Empowering Organizations Through Customer Knowledge Acquisition: An Empirical Study in Mexico

Empowering Organizations Through Customer Knowledge Acquisition: An Empirical Study in Mexico

Juan Manuel Gómez Reynoso (Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico) and Kamla Ali Al-Busaidi (Information Systems Department, Sultan Qaboos University, AlKhod, Oman)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2019070105
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Knowledge is an important asset and create benefits when someone harnesses information and knowledge from both inside and outside sources. Customers are becoming more powerful and customer knowledge (CK) can empower organizations and improve their performance. CK is classified as: knowledge FOR customers, ABOUT customers and FROM customers. However, the value of external CK has not fully been recognized, and its impacts have not been fully investigated. Thus, the present research aims to empirically assess the impact of acquiring each type. Researchers analyzed 63 Mexican organizations, results show that overall acquisition of CK is significantly positively linked to business processes benefits, employees benefits, products benefits, customers benefits, finance benefits and market benefits. However, by assessing the direct impacts of the three types of knowledge on these, demonstrated that acquisition of knowledge about customers significantly positively linked with employees benefits, customers benefits, finance benefits and market benefits.
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One very important concern for people and organizations is to make perfect decisions; in order to do so they must have available knowledge that would help them to reduce uncertainty (Applegate et al., 2008) in the decision-making process. It is important to differentiate knowledge from information because knowledge contains information, however information is not necessarily knowledge (Jennex & Olfman, 2009). Thus, organizations must address very important issues such as: Which types of knowledge are available? What are the sources of knowledge? Among others.

Drucker (1996) argues that knowledge is the only meaningful economic resource. Past research (Choo, 2001) argues that organizations have three kinds of knowledge: tacit knowledge, which is present in the expertise and experience of individuals; explicit knowledge, which is in artifacts, rules and routines; and cultural knowledge, formed by the assumptions and beliefs used by members to assign value and significance to new information or knowledge.

Some sources of knowledge are Industry, markets, customers, among others. Knowledge is built upon previous knowledge. As customers are becoming and more knowledgeable, a customer-focused strategy is becoming the strategy that enables competitive advantage. Customer knowledge (CK) is becoming a very important issue for organizations, especially for service-based organizations. CK enables improvement for business operations and innovativeness and consequently achieves competitive advantage. CK is increasingly important for organizations competitiveness (Khosravi & Nilashi, 2017) and plays a very important role in the operational process of an organization (Tseng & Fang, 2015). Knowledge is embedded in business processes, activities, and relationships that have been created over time through the implementation of a continuing series of improvements (King, 2009). Specifically, CK is the most indispensable asset while organizations are pursuing to create a competitive advantage (Bennet, 1999). Knowledge creates benefits when an entity is capable of gather information from both inside and outside sources for improving performance of individuals and groups as they execute decision-making processes (Applegate et al., 2008). An organization’s long-term survival depends on its ability to apply current knowledge as well as to generate new; in addition to continuously learn from the external environmental sources such as customers and competitors (Hoe, 2008). Customer is identified as the most important source of knowledge for organizations (Mehdibeigi, Dehghani, & Mohammad Yaghoubi, 2016). Finally, it is very important that the right knowledge with sufficient context is available at the right time for decision makers (Jennex, 2017).

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