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Über dieses Buch

This textbook on Knowledge Management is a result of more than twenty years of research, teaching and consulting experience of the authors. This is the first comprehensive text which brings together European, Asian and American perspectives on knowledge-based value creation. This book is intended not only for academic education but also for providing guidance to managers, consultants, trainers, coaches and those interested to learn about organizations in a knowledge economy in business, public administration and non-profit organizations. Many case studies, examples, questions, assignments as well as easy to use knowledge management tools make this work a compendium for learning, and for implementing knowledge management initiatives.



1. On the Way to a Knowledge Society

This chapter introduces the driving forces of competition in knowledge-based societies and economies. The imperatives of “

improving faster

” and “

becoming different

” in turbulent and fast changing settings and hence the need to develop dynamic capabilities are explained. Concepts of how organisations learn are introduced. The basic questions of managing knowledge in organisations are formulated and a self-assessment form invites the reader to evaluate their organisation. The KM tool described at the end of the chapter is the knowledge café.

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

2. Knowledge in Organisations

This chapter clarifies the relationship between information, knowledge and competitiveness by introducing the model of the “knowledge ladder”. Based on the knowledge ladder, the terms fields of action and the maturity model of KM are explained. The reader will learn about the conversion of tacit and explicit knowledge according to the SECI-Model while a case study demonstrates the power of story-telling. The issue of structuring and valuing knowledge as part of intangible assets of an organisation is also addressed and a knowledge-based theory of the firm is introduced. The KM tool described at the end of the chapter is the “idea competition”.

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

3. Organisational Forms to Leverage Knowledge

This chapter addresses the issue of finding the right organisational form enabling organisational learning, innovation and “boundaryless” knowledge flows. The art of balancing stability and renewal as well as competition and cooperation is discussed. Here, using several case studies, different forms of organisations are described from the viewpoint of knowledge location and flows. The KM tool described at the end of the chapter is the “After Action Review”.

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

4. Knowledge Is Human

This chapter underlines the significance of people as the knowledge resource of an organisation. The reader learns about new forms of labour relations and knowledge worker productivity. Five groups of actors of the knowledge firm are introduced and particular emphasis is placed on competence development and motivation of knowledge workers. Communities of Practice (CoP) are discussed as an effective format for situated and social learning (For a detailed treatment of the topic we recommend the textbook “Effective knowledge work” by North and Gueldenberg 2011).

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

5. Strategies for Managing Knowledge

This chapter concentrates on strategies for managing knowledge. Guiding principles for a successful KM strategy are introduced. Five questions lead the reader to develop a KM strategy. Relevant KM strategies such as an innovation-oriented KM strategy, “Best Practice” strategy, process-oriented KM strategy and project-oriented KM strategy are explained. The metaphor of organisations as knowledge markets provides principles and rules to implement KM strategies. The KM-tool explained at the end of the chapter is the called “knowledge market”.

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

6. Context Specific Knowledge Management Strategies

This chapter is devoted to knowledge management in such different contexts as managing knowledge across cultures, countries and regions as well as in small businesses. Projection, orchestration and integration approaches in managing international companies are explained. Three cases illustrate the point showing how World Health Organisation, Asian Development Bank and World Bank deal with KM. A framework for implementing KM in SMEs is provided. Challenges and solutions to KM on country and regional level including rural development add a further perspective. The KM tool at the end of the chapter is storytelling.

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

7. How Can Information and Communication Technology Support Knowledge Work

This chapter concentrates on how information and communication technologies associated with the “enterprise 2.0” paradigm can support knowledge work. After analysing the needs of knowledge workers requirements for ICT systems are formulated. The concept of the high performance workplace is introduced and functionalities of advanced ICT systems are explained. The reader also learns about success factors for ICT implementation. The KM Tool presented at the end of the chapter are knowledge taxonomies and maps

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

8. Measuring and Safeguarding Intellectual Capital

This chapter addresses the issues of intellectual capital reporting and how to protect and safeguard the knowledge of an organisation. The challenge to define adequate measures reflecting the contribution of intangible assets to value creation and business success is discussed. Several approaches of intellectual capital reporting and intangible assets monitoring are presented. The second part of the chapter is devoted to knowledge risks and means of protecting intellectual assets. The KM tool presented at the end of the chapter is the knowledge inventory.

Klaus North, Gita Kumta

9. How to Put Knowledge Management into Practice

This chapter provides guidance on implementing knowledge management initiatives in practice. To meet the challenges of the knowledge organisations of the future governance options of KM functions are discussed. The reader learns about several KM implementation frameworks. Kotter’s eight principles for leading change are introduced as KM implementation requires a change of behaviour. To anchor knowledge management practices at individual level five key competences of knowledge workers are explained. The chapter ends with a 12 point programme for KM. The KM tool explained at the end of the chapter is the “Work-out” approach developed by General Electric.

Klaus North, Gita Kumta


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