The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Information about the European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM) is available here.

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Journal Article

Resource‑Based View of Knowledge Management for Competitive Advantage  pp75-86

Leila A. Halawi, Jay E. Aronson, Richard V. McCarthy

© Oct 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Editor: Charles Despres, pp65 - 138

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Abstract

We are not only in a new millennium, but also in a new era: the knowledge era. Sustainable competitive advantage is dependent on building and exploiting core competencies. The resource‑based view (RBV) of the firm defines a strategic asset as one that is rare, valuable, imperfectly imitable and non‑substitutable. Knowledge is seen as a strategic asset with the potential to be a source of competitive advantage for an organization. In this paper, we provide a model that examines how and why knowledge management (KM) can be used to create competitive advantage from the RBV of the firm.

 

Keywords: Knowledge management, KM, knowledge management systems, KMS, resource-based view of the firm, RBV, sustained competitive advantage

 

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Journal Article

Tacit Knowledge and Pedagogy at UK Universities: Challenges for Effective Management  pp61-74

Harvey Wright

© Jul 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 74

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Abstract

This paper hopes to persuade readers of current thinking around Knowledge Management that more emphasis should be placed on tacit knowledge in management and its education and how it might be better communicated to students within universities and in organisations in general. It reflects upon what appears to be the predominant attention being paid to explicit knowledge in the curriculum and pedagogy of UK Universities which offer courses entitled Knowledge Management, and that this may be at the expense of more tacit knowledge 'management' approaches.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, KM, tacit knowledge communication pedagogy curriculum didactic v constructionist university curriculum on knowledge management

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management in the Brazilian Agribusiness Industry: a Case Study at Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (Sugarcane Technology Center)  pp199-210

Rivadavia Correa Drummond de Alvarenga Neto, Rogério Salles Loureiro

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, ICICKM 2008, Editor: Kevin O'Sullivan, pp199 - 296

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Abstract

Investigates and analyzes "Knowledge Management" (KM) practices effectively implemented in the Brazilian agribusiness industry. The main objective is to investigate and analyze the conceptions, motivations, practices, metrics and results of a KM process in a genuine Brazilian firm. The qualitative research strategy used was the study of a single case with incorporated units of analysis, and two criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawingverification. The results confirmed the presuppositions and the firm of the study is a benchmark for a KM process in the context of Brazilian organizations. The conclusions suggest that organizational knowledge cannot be managed, it is just promoted or stimulated through the creation of "Ba"or an enabling context. It was also identified that the main challenges facing organizations committed to KM in Brazil have its focus on change management, cultural and behavioral issues and the creation of an enabling context that favors the creation, use and sharing of information and knowledge.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, strategic information management, enabling context or "Ba", knowledge management conceptual umbrella metaphor, KM in agribusiness

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management Implementation: a Process Design Proposition at Brazil's ONS (National Operator of the Interconnected Power System)  pp593-604

Rivadávia Correa Drummond de Alvarenga Neto, Renato Rocha Souza, Jairo Gomes Queiroz, Hermes Chipp

© Jan 2010 Volume 7 Issue 5, Editor: Kimiz Dalkir, pp535 - 662

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Abstract

The implementation of Knowledge Management (KM) processes has been long overlooked in the KM literature. This paper describes and analyzes the implementation of a KM process within the Brazilian organizational context based on a theoretical framework entitled "The SET KM Model". Both propositions — a process design for KM Implementation and "The SET KM Model"‑ came out as results of different sets of studies and researches conducted by two of the authors within the past decade. The methodology, qualitative in nature, is based on the study of multiple cases with incorporated units of analysis and three criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct, external validity and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used — semi‑structured interviews, extensive documental research, direct observation and participant observation — and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawingverification. Among others, the case study conducted at ONS is highlighted in order to discuss a successful implementation experience in its early stages. The results confirmed the frameworks proposed and the conclusions suggest that (i) within KM, what is managed it's not knowledge itself, but solely the context where knowledge emerges and is socially constructed (ba) and (ii) KM implementation processes should be developed around strategic organizational issues and involve key knowledge activists in the organizations, mainly middle‑managers composing a governance committee supported by top administration.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management implementation, KM in interconnected power systems, the SET KM model, ba

 

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Journal Article

Let's Learn Unlearning: How Top Managers Conceive and Implement Knowledge Active Forgetting  pp605-614

Mehdi Bagherzadeh Niri, Mohammad Hosein Rezazade Mehrizi

© Jan 2010 Volume 7 Issue 5, Editor: Kimiz Dalkir, pp535 - 662

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Abstract

Regarding the influential role of top managers in the process of unlearning, the main question in this paper is "how top managers understand and approach unlearning" in their managerial activities. Toward this aim, based on several case studies with top managers who have recently been involved in the process of knowledge based changes, we realized that top managers are more apt to focus on technical and concrete types of knowledge such as knowledge which resides in systems and procedures. Moreover, among all different possible approaches toward unlearning, they mainly make sense of this it as a process of "pushing by new knowledge", and "abandoning old knowledge" that both of them are radical approaches toward unlearning. The main lesson drawn in this study is that researchers who interact with managers in their inquiry about unlearning must be aware about the natural orientations of top managers and how this might affect the validity of their field inquiry. Above all, the insights gained in this study shows that field study about unlearning based on the opinions of managers is easy to start with, as managers can make sense about this process easily, but is difficult to focus on, because managers easily shift from unlearning old knowledge to learning new knowledge in their thoughts.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, KM, Knowledge Active Forgetting, KAF, creative destruction, unlearning

 

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Journal Article

Exploring Web 2.0 Applications as a Mean of Bolstering up Knowledge Management  pp1-9

Thomas Bebensee, Remko Helms, Marco Spruit

© Mar 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECKM Special Issue, Editor: Eduardo Tome, pp1 - 84

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Abstract

Abstract: Web 2.0 applications aim at improving the interaction between users. Web 2.0 principles overlap with characteristics of knowledge management (KM) or could be applied to reshape KM practices. Applying Web 2.0 applications to KM has the potential to improve the sharing and creation of knowledge. However, little research has been conducted in this area. This research aims at identifying Web 2.0 applications for bolstering up organizations’ KM practices. An additional aspect addressed is how Web 2.0 applications for KM can be categorized and how they match different aspects of the KM strategy of an organization. The research examines the suitability of Web 2.0 applications in KM by conducting exploratory case studies in two student‑run organizations, which are an interesting research subject because their members are considered most open towards new technologies. The case studies aim at exploring which Web 2.0 applications are in place. Based on the findings we propose a framework for categorizing Web 2.0 applications for KM. The findings indicate that Web 2.0 applications may enhance KM and may even initiate a new era of KM. Moreover, the article provides a discussion of a number of Web 2.0 applications and proposes a way of categorizing these applications. The proposed framework allows assessing the use of Web 2.0 applications for KM and can be used as an orientation for the introduction of Web 2.0 applications in organizational KM. The research contributes to the general understanding of how Web 2.0 applications can be used in KM. The proposed framework for categorizing Web 2.0 applications provides an orientation for organizations that want to use these applications for bolstering up their KM practices.

 

Keywords: Web 2.0, collective intelligence, user-generated content, social computing, knowledge management, KM 2.0

 

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Journal Article

Building a Knowledge Management Model at Brazil's Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation): Towards a Knowledge‑Based View of Organizations  pp85-97

Rivadavia Correa Drummond de Alvarenga Neto, Job Lucio Gomes Vieira

© Apr 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ICICKM 2010 special issue, Editor: W.B. Lee, pp85 - 180

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Abstract

This paper investigates and analyses the process of building a knowledge management (KM) model at Brazil’s Embrapa (The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation). Embrapa is a world class knowledge organization whose mission is to provide feasible solutions for the sustainable development of Brazilian agribusiness through knowledge and technology generation and transfer. The qualitative research strategy used was the study of a single case with incorporated units of analysis and two criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawing/verification. The results revealed a robust KM model made of four dynamic axes: (i) strategy (a strategic conception of information and knowledge use), (ii) environment ‑ four different groups of enabling conditions (social‑behavioral, information/communication, cognitive/epistemic and business/managerial), sine qua non conditions for successful implementation, (iii) tool box – sets of IT tools and managerial practices and (iv) results – in terms of outputs, being both tangible and intangible assets. The conclusions suggest that a collaborative building of a KM model in a diverse and geographically dispersed organization is more likely to succeed than one that is build and implemented from the top‑down perspective. Embrapa’s KM Model is more inclined to be a knowledge‑based view of organization than merely a KM model. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, enabling contexts, knowledge-based view of organizations, the SET KM model, BA, Embrapa

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management, an Enduring but Confusing Fashion  pp117-131

Ken Grant

© Apr 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ICICKM 2010 special issue, Editor: W.B. Lee, pp85 - 180

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Abstract

Knowledge Management has been a subject of significant management interest for some 15 years. During that time it has been subjected to a variety of criticisms including the argument that it is little more than a “fad” — something that catches management’s attention for a while and then fades away because of a lack of sustainability. It has been compared to other major management fads such as quality circles and business process re‑engineering. This paper examines the discipline of Knowledge Management (KM) through the lens of management fashion theory. It demonstrates that KM is not a fad and that it has become an enduring management activity. Management Fashion Theory (Abrahamson and Fairchild, 1999) is an extension of Rogers’ Theory of Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers, 2003), that takes a skeptical view of business innovations, viewing the discourse about and the diffusion of innovations as a cultural phenomenon rather than a rational decision making process. After a brief introduction to the field of Knowledge Management (KM), a review of the theories of Diffusion of Innovations and Management Fashion is presented, along with a description of the methodology used to apply Management Fashion Theory to the discourse on KM. Bibliometric and content analysis techniques are used to examine publications and discourse in the field from 1990 to 2009. The analysis of discourse on KM demonstrates a significant period of “latency” from the late 1980s to 1994, during which foundational ideas and precursors to KM appear. Then a rapid growth period is identified, from 1995‑2001 during which KM becomes an innovation of interest to most major organizations. Finally, it appears that discourse has settled at a steady state, with no decline apparent. However, detailed analysis has also indentified a potential conflict between the interests of practitioners and researchers, with a separation of the discourse into distinct groups that may have inconsistent views on what is or is not “Knowledge Management”. In summary, this paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of discourse on KM. It provides bibliometric evidence that there has been a sustained interest in KM that is quite unlike that of other popular management themes over the last 30 years. It raises some questions about the relevance of some of the research being carried out.

 

Keywords: management fashion, innovation diffusion, bibliometric analysis, KM strategy

 

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