Knowledge-Based Management for SMES from Romanis and Spain: Comparative Study

Ciocârlan-Chitucea, Alina; Popescu, Dan; State, Cristina
June 2012
Proceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management;2012, Vol. 2, p1369
Conference Proceeding
The last decade has witnessed an exponential growth of interest in knowledge management (KM). This comes as a natural consequence of the ever more widespread understanding of the knowledge-based economy as a revolutionary change in the global economy. The rise of the service economy, the increasingly flow of global information, and the growing recognition of the importance of intellectual capital are turning knowledge into a key critical resource and a source of competitive advantage in the global economy, making from KM an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary development. Our goal is to identify and formulate proposals aimed to improve the KM for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), from the perspective of human resources professional development, as we believe this present context represents a scientific and practical challenge. We have chosen the human resources area for our investigation because it has gained a permanent role not only as an academic discipline, but also as an empiric theme in the development area. A term first used by Drucker in his 1959 book, Landmarks of Tomorrow: A Report on the New «Post-Modern» World, the knowledge worker includes people working in the information technology and communications (IT&C) fields, such as programmers, systems analysts, technical writers, academic professionals and researchers. In other words, a knowledge worker is anyone who works for a living at the tasks of developing or using knowledge (Drucker 1999). Our survey includes 217 respondents belonging to SMEs from tourism: accommodation, restaurants, passenger transports, travel agencies and cultural tourism organization. The survey was performed between September 2010 and March 2011 in different regions of Romania and Spain (Cartagena included) and confirms the research hypothesis regarding KM contribution to SMEs performance. The results of the survey suggest that tools which enable diversification of individuals' outputs should be provided to KM applied in SMEs. In addition to discussing the challenges posed to KM in general, we also approached the ways in which specific functional areas of SMEs activities can respond to these challenges, as well as discussing the implications of the managers in implementing KM. Tools that have been developed in KM focused on information management do not support many of the key-knowledge work processes. Neglecting the fact that each knowledge worker develops his own subjective configuration based on past experiences, the information he has absorbed and the particular context in which he has used his skills and abilities, corporate software programs aim to level or standardize the differences between individual workers.


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