Facilitating Knowledge Transfer in an R&D Environment: A Case Study
Will Barrett (University of Leeds, UK), M. S. Lydia Lau (University of Leeds, UK) and Peter M. Dew (University of Leeds, UK)
Copyright: © 2000
Managing knowledge is not a new idea. Although the term “knowledge management” is a recent introduction into the corporate lexicon, the concept is by no means exclusive to the 1990s. The underlying concepts of knowledge management, such as collaboration, exchange of ideas, communication, and so on, have always been present in organisations. Spontaneous, unrestricted knowledge transfer is vital to business success and the transfer of knowledge occurs within organisations whether the process is managed or not. In large, decentralised organisations, knowledge is constrained by organisational, cultural and physical barriers. In such cases, the transfer of knowledge is localised and fragmentary as mechanisms for accessing distant knowledge resources are poor or nonexistent. A traditional solution is the corporate librarian or other broker, who presides over a repository of knowledge and is aware of expertise across the organisation. However, this role may be unable to meet the modern demands of knowledge management, or be obsolete if the management of knowledge is to become part of every employee’s job.