Knowledge and Intellectual Capital (IC) are key resources and crucial fields of investment in today's business organisations and the economy. Problems in strategically and effectively using those resources mainly consist in: (i) how to specify, summarize, visualize the current state of knowledge and IC; (ii) how to comfortably provide access to scattered and ill‑structured information on the current state of knowledge and IC; (iii) how to define, understand, visualize the impact of knowledge on organizational performance and of IC on the economy; (iv) how to assess and evaluate strategies and activities for purposefully intervening in organizations and economies by means of knowledge and IC. To overcome this, the paper presents methods, functionality and tools forming a web‑based infrastructure which provides user‑friendly access to information and understanding of knowledge impacts and IC market at company, sector, national and global levels. This infrastructure basically consists of two sections. The first section enables us to immediately benchmark a company's knowledge management maturity according to specific input data and information, provide tailored feedback and suggest changes in the company's strategy concerning knowledge‑related activities. With this, companies should be motivated to provide their data and support continuous testing, evaluation and improvement of all methods, models, measures and benchmarks following an experimental design. The second section consists of a "World Atlas on Intellectual Capital" comprising world‑wide data on the following constituents of the IC market: demand, supply, equilibrium, investment, need, stock, flow, and returns. With this, the web‑based knowledge impact and IC reporting portal will support decision makers at company and political levels to purposefully intervene on the attitude towards knowledge and IC through guidelines. Consequently, the paper contributes to research and development to measure and with this to develop a better understanding of the impact of knowledge (management) and IC on the delivery of effective business processes and high value services.
Keywords: knowledge management maturity, impact analysis, intellectual capital, companies, benchmarking, clustering, logistics
The Changing Role of Knowledge in Companies: How to Improve Business Performance Through Knowledge pp73-84
Knowledge is widely accepted as strategic resource in companies, but its developmental potential is often not well exploited. Amongst others this is caused by the wide variety of knowledge management concepts, methods and tools challenging company management in selecting the appropriate measure for the specific company situation and developmental goal. Furthermore, knowledge is directly linked to people and knowledge‑based interventions therefore cannot be successful without reaching the company’s employees and getting them involved in any change processes. Against this background the paper discusses the changing role of knowledge in companies and investigates how knowledge‑based change processes in companies need to be launched and run. Based upon this a methodological framework is proposed in order to help companies in identifying their needs for change and purposefully intervening in their processes and eventually to lend them a hand in managing their human resources, selecting technology or changing the organisation. Conclusions open up the view towards future research still required for achieving the goal of methodologically grounded managerial support and guidelines on how to best intervene in company knowledge.
Keywords: change processes, knowledge-based development, knowledge management maturity, sensitivity modelling