Knowledge provision in a South African investment firm : identifying the key components of a knowledge provision strategy for Acsis Limited
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
The effective transfer and creation of knowledge is a key competitive advantage in the knowledge-based society within which we find ourselves. To create this competitive advantage, organisations have to excel at creating and acquiring new knowledge as well as at sharing and mobilising that knowledge throughout the organisation’s network. The literature review in this report shows that teams will be more successful in creating new business if they are able to create dense networks within teams and collaborate with different internal and external stakeholders. It also shows that unless knowledge is pushed efficiently through the organisation’s network, it will run the risk of succumbing to competitors that rapidly replicate its ideas or, even worse, it be unable to continue innovating. Acsis Limited is a knowledge-intensive investment firm in South Africa. Its advice-based value proposition and partnership-based business model have created a distinct competitive advantage in a highly competitive industry. A result of this competitive advantage has been the creation of a highly tacit knowledge base which has to be leveraged effectively through its internal and external network to continue innovating and growing the business. The Acsis executive committee have expressed a number of concerns related to the availability of the appropriate knowledge to the appropriate functions and individuals in the organisation. They have also expressed a concern around the sharing of knowledge and collaboration of specific functions and groups of management. This research report aims to address the concerns of the executive committee by identifying the key components of a knowledge provision strategy for Acsis. To achieve this objective, the study examines and explains the utilisation and effectiveness of the knowledge sources currently utilised in the provision of knowledge in Acsis. The study also assesses the knowledge flow in the organisation and identifies individuals who are the most prolific knowledge sources in providing knowledge. The report delivers a number of robust findings related to the provision of knowledge in Acsis. These findings are utilised as the basis from which to recommend an overarching strategic objective for knowledge provision in Acsis as well as the required components of a knowledge provision strategy. It is supported by a list of recommended management actions for each component of the strategy. By answering the research question successfully, Acsis is provided with a clear knowledge provision strategy, comprising of seven components and a list of recommended management actions that could be implemented in the organisation. Further to this, the executive committee is made aware of critical knowledge gaps in their organisation as well as key strengths of their current knowledge provision practices. This will enable Acsis to harness their knowledge, and thus their power, effectively to remain ahead of the curve in a highly competitive industry.