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

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 Issue

Volume 7 Issue 2, ICICKM 2008 / Jun 2009  pp199‑296

Editor: Kevin O'Sullivan

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Keywords: competitive intelligence, conceptual umbrella metaphor, e-business performance, elicitation, enabling context, Ba, European firms, external knowledge, framework G-U-I-N, globalization, higher education, human networks, industry attractiveness, information age, information and communication technology, information communication, integration, intellectual capital, KM in agribusiness, knowledge capitalization, knowledge complexity, knowledge maps, knowledge modelling, knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, leadership, mapping technique, merging, mind map, m-k toolkit, mobile knowledge, new technology-based firm (NTBF), ontology, research network, risk, social aspects, social network analysis, social software, strategic alliances, strategic information management, strategy formulation process, technologies, technology adoption, technology, Thailand, triple helix model, university-industry interaction, value network, virtual knowledge management, wicked problems

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 3 / Jun 2009  pp297‑397

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Keywords: competitive intelligence, conceptual umbrella metaphor, e-business performance, elicitation, enabling context, Ba, European firms, external knowledge, framework G-U-I-N, globalization, higher education, human networks, industry attractiveness, information age, information and communication technology, information communication, integration, intellectual capital, KM in agribusiness, knowledge capitalization, knowledge complexity, knowledge maps, knowledge modelling, knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, leadership, mapping technique, merging, mind map, m-k toolkit, mobile knowledge, new technology-based firm (NTBF), ontology, research network, risk, social aspects, social network analysis, social software, strategic alliances, strategic information management, strategy formulation process, technologies, technology adoption, technology, Thailand, triple helix model, university-industry interaction, value network, virtual knowledge management, wicked problems

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 9 Issue 2, ICICKM 2010 special issue / Apr 2011  pp85‑180

Editor: W.B. Lee

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Editorial

Prof. W.B. Lee is Director of the Knowledge Management Research Centre of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.    Prof. Lee is the editor of the Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, and International Journal of Knowledge and Systems Science. He established the Knowledge Solution Laboratory, the first of its kind in Hong Kong and has pioneered research and practice of knowledge management and knowledge audit in various organizations.  Prof. Lee and his team have launched Asia’s first on‑line MSc. Program in Knowledge Management.  His research interest  includes manufacturing systems, knowledge management, organizational learning and intellectual capital‑based management.

Editorial

The 7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning (ICICKM 2010) was hosted by the Knowledge Management Research Centre ,The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China, the first time in Asia.

The conference is well attended by more than 100 delegates from over 30 countries and regions.  This conference series is unique in the sense that it unifies all the important themes in this multidisciplinary area which can be pursued from either the knowledge management, intellectual capital management or organizational learning perspectives or any combinations of them.  The relationship between these themes is important. It is  only  through  the effective management of our knowledge assets  and the continuous  learning   of   individuals, teams and  organization  that we  are able to build the intellectual capital which is the underlying power driving corporation’s future growth.

Apart from the rich tacit knowledge exchange among delegates during the conference, the conference proceedings give a good record of papers delivered at the conference. Our thanks and appreciation go out to all those who presented papers and participated in the conference. Feedback to date from delegates and participants has been extremely positive. The support from departments within the University and our session Chairs and Keynote speakers is gratefully acknowledged. We also recognize the efforts of both the Executive and Conference Committees for their contribution to the double blind peer review process. Based on the input of the session chairs, we are able to select 10 papers of these to be published in this electronic Journal.  These cover a lot of topics including KM models, strategy, innovation, organizational leaning, and intellectual capital measurement, and provide various new insights to the readers.

Grant started by asking the question if knowledge Management (KM) is just another fab.   Through the lens of management fashion theory and a good review from bibliometric evidence he assures us that KM is unlike other management themes and is an enduring management activity. However, there is a potential conflict between the interests of practitioners and researchers. With different perspectives and prescriptions, Imani furthers the discussion by examining the KM strategy in 18 global companies and finds out how they are linked to the business strategy, which are either formulaic (to support routine activities) or embryonic (to address corporate strategic agenda).  On the other hand, Tan and Nasurdin focus on the influence of KM effectiveness on innovation in 171 large manufacturing firms in Malaysia and find out that the effectiveness of knowledge acquisition has a positive influence on both the technological and administrative (organizational) innovation. 

Another issue of concern to researchers in this conference is on how knowledge management  is linked to business performance and its evaluation. These findings and observations are reinforced in a study conducted by Rabhi in Saudi Arabia on the effect of KM on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including customer satisfaction, business savings and projects completed. Tiago et al. studied the relationship between the knowledge management and eBusiness activities by applying a structural equation model in a large database of KM activities of European and American firms. In a study of performance of a Quality Assurance Department conducted by Chan in an electronic factory, the performance of the quality management processes is related to the intellectual capital involved which is captured from a knowledge audit of the plant.

De Alvarenga Neto and Vieira from their Brazil experience described the four main components of KM Model in a Brazilian research  cooperation, that is, strategy, the environment (from social, information, cognitive and business), tool boxes, and  tangible and intangible outputs, and concluded that  for the model to be useful it should be collaboratively built  among  organization units instead of one from top‑down. Inter‑organizational and organizational learning has been recognized to be important for knowledge creation. Laursen, based on an empirical study of four organizational development projects at four Danish high schools revealdifferent perspectives on the projects set up by the staff and the management and how the perspectives have consequences  on what is actually learned by individuals as well as the whole organization.  As team learning and performance is closely related to the shared mental models of the team members, Zou and Lee explored the shared mental model of eight sigma project teams through collective sensemaking workshops conducted in an electronics factory in China. It was found that a high performance team perceived stronger interrelatedness between key teamwork concepts than average teams did.  An area that has been less studied is the effect of age diversity on knowledge transfer in workplace, which roots from the retirement of baby boom generation in many mature organizations. Wang and Dong undertook a study on some basic questions in intergenerational knowledge transfer such as analysis framework and transfer mechanism from a sociological perspective.  

Despite the diversity of topics they all tend to address on how KM performance is related to business goals, how the effectiveness is evaluated and how organizational learning takes place,  one feature of all these papers is that they all have data to support their cases and cut across various countries and cultures.  I hope this special issue serves as a timely and updated reference for the KM, IC and OL professions.

 

Keywords: Action Research, administrative innovation, BA, bibliometric analysis, data, development projects, educational partnerships, Embrapa, embryonic KM strategy, enabling contexts, , formulaic KM strategy, group quality assurance, human resource management practices, IC value tree, implementation of knowledge , innovation diffusion, innovative teaching, intellectual capital, intellectual capital statement, KM strategy, KM strategy as social practice, know-how, knowledge management effectiveness, knowledge management, , knowledge-based view of organizations, KPI, link between KM and business strategy, Malaysian manufacturing firms , management fashion, metrics, organizational coaching, organizational concepts, organizational learning, practicum, process innovation, product innovation, reflective practitioner, statistics, sustainable, taxonomy, the SET KM model, transfer of training, value added quality management processes, workplace development,

 

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