Knowledge Organizations

Knowledge Organizations

Daniel L. Davenport (University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, USA) and Clyde W. Hosapple (University of Kentucky, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-933-5.ch168
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Abstract

An important endeavor within the field of knowledge management (KM) is to better understand the nature of knowledge organizations. These are variously called knowledge-based organizations, knowledge-centric organizations, knowledge-intensive organizations, knowledge-oriented organizations, and so forth. One approach to doing so is to study the characteristics of specific organizations of this type such as Chaparral Steel (Leonard-Barton, 1995), Buckman Labs, World Bank, or HP Consulting (O’Dell, 2003). A complementary approach is to study various frameworks that have been advanced for systematically characterizing the elements, processes, and relationships that are found in knowledge organizations. Here, we examine three such frameworks that are representative of the variety in perspectives that have been advocated for understanding the nature of knowledge organizations. These frameworks share a view that sees knowledge as a key organizational asset that enables action. However, they differ in emphases (e.g., asset vs. action) and constructs.

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