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Management article
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Reference no. CMR151
Authors: Michael H Zack
Published by: University of California, Berkeley
Published in: "California Management Review", 1999

Abstract

Today, knowledge is considered the most strategically important resource and learning the most strategically important capability for business organizations. However, many initiatives being undertaken to develop and exploit organizational knowledge are not explicitly linked to or framed by the organization''s business strategy. In fact, most knowledge management initiatives are viewed primarily as information systems projects. While many managers intuitively believe that strategic advantage can come from knowing more than competitors, they are unable to explicitly articulate the link between knowledge and strategy. This article provides a framework for making that link and for assessing an organization''s competitive position regarding its intellectual resources and capabilities. It recommends that organizations perform a knowledge-based SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, comparing their knowledge to that of their competitors and to the knowledge required to execute their own strategy.

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Abstract

Today, knowledge is considered the most strategically important resource and learning the most strategically important capability for business organizations. However, many initiatives being undertaken to develop and exploit organizational knowledge are not explicitly linked to or framed by the organization''s business strategy. In fact, most knowledge management initiatives are viewed primarily as information systems projects. While many managers intuitively believe that strategic advantage can come from knowing more than competitors, they are unable to explicitly articulate the link between knowledge and strategy. This article provides a framework for making that link and for assessing an organization''s competitive position regarding its intellectual resources and capabilities. It recommends that organizations perform a knowledge-based SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, comparing their knowledge to that of their competitors and to the knowledge required to execute their own strategy.

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