Information and communication technology (ICT) has brought about an increase in the proportion of present-day financial exchanges accounted for by services1. We are witnessing a transformation of modern economies, characterized by a very significant role of information and knowledge in the creation of wealth2. Knowledge, in the broadest sense, including know-how, constitutes an intangible asset which has a genuine bearing on businesses’ survival. Made up of information and know-how, and connected to a context, knowledge gives rise to interpretation and reflection [DAV 98a]. Knowledge may equally be held by individuals [ALA 01] and by organizations [GRA 96b], for which it is an essential resource. Resource theory views knowledge as a strategic tool, which can lend companies a long-lasting competitive edge [PEN 59, BAR 91, TEE 97]. In order to draw benefit from this intangible resource, organizations look for means, methods, procedures, approaches and technical solutions to effectively manage knowledge [CON 96]. In the context of collaboration and interdependence of resources, organizations also make use of strategic alliances (joint ventures), mergers or other legal forms of association which have an impact on knowledge management [YOO 07, BEN 09a].

The process of knowledge management has been described as comprising multiple interlinked activities: gathering, storage, sharing, use and creation of new knowledge [DAV 98a, ZAC 99, CAR 04, BEN 09b]. However, this process ...

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