Knowledge Management as a Tool for Influencing Customers: Revisited

Knowledge Management as a Tool for Influencing Customers: Revisited

Richard Brunet-Thornton (University of Economics, Czech Republic), Petra Marešová (University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic), Vladimír Bureš (City University of Seattle, Slovakia) and Tereza Otčenášková (University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6547-7.ch025
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Abstract

This chapter revisits an earlier published model of the Cost-Benefit Analysis method focused on KM projects. Although it continues to centre on the customer and the general market environment as knowledge sources used to evaluate the appropriateness of a Knowledge Management (KM) project, it expands the discussion to incorporate the latest research on this topic. In addition, the tangible and intangible benefits of a successful KM deployment continue to be stressed; it highlights the various barriers and sets recommendations that may be pursued. Given the on-going nature of this condition in the Czech Republic, the authors continue to pursue an active research protocol.
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Introduction

Advances in technology and globalisation create change in society while rivalry and competition in the business arena rises. This serves as a call to action for many firms that can no longer simply convince customers to buy whatever they sell. To rise above this challenge, enterprises have to understand their customers as former techniques prove no longer viable. This chapter discusses potential solutions to issues relative to successful KM implementation based on the national experience. It offers an overview of possibilities to the monitoring of benefits associated with the latter. Moreover, an existing evaluation system is applied to KM that includes both a description and the particular steps and activities required for implementation. To facilitate comprehension, illustrative examples are provided for each stage. The authors’ intention is that the nature of this chapter and the discussion herein appeals to both the academician as well as the KM practitioner especially those individuals and organisations resident in the Czech Republic.

This chapter comprises four main sections: KM benefits; KM benefit-evaluation; the current situation in the Czech Republic, and KM assessment methods. Although many readers are familiar with the concepts and tools examined in this chapter, the discussion is of particular interest given recent research specific to Czech small and medium-sized enterprises. As mentioned previously, many of the details serve to enforce the practicality of the various concepts thereby rendering them more conducive to management and/or KM practitioner. From a practical perspective, the chapter serves as a working guideline.

KM benefits are reviewed as to their influence on the enterprise and in turn, how they affect the customer or end user of the products and services. From a Czech stance, findings compiled from questionnaires substantiate the national view. The following section reassesses the various methods available for evaluation purposes. Integral to this chapter in that it exposes the current Czech context, the third segment analyses the various factors at play within this Central European country. Lastly, KM assessment instruments are appraised using concrete examples and a case study.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Knowledge Management Processes (Also Knowledge Processes): Identify a number of processes considered the foremost essentials in the evolution of knowledge in an organisation. Particular knowledge processes follow the general knowledge life cycle. Therefore, these include knowledge creation, purchase, development, modification, storage, sharing, distribution, usage, application, renewal, and replacement.

Cost Benefit Analysis: A technique used to determine whether a planned action will turn out good or bad. Firstly, it finds, quantifies, and adds all the positive factors, which are called benefits. Then it identifies, quantifies, and subtracts all the negatives, the costs. The difference between the two indicates whether the planned action is advisable.

Cash Flow: A measure of a company's financial health. Equals cash receipts minus cash payments over a given period of time; or equivalently, net profit plus amounts charged off for depreciation, depletion, and amortization.

Management of Knowledge: Represents a set of disciplines such as psychology, informatics, pedagogy, and cognitive science, together with particular tools, techniques, and methods for work with knowledge. Outcomes from the management of knowledge are used at the organisational level for implementation and realisation of knowledge management.

Hypothesis Testing: The rational framework for applying statistical tests. The main question we usually wish to extract from a statistic is whether the sample data is significant or not. There are two hypotheses that are possible - H 0 : the null hypothesis, and H A : the alternative hypothesis. The art of statistics is in finding good ways of formulating criteria, based on the value of one more statistics, to either accept or reject the null hypothesis H0.

Knowledge Management: Represents a managerial approach of organisational leadership, the creation of an organisational environment and the achievement of organisational objectives based on the alignment of knowledge and processes through the usage of knowledge resources and appropriate methods, techniques and tools.

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