Knowledge Management Case Study

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Strategy consulting is gauged by practitioners and scholars as a knowledge-intensive business (e.g. Baaij, Van den Bosch and Volberda, 2005a). This is why a brief review of knowledge management is preliminary step to undertake to conduct a study in the field of management consulting. Indeed, a consulting firm can be seen as a knowledge-creating company (Smith, 2001), where knowledge is generated, later codified and spread. Knowledge is codified in written documents through projects, to which several consultants are staffed in teams. If company A has 150 consultants and company B has 300, the accumulation of knowledge in terms of projects (Baaij, 2014) might vary substantially. Assuming that in both company A and B teams are composed of 3…show more content…
For instance, McKinsey &Company (Bartlett, 1997) found itself struggling with knowledge management while growing the firm into multiple locations. Besides new investments in databases and IT platforms to codify explicit knowledge, the McKinsey practice concept, which is a sort of knowledge division, and the practice leader’s role were envisioned to pursue the personalization strategy (Hansen, Nohria and Tierney, 1999). The personalization strategy is a knowledge management strategy which maintains that person-to-person sharing of information should occur through the establishment of formal networks of experts, the ones who create new tacit knowledge. Partners, expert leaders and other senior profiles in the firm are the protagonists of the practice. However, in the past other consulting firms such as Andersen Consulting (today’s Accenture) and Ernst & Young, opted for heavy investments on ICT, believing that a codification strategy would have…show more content…
The big ICT providers like IBM started offering consulting services given the new role of consulting which was emerging, the technology broker, who cross-pollinates industries with business knowledge (Sarvary, 1999). This generated some implications in terms of strategy for consulting firms. The trade-off wassetbetween:1) offering standardized (commodified) knowledge efficiently or 2) providing smart resources (people) and innovative ideas, which required the staffing of more senior profiles. Indeed, novel knowledge and creative solutions come from information sharing among experts, which usually happens in consulting practices, following the so-called personalization strategy. Competitive implications for consulting firms (Baaij et al., 2005a) stemming from knowledge management will be addressed in the recommendations section of this work. By now, it is clear that depending on the knowledge management strategy of the consulting firm, different offers can be shaped, and thus different consultancy projects in terms of nature and

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