Adaptation and Context
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Anders Örtenblad
Chapter 9: Knowledge management in energy sector organizations
Knowledge about how to find and use energy sources has been central to the advance of humankind ever since the discovery of how to make fire. As we shall see in this chapter, knowledge management is correspondingly central for most modern energy sector organizations. Energy sources come in several forms, as shown in Figure 9.1 – the traditional ‘mainstream’ of the energy sector has for half a century and more comprised coal, gas, oil, and the electricity produced either from these resources or from nuclear sources. Of growing importance in recent decades are renewable sources, including hydro-electric, solar, wind and marine (wave or tidal) power, and energy from biomass. Several countries have made commitments to the rapid and considerable expansion of electricity from renewable sources, often as part of a national commitment to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Thus, the scope of the sector covers the extraction, refining/treatment and distribution of natural energy resources, and the generation and distribution of electrical power. The crucial part that energy supply plays in national and international infrastructure leads to the first characteristic of the sector – a high degree of visibility in public and political debate. Hence, the stakeholders that one would expect to apply to any organization: employer, employees and customers (plus shareholders when relevant) are joined by society, with an overlap of interests that may well be contradictory.
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