Knowledge management in small and medium-sized companies: knowledge management for entrepreneurs R.P. uit Beijerse. Journal of Knowledge Management. Kempston: 2000. Vol. 4, Iss. 2; pg. 162
This article deals with a field which gets little or no attention in the research done into knowledge management: small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). First a conceptual model for SMEs will be given, next this model will be used to analyze various companies. It is found that knowledge management appears in SMES to get its form especially at an operational level. » Jump to indexing (document details)
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R.P. uit Beijerse: R.P. uit Beijerse, formerly a Researcher for EIM Small Business Research and Consultancy, The Netherlands, and presently a Researcher with the consultancy agency B & A Groep, Den Haag, The Netherlands. Introduction
Changes in society: pluralisation and individualisation
Society has changed drastically over the last few years. But this is nothing new, or so it appears. Societies are always changing, just as people are always changing. And seeing as it is the people who form the societies, a constantly changing society is only natural. However something more seems to have happened over the last few years. Without wanting to frighten off the reader straight away, we can point to a diversity of social developments that indicate that the changes seem to be following each other faster, especially over the last few decades. We can for instance, point to the pluralisation (or a growing versatility), differentialisation and specialisation of society as a whole. On a more personal note, we see the diversification of communities, an emphasis on emancipation, individualisation and post-materialism and an increasing wish to live one's life as one wishes, free from social, religious or ideological contexts. Changes in the economy: the knowledge economy
If we take a more economic focus, we see for example individualisation, immaterialisation, initiation and ageing in consumer markets, whereby the markets in their turn are increasingly steered by a capricious consumer. Besides this, we see trends such as flexibilisation, deregulation, professionalisation, specialisation and an increasing mobility on employment markets. We also see developments such as the increasing interest for individual entrepreneurship, network formation, computerisation and internationalisation within economic contexts. Altogether, the western economy has evolved into a knowledge economy in which the technological and scientific developments follow each other in a rapid tempo and in which things such as information and communications technology, networks, international competition and knowledge intensive products such as services, play a dominant role. Consequences for company life: changing requirements
These types of trends manifest themselves in company life for instance in increasingly capricious and diverse consumer preferences, more demanding consumers, an increasing interest for things such as status, reputation, brand names, logos, product design, user-friendliness, and after sales, an increasing interest in service providing for products and the shortening of the life span of products and services. It has mainly to do with a strongly changing requirement for which the emphasis has shifted to the skill, the quality and the image that is used for the products or services. Complexity as common denominator
In general, one can say that this sort of development - and with the sketched developments, the summary of current trends is by no means exhausted - makes society all the more complex. And if society becomes more complex, then the business environment of the average entrepreneur also becomes more complex. He must deal with these developments and will have to make better and smarter use of his or her technological, organisational and marketing competencies in...
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