How Knowledgeable About Knowledge Are You?

You learn more if you are relaxed and having fun. Spurred by the growing interest in knowledge entertainment, this Twenty Questions on Knowledge trivia quiz was used as part of an after dinner talk on knowledge management to tutors for the new Open University MBA course Managing Knowledge. Other elements of the talk included the Seven Levers of Knowledge, The Essentials of Knowledge Knowledge Management, Ten Things to Know and Ten Myths.

Please note - this was written in 1999, so it's as much a test of KM history as current KM. Maybe one day, we will update it :-). Like all quizzes, there are sometimes no clear 'black and white' answers, and some trick questions.

Quiz Questions - Course by Course


1. Which well known general management writer is credited with coining the term 'knowledge worker' in the 1960s and who writes about knowledge in many of his more recent books. Bonus points if you can give his age (April 2000), and the name and publisher of his book released in Spring 1999.

2. NT. In PC operating system terms this stands for what? But which two knowledge writers have these as starting initials for their family names. Bonus points for giving their first names.

3. Name three magazines or periodicals, and their publishers, with Knowledge Management in their title.

First Course: Intellectual Capital

4. The market value (capitalization) of Microsoft is typically 15 times its asset value as recorded in its balance sheet. What is the corresponding ratio (mid-summer 1999) for Glaxo Wellcome (just the physical assets not counting 'goodwill'). Choose between 5x 10x 50x.

5. Intellectual Capital is normally considered as having three main categories. What is the most commonly used categorization? Bonus point - Which large company has been publishing intellectual capital report supplements to its financial accounts, twice a year since 1994.

6. Which is valued more: Burger King or McDonalds, and why?

7. Which Internet company allows you to name your price and was valued (June 1999) at more than US Air, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines combined? For a bonus - eToy's in mid 1999 was capitalized at more than Toys 'R Us, who has over 1,400 retail stores. How many of these stores does the 1998 revenues of eToys equate to?

Main Course: Knowledge Management in Companies

8. Can you patent knowledge? If so, how? Bonus - Which organizations first owned the rights and filed the patent for the so called 'terminator' seed (not Monsanto!)

9. Which company has widely been reported as saving over $ 125 million through introducing an intellectual asset management programme?

10. What phrase do people at Texas Instruments use to describe the main benefit that accrued from their programme for sharing best practices?

11. Match the knowledge base to the management consultancy (pre-merger names):
KnowledgeViewTM, Knowledge Online, Global Best Practices, IKE
Coopers & Lybrand, Price Waterhouse, Arthur Andersen, BAH (Booz, Allen & Hamilton)
Bonus Point - What is the name of the publicly available knowledge service (access to experts) from Ernst & Young?

Dessert: Knowledge Processes

12. Creating knowledge is an important first point. Einstein was reckoned to be a very creative person and his brain was recently in the news. Where (town and state) is it kept, and who looks after it?

13. Two senior executives (CEO, director) of major corporations with similar sounding family names have had articles featuring knowledge in Harvard Business Review. Name the executives and the main topic of the articles.

14. Who (else) is normally credited with coining the term Community of Practice. Bonus - the name of the scientific method used to research it.

15. What are the four generic knowledge conversion processes - for tacit and explicit knowledge?

Coffee: Wrap-Up

16. Name the first two female CKOs (or equivalent), and their employing companies. Note - These are major UK firms; both CKOs have been widely publicized in international KM magazines.

17. When (month and year) and where (city) was the first knowledge conference (of the current genre) held? Give name and main sponsor.

18. Which US organization(s) were the first to have a widely publicized a knowledge management assessment benchmarking tool. Bonus - which European organization has recently added knowledge as a dimension to its well known performance management model?

19. Which Englishman is credited with popularizing the phrase 'Knowledge is Power'. Bonus points if you can name the Greek whom he cited, the approximate date of publication, the more literal translation and the language of the publication.

20. Which came first knowledge or management - and why?
Innovative and original answers to this question will be used as a tie break in the event of the top competitors having equal scores.

We hope you have enjoyed this quiz. Why not print it out and use it with your KM colleagues at an informal event (or dinner!).

Want to know the answers? Download them here (PDF file) - but don't cheat!

© Copyright 1999. David J. Skyrme. All rights reserved.

Last updated: 19th February 2011

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