Knowledge life cycle, knowledge inventory, and knowledge acquisition strategies

Andrew N K Chen, Yuhchang Hwang, Raghu Santanam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

For a knowledge- and skill-centric organization, the process of knowledge management encompasses three important and closely related elements: (i) task assignments, (ii) knowledge acquisition through training, and (iii) maintaining a proper level of knowledge inventory among the existing workforce. Trade-off on choices between profit maximization in the short run and agility and flexibility in the long term is a vexing problem in knowledge management. In this study, we examine the effects of different training strategies on short-term operational efficiency and long-term workforce flexibility. We address our research objective by developing a computational model for task and training assignment in a dynamic knowledge environment consisting of multiple distinct knowledge dimensions. Overall, we find that organizational slack is an important variable in determining the effectiveness of training strategies. Training strategies focused on the most recent skills are found to be the preferred option in most of the considered scenarios. Interestingly, increased efficiencies in training can actually create preference conflict between employees and the firm. Our findings indicate that firms facing longer knowledge life cycles, higher slack in workforce capacity, and better training efficiencies actually face more difficult challenges in knowledge management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-47
Number of pages27
JournalDecision Sciences
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

Keywords

  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Knowledge inventory
  • Knowledge life cycle
  • Organizational slack
  • Simulation
  • Task assignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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