- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 25, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198290861
- ISBN-13: 978-0198290865
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,450,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Knowledge Assets: Securing Competitive Advantage in the Information Economy 1st Edition
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'Max Boisot has written a book for any thinking manager, politician or lawyer interested in the role of information and intellectual property in the evolution of the information economy'. Ian MacMillan, George W. Taylor Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, The Wharton School of Management.
'For those struggling to understand how knowledge-based organizations can develop and exploit their distinctive competences, Boisot's book provides profound insights and challenges'. Dr Keith Blois, Templeton College, University of Oxford
...this is for the scientist who want to impree managers. It's a serious book. - Harold Thimbleby. New Scientist.
`In his new book Boisot... addresses and explores new issues that are relevant from a managerial point of view. Without any doubt Boisot's I-space theory is one of the most comprehensive theories in the management literature.' Sage 3ublications.
...his book represents an important step towards the development of a knowledge-based theory of the firm. It is likely to be of use to academics, as well as the growing clan of practitioners in firms who are interested in management and organisational theory. THES. 23/07/99.
`It delivers new insights into the ways that firms can maximise the returns to be had from their distinctive competences, capabilities and technologies. Also informative are Boisot's insights into the factors that impact on the diffusion of knowledge.' Jane Millar - THES
About the Author
Max Boisot is Professor of Strategic Management at ESADE in Barcelona.
Top customer reviews
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It is directly useful to business people who have to wrestle with strategies for managing knowledge. It is also a formidable piece of analytical architecture that links the management of knowledge assets to economic theory and learning theory. Considering the depth and range of the original thought packed into it, the book is surprisingly readable, partly because of the clarity and relevance of the examples with which the author illustrates his concepts.
Perhaps of widest importance is the clarity and precision of the definitions offered, in a field in which the definitions have been notably 'muddy'. One of the things I have gained from reading the book is a much clearer 'mental model' of what knowledge management is all about, its dynamics and linkages, and what is happening at various stages in the development, codification and diffusion of knowledge.
Because of its depth, density and range, absorbing the content requires real effort, but the effort is very worthwhile. It has several different audiences.
Knowledge managers: Those directly responsible for knowledge management will want to read and understand this book in full.
Business Strategists: The book provides a coherent and well argued rationale for developing strategies around the exploitation of the value in knowledge assets, based on the clearest explanation of the dynamics of knowledge value creation and dissipation that I have seen.
Managers of Organisational Change: Anyone concerned with organisation change also needs to understand the underlying concepts for their relevance to strategies for learning and to the shaping and linking of organisational structures.
Economists: Chapters 2 - 4 provide economists with a re-conception of the production function around data as a factor of production, and an explanation of the nature and dynamics of information value that is both challenging and important in integrating the realities of information and knowledge value into economic theory.
Those with a more peripheral or general interest in knowledge management should at least read: * the Preface, which is a 2 1/2 page masterpiece in the expression of the central concept in a compressed form, * pages 12 - 14 and 18 of the Introduction and * they should scan Chapter 3: The Information Space (I-Space) to understand the author's three dimensional construct and its use. J-C Spender's short Foreword is also valuable in putting Boisot's work in context with other work, particularly Nonaka and Takeuchi's The Knowledge Creating Company.
If general readers are tempted to go further, they will find an extraordinary range of thought-provoking concepts along with quite a lot of material that may be familiar from other writers: Boisot's primary aim is to get us to think differently about our world and to recognise that much of our current thinking about information and knowledge is grounded in the very different world of the energy based economy. He provides an alternative framework that is rigorous, persuasive and practical.
The author is a social scientist with a business school background. He has thought hard about what knowledge is how it can be categorised in different dimensions, and implications for firms and nations. Anyone in academia (economics, sociolgy, management) interested in knowledge ought to read this book. The book is full of deep thinking and many of the ideas can be built upon and elaborated if you are a researcher. If you are not a researcher I don't think you will find this book valuable, unless you are a practitioner that are used to read good academic work. With good I mean relevant, accessible and rigorous. If you like to read that kind of material, get hold of this book.
The author also has an earlier book called "Information space". It's my impression that book covers similar ground, but with a stronger focus on categorisation of knowledge in different dimensions.
Boisot delivers a genuine new perspective on knowledge assets quite distinct from the existing knowledge literature. First he states that knowledge is embedded in physical objects (public knowledge -like a pack of Marlboros - understood as a pack of cigarettes of a certain quality and length), in documents, and in individual brains. He builds a three dimensional Information-space consisting of codification (codified - uncodified), abstraction (abstract - concrete), and diffusion (diffused - undiffused). Plot these elements on three axes of a three dimensional rectangle and you got Boisot basic mental model. In this box (I-space) the movement of knowledge results in the Social Learning Cycle (SLC). The SLC consists of 6 phases, respectively Scanning, Problem Solving, Abstraction, Diffusion, Absorption, and Impacting. This model fundaments subsequently the rest of the book in which he illustrates the value of knowledge, two learning theories (the N-learning strategy - hoarding knowledge and S-learning strategy - sharing of knowledge), culture in relation to knowledge (identifies the centripetal culture - tunnel vision and the centrifugal culture - promotes learning), core competence and strategic intent, the impact of IT on knowledge and finally applies I-Space on two companies, Courtaulds and BP oil exploration business. The theory Boisot used to build his model and arguments are very fundamental - deep-rooted in classic philosophy-, economy-, and chaos and complexity theories. However the major added value provided lies in the massive multifaceted range of examples offered, very intelligent and smart entrenched.
Knowledge as keyword in the Amazon search engine generates more than 9000 books. However the number that fundaments the basic knowledge theory infrastructure doesn't exceed 25. There are essentially only a few you want to read the rest is all derived from this small number. Boisot book (next to Nonaka & Takeuchi) is certainly one that falls in the in the 25 cluster in view of the fact that it's an outstanding unique mental model clarified by smart examples. Downturn of his theory that's it very difficult to apply in a practical situation, nevertheless read it (absorb and exploit) and capture valuable `knowledge' on knowledge theories.