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

How to Ensure the Quality and Reliability of Intellectual Capital Statements?  pp437-448

Kai Mertins, Wen-Huan Wang, Markus Will

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

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Abstract

To gain competitive advantage in Europe, it is vital for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to utilise knowledge efficiently and to tap into full innovation potential. Reporting those intangible assets systematically to customers, partners, investors or creditors has become a critical success factor. Thus, managing "intellectual capital" (IC) becomes increasingly important for future‑oriented organisations. Conventional balance sheets and controlling instruments are not sufficient any more, because intangible assets are not considered. The collective research project "Intellectual Capital Statement — Made in Europe" considers national experiences and the current state‑of‑the‑art on measuring IC and will establish a European ICS guideline for implementing Intellectual Capital Statements (ICS). The ICS is an instrument to assess, develop and report an organisation's IC, to monitor critical success factors systematically, and to support strategic management decisions (cf. Mertins, Will 2007).For customers, investors and especially creditors, after receiving an ICS, one of the first things that usually comes into their mind is: Is this information "reliable"? To ensure a high quality level of ICS and to be accepted by, for instance, the financial market, it is important to have a neutral third party who certifies the reliability of the document. Learning from the experiences of ISO 9001 certification, assessment for the European Excellence Award and of financial audits, an ICS audit methodology has been developed. The ICS audit verifies the conformity with the European guideline respective ICS implementation process and the completeness of the ICS content. Furthermore, it will check whether the content is plausible, verifiable and representative for the company. To ensure sustainability, the auditor will get a picture of whether the ICS content is communicated and the stated actions for improvements are in progress or already realised. The main focus of this paper is to demonstrate how to ensure the quality and reliability of IC reporting and how to promote the sustainable realisation of actions by ICS audits.

 

Keywords: Intellectual capital, intellectual capital statement, quality management, audit methodology, knowledge management, SME European commissionresearch

 

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Journal Article

InCaS: Intellectual Capital Management in European SME — Its Strategic Relevance and the Importance of its Certification  pp111-122

Kai Mertins, Wen-Huan Wang, Markus Will

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

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Abstract

As the Lisbon Agenda declares the aim for the European Union to become the most dynamic and competitive knowledge‑based market in the world by 2010, management instruments are needed to support companies achieving this ambitious goal. Small and medium‑sized companies (SMEs) are especially affected by this plan being the driving force of Europe's economy. To obtain their competitive advantage, it is crucial for SMEs to utilise knowledge efficiently and to enhance their innovation potential. Thus, managing their specific Intellectual Capital (IC) becomes more and more important for future‑oriented organisations. A practical way to tackle the challenge is the methodology developed by the German pilot project 'Wissensbilanz — Made in Germany' and the European pilot project 'InCaS: Intellectual Capital Statement — Made in Europe'. The Intellectual Capital Statement (ICS) is an instrument to assess, develop and report the IC of an organisation and to monitor critical success factors systematically. By applying this method in more than 50 German and 25 European small and medium‑ sized enterprises, it was possible to support the participating companies in identifying, evaluating and developing their strategically relevant knowledge. Resulting from increased interests in managing and reporting of IC, stakeholders such as creditors or investors receive ICS in completely different qualities — from very reliable to implausible. To ensure the quality of ICS in a sustainable way, we have developed an approach of ICS certification based on the methods of quality management system certification, financial audit and the assessment for European Excellence Award. In the end, only the ICS fulfilling the quality requirements will be awarded a certificate. A catalogue with requirements shall serve as the certification basis and has to be in place beforehand. This catalogue evolved as an essence of both above mentioned projects and includes the experiences of ICS implementations. The challenge is to determine the smallest possible amount of requirements that will enable the ICS to meet the acknowledged quality criteria. Furthermore, this paper summarises how the InCaS method supports companies developing a knowledge‑based strategy. We describe research results gained from the German and European project about the strategic relevance of particular IC factors in general and their relevance depending on the business sector.

 

Keywords: intellectual capital statement audit, knowledge management, innovation, SME, quality requirements, certification

 

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Journal Article

Value, Kaizen and Knowledge Management: Developing a Knowledge Management Strategy for Southampton Solent University  pp135-144

S J Rees, H Protheroe

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

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Abstract

The process of development of the strategic plan for Southampton Solent University offered a vehicle for the development of kaizen and knowledge management (KM) activities within the institution. The essential overlap between the methods offers clear benefits in the HE environment. In consideration of the aspects of KM and kaizen, various potential opportunities were identified as targets for improvement, and clarified by knowledge audit as to value and viability. The derived outcomes are listed along with some of the principal factors and perceived barriers in the practical implementation of the outcomes. Knowledge audit applied here focused on the identification of where value arises within the business. Resource constraints and the practicalities of a people‑centred system limit the permissible rate of innovation, so precise focus on the areas of business activity of most significance to the mission and client base is crucial. The fundamental question of whether such a strategy should be developed as a separate strand or embedded into existing strategies is discussed. In practice, Solent has chosen to embed, principally for reasons of maintenance of ownership and commitment. Confidence in the process has been built through prior success with trialled activities around retention, where an activity‑ based pedagogic framework was adopted to address issues with an access course. Other areas of early intervention include the development and reengineering of recruitment and admissions processes, and the development of activities and pedagogy based on the virtual learning environment as exemplars of the importance of cyclical feedback in continuous improvement. The inherent complexity of processes running across the university as an organisation offers opportunities for benefits from the through‑process approach implicit in kaizen. The business value of the institution is in the skills of its employees and its deployed intellectual property, and thus the importance of the enhancement of both tangible assets and intangible processes is critical to future success.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, kaizen, knowledge audit, knowledge strategy, knowledge management in higher education, strategy development

 

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Journal Article

How to Conduct the Audit of Intellectual Capital in Polish Tourism Business?  pp459-468

El bieta Maria Kot

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

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Abstract

Intellectual capital (IC) — defined by the values such as knowledge, skills, experience, organisational, social and cultural relations etc. — is one of the most important assets of tourism business and can be perceived as the factor having the greatest influence on the company's value. Due to the leading role of intangible assets in tourism sector, it is important to specify the IC structure and diagnose IC assets for tourism industry. The results of the diagnosis should be taken into consideration in IC management and in the decision‑making process within the organisation. The diagnosis of the IC condition is an issue which has not been the subject of any detailed research in Polish environment. The lack of specific tools as well as the real need for resolving the title problem has been the inspiration for a deeper investigation. The goal of the undertaken research was to prepare the methods of IC audit in tourism companies and to create necessary, utilitarian auditing tools. The main objective was to be achieved by performing the research tasks presented in the paper, among which the most important are: Review of the theory and different IC valuating and measuring methods (literature of the subject). Executing the initial research among experts, executives and employees of tourism market, using Individual in‑Depth Interview (IDI) and participant observation methods. Preparation of an IC audit's algorithms. Programming a software of IC audit implementation. Application of the IC audit prototype to an experimental group with the aim of eliminating any methodological and technical faults. Implementation of the IC audit in chosen Polish tourism companies. Presentation of the results (reporting). The initial research clearly indicated, that the knowledge resulting from an IC audit is useful and necessary for executives. Reporting of IC audit lets managers identify and highlight the missing or neglected elements of IC structure and recommends certain activities in management procedures, designed to enhance business performance. This paper presents the results of the research done so far, but the main goal is to implement the IC audit tool in Polish tourism companies and prove its efficiency.

 

Keywords: intellectual capital, intangible assets, IC audit, management, tourism, Poland

 

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Journal Article

Results of Knowledge Audit in a Scientific Collaboratory: Possible Applications of Selected KM Aspects in Scientific Collaboratories  pp49-61

Marcela Katuscakova, Martin Katuscak

© Jan 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECKM 2012, Editor: Dr Juan Gabriel Cegarra and Dr María Eugenia Sánchez, pp1 - 115

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Abstract

The paper discusses possible applications of selected aspects of knowledge management in the field of collaboration in science and research, which is characterised by a high degree of knowledge specialisation. Specialised knowledge becomes productive only

 

Keywords: scientific collaboration, collaboratory, knowledge audit, knowledge management, scientific collaboration recommendation

 

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Journal Article

A Theoretical Model for the Report of Intellectual Capital  pp339-360

Florinda Matos

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

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Abstract

Abstract: Intellectual capital has become a key element of the knowledge economy. Their management is a factor that influences the competitive advantage of companies. The main objective of this paper is to present a methodology (ICM ‑ Intellectual Capita l Model) that allows the audit of intellectual capital management in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). From the conducted research, it can be concluded that the model is technically robust and determines that the management of intellectual capital i s likely to be audited and certified in order to control the quality and dynamism of the knowledge generated and allowing the partner organizations (customers, suppliers and enders) to estimate the innovation capacity and verify the conformity of their management parameters, compared with a reference standard. Indeed, the results of surveys also show that the proposed model forms the basis of a credible accreditation system for intellectual capital management in the majority of Portuguese SMEs. This pap er also contributes to enhance the discussion around the value of organizations intangible assets and therefore to change the current concepts of economic development.

 

Keywords: Keywords: intellectual capital management, audit, ICM

 

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Journal Article

The Potential of Neuro‑Linguistic Programming in Human Capital Development  pp131-141

Eric Kong

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, ICICKM 2011, Editor: Vincent Ribière, pp110 - 207

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Abstract

Human capital (HC) represents the cumulative tacit knowledge that is embedded in the minds of people in organisations. HC is important to organisations because it serves as a source of innovation and strategic renewal. Individuals carry HC when they join an organisation and take their talent, skills and tacit knowledge with them when they leave the organisation. Thus HC is volatile in nature. Organisations are therefore keen to do what they can to foster and develop HC as a means of achieving sustainable competitive advantage. This paper argues that neuro‑linguistic programming (NLP) has the potential of developing and enhancing the stock of HC in organisations. NLP emerged in the 1970s from the University of California, USA. NLP suggests that subjective experience is encoded in terms of three main representation systems: visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic (VAK). NLP practitioners claim that people tend to have one preferred representation system over another in a given context. Despite that previous research has shown that NLP can assist in facilitating knowledge and learning capabilities, very limited research is conducted using NLP in nurturing HC in organisations. This paper critically reviews the literature and theoretically argues that NLP can be used as a practical approach to develop HC in organisations. This is because NLP primarily focuses on individual internal learning and that learning likely leads to the accumulation of HC in organisations. In other words, organisational members may find it more effective to enhance their tacit knowledge, both individually and collectively, if they adopt the NLP approach in their day‑to‑day work. Examples on how NLP may be used to develop HC in organisations will be provided. Future research direction and limitations will also be discussed.

 

Keywords: human capital, individual and organisational learning, neuro-linguistic programming, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic systems

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008 / Apr 2009  pp1‑198

Editor: Roy Williams

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Editorial

This special edition of the journal is a selection of the best papers from the recent European Conference on Knowledge Management, held at Southampton Solent University in 2008. Several of the papers addressed the shift to what is increasingly being called knowledge ecologies, within the more general field of digital ecologies (see IEEE 2009)

Vanessa Lawrence's keynote speech on Ordnance Survey: underpinning Great Britain with geographic information set the tone for the conference, and set the standard for key aspects of knowledge management and knowledge ecologies. The Ordnance Survey (OS) is an exemplary case study of how to create well mapped data and maximise its use in today's digital ecologies. This case study combines the best aspects of interoperability at the level of data with the best aspects of dynamic, complex and even open systems at the level of information and knowledge creation and exchange. Intelligently mapped data is at the heart of the OS topological information system, creating uniquely identified data objects which are the building blocks for the four layers of the Master Map: topography, address, integrated transport, and imagery.

More importantly from a knowledge management point of view, this integrated Master Map crosses seamlessly from data base management, to information systems, to traditional knowledge management and into knowledge ecologies. A range of commercial and community organisations can build on the Master Map, using elements from it, to create their own maps from their own perspectives, such as housing, health care, flood management, or policing. These different, user‑generated derivative maps create a knowledge ecology, which is a dynamic, flexible, and adaptable set of meta‑mappings (literally and figuratively) or what might be called 'map‑ups', which people can read, write and contribute to, link to, and mash‑up with their own data.

The intelligent data is itself dynamic and changing, and in a ""mobile, transient society and economy where location is a dynamic resource within business"" (Lawrence op. cit.), the data has to be accurate and constantly updated. The figures are impressive: 460M data fields, 1.8M changes per annum, 0.5M updates per annum, of which 99.9% are updated or added within 6 months of completion on the ground, and a potential resolution of 20mm for information on reticulation.

The Open Space initiative, for non‑commercial use only, provides a base and a framework for social mapping or map‑ups. In the first year it involved 900 developers and 156k visitors. The Explore programme allows people to create routes, tag points of interest, and share pictures, news and events.

Lawrence summed up the Ordnance Survey approach as the challenge to ""establish principles to make information sources accessible and connectable"", an elegantly simple framework for knowledge management in the service of knowledge ecologies.

Maracine et al describe knowledge ecosystems (KE) as a new kind of digital ecosystem which is an ""active and dynamic process, that … helps the building, growth, sharing and forgetting of knowledge"". They explore this in healthcare systems for home rehabilitation, which differ from other KEs because of the role and importance of the patient: in practice the entire ""life"" of the ecosystem gravitates around the patient and their personal rehabilitation chain.

Managing Intellectual Capital is now central to the EU strategy, so small and medium sized companies (SME's) must play their part in this. Mertins, Wang and Will's study analyses the different rankings of IC factors across 5 major economic sectors, and leads to some interesting conclusions, for instance that ""the traditional distinction between Industry and Services is improper for researching the strategic impact of IC. Rather companies should be classified by comparing the actual business models"".

Third sector organisations are also applying KM. In this case study, Reilly describes the way resource priorities, programme funding and dispersed Authority inhibit successful KM. There is widespread support for the discovery of knowledge, but it is subject to diverse interpretation, and consensus on how to apply it is difficult to achieve. Reilly proposes a relational knowledge domain to promote a more holistic approach in value driven organisations, to integrate and optimise KM. There seems to be similar issues in the corporate sector too, as Brännström and Giuliani have found, namely that one of the difficulties in IC reporting is that ""goodwill is substantially based not on particular components of IC, but on the synergies between them"". Another problem with IC reporting, and with FRS IFRS3 in particular is that some firms deliberately ""want to continue to use goodwill as a 'blackbox' to avoid disclosing some items to analytic scrutiny by outsiders"".

The link between descriptions and analyses of real business situations and personal experience can be used to build a real consensus. The Socratic Dialogue (Remenyi & Griffiths) involves much more than a simple verbal agreement. Participants try to clarify the meaning of what has just been said by testing it against their own experiences. In this way the limitations of individual experience which stand in the way of a clear understanding can be made conscious, and these limitations can hopefully be transcended.

Garcia‑Perez & Ayres's paper outlines an approach where elicitation and transfer, and possibly also creation, are carried out in one process. This involves identifying key experts and stakeholders, who then work together to develop a representation of the experts' domain knowledge. They conclude that ""communicational problems are minimised because the main interaction will take place between domain experts and their stakeholders. Also, discussion of their own experience with colleagues through a process of modelling their expertise significantly increases experts' motivation to share knowledge"".

Begley et al outline their 'new' theory of the firm, its relationship to networked society, and to other theories of the firm, within KM. They see the firm as a 'connected temporary coalition' perspective (based on Taylor, 1999; 2006), within an interactive model of the firm, containing diverse types of relationships, collections of both closely coupled and loosely coupled systems that configure, dissolve and reconfigure over time, forming a distinct capability in leveraging collective knowledge assets.

A new approach to systems development for KM is presented by Moteleb & Woodman, which is based in action research and Grounded Theory, using a number of business problems experienced by organizations. The KMSD approach is highly participatory, requiring full involvement of members of an organization, in three interacting aspects: envisioning knowledge work behaviour, design of knowledge management system (KMS), and identifying technology options. The KMS design integrates organizational, social and technological aspects of the system.

Landwitch et al have developed a more interactive and dynamic process for Information Retrieval in which the IR systems explicitly support the user's query requirements, but also their cognitive abilities, to realize a dynamic dialogue between the user and the system. This is aimed at satisfying both the information needs of the users, and the innovation‑process. Smith deals with the specifically human elements of what could also be called knowledge ecology, integrating cultural and process issues, and ""issues of organisational adaptation, survival and competence in and increasingly discontinuous environment. Rather than being a process problem, poor knowledge emergence from a new system is more likely to be a communication and learning problem where there is a failure to engage with the individuals who are within the system"".

Vedteramo & de Carolis advocate a community‑based approach to KM in the growing sector of project‑based organizations. Projects are typically temporary, and much learning may be lost when they disband, the storage of lessons learned is not effective, the databases are not widely used and the people are too engaged in their projects to share knowledge or help other people cope with similar problems. Vedteramo suggests the adoption of McDermott (1999)'s ""double knit organisation"", integrating project teams and communities of practice.

Webb uses open ended diaries and strategically resourced reflection on the diaries, and provides material on management and complexity theory for managers to use, to reflect on and make sense of their practice and learn from it. This provides ""multiple first person accounts and opened up new avenues of exploration and … [suggests that is could also be used for] the stimulation, initiation and development of knowledge transfer activities on particular themes.

Koolmees et al have developed and tested a new Knowledge Management Scan which assesses six basic KM abilities in an organisation , based on a survey of 15 statements per ability, and is based on work on value based KM, and different organisational learning types. The abilities are: to produce, anticipate, respond, learn, create and to last. The Scan produces an understanding of the organisation's overall learning ability, in terms of single, double and triple loop learning.

Harorimana's case studies describe how knowledge gatekeepers contribute to the benefits of the firm's internal capabilities, without being paid for their role. However, the informal nature of people's roles as gatekeepers makes their job difficult to recognize, and therefore requires some form or rewards.

Evans and Wensley's research on network structure and trust explores the extent to which network principles determine the level of trust in Communities of Practice. They provide a detailed analysis of the how trust is established and how it functions in CoP: in self‑directed teams, mutual trust takes the place of supervision, and this has a positive impact on knowledge sharing and on innovation.

Rees and Protheroe recommend the joint development of KM and kaizen practices (continuous improvement), embedded into the redevelopment of an existing strategy set, to facilitate the development of knowledge value, and show how this is implemented in the higher education sector.

Aidemark points out the ongoing confusion in the theoretical base of KM, and specifically highlights the complexity and paradoxes that arise between knowledge as information on the one hand, and as competence (or know‑how) on the other hand, and provides models which should improve our awareness of these problems, and help us in developing strategy.

And finally, Devane and Wison, in their paper on Non‑managed Knowledge, provide an interesting critique of traditional approaches to knowledge 'management' and knowledge transfer, and suggests that Coverdale's focus on the development of skills is a better foundation for a company's success. They argue that knowledge should not be seen as something extrinsic, and external that can be managed 'for' individuals, but rather as something intrinsic, in which case the best approach is to allow individuals to manage it themselves.

Conclusion

The papers in this special edition provide new ideas, new critiques, and new research on KM. Most of them in some way also address the very welcome shift from 'management' to 'ecologies', which adds more emphasis on personal roles and at the same time, more emphasis on networking, content and knowledge creation beyond the confines of the traditional Weberian institution. Lawrence's approach is an interesting exemplar of how this can be done, as it integrates well mapped data and basic information structures with flexible, customisable and personalisable knowledge creation and sharing. Perhaps this could be called 'connectable interoperability'?

 

Keywords: action research, agency, assessment, learning organisation, brokerage, case study, certification, closure, communities of practice, cultural memes, culture, digital ecosystem, dynamic knowledge, enterprise renewal, financial accounting, flows of knowledge, goodwill, grounded theory, groups design, healthcare knowledge ecosystem, home health rehabilitation, homophily, information retrieval, information visualisation, innovation intellectual capital, innovation-process, intellectual capital statement audit, interactive systems, kaizen, knowledge audit, knowledge communities, knowledge creation, knowledge elicitation, knowledge gatekeeper, knowledge management frameworks, knowledge management in higher education, knowledge management scan, knowledge management systems, knowledge management systems development, knowledge sharing, knowledge strategy, knowledge transfer, leading firms, network structure, nonprofit organizations, organisational form, organisational learning knowledge, organiz

 

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