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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Information about the European Conference on Intellectual Capital (ECIC) is available here
 

Journal Article

Facilitating Organisational Sustainability Through Expert Investment Systems  pp45-54

Carol Royal, Farhad Daneshgar, Loretta O'Donnell

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

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Abstract

This paper uses literature from the fields of organisational sustainability and human capital, which have demonstrated a link between sustainable human capital and the financial performance of the firm, to argue that securities analysts need to be able to systematically analyse human capital in order to provide transparent and well‑informed investment recommendations. It is the function of securities analysts to attempt to predict the future financial performance of firms within an industry sector. Models for this analysis have traditionally been heavily quantitative, relying on mathematical models of future earnings forecasts, based on published annual financial statements from listed companies. Securities analysts' quantitative modeling methods are directly underpinned by qualifications and certification processes that encourage demonstrated skills in quantitative methods. The authors provide an opportunity for securities analysts to systematically gain insights on the human capital of firms using a future expert system, called Human Capital Analyser (HCA), whose general characteristics are also outlined in the conclusion of this article. This expert system will help bridge the knowledge gap in the work of securities analysts.

 

Keywords: knowledge representation human capital analysis expert systems finance industry securities analysts

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management in a Virtual Community of Practice using Discourse Analysis  pp29-42

Khalid Hafeez, Fathalla Alghatas

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Abstract

The topic of Community‑of‑Practice (CoP) has been discussed in the management literature in the earlier part of 1990's, and since attracted a lot of attention from academics and professionals around the globe. Communities of Practice (CoP) have become a strategic approach for fostering learning and transferring knowledge. However, there are a few studies, which explain what makes a community to engage in a discussion to share their knowledge and experience. This paper discusses the anatomy of a CoP, and examines a number of knowledge management tools such as story telling and discourse analysis to illustrate how knowledge is transferred and learning takes place in a virtual Community of Practice. Results are presented from a 'live' virtual community of practice, which is in the maturity period of its life cycle to discuss the role of domain experts and moderators how they facilitate to engage the community in dialogues and help generate the new knowledge. Also using Nonaka and Takeuchi's knowledge spiral model it is explained how learning takes place in this virtual community of practice.

 

Keywords: Community of practice, discourse analysis, knowledge management, story telling, Nonaka and Takeuchi's knowledge spiral model

 

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Journal Article

Building a Taxonomy for Understanding Knowledge Management  pp453-466

Kun Nie, Tieju Ma, Yoshiteru Nakamori

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

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Abstract

As an interdisciplinary research field emerging recently, Knowledge Management (KM) has been given many different definitions. This paper introduces two studies we carried out to provide a holistic and better understanding of KM. By applying the methodology of domain analysis to investigate leading peer‑reviewed journals regarding KM, the first study explores six fundamental issues regarding KM, which are: why is KM necessary; what enables the birth of KM and triggers actions on KM; what does KM deal with; how to implement KM; how to support KM by information technology; and where has KM been applied. By building an ontology structure of research topics within the community of the Graduate School of Knowledge Science at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), the second study examines KM within a more general disciplinary called Knowledge Science, which gives a description of how KM is related to other research topics.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, domain analysis, ontology

 

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Journal Article

The Emergence and Diffusion of the Concept of Knowledge Work  pp103-116

Hanna Timonen, Kaija-Stiina Paloheimo

© Oct 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, ICICKM 2007, Editor: Rembrandt Klopper, pp1 - 116

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Abstract

The past decades have witnessed the proliferation of research on knowledge work. Knowledge work has mostly been used as an antonym to manual work, to refer to specific occupations characterized by an emphasis on specialized skills and the use of theoretical knowledge. The efforts to encompass all the different contexts where knowledge plays a relevant role in work tasks has resulted in various and ambiguous definitions of what knowledge work actually is. In order to shed light on the elusive concept of knowledge work, we studied how it has appeared in the scientific discussion, and diffused from one scientific community to another. As the circulation of new ideas and concepts in scientific discussion is apparent through academic literature, we examined the emergence and diffusion of the concept of knowledge work through a citation analysis on articles from the Social Sciences Citation Index. The data set consists of 273 articles with 7,057 cited references for the 1974 to 2003 period, and we used a dense sub‑network grouping algorithm on the co‑citation network to distinguish highly cited groups of references. We distinguish three periods of diffusion of the concept of knowledge work. The results show that Drucker's In the age of discontinuity (1969) and Bell's The coming of post‑industrial society (1968) were the main influencers when the concept emerged in the scientific discussion from 1974 to 1992. After this period, we can distinguish a slow diffusion period from 1993 to 2003, when the concept started to gain attention, and a fast diffusion period from 1999 to 2003, when the research proliferated. The discussion dispersed outside the management domain already in the emergence period, but the management domain has stayed the main domain of discussion also later on. However, from 1992 to 2003 the discussion inside the management domain dispersed into different groups. One of the main influences to a new group of research that appeared at this time was Zuboff's In the age of the smart machine (1984). This group, drawing on research conducted on knowledge‑intensive firms, has recently produced highly cited articles such as Blackler's 'Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations' in Organization Studies (1995). As the current discussion on knowledge work is dispersed in different groups, there is a need to engage in a common conceptual discussion and define what is actually meant by knowledge work.

 

Keywords: scientific discourse, knowledge work, bibliometric analysis, citation analysis

 

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Journal Article

Designing a Strategy Formulation Process for New, Technology‑Based Firms: a Knowledge‑based Approach  pp245-254

Antonios Livieratos

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

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Abstract

In the knowledge‑based economy the nature of what is strategic has been modified along with the importance of knowledge and its management. One of the most important implications of these changes is the expansion of resources and products that are globally tradable, highlighting the importance of knowledge as the key economic resource of lasting competitive advantage. As a consequence of this shift in the economy, an increasing number of industries are moving from the closed innovation model to the open innovation model that created porous boundaries between the innovative company and its surrounding environment, changing the interand intra‑organizational modes of coordination. In an environment where knowledge is the key economic resource and the open innovation model is applied in more and more industries, we are experiencing the increasing importance of the New Technology‑Based Firm (NTBF). NTBFs face a number of difficulties mainly associated with a lack of resources and entrepreneurial skills and in order overcome the difficulties NTBFs strive towards flexibility while accelerating the development and commercialization processes by creating andor entering business networks. By adopting a knowledge‑based view for NTBFs and consequently placing knowledge in the centre of a systemic innovation model, knowledge networks constitute an asset for NTBFs. As this new form of cooperation takes multiple and often unpredictable forms it is thus essential to develop strategy formulation tools and processes that can help NTBFs to face their challenges. Until now little attention has been given to the development of strategy tools and processes tailored for the requirements of NTBFs. The present paper presents a concept to cope with NTBFs' by developing a generic process for strategy formulation. In this respect, an action research project was initiated. The proposed concept was initially designed, although not exclusively, for a Greek NTBF, Astrofos Ltd. The author, who is coordinator of the incubator where Astrofos is sited, is acting as a strategy consultant for the firm and has taken part in all its major decisions since summer 2007. In order to build the strategy formulation process, this paper proposes a mapping technique that attempts to depict a NTBF's tangible and intangible transactions as well as the strength of ties between the focal NTBF and its partners and the complexity of the knowledge. In developing the mapping technique, we have used a combination of the concept of weak ties, derived from social network analysis, with the notion of complex knowledge, as this combination was initially proposed by Hansen (1999). Additionally, a set of questions is proposed that have to be answered in order to pass from knowledge identification to knowledge transfer, from a strategic point of view. In this regard, the presented methodology constitutes an effort, on the one hand, to study the emergent patterns in what is considered to be a chaotic or disordered system and, on the other, to stimulate the creation of new patterns in the system that would be consistent with the NTBF's strategy.

 

Keywords: new technology-based firm, NTBF, innovation, strategy formulation process, value network, mapping technique, social network analysis, knowledge complexity

 

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Journal Article

Limitations of Network Analysis for Studying Efficiency and Effectiveness of Knowledge Sharing  pp53-68

Remko Helms, Renato Ignacio, Sjaak Brinkkemper

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, pp1 - 180

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Abstract

Knowledge sharing is an important part of an employee's tasks as it is one of the mechanisms through which they learn and innovate. Sharing of knowledge typically occurs in the informal networks in the organization by means of social interaction. Several authors have proposed to use social network analysis to study the knowledge sharing relations in organizations to identify potential barriers concerning knowledge sharing. Although social network analysis has been applied in several cases, it has not been evaluated if this approach results in reliable results in terms of findings problems related to knowledge sharing. One might for instance find an isolated person with network analysis, but given the context this might not be necessary a problem. The goal of this research is to validate the use of social network analysis to study knowledge networks. We have selected one particular technique, called Knowledge Network Analysis, to evaluate in this research. The Knowledge Network Analysis technique has been applied in a case study at an international product software developer to find potential barriers in their knowledge networks. To evaluate these results, a qualitative analysis has been executed afterwards by a different researcher. This analysis was based on interviews, document study and observations. To analyze the qualitative data we developed a new model called Knowledge Sharing Environment Model (KSEM), which identifies knowledge sharing bottlenecks in a structured manner. The results from network analysis and the qualitative analysis have been compared to validate the outcomes of the network analysis. Hence, six out of nine bottlenecks were validated. This research demonstrates that Knowledge Network Analysis is a good tool for the identification of bottlenecks but needs further validation in additional case studies. However, it was suggested to combine the Knowledge Network Analysis technique with another method such as the KSEM to validate and study the causes behind the identified bottlenecks.

 

Keywords: knowledge sharing, communities of practice, learning network, knowledge network analysis, social network analysis

 

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Journal Article

Functional Concept for a Web‑Based Knowledge Impact and IC Reporting Portal  pp119-128

Gaby Neumann, Eduardo Tomé

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, pp1 - 180

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Abstract

Knowledge and Intellectual Capital (IC) are key resources and crucial fields of investment in today's business organisations and the economy. Problems in strategically and effectively using those resources mainly consist in: (i) how to specify, summarize, visualize the current state of knowledge and IC; (ii) how to comfortably provide access to scattered and ill‑structured information on the current state of knowledge and IC; (iii) how to define, understand, visualize the impact of knowledge on organizational performance and of IC on the economy; (iv) how to assess and evaluate strategies and activities for purposefully intervening in organizations and economies by means of knowledge and IC. To overcome this, the paper presents methods, functionality and tools forming a web‑based infrastructure which provides user‑friendly access to information and understanding of knowledge impacts and IC market at company, sector, national and global levels. This infrastructure basically consists of two sections. The first section enables us to immediately benchmark a company's knowledge management maturity according to specific input data and information, provide tailored feedback and suggest changes in the company's strategy concerning knowledge‑related activities. With this, companies should be motivated to provide their data and support continuous testing, evaluation and improvement of all methods, models, measures and benchmarks following an experimental design. The second section consists of a "World Atlas on Intellectual Capital" comprising world‑wide data on the following constituents of the IC market: demand, supply, equilibrium, investment, need, stock, flow, and returns. With this, the web‑based knowledge impact and IC reporting portal will support decision makers at company and political levels to purposefully intervene on the attitude towards knowledge and IC through guidelines. Consequently, the paper contributes to research and development to measure and with this to develop a better understanding of the impact of knowledge (management) and IC on the delivery of effective business processes and high value services.

 

Keywords: knowledge management maturity, impact analysis, intellectual capital, companies, benchmarking, clustering, logistics

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management, an Enduring but Confusing Fashion  pp117-131

Ken Grant

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

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Abstract

Knowledge Management has been a subject of significant management interest for some 15 years. During that time it has been subjected to a variety of criticisms including the argument that it is little more than a “fad” — something that catches management’s attention for a while and then fades away because of a lack of sustainability. It has been compared to other major management fads such as quality circles and business process re‑engineering. This paper examines the discipline of Knowledge Management (KM) through the lens of management fashion theory. It demonstrates that KM is not a fad and that it has become an enduring management activity. Management Fashion Theory (Abrahamson and Fairchild, 1999) is an extension of Rogers’ Theory of Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers, 2003), that takes a skeptical view of business innovations, viewing the discourse about and the diffusion of innovations as a cultural phenomenon rather than a rational decision making process. After a brief introduction to the field of Knowledge Management (KM), a review of the theories of Diffusion of Innovations and Management Fashion is presented, along with a description of the methodology used to apply Management Fashion Theory to the discourse on KM. Bibliometric and content analysis techniques are used to examine publications and discourse in the field from 1990 to 2009. The analysis of discourse on KM demonstrates a significant period of “latency” from the late 1980s to 1994, during which foundational ideas and precursors to KM appear. Then a rapid growth period is identified, from 1995‑2001 during which KM becomes an innovation of interest to most major organizations. Finally, it appears that discourse has settled at a steady state, with no decline apparent. However, detailed analysis has also indentified a potential conflict between the interests of practitioners and researchers, with a separation of the discourse into distinct groups that may have inconsistent views on what is or is not “Knowledge Management”. In summary, this paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of discourse on KM. It provides bibliometric evidence that there has been a sustained interest in KM that is quite unlike that of other popular management themes over the last 30 years. It raises some questions about the relevance of some of the research being carried out.

 

Keywords: management fashion, innovation diffusion, bibliometric analysis, KM strategy

 

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