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 Intellectual Capital (ECIC) is available here
 

Journal Article

Intellectual Capital and Organizational Performance: an Empirical Study of the Pharmaceutical Industry  pp357-362

Alka Bramhandkar, Scott Erickson, Ian Applebee

© Jan 2008 Volume 5 Issue 4, Editor: Charles Despres, pp347 - 550

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Abstract

This paper directly measures the impact of intellectual capital management on organizational performance. Although this is an area widely studied in the literature, the nature of most of the work to date is to focus on specific aspects of intellectual capital (human, structural, or relational capital) and their individual impact on performance. This study specifically looks to identify firms that manage overall IC, whatever its nature, better than competitors. We then ask the question, do these firms actually see market results better than those of competitors? In order to do this type of analysis, we felt a need to focus on a specific industry. If wide differences do exist between industries in terms of physical capital needs and human, structural, or relational capital needs, then random firms are harder to compare. Those within a single industry, such as the pharmaceutical firms studied here, should have relatively similar structures in relation to all these needs. We collected data on 139 firms in the drugs industry. We sorted and divided the sample according to market capitalization and book value (a common measure of intellectual capital) then looked at return on assets, investment, and equity, as well as beta. By one measure, firms with the highest level of intangible assets clearly performed better than those with lower levels. The high level firms had significantly better returns and significantly less variability in stock price. According to a second measure, the results were less convincing but still lent support to further research using this methodology. So, as a first cut, this study had very promising results. We intend to repeat it for other industries, experimenting with the measures and means of cutting the data. Although industry‑specific is obviously the initial way to go, we also intend to perform some cross‑industry comparisons with the measures we develop. We believe the results of the full research program will be significant to practice and will provide substantial support to those championing better management of intangible assets within firms.

 

Keywords: intellectual capital, knowledge management, organizational performance, marketbook ratio, ROA, ROE, ROI, beta

 

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Journal Article

One Size Does Not Fit All — Towards a Typology of Knowledge‑Centric Organisations  pp27-36

Marié Cruywagen, Juani Swart, Wim Gevers

© Oct 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, ICICKM 2007, Editor: Rembrandt Klopper, pp1 - 116

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Abstract

Organisations are increasingly turning their attention to the creation and use of knowledge as a strategic resource. Too often however, knowledge management initiatives fail to deliver the competitive advantage expected from a strategic resource. The knowledge management literature is characterised by frameworks for knowledge management implementation which tend to prescribe best‑practice methods to a large range of companies. Although useful, a key weakness of these frameworks is their inability to account for contextual differences. Consequently many organisations attempt to apply a knowledge management framework that simply doesn't fit the organisational context resulting in little or no benefit from their efforts. A shift in focus from best practice to best fit is necessary to account for the difference in organisational contexts. Systems thinking emphasises context as an important element in understanding a system, and five concepts from systems theory are used to define the criteria for establishing a best‑fit approach. A social constructionist approach to the research further affords the opportunity to identify areas of significant variation in knowledge management context and practices within knowledge‑centric organisations. A multi‑method research strategy, comprising cluster analysis and case study research, is proposed to develop insight into the emergence of different configurations of knowledge management capabilities within different organisational contexts. The proposed conceptual framework forms the foundation for building a typology of knowledge‑centric organisations which will enable organisations to choose the most appropriate approach to knowledge management based on their specific context which varies along the dimensions of their knowledge‑orientation, knowledge management intent and knowledge management enactment.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, knowledge-centric organisations, typology, social constructionism, configurational approach, systems thinking

 

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Journal Article

Evaluating Knowledge Management Performance  pp583-592

Clemente Minonneand Geoff Turner

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

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Abstract

As organisations become increasingly aware that knowledge is among their most valuable strategic assets, they will be forced to re‑evaluate the way in which they engage with the source of that knowledge to underpin their sustainable development. This will create a fundamental change to established practice; a change that results in a paradigm shift from the traditional operational approach to a more strategic involvement in knowledge management. This change is promoted by the knowledge management maturity model (KM3). KM3 is founded on the idea that successful knowledge management comprises four forms of integration, namely cultural, organisational, procedural and methodical. Despite an emphasis on one of these forms by many organisations, it is understood that all forms of KM integration should be considered in parallel to implement knowledge management practices in an integrative manner. Key indicators that measure the performance of knowledge management integration are needed. They need to measure both effectiveness and efficiency. In many cases, organisations having, and actively executing, a knowledge management strategy tend to focus on the efficiency dimension because it can be evaluated more easily than the effectiveness dimension. Yet this path is fraught with danger because, as with many other aspects of business, the management of knowledge has to be effective before it may provide efficiency gains. Nevertheless, organisations require appropriate forms of measurement. Those that are unwilling, or unable, to develop effective measuring and reporting systems are likely to suffer from product or service quality decreases, lower productivity growth and a reduced ability to compete because they will be less successful in acquiring and using relevant knowledge resources. Key performance indicators that are developed to assess the progress of organisations in this compelling activity need to be aligned with one or another of the four forms of integration and may be either qualitative or quantitative in nature. The balanced scorecard concept is used to measure performance of the KM3 where the balance between the four forms of integration is the prime consideration. Each of these is represented by one segment of the knowledge management monitor (KM2) to facilitate a better understanding of the cause‑and‑effect relationships. It does so by providing structured information about an organisation's knowledge resources: how they are nurtured and how they contribute to organisational sustainability. At the same time, use of KM2 is related to organisational economy. Good economy means good resource management, which for many organisations translates to how they manage individual and accumulated organisational knowledge. This has become so important that they are looking for a more integrated way of managing the three interdependent and complementary pillars of knowledge management, which are organisational learning management, organisational knowledge management and intellectual capital management. Although these three concepts lack a unifying vision, they all relate to each other by informing one another and provide the pathway for a knowledge‑based orientation of strategic management.

 

Keywords: strategic knowledge management, performance measurement, integrative approach

 

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