Conceptual Theory: What Do You Know?

Conceptual Theory: What Do You Know?

Meir Russ (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, USA), Robert Fineman (Independent Consultant, USA) and Jeannette K. Jones (American Intercontinental University, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-348-7.ch001
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This chapter will provide the reader with two definitions of knowledge, one at the individual level, the other at the organizational level. This will be followed by connecting the knowledge base of the organization to its sustainable competitive advantage by using a multiple-layer framework of organizational knowledge. Then, the chapter will discuss the frameworks of knowledge management vision, mission and goals for the organization. Temporary and functional gap analysis frameworks will follow. The chapter will end with a brief description of three tools developed by the authors.
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This chapter will provide the reader with a number of theoretical aspects that we consider important as a background for understanding and effectively utilizing the later developed subjects related to knowledge management strategy discussed by us later in this book. We will begin this chapter by introducing you to three epistemologies that can and do frame the discussion about knowledge and knowledge management. We will continue by discussing two conceptual aspects of knowledge. We will define knowledge at the individual (personal) level and then at the organizational level. Once these definitions have been solidified, we will place these concepts into a practical application by describing knowledge within an organization’s strategic discussion. In a practical application, it is critical for an organization to understand where their knowledge should be located. Some of this discussion might seem tedious at first, but we hope you will commit to reading through the entire discussion to see for yourself that, while it might sound theoretical or philosophical, it is actually very practical. We hope the examples will illustrate why it is crucial for you to understand the foundation of our tools. Following that, we will introduce you to vision, mission, and goals for KM as well as gaps. We will close the chapter by briefly introducing three tools that we have developed to make it easier for you and your organization to systematically manage knowledge as a strategic asset to create value. A more in-depth discussion of those tools can be found in this book in chapters 4, 7 and 9.

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