A Knowledge Management Perspective on Business Models

R. Mustafa, H. Werthner:
"A Knowledge Management Perspective on Business Models";
The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management,Volume 8(2008), 6; S. 7 - 16.

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Abstract:


So far no theory has been reported academically on the expected relationship between Business Models and Knowledge Management. The theme of this paper is to look into domains of Knowledge Management and Business Models simultaneously and find missing links of a probable relationship between two domains. In order to establish this connection, we can work in the domains of Organizational Transformation (Business Re-engineering), Knowledge management and
Business Model concepts. It may help establish a link on theoretical basis. For this purpose, first we will propose a modified
definition of Business Model and then discuss a hierarchical structure of knowledge related functions referred as `Knowledge
Repository´. We will also probe where knowledge, as a strategic asset, is located in an organization which is then shared among interacting partners in a value chain. We will also link this phenomenon of Business Model concept with so called `Open Business Models´. The adapted term `Open Business Model´, referred by Chesbrough (2006), will be used in a context of creating value and to capture part of this value during transformation process. In this paper, we will initiate debate on two hypotheses, 1) knowledge related functions are core elements to effectively manage knowledge and, 2) Business Modelhas a direct causal relation with Knowledge Management. This multi-theory research may lead towards building a theory of `Open Business Models´ in the domain of E-Commerce which intends to fill a gap between Knowledge Management and Business Models, otherwise an untested area so far in the field of E-Commerce. This research will also provide new venues for research in the field of Business Models and Knowledge Management.