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

What is the Value of Knowledge Management Practices?  pp567-574

Fahmi Ibrahim, Vivien Reid

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

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Abstract

What are the appropriate sources from which to draw evidence about Knowledge Management (KM) and its added value to organisations? This paper attempts to answer this question, first examining the literature for approaches to measuring KM from the perspective of Intellectual Capital (IC) theory. However, findings indicated that many measurement methods or frameworks have limitations. Following the literature review, the researchers then approached KM practitioners, within the UK car manufacturing industry, and undertook in‑depth interviews in an attempt to understand how these organisations value their KM practices. The UK car manufacturing industry was selected because little previous research has been undertaken in this context, most previous studies having concentrated mainly on service industries. It was discovered that, in most of the organisations studied, the link between KM, business benefits and bottom line is almost axiomatic, especially amongst those who are enthusiastic advocates of KM. Drawing on the evidence from the in‑depth interviews, the paper concludes that there is an absence of linking mechanisms between value and measurement. This is due to the differences between the concept of a value and measurement approach and the importance of these two concepts to justify the outcome of KM practices. Recommendations are made through the development of a theoretical framework that includes both objective and subjective dimensions of KM measurement strategy.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, intellectual capital, uk car manufacturing industry, theoretical framework, value, measurement

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 5 / Dec 2009  pp535‑662

Editor: Kimiz Dalkir

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Editorial

The 9th ICICKM conference, held at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was well attended by participants representing over 20 different countries. The international flavor of the conference continues to ensure a diverse range of papers as well as opportunities for valuable networking. As with all ICICKM gatherings, researchers, practitioners and students of KM were brought together to discuss the KM crossroads we find ourselves at in the year 2009.

Some of the key issues that emerged from the two days included a consensus that KM has evolved so we no longer need to convince people it is needed. We now need now to know how to “do KM” – that is, how to implement knowledge management in organizations in a more informed manner. In particular, the need for more how‑to guides, detailed rules, good validated practices and an overall quasi‑standard approach to KM implementation were noted as priority needs for the KM community. In addition, particular guidance is required concerning the KM teams (who should do what?) and how best to address tacit knowledge. Other issues concerned the specific components that should be present in a KM workspace and how this workspace can address the needs of different users who need to accomplish different sorts of tasks

While participants felt that we still have to convince some senior managers, we now also need to better address how to align KM processes so as to not create overhead. For example, what is the impact of KM on other parts of the organization such as training and IT units? How can we change peoples’ behaviours and how they think about the work they do? What are the new skills/competencies needed? How can they acquire them? How to integrate KM into business processes? How to integrate KM roles within existing jobs?

The good news is that the discipline and practice of KM has evolved – the bad news is that we still have a long way to go. The focus is now on how to do KM well. Educators need to focus on student competencies, skills and roles and responsibilities. Researchers need to focus on more evidence‑based and theory‑based KM. Practitioners need to focus on feedback from users and best practices.

The collection of papers in this special conference edition address the multitude of issues we currently face, and will continue to face, in the future. There is an excellent mix of practical case studies, practical tools such as intellectual capital measurement models in addition to more conceptual and theoretical approaches to solving crucial KM problems.

 

Keywords: academic education, avatars, ba, BRIC, competitive intelligence, complexity of choice, creative destruction, decision-making, developing countries, discipline, emerging markets, experiment, financial crisis, group interaction, growth drivers, human capital, Indian economy, Information Technology sector, intangible assets, Intellectual capital, intellectual value, KM in interconnected power systems, Knowledge Active Forgetting (KAF), knowledge capital, knowledge management implementation, management support systems, measurement, methods of assessment, paradigm, SET KM model, stakeholders, strategy, sustainable competitive advantage, technology, theoretical framework, UK car manufacturing industry, undergraduate degree program in Turkey, unlearning, virtual environments

 

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