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Knowledge Management Toolkit, The: Practical Techniques for Building a Knowledge Management System

by Amrit Tiwana
  If your organization is confused by vendor buzz and consultant pitches about how they and their products can solve all your knowledge problems, be forewarned: It's not that easy. Knowledge management (KM) is just about 35 percent technology. While technology is the easy part, it's the people and processes part that is hard.
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Knowledge Management Practice

Proponents of knowledge management argue that long-term competitive advantage can come from mapping and tapping tacit knowledge. But simply agreeing with this principle on the grounds of commonsense does not tell us how to do it. And many accounts of Knowledge Management fall down on this issue.

One notable exception is The Knowledge Management Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Building a Knowledge Management System (1999) by Amrit Tiwana. Tiwana points out that:

"In the technology industry, companies that have prospered are not the companies that have invented new technology, but those that have applied it. Microsoft is perhaps a good example of a company that had first relied on good marketing, then on its market share, and now on its innovative knowledge - mostly external."

Tiwana considers that Microsoft has also learned a great deal from its past failures, describing its founder Bill Gates as "the richest man in the world: a fierce, tireless competitor who hires people with the same qualities." Microsoft uses knowledge management without a specific knowledge management agenda and gains by applying knowledge rather than creating it. In fact, according to Tiwana, tangible business assets such as technology, patents or market share can only provide a business with a temporary advantage. Eventually, a particular market-leading technology, for example, becomes the staple of every business in the same industry. Tiwana instances Citibank, which introduced the Automated Teller Machine (ATMs - 'Hole in the wall' cash machines). This development as a competitive advantage initially but now every bank has them.

Often organizations do not know what they know. And if they do know what they DID know:

- That knowledge can be out of date
- The person(s) who possessed it may have gone - perhaps to a competitor
- The knowledge has been replaced or updated
- The location or possessor of the new knowledge is not known.

Knowledge Management

Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

Data, Information and Knowledge

The Psychology of Expertise

The Wealth of Knowledge: Intellectual Capital and the Twenty-first Century Organization

by Thomas A. Stewart
  In his new book, The Wealth of Knowledge, Stewart--widely acknowledged as the world’s leading expert on working with intellectual capital in today’s knowledge economy--reveals how today’s companies are applying the concept of intellectual capital into day-to-day operations to dramatically increase their success in the marketplace.
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If Only We Knew What We Know : The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice

by Carla S. O'Dell, Nilly Essaides
  While companies search the world over to benchmark best practices, vast treasure troves of knowledge and know-how remain hidden right under their noses: in the minds of their own employees, in the often unique structure of their operations, and in the written history of their organizations. Now, acclaimed productivity and quality experts Carla O'Dell and Jack Grayson explain for the first time how applying the ideas of Knowledge Management can help employers identify their own internal best practices and share this intellectual capital throughout their organizations.
  More information and prices from:
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