Tokyo Tech News
May 31, 2010
Knowledge management – which effectively means making the most of your employees’ skills - has been shown to be a strategic source of competitive advantage in business. However, the various processes designed to enhance the productivity of knowledge do not always contribute equally to the organization’s capabilities.
Now, Dai Senoo at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Remy Magnier-Watanabe at University of Tsukuba have conducted a study focusing on workers’ perceptions and behaviors, and found that knowledge management strategies should be carefully tailored to each individual or group of workers.
The researchers began with the aim of identifying the relationship between each mode of the knowledge management process and multiple sources of competitive advantage. They collected questionnaire data from the entire population of a company’s head office in Japan.
Their results show that various knowledge management activities, especially those methods known as ‘combination’, are an important source of competitive advantage. Further benefits can be reaped if businesses spend more time on knowledge management tasks, in particular ‘socialization’.
Overall, the study implies that knowledge management strategies should be tailored to fit the discriminate beliefs and actions of each group of workers. In particular, the strategies should consider the level of congruence between the theories that the workers believe in, and how they actually function in the real world of the workplace.
Structural model of the links between knowledge management methods (left) and sources of competitive advantage (right).
Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology Industrial Engineering and Management