Creating Business Opportunities Based on Use of Electronic Knowledge Business Models

Creating Business Opportunities Based on Use of Electronic Knowledge Business Models

Tsung-Yi Chen (Nanhua University, Taiwan) and Yuh-Min Chen (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-611-7.ch036
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The advent of the innovation economy has transformed knowledge into the most valuable corporate asset and a key driver of product and service innovation. Therefore, the determinants of enterprise success have shifted from external factors, such as market and competitive factors, to internal factors, such as dynamic innovation capability, based on enterprise core competences and knowledge. Knowledge-based enterprises can convert intellectual assets (IA) into currency via commercial methods such as sales, licensing, joint ventures, strategic alliances, mergers, new business entities and donations (Skyrme, 2001; Sullivan, 2000; Wang et al., 2009). Trading and sharing of knowledge with other enterprises can be more beneficial than using knowledge internally. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) supports on-line functions such as transmission, trading and making payments for products and services. Moreover, electronic commerce- based knowledge commerce (k-commerce) denotes real-time marketing and the delivery of existing organizational knowledge via the Internet to enable the legal and rapid transfer of knowledge from owners to consumers.
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Globalization alone cannot efficiently maintain global competitiveness, and enterprise competitive advantage and innovative growth can only be realized using new business models that are genuinely and appropriately open and able to support peer production, knowledge sharing, global mobile commerce and collaborative innovation. Enterprises must effectively utilize external knowledge and innovation resources together with internal and external creativity or a market-oriented approach to create value by accelerating new technology and knowledge development (Chesbrough, 2003). For example, applying knowledge trading or exchange among enterprises introduces creativity and new technologies to enterprises, and sharing internal knowledge with business partners can reduce innovation costs and expedite R&D on new knowledge and products. Successful knowledge-based enterprises require the ability to leverage internal and external enterprise intellectual capital and package it into high value-added, knowledge-based products and differentiated services able to swiftly and efficiently solve customer problems (Skyrme, 2001).

Enterprise IA may include knowledge, customer relations, human resources, social relationship network, innovation capabilities, business strategies, decision-making competences, operational network, organizational learning efficiency, team communication mechanism or brand image, all of which can assist with wealth creation. Knowledge-based assets possess the following characteristics (Dominique, 2004): 1) Non-physical, meaning they frequently lack a material format; 2) Uniqueness, meaning they have different values from other assets; 3) Concurrent usability, meaning multiple users can use them at any given time; and 4) Value uncertainty. Once the decision to commercialize certain knowledge assets has been made, the enterprise must be able to swiftly seal the licensing agreement and implement commercialization (Sullivan, 2000). Numerous real world cases demonstrate that knowledge used for external purposes often generates more benefits and business opportunities than that used internally. However, precautions are necessary when utilizing knowledge to generate benefits to avoid irreparable damages caused by extensive use of corporate knowledge assets. Despite this caveat, some enterprises unfortunately are still unaware of their own knowledge assets or marketability. When equipped with a strategy that combines Internet potential and knowledge commercialization, almost every enterprise can create revenues and opportunities via k-commerce.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collaborative Innovation: Knowledge or products are created cooperatively by members of a virtual team, bringing together various individuals and enterprises with complementary ideas, knowledge and skills.

Knowledge commerce (k-commerce): A series of planned business processes that generate profits by trading and exchanging knowledge via the Internet, forming virtual teams for offering unique knowledge services to knowledge requesters, and refining existing knowledge or combining different types of knowledge to create new knowledge.

Business model: A business operation approach involving a series of planned activities or business processes by which an enterprise can generate revenue.

Intellectual assets (IA): Important enterprise assets such as patents, trade secrets, knowledge, experience, and staff skills that can be converted into profits, create value, as well as enhance business performance and economic growth.

Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce): A popular and growing electronic business model that enables the trading of physical products on the Internet.

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