Enterprise knowledge management
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Cormican, K. and O'Sullivan, D. (2000) Enterprise knowledge management Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Irish Manufacturing Committee Galway, Ireland, 2000-08-23- 2000-08-25
The knowledge-based theory of a firm suggests that knowledge is the only remaining sustainable resource that can provide competitive advantage in dynamic environments. Knowledge is a key resource that must be actively managed if manufacturing companies wish to achieve success in the decades ahead. Knowledge management refers to the ability to capture and leverage what employees know in order to share efficiencies or create innovative new products, processes or systems. It is an emerging discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, managing and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. However, research indicates that manufacturing enterprises are are not exploiting the full potential of knowledge management tools and techniques. In other words, they are finding it difficult to implement knowledge based practices. This failure can be attributed to organisations' lack of understanding of ways in which knowledge workers communicate and operate through social processes of collaborating, sharing knowledge and building on each other's ideas. With this in mind, this paper aims to provide a better understanding of the concept of knowledge and knowledge related issues in a manufacturing environment. More specifically, it discusses how actively managing knowledge can enable product and process innovation by ensuring that appropriate, accurate, reliable and timely information and knowledge is being applied to decisions. The knowledge process is identified and examined in some detail. The substantive element of the research centres on establishing the design goals or functional requirements needed to build a knowledge management solution for product innovation. This Groupware based information system is being designed specifically to facilitate the sharing and integration of product related information and knowledge in a manufacturing environment.