The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management publishes original articles on topics relevant to studying, implementing, measuring and managing knowledge management and intellectual capital.

For general enquiries email
Click here to see other Scholarly Electronic Journals published by API
For a range of research text books on this and complimentary topics visit the Academic Bookshop

Information about the European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM) is available here.

For info on the International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning (ICICKM), click here
Information about the European Conference on Intangibles and Intellectual Capital (ECIIC) is available here

Journal Article

An Examination of Inter‑Organisational Learning and R&D Capability through Open Innovation  pp80-88

Takuya Miyamoto

© Jan 2020 Volume 18 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, pp1 - 90

Look inside Download PDF (free)


This study illustrates how Toyota, one of the world’s largest automobile companies, emerged as a leading research and development (R&D) company in the rechargeable battery business in Japan. This study examines the 1990s–2000s period, during which Toyota accumulated substantial R&D capability in rechargeable battery technology. Several automobile companies, such as Toyota and Nissan, have engaged in research on rechargeable battery systems that are adaptable to electronic vehicles. Compared to Nissan, Toyota collaborated with several external partners. A time‑series analysis of patent data comprising 631 samples spanning from 1998 to 2003 shows that Toyota accumulated its R&D capability over time, absorbing technical expertise from partners and ultimately evolving into a leading company. Patent citation data (N = 353) between 2006 and 2009 can trace these patents back to the technologies of Toyota’s former partner, Panasonic. These results confirm that Toyota gained technological expertise from its partners and eventually initiated internal R&D. Earlier studies on open innovation focused on how partnership influences technological output alone. This study sheds light on the specific inter‑organisational aspects of learning via open innovation. Although open innovation is considered a direct outcome of technological output, open innovation for inter‑organisational learning broadens the theory regarding indirect outcomes for R&D capabilities and direct outcomes. From theoretical and practical perspectives, a company must exploit open innovation for the long term with respect to partnerships because it takes time for such partnerships’ influence on R&D activity to take effect. By cross‑correlating lagged patent data for Toyota and Nissan, this study documents the following. First, inter‑organisational learning effects are delayed, significant and persistent. Second, open innovation through partnerships for basic research and supply chain research generates learning effects. Finally, R&D capabilities gleaned from a core partnership and a long‑term partnership can lead to internal R&D enhancements.


Keywords: Open Innovation, Inter-Organizational Learning, Partnership, Delayed Effect, R&D Capability


Share |

Journal Article

Academic Vocational Training: Bridging the gap Between Educational Space and Work Space  pp168-180

Soren Willert, Hanne Dauer Keller, Nikolaj Stegeager

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)


Danish society puts a high value on education which is traditionally seen as a crucial vehicle for development in all spheres of social and economic life. Large sums are spent on work‑related adult learning, an important example being academically based masters programs. Yet, the actual effects of such educational investment in terms of improved workplace efficiency remain obscure both with respect to the organization and the individual. The three authors of this article are all involved in planning, managing and teaching at masters programs at Aalborg University, Denmark. Programs are carefully designed with a view to strengthening the link between the educational space (the curriculum and academic priorities) and the students’ habitual working environment (the organizations from which they come). Starting from a theoretical viewpoint based on traditional learning theory, supplemented by research in the field of transfer of training, as well as on Donald A. Schön’s classic work on practicum as a crucial component in the training of practitioners, our article presents, and illustrates with examples, a framework for designing educational programs which can help make academic teaching relevant to production‑oriented life in organizations. The article may be read as a statement from which criteria for evaluating the said masters programs can be generated.


Keywords: innovative teaching, educational partnerships, workplace development, transfer of training, practicum, reflective practitioner, Action Research, organizational coaching


Share |

Journal Issue

Volume 9 Issue 2, ICICKM 2010 special issue / Apr 2011  pp85‑180

Editor: W.B. Lee

View Contents Download PDF (free)


Prof. W.B. Lee is Director of the Knowledge Management Research Centre of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.    Prof. Lee is the editor of the Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, and International Journal of Knowledge and Systems Science. He established the Knowledge Solution Laboratory, the first of its kind in Hong Kong and has pioneered research and practice of knowledge management and knowledge audit in various organizations.  Prof. Lee and his team have launched Asia’s first on‑line MSc. Program in Knowledge Management.  His research interest  includes manufacturing systems, knowledge management, organizational learning and intellectual capital‑based management.


The 7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning (ICICKM 2010) was hosted by the Knowledge Management Research Centre ,The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China, the first time in Asia.

The conference is well attended by more than 100 delegates from over 30 countries and regions.  This conference series is unique in the sense that it unifies all the important themes in this multidisciplinary area which can be pursued from either the knowledge management, intellectual capital management or organizational learning perspectives or any combinations of them.  The relationship between these themes is important. It is  only  through  the effective management of our knowledge assets  and the continuous  learning   of   individuals, teams and  organization  that we  are able to build the intellectual capital which is the underlying power driving corporation’s future growth.

Apart from the rich tacit knowledge exchange among delegates during the conference, the conference proceedings give a good record of papers delivered at the conference. Our thanks and appreciation go out to all those who presented papers and participated in the conference. Feedback to date from delegates and participants has been extremely positive. The support from departments within the University and our session Chairs and Keynote speakers is gratefully acknowledged. We also recognize the efforts of both the Executive and Conference Committees for their contribution to the double blind peer review process. Based on the input of the session chairs, we are able to select 10 papers of these to be published in this electronic Journal.  These cover a lot of topics including KM models, strategy, innovation, organizational leaning, and intellectual capital measurement, and provide various new insights to the readers.

Grant started by asking the question if knowledge Management (KM) is just another fab.   Through the lens of management fashion theory and a good review from bibliometric evidence he assures us that KM is unlike other management themes and is an enduring management activity. However, there is a potential conflict between the interests of practitioners and researchers. With different perspectives and prescriptions, Imani furthers the discussion by examining the KM strategy in 18 global companies and finds out how they are linked to the business strategy, which are either formulaic (to support routine activities) or embryonic (to address corporate strategic agenda).  On the other hand, Tan and Nasurdin focus on the influence of KM effectiveness on innovation in 171 large manufacturing firms in Malaysia and find out that the effectiveness of knowledge acquisition has a positive influence on both the technological and administrative (organizational) innovation. 

Another issue of concern to researchers in this conference is on how knowledge management  is linked to business performance and its evaluation. These findings and observations are reinforced in a study conducted by Rabhi in Saudi Arabia on the effect of KM on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including customer satisfaction, business savings and projects completed. Tiago et al. studied the relationship between the knowledge management and eBusiness activities by applying a structural equation model in a large database of KM activities of European and American firms. In a study of performance of a Quality Assurance Department conducted by Chan in an electronic factory, the performance of the quality management processes is related to the intellectual capital involved which is captured from a knowledge audit of the plant.

De Alvarenga Neto and Vieira from their Brazil experience described the four main components of KM Model in a Brazilian research  cooperation, that is, strategy, the environment (from social, information, cognitive and business), tool boxes, and  tangible and intangible outputs, and concluded that  for the model to be useful it should be collaboratively built  among  organization units instead of one from top‑down. Inter‑organizational and organizational learning has been recognized to be important for knowledge creation. Laursen, based on an empirical study of four organizational development projects at four Danish high schools revealdifferent perspectives on the projects set up by the staff and the management and how the perspectives have consequences  on what is actually learned by individuals as well as the whole organization.  As team learning and performance is closely related to the shared mental models of the team members, Zou and Lee explored the shared mental model of eight sigma project teams through collective sensemaking workshops conducted in an electronics factory in China. It was found that a high performance team perceived stronger interrelatedness between key teamwork concepts than average teams did.  An area that has been less studied is the effect of age diversity on knowledge transfer in workplace, which roots from the retirement of baby boom generation in many mature organizations. Wang and Dong undertook a study on some basic questions in intergenerational knowledge transfer such as analysis framework and transfer mechanism from a sociological perspective.  

Despite the diversity of topics they all tend to address on how KM performance is related to business goals, how the effectiveness is evaluated and how organizational learning takes place,  one feature of all these papers is that they all have data to support their cases and cut across various countries and cultures.  I hope this special issue serves as a timely and updated reference for the KM, IC and OL professions.


Keywords: Action Research, administrative innovation, BA, bibliometric analysis, data, development projects, educational partnerships, Embrapa, embryonic KM strategy, enabling contexts, , formulaic KM strategy, group quality assurance, human resource management practices, IC value tree, implementation of knowledge , innovation diffusion, innovative teaching, intellectual capital, intellectual capital statement, KM strategy, KM strategy as social practice, know-how, knowledge management effectiveness, knowledge management, , knowledge-based view of organizations, KPI, link between KM and business strategy, Malaysian manufacturing firms , management fashion, metrics, organizational coaching, organizational concepts, organizational learning, practicum, process innovation, product innovation, reflective practitioner, statistics, sustainable, taxonomy, the SET KM model, transfer of training, value added quality management processes, workplace development,


Share |