Developing an Integrated Model for Understanding Knowledge Management Practices in an Arab Country: Evidence from a Case Study

Developing an Integrated Model for Understanding Knowledge Management Practices in an Arab Country: Evidence from a Case Study

Minwir Al-Shammari (University of Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch424

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The Importance Of Knowledge

The beauty of using knowledge as a base of sustainable competitive advantage is that it is a non-depleting resource. Unlike other business resources that diminish once shared, knowledge development follows the law of increasing returns - the more knowledge is used, the more value it creates. Furthermore, the more knowledge is shared, the more new knowledge is generated. Knowledge sharing, therefore, is becoming a successful way to increase the value of ‘intellectual assets’ in improving knowledge-intensive processes and adding value to customers and profitability to the business. There are several key attributes of knowledge, which must be factored into KM practices (Kluge, et al, 2001; and Davenport and Prusak, 2000):

  • Subjectivity: context and individual background shape the interpretation of knowledge.

  • Transferability: knowledge can be extracted and transferred to other contexts.

  • Embeddedness: knowledge is often in static and buried form that makes it difficult to extract.

  • Self-reinforcement: knowledge is the only unlimited resource, the one asset that its marginal utility increases and does not decrease once used or shared.

  • Perishability: knowledge can become outdated.

  • Serendipity (spontaneity): knowledge can develop unexpectedly in a spontaneous or incidental process (e.g., water cooler knowledge exchanges).

  • Velocity:speed with which knowledge moves through an organization (e.g., computers and networks excel at enhancing the velocity of knowledge).

  • Viscosity:richness or stickiness of detailed or subtle knowledge transferred (e.g., apprenticeship or mentoring relationship)

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