This paper presents a hybrid approach to understanding the knowledge management requirements for a knowledge intensive service organization. It proposes a strategy‑knowledge management alignment framework grounded in literature. The framework was constructed by studying four published case‑studies that tackle knowledge management at world class management consulting firms. The paper then applies the framework to two cases in the knowledge intensive services sector. The first case studies a young management consulting firm needing to formalize its knowledge management policies and processes. The second case studies the creation of an IT Outsourcing Services Division by a traditional telecommunications company that needs to expand its product offering to increase its opportunities for growth in a small market. The two case studies support the proposed framework and show that it can be used to obtain practical solutions in a business environment. One of the case studies also contributes to developing the case method in research by using the Socratic Dialogue as a means to collecting and analyzing evidence.
Keywords: Socratic dialogue, knowledge management, alignment, professional services, knowledge for competitive advantage
From recent research it emerges that addressing questions such as: How can an organisation harness collective intelligence to improve business performance? knowledge based systems? Organizations are aware that knowledge is essential for their survival in dynamic markets, and that intellectual capital is a valuable asset. But what most organizationsÂ´ leaderships are not clear on is how to create and manage this intangible asset. It is known that investment in training is essential, but it is often unclear how this investment may be converted into improved performance? It is well established that effective knowledge management requires a culture of sharing ideas, but how do organizations foster this type of exchange? Davenport & Prusak (1998) pointed out that if as the aphorism says, Knowledge is power, why should anyone want to share it? This paper proposes the Socratic Dialogue (Remenyi, 2007) as one of the tools organizations can use to facilitate organizational knowledge building and exchange. The Socratic Dialogue may also be used to promote communities of practice. It facilitates the construction of knowledge through discourse based on personal experience and this can create a culture of knowledge sharing. It also promotes people being critical of prevailing ideas. The paper explores the Socratic Dialogue and its process; it illustrates its application through the analysis of two cases; and finally articulates some reflections on how to make it work effectively.
Keywords: Socratic dialogue knowledge management community of practice organisational learning Socratic dialogue knowledge management community of practice organisational learning