Knowledge Management & Competitive Advantage - PPT

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Knowledge Management & Competitive Advantage:

Knowledge Management & Competitive Advantage A paper on


Introduction Knowledge has always been valuable to people. Most knowledge management literature treats knowledge broadly, and uses it to cover all that an organization needs to know to perform its functions. This may involve formalized knowledge, patents, laws, programs, and procedures, as well as the more intangible know-how, skills, and experience of people.

Definition – Knowledge Management:

Definition – K nowledge Management Knowledge management involves the acquisition, storage, retrieval, application, generation, and review of the knowledge assets of an organization in a controlled way.

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Many of us are now familiar with phrases like knowledge economy and knowledge workers. Whereas the key to wealth creation was once ownership or access to capital or natural resources, this has now been joined by access to or the creation of knowledge. Thus , college kids with smart new ideas can generate billions of dollars. This statement does not refer to recent dotcom start ups, but to well-established, highly profitable companies like Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Oracle, and Sun all of which were started from scratch by college kids with nothing but knowledge, passion, and vision.

Knowledge Management Activities :

Knowledge Management Activities 1 . Acquire knowledge (learn, create, or identify); 2. Analyze knowledge (assess, validate, or value); 3. Preserve knowledge (organize, represent, or maintain); and 4. Use knowledge (apply, transfer, or share)

KM Cycle:

KM Cycle

Knowledge Management - Today:

Knowledge Management - Today Trends in today’s environment such as globalization, technological evolution, and deregulation are changing the competitive structure of markets in such a way that the effectiveness of traditional sources of firms’ competitive advantage is blurred. More and more, any firm can have access to physical or financial assets, and even to technology, in exactly the same open-market conditions. Consequently, firms need to develop distinctive capabilities, their own “ways of doing things” that are difficult to imitate by competitors.

Knowledge Base - Internal and External Knowledge :

Knowledge Base - Internal and External K nowledge

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In the context of a generic firm, we propose to think in terms of its knowledge base, understood as a combination of external and internal knowledge components. A schematic representation is shown in Figure 1, where I represents a piece of internal knowledge and E1 to E4 represent four pieces of external knowledge . We depict I in the center to give the idea of a core, and the different Es around it to indicate both the fact that they are closer to the environment and the relative independence there is among each other. Some overlap between I and the different Es indicates that the part of I geared to put the Es into idiosyncratic action needs to be aware of some of the corresponding Es’ characteristics.

Classification of Learning Trajectories:

Classification of Learning Trajectories

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Here LTs are classified in terms of Internal Knowledge Contents and Degree of Specialization, be it in internal or external knowledge. LTs are represented here as learning paths drawn on the knowledge map of the firm. Depending upon what kind of knowledge the firm needs to develop in order to match its competitive positioning needs, one LT might be more appropriate than another, or a combination of them can be useful across a number of individuals or groups in the firm.

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KM initiatives (intra or extranets, knowledge databases, distance learning arrangements, groupware and communication infrastructures, etc.) are targeted to the development of a good external knowledge base as they typically cover the following areas. •Infrastructures for experience sharing : •Infrastructures to facilitate coordination among specialists : •Yellow-pages-type systems •Systematized, well-indexed access •Systems that force the utilization •Training


Conclusion In this article we have proposed to think in terms of learning trajectories in order to analyze how to achieve the development of a balanced knowledge base in a firm. Such a standpoint puts the emphasis on knowledge development needs and somehow de-emphasizes specific technology-based support, although we recognize the potential of such KM initiatives. Our approach has distinguished between external and internal knowledge in order to characterize a set of archetype LTs with which it is possible to describe the most appropriate knowledge development course for a specific firm at a given point in time.

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END NOTE Value for the customer is a necessary condition for internal knowledge leading to competitive advantage as otherwise it would complement external knowledge in a meaningless way.

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