On Knowledge Management: A Field Study

On Knowledge Management: A Field Study

Peter H. Carstensen (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark) and Ulrika Snis (University of Trollhättan/Uddevalla, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-82-7.ch009
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Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that knowledge is one of the most important assets of today’s organizations. According to Davenport and Prusak (1998), knowledge is often a company’s greatest competitive advantage in a global economy. How to support the company’s knowledge-intensive work processes (e.g., quality support, product design or strategic planning) is therefore becoming a vital issue in many organizations worldwide. Identification, analysis and characterization of the knowledge-intensive work processes become essential in order to qualify a discussion of how to support knowledge management processes. This chapter presents, discusses and reflects upon findings from a study of how highly skilled actors manage information and knowledge, i.e., how information is gathered from a wide range of sources, structured according to needs and relevance for the users, and disseminated to the relevant suppliers in the organization. The aim of the chapter is two-folded: first, to contribute to the general empirical body of knowledge about knowledge-intensive work, especially focusing on the central characteristics of the knowledge management processes; secondly, to initiate a discussion of which overall requirements we must set up for how knowledge management processes could be supported by means of information and communication technology. Knowledge-intensive work processes often concern collaborative problem-solving and mutual support that require effective ways of handling information and knowledge between different people, both in short-term and long-term situations. The distributed and dynamic nature of knowledge management work also imposes a high degree of complexity involving many different actors with different conceptualizations, interpretations, perspectives, needs, etc. of the knowledge produced and approached. The various actors have different perspectives on the concept of knowledge. The work needed to articulate knowledge and make information and knowledge accessible becomes extremely demanding and complex. Often face-to-face interaction is required. However, in complex and collaborative work settings the problem of articulating knowledge by rich interaction and communication is obvious. The actors are distributed both geographically and temporally. There is a need for computer-based mechanisms for interaction and coordination of information and knowledge (cf. e.g., Carstensen and Wulf, 1998).

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Table of Contents
Preface
David Schwartz
Chapter 1
David G. Schwartz, Monica Divitini, Terje Brasethvik
Knowledge management in general, and Internet-based knowledge management in particular, is one of the foremost strategic directions being... Sample PDF
On Knowledge Management in the Internet Age
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Chapter 2
Bidjan Tschaitschian, Andreas Abecker, Joachim Hackstein, Jamel Zakaoui
Knowledge assets and the learning capacity of an organization are the main sources of competitive advantage (Argyris & Schon, 1978; Prahalad &... Sample PDF
Internet Enabled Corporate Knowledge Sharing and Utilization
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Chapter 3
Seng-cho T. Chou, Edward T. Chow
Knowledge management is concerned with the effective management of enterprise knowledge, the knowledge that an organization lives by and is built... Sample PDF
Essential Factors in Knowledge Management with COTS Products
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Chapter 4
Guy Saward
It is a truism that customer service is the key to business success. It is particularly true given competition and new business practices lead... Sample PDF
The Challenge for Customer Service: Managing Heterogeneous Sources
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Chapter 5
Xiaoying Gao, Leon Sterling
The World Wide Web is known as the “universe of network-accessible information, the embodiment of human knowledge” (W3C, 1999). Internet-based... Sample PDF
Semi-Structured Data Extraction from Heterogenous Sources
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Chapter 6
Simon Polovina, Vito Veneziano
Any business organisation has always needed mechanisms to control its affairs, particularly how it optimises the economic resources at its disposal... Sample PDF
Adding Knowledge to Accounting Systems for Virtual Enterprises
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Chapter 7
Angi Voss, Keiichi Nakata, Marcus Juhnke
In today’s electronic environments, knowledge is often captured through collections of documents in email or news archives, bookmark lists, document... Sample PDF
Concept Indexes: Sharing Knowledge from Documents
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Chapter 8
Will Barrett, M. S. Lydia Lau, Peter M. Dew
Managing knowledge is not a new idea. Although the term “knowledge management” is a recent introduction into the corporate lexicon, the concept is... Sample PDF
Facilitating Knowledge Transfer in an R&D Environment: A Case Study
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Chapter 9
Peter H. Carstensen, Ulrika Snis
It is widely acknowledged that knowledge is one of the most important assets of today’s organizations. According to Davenport and Prusak (1998)... Sample PDF
On Knowledge Management: A Field Study
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Chapter 10
Judy McKay, Peter Marshall
Contemporary business environments and trends for the future suggest that successful organizations of the future must not only be efficient... Sample PDF
The Challenges of Interorganizational Management: An Emerging Issue in the Virtual Organization
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Chapter 11
Janice M. Burn, Colin Ash
When is a virtual organisation really virtual? One definition would suggest that organisations are virtual when producing work deliverables across... Sample PDF
Managing Knowledge in an ERP Enabled Virtual Organization
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Chapter 12
Murray E. Jennex
The Year 2000 (Y2K), or millennium bug as it has been called in the popular press, has caused many organizations to form Y2K project teams tasked... Sample PDF
Using an Intranet to Manage Knowledge for a Virtual Project Team
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About the Authors