Abstract

A cohesive Knowledge Management (KM) strategy is found at the cornerstone of every successful business enterprise's overall business strategy. The full benefit of this strategy can only be achieved through a dynamic, technology-enabled framework that encourages best and better practices to capture the outputs of human innovation and creative knowledge. Competitive pressures and technological convergence, most prevalent in high technology business sectors, have demonstrated the critical need for an information strategy that can harness and discern the continual amass of intellectual property. The continual accumulation of information and knowledge critical to the sustained viability of many business organizations, presents significant and complex management challenges. The dynamic changes in economic conditions and technical innovation and advance, coupled with the need to manage the outputs of human innovation and creative capacity, continues to present a paradigm shift from the traditional management approaches to more adaptive, dynamic, non-traditional management approaches and technology solutions. A major KM challenge many organizations continue to face is no longer just how to capture and manage their intellectual property, but how to identify and discern between true intellectual content and simple information, the "real" knowledge of their business. A successful KM strategy becomes synonymous with the overall business strategy, and includes the requirement for a process model that provides a framework that can be adapted to an ever-changing business model. This framework must provide the ability to identify and discern between static data or information and dynamic intellectual property, which the latter is often the direct output of human creativity and innovation.1 Accordingly, one important aspect of KM as a practice is the development of knowledge transfer systems. However, the one-size-fits-all approach to the technical solution is only part of the success equation.2 The other critical element in the equation is the approach to integrate it into the related business process framework. The means of specific process improvement may vary based on business requirements and scope of technical solution, but the underlying basis of need for change or improvement remains a constant. A foundational framework for business process strategy and execution takes on much greater significance as part of the overall business strategy. Thomas A. Stewart, a member of the board of editors at Fortune Magazine, says "Because knowledge has become the single most important factor of production, managing intellectual assets has become the single most important task of business." This paper will focus on the discipline of knowledge management and associated knowledge transfer practices in a pragmatic context to illustrate its importance as an integral component of a successful business strategy. This includes the perspectives of both as strategic asset in the management of intellectual capital, and as an enabling technology to leverage the intellectual capital for business fulfillment. The assertions and discussions put forth, while centered on knowledge management, can be paralleled for several IT-centric business disciplines. However, the analysis of the research and case studies referenced in this paper will illustrate the growing breadth and importance of knowledge assets as the primary cornerstone in a broad spectrum of business disciplines. More importantly, it will clearly demonstrate the critical need to effectively manage and control knowledge assets for competitive advantage as part of the overall business strategy. 1 Yogesh Malhotra, "Knowledge Management for E-business Performance: Advancing Information Strategy to Internet Time"; Information Strategy, The Executive's Journal. Summer 2000, vol. 16 (4), pp. 5-16 2 James Conlan, "Improving Business Processes", KMWorld, November/December 2001, pp. S13.

Publication Date

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Student Type

Graduate

Degree Name

Information Sciences and Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)

Advisor

Larry Hill

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Yacci

Advisor/Committee Member

Tim Wells

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

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