What are knowledge-intensive organisations and what is the role of expertise management within this type of organisation?

This article focuses on knowledge-intensive organisations. In order to create a substantive consensus on knowledge-intensive organisations, a definition of the relevant terms has been formulated first. According to Sun (2010), an organization can be defined as a movement that creates and maintains a social entity to achieve a particular goal. This is a structured, coordinated and targeted social entity that has been established and maintained by people.

Daft (2008) Describes that these social entities are deliberately designed as structured and coordinated systems that are connected to the external environment.


This article is based on the thesis Unwanted voluntary staff turnover Within knowledge intensive organizations. This article answers the first part question of this thesis.

According to Tsoukas and Vladimirou (2001) knowledge is the individual ability to be able to differentiate within works on the basis of theory or context. This individual knowledge can be shared within organizations in tacit (intangible) and explicit (tangible) knowledge. Under tacit knowledge, untangible knowledge, often held by individuals, is understood while tangible knowledge, known as explicit knowledge, is based mainly on documented-and therefore easily transferable knowledge (Choo & Furs, 2002). As stated in the problem statement, knowledge-intensive organizations are based on resource based knowledge, which is a key resource.

In addition to knowledge, employees include skills and competencies that are combined with knowledge among human resources. These resources, including knowledge, are important for competitive edge (Wright et al., 1994). Therefore, Resource based knowledge is necessary to resell services or products of organisations (Sarvay, 1999).

Knowledge for Competitive edge

As it turns out, human resources within knowledge intensive organizations are the most important strategic asset and knowledge is an important part of such an organization's business model (Choo & Furs, 2002). Knowledge is therefore the most important part of the key resources of cognition-intensive organizations. Prime and Butler (2001) Call these key resources a prerequisite for competitive edge within such organizations. Maintaining knowledge-based resources is therefore important to maintain competitive edge.

Such organisations can respond to this by means of ' resource based strategies ' that focus on both preservation and expansion of knowledge (Chaharbaghi & Lynch, 1999). According to Chaharbaghi and Lynch (1999), a constant competitive edge has been based on both resources and strategy. This constant competitive edge is known as sustainable competitive advantage.

The height of barriers determines how durable a competitive edge is.

According to Oliver (1997), sustainable competitive advantage can be defined as the implementation of a value-creating strategy that is not susceptible to imitation and has not yet been applied by competitors. Porter (1985) states that sustainable competitive advantage depends on the level of barriers against imitation of key resources. The height of barriers determines how durable a competitive edge is. An organization with competitive knowledge advantage is able to expand competitive edge (Oliver, 1997). As a result, it is important for knowledge intensive organizations to maintain this advantage so that it also retains the competitive edge and can be extended.

Disadvantages of knowledge management

Many knowledge-intensive organizations, in order to maintain a sustainable competitive edge, are at the strategic level use of know-how management. When it is assumed that knowledge contains data and information, knowledge management can be defined as management aimed at individuals to identify potentially useful information (Alavi & Lakew, 2001). The most important context in which knowledge management is located is according to Choo and Fur (2002) The strategy of an organization. When it comes within knowledge management to knowledge that is deeply entrenched in routines and experience, it is likely that this knowledge is unique and difficult to reproduce (Choo & Fur, 2002).

Coding knowledge within these systems ensures that competitors are less easily able to imitate knowledge.

Within organizations such as McKinsey, IBM or HP, knowledge management, within the culture of the organization concerned, is developed organically (Sarvay, 2002). Coding knowledge within these systems ensures that competitors are less easily able to imitate knowledge. On the other hand, this leads to poorer performance within the organization. The performance is suppressed by procedures and systems and the amount of additional information that is irrelevant to the work will continue to increase. Only when knowledge provides such a lead that it raises costs through coding is it sensible to apply the coding of knowledge (Schulz & Jobe, 2001).

Power shift to employees

By shifting from lifetime employment to lifetime employability is, by social acceptance, binding a less certain factor (Fakudze & Sadasivam, 2003). They state that lifetime employment is the ability of an individual to perform various functions within the current labour market. The power of the labour market is shifting, through unique skills, competencies and knowledge available to employees, more strongly to the employee (Dibble, 1999). Employees are more inclined to volunteer in a knowledge-intensive organisation (Fakudze & Sadasivam, 2003). This makes it important for organisations to avoid such impact as much as possible. In order to gain insight into the rationale of these employees, within part question two The motives of these employees are explained.


In conclusion, knowledge-intensive organizations are dependent on tacit-based knowledgebase that is owned by highly skilled individuals. Coding this knowledge, and managing it through strategic knowledge management, are intensive and costly investments that do not by definition provide positive results. Undesirable staff turnover with resource based knowledge ensures knowledge-intensive organizations directly for a worse competitive position.

2 December 2014

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