Assessing competitiveness with knowledge metrics

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Conference Proceeding

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Research over the past decade has established that managing knowledge assets can be a strategic choice, as different types of knowledge demand different sharing techniques. Indeed, in some cases extensive investment in knowledge management (KM) systems may be necessary to compete while in others it may not be worth the expense. With the advent of other intangibles of value such as big data systems and business analytics/intelligence, intangibles different from knowledge, the strategic choices have become even more complex. Whether a competitive situation calls for systems for managing knowledge, big data, intelligence or all of the above can vary dramatically. Metrics have developed to assess these different competitive situations, giving us a general idea of the levels of data, explicit knowledge, tacit knowledge, and intelligence in any given industry or industry sector. Thus, we know that industries such as pharmaceuticals require competence in managing all intangibles. Others, such as financial services, seem to develop very little knowledge even though big data and intelligence requirements are very high. Alternatively, branded consumer goods often have high levels of knowledge but little intelligence. We also have some evidence of what the nature of the critical intangible might be in given industries (e.g. in operational efficiency, in customer relationship management). What we don't necessarily have is a lot of hard evidence about the nature of those intangibles. This paper will explore some additional metrics (key personnel, brand equity, social media sentiment), seeking to add to our explanations of the actual intangibles reflected in the more general metrics. The point is to develop some more specific, more objective metrics allowing us to take a deeper look inside organizations with the aim of better understanding how intangible assets, especially knowledge, contribute to competitiveness.

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Proceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM

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