An Evaluation of Customer-Centric Benefits Associated with Knowledge Management

An Evaluation of Customer-Centric Benefits Associated with Knowledge Management

Petra Marešová (University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic), Vladimír Bureš (University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic & City University of Seattle, Slovakia), Richard Brunet-Thornton (University of Economics-Prague (VŠE), Czech Republic & IMCA/GARC(UK), Canada) and Tereza Otcenášková (University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-089-7.ch008

Abstract

Growing concern over the state of Knowledge Management (KM) in the Czech Republic has compelled both researchers and practitioners to document current trends. Our study in particular demonstrates that there is a growing awareness to promote KM as the appropriate vehicle to enhance and increase competitiveness and profitability no matter to what specific industry the enterprises may belong. Through KM adoption, the organisation develops a more customer-concentrated approach that sequentially increases internal efficiencies. Research in this area continues. It aspires to provide KM managers with the appropriate tools leading to successful KM implementation especially within the Czech Republic. This chapter analyses existing KM benefits and monitoring methods, and also explores a modified Cost-Benefit Analysis method focused on KM projects. It centres the customer and the general market environment as knowledge sources used to evaluate the appropriateness of a KM project.
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Generally, the benefits are divided into two categories. The first group is related directly to the KM project itself and is linked with the recognition of the knowledge processes, certain technologies usage, etc. Considering the latter, the benefits of KM implementation cover the following issues:

  • improvement of knowledge sharing and better cooperation among employees,

  • sharing of best practices within the company,

  • improvement in learning and new employee integration,

  • avoidance of the loss of know-how,

  • enhancement of project quality and innovations,

  • improvement with the external relationships (customers, competitors, etc.) and development,

  • strategic readiness to handle unexpected events and the ability to cope with crisis and critical situations, etc.

The other category consists of the benefits connected directly with organisational business goals. Kim states that the fundamental and final objective of KM is to improve business operational processes and to better performance (Kim, 2003). In this vein, KM helps to meet “traditional” business objectives linked with commercial operations and includes:

  • improvement of organisational efficiency,

  • increased profits,

  • maximised sales,

  • costs reduction,

  • implementation of new working methods,

  • creation of new market opportunities, etc.

This section characterises the benefits relative to customer relations that an organisation may expect following the successful implementation of KM. The benefits are classified according to various criteria, for example:

  • benefits characteristics,

  • relationship with organisational processes,

  • relationship with organisational goals, etc.

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