Knowledge Management and the Links to Human Capital Management: Leadership, Management Capabilities and Sustainability

Knowledge Management and the Links to Human Capital Management: Leadership, Management Capabilities and Sustainability

Marianne Gloet (Abu Dhabi Women’s College, United Arab Emirates)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch611

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Introduction

The significance and impact of sustainability is growing rapidly in the age of globalization. With an increased emphasis on sustainable development, discourses on sustainability now cross many boundaries. The context of sustainability today is both trans-disciplinary and trans-organizational. Operating at the economic, social and environmental level, sustainability is driven by a strong belief that socially responsible development is the way of the future. For instance, scholars like Avery (2005), Elkington (2004) and Parkin (2000) advocate that individuals and organizations worldwide should be engaged actively in protecting the environment. This worldview adheres to sustainable development concepts. A range of factors must be taken into consideration if sustainability issues are to be dealt with in an effective manner. In this setting, organizations, institutions, agencies, industry sectors, national boundaries and regulatory agencies are interdependent players in creating a sustainable future.

Sustainable development in a knowledge economy requires consideration of the optimum way to make knowledgeable interpretations and recommendations to support sustainability, which meets the needs of a diverse range of stakeholders. Certainly, strong commitment is required from these stakeholders if sustainable development, not only from an economic standpoint, but also from a social and environmental perspective is to be supported in an enlightened manner within organizations and governments. Part of this process includes managing risk in new and uncertain environments. Moreover, committing to practices that promote and achieve sustainable outcomes, particularly in a global context has the supply of sound knowledge for decision-making as a prerequisite. Effective knowledge management (KM) approaches to support the crucial processes of knowledge creation, sharing and dissemination are also obligatory. KM is a rigorous process compared to knowledge sharing because it denotes a specific structure and

strategy, which accompanies the dissemination of knowledge to produce value-added activities for an organization. In contrast, without an accompanying structure and strategy, it is unlikely that knowledge sharing per se will produce value-added outcomes. Without the oversight of KM, both knowledge sharing and knowledge dissemination run the risk of becoming ad hoc activities.

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