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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 November 2005
I read this book when it was first published in 1998 and recently re-read it, curious to see how well it has held up since then. It has done so to a remarkable extent.
Again, I am reminded of Derek Bok's observation "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
This is one in a series of several dozen volumes which comprise the "Harvard Business Review Paperback Series." Each offers direct, convenient, and inexpensive access to the best thinking on the given subject in articles originally published by the Harvard Business Review. I strongly recommend all of the volumes in the series. The individual titles are listed at this Web site: [...] The authors of various articles are among the world's most highly regarded experts on the given subject. All of the volumes have been carefully edited. An Executive Summary introduces each selection. Supplementary commentaries are also provided in most of the volumes, as is an "About the Contributors" section which usually includes suggestions of other sources which some readers may wish to explore.
In this volume, we are provided with a variety of perspectives on knowledge management: Peter F. Drucker on "The Coming of the New Organization," Ikujiro Nonaka on "The Knowledge-Creating Company," David A. Garvin on "Building a Learning Organization," Chris Argyris on "Teaching Smart People How to Learn," Dorothy Leonard and Susaan Straus on "Putting Your Company's Whole Brain to work," Art Kleiner and George Roth on "How to Make Experience Your Company's Best Teacher," John Seely Brown on "Research That Reinvents the Corporation," and James Brien Quinn, Philip Anderson, and Sydney Finkelstein on "Managing Professional Intellect: Making the Most of the Best." Listing the article titles correctly indicate the nature and scope of the specific subjects offered.
Quite true, some of the material is dated and inevitably so, given the elapsed time since the articles were published in the Harvard Business Review. However, in my opinion, the principles advocated and the core strategies recommended remain relevant to the contemporary marketplace. For example, Drucker notes that "to remain competitive -- maybe even to survive -- businesses will have to convert themselves into organizations of knowledge specialists." Garvin presents an especially informative analysis of Xerox's six-step problem-solving process which addresses questions to be answered, expansion/divergence issues, contraction/convergence issues, and "next steps" after implementation. Leonard and Straus rigorously examine the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator process, including within their narrative a brilliant overview of the MBTI©. Indeed, readers are provided with rock-solid material throughout each article.
For less than the cost of breakfast in an upscale Manhattan restaurant, each volume in this series provides an intellectual feast. It remains for each reader to determine, of course, which of the volumes will be most nutritious to her or his appetite. Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out Carla O'Dell's If Only We Knew What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice, Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline and The Dance of Change, Thomas H. Davenport and Laurence Prusak's What's the Big Idea?: Creating and Capitalizing on the Best New Management Thinking and also their Working Knowledge, Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton's The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action, and Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi's The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation.
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on 5 April 1999
Looking for some informative, original and clear thinking about knowledge management? This book is a great choice! In its pages you will find an outstanding collection of articles drawn from past editions of the HBR. The eight articles cover: analysis of a knowledge-creating company; building a learning organization, using experience; teaching people how to learn; and managing professional intellect. Each article begins with an executive summary which, for the fast-forward crowd, is a big plus.
So many books are merely ONE GOOD ARTICLE embedded in a thicket of verbiage. Chopping away through such a jungle of verbosity for the gist-of-it-all often proves tedious and disappointing. (Blessed are the laconic!) This book, on the other hand, just serves up a bunch of 'gists' -the pure meat and potatoes of ideas. Happily, the HBSP has published several other collections of this sort on such topics as leadership, change, and strategies for growth. Each of these is collection of first-rate 'gists'. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern's Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder, and the Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.
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on 8 April 1999
While other facets of managment consulting will ultimately yield to lower-cost technology tools, or consultants, KM shall reign as the ultimate value-added analysis. That was my hypothesis before buying this book, and it has only been proven true. The essays in the book range from esoteric to the executable, and include valuable case studies to punctuate the themes. Knowledge Management means so many things, that it can come to mean nothing. This book does an excellent job of providing some metes and bounds to the topic and to stimulate thinking around important organizational and operational issues.But don't get it and expect to be an "instant expert." This is an overview, albeit an excellent one.
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on 18 June 1999
Of four books purchased on Knowledge Management - this one is least valuable. Its title is a current "hot topic" but the text is ten years old and doesn't impart much knowledge.
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on 6 August 1999
This book is rather good. Many of the articles are quite good but other are too old-fashioned and out of date. But because of those good articles I would recommend the book to anyone.
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on 11 May 1999
Having read other titles that treat this subject either partially or fully, this strikes me as the most simple and direct one in approaching the subject of knowledge management. While some authors have treated the subject as an academic exercise, the various contributors to this title have cleverly demonstrated the practicality of this subject in today's changing business environment.
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on 1 September 1999
This is a good book to get to start you off on Knowledge Management. Some of the articles are now a little old. They are however still relevent.
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on 26 January 1999
An excellent summary of a wide range of topics that can be grouped under the heading 'Knowledge Management'. The content is stimulating and full of practical applications.
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on 6 September 2012
This book contains a series of acadamic articles on knowledge management from the founders of the modern subject. It contains 8 articles that are worth reading.
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on 9 January 2015
Very good book if you are new in knowledge management. Practically it's compendium of classical essays in this field.
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