B&Q Case Study

Topics: Knowledge, Tacit knowledge, Knowledge management Pages: 11 (3687 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Executive Summary3
1.1 Introduction4
1.2 Possession and practice4
3.3 B&Q case5
3.1 Introduction8
3.2 Time distance9
3.3 Technological distance10
3.4 Social distance10
3.5 Cultural distance11
4. Bibliography13

Executive Summary
In a modernized and globalized world, knowledge creation and synergization of knowledge in an organization is truly crucial. As data and information are readily available, and information communication technology (ICT) has highly advanced, organizations such as B&Q need to understand how knowledge creation can assist to improve internal and external processes and also encourage innovation.

In task one, the aim is to differentiate between possession of knowledge and practice of knowledge and examine which epistemology B&Q uses throughout their supply chain. B&Q uses possession knowledge whereby it provides all their vendors with a code of conduct guidelines which they need to follow through. However, in the face of risk and uncertainty in an economic crisis, B&Q should adopt practice of knowledge and enabling people to do differently and better.

In task two, the statement by Stoneman (2010) means that trust and power are the main factors that drive product, process and organizational innovation. For B&Q, due to their power as the distributor, they are able to develop and lay down the process and procedures that all their vendors need to adhere to. However, in an economic crisis, its regimental practice may not work as uncertainty disrupts the flow of the procedures.

1.1 Introduction
The studies on knowledge and its characteristics have long been explored and discussed in the business and supply chain world. With the emergent of technology and innovation, the possession and practice of knowledge has become more essential in this “knowledge society” (Nonaka, 1994; Bell, 1973; Drucker, 1968; Toffler, 1990).

But what is knowledge and how does an organization activate and generate knowledge? Knowledge is defined as “awareness, consciousness, or familiarity gained by experience or learning” (knowledge, n.d) which are the ways people in a social situations would understand and make sense of where they are and what they are doing. When knowledge is conducted and embraced in an organization, it will result to a group of people who develop shared beliefs, behaviours and routines that shape organization capabilities.

Experts such as Polanyi (1966), Nonaka (1994) and Cook and Brown (1999) divide knowledge into two categories called tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is associated with the skills or know-how that people developed through their own experience in specific contexts. Whereas explicit knowledge is something that has been codified, written down or spelled out and is communicable across context.

1.2 Possession and practice
From the word possession itself, one can understand that it is about the knowledge that people have in their mind (Cook and Brown, 1999). Blackler (1995), and Cook and Brown (1999) refer possesion of knowledge as “knowledge” and practice of knowledge as “knowing”. Knowledge is a mental or cognitive capacity which is hierarchical in nature and comprises of data, information etc. moreover, possession of knowledge is a personal property where people render meaning from subjective experiences, perceptions and previous understanding. As human minds are individually unique, hence different people may perceive and intepret the same information or data differently.

Meanwhile, practice of knowledge sees knowledge as something that it developed through social interaction such as project work, group assignment or group discussion. When people practice knowledge, they convert tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge, thus transferring knowledge from one person to another. This is done through sharing stories, experiences or creating...
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