Knowledge Networking
Knowledge Networking:
Creating the Collaborative Enterprise

David J. Skyrme


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10


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 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.

Other Updates

  • Following intensive pressure from environmentalists, Monsanto announced in October 1999 that it was abandoning commercialization of the so-called 'terminator seed' technology. In December it also announced plans not to complete its take over of Delta & Pine Land, though it would continue to work closely in exploiting its innovative biotechnology (page 279).

  • Project Alba (box page 279) has now evolved into the Alba Centre with Virtual Component Trading as one its activities.

  • Another term creeping into common use and indicative of the knowledge rich vs. knowledge poor scenario (page281) is the digital divide. The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration has a series of Digital Divide initiatives in its FY2001 budget.

  • The Global Knowledge Innovation Infrastructure outlines its programme on a new GKII website, although (April 2000) it appears behind schedule in some of its plans.

Discussion Points

Do you have particular views on knowledge ethics? What scenarios of the future do you envisage? Share your thoughts with other readers.

Please email your feedback discussion points to the author at Responses will be summarized in future updates - see Feedback notes.

Additional Information

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.