Towards effective knowledge management: An analysis of European manufacturing SMEs
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Cormican, K. and Van Leeuwen, M. (2006) Towards effective knowledge management: An analysis of European manufacturing SMEs Proceedings of eChallenges Barcelona, Spain, 2006-10-25- 2006-10-27
Knowledge is a key resource that must be managed within European organisations in general and because of their importance to the economy Manufacturing SMEs in particular. The key challenges that face such organisations are; ensuring that they have the appropriate knowledge to support their operations and ensuring that they optimise these knowledge resources available to them. In recent years, researchers, consultants and industrialists have developed approaches in an attempt to address these requirements. However, research indicates that organisations are still failing to convert individual skills and competencies into tangible products and services. In other words, companies are not reaping the full benefits of knowledge management projects. This paper explores the main problems with sharing knowledge within and between teams in Manufacturing SMEs. Findings from a qualitative study suggest that the key problems are person centric and consequently managers should focus their efforts on improving critical areas such as communication, motivation and trust as well as people oriented systems, methods and tools.