Developing a Corporate Knowledge Management Platform in a Multibusiness Company

Developing a Corporate Knowledge Management Platform in a Multibusiness Company

Arla Juntunen (Helsinki School of Economics, Finland)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-176-6.ch012
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the development of the Knowledge Management (KM) platform, and, more generally, the knowledge- and resource based view (RBV) of the firm. The knowledge is seen as a source of a competitive advantage. In high-velocity markets, like the ICT-sector, the knowledge is crucial in creating a long-term competitive advantage over the competitors. The study claims that corporate performance was improved when the case company simultaneously exploited a balanced set of related knowledge resources of the corporate KM Platfrom across its business areas.
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Introduction

Managing the data, information and knowledge in a business as well as using it to gain a sustainable competitive advantage, is a challenging assignment in any organization. Knowledge management essentially consists of tools, practices and processes to efficiently capture, store and share data and knowledge between individuals within an organization. The last decade has witnessed a growth of information generated within organizations due to the increased use of technology and the internet. In the 1990s, companies discovered knowledge as a new source of competitive advantage (See e.g. Davenport, 2001; Möller & Svahn, 2006; Nonaka et al., 2001) The concept of knowledge management was widely discussed in the information technology and management literature. Sharing, transferring and storing knowledge has highlighted the need to further develop data warehousing to support learning and knowledge management within the organization. Exploiting information and knowledge within data warehouses is one method to attain industry-leading performance (Juntunen, 2008; Matusik & Hill, 1998; Törmänen, 2003) and a competitive advantage in markets. Organizations that develop and leverage knowledge resources are more likely to achieve success than organizations with a greater dependence on tangible resources (Autio et al., 2000; Yli-Renko et al., 2002).

Also, the spirit of the knowledge-based view must be fully understood in order to truly conceptualize the value of knowledge to organizations that operate in dynamically changing environment, as exemplified by the ICT sector. The increasing importance of innovation and rapid product development in the ICT-sector has made an awareness of knowledge creation and innovative organizational transformations a critical issue in an organization. Therefore, knowledge management (KM) is not a narrow information technology (IT) related function within an organization, but rather an integration of strategic management, learning, R&D, use of different technologies, human capital and business management. From this perspective, knowledge creation and management in an organization is not purely a problem of product development, but also a question of mastering the renewal and transfer of information both within all hierarchic levels of an organization and between different communities of practice, forming a continuous organizational development process and a way to rapidly capitalize on innovations. An organization with valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable resources can generate a sustainable competitive advantage over its rivals, thus resulting in better financial performance (See e.g. Barney, 1991; Conner, 1991; Hatch & Dyer, 2004; Wernerfelt, 1984).

Moreover, the introduction of Internet and web-based tools haves given rise to many forms of online interactions, including e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, and community based online services. In addition to descriptive personal profiles, members of such online communities publicly articulate mutual “friendship” links with other members, creating a browseable network of social relations (Heer & Boyd, 2005). The KM Platform concept in the case corporation included tools for different communities: for work projects, for teams and for leisure time-related online societies and individuals.

The following sections will begin with an overview of the development of Knowledge Management platform (KM Platform) concept and then proceed to explain the development, benefits and consequences of its implementation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organizational learning: Organizational Learning can be defined as the organization’s ability to gain understanding from experience through experimentation, observation, analysis, and a willingness to examine both successes and failures

Knowledge Sharing: Knowledge sharing refers to not only codified information, like product specifications, but also beliefs and experiences. Seen from this perspective, knowledge creation, management and sharing are a question of mastering the renewal and change in all the activities within an organization and in a network of organizations.

Knowledge Management: The Process responsible for gathering, analysing, storing and sharing knowledge and information within an Organisation. Knowledge management is seen as a way to enhance the performance in many organizations.

Capabilities: Capabilities can be defined as intangible knowledge resources, and physical and non-physical resources as tangible and intangible assets. The difference between resources and capabilities in a firm is that capabilities deploy or coordinate different resources, and therefore, capabilities are involved in the activities of the whole value chain of the company.

Knowledge: Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) explicated the concept of knowledge by contrasting knowledge and information. “First, knowledge unlike information, is about beliefs and commitment. Knowledge is a function of a particular stance, perspective, or intention. Second, knowledge unlike information, is about action. It is always knowledge ‘to some end’, and third, knowledge, unlike information, is about meaning. It is context specific and relational” (Nonaka –Takeuchi 1995, 58). Instead of the absolute, static view of knowledge, Nonaka and Takeuchi consider knowledge as “a dynamic human process of justifying personal belief toward the ‘truth’ “. Knowledge is created dynamically in social interaction among people

ICT sector: ICT sector includes both the Information Technology (IT) and telecommunication sector. The latter includes both the service and the manufacturing industry. The previous includes all the software and hardware manufacturing and developing companies.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Dariusz Jemielniak, Jerzy Kociatkiewicz
Acknowledgment
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?
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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About the Contributors