Mentoring Knowledge Workers

Mentoring Knowledge Workers

Ciara Heavin (National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland) and Karen Neville (National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-573-3.ch081
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Abstract

In an economic environment where organizations have been forced to take a step back and reevaluate their core competencies and ability to innovate, organizational knowledge has come to the forefront as a valuable strategic asset (Haghirian, 2003). While the concept of knowledge management (KM) is not new, the focus on knowledge management as a strategy has increased in recent times as organizations realize the importance of knowledge as an intangible asset contributing to the enhancement of competitive advantage (Bolloju, 2000). In the 21st century, it is believed that successful companies are those that effectively acquire, create, retain, deploy, and leverage knowledge (Cecez-Kecmanovic, 2000). Knowledge work is the ability to create an understanding of nature, organizations, and processes, and to apply this understanding as a means of generating wealth in the organization (Boland & Tenkasi, 1995). Evidently, the focus on knowledge management as a strategy has become central to organizations (Davenport & Prusak, 1998). Ichijo, Von Krogh, and Nonaka (1998) view knowledge as a resource that is unique and imperfectly imitable, allowing firms to sustain a competitive advantage. Additionally, knowledge management as a formalized organizational strategy is supported; it should not be left unintentional to become unsystematic and random (Ichijo et al.). This article provides an example of knowledge workers and experts collaborating to implement successful training and learning programmes to support knowledge-management activities in their organization. The authors hope that the case discussed will inform researchers of an appropriate model in designing an interactive learning environment that enables a positive knowledge-sharing environment and in turn contributes to the growth of an organization’s memory.

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