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Companies as a mine of knowledge

It is a known fact that knowledge circulates in companies but it is now more important than ever to understand how this knowledge spreads and, above all, how to create it and make it circulate better. This is the area of so-called shared knowledge and of knowledge management, that set of corporate processes, attitudes, routines and methods which increase the level of common knowledge and information among those who effectively spend a good part of their time in the company. Shared knowledge is a difficult process which requires careful and shrewd management, unusual for most companies. A transformation of the same production culture which should permeate all companies.

It helps therefore to read La conoscenza partecipata: nuove pratiche di knowledge management [“Shared knowledge: new knowledge management practices”], the latest opus by Dunia Astrologo and Federica Garbolino (the former a lecturer in knowledge management and organisational communication at Turin university and Politecnico, the latter a partner with Coreconsulting), which bases on the idea of considering knowledge management not as a technique but as a process which has to involve people. Easy to say, complicated to do, as what is defined summarily as a sharing approach requires a new way of managing relations and communication with people. The goal to be achieved is the possibility of creating in the firm efficient and fast decision-making processes and solutions within easy reach as well as enabling the firm to compete more efficaciously.

The work by Astrologo and Garbolino, however, is not just technical reasoning. The first part does cover the main theories on the subject yet the second part analyses specific cases basing on the observation of the potential offered by the new technologies and the Web. The cases of Eni, Tyres Campus Pirelli, Sea-Aeroporti di Milano and Selex Elsag are examined in depth.

The introductory part of the book forms the general basis: “most knowledge management initiatives implemented by organisations fail because they do not take into adequate account the emotional, psychological and social needs of individuals”.

La conoscenza partecipata: nuove pratiche di knowledge management

Dunia Astrologo, Federica Garbolino

Egea, June 2013