Handbook of Research on Knowledge Management
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Handbook of Research on Knowledge Management

Adaptation and Context

Edited by Anders Örtenblad

This innovative Handbook aims to examine whether there is a need to adapt and widen our understanding of knowledge management. A common definition of knowledge management is taken as the starting point for discussions on its relevance in various contexts, such as Buddhist organizations, law firms, the army and indigenous organizations. Moreover, the universality of Ikujiro Nonaka’s ideas on knowledge management is explored, and some alternative definitions are suggested. This book will appeal to academics and students of business and management, business administration, sociology and organizational behavior. Practitioners, managers and business-owners will also find this an invaluable resource.
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Chapter 9: Knowledge management in energy sector organizations

John S. Edwards


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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