Operational Knowledge Management

Operational Knowledge Management

Fons Wijnhoven
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-933-5.ch230
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The differences between the paradigms of knowledge management (KM) and operations management are huge. Whereas KM is rooted in the disciplines of human relations, sociology, organization analysis, and strategic management, the operations management paradigm finds its roots in industrial engineering, business economics, and information systems. These differences result in poor acceptance of KM ideas in operations management and vice versa. Several approaches to this problem are possible. For instance, one may state that the operations management paradigm is irrelevant for knowledge management. This is incorrect, because besides of the traditional person-oriented knowledge management processes, modern knowledge intensive firms use reengineered knowledge processes intensively (e.g., Hansen, Nohria, & Tierney, 1999). An alternative approach may be to forget about the KM paradigm and only use the operations management paradigm. This is wrong again, because most industrial enterprises compete on the development and exploitation of their expertise and human capabilities (Hamel & Prahalad, 1994; Quinn, 1992). Consequently, if knowledge management is relevant and if operations management is not irrelevant, then the main question is how to translate knowledge management issues into an operations management framework. I provide a conceptual framework for such a knowledge operations management (KOM) perspective.

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