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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Journal Article

On the Importance of Managing Intangible Assets as Part of Corporate Strategy  pp217-224

Annie Brooking

© Jul 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECIC 2010, Editor: Constantin Bratianu, pp181 - 266

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Abstract

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Keywords: intellectual capital, SMEs, IC methodology, strategic business planning

 

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Journal Article

Social Capital Management in Iranian Knowledge‑Based Organizations  pp204-210

Khodayar Abili

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 3, ECIC 2011, Editor: Geoff Turner and Clemente Minonne, pp181 - 295

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Abstract

The importance of social capital and its effective management approach in organizations, particularly knowledge‑based organizations, for assuring their ongoing and sustainable development and competitive advantage has been a matter of serious discussion in recent years. Considering the ongoing expansion and growth of knowledge‑based organizations in Iran and the role and importance of their social capital in further development of Iranian society, an effective system of management of their social capital is a matter of concern of their top managers. Therefore, a blend (quantitative and qualitative) multiple case study was conducted with a selected number of knowledge‑based organizations with different sizes to assess their existing social capital, to identify factors which might have positive or negative impacts on the promotion of their social capital and to propose an effective approach for its management. To conduct the study, a purposive sample of fifteen large organizations and sixteen SMEs was selected. To collect the data, a stratified random sample of 528 knowledge workers (336 from large and 192 from MEs) and their HRM managers were given a 24‑item questionnaire which was designed based on three dimensions (structural, relational and cognitive) of Organizational Social Capital Model used by Nahapiet and Ghoshal in their study. This was followed by semi‑structured interviews with a selected number of research participants for completion and further clarification of collected data. Findings indicated that the selected knowledge‑based organizations are not benefiting from a desirable social capital. It is even worse in large organizations. Therefore, some measures need to be taken to improve the situation. Based on the findings of this study, suggestions were provided for the promotion of their social capitals and their more effective management

 

Keywords: social capital, organizational social capital, knowledge-based organizations, SMEs, structural capital, relational capital, cognitive capital

 

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Journal Article

Characterising the Knowledge Approach of a Firm: An Investigation of Knowledge Activities in Five Software SMEs  pp48-63

Ciara Heavin, Frederic Adam

© Jan 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECKM 2011, Editor: Franz Lehner, pp1 - 109

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Abstract

An organisation’s ability to successfully compete in a changing market place is contingent on its ability to manage what it knows, in order to serve the objectives of the firm. While it has been argued that due to their size, knowledge management (KM) is not a concern for smaller organisations, in the current economic climate, it is expected that a more formalised approach to KM allows the company to seize opportunities as they arise, and deal with environmental uncertainty more effectively. In view of this, the objective of this study was to devise a classification of knowledge activities (KAs) which facilitates the exploration of a Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in terms of the type and extent to which knowledge is managed. Furthermore, analysis of KAs provided a greater understanding of the fit between the firm’s objectives and the KM approach pursued. In order to achieve this, five case studies were conducted. Based on the classification of KAs identified, a qualitative analysis approach was used to code each of the twenty eight interviews carried out. Both quantitative and qualitative content analysis methods were applied to facilitate data reduction and generate meaning from the significant volume of data collected. The output from this study includes a classification of KAs which provides rich insight into how SMEs are motivated to deal with knowledge as a means of achieving their organisational objectives. From a practitioner viewpoint, this study seeks to offer an improved understanding of a software SMEs’ approach to KM.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, KM, Knowledge Activity, KA, knowledge, Small to Medium Sized Software Enterprises, SMES, and software

 

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Journal Article

Product Innovation and Relational Capital: Evidence From Portugal  pp295-308

Pedro Figueroa Dorrego et al

© Nov 2013 Volume 11 Issue 4, ECIC 2013, Editor: Lidia Garcia Zambrano, pp280 - 386

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Abstract

Abstract: At a time when intellectual capital and product innovation management are both considered to be critical for companies to gain a competitive edge (and even survive) in todays unstable business environment, this paper discusses the influence o f relational capital on product innovation performance at innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Building upon the intellectual capital and new product development perspectives, an empirical research was conducted, using a questionnaire adminis tered to a network of Portuguese innovative SMEs. The findings suggest that relational capital does have a positive effect on product innovation performance. In particular, Vertical relationshipsŽ emerges as the main relational capital element significan tly affecting product innovation at the innovative SMEs level. The existence and proactive management of relationships with customers and suppliers emerge as critical factors to product innovation success. We find our results to be useful for both researc hers and practitioners: we contribute to the ongoing understanding of relational capitals impact on critical business phenomena, while also identifying additional critical factors for new product development success.

 

Keywords: Keywords: intellectual capital, relational capital, product innovation, new product development, innovative SMEs, Portugal

 

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Journal Article

Uncovering a KMSD Approach from Practice  pp123-134

Aboubakr A. Moteleb, Mark Woodman

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 198

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Abstract

There is no credible methodology for knowledge management systems development (KMSD). We report on a KMSD approach that has emerged from an investigation based on action research and grounded theory into a number of business problems experienced by organizations. The KMSD approach is highly participatory, requiring full involvement of members of an organization. It has three interacting aspects: envisioning knowledge work behaviour, design of knowledge management system (KMS), and exploring technology options for supporting the KMS. In the first of these aspects, challenges and opportunities in an organization's current situation are analysed and an improved situation is envisioned to expose knowledge concepts and their properties. In the second, a logical design of a KMS is produced using knowledge entities, knowledge flows and knowledge interfaces; the design is guided and constrained by an organization's structure, culture, and resources. The third aspect is to do with introducing appropriate IT into KMS design, integrating organizational, social and technological aspects of the system. The paper describes this KMSD approach and how it emerged from both practical and theoretical investigation.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, knowledge management systems, knowledge management systems development, social network technologies, organizational improvement, action research, grounded theory, small and medium enterprises, SMEs

 

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Journal Article

The Meaning of Intangible Assets: New Insights into External Company Succession in SMEs  pp437-446

Susanne Durst, Stefan Gueldenberg

© Aug 2009 Volume 7 Issue 4, ECIC 2009, Editor: Christiaan Stam, Daan Andriessen, pp397 - 534

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Abstract

The Commission of the European Communities (2006) estimates in its report that one third of all EU entrepreneurs will leave within the next ten years. In conjunction with the situation that (1) the majority of Europeans prefer being an employee and (2) the fact that changes in demography will reduce the pool of potential successors over the next decades, this paper argues that external (non‑family) successors take on an important role and are in a position to choose the company, which best matches their expectations. A successful company succession depends on a multitude of different aspects. In the case of external succession, certainly the available funds represent a critical point. However, the assumption is that the decision to acquire a company is based on other factors. It is hypothesised that the potential external successor will be interested in those companies offering potential expansions. In view of the increasing relevance of intangible assets within the firm regarding company success, it is suggested that these assets primarily influence the external successor to go further in the succession process. Thus, it is expected that the future perspectives of the company are founded on its inherent intangibles and which in turn justify a financial investment. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of intangible assets as seen from the viewpoints of external successors. The strategy of research behind this paper is the application of a mixed methods approach which is divided into a survey approach and a case study approach (given priority). Within the quantitative stage a web‑survey was used to obtain data on the relevance of intangible assets in terms of external company succession in SMEs whilst addressing members of German trade corporations and chambers of commerce. The results of the quantitative study were enhanced through qualitative interviews with ten external successors in SMEs. The data that were gathered explores the role of intangible assets during the successors' deliberations as to whether or not the company should be acquired. Intangible assets are found to be important features for external successors. Specifically five intangibles can be highlighted which are brand, partner(s), key‑employees, knowledge retention, and corporate culture. The critical intangibles were summarised in a conceptual framework. The findings suggest that in the case of external succession, intangible assets have a remarkable influence on the external successor's decision‑making and traditional issues in the view of company succession such as tax, legal and, financial aspects should be extended to include intangible aspects.

 

Keywords: SMEs, intangible assets, company succession, strategic management

 

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Journal Article

Valuing Knowledge Assets in Renewable Energy SMEs: Some Early Evidence  pp225-234

Maria Weir, Robert Huggins, Giovanni Schiuma, Antonio Lerro, Daniel Prokop

© Jul 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECIC 2010, Editor: Constantin Bratianu, pp181 - 266

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Abstract

It is widely recognized that knowledge‑based resources and assets are fundamental to performance improvement and organizational value creation. Limited progress has been made, however, in valuing and managing organizational knowledge in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the renewable energy sector. This paper provides first insights of an ongoing research project managed by the Intellectual Assets Centre in Scotland, in order to support the adoption of knowledge asset management initiatives for driving the improvement of value creation mechanisms of SMEs operating in the renewable energy sector. We employ research related to resource‑based and knowledge‑based theory and performance measurement and management, to gain a better understanding of how Scottish SMEs operating in the renewable energy industry acquire and manage knowledge assets in their bid to improve performance and value creation. Using a sample of organizations from the Scottish renewable energy sector we draw first insights about their perception and orientation to identifying, measuring and managing knowledge, and to qualitatively identify a feasible set of knowledge resources and assets potentially driving performance improvement. The first evidence indicates an awareness of the relevance of the knowledge‑based factors, and engagement in knowledge acquisition and creation processes. These firms possess a good endowment of knowledge assets, with significant internal knowledge management processes, but also external inflows from agents such as firms and education or research institutions. However, the visible lag in the exploitation of knowledge assets and processes, together with observed under‑financing of the sector and difficulty in accessing skilled labor, indicates the need for efforts to better address specific needs of renewable energy sector SMEs.

 

Keywords: renewable energy, renewables, intellectual capital, knowledge asset management, Scotland, SMEs

 

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Journal Article

How to Innovate Management Through Intellectual Capital Statements ‑ Lessons Learned From the First Implementations in Brazil  pp256-267

Camilo Augusto Sequeira, Markus Will, Eloi Fernández y Fernandez, Kai Mertins

© Jul 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ICICKM 2012, Editor: Fernando Chaparro Osorio, pp185 - 279

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Abstract

Abstract: Recent initiatives have shown that it is time to think about new ways of managing companies, particularly in emerging economies. Mertins et al (2012), points out that, “In the rapidly emerging Brazilian economy, intangible assets become a key success factor for sustainable growth”. As experiences in the fast moving city and state of Rio de Janeiro have shown, the development of systematic management procedures for these intangible assets is especially valuable for fast growing small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to serve as a solid backbone for an increasingly knowledge‑based economy. Another initiative described by Sequeira et al (2012) highlights that Brazil has been evolving into a knowledge society dealing with political changes, globalization, new technologies, and new global competitors, such as China. The need to enhance companies´ and, by extension, countries´ competitiveness has grown rapidly. It is, therefore, evident that organisations and particularly government policies need to redress some critical competitiveness issues, most notably the establishment of the Competitive Intelligence System as a strategic tool. Without such tool, organisations and the country will find it difficult to position themselves within the global marketplace. Taking into account the main conclusions of the two initiatives described above, and the unique circumstances of organically grown organizations in the Brazilian business environment, this paper discusses the challenge of integrating the Intellectual Capital Statement ‑ ICS into a comprehensive strategic change process. In order to promote sustainable business development in an emerging economy, the ICS has to be used to establish a continuous improvement cycle in the individual company, focusing on practical actions for maintaining and developing its intangible assets to ensure future competition capability.

 

Keywords: innovating management, competitive intelligence, intellectual capital, intangible assets, knowledge economy, Brazil, oil and gas, SMEs

 

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