Intellectual Capital: The new wealth of organization

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Visionary in scope, Intellectual Capital is the first book that shows how to turn the untapped knowledge of an organization into its greatest competitive weapon.  Thomas A. Stewart demonstrates how knowledge--not natural resources, machinery, or financial capital--has become the most important factor in economic life.  Through practical advice, stories, and case histories, Stewart reveals how organizations and individuals can create and use the knowledge assets they need.  Dazzling in its ability to make conceptual sense of the economic revolution we are living through, this ingenious book cuts through the vague rhetoric of "paradigm shifts" to show how the Information Age economy really works.

Intellectual Capital should be read as if the futures of your company and your career depend on it.  They do.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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About the author

Thomas A. Stewart is an award-winning member of the board of editors of Fortune magazine.  He pioneered the field of intellectual capital in a series of landmark articles that earned him an international reputation as the chief expert on the subject.  The Planning Forum called him "the leading proponent of knowledge management in the business press," and Business Intelligence, a British research group, gave him a special award for his outstanding contributions to the field.  He lives in Manhattan.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown Business
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Published on
Sep 22, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780307765857
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Business & Economics / Knowledge Capital
Business & Economics / Strategic Planning
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Thomas A. Stewart’s bestselling first book, Intellectual Capital, he redefined the priorities of businesses around the world, demonstrating that the most important assets companies own today are often not tangible goods, equipment, financial capital, or market share, but the intangibles: patents, the knowledge of workers, and the information about customers and channels and past experience that a company has in its institutional memory. Now in his new book, The Wealth of Knowledge, Stewart--widely acknowledged as the world’s leading expert on working with intellectual capital in today’s knowledge economy--reveals how today’s companies are applying the concept of intellectual capital into day-to-day operations to dramatically increase their success in the marketplace.

Arguing that companies can make untold millions of dollars by managing knowledge more effectively--and save millions more--Stewart offers executives and managers compelling accounts of how leading companies around the world are successfully tackling the practical issues involved in today’s knowledge economy. The heart of the book is a revolutionary 4-step preocess that shows how to put intellectual capital to work to improve performance and profitablity, as well as manage knowledge processes. He goes on to discuss how companies can better utilize their current assets and enhance their knowledge resources for the future. Questioning many of the assumptions that have ruled business in the twentieth century, he addresses such critical and fundamental issues as why companies exist, how they should be organized and how people should be compensated. With his customary fearlessness and foresight, he plunges into the thick of the controversial arena of measuring and accounting, as well-an increasingly difficult task when a corporation’s assets are intangible.

The Wealth of Knowledge not only sets out the latest thinking in creating and managing knowledge assets, but provides a detailed course of action for corporations trying to navigate their way in the world of knowledge economy.


From the Hardcover edition.
Peter Drucker has introduced us all to the knowledge era, where knowledge is the primary resource and intangibles (intellectual capital resources and assets) are now largely recognized as the most important sources of organizations' competitive advantage. With the recognition of the importance of Intangibles comes the problem of how to properly identify them and assign them a value within the corporation. This is an area of concern in 5 fields: 1) accounting and financial reporting, 2) performance measurement and management, 3) valuation in the finance field, 4) the Human Resources field in terms of management, strategy, and planning, and 5) Intellectual Capital. Over the past eight years, over 25 methods have been proposed for the valuation of intangibles coming out of these 5 fields.

In this book, Andriessen evaluates 25 existing methods of intangible valuation according to highly developed criteria. In performing his evaluations, Andriessen synthesizes the state of the art research from these fields based on extensive research. He then presents his own method for valuing intangibles, which he began developing and testing as a Senior Manager at KPMG Knowledge Advisory Services in The Netherlands. He relates six case studies in which this method was tested in actual companies, carefully reviews the results of his tests, and then concludes by offering a new and improved method for valuing intangibles in his Weightless Wealth Toolkit, a complete step-by-step process for identifying, valuing, and managing Intangibles to help managers operate successfully in the Intangible Economy.
How have Japanese companies become world leaders in the automotive and electronics industries, among others? What is the secret of their success? Two leading Japanese business experts, Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, are the first to tie the success of Japanese companies to their ability to create new knowledge and use it to produce successful products and technologies. In The Knowledge-Creating Company, Nonaka and Takeuchi provide an inside look at how Japanese companies go about creating this new knowledge organizationally. The authors point out that there are two types of knowledge: explicit knowledge, contained in manuals and procedures, and tacit knowledge, learned only by experience, and communicated only indirectly, through metaphor and analogy. U.S. managers focus on explicit knowledge. The Japanese, on the other hand, focus on tacit knowledge. And this, the authors argue, is the key to their success--the Japanese have learned how to transform tacit into explicit knowledge. To explain how this is done--and illuminate Japanese business practices as they do so--the authors range from Greek philosophy to Zen Buddhism, from classical economists to modern management gurus, illustrating the theory of organizational knowledge creation with case studies drawn from such firms as Honda, Canon, Matsushita, NEC, Nissan, 3M, GE, and even the U.S. Marines. For instance, using Matsushita's development of the Home Bakery (the world's first fully automated bread-baking machine for home use), they show how tacit knowledge can be converted to explicit knowledge: when the designers couldn't perfect the dough kneading mechanism, a software programmer apprenticed herself with the master baker at Osaka International Hotel, gained a tacit understanding of kneading, and then conveyed this information to the engineers. In addition, the authors show that, to create knowledge, the best management style is neither top-down nor bottom-up, but rather what they call "middle-up-down," in which the middle managers form a bridge between the ideals of top management and the chaotic realities of the frontline. As we make the turn into the 21st century, a new society is emerging. Peter Drucker calls it the "knowledge society," one that is drastically different from the "industrial society," and one in which acquiring and applying knowledge will become key competitive factors. Nonaka and Takeuchi go a step further, arguing that creating knowledge will become the key to sustaining a competitive advantage in the future. Because the competitive environment and customer preferences changes constantly, knowledge perishes quickly. With The Knowledge-Creating Company, managers have at their fingertips years of insight from Japanese firms that reveal how to create knowledge continuously, and how to exploit it to make successful new products, services, and systems.
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