Edited by Günter K. Stahl and Ingmar Björkman
Chapter 7: Global Knowledge Management and HRM
Paul Sparrow Desouza and Evaristo (2003: 62) noted recently that ‘the literature addressing management of knowledge in a global context is best described as sparse. To date there is yet to be a signiﬁcant undertaking that looks at issues in managing knowledge across borders’. When analysing the capabilities that are deemed necessary to support a knowledge-based enterprise (Beckman, 1999; Grant & Baden-Fuller, 2004; Nevis, DiBella & Gould, 1997; Ruggles, 1998; Staples, Greenaway & McKeen, 2001) three clusters arise: 1. 2. knowledge acquisition and creation: generation of new knowledge fundamental to the long-term viability of the enterprise; knowledge capture and storage: creation of an inventory of knowledge so the organization knows what knowledge it possesses, and where it resides. The maintenance of current knowledge in usable form so that it remains valuable; knowledge diﬀusion and transfer: subsequent mobilization and ﬂow of knowledge within the organization that creates knowledge-based value. 3. There the consensus ends. If we ask how such capabilities may be put into action and what they actually look like there is much speculation. Theory often precedes any strong evidence base and there are still weaknesses in our knowledge about knowledge management. This chapter, it is hoped, contributes by highlighting a series of integration mechanisms that are necessary to assist in the acquisition, capture and diﬀusion of knowledge in international organizations. The chapter outlines ﬁve main forms of global knowledge management, or integration mechanisms: (a) organizational design and the speciﬁc issue of centres of excellence, (b) managing systems and...
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