Leveraging enterprise portals for business performance – the implications for the management of knowledge assets

Sutton, Melanie (2010-12)

Thesis (MPhil (Information Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Knowledge is increasingly being recognised as the key element to an organisation’s sustainability and competitiveness. Knowledge assets refer to organisational resources made of or incorporating knowledge. These assets ultimately create the ability for an organisation to carry out a process or an activity aimed to create and/or deliver value. Knowledge assets are identified as firstly, Human Capital Assets, which are embodied in the employees of an organisation whose talent and experience create the products and services that can be sold. Secondly, Structural Capital Assets refers to knowledge that is captured or institutionalised within the structure, processes and culture of the organisation. Finally, Customer Capital Assets which refers to the combined value of the relationships with customers, suppliers, industry associations and markets and their customers perception of value of an organisation. Information technology is also recognised as an enabling tool to facilitate knowledge transfer and sharing as it enables knowledge and information flows. In particular, the use of enterprise portals as an information technology enabling platform can provide secure, customised, personalised and integrated access for employees, customers and business partners to dynamic knowledge assets from a variety of sources in a variety of formats, with an increasing focus on business performance. The research focuses on how organisations can effectively manage their knowledge assets using enterprise portals and how managing these assets can complement organisational core capabilities and competences. Theoretical insights from Boisot’s I-Space framework are used as the foundation for analysis of the behaviour of information flows and the creation and diffusion of knowledge within organisations. The role of technologies as enabling partners in this process are examined and management of knowledge assets through the processes of codification, abstraction and diffusion is investigated. Competitive advantage does not flow automatically from the possession of knowledge assets. An organisation has to know how to extract value from them and extracting value from knowledge assets requires an ability to manage them. The Boisot I-Space framework provides constructive and dynamic processes, namely codification, abstraction and diffusion that significantly improve the ability to manage knowledge assets. When these processes are integrated into the way an Enterprise Portal is designed and used by an organisation, the ability to manage human, structural and customer capital assets is improved. Furthermore, the opportunity for enhanced support of an organisation’s capabilities and core competences can be achieved and hence the prospect for improved business performance can be realised.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kennis word toenemend herken as die sleutelelement in ‘n onderneming se volhoubaarheid en mededingendheid. Kennisbates verwys na organisatoriese bates wat bestaan uit kennis of wat kennis bevat. Hierdie bates verleen uiteindelik aan ‘n ondernemening die vermoëns om ‘n proses of handeling uit te voer wat daarop gerig is om waarde te skep en/of te lewer. Kennisbates word eerstens uitgeken as Menslike Kapitaalbates, wat gesetel is in die werknemers van ‘n organisasie, wie se talente en ervaring die produkte en dienste skep wat verkoop kan word. Tweedens verwys Strukturele Kapitaalbates na die kennis wat in die strukture, prosesse en kultuur van die onderneming vasgevang of geïnstitusionaliseer is. Ten slotte verwys Kliëntekapitaalbates na die saamgestelde waarde van ‘n onderneming se verhoudings met kliënte, leweransiers, bedryfsverenigings en markte, tesame met kliënte se persepsie van die waarde van daardie onderneming. Inligtingstegnologie word ook beskou as ‘n hulpmiddel vir die fasilitering van die oordrag en deling van kennis deurdat dit die vloei van kennis en inligting aanhelp. In die besonder kan die gebruik van ondernemingsportale, as ‘n platform vir die bevordering van inligtingstegnologie, aan werknemers, kliënte en sakevennote veilige, persoonlike en integrale toegang bied tot dinamiese kennisbates uit ‘n reeks bronne en in ‘n verskeidenheid formate, met toenemende ingesteldheid op ‘n onderneming se prestasies. Die navorsing hieronder ondersoek in besonder die manier waarop ondernemings hulle kennisbates doeltreffend kan bestuur deur ondernemingsportale te gebruik en hoe die bestuur van hierdie bates organisatoriese kernvaardighede en vermoëns kan aanvul. Teoretiese insigte uit Boisot se “ ISpace”- raamwerk word gebruik as basis vir die ontleding van inligtingvloei en van die skepping en verspreiding van kennis in organisasies. Die rol van tegnologieë as hulpmiddel in hierdie proses en die bestuur van kennisbates deur middel van kodifisering, abstraksie en diffusie word ondersoek en ontleed. Mededingende voorsprong vloei nie nie vanself uit die besit van kennisbates nie - ‘n onderneming moet leer hoe om waarde daaruit te put en dié proses vereis die vermoë om kennisbates te bestuur. Die Boisot “I-Space”-raamwerk verskaf konstruktiewe en dinamiese prosesse, naamlik kodifisering, abstraksie en diffusie, wat die vermoë om kennisbates te bestuur aansienlik verbeter. Wanneer dié prosesse geïntegreer word in die wyse waarop ‘n Ondernemingsportaal deur ‘n onderneming ontwerp en aangewend word, word sy vermoë om menslike, strukturele en kliëntekapitaalbates te bestuur verbeter. Daarbenewens kan die moontlikheid van verbeterde steun vir ‘n onderneming se vermoëns en kernvaardighede op geïntegreerde wyse bewerkstellig word en die vooruitsigte op verhoogde besigheidsprestasie sodoende verwerklik word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5197
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