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

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

Reconsidering the tacit‑explicit distinction — A move toward functional (tacit) knowledge management  pp23-32

Cynthia Jimes, James Lucardie

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

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Abstract

To move beyond the technology focus and adequately embrace knowledge, organisations need a working conceptualisation of knowledge. Within the literature, the dominant conceptualisation converges around the acknowledgement of tacit and explicit types distinctly. This paper argues that a more fundamental approach is necessary. The functional view is a theory on the nature of knowledge that serves as a promising alternative. By placing knowledge within the context of goals and formalisation possibilities, it can help transform organisations from information‑intensive to truly knowledge‑based.

 

Keywords: Knowledge management, tacit-explicit distinction, nature of knowledge, functional view

 

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Journal Article

Reframing the Knowledge Debate, with a little help from the Greeks  pp33-38

Hilary Kane

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

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Abstract

Knowledge is a topic that covers many disciplines with writers attempting to formulate an understanding of it and its relevance to their field. Philosophical frameworks may offer a way to gain a deeper appreciation of its relevance to management and organisations, looking in particular at Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

 

Keywords: philosophy, management, knowledge, organisations

 

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Journal Article

Management Consultancies and Technology Consultancies in a Converging Market: A Knowledge Management Perspective  pp39-52

Jason Kirk, Ana Vasconcelos

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

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Abstract

This paper looks into the consultancy processes and professional practices of management consultants and of technology consultants from a knowledge management perspective. The process of consultancy in both cases was characterised by the following categories drawn from the analysis of interviews: boundaries, actors, process and information. The findings for each type of consultancy were synthesized into two different narratives. Considerable differences in the way they operate were identified in terms of: the definition of the context of the problem and risk assessment; negotiation through the client system and the use of language and vocabulary in the consultancy process, leading to the development of different professional discourses and different approaches to the facilitation of organisational learning

 

Keywords: Consultancy processes knowledge transfer organisational learning professional discourses power Grounded Theory narratives

 

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Journal Article

Right Questions to Capture Knowledge  pp53-60

Theresia Olsson Neve

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

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Abstract

Existing tools that are used to support the process of transferring tacit knowledge into explicit . knowledge do not support the affection of individuals and their knowledge, but rather data and information processing. A more personalised view of knowledge is required, and a toolbox has been constructed in order to increase the individual's capacity to describe hisher own situation within organisations. This is assumed to motivate the person to contribute with knowledge. An empirical investigation of a prototypical nature has been conducted. The empirical results are positive for eliciting knowledge.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Knowledge Transfer, Motivation, Holism, Knowledge Reuse

 

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Journal Article

Special Languages and Shared Knowledge  pp197-212

Rafif Al-Sayed, Khurshid Ahmad

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

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Abstract

The transfer of knowledge between groups of individuals of different levels of expertise and orientation is discussed with reference to the manner in which knowledge is disseminated using the specialist language of a given domain. A prototype system that allows access to knowledge at these different levels, through the automatic construction of keyword indexes, is outlined. The controversial relationship between knowledge and language is the basis of arguments in this paper.

 

Keywords: Knowledge management, knowledge sharing, knowledge diffusion, best practice, terminology management, health care

 

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Journal Article

Developing Systems to Support Organisational Learning in Product Development Organisations   pp167-180

Brian Donnellan

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

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Abstract

There are aspects of New Product Development (NPD) business processes that pose particularly difficult challenges to Organizational Learning systems. Short product and process life cycles compress the available time window for recouping the expenses associated with product development. Cross‑functional collaboration in product development organizations requires the merging of knowledge from diverse disciplinary and personal skills‑based perspectives. Cross‑institutional collaboration leads a requirement for knowledge to be combined from participants across multiple collaborating organizations. Transient existence in teams and high turnover results in a reduction in organizational knowledge unless there is a repository for knowledge rather than a dependence on knowledge which is situated in the minds of individuals. High rates of change in turbulent industries, such as electronics, motivates participants in NPD processes to effectively overcome these Organizational Learning challenges. The potential payoff includes time saved by not repeating mistakes and reuse of knowledge that leads to successful products and processes. IS research has paid little attention to NPD processes despite the fact that some IS appears to have the potential to have an impact in that area. Recent research completed by these researchers in Analog Devices Inc identified Organizational Learning challenges encountered by engineering teams in product development. This paper will report on these challenges and will describe how systems were developed to support organizational learning to support the product development process.

 

Keywords: Organizational Learning, New Product Development, Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management Systems

 

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Journal Article

KM Infrastructure and Electronic Services with Innovation Diffusion Characteristics for Community Economic Development  pp121-136

Dawn Jutla

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

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Abstract

Building knowledge management (KM) infrastructure involves reuse and refocus of several existing infrastructure components, and awareness around future visions and conditions of infrastructure. We present a community perspective using a staircase metaphor for conceptualizing government supported KM infrastructure and services. Additionally we illustrate a model for government's role in providing and leveraging infrastructure components from all tiers of government. With examples, we build a case for adding diffusion of innovation characteristics, and features from innovation networks analysis in KM infrastructure. Observability and trialability are important to knowledge acquisition, while compatibility are central to knowledge application, packaging, and creation. Ease of use, and perceived usefulness affects knowledge use in all its forms.

 

Keywords: KM infrastructure model, SME, small business, economic development, e-Government, knowledge services, diffusion characteristics, community

 

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