3. Discuss how different perspectives and approaches to managing knowledge may lead to an
organisation’s competitive advantage, supporting your views with pertinent literature and examples.
Knowledge management (KM) is a relatively new concept that emerged 15 or 20 years ago and which presents knowledge as a process, rather as something that people have. Blacker (1995) himself talks of “knowing as a process”, thus something far more complex and ambiguous than the classical and cognitive views that we could have of knowledge. Moreover, this assumption implies, as we shall see, that management is not neutral or objective but that it is intertwined in power relations and social processes that help to achieve the KM’s goals set by managers. Through knowledge management, organisations seek to fully utilize the knowledge that they possess, to create or acquire useful knowledge, in order to achieve maximum effective usage and thus, positively influence organizational performance. By increasing their effective knowledge utilization, it is believed that organisations can acquire greater benefits and acquire competitive advantage. Yet the ways of knowledge management processes are numerous and various and their effectiveness can depend on the type of organisation that necessitates them.
Acquiring competitive advantage through knowledge management has not a sole possible outcome but many, and this might result in better knowledge practices, improved organizational behaviours, better decisions or improved organizational performance (King, 2009). Here, a first approach to gain competitive advantage could be the management of innovation and this has been particularly explored by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995). In their spiral of knowledge model, they focus on the creation of knowledge through the interaction of both explicit and tacit knowledge. According to this theory, in order to accumulate and trigger new spirals of knowledge creation, the key concepts... [continues]
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