern intellectual assets from strategic and enterprise governance perspectives, with some focus of tactics.
    The function of ICM is to take overall care of intellectual capital.
  • Knowledge Management (KM) has tactical and operational perspectives; KM is more detailed and focuses on facilitating and managing knowledge related activities such as creation, capture, transformation and use.
    The function of KM is to plan, implement, operate and monitor all knowledge related activities and programmes required for effective ICM.

Harnessing, developing and exploiting of intellectual capital are impossible without a proper knowledge management system. It is important to understand that KM is not a single project but a living and evolutionary process which means that in practice the construction of KM system has a beginning but do not have a clear ending.

The roots of this module are in the Japanese and Scandinavian schools of KM which emphasise the role and importance of human resources and creativity in KM development.

MAC-SSIIM Key Theme 2 - Business Networking in a Knowledge based Economy

From Serial Operations to Parallel Operations
The various types of networks formed by companies as well as how they function have fascinated researchers since the 1980s.

Business networking has been accelerated by the constantly increasing importance of knowledge and competence as production factors for business enterprises and other organisations.

Measures aiming at efficiency and cutting of costs

  • More effective exploitation of capacity
  • Enhancing the efficiency of materials flow and warehouse management
  • Enhancing the flexibility and sensitivity to change in production processes Enhancing the operating reliability of processes
  • Development of customer-driven production
  • Improving the quality of products and production process

Measures aiming at growth and generation of new business

  • Staying in the lead of product development through focusing on own resources
  • Lowering the threshold of globalisation
  • Creation of new innovations/generation of new business
  • Creation of more comprehensive product/service packages

Networking has often been discussed as a technological or organisational concept, but it is also particularly interesting as a knowledge management issue.

Knowledge is accumulated through learning processes

  • Explicit knowledge is relatively unproblematic, because this type of data is codified and can be retrieved from databases
  • The only way to access tacit knowledge is to invest in communication with individuals & communities of interest.

MAC-SSIIM Key Theme 3 - Innovation Management

Innovation is a new idea, method, or device.
Innovation can be defined as the act of creating a new product, service or process.
The act includes invention as well as the work required to bring an idea or concept into final form. (Rosenau et al., 1996)

“All projects have both financial and non-financial risks. Managers' assessments of risk and probability of success are notoriously inaccurate. The best way to tackle this is to adopt a multi-party perspective…”

The 2 modules of Innovation Management focus on 2 different dimensions in the company:

  • The Product Innovation Module (PIM) contains profiles of all product innovation success factors. These provide contextual help in analysing the organisation's management of new product development. The Corporate Environment Dimension focuses on the overall climate for innovation within the organisation.
  • The Innovation Portfolio Module (IPM) contains profiles of all innovation portfolio success factors. These provide contextual help in analysing the organisation's management of its innovation portfolio. The New Product Screening Dimension focuses on how the organisation decides which new development projects to invest in and whether maintains its portfolio of new products.

Thanks to the proposed tools, new product ideas are explicitly evaluated and a go/kill decision reached against a financial/risk screen to ascertain whether it reflects and meets the organisation's desired levels of risk and profitability.

MAC-SSIIM Key Theme 4 - Changement and Learning Organisation

Changing and learning quicker and better than other organizations do, is a way of informal protection, of practical importance for SMEs!
In the first part of the teaching material, important ideas are defined and the theories of learning presented, then the difference between individual and organizational learning are explained and the process of organization learning introduced.
In the second part the characteristics of learning organizations are listed and the importance of organizational learning in SMEs summarized.

Important questions in the training material:

  • Why organizations are changing
  • What is changing in the organizations
  • The process of change
  • Methods of change

Organizational changes bring new ways of thinking:

  • Instead of closed system thinking (we produce what we want) organizations follow an open system thinking (we produce what customers want)
  • Structural design: different conditions need different structures
  • Quality orientation
  • Process orientation
  • Human orientation

Change management methods:

  • Organization design – designing new structures to new circumstances
  • TQM – customer and quality orientation, to produce only perfect products
  • BPR – redesign the organizations based on key processes
  • Organization development – changing the behavior of organizational members in harmony with technical, structural aspects

Organizational Learning & Learning Organizations:

  • Finding out something new nowadays done mainly by groups/teams, individual knowledge is not enough any more
  • New ideas borne easier if team members share their knowledge, their ideas
  • But sharing knowledge is possible only if organization members and leaders really trust

The objective is to help SMEs develop the continuous capacity to adapt and change, to give them the learning organizations characteristics:

  • Open system perspective
  • Complex, constantly changing processes
  • Small, young and flexible structure
  • Projects and multidimensional learning teams within the structure
  • Decentralized problem solving
  • Shared values among members
  • Open sincere communication
  • Confidence
  • ExperimentationCreativity, flexibility.

MAC-SSIIM Key Theme 5 - IP protection - Formal and Informal ways

The need and usage of protection methods varies in line with variations in the company’s operating environment, business activity forms and processes.
This guide provides information on operating methods commonly used in companies and proven useful to protect intellectual capital.

The term “formal knowledge protection methods” refers to both industrial property rights and copyrights, because they are statutory and the items they protect must meet formally defined criteria.

In addition to formal protection methods, we present the most common contract types related to knowledge protection.
However, the capacity of formal methods and contracts largely depends on the resources available in companies.
Therefore, in addition, we present methods and operating models that can be used to support formal protection tools or instead of them.
These methods are called informal knowledge protection methods.

It is important to bear in mind that the methods presented in this manual are not mutually exclusive, nor do they compete with each other, but rather support each other, which means that their joint use provides the best possible protection for a company’s intellectual capital.
Moreover, it should be noted that there is no optimal combination of them, as they depend on the situation of the company.