The ability of an organization to compete in rapidly changing business environments is contingent upon its ability to develop competitive strategies that enable leverage of distinctive core competencies and delivery of value-adding products or services to customers. Once the competitive strategies have been identified, a plan is developed to support those strategies. The plan will specify the design and use or creation of strengths in the organization’s resources. The current chapter looks into the reorganization of people in teams as a major pillar of CKM. Although this chapter is devoted to discussion of the role of people in CKM, the role of people as well as ICTs and business processes will continue to play a significant role in the CKM core value chain activities covered in the remaining parts of this book. Setting the stage for CKM strategic change, requires reinvention of the internal setup of organizations manifested by its three major infrastructural components: reorganizing people, retooling ICTs, and redesigning processes. This chapter explores the role of one organizational architectural component, reorganizing people, as it relates to CKM strategic change. King (1995) introduces the concept of Strategic Capabilities Architecture wherein the guiding architecture of a firm should be based on the strategic vision. In other words, this vision bridges the existing status of the firm (“Where it is”) and its projected future status (“Where it wants to be”) related to the firm’s current and future capabilities. The guiding rule here is that no single capability of the firm can provide a SCA to the firm. The firm cannot compete on the basis of “low cost” or “best quality” or “customer service.” The SCA of the firm derives from the “synergy” of the firm’s various capabilities. Porter, as cited in Pastore (1995), proposes a similar concept in his notion of “complementarities”. He argues that the various competitive capabilities of the firm should be “complementary” or “synergistic” so that capabilities cannot be easily imitated by rivals. The same argument has been made with reference to different ICT-related innovations, such as BPR (Davenport & Short 1990, Davenport 1993, Davenport & Stoddard 1994). Organizational reinvention, or transformation, as a concept and an approach has become popular in recent years, largely from its alignment with contemporary trends in corporate strategy, technology, and human resources, rather than from its inherent attractions. It intends to bring about a remarkable shift in one or more of technological, human, process, and/or structural dimensions of organizations (Blumenthal and Haspeslagh, 1994). However, if it is viewed independently of these advantages, the approach promises great benefits but also can be difficult, challenging, and disruptive (Graetz et al., 2006).
A successful CKM change requires major changes in organizational pillars, i.e. people, processes, and technology (Figure 1). Besides high changes in organizational requirements, the development of a CKM strategy requires high organizational alignment among and within organizational components. Organizational infrastructures need to be mutually supportive and work together to facilitate the achievement of CKM strategic goals, and ultimately a SCA. Strategic alignment is needed when organizational pillars interact among themselves as well as with other organizational components. Organizational changes needed for a successful CKM are covered in this as well as the two subsequent chapters.
On further examination, external business environmental factors as well as internal organizational context, e.g. size, technology, type of industry, strategy, and age, contribute to CKM. Therefore, organizational changes need to ‘fit’ closely not only with their external environmental dynamics, but also with changes in internal organizational pillars such as technology, people, structure and processes that represent the infrastructure of the CKM value chain. Organizational potentials and DCCs need to be fully utilized in the design and development of infrastructural changes in people, structure, technology, and processes.