2Knowledge Management: From Theory to Practice

Beatrice Bressan and Daan Boom

2.1 Knowledge-Based and Innovative Organization

Various observers describe today's global economy as one in transition to a Knowledge-Based Economy,1) that is, an increasing interconnected globalized economy where knowledge assets such as know-how, expertise and capacity, innovation, knowledge networks, and creativity play a distinguished role towards sustainable growth. Although, in many countries and organizations around the world this works in different ways, research shows that countries and organizations capable of creating the enabling conditions for knowledge to be developed and shared are performing better, as well as showing higher social and economic progress. Research also shows that effective and sustainable organizations (both profit and nonprofit) tend to display a high degree of the following characteristics: efficiency; adaptability; flexibility; and financial prudence.2) The first three characteristics are key dimensions of any knowledge-based and innovative organization.

  • Efficiency allows an organization to implement and follow certain routines, whether production- or administration-based. Its business processes are well defined and documented, and the organization implements production, knowledge or administrative routines for delivering its core products and services at a defined high quality and price.
  • Adaptability is the organizational capacity to learn, intervene and innovate ...

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