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How Small KIBS Companies Manage Their Intellectual Capital? Towards an Emergent KM Approach

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The growing interest in Intellectual Capital management and Knowledge Management is now reaching small companies, especially those in the Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) sector. This paper aims to explore this issue, starting from the assumption that a planned and systematic approach to KM, as is used in large companies, is rarely applicable in small organizations. It is more likely that small companies adopt an approach to KM that could be defined as “emergent”, i.e. KM is not planned rationally and in advance, but emerges and is developed along with time. In the paper, the concept of emergent KM approach will be defined and discussed, and three research questions will be examined: a. Is it possible to detect an emergent KM approach in the practice of small KIBS? b. If so, why small KIBS companies follow an emergent KM approach? c. What particular features this approach can have in those companies? The study is based on the results of a qualitative survey involving several owners and managers of small companies operating in the KIBS sector. The survey uses the case study method, and gives grounds for a preliminary analysis of emergent KM approach is small companies offering KIBS. The findings confirm that it is easy to find small companies adopting an emergent approach to KM: in the analysed cases there were no formal KM plans, despite the fact that they have all introduced various KM practices. This shows that there can be the need to define KM approaches that better fit smaller companies. Two possible implications for managers arise. First, although an emergent approach may be seen as unplanned, companies should at least learn how to be aware of their KM practices that “grow from the bottom”, and how to develop and establish them properly. Second, for executives to be able to recognize emergent KM practices, notions and elements of KM need to be introduced in their business background and professional education (e.g. how KM fits into an organization, what KM processes are, what KM tools and practices exist). This may be especially important for executives and owners of small companies.

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Informacje szczegółowe

Kategoria:
Aktywność konferencyjna
Typ:
materiały konferencyjne indeksowane w Web of Science
Tytuł wydania:
7th European Conference on Intellectual Capital (ECIC) strony 25 - 33
Język:
angielski
Rok wydania:
2015
Opis bibliograficzny:
Bolisani E., Scarso E., Zięba M..: How Small KIBS Companies Manage Their Intellectual Capital? Towards an Emergent KM Approach, W: 7th European Conference on Intellectual Capital (ECIC), 2015, Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited,.
Weryfikacja:
Politechnika Gdańska

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