Critical Analysis of International Guidelines for the Management of Knowledge Resources

Critical Analysis of International Guidelines for the Management of Knowledge Resources

Federica Ricceri (University of Padova, Italy) and James Guthrie (University of Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-176-6.ch023
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The shift towards a knowledge based economy is at the core of the debate of contemporary management and accounting literature and organisations are challenged by the need to manage their knowledge resources. Several national and international institutions have produced authoritative “guidelines” to facilitate the management and reporting of KR. Many of these guidelines are the result of co-operation between researchers, companies, industry organisations and consultants and have, therefore, been informed by practice. However, to date, there has been no serious critique of these guidelines. The main objective of this chapter is to provide an in-depth analysis of six contemporary guidelines. By reviewing these guidelines, this chapter explores how each of these addresses the MKR and therefore facilitates the management and reporting of KR. Therefore, this chapter will establish some of the key issues involved in understanding MKR. It will also provide an overview of how these issues are addressed or otherwise in the six guidelines. Two key messages of this chapter are the followings: first, MKR and its elements are embedded in various ways into the international guidelines examined; second, that a key policy issue is international harmonisation.
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International Knowledge Resources Frameworks

The challenge of understanding MKR has been addressed by many KR frameworks. One common characteristic of these frameworks is that they use measurement as a way to make IC visible. Sveibyb identifies many frameworks and more have been added to make a comprehensive list of 36.

These frameworks can be collapsed into two different approaches: the ‘stock approach’ and the ‘flow approach’ (see, Guthrie and Ricceri, 2002). Under the ‘stock approach’, KR are thought to be static and able to be assigned a monetary value. Table 1 highlights eighteen ‘stock approach’ KR frameworks that could provide a traditional ‘financial view’ of KR. The underlying assumption of the ‘stock approach’ is that KR are recognised mainly on the basis of their market value or for their contribution to the generation of revenue, earnings or cash flows. Therefore, KR are contextualised within a traditional financial accounting frame.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Reporting: Relates to the construction of the reporting devices which can be used for external and internal communication. A common device used to provide internal and external stakeholders with an extended view of oganisational performance by focusing on the efforts to manage and develop KR is the intellectual capital statement (ICS).

Management of Knowledge Resources (MKR): Refers to the dynamic capability of managing KR in a changing environment for achieving oganisational sustainability. The management of knowledge resources involves addressing four basic issues: (1) considering the relevance of KR and their management when formulating and implementing oganisational strategy; (2) understanding resources interactions via their identification, mapping and assessment; (3) measuring KR to monitor multiple performance perspectives and related drivers; and (4) reporting to internal and external stakeholder an extended view of oganisational performance by focusing on the efforts to manage and develop KR.

Knowledge Resources (KR): Non tangible oganisational resources that can be classified into three main components: human resources; structural resources; and relational resources: Human resources refer to internal stakeholders, such as senior managers and employees, and to their attributes, that is knowledge, abilities, skills, experiences and innovativeness. These are becoming critical resources for oganisations, particularly because they contribute to the ability to respond and adapt to a changing environment. Structural resources consist of all those things that remain in the oganisation when the employees have left the building and are in some way owned or controlled by the oganisation. Structural resources include ‘intellectual property’ and ‘infrastructural resources’. Intellectual property is owned by the company and protected by law and includes elements such as patents, trademarks and copyrights. Infrastructural resources consist of oganisational characteristics such as methods and procedures and the oganisational context provided to individuals to achieve strategic objectives. Therefore, structural resources include, but are not limited to, culture, processes, routines, and information and networking systems.Relational resources include the oganisation’s brand and image in the marketplace, as well as its relationships with external stakeholders (such as government, customers, partners and retailers, suppliers, residents, etc.). Some of these resources are not owned by the oganisation, but are relationships that are significant and require management. This tripartite classification of knowledge resources is known as intellectual capital and is a framing device for understanding KR and related elements. As a result, the concepts of knowledge resources and intellectual capital embrace all kinds of non tangible oganisational resources, either formally owned or used, or informally deployed and mobilized.

Intellectual Capital (IC): A framing device for understanding Knowledge Resources and related elements. See also Knowledge Resources.

Oganisational Strategy: The factor that combines the dynamic context in which the oganisation operates and its resources and capabilities. In this chapter oganisational strategy refers both to the formulation of strategic objectives and to the implementation of plans and actions for acquiring, deploying and maintaining KR in order to achieve oganisational sustainability.

Intellectual Capital Statement (ICS): Provides information via metrics and narratives about how KR are created, developed and applied in the oganisation. Also, it summarises the firm’s efforts to develop and use KR and puts evaluative managerial questions that help managers to change KR and/or direct them towards new strategies.

Guidelines: Best examples of flow approach frameworks developed by national and international institutions as guidelines for oganisations to manage, measure and report IC. Many of these frameworks use intellectual capital statements as a way of embarking on the management of knowledge resources and for understanding the relationship between measurement and management on the one side and operational activities, strategies and context on the other.

Measurement: Refers to the use of KR metrics and narratives to support MKR and, in particular, to assess performance. For KR measurement, the aim is not to assign a financial value to KR but to create a set of metrics (or indicators) based around the individual KR elements within each KR component (e.g. customers’ satisfaction within the relational KR). Many metrics are context-specific and therefore there are no widely accepted standards available to help readers understand the meaning of the reported metrics. Therefore, metrics must be accompanied by narratives which explain the metrics’ meaning and their relationships with oganisational context and performance.

Resources Interactions: Relates to flows within resources and these are also known as resources transformations. Transformations are defined as resources flows that affect different oganisational resources types, being tangible assets or KR. Whilst transformations within tangible resources (physical or financial) are, in most cases, observable and measurable, transformations which involve KR are difficult to identify map, and assess.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Dariusz Jemielniak, Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Dariusz Jemielniak, Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Chapter 1
Davydd J. Greenwood
This chapter questions the clarity of the concepts of “knowledge society” and “knowledge-intensive organization”. In particular, the author asserts... Sample PDF
Are Research Universities Knowledge-Intensive Learning Organizations?
Chapter 2
Juha Kettunen
The aims of knowledge management are to create knowledge and stimulate innovation. Knowledge management allows the knowledge of an organization to... Sample PDF
Construction of Knowledge-Intensive organizations in Higher Education
Chapter 3
Jeff Gold, Richard Thorpe
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is usually conceived as a planned and formulated process for individual members of professional... Sample PDF
Collective CPD: Professional Learning in a Law Firm
Chapter 4
Paul Trott, Andreas Hoecht
The United States and European economies have witnessed an enormous increase in the amount of specialized business services, which now provide... Sample PDF
Innovation Risks of Outsourcing within Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS)
Chapter 5
Lars Steiner
A new knowledge management perspective and tool, ANT/AUTOPOIESIS, for analysis of knowledge management in knowledge-intensive organizations is... Sample PDF
Actor-Network Theory and Autopoiesis: A New Perspective on Knowledge Management
Chapter 6
Jo A. Tyler, David M. Boje
This chapter fits the theme, the interplay between creativity and control in organizations. Story is often claimed to be a way to elicit tacit... Sample PDF
Sorting the Relationship of Tacit Knowledge to Story and Narrative Knowing
Chapter 7
Louise Grisoni
The central discussion in this chapter is that poetry can be used to provide a bridge between tangible, rational and explicit knowledge and tacit or... Sample PDF
Exploring Organizational Learning and Knowledge Exchange through Poetry
Chapter 8
Ester Barinaga
“How do we define our project goal?” “How are we going to coordinate our independent national studies?” “Who is responsible for what?” “How are... Sample PDF
Vagueness: The Role of Language in the Organizing Process of Knowledge Intensive Work
Chapter 9
Stephen Sheard
In this chapter the author offers an argument towards the resurgence of a proto-alphabetic imagination in electronic and mobile communications. It... Sample PDF
Tyranny of the Eye? The Resurgence of the Proto-Alphabetic Sensibility in Contemporary Electronic Modes of Media (PC/Mobile Telephony); and its Significance for the Status of Knowledge
Chapter 10
Krzysztof Klincewicz
The chapter discusses the role of IT Research & Analysis firms in the diffusion of knowledge management. The research is based on content analysis... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management and IT Research and Analysis Firms: Agenda-Setters, Oracles and Judges
Chapter 11
Fatima Guadamillas-Gomez, Mario J. Donate-Manzanares
This chapter analyses the implementation of knowledge management strategies (KMS) in technologyintensive firms. Firstly, a review of KMS in the... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management Strategies Implementation in Innovation Intensive Firms
Chapter 12
Arla Juntunen
This chapter focuses on the development of the Knowledge Management (KM) platform, and, more generally, the knowledge- and resource based view (RBV)... Sample PDF
Developing a Corporate Knowledge Management Platform in a Multibusiness Company
Chapter 13
Jonathan D. Owens
Success in new product development (NPD) can be considered a general aim for any company wishing to survive in the 21st Century. It has been found... Sample PDF
Modeling the New Product Development Process: The Value of a Product Development Process Model Approach as a Means for Business Survival in the 21st Century
Chapter 14
Anders Örtenblad
The ambition of this chapter is to pay some attention to more obvious, as well as more subtle, methods for organizations to become independent of... Sample PDF
Achieving Organizational Independence of Employees' Knowledge Using Knowledge Management, Organizational Learning, and the Learning Organization
Chapter 15
Angelo Ditillo
Knowledge-intensive firms are composed of various communities, each characterized by specialized knowledge. These communities operate as critical... Sample PDF
Balancing Stability and Innovation in Knowledge-Intensive Firms: The Role of Management Control Mechanisms
Chapter 16
Aino Kianto, Jianzhong Hong
Nowadays knowledge and competencies are the key productive factors, and the organizational capability for continuous learning, development and... Sample PDF
The Knowledge-Based Approach to Organizational Measurement: Exploring the Future of Organizational Assessment
Chapter 17
Vidar Hepsø
In knowledge management literature, common information spaces (CIS) are believed to be instrumental in the development and sharing of knowledge.... Sample PDF
Common Information Spaces in Knowledge-Intensive Work: Representation and Negotiation of Meaning in Computer-Supported Collaboration Rooms
Chapter 18
Agnieszka Postula
This chapter presents and discusses two factors – creativity and control – which correspond to every organizational reality. IT specialists’... Sample PDF
Creativitiy and Control in IT Professionals' Communities
Chapter 19
Patrocinio Zaragoza-Saez, Enrique Claver-Cortes, Diego Quer-Ramon
Knowledge is one of the basic production factors owned by enterprises, and knowledge management is one of the main dynamic capabilities on which... Sample PDF
A Qualitative Study of Knowledge Management: The Multinational Firm Point of View
Chapter 20
Cliff Bowan, Pauline Gleadle
The chapter addresses a central dilemma from the viewpoint of dynamic capabilities and the resource based view of the firm: how to manage creativity... Sample PDF
Culture as a Dynamic Capability: The Case of 3M in the United Kingdom
Chapter 21
Maria E. Burke
The purpose of this chapter is to consider an original way of improving Knowledge Management relationships. This is done within the context of an... Sample PDF
Cultural Issues, Organizations and Information Fulfillment: An Exploration Towards Improved Knowledge Management Relationships
Chapter 22
Darius Mehri
The author worked in the research and design department at a large Toyota company in the late 1990s and experienced an innovative process where... Sample PDF
Engineering Design at a Toyota Company: Knowledge Management and the Innovative Process
Chapter 23
Federica Ricceri, James Guthrie
The shift towards a knowledge based economy is at the core of the debate of contemporary management and accounting literature and organisations are... Sample PDF
Critical Analysis of International Guidelines for the Management of Knowledge Resources
Chapter 24
Christiane Prange
Internationalization has accelerated the speed of knowledge generation and innovation. Thus, companies increasingly need to pool and create new... Sample PDF
Strategic Alliance Capability: Bridging the Individual Back into Inter-Organizational Collaboration
Chapter 25
Meryem Sevinc, Lawrence Locker, John D. Murray
In the contemporary context of knowledge discovery, the amount of information and the process itself has increased in complexity. Relevant to the... Sample PDF
Automation vs. Human Intervention: Is There any Room Left for the Analyst in the Data Mining Process?
Chapter 26
Joanna Shih
The hi-tech firms that predominate in Silicon Valley contain a large proportion of knowledge workers—employees with high levels of education and... Sample PDF
Temporality and Knowledge Work
Chapter 27
Alice MacGilivray
Knowledge management is often associated with the need for change and related shifts in ontologies, ways of knowing and ways of working. Combine the... Sample PDF
Knowledge Intensive Work in a Network of Counter-Terrorism Communities
Chapter 28
Tatiana Andreeva
Contemporary literature usually views knowledge creation and knowledge sharing as either independent or positively related processes. However, based... Sample PDF
Tensions between Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Sharing: Individual Preferences of Employees in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations
Chapter 29
Steffen Boehm, Chris Land
Knowledge is implicitly assumed to form an increasingly important, or even the dominant source of values for today’s knowledge based organizations.... Sample PDF
The 'Value' of Knowledge: Reappraising Labour in the Post-Industrial Economy
Chapter 30
Alexander Styhre
This chapter discusses the use of media in knowledge-intensive organizations. Media is defined here as the integration of technologies, practices... Sample PDF
New Media and Knowledge Work
Chapter 31
Ben Tran
This chapter examines knowledge and innovation as invaluable factors affecting the longevity of large organizations. It presents the history and... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management: The Construction of Knowledge in Organizations
Chapter 32
Premilla D’Cruz, Ernesto Noronha
Scholars researching the area of the sociology of professions had earlier predicted that as occupations seek to improve their public image... Sample PDF
Redefining Professional: The Case of India's Call Center Agents
Chapter 33
Dariusz Jemielniak, Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Knowledge management and knowledge-intensive work are two of today’s hot buzzwords, though both already have a history of managerial usage. While... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management: Fad or Enduring Organizational Concept?
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