Creating the Collaborative Enterprise
David J. Skyrme
Chapter 10 Update
The trends outlined on pages 274-276 continue to evolve. However, there has been some hesitancy and set backs in the development of knowledge markets. While consultancies like Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young have been quite effective at packaging and marketing their knowledge online (e.g. Global Best Practices and ERNIE respectively), more open knowledge markets have been slow top develop. One cited on page 278 (iqport) closed in January 2000, following a six month market trial. I still believe that the concepts are basically sound but that there is still lack of market maturity and readiness. Despite that, interesting new knowledge markets are appearing all the time, for example Knexa "the world's first knowledge exchange auction". You can read more at iqport.com and Knowledge Markets:Do They Have a Future? at the Knowledge Connections website.
Most of the other developments have been in the area of knowledge ethics, in particular on the issue of patenting life forms and genetic knowledge. Business Week (17th April) reports that applications for patents for human genes are "pouring in by the thousands" to the US Patent and Trademark Office. Celera alone filed 6,500 provisional applications for genes and their fragments. Many people ar worried that such intellectual property will be exploited by multinational corporations against what many view as the common good (e.g. see developments at Monsanto below). Similar concerns are arising over the patenting of 'business methods' as used on the World Wide Web. Sometimes emotion seems have to have got in the way of reasoned debate, but these are issues that will not go away and need some constructive knowledge networking.
Do you have particular views on knowledge ethics? What scenarios of the future do you envisage? Share your thoughts with other readers.
The Knowledge Connections web site provides a comprehensive resource for many topics covered in the chapter. You can also subscribe to a free monthly email briefing I3 UPDATE / ENTOVATION International news. Also make sure you check out Butterworth-Heinemann's Knowledge Management section from time to time for details of new publications and special offers.
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