chapter  17
20 Pages

Measuring and Managing Technological Knowledge

As we move from the industrial age into the information age, knowledge is becoming an ever more central force behind the competitive success of firms and even nations. Nonaka has commented, “In an economy where the only certainty is uncertainty, the one sure source of lasting competitive advantage is knowledge.”l Philosophers have analyzed the nature of knowledge for millennia; in the past half-century, cognitive and computer scientists have pursued it with increased vigor. But it has turned out that information is much easier to store, describe, and manipulate than is knowledge. One consequence is that, although an organization’s knowledge base may be its single most important asset, its very intangibility makes it difficult to manage systematically.2