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Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Second Edition by MARJORIE A. LYLES, MARK EASTERBY-SMITH

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Knowledge Management in Organizations

We adopt the knowledge management framework developed by Alavi and Leidner (2001), which is based on the view of organizations as knowledge systems that include four knowledge processes: creation, storage and retrieval, transfer, and application. With over 600 academic citations at the time of this writing, this framework has received considerable research support and remains valid in the current environment, though we incorporate refinements to the processes based on evolution of the knowledge management literature. In addition to the process view, we also adopt the view of practice, particularly in terms of Brown and Duguid’s communities of practice (1991) and networks of practice (2000).

Knowledge management processes

The knowledge-based view postulates that firms exist because it is difficult to generate, transfer, and apply all the required types of knowledge via markets. Thus, firms can be viewed as systems created for creating, storing and retrieving, transferring and sharing, and applying the knowledge required for development and delivery of products and/or services. Some authors (Sambamurthy and Subramani, 2005; Takeishi, 2001; Teece, Pisano, and Shuen, 1997) have considered the processes of knowledge creation, storage and retrieval, transfer, and application to be core and fundamental organizational capabilities. These processes, briefly described below, provide a target of opportunity for the application of Web 2.0 technologies ...

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