It is widely claimed by a number of business and academic gurus that in order for organizations to have a lasting competitive advantage they will have to be knowledge driven. If knowledge is viewed as a resource that is critical to an organization's survival and success in the global market, then like any other resource it demands good management. However, the bulk of organizations still have not approached knowledge management (KM) activity formally or deliberately. The cause for this inattention could be that most organizations are still struggling to comprehend the KM concept. To ease the struggle the fundamental issue of identifying salient characteristics of KM phenomena needs to be addressed. This paper helps address this need by introducing a three-fold descriptive framework that identifies and characterizes the main elements of KM phenomena and their relationships. The first component provides a generic description of an organization's knowledge resources. A second component introduces elemental knowledge manipulation activities an organization performs in dealing with those resources. The third component identifies major influences that impact an organization's conduct of KM. Results of a survey to assess the framework are reported. They indicate general satisfaction with the framework.
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