Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Heavin, C;Adam, F
PROCEEDINGS OF THE 3RD EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND EVALUATION
Knowing What we Know: a Study of how Small to Medium Sized Software Enterprises can get Better Visibility on What They Know
2009
January
Validated
1
()
Optional Fields
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
195
205
In today's challenging economic times organisations recognise the need to leverage their existing knowledge resources to sustain market position, but often fail to develop the routines and procedures that would allow them to fully utilise what they have. In addition, while research continues to pursue KM approaches in multinational organisations, there remains a dearth of empirical research in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Notwithstanding organisation size, SMEs like multinationals struggle to manage what they know. While some contend that knowledge may be effectively managed in a smaller company, a more a formalised approach to KM to access relevant knowledge is needed allowing the organisation to seize opportunities as they arise and deal with problems and threats more effectively. The objective of this study was to develop a classification of knowledge activities in SMEs and to capture rich pictures of the actions or events that form part of managing organisational knowledge. From the literature it is apparent that different terms are used for the same/similar knowledge activity. In this paper, we establish a classification of knowledge activities by leveraging the wealth of existing literature. This study then used a qualitative analysis approach to identify incidences of these knowledge activities (KA) in one Irish based SME. The software industry by its very nature is a knowledge industry, focusing on the knowledge rich business processes of software development and sales, six semi-structured interviews were conducted with key employees. From this, occurrences of knowledge activities were identified. This paper concludes by proposing that (1) a classification of KA for SMEs is a useful means of investigating the extent to which one software SME actively pursues a KM approach and (2) that such an approach can allow the firm to gain the visibility on its knowledge which is most useful in reacting to change and. even, pre-empting it.
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