Knowledge management has been identified as one of the most important resources that contribute to the competitive advantage of an organization. This is due to the fact that knowledge management helps the organization to create, acquire, share and use knowledge in order to enhance learning and performance in the organization. It also allows the organization to sustain its "organization memory" - all the data and information stored from the creation of the company throughout its life activity and which can be brought at any time to bear on present decisions. This encourages avoiding the error of managers' poor organizational memory. Knowledge management also creates a culture which values learning and this way it better prepares managers to learn from past experiences and helps adapted to future contingencies. For instance, Cisco Systems built up a detailed organizational memory on managed acquisitions and the integrated acquired companies. Cisco derives almost 40% of it revenue from these acquisitions. Once an acquisition is consummated, Cisco uses a documented and repeatable process for integration. Moreover, knowledge management focuses on the organization's most important economic asset: its employees. It shows the value of promoting employees and placing emphasis on both departmental communication and inter-departmental communication. It shows that building and fostering social networks can lead to the increase of collective dispositional knowledge and can turn explicit the remaining tacit knowledge. In order to gain a more concrete vision of knowledge management issues within a company, we will analyze the case of the organization "Celtic linen".
[...] While, Celtic linen employs a very informal knowledge management system, finding and storing knowledge is of strategic importance. This is done through use of information technology and social networks. Celtic uses its to store information and knowledge. This is the formal information system used within the company. Different people have different access levels to knowledge stored on the information system. However all employees have access to some level. Knowledge is also shared through social networks that exist at the organisation. [...]
[...] The competitive advantage of Celtic would be the scale of our operation versus our smaller players and the integrated laundries. As well, the fact that we are outside Dublin gives us the advantage of cheaper and plentiful labour, cheap water and effluent and land and premises What is the company's position on internal recruitment? Are there any training courses offered to further employees' skill sets/knowledge? If there is current training course please explain We organise courses at every level of the organisation, depending on the requirements. [...]
[...] Bibliography 1 S.Pan and H.Scarbrough (1999) “Knowledge Management in Practice: An Exploratory Case study”, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Swan et al (course notes, week 3 Eric H Kessler, Paul E Bierly III, Shanthi Gopalakrihnan (2001), Vasa Syndrome: insight from a 17th century new product disaster. The Academy of Management Executive 4 Hislop, Knowledge Management in Organisations 5 Brown and Duguid, (1998) “Organizing Knowledge”, California Management Review, 40(3):90-111 Additional information Top Level Management Questionnaire 1. What is the overall business strategy? [...]
[...] Finally the culture of the Celtic group doesn't seem to have any barrier regarding knowledge sharing among the employees “horizontally” speaking, as there seem to be no real competition and quite relaxed atmosphere allowing them to talk during their “boring and routine work”. Nevertheless, it is noticeable that there is no “bottom-up” and communication, which leads to a complete segregation of knowledge and information. The top managers and executives do not share their knowledge with the workers and even with the middle managers, neither have they encouraged the knowledge creation activities. [...]
[...] No Do you feel the company values knowledge creation and sharing? Yes - How does the company show this? By adapting to changes - How do you feel the company could improve on capturing knowledge? - Do you feel as an employee that you are a knowledge worker or that knowledge management is important in this organisation? How can any one do the most basic of task without having KNOWLEDGE i.e. to sweep the floor you most know where the brush and dust pan is kept ,where to sweep and where to put the rubbish. [...]
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