A Critical Review of Knowledge Management as a Management Tool

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Journal of Knowledge Management
Emerald Article: A critical review of knowledge management as a management tool Maria Mårtensson

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To cite this document: Maria Mårtensson, (2000),"A critical review of knowledge management as a management tool", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 4 Iss: 3 pp. 204 - 216 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13673270010350002 Downloaded on: 23-04-2012 References: This document contains references to 78 other documents Citations: This document has been cited by 18 other documents To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com This document has been downloaded 12944 times.

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A critical review of knowledge management as a management tool Maria Martensson Ê

Introduction
Over the past several years there have been intensive discussions about the importance of knowledge management (KM) within our society. Scholars and observers from disciplines as disparate as sociology, economics, and management science agree that a transformation has occurred ± ``knowledge'' is at centre stage (Davenport et al., 1998). KM and related strategy concepts are promoted as important and necessary components for organisations to survive and maintain their competitive keenness. It has become necessary for managers and executives to address ``KM'' (Goodman and Chinowsky, 1997). KM is considered a prerequisite for higher productivity and flexibility in both the private and the public sectors. McKern (1996) argues that powerful forces are reshaping the economic and business world and many call for a fundamental shift in organisation processes and human resources strategy. The prime forces of change include globalisation, higher degrees of complexity, new technology, increased competition, changing client demands, and changing economic and political structures. Organisations are beginning to recognise that technology-based competitive advantages are transient and that the only sustainable competitive advantages they have are their employees (Black and Synan, 1997). This development has forced steep learning curves as organisations struggle to adapt quickly, respond faster, and proactively shape their industries (Allee, 1996). To remain at the forefront and maintain a competitive edge organisations must have a good capacity to retain, develop, organise, and utilise their employee competencies (Gronhaug and Nordhaug, 1992). È The commonality of the above studies is that they all regard knowledge as a critical factor for an organisation's survival. However, knowledge has always been a valuable asset (Chase, 2000) and an important production component, but what is KM? Is it a new way to understand organising and organisations, is it a tool for exploiting knowledge, or is it just This study was supported by the European Commission, the OECD, the Swedish Council...
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