Organizational Culture and Intellectual Capital System

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Changing Organization Cultures > Forum > Organizational Culture and Intellectual Capital System

Organizational Culture and Intellectual Capital System
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Premium Member
According to Stewart (1997), intellectual capital (IC) consists of information, intellectual property, intellectual material, knowledge and experience that can be utilized to create wealth.
Schein (1984) defined organizational culture as a pattern of basic assumptions. These assumptions may facilitate or hinder information flow between organizational stakeholders both inside and outside organization.

Organizations nowadays put strong emphasis on the successful knowledge management of intellectual capital in order to improve their organization performance through knowledge sharing activities by transferring individual IC to organizational IC.

Should organizations develop a knowledge management system that fits with their organizational culture, rather than trying to change their cultures to fit their knowledge management objectives?

Start by Defining the Desired Organization Culture
Vernon Jacobs, Director, United States, Member
Interesting question. It is my belief that organizations should define and communicate the desired behaviors and culture it wants for the future as a first step. Naturally, the new culture and/or behaviors must align with the corporate values. I think the knowledge management systems should then be developed to promote and support the desired behaviors and culture.

Organizational Culture is Dynamic
Tito Estrada, Professor, Honduras, Member
Organizational culture is a set of values, knowledge, procedures, strategies, actions, PEOPLE (culture defines and is an attribute of the human being), etc... that makes an enterprise a particular and original entity.
A principle of identity is that it modulates its action in a given context. This organizational culture must be consistent with the cultural foundations of the given context it wants to impact.
So that identity goes both ways and the organization can be agent of development and change.

Therefore the permanent study of that cultural context, customs, beliefs, life styles, etc., is vital to build cultural references to organize a competent staff for the organization. Organizational culture and its foundations are dynamic, they must be ready to go with the flow of the context, ready to enrich, change, and develop itself.
That intellectual capital must be always ready to renew itself for the good of us all.

Organisational Culture MUST Support Intellectual Capital System
Nick Rainsford, United Kingdom, Member
To answer the question, knowledge management is so important that if the organisational culture does not support it, then yes, the culture should change. This is of course a pretty glib statement as it stands, however, organisational culture MUST support its corporate systems for the organisation to be sustainable.
Strong leadership is required - again easy to say, but vital for long term success.
There is so much "knowledge" floating around within individual members of the organisation. A strong supportive culture to manage and allow cross fertilisation is one of the keys to a successful organisation.

Knowledge versus Culture
Zoniaina, Coach, Madagascar, Member
We can’t dissociate culture and knowledge. So for me, the question is not strategic but operational.
When we create a knowledge management system, in fact, we already create a part of our culture management.
The important thing is to ask: HOW can we create a LINK between both systems?
Solution: just create a matrix. That wil link and create correspondence between knowledge and culture.
- If we change our culture, we impact our knowledge objectives.
- If we add some knowledge (person, skills, etc.), it impacts our culture…
The real matter, I think, is: how to use these changes to create a performance value. Other topic.

How to Change Knowledge Management & Culture
Olivier Riviere, Management Consultant, France, Member
A very common mistake with KM (or CRM) projects is to build the system first - especially in its IT aspect - and then push it down the throat of the organization. This is bound to fail or, if you are VERY lucky, to limited success.
The sustainable approach is to first build the interest for KM (or CRM), probably with a few pilots driven by champions. This will establish a set of good/best practices that enjoy a certain level of recognition. Then expand this working practice into something more general. By the way, this is also the approach I recommend to change a culture...

IC and Organizational Culture
vincenzo de vera, Manager, Italy, Member
Let us not forget the existing Corporate "VISION" (and Mission) which include also elements of knowledge and culture. Everything should merge in order to build a strong organizational pattern coherent with the companies goals and strategies.

IC and Culture / The 2 Become 1
Daniel THunt, United States, Member
The IC is the Culture.
Take away the Culture and you have zero IC.
The two are intertwined. In fact, they are One.
Ask yourself: How Intellectual/Knowledgeable is our culture?

Knowledge Management and Culture
George Lobb, Canada, Member
With a few notable exceptions, most organizations were preexistent when the concepts of knowledge management and corporate culture as we now understand them came into the mainstream.
The result is that we are now retrofitting KM to existing cultures and struggling to define the mission and vision of corporate entities which have developed amorphously for many decades.
So while the ideal is the path alluded to by Olivier in his post, the sad reality is that it is first necessary to bring corporate management to consensus as to what the basic aims of the organization are. First they need to establish the vision and mission which is relevant to the organization today and then move forward to build a culture and develop a KM system which supports those goals.
This is a long-term project and will not happen overnight for an established entity.

Organization Culture, Knowledge Management and Leadership
Zainab Atta, Accountant, Switzerland, Member
An organizational culture must be flexible and adaptable to organization goals and knowledge management objectives. This is easier said than done as leaders and managers have often defined/redefined the organizational culture from their personal perspective. They reward and punish adherence to 'their culture.'
Transformational leadership is required to bring about cultural change and keep it flexible and adaptable. This essential need is often thwarted due to the short-term nature of much (not all) corporate business. The need is going to grow, exponentially - I think.

Identify the Culture Aspects that would Drive your Desired KM
Andyson Mupeta, Manager, Zambia, Member
OC is embedded in a lot of organizational aspects and impacts knowledge management and other strategic business processes. In my view, a sensible approach it to identify those OC aspects that would drive your desired KM strategic goals and design your KM processes accordingly.
Therefore it is your KM processes that should fit into OC culture.

Knowledge Management System versus Culture
Yussuff celinah, Management Consultant, Nigeria, Member
For any system implementation, to be successful, the organizational culture must be considered. As a result, I believe that the knowledge management system should be developed and customized to fit the organizational culture.

Culture and KM Development are Dynamic and they Interact
Jan Voute, Entrepreneur, Netherlands, Member
The question suggests separation of two actions, the development of culture and of KM systems, while referring to the other. Both are however dynamic AND interact.
In complex social business systems we are deliberately looking for emergent properties, boosting our overall performance.
The answer is therefor that the KM development and culture development should be ongoing, coexisting and interacting and managed by referring to overall social and other capital gains.

Knowledge Management and Culture Differ per Industry
Hor Kam Peng, Business Consultant, Malaysia, Member
Tend to agree with @Olivier Riviere. In some industries such as banking, every banking function or line of business requires specific knowledge. I have yet to see a system that encompasses all or fits all!

IC and Cultural Differences
Dr. Vishal Dilip Chavan, Professor, India, Member
It's like three people from different countries lost in the jungle and then managing, doing, performing every activity by adopting to the best practice, process (knowledge) of each other to get out of the jungle.
Companies are trying to minimize cultural differences by accepting different cultures and practices while they enter foreign markets. Today they don't only market their product globally but they source globally due to these companies are also adapting to multiple cultures.
Best example Samsung is now trying to adapt a decentralized structure and aims for more empowerment to its employees.

Corporate Culture and KM
Olivier Riviere, Management Consultant, France, Member
@Jan Voute: Very well put Jan! Does culture supports (or hinders) the development of KM or the other way round? Both. The KM practice is a manifestation of culture and the development of a true KM practive contributes to the evolution of culture. Both culture and KM evolve in an incremental way.

KM-Corporate Culture Relationship is Cyclic
Tayo Aduloju, CEO, Nigeria, Member
From my experience in supporting organisations to create a high performance culture in Africa, I discovered that knowledge management is a driver of culture. The deeper the capacity of the organisation to leverage its information capital and intellectual assets the faster and more effectively it can transform itself.

How should a KM System evolve?
From experience, I have found that starting with a simple, basic system that allows all stakeholders to understand the simple processes for sharing, storing, mining, leveraging and synthesising knowledge assets is essential.
Once everyone has a grasp of the fundamentals, the people in the organisations learn, adapt, Innovate and change as they have a more organised system for optimising organizational capital. As they change, they improve the KM System and the cycle goes on.

Organizational Culture and Intellectual Captal System
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Premium Member
Thanks for all your comments. As described, developing IC will be correlated with OC closely. I conclude 3 things of all your comments:
- Firstly OC is adapted to support IC
- Secondly if IC is developed then OC will follow
- Thirdly both IC and OC are run together and will match each other.
I like the second conclusion the most.
According to De Long and Fahey, 2000 transferring individual IC to organizational IC is highly influenced by OC and exhibits a strong relationship with organizational values.
Furthermore, organizational values influence knowledge sharing activities of employees in positive or negative ways. Therefore companies must develop knowledge management activities of IC that fit with their OC rather than trying to change their cultures to fit their knowledge management programs (McSermott and O'Dell, 2001).

Organizational Culture and Knowledge Management
David, Business School Marketer, Member
OC for most organization is best obtained through training (acquisition of knowledge) and it is expected that this OC cannot be copied. This is meaning the acquired knowledge is to make the organization stay at the top of its activities or be better of.
In summary, knowledge management and organization culture are intertwined in nature and both of them cannot be separated. .

Organization <> Culture Interaction
Mohsen, Manager, Iran, Member
I believe organization culture could facilitate or hinder the information flow that is necessary to support the knowledge management system. But we have to define culture levels:
- As we know some part of the culture are basic assumptions. Here we should align the knowledge management system with the organization culture (as a base).
- In other parts of the organization culture we should cooperate between knowledge management system (as a base) and organization culture.

Organisational Culture or Knowledge Management.. Which Comes First?
juwele sibanda, Accountant, Zimbabwe, Member
I believe this depends on type of organization and the objectives they're pursuing e.g. service, manufacturing, military etc will do it differently. Some organizational cultures are rigid and retrogressive while others are progressive. Organizations with rigid cultures tend to want any change or style including KM to fit into their culture otherwise they forego KM and continue to struggle and they don't seem to care as long as their culture is upheld. In my view there is need to blend, more like you're dealing with theory X and Y.

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