Knowledge Leadership

1st Edition

The Art and Science of the Knowledge-based Organization

Authors: Steven A. Cavaleri Sharon Seivert
Paperback ISBN: 9780750678407
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 16th May 2005
Page Count: 376


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Table of Contents

Part I. Why Should You Care about Knowledge Leadership? Chapter 1: The Knowledge Leadership Challenge Chapter 2: The Emerging Era of the Knowledge Leader Part II: Becoming a Knowledge Leader Chapter 3: Discovering Your Knowledge Leadership Style Chapter 4: Learning from Commissar and Yogi Leaders Chapter 5: Stepping Back to Envision New Possibilities Chapter 6: Studying Knowledge Leadership Behavior: Lessons from Cross-Cultural Research Part III: Putting Knowledge into Action Chapter 7 Aligning Knowledge with Business Strategies Chapter 8 Understanding the Role of Knowledge in Organizations Part IV: Developing Pragmatic Knowledge Chapter 9: Putting Action into Knowledge Chapter 10 Learning to Make Knowledge Pragmatic Chapter 11 Leading Knowledge Processing Part V: Leading FAST Knowledge-Based Organizations (KBOs) Chapter 12 Developing FAST KBOs Chapter 13 Learning from Experience: A Case of Mistaken Identity
Chapter 14: Balancing Knowledge and Management Systems Chapter 15 Constructing Effective Knowledge Infrastructures Part VI: Putting it all Together Chapter 16 Using 5-Point Dynamic Mapping to Lead FAST KBOs Appendices: Appendix A: Development and Use of the Knowledge Bias Profile Appendix B: Essentials of Creating Pragmatic Knowledge Appendix C: 5-Point Dynamic Career Mapping for Talent Retention and Development


In Knowledge Leadership, Cavaleri and Seivert describe the dawning of a new era in which individuals are “leading” rather than “managing” knowledge. In the past, many knowledge-based initiatives have failed because leaders underestimated the powerful link between knowledge and performance improvement – and also because they mistakenly thought that “information” was the same as knowledge. Cavaleri and Seivert claim that, while information is a necessary precursor to knowledge, it is not sufficient in itself for improving business performance.

The authors describe notable organizations that use the pragmatic knowledge strategies they describe to gain competitive advantage. Pragmatic knowledge is the result of individuals’ developing a deeper understanding of how (and why) things work best in practice. The process of creating pragmatic knowledge transforms key lessons from systems thinking, total quality management, and organization learning into a powerful new business strategy.

To help readers apply the concepts and tools in this book, Cavaleri and Seivert draw on case examples and a decade of original cross-cultural research about knowledge leadership. They also invite readers to use The Knowledge Bias Profile to discover their knowledge leadership style. The book systematically outlines a user-friendly strategy for becoming a knowledge leader and for building high-performing, knowledge-based organizations.

Key Features

  • Applies well-respected theories of the learning organization and the knowledge-creating company to improving corporate leadership in the knowledge economy
  • Based on research with hundreds of managers in the US and Asia
  • Provides a simple framework for improving leader's knowledge gained from experience


Executives and middle managers charged with improving efficiency, increasing revenue, spearheading change, within organizations, knowledge management experts and practitioners, management consultants, and academics and students studying organizational change, change management, leadership and motivation


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From Harvard Business School’s book review (August 8, 2005 edition of Working Knowledge) Knowledge management is a tad passé if all we imagine is managing the brainpower of our colleagues. More important these days, according to this book, is for individuals to actually lead the creation of knowledge in their organizations in a systematic and pragmatic way: That's how innovation and competitive advantage take hold. This serious book offers a comprehensive framework in that direction, helping you first to evaluate your own "knowledge leadership" style and then see the big picture within the company. In a non-gimmicky way, the authors-specialists in learning organizations and management-serve up the Yogi and Commissar figures once described by Arthur Koestler, the late novelist, philosopher, and political activist. As used here, the Yogi is someone who challenges others to question their assumptions and beliefs in order to forge a new path for learning. Commissar leaders prefer to focus on action and changing the outward behavior of others. "The message for knowledge leaders from Arthur Koestler's book, The Yogi and the Commissar, is that any rigidly held worldview, although seductive on the surface, is inherently limited and likely to cause leaders their own demise. Although it is no small task, becoming a knowledge leader requires you to become aware of-then reduce the dysfunctional effects of-your own worldview and perpetual blocks," they write. The book is divided into six parts: Why Should You Care About Knowledge?; Becoming a Knowledge Leader; Putting Knowledge into Action; Developing Pragmatic Knowledge; Leading Fast Knowledge-Based Organizations; and Putting it All Together. Plenty of examples, illustrations, and executive summaries help to clarify what can be a difficult and unwieldy challenge for a fast-paced company. <

About the Authors

Steven A. Cavaleri Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Management, Central Connecticut State University; Editor of the journal, The Learning Organization

Sharon Seivert Author

Sharon Seivert is President of The Coreporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has been CEO of Central Minnesota Group Health Plan, VP of a non-profit think tank, and an executive coach. Sharon is also an accomplished musician.

Affiliations and Expertise

President of The Coreporation in Cambridge, MA, USA;