The business environment has changed. Sharper competition requires organizations to exhibit greater effectiveness in their operations and services and faster creation of new products and services—all hallmarks of the knowledge economy. Up until now, most of the knowledge management literature has focused on technology, systems, or culture. This book moves to the next stage, to focus on the people—the knowledge workers themselves. Noted expert Karl Wiig synthesizes recent research findings in cognitive science and related fields to describe how people actually work. He focuses on how people learn, remember, make decisions, solve problems and act—in general, how knowledge relates to work behavior. By understanding how people work, managers can improve effectiveness to gain competitive advantage.

Key Features

· First book to connect cognitive science with knowledge management · Karl Wiig has worldwide name recognition as thought leader · Clearly written for professionals with charts and checklists


Senior executives in corporate and government sectors; professionals in knowledge management, organizational behavior and development, and systems theory; HRD and OD professionals.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ix PREAMBLE xi FOREWORD xiii CHAPTER 1 – COMPETING IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY REQUIRES EFFECTIVE ENTERPRISES 1 Premise 1-1: The Global Economy Demands Excellence The Competitive Enterprise Example The Global Economy Challenge The World Requires Us to Change KNOWLEDGE INTENSIVE WORK The Misunderstanding of Knowledge-intensive Work Knowledge-Intensity WORK IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY COMPLEX Complex Work Creates Greater Value THE SIX MAJOR CHALLENGES FOUR MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES Enterprise Effectiveness Requires Good Intellectual Capital Assets EXAMPLES OF STRUCTURAL INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL THE ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE WORKERS CHAPTER 2 – THE EFFECTIVE ENTERPRISE Premise 2-1: Individual Actions Lead to Overall Enterprise Performance Premise 2-2: Effective Enterprise Behavior Leads to Success The Proactive and Decisive Company Example Management Philosophy Management Choices Knowledge-Related Practices and Actions Resulting Behavioral and Cultural Traits The Company’s Business Results What Does It Mean for the Enterprise to Be Effective GOOD ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE RESULTS FROM EFFECTIVE PERSONAL ACTIONS EFFECTIVE ENTERPRISES RELY ON BROAD AND DEEP KNOWLEDGE WHAT IS SUCCESSFUL ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE? EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ENTERPRISE EFFECTIVENESS SUCCESS AND KNOWLEDGE-INTENSIVE WORK THE IMPORTANCE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Productivity Is Not Always What We Expect! DIFFERENT KINDS OF PRODUCTIVITY VALUE CREAT


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© 2004
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About the author

Karl Wiig

He has authored four books and over 60 articles on knowledge management, co-founded the International Knowledge Management Network, and served as keynote speaker on six continents. He works with clients to improve enterprise performance with knowledge management practices and focuses on business-related issues with senior management; tactical approaches and solutions with middle management; and hands-on methods with professional knowledge practitioners. He applies perspectives and principles from Systems Sciences, Management Sciences, Information Sciences, Cognitive Sciences, Social Sciences and Economics.Mr. Wiig holds degrees from Case Institute of Technology, was Director of Applied Artificial Intelligence and Systems and Policy Analysis at Arthur D. Little, Inc., and management consulting partner with Coopers & Lybrand. He is Life Member of IEEE and is listed in Who’s Who in theWorld and other reference works.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chairman and CEO of Knowledge Research Institute, Inc.


"Karl Wiig's understanding of the human and organization dynamics of KM is unsurpassed. His decades of experience and insight are captured in this seminal work." -- Carla O'Dell, Ph.D., President, APQC "When it comes to weaving together theory and practice, Karl Wiig is a master! People-Focused Knowledge Management illustrates this beautifully. In it he integrates management philosophy with company specific illustrations, cutting edge epistemological theory with specific knowledge management strategies, and current psychological research with operational details. The depth of Wiig's analysis is unusual, and the fact that he carries the analysis all the way to concrete actions makes this book an especially valuable addition to the growing literature on knowledge management. A feast for the mind as well as the enterprise!" -- Sue Stafford, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Simmons College "Drucker may point the way of a knowledge economy, a knowledge business, a knowledge worker, but Karl Wiig instructs us precisely how to take advantage of a dynamic knowledge strategy. In 'People-Focused Knowledge Management', he simplifies the complex, makes the concepts relevant and actionable and leaves the (inevitable) results to us. Finally, we have a resource for creating a compelling knowledge value proposition linking economics, behavior and technology. For decades, his remarkable graphics and penetrating analysis has been a cornerstone for managerial excellence in all corners of the globe and all sectors of the economy. Few can match his roots and vision in this field; and no one will be disappointed with this newest triumph.” -- Debra Amidon, Founder and CEO, Entovation International, Ltd., and author of "The Innovation Superhighway" "In People-Focused Knowledge Management, Karl Wiig goes beyond the b