Knowledge Management’s Strategic Dilemmas Typology

Knowledge Management’s Strategic Dilemmas Typology

Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-931-1.ch078

Abstract

We proposed to frame the discussion of Knowledge Management (KM) strategies by six basic strategic dilemmas that challenge companies and managers. The six dilemmas are: Codification-Tacitness; Complementary-Destroying; Concealment-Transparent; External Acquisition-Internal Development; Exploration-Exploitation; and Product-Process. Our research suggests that companies are using these dimensions even if they do not have an explicit KM strategy, in the context of their business strategies. The findings also suggest that companies use a sophisticated set of choices for each dimension. The framework of the KM strategic dilemmas was validated in two different types of environments: business, and Knowledge-Based Systems (KBS) life cycle contexts. Based on these dilemmas (C3EEP for short) we developed a framework for KM strategy that companies can use to guide their strategic decision making. The article will summarize the six dilemmas, present two illustrations of application, and future research opportunities will be identified.

Key Terms in this Chapter

KM Strategy Typology: The dimensions that define the classification of the strategic discussion of KM in the context of business strategy at the corporate, strategic business unit, functional and operational level of analysis.

Concealment Strategy: The company deliberately is concealing its knowledge-base.

Exploration Strategy: The company deliberately is developing or acquiring new to the organization knowledge. Such knowledge can be either complementary to or destroying of its currently utilized knowledge-base.

Transparent Strategy: The company deliberately is exposing its knowledge-base so it will be transparent.

Codification Strategy: The company deliberately is codifying its knowledge-base and/or embedding aspects of the strategy in ICT systems.

Product Strategy: The company deliberately or unintentionally is focusing its KM on supporting its products and/or services management and development.

Internal Development Strategy: The company deliberately or unintentionally is developing the knowledge it requires internally.

Tacitness Strategy: The company deliberately or unintentionally is keeping its knowledge-base as tacit either in people and/or in culture.

Exploitation Strategy: The company deliberately or unintentionally is using its readily available knowledge.

Destroying Strategy: The company deliberately is developing or acquiring new knowledge that might destroy its current knowledge-base.

Complementary Strategy: The company deliberately or unintentionally is using an existing knowledge or is developing new knowledge, but such knowledge is limited to be complementary to its current knowledge-base.

External Acquisition Strategy: The company deliberately is acquiring the knowledge it requires from external sources.

Process Strategy: The company deliberately or unintentionally is focusing its KM on supporting its process and/or capabilities management and development.

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