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Making The Most Of Your Companys Knowledg Essay

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long range planning

Long Range Planning 34 (2001) 421-439

www.lrpjournal.com

Making the Most of Your Company’s Knowledge: A Strategic Framework
Georg von Krogh, Ikujiro Nonaka, Manfred Aben

This paper develops a framework of four strategies for managing knowledge. Companies can leverage their knowledge throughout the organisation, expand their knowledge further based on existing expertise, appropriate knowledge from partners and other organisations, and develop completely new expertise by probing new technologies or markets. The two core processes of knowledge creation and transfer are central to the execution of these strategies, as is the company’s domains of knowledge. The framework is based on conceptualisation about knowledge management practices at Unilever, a multinational fast-moving consumer goods company. k 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. c

Introduction
In the knowledge economy a key source of sustainable competitive advantage and superior profitability within an industry is how a company creates and shares its knowledge.1 The strategic management field is currently developing new concepts and tools for guiding managers in their efforts to ride the waves of the knowledge economy. At the heart of this development are fundamentally new mental maps that give credence to the nature of knowledge. Currently strategic planners, for example, know perfectly well how to analyse the strengths and weakness of a company’s tangible resources, as well as how to match these with opportunities and threats in the environment. They know how to use these analyses for capital resource allocation, for calculating discounted cash-flow from investments in tangible assets; but do they know equally well how to analyse knowledge and allocate resources accordingly to knowledge activities? A number of issues remain open, but one needs to be addressed first: what strategic
0024-6301/01/$ - see front matter k 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved....

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