Getting over "Knowledge is Power": Incentive Systems for Knowledge Management in Business Consulting Companies

Getting over "Knowledge is Power": Incentive Systems for Knowledge Management in Business Consulting Companies

Harald F.O. VonKortzfleisch (University of Kassel, Germany) and Ines Mergel (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-17-9.ch025
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One of the most relevant aspects as to knowledge management is the need to make knowledge workers to actively participate in the diverse processes which are the objects of knowledge management. Especially the motivation to jointly share knowledge and to use the available knowledge of, e. g., colleagues or other third-party experts becomes an important issue for knowledge management in general and above all for business consulting companies which belong to one of the most knowledge-intensive and knowledge management-experienced industries. Therefore, we take a closer look at the importance of incentive systems for knowledge management in the business consulting industry. The findings of our empirical qualitative investigation in 10 leading German business consulting companies show a range of special qualities: First of all and in correspondence with the assumptions in the literature incentive systems do (!) play an important role in this knowledge driven industry. However secondly, there are almost no incentive systems with a special focus on the issue of knowledge. Rather, the existing incentive systems are somehow implicitly expected to guarantee respective behavior of the consultants. Thirdly and finally, in contrast to our expectations and most of the recommendations in the praxis-oriented and theoretical literature for knowledge management the dominant incentives were not immaterial but material. We conclude that the existing long-standing experience with the exchange and use of (new) knowledge, and the special knowledge-oriented culture of business consulting companies do motivate the consultants to share their knowledge and to use the existing knowledge of colleagues. However, in order to implement a more efficient knowledge management which supports the overall strategic goals in dynamic markets the examined business consulting companies should be aware of a special need for additional incentives – even if they do not know yet which incentives this can be and how to implement them.

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Table of Contents
Don White
Chapter 1
Yogesh Malhotra
Many current implementations of organizational knowledge management, although based on the most advanced information technologies, are hobbled by... Sample PDF
Is Knowledge Management Really an Oxymoron? Unraveling the Role of Organizational Controls in Knowledge Management
Chapter 2
Robert J. Mockler, Dorothy G. Dologite
This chapter describes the characteristics and types of strategically focused knowledge management systems and the key conditions affecting their... Sample PDF
Strategically-Focused Enterprise Knowledge Management
Chapter 3
Jay Liebowitz
Knowledge management is one of the fastest emerging fields in industry today. Unfortunately, however, most of the knowledge management endeavors do... Sample PDF
Knowledge Mapping: An Essential Part of Knowledge Management
Chapter 4
R. K. Jha, K. K. Mallik, R. N. Mukherjee
Knowledge Management System, with its database consisting of details of equipment capability, test methods, references and expertise of individuals... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management System: A Case Study of RDCIS Laboratories
Chapter 5
Fons Wijnhoven, Kees van Slooten
Organizational memory information systems have a diversity of contents and may need a variety of information technologies. To cope with this... Sample PDF
Three Problems of Organizational Memory Information Systems Development
Chapter 6
Andrew Doswell, Vivien Reid
An empirical investigation into perceptions about the handling of knowledge in organisations. The findings are based on replies to a non-random... Sample PDF
An Empirical Study of Knowledge and Organizations
Chapter 7
Thekla Rura-Polley, Ellen Baker, Igor T. Hawryszkiewycz
This paper looks at knowledge management within geographically dispersed, cross-functional teams. In particular, it describes an electronic... Sample PDF
Facilitating Sensemaking in Knowledge Integration within Geographically Dispersed Cross-Functional Teams
Chapter 8
Danny Brash, Nikos Prekas, Georges Grosz, Farida Semmak
One approach to managing business knowledge is to generalize problems and solutions within the context they appear, to enable reuse. We have applied... Sample PDF
Evaluating Organizational Patterns for Supporting Business Knowledge Management
Chapter 9
Zoonky Lee, Jinyoul Lee, Tim Sieber
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an enterprise-wide package that tightly integrates all necessary business functions into a single system with... Sample PDF
ERP-Based Knowledge Transfer
Chapter 10
J. Judah Buchwalter
Knowledge management (KM) is an active and growing field. One of the key factors of KM is its dependence on a culture that will support KM... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management in U. S. Federal Government Organizations: Can It Work?
Chapter 11
Ric Jentzsch, Paul Prekop
Past research into information seeking has generally focused on the information seeker as an individual, and examined the activities, roles... Sample PDF
A Conceptual Model of Collaborative Information Seeking
Chapter 12
K. Nageswara Rao, K. H. Babu
Many organizations world over are embracing knowledge management systems for survival and to retain profitability. This trend is visible in the... Sample PDF
Information Manager/Librarian to Knowledge Manager: Change of Role
Chapter 13
Georg Disterer
Professional Service Firms (PSF), where professionals (consultants, lawyers, accountants, auditors, tax advisors, engineers ...) work, are... Sample PDF
Social and Cultural Barriers for Knowledge Databases in Professional Service Firms
Chapter 14
Ruidong Zhang
The importance of knowledge management has been recognized both in academia and in practice. Meanwhile, the web technology is being used as a new... Sample PDF
Web-Based Knowledge Management
Chapter 15
Helen J. Mitchell
The knowledge economy is the future. Organisations need to harness their knowledge and put it to advantage if they are to survive in the new age.... Sample PDF
The Innovation Link Between Organization Knowledge and Customer Knowledge
Chapter 16
Charles A. Snyder, Larry T. Wilson
Knowledge Management (KM) has become a pervasive topic in management practice. The proliferation of KM is the result of concentrated and deliberate... Sample PDF
Implementing Knowledge Management: Issues for Managers
Chapter 17
Gerd Frick, Eric Sax, Klaus D. Muller-Glaser
Collaborative engineering processes with more than one company involved raise the need for knowledge sharing across organizational boundaries. The... Sample PDF
Knowledge Sharing Across Organizational Boundaries with Application to Distributed Engineering Processes
Chapter 18
Bishwajit Choudhary
Researchers have long argued that a “right” degree of closeness among team members is necessary for innovation. At unhealthy extremes, while... Sample PDF
Organizational Learning by 'Segmented Networks': Breeding Variations and Similarities Together - What is Optimum?
Chapter 19
Stuart D. Galup, Ronald Dattero
Developing and supporting knowledge management systems that seamlessly integrate with the existing information technology infrastructure is a major... Sample PDF
Client/Server and the Knowledge Directory: A Natural Relationship
Chapter 20
Brian Detlor
This paper presents an informational orientation towards knowledge work and draws implications of such a perspective on the functionality offered by... Sample PDF
An Informational Perspective Towards Knowledge Work: Implications for Knowledge Management Systems
Chapter 21
Mike Metcalfe, Samantha Grant
This paper discusses the conceptual basis for a social-technical system aimed at assisting geographically separate companies to use the Internet to... Sample PDF
Argumentation and Knowledge-Sharing
Chapter 22
I. T. Hawryszkiewycz
The chapter identifies the three major components of knowledge sharing and creation within enterprises as a combination of place, community and... Sample PDF
Supporting Knowledge Creation: Combining Place, Community and Process
Chapter 23
Murray E. Jennex, Joseph Weiss
Projects can cause organizations to perform in new ways resulting in the generation of knowledge. It is postulated that organizational learning... Sample PDF
A Study of Knowledge Benefits Gained from Projects: The Electric Utility Industry Y2K Project Experience
Chapter 24
Kam Hou Vat
This chapter investigates the design of organizational memory (OM) which is targeted for knowledge management (KM) support tailored for... Sample PDF
Designing Organizational Memory for Knowledge Management Support in Collaborative Learning
Chapter 25
Harald F.O. VonKortzfleisch, Ines Mergel
One of the most relevant aspects as to knowledge management is the need to make knowledge workers to actively participate in the diverse processes... Sample PDF
Getting over "Knowledge is Power": Incentive Systems for Knowledge Management in Business Consulting Companies
Chapter 26
The Information Laws  (pages 254-265)
Andrew S. Targowski
Mankind progresses in proportion to its wisdom which has roots in practice, acquired skills, available data & information, concepts and knowledge.... Sample PDF
The Information Laws
Chapter 27
Prashant Pai, L. L. Miller, Vasant Honavar, Johnny Wong, Sree Nilakanta
Organizations are looking at ways to manage their information resources. Both the capture and the use of data created by the organization have come... Sample PDF
Supporting Organizational Knowledge Management with Agents
Chapter 28
W. Jansen, G. C.A. Steenbakkers, H. P.M. Jagers
The objective of this article is to illuminate the relation between knowledge management and virtual communities. A model which comprises four types... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management and Virtual Communities
Chapter 29
Pamila Dembla, En Mao
Knowledge has been identified as the key issue to gaining competitive advantage in any business. A successful company is one that can create new... Sample PDF
A Research Model for Knowledge Management
Chapter 30
D. A. White, Y. M. Sutton
As organisations continue to seek optimal levels of competitive advantage and innovation, the search continues for more powerful and successful ways... Sample PDF
'Knowledge Management': A Telling Oxymoron?
About the Editors