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From Food Tech Innovation Portal

Knowledge management

Why to deal with this? Knowledge management (KM) refers to a set of strategies to identify, acquire, develop and distribute information within an organisation in order to make it accessible and usable to those who need it. Knowledge comprises both “objective”, explicit information and experiences which are acquired by experience and socialisation rather than studying facts. It furthermore includes knowledge about methods, products, markets, clients and competitors.

There are different instruments for an efficient knowledge management, including “traditional” means of communication such as regular face-to-face meetings, video conferences, e-mails etc., but also specialised tools such as intranet, wikis, content and document management systems, data warehousing, data mining, semantic networks, etc. Note that these tools are only as good as the information provided in them. If the data is not regularly updated, users will lose trust in them and not provide new contents, either. One of the most important success factors for an effective KM is a corporate culture stimulating ideas (rather than having employees who are permanently afraid of making mistakes) and avoiding internal competition between employees (which might make them hold back information instead of sharing it). Clear structures and processes as well as efficient tools also play an important role.

Success factors in KM, Source: http://km.nasa.gov/whatis/index.html
When is it suitable/applicable? Knowledge management is becoming more and more important against the background of globalization and global competition, reduced product lifetime and expansion of communication networks, since knowledge is increasingly becoming one of the most important assets for staying innovative and competitive.

Reasons to think about KM include:

  • to avoid loss of knowledge when key employees leave the company or are not available in a critical situation
  • to make sure that “the company knows what the company knows”, i.e. to avoid having several teams working on the same topic over time
  • knowledge and innovation also have an impact on a company’s market value
When is it NOT suitable/applicable? The need for knowledge management certainly depends on the importance of knowledge in a particular company. For example, it is essential in services-based companies and very innovative and highly specialized technology companies serving international markets. It may be less relevant for small, more traditional-style business such as small restaurants serving basically local clients.warning.png"The need for knowledge management certainly depends on the importance of knowledge in a particular company. For example, it is essential in services-based companies and very innovative and highly specialized technology companies serving international markets. It may be less relevant for small, more traditional-style business such as small restaurants serving basically local clients." cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
What costs are related to it (financial, time effort etc.)? Time and effort depends on the needs for knowledge management in a particular company, i.e. in how far their success depends on their knowledge.

With regard to responsibilities for knowledge management, different models can currently be found in companies, ranging from appointing a knowledge manager to having the responsibilities split between departments etc.

Apart from staff costs, consider the costs for IT tools for knowledge management.

What’s the relevant HTE output? Knowledge management per se is not the focus of Hightech Europe. However, the project partners regularly offer workshops to disseminate and transfer scientific and technology information to industry and thus amplify and update the knowledge already available in your company. Furthermore, this website (Food Tech Innovation Portal) can help you identify external partners if a specific expertise is not available in your organization. The portal itself is an interesting example of a knowledge management tool.
Whom can I talk to from the HTE team? SP, ZENIT, IRTA, CENTIV

Relevant internet links Links:
Online databases and tools Tools:
Where to get advice, consultancy? Support:
  • Enterprise Europe Network
  • Specialized management consultancies, innovation consultancies
Related innovation sheets Change management, Communication strategy, Innovation management, Management x pre feasibility, Management x feasibility, Management x development, Management x launching

Title Knowledge management
Aspect Management
Latest Version 25-07-2012
Completed by ZENIT


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Created by Hte zenit on 25 July 2012, at 08:46