Knowledge is the product of the professional services organisations. It is the essential element that allows the organisation to operate in its industry sector. The knowledge of the organisation is within the human capital of the organisation, which are the workers. This paper will look firstly at current literature on knowledge and professional services organisations, what this knowledge is how this knowledge can be managed. Secondly the paper will review relevant theories and practices associated with Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and how these theories and practises can assist in managing the organisation knowledge. Lastly the paper will attempt tie to together knowledge, SHRM and how the use of SHRM can impact on the organisations competitive advantage.
Within the professional services sector, such as consulting, an employees knowledge of the industry in which the organisation operates is important. This knowledge is applied to the problems encountered in order to develop solutions and answers specific to the problems and clients encountered (Teo, Brown et al 2008). This knowledge is also the organisations competitive advantage and must be harnessed as an asset (Razouck etc 2009) to ensure its most effective use. Harnessing or managing this knowledge can be difficult as knowledge in itself is an abstract, complex notion that can be both tacit and explicit and exists at all levels of from the individual to the organisation itself (Thite, 2004).
But what is knowledge? What types of knowledge can be seen in these firms and how can this knowledge be captured and transferred to others. The literature review concerning professional services firms, found that the majority of researchers considered only tacit and explicit knowledge (Tithe, 2004, razouk, 2009, edvardsen 2009). Tacit knowledge is that knowledge that can only be acquired over time and with experience (Razouk). Tacit knowledge is also associated with elements such as feelings intuition and beliefs (Tithe). Tacit knowledge is associated with an individual, explicit knowledge, on the other hand, is that knowledge that be formulated, structured and made easily accessible (Razouk).
Knowing the types of knowledge can lead Knowledge Management (KM). KM is therefore concerned with the collection, sharing, development and application of that knowledge (Edvarsen 2007). KM needs to be concerned with both types of knowledge encountered in the professional services organisation that is both explicit and tacit (Thite...