Knowledge Management Case Studies

Since researching and consulting on knowledge management from the mid-1990s, I have collected over 400 examples of knowledge management in practice in organizations large and small around the world. About 30 of these are in-depth case studies from our own research and interviews that have been published in our reports and books; around 50 are from academic journals; about 150 from conferences or articles in magazines by those involved, and the remainder are 'caselets' that illustrate the use of specific KM techniques.

As this section develops we shall pick a selection from our database and publish them in a standard format. To give a flavour of what is to follow we start with the following three examples:

Other Examples

Throughout our resources, especially the articles and presentations, you will find short abstracts and references to many other cases. Here are some examples:

  • Hoffman La Roche - by considering the knowledge needed to prepare clinical trials documentation for the approval authorities have contributed to faster time to market for new drugs.
  • NEC - when this Japanese electronics company articulated its core knowledge base, it helped redefine the company's mission as 'computers and communications', markets in which it has shown continuing success.
  • Dow Chemical - by auditing its intellectual property that was in its patent portfolio it generated significant additional revenues through licensing and other agreements.
  • Skandia - in the late 1990s this Swedish based insurance company developed methods to measure it intellectual capital (the knowledge in its people and processes); this focus by its senior managers helped it grow from a small regional company to number five in the world in its market segment.
  • Steelcase - this office products supplier used ethnography techniques to find how people working in offices interacted; as a result they put the lessons learned into practice in designing office environments that increased productivity through an appropriate mix of 'caves and commons' workspaces.

You'll also find examples in our archive - see the site map - cases.

Last updated: 9th April 2011


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What's the difference between leaders and laggards in knowledge management?

leaders article

Read this article which spells out the differences.

KM: practice and pitfalls
KM presentation

A presentation (PDF) that goes through the elements of a KM initiative including several of the most useful practices for sharing and managing knowledge; there are several slides on specific cases


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