Foundations of International Business in the Age of Intellectual Capitalism
New Horizons in International Business series
Chapter 1: Knowledge and capabilities in business management: the risks of tacit knowledge
"Knowledge" is becoming a key component of management studies. Knowledge management has come to be viewed as the sixth administrative field after production management, sales management (marketing), financial management, human resource management, and information management. This is the newest emerging field in the studies of management since Frederick W. Taylor proposed the first field of administration in production management 100 years ago. The study of management has tackled the production management of products. It has been equipped with an arsenal of scientific engineering research accumulated over more than 100 years. If we can clarify principles of knowledge management, as has been achieved for the concepts of production control, we shall be able to correctly position knowledge management within the process of business management. The field of knowledge management itself requires a skill set. This skill set is as technical as production, marketing, financial, human resource and information management. Knowledge management is still in an embryonic stage and has the potential to flourish into a full-fledged occupation in its own right. At present, there is ongoing recognition of the work of knowledge management, and it essentially falls within the responsibility of managers as one of the ubiquitous tasks with which they are entrusted. Interestingly, managers may themselves recognize such work on a tacit level, or they may handle it without being aware. This is the reason why knowledge management is not yet considered as an applied technique for managing organizations.
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