Knowledge Management and SPL-KM Model


The creation of a global society with possibilities of knowledge sharing is among the contributions of the IT revolution and globalization. In the knowledge society, the value-creating strategies and long-term viability of a firm depend on sustaining its competitive advantage. The knowledge-based view of the firm draws upon the resource-based view and considers knowledge as a distinctively unique resource that should be managed. Organizational knowledge can be characterized as explicit and tacit, and embedded.

Knowledge management (KM) refers to the ability to create and manage a culture and structure that encourage and facilitate the creation, appropriate use, and sharing of knowledge to improve organizational performance and effectiveness. Organizational KM includes the identification, acquisition, storing, and dissemination of tacit, explicit, and embedded knowledge.

Conceptualizations of KM as well as of intellectual and human capital in organizational design are usually guided by various perspectives such as information-processing theory, organizational learning theory, knowledge creation, dynamic capabilities, and resource-based theory of the firm.

Knowledge Management Systems

Some scholars provided a classification of KMS based on the tacit and explicit dimensions. Four different classes have been identified: (a) dynamic systems, (b) process oriented systems, (c) integrated systems, (and (d) analytical processing systems. Examples of such applications are knowledge bases, business intelligence services, corporate information portals, communities of practice, social networks, and customer relationship management services.

Well-known KM initiatives and best practices organizations include Accenture (integrative solution), Amazon.com (integrative solution), Buckman Laboratories (integrative networks), Ernst & Young (integrative solution), McKinsey & Company (intranet knowledge portal), Price Water House Coopers (integrative solution), or World Bank (communities of practice).

The SPL-KM Model

The purpose of my research on KM is to propose a Knowledge Management (KM) Scholarly-Practice-Leadership (SPL) model. The KM-SPL model is a framework that integrates practitioner knowledge, research competencies, and leadership excellence in a knowledge management initiative. It draws upon the resource-based view of competitive advantage that suggests that organizations with valuable, unique and non-substitutable resources gain sustainable competitive advantage and superior performance. Within this model, technical departments or teams (ICT Department, Communication and website development teams) have a central role in a knowledge management initiative because of their role in developing various innovative knowledge management systems.

The KM-SPL model suggests that knowledge organizations require an innovative leadership style totally different from the one typically used by most leaders. Innovative leadership emanates from manager’s creative initiatives, intellectual preeminence, and technical or unique expertise that create a knowledge management culture and structure. The KM-SPL uses the nine activity classes: five primary activity classes (acquisition, selection, generation, assimilation, and emission) and four secondary activity classes (measurement, control, coordination, and leadership).

The KM-SPL model has been successfully implemented in different organizations and presented recently to the African Development Bank in Tunisia (read my interview at the AfDB). This model has wide application for almost any type of organization.

Some pictures of the Conference on KM at the AfDB, Tunisia, September 8, 2009.

Dr. Nkoyock at AfDBÂ Â Â

AfDB Conf on KM


For more articles on KM, please read my blog.