Translating Knowledge Management Practices into the Boundaries of Supply Chain

Translating Knowledge Management Practices into the Boundaries of Supply Chain

Ozlem Bak (University of Brighton, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-969-9.ch071
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Abstract

This chapter aims to evaluate the application of knowledge management (KM) literature in supply chains. The underlying understanding derived from this evaluation can be used to devise a valid business strategy to encourage knowledge management practices in supply chains. The concept of a supply chain encompasses businesses organised around a common goal of delivering a product or service from the initial supplier to the end customers. In this respect, the importance of knowledge management within the boundaries of supply chain management has been iterated by many authors; some underline the strategic and tactical importance of knowledge management, whereas others focus on the advantages and tools used to create knowledge in supply chains. The difficulty of assessing knowledge management is twofold when considering supply chains–first, the underlying difficulty of locating the trail of knowledge creation in supply chains and secondly how this can be utilised to devise a business strategy. On close examination of the literature in this field, we can identify a salient need for the theoretical categorisation of existing theoretical frameworks of supply chain management (SCM) on KM-related practices. This chapter explicitly looks into three supply chains, namely learning chains, virtual chains and build-to-order supply chains, and the specific challenges that these create for knowledge management and devising a valid business strategy.

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