How Customer Knowledge Management Is Becoming a Dominant Industry Trait

How Customer Knowledge Management Is Becoming a Dominant Industry Trait

A. F. Wazir Ahmad (University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh & City University, Bangladesh) and Mohammad Muzahid Akbar (Independent University, Bangladesh)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7357-1.ch027
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Abstract

Customer Knowledge Management (CKM) has evolved from Collaborative Knowledge Management Practices (CKMP). The last two decades of twentieth century were marked by efficiency in management that created a global awareness regarding efficient use of resources and cost minimization. This awareness was influenced by Japanese concepts like Kan Ban and Kaizen; later on, these ideas were appreciated and adopted by their American counterparts both in academia as well as in industries. Presumably, CKM movement will heavily influence the business world as the focus shifts to utmost use of intangible assets instead of the optimal use of tangible resources (which used to be the motto of the business world in the last century). CKM is often regarded as “an integrated knowledge management practice” and operates by incorporating principles of Knowledge Management (KM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), but it moves far beyond to ensure a higher level of mutual (customer-producer) value creation.
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Knowledge Management

In the field of management, knowledge management began its journey as an element of the learning organization. According to Choo and Bontis (2002) any organization represents a bundle of various assets (especial emphasis was given on knowledge). Dretske (1981) defined knowledge as information produced (or sustained) belief. Scholars consider knowledge as a strategic resource that is hard to imitate and provides its possessor a unique and inherently protected advantage. Knowledge is created when information is given meaning by being interpreted, analyzed, synthesized, validated, and codified (Li, 2007). Discussion on knowledge management might remain unscrupulous, if data-information-knowledge hierarchy is not discussed. Generally, data is viewed as simple and isolated raw facts that would become information when combined into meaningful structures. Later on, information becomes knowledge as human perspective is added and the information is being put into a context. According to Tuomi (2000), reading a book is an excellent analogy of the data-information-knowledge hierarchy. The book contains data in its letters and words. Reading and understanding a book is a process of collecting information; eventually integrating the collected information with other related information creates knowledge.

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