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Chapter_4 - CHAPTER 4 Recognizing a Firm's Intellectual...

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Recognizing a Firm’s Intellectual Assets: Moving beyond a Firm’s Tangible Resources >learning objectives 4 After reading this chapter, you should have a good understanding of: LO1 Why the management of knowledge professionals and knowledge itself are so critical in today’s organizations. LO2 The importance of recognizing the interdependence of attracting, developing, and retaining human capital. LO3 The key role of social capital in leveraging human capital within and across the firm. LO4 The importance of social networks in knowledge management and in promoting career success. LO5 The vital role of technology in leveraging knowledge and human capital. LO6 Why “electronic” or “virtual” teams are critical in combining and leveraging knowledge in organizations and how they can be made more effective. LO7 The challenge of protecting intellectual property and the importance of a firm’s dynamic capabilities. CHAPTER
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O ne of the most important trends that managers must consider is the significance of the knowledge worker in today’s economy. Managers must both recognize the importance of top talent and provide mechanisms to leverage human capital to innovate and, in the end, develop products and services that create value. The first section addresses the increasing role of knowledge as the primary means of wealth generation in today’s economy. A company’s value is not derived solely from its physical assets, such as plant, equipment, and machinery. Rather, it is based on knowledge, know-how, and intellectual assets—all embedded in people. The second section discusses the key resource itself, human capital, which is the foundation of intellectual capital. We explore ways in which the organization can attract, develop, and retain top talent—three important, interdependent activities. With regard to attracting human capital, we address issues such as “hiring for attitude, training for skill.” One of the issues regarding developing human capital is encouraging widespread involvement throughout the organization. Our discussion on retaining human capital addresses issues such as the importance of having employees identify with an organization’s mission and values. We also address the value of a diverse workforce. The attraction, development, and retention of human capital are necessary but not sufficient conditions for organizational success. In the third section we address social capital—networks of relationships among a firm’s members. This is especially important where collaboration and sharing information are critical. We address why social capital can be particularly important in attracting human capital and making teams effective. We also address the vital role of social networks—both in improving knowledge management and in promoting career success.
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