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The Building Blocks Approach To Knowledge Management

1019 words - 5 pages

The building block approach by Probst et al. is probably the most famous knowledge management concept in Germany. The authors describe their knowledge management concept as a practical approach towards knowledge management. The concepts consist of different knowledge management building blocks that influence each other (Figure 5).


The arrangement of the building blocks is divided into an inner and outer cycle. The outer cycle contains the classic elements of management theory, knowledge goals and knowledge evaluation. These building blocks determine which goals the company wants to achieve and how achievement is measured and evaluated. The inner cycle describes how the company, starting from the knowledge goals, manages to create and save rele-vant knowledge for usage. These building blocks are the knowledge management activi-ties knowledge identification, knowledge acquisition, knowledge development, knowledge distribution / sharing, knowledge utilization and knowledge retention. The building blocks are related to each other and before a measure in one building block is implemented the influences on the other buildings blocks should be considered.
For the knowledge goals the current organizational goals should be expanded by specif-ic knowledge goals. Knowledge goals should be set for the three different management goal levels. On the normative goal level, the framework conditions for a knowledge-oriented organizational culture have to be set. The mission statement of the company is playing an important role in this context and should be extended by a knowledge man-agement mission statement. In addition the support of top management should be as-sured. On a strategic level the goals for the target skill set for knowledge management are defined in accordance with the organizational strategy. Lastly, on a operative level, the goals of the upper levels have to be operationalized in order to assure the implemen-tation of knowledge management. It has to be made sure that the goals are set in accord-ance with the already existing goals on this level. The building block “Knowledge Identification” aims at identifying the existing internal and external knowledge with the goal to create an acceptable level of transparency for the existing knowledge. Through the identification of knowledge the organization is able to manage its knowledge re-sources systematically and to identify duplication, overloads and gaps. The building block “Knowledge Acquisition” deals with the absorption of abilities from external sources, such as external partner or stakeholder. Knowledge can also be “purchased”, e.g. by poaching employees from competitors or more radically to take over another company. In addition, existing cooperation with stakeholders and business partners could be intensified and leveraged. The building block “Knowledge Development” aims at the creation of new knowledge within the organization. This includes the creation of new methods, techniques,...

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