Sauce for the gander: What can micro enterprises learn from globals organisations about implementing knowledge management?

  • J. Sheerman and I. Rodgers (2009). 10th European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2009, 794-801
  • Abstract: This paper presents the initial findings from Phase 1 of a project being conducted, over the next eighteen months, within the Local Enterprise Agency (LEA) network in Northern Ireland (NI). LEAs are non-profit-taking organisations limited by guarantee. They have a remit to respond to the needs of small and growing businesses by providing a range of appropriate support services. In particular, but not exclusively, LEAs target pre-start, start-up and micro-businesses and assist in building their ability to survive and to achieve sustainability and year-on-year growth. The study is being carried out against a backdrop of deepening economic recession and increasing competition-NI is a small enterprise economy, with only 19% of employment in NI by large firms (250+ employees) compared with 41% in the UK. There are numerous potential changes facing NI LEAs in the short term, including a Review of Public Administration, reducing levels of EU funding and funded programmes; and increasing competitiveness from local Further Education Colleges, all of which are forcing the LEAs to review how they can compete effectively, and achieve long-term sustainability. This project will investigate Knowledge Management (KM) within LEAs and make recommendations as to how they can best employ KM applications and interventions. Phase 1, a pilot study, is currently underway in one LEA, Ballymena Business Centre (BBC). Phase 2 will be conducted across the remaining 26 LEAs. During Phase 1 a range of research methods are being used to investigate issues related to the implementation of KM, including Village Hall Meetings, self assessment questionnaires, structured interviews and focus groups to investigate issues related to the implementation of KM. Key study areas include: Identification of the key business drivers of the LEA and agreement on what knowledge is vital to its business, in order to facilitate the targeting of specific KM interventions Identification of the organisation's current and desired state of KM preparedness. A Knowledge Audit from which Knowledge Maps can be created and Knowledge Flow Processes can be created. Identification of KM tools and techniques that can be deployed to determine how to create, capture, quality assess and utilise the organisation's knowledge assets to greatest effect. Securing agreement on the KM initiative implementation plan; establishing a KM Champion rota in-house to ensure universal "buy-in"; devising progress review mechanisms and developing a set of valid and reliable metrics to evaluate the impact of the KM intervention. The overall project aims to realise and maximise each organisation's knowledge assets by identifying, agreeing and implementing both innovative and well established KM interventions, which in micro- organisations with micro budgets, have to be inexpensive to establish, resource and maintain. It will also attempt to ascertain how each organisation's existing IM systems can contribute to the capturing and sharing of its knowledge.
  • Theme: Behaviour / Strategy
  • Keywords: Knowledge audit, Knowledge management, Micro-enterprises, Business drivers, During phase, Economic Recession, Focus groups, Further Education colleges, In-buildings, Knowledge assets, Knowledge flow, Knowledge map, Long-term sustainability, Northern Ireland, Phase 1, Pilot studies, Potential change, Public administration, Self assessment, Short term, Small enterprise, Start-ups, Study areas, Support services, Tools and techniques, Industry, Management, Profitability, Societies and institutions, Surveys, Sustainable development, Competition
  • Reference type: Conference Proceedings
  • Geographic location: United Kingdom, Europe, Global North
  • Quality:
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