Knowledge management aims to understand and respond to the competition using the competitive advantages of the company (Dalkir &. Liebowitz, p.214). Zack (1999) argued that an organizations strategic context provides information about the current knowledge management initiatives that contribute to the fulfillment of its purpose. These management initiatives can also strengthen its competitive position and produce shareholder value through developed knowledge resources and links (Zack, 1999). The knowledge management process, furthermore, is seen as loose and based on collaboration because knowledge is understood as “fuzzy and messy” (Baskerville &. Dulipovici, 2006). Knowledge sharing (K-sharing), moreover, can result from the formation of communities of practice that can derive and share critical knowledge for making important strategic decisions (Dalkir &. Liebowitz, 2011, p.4).
Knowledge management (KM) is important for examining the external competitive environment of Clark Construction Group, LLC (CCG). CCG has a century of experiencing in construction, particularly in building landmarks. It has already built a number of important structures such as the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Dulles International Airport, and FedEx Field, the home base of the Washington Redskins. Clark Construction is involved in offering consultancy services to commercial, institutional, and heavy construction customers. It can give construction management, design/build, and general contracting services. It can build convention centers, sports facilities, production plants, water treatment plants, highways and bridges, and high-rise apartments. KM is significant for CCG because the more that it knows about its customers, products, technologies, competitors, markets, and their connections, the more that it can perform better.
Linking knowledge management and business strategy, however, is a difficult process that requires a strong link between KM theories and KM practices (Baskerville &. Dulipovici, 2006). Not all executives are effective in expressing the connection between their companies’ intellectual sources and skills and the firm’s competitive strategy. With a wide portfolio and high number of employees, CCG faces the difficulty of creating an effective organization-wide K-sharing system. CCG should develop strategic models that help link its knowledge resources, technologies, and processes to business strategy through using pragmatic KM theories for knowledge management to be pragmatic, theoretically-sound and strategic (Baskerville &. Dulipovici, 2006). KM models can help it determine knowledge resources and gaps, and knowledge links (and lack thereof) and then further analyze external factors that will lead to recommendations for knowledge sharing strategies.
In addition, K-sharing is important to the competitiveness of the company, as CCG enables knowledge sharing centers through learning communities. Three of the top competitors of CCG are Gilbane, Inc., Hunt Construction Group, Inc., and The Turner Corporation. In order to be more competitive than these three players, CCG must have a K-sharing strategy that can be a source of distinct advantages. Distinct advantages can be based on how employees collect client concerns and respond to them and how the culture contributes to a truly open and learning environment, or perhaps something more, such as the configuration of physical space and IT systems and how they support learning communities in novel sustainable ways. K-sharing can also include ways of improving creativity and innovation levels that can make CCG increasingly distinct in the industry. K-sharing is then about learning more about what is external and valuable to CCG and turning that into knowledge that can be products or services or systems that will improve the culture, processes, and projects of the company. K-sharing has a critical role of learning from the outside, from external stakeholders, so that internal stakeholders can do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, in service of all stakeholder needs and concerns.
Baskerville, R., &. Dulipovici, A. (2006). The theoretical foundations of knowledge management. Knowledge Management Research &. Practice, 4, 83–105. doi:10.1057/palgrave.kmrp.8500090. Retrieved from http://www.palgrave-journals.com/kmrp/journal/v4/n2/full/8500090a.html
Clark Construction. (2014). About us. Retrieved from http://www.clarkconstruction.com/about
Dalkir, K., &. Liebowitz, J. (2011). Knowledge management in theory and practice (2nd ed). Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Zack, M.H. (1999). Developing a knowledge strategy. California Management Review, 41(3), 125-145. Retrieved from http://web.cba.neu.edu/~mzack/articles/kstrat/kstrat.htm