7.3. Stakeholders

A prerequisite to understanding the economics of Knowledge Management is to define the typical stakeholders in a corporation in the midst of a KM initiative. As illustrated in Exhibit 7.3, the primary stakeholders are management, knowledge workers, and customers. The secondary stakeholders are investors, the competition, government, and outside services. The significance of each stakeholder is described in more detail next.

EXHIBIT 7.3. EXHIBIT 7.3

7.3.1. Primary Stakeholders

The value of Knowledge Management to the primary stakeholders—management, knowledge workers, and customers—depends on the perspective of the individual stakeholders. For knowledge workers, the value is in being empowered to serve customers more readily and completely and to interact more meaningfully with other knowledge workers. Knowledge workers, whether front line, knowledge engineers, or knowledge analysts, have much to gain—and lose—at the start of a KM initiative. As negative stakeholders, knowledge workers can be replaced with technologies that enable fewer people to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently. In other words, one possible reward for contributing individual knowledge to the organization, whether in the form of rules, heuristics, or flow charts of processes and procedures, is to be downsized.

One value of a KM initiative to individual knowledge workers is ...

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