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The Knowledge Chain Model: Activities For Competitiveness

C. Holsapple, Meenu Singh
Published 2001 · Business, Computer Science

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Today, there is a growing recognition by researchers and practitioners about the importance of managing knowledge as a critical source for competitive advantage. Various assertions about competitiveness through knowledge management (KM) are consistent with results of empirical studies and lessons learned on the knowledge highways and byways. In spite of these macro-level contentions and success stories, there has been little investigation of a systematic means for studying connections between KM activity and competitiveness. This chapter advances a knowledge chain model that identifies and characterizes KM activities an organization can focus on to achieve competitiveness. The model is analogous to Porter’ s value chain and is grounded in a descriptive KM framework developed via a Delphi-study involving international KM experts. It is comprised of five primary activities that an organization’ s knowledge processors perform in manipulating knowledge resources, plus four secondary activities that support and guide their performance. Each activity is discussed in detail, including examples. Evidence is provided from the literature illustrating each activity’ s role in adding value to an organization to increase its competitiveness through improved productivity, agility, reputation, and innovation. In conclusion, we present some observations about avenues for future research to extend, test, and apply the model in business practices.
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