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

Knowledge Management in the Brazilian Organisational Context: a shift towards the concept of "Ba"  pp143-152

Rivadávia C. Drummond de Alvarenga Neto

© May 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, ICICKM 2006, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp131 - 254

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Abstract

The paper investigates the theme known as "Knowledge Management" (KM) in three large Brazilian organisations trying to discuss its concepts, constituent elements, managerial approaches and tools, while aiming at leaving behind the purely terminological discussion, which is innocuous and naive. The basic presuppositions were two: (i) most of what is referred to or named KM is actually "Information Management" (IM) and IM is just one of the components of KM. KM is more than simply IM due to the fact that it includes and incorporates other concerns, such as the creation, use and sharing of information and knowledge in the organisational context; (ii) a conceptual model or map can be formulated based on three basic concepts: (a) a strategic concept of information and knowledge, (b) the introduction of such strategy in the tactical and operational levels through the several managerial approaches and information technology tools and (c) the creation of an organisational space for knowledge. The main objective is to investigate and analyse the concepts, motivations, practices and results of KM effectively implemented in three large Brazilian organisations. The qualitative research strategy used was the study of multiple cases with incorporated units of analysis and three criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct, external validity and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawingverification. The results confirmed the presuppositions and the fact that KM means a rethinking of management practices in the information era. Knowledge as such cannot be managed; it is just promoted or stimulated through the creation of a favourable organisational context, namely "Ba". It was also identified that the main challenges facing organisations committed to KM have its focus on change management, cultural and behavioural issues and the creation of an enabling context that favours the creation, use and sharing of information and knowledge.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, strategic information management, enabling context or "Ba", knowledge management conceptual umbrella metaphor, knowledge and information management

 

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Journal Article

Peer‑to‑Peer Systems Consubstantiating the Ba Concept  pp1-12

Fábio Luís Accorsi, João Paulo Costa

© Jul 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 74

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Abstract

The conceptual evolution of Knowledge Management (KM) has been supported by the use of flexible processes and several computational tools. The sophistication of these tools, incorporating the KM concepts, has been growing with time, creating functions better suited to knowledge creation processes. However, centralized Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) present some inconveniences, such as inflexible knowledge codification structures and centralised control. These may diminish the flexibility and the availability of knowledge through processes that standardize knowledge and information and remove them from the context. The suggestion of peer‑to‑peer (P2P) systems seems to promise to overcome these inconveniences by supporting interaction and knowledge sharing in simultaneous different contexts. The P2P systems provide real benefits to the interchange of knowledge among its peerscollaborators, but they are far from being a guarantee of interaction. We argue that the notion of ba is the design basis to obtain P2P systems closer to theoretical KM concepts. Peers can be encouraged to freely share knowledge without the constraints imposed by hierarchies or other organisational limitations. Interaction through P2P systems, supported by the ba concept, can make better use of autonomy to access and share personal knowledge without a centralized codification. P2P systems consubstantiate the ba concept thereby creating a new entity which we call "connecting ba". We believe that the "connecting ba" can give different visions and energy to the utilization of P2P systems. "Connecting ba" can also provide stimulation for virtual participation and for knowledge creation processes. Probably the most important implication of "connecting ba" is the possibility to incorporate peers within the spirit of ba, promoting collaboration for knowledge creation. The characteristics and the concept relations of these notions are enumerated and justified throughout the text.

 

Keywords: knowledge management knowledge creation concept of ba knowledge management systems peer-to-peer systems interaction

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management in the Brazilian Agribusiness Industry: a Case Study at Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (Sugarcane Technology Center)  pp199-210

Rivadavia Correa Drummond de Alvarenga Neto, Rogério Salles Loureiro

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, ICICKM 2008, Editor: Kevin O'Sullivan, pp199 - 296

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Abstract

Investigates and analyzes "Knowledge Management" (KM) practices effectively implemented in the Brazilian agribusiness industry. The main objective is to investigate and analyze the conceptions, motivations, practices, metrics and results of a KM process in a genuine Brazilian firm. The qualitative research strategy used was the study of a single case with incorporated units of analysis, and two criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawingverification. The results confirmed the presuppositions and the firm of the study is a benchmark for a KM process in the context of Brazilian organizations. The conclusions suggest that organizational knowledge cannot be managed, it is just promoted or stimulated through the creation of "Ba"or an enabling context. It was also identified that the main challenges facing organizations committed to KM in Brazil have its focus on change management, cultural and behavioral issues and the creation of an enabling context that favors the creation, use and sharing of information and knowledge.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, strategic information management, enabling context or "Ba", knowledge management conceptual umbrella metaphor, KM in agribusiness

 

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Journal Article

Building a Knowledge Management Model at Brazil's Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation): Towards a Knowledge‑Based View of Organizations  pp85-97

Rivadavia Correa Drummond de Alvarenga Neto, Job Lucio Gomes Vieira

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

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Abstract

This paper investigates and analyses the process of building a knowledge management (KM) model at Brazil’s Embrapa (The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation). Embrapa is a world class knowledge organization whose mission is to provide feasible solutions for the sustainable development of Brazilian agribusiness through knowledge and technology generation and transfer. The qualitative research strategy used was the study of a single case with incorporated units of analysis and two criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawing/verification. The results revealed a robust KM model made of four dynamic axes: (i) strategy (a strategic conception of information and knowledge use), (ii) environment ‑ four different groups of enabling conditions (social‑behavioral, information/communication, cognitive/epistemic and business/managerial), sine qua non conditions for successful implementation, (iii) tool box – sets of IT tools and managerial practices and (iv) results – in terms of outputs, being both tangible and intangible assets. The conclusions suggest that a collaborative building of a KM model in a diverse and geographically dispersed organization is more likely to succeed than one that is build and implemented from the top‑down perspective. Embrapa’s KM Model is more inclined to be a knowledge‑based view of organization than merely a KM model. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, enabling contexts, knowledge-based view of organizations, the SET KM model, BA, Embrapa

 

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Journal Article

KM as a Chemin Faisant: The Valtech Experience  pp13-22

Daniele Chauvel, Charles Despres

© Nov 1999 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Fergal McGrath, pp1 - 68

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Abstract

Valtech is a Paris‑based consulting firm established in 1993 and devoted to e‑business technologies. The company was initially structured as a distributor of new information technologies to the French and European market, which secondarily provided training in the use of its products. Valtech now positions itself as a pure knowledge‑transfer firm that instructs clients in the strategic use and development of cutting‑edge electronic technologies. Valtech organized itself according to KM principles in 1993, but only became aware of KM as a formal organizing framework in 1998. While the adoption of KM is often "pushed" onto companies by the academic or consulting communities, Valtech pulled itself toward KM organizing logics by the New Age of business it defined for itself. It is in this way an excellent example of strategic commitment and organizational design from a KM perspective. It is also relatively unique in that most of the literature records KM adoption from a "push" rather than a "pull" perspective.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, knowledge creation, organizational learning, knowledge transfer, case study The proper names that are employed in this text are pseudonyms excepting those of the Company founders, the CKO and the Assets Manager All quotes and interview transcripts are authentic, verbatim and have been validated by the Company

 

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Journal Article

Case‑Based Reasoning as a Technique for Knowledge Management in Business Process Redesign  pp89-100

Selma Limam Mansar, Hajo A. Reijers, Farhi Marir

© Nov 2003 Volume 1 Issue 2, Editor: Fergal McGrath, pp1 - 226

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Abstract

Business Process Redesign (BPR) helps rethinking a process in order to enhance its performance. Practitioners have been developing methodologies to support BPR implementation. However, most methodologies lack actual guidance on deriving a process design threatening the success of BPR. In this paper, we suggest the use of a case‑based reasoning technique (CBR) to support solving new problems by adapting previously successful solutions to similar problems to support redesigning new business processes by adapting previously successful redesign to similar business process. An implementation framework for BPR and the CBR's cyclical process are used as a knowledge management technical support to serve for the effective reuses of redesign methods as a knowledge creation and sharing mechanism.

 

Keywords: Business process redesign, Case-based management, Workflow, Best practices, Knowledge management

 

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Journal Article

The Midas Touch in Knowledge Management Projects — Beware, Your Wish Could Come True  pp35-44

Alf Westelius, Pär Mårtensson

© Apr 2005 Volume 2 Issue 2, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 44

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Abstract

Like king Midas, the champion of a Knowledge Management (KM) initiative might find herself in an awkward situation because the wish came true. Successful KM initiatives can lead to problems. The case study presented in this article details how a consulting company attempted to support its dispersed staff of consultants through the introduction of a web‑based KM portal. The application became popular — too popular in the sense that it led to a deterioration of certain types of knowledge exchange. It achieved the intended goals, but created unforeseen problems. In the article we explore KM practices and explore the role of contexts for IT‑mediated KM. It is suggested that the need to view IT‑mediated KM in various wider contexts is even more important than in many other forms of IS implementation. The KM activities are not only related to identifiable tasks and work processes, but also to social interaction, learning and other dynamic processes in the organisation.

 

Keywords: knowledge management practices, IS success, electronic communities, knowledge management, knowledge documentation, case study, ba

 

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Journal Article

Resource‑Based View of Knowledge Management for Competitive Advantage  pp75-86

Leila A. Halawi, Jay E. Aronson, Richard V. McCarthy

© Oct 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Editor: Charles Despres, pp65 - 138

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Abstract

We are not only in a new millennium, but also in a new era: the knowledge era. Sustainable competitive advantage is dependent on building and exploiting core competencies. The resource‑based view (RBV) of the firm defines a strategic asset as one that is rare, valuable, imperfectly imitable and non‑substitutable. Knowledge is seen as a strategic asset with the potential to be a source of competitive advantage for an organization. In this paper, we provide a model that examines how and why knowledge management (KM) can be used to create competitive advantage from the RBV of the firm.

 

Keywords: Knowledge management, KM, knowledge management systems, KMS, resource-based view of the firm, RBV, sustained competitive advantage

 

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