Whats Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge by Hansen, Nohria and Tierney Essay- by EduBirdie

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Essay on ‘What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge?’ by Hansen, Nohria and Tierney

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The article by Hansen, Nohria and Tierney explores the strategies of knowledge management in different types of organisations. Knowledge management in business is a crucial aspect of being successful and maintaining the development of the company. There are two different knowledge transition strategies.

First one is called the codification strategy , which represents an approach towards the passing of the commercial knowledge by means of its codification and storage in computer programs and databases. This strategy makes knowledge accessible to anyone who requests it.

The other strategy is personalisation of knowledge, where the information is tied to the person responsible for it and is passed by means of communication. Companies are responsible for making the proper choice of the most suitable strategy. The choice of knowledge management strategy determines the type of people a company hires, the way it serves the clients and the ways its business and economics work.

Companies that practice personalisation strategy will transfer the knowledge within the business by means of moving people between the departments, providing sessions of communication through email, telephone and face-to-face, calls and letters are returned quickly.

This strategy implies a creative and analytical approach. Codification strategy enforces all the workers to fulfill the databases and send the information and reports to special storages, where all the other workers can find and use them. 1

The companies that work with standardised products can rely on codified knowledge, whereas for the companies that produce and sell customised goods, which vary a lot, codification will not be appropriate as it is very limiting.

Explicit knowledge based companies should also to reply on codification strategy, as they use standard repeated knowledge. Tacit knowledge, on the contrary, is hard to transmit through databases this is why it needs to be communicated properly face-to-face.

Management ?


To my mind, most of the companies today use mixed tactics and employ diverse workers. I think that for the companies that rely on outsourcing and expansion it is important to use both types of knowledge transmission.

Personal communication through various courses and seminars will create better understanding and attitudes among the employees, at the same time, when the company operates many branches, some of which are located abroad, it is very convenient to start databases and storages for the knowledge so that the diverse workers can access it every time they need.

If we view knowledge as an agent, we will notice that codified knowledge is the one that can perform standard tasks; it is active, but limited, structured and general. 2 The companies that work through a repetitive process should definitely use codification strategy; it will save the employees and the customers a lot of time.

The companies that develop not by producing the bigger quantities of goods, but through innovations and development have a more complicated knowledge transmission process.

For such organisations it would be wiser to employ the codification strategy for the new branches and employees that are not experienced and do not possess much professional knowledge. Such workers should be free to access the basic information from databases.

As soon as the new workers gain experience, they will be able to move to the stage of personalised knowledge. Successful performance on this stage requires creative approach to management practices, constant development and promotion, the ability to react and analyse quickly and in various situations. The people working at this stage should be very responsive and professional.


Abolfazlian, K. Codified & Personalisation Strategies How They Are Applied in Knowledge Management . Km4dev, 2010, retrieved < http://www.km4dev.org/profiles/blogs/codified-amp-personalization >

Hansen, M. T, N. Nohria & T. Tierney. ‘What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge?’ Harvard Business Review , 1999, pp. 1-11.


1 M. T. Hansen, N. Nohria & T. Tierney. ‘What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge?’ Harvard Business Review , 1999, p. 1

2 K. Abolfazlian. Codified & Personalisation Strategies How They Are Applied in Knowledge Management . Km4dev, 2010.

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