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BecerraIM_ch04 - Instructor's Manual Organizational Impacts...

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Instructor's Manual Organizational Impacts of Knowledge Management 4- 1 Chapter 4: Organizational Impacts of Knowledge Management TEACHING OBJECTIVES To help the student understand the impacts of KM on organizations and organizational performance at several levels: People Processes Products Overall performance KEY TERMS The following alphabetical list identifies the key terms discussed in this chapter. The page number for each key term is provided. Community of practice, p. 53 Economy of scale, p. 62 Economy of scope, p. 62 Effectiveness, p. 55 Efficiency, p. 55 Externalization, p. 52 Innovation, p. 55 Internalization, p. 52 Knowledge-based products, p. 58 Socialization, p. 53 Sustainable competitive advantage, p. 62 Value-added products, p. 58 TEACHING SUGGESTIONS In an undergraduate course, this section might be covered in less detail than some of the other chapters in this book. The instructor might consider excluding some of the detailed material on indirect impacts on organizational performance, especially page 62. Indeed, it is conceivable than an instructor in a more technically oriented course (such as undergraduates majoring in information systems) might skip this chapter entirely, while perhaps using some examples from it in the first class to emphasize the importance of KM. This chapter would be of much greater value to graduate students. In using this chapter with graduate students, especially with business students, the section on the impacts on organizational performance (pages 60-63) might be emphasized the most. The instructor could also consider switching this chapter’s in-class discussion, beginning with organizational impacts first, and then discussing how that impact might come about through the impacts on people, processes, and products.
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Instructor's Manual Organizational Impacts of Knowledge Management 4- 2 REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. Briefly enumerate the ways in which KM can impact an organization. Knowledge management can impact organizations in various ways and at several levels by way of people, processes, products and overall organizational performance. At all of these levels, Knowledge management affects organizations in two ways: 1. Knowledge management can help create knowledge, which can then contribute to improved performance of organizations along these four levels. 2. Knowledge management can directly cause improvements along these four levels. Let us now briefly consider each of the levels discussed above: Impact on People: KM can facilitate learning throughout the organization, which allows the organization to be constantly growing and changing in response to the market and the technology, and causes the employees to become more flexible, and enhances their job satisfaction. Impact on Processes: Knowledge management also enables improvements in organizational processes such as marketing, manufacturing, accounting, engineering, public relations, etc. These impacts can be seen along three major dimensions: effectiveness, efficiency, and degree of innovation of the processes.
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