Linking Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital: A Study in Portuguese Banks

Linking Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital: A Study in Portuguese Banks

Maria do Rosário Cabrita (UNIDEMI, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal), Virgílio Cruz-Machado (UNIDEMI, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal) and Florinda Matos (IC Lab Research Centre, Intellectual Capital Accreditation Association (ICAA), Santarém, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/ijskd.2013100101
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Abstract

The ability of an organization to effectively nurture, capture, leverage, and share its knowledge resources become the key that provides an enterprise with its strategic power advantage in the world. When an organization develops its ability to build, access and leverage its knowledge resources it is creating its knowledge advantage. In an era of knowledge economics, Knowledge Management (KM) and Intellectual Capital (IC) have emerged as major issues that managers must deal with, if the organizations want maintain their competitive advantage. The accumulation of IC and KM is closely related. The successful management of IC is linked to the efficiency of KM processes, which, in turn, implies that the successful implementation of KM ensures the growth and renewal of IC in an organization. There are relatively few discussions on the relationship between KM and IC, and even fewer studies on such relationship in the banking industry. For the banking sector, as one of the most knowledge-intensive industries, it is imperative to understand how to use techniques in KM to accumulate IC to cope with an increasingly changing environment. Based on previous studies, this article seeks to explore the links between IC and KM in Portuguese banks, by identifying the IC resources of importance and leveraging these resources through KM capability.
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2. Theoretical Background

The resource-based view (RBV) of the firm considers the sustainable competitive advantages of the firm to be dependent on the internal resources the firm has at its disposal (Barney, 1991; Wernerfelt, 1984). Many of these resources are characterized by an intangible quality. Actually, this may be the basis for their ability to create sustainable competitive advantage as they produce barriers to imitation through the causal ambiguity induced by their tacit, complex and specific nature (Reed & DeFillippi, 1990). As such, there has been a drive to develop an analysis of the intangible assets that make up these resources that are seen as key in determining the strategic management process of the firm (Barney, 1991; Hall, 1992). Knowledge-based view (KBV) identifies in knowledge, which is characterized by scarcity and difficult to transfer and replicate, a critical resource for achieving competitive advantage (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995).

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