Managing the External Knowledge Network

Having explored the dynamics of knowledge acquisition from external sources, I will now briefly look at the role knowledge management (KM) has in the broader, long-term process of building an external knowledge network. Once again, I want to underline that this presentation is only intended as a broad overview of the potential roles of KM, and will not go into any detail on specific topics such as customer or supplier relationship management.

In the previous subsection, the major potential external knowledge sources were identified as:

Each of these categories offer a different set of potential knowledge, as well as different challenges in the acquisition process.

Without looking specifically at KM, the general steps for extending the external knowledge network are as follows:

The role of KM in building the external knowledge network would thus be to:

As one can see, KM plays a supporting role in all areas and is instrumental in the learning process. Its importance will be greater the more knowledge intensive the industry and nature of the relationship.

Due to the complexity of these topics and the vastly different managerial requirements, I will end this discussion with just these general considerations.

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