Inducing Enterprise Knowledge Flows

Inducing Enterprise Knowledge Flows

Mark Nissen (Naval Postgraduate School, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-162-9.ch009
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Abstract

The knowledge-based organization appears to offer great promise in terms of performance and capability. Indeed, many researchers are actively working to understand how organizational strategy, structure and technology can be combined and integrated to harness the competitive power of knowledge. However, knowledge is not evenly distributed through the organization, so rapid and efficient knowledge flow is critical to enterprise performance. This chapter builds upon the current state of the art pertaining to knowledge flow, and it develops a model to help induce the flow of knowledge through an organization. Because of the time-critical nature of most knowledge work in the modern enterprise, we focus in particular on knowledge dynamics, to enable rapid and efficient flow, and to help the enterprise become more knowledge-based. Using a global manufacturing firm as an example to illustrate how the knowledge-flow model provides practical guidance, we identify knowledge elements that are critical to effective performance in an unpredictable, dynamic business environment, and we use the multidimensional model to illustrate how to identify specific knowledge flows required for success. Further analysis reveals that different knowledge flows require different approaches in terms of IT and process changes — with the attendant insight that one size does not fit all in terms of knowledge management — and a specific focus on clumped knowledge and constricted flows enables the experienced manager to work through the necessary interventions—often with the set of tools and processes already present in the organization. We also illustrate how the multidimensional model can be augmented to depict the relative flow times associated with various knowledge elements, which provides a rough schedule as well as a roadmap to use for planning requisite knowledge flows for the knowledge-based organization.

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