What type of external knowledge is needed on which stage of the companies’ life cycle?

[Deutscher Titel: Welche Art von externem Wissen wird in welchen Lebenszyklusphasen von Unternehmen benötigt?]

Pekka Kess, Kongkiti Phusavat, Josu Takala
Managing external knowledge: framework for organisational life cycles
International Journal of Innovation and Learning 2008 – Vol. 5, No.3  pp. 255 – 265

Abstract: The paper focuses on the issues of Knowledge Management from the external knowledge’s points of view. Knowledge has been raised to be one of the key success factors to an organisation of all sizes. Nevertheless, it is not possible that every organisation can possess all needed knowledge for successful operations. An effective use of external knowledge can help it overcome many difficulties at various stages of its life cycle. The primary challenge is to define what external-knowledge form or shape an organisation should use to improve the likelihood of business success. The initial findings indicate the tendency for start-up companies to emphasise tacit knowledge more – use of mentor and politician – in order to help overcome business barriers. As a company progresses throughout its life cycle, it appears to rely its external knowledge in terms of using guru and coach. This implies more explicit knowledge so that they could likely sustain their business success, and possibly continue to grow in the future. However, more studies still need to be made from different countries in order to help verify this conclusion, and to help establish a suitable framework on the type of external knowledge needed with respect to the stages in the companies’ life cycle.

Keywords: external knowledge; knowledge management; organisational life cycles.

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