Knowledge management

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BAIBA-650 - Strategic Management – Summer term 2010

Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften

Internationale Betriebswirtschaft






1.1 How has Knowledge Management been introduced? 1.2 What are the stakes of Knowledge Management?

2.1 What is Knowledge Management? 2.2 What are tools of Knowledge Management?


3.1 Link to the corporate strategy 3.2 Example: The case Matsushita



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Generally, Knowledge Management (KM) is the entire of methods and techniques in order to detect, to identify, to analyse and to share the knowledge between themembers of organizations. It aims to develop and to circulate them. It lets also organize the knowledge created by the company, for example the marketing, R&D… and/or the knowledge gained from the outside world. The company receives the raw information and it changes it into knowledge. Managing knowledge involves creating an environment within an organisation that facilitates the creation, transferand sharing of knowledge.

KM is at the crossroads of different fields such as human resources, social sciences, information and communication technologies (ICT). It can also be recognized as a managerial approach. It is not only to manage a stock of information; KM takes into account the internal and external context of the organization and its evolution.

The written documentation willpresent in the first part why companies might be interested in KM? What are the stakes of Knowledge Management? In the second one will define the KM a more precisely with its notions and concepts. Finally, in the third one will speak about the relationships with the company.


FIRST PART 1.1 How has the knowledge management been introduced?
Since the early eighties, a trend developed aroundthe idea that the competitiveness of company depends essentially on the acquisition, the increased standing of assets and skills they have. However, KM really gained momentum in mid nineties when the concrete achievements have been executed in the United States, in France and especially in Japan.

“KM, as a real discipline, follows the thinking of academics and pioneers such as Peter Drucker, inthe 1970s, Karl-Erik Sveiby in the late 1980s, and Nonaka and Takeuchi in the 1990s" (National Service Health, 2006).

KM has been introduced in a particular context in which organizations were and still are swamped with information. We feel more the need for information. The internal, external, explicit and implicit knowledge becomes a major factor in the development and success of thecompanies. In other words, KM is imperative.

The main difficulty of companies is to identify the information and transform it into value added. All the companies receive knowledge a part of which is in documents and the employees hold the other one. KM will be responsible for transcribing, transmitting and capitalizing documentary knowledge but also knowledge of employees. Company accumulatesinformation under several forms: business skills, know-how... Information and knowledge become the wealth of modern organizations. The distinction between information and knowledge is essential. “Knowledge is the human capacity to make of the sense from the information.” The continuum 1 would be: data, information, knowledge, learning and enterprise strategy.


Cf. annex 1


1.2 What arethe stakes of Knowledge Management?
- The aim of KM is to delete the wasted time caused by the solving of same problems. If KM did not exist, the firm will always face the same difficulties without knowing they have already been solved before, or a colleague will be able to provide solutions. KM allows reducing redundancy, mistakes and speeding up the solving of problems.

- Make an inventory...