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Knowledge Management in Aventis Pharmaceuticals

1) What was the organization’s prime motivation for implementing a knowledge management system?
2) What was the current state of knowledge management at this organization?
3) What knowledge management product did they choose?
4) What major challenges did they face during the implementation?
5) How did the new system improve business operations?
6) Did it improve their competitive standing? Elaborate.
7) How does the statement “Effective knowledge management is 80 percent managerial and organizational, and 20 percent technology” apply to your case study?
8) If you were in charge of this project, what recommendations or actions would you have taken to improve the outcome?
Organization: Aventis Pharmaceuticals
1) What was the company’s prime motivation for implementing a knowledge management system?
Knowledge management is not a new concept in research and information management practice. Notably, with the dynamism experienced in information technology, the business noticed the apparent need to provide its executives with pragmatic understanding of new technologies and knowledge management strategies. It is undeniable that knowledge is organizational resource and of great value to workers.  Therefore, knowledge management has varied practices that Aventis found important in representing, identifying and disseminating knowledge in order to create awareness and learning (Alavi & Leidner, 2001). Further, the Aventis management appreciated the fact that knowledge management is critical in achieving breakthrough in business through combination of people’s efforts, technology and processes put in place. Nevertheless, the ultimate goal for implementation of knowledge management was to effectively manage change, organizational complexities and uncertainties.
2) What was the current state of knowledge management at Aventis?
The current state of knowledge management was less technology oriented as people shared knowledge and information in forums such as meetings where workers got an opportunity to connect with other staffs.
3) What knowledge management product did they choose?
The organization chose explicit knowledge that is highly codified and formalized. In addition, this product is fairly easy to store and retrieve. The product is not only easy to store, but also to update, review and discard.
4) What major challenges did they face during the implementation?
Knowledge management software is in many cases complex and Aventis has faced some challenges implementing it. In addition, despite the system promising to lead to significant achievements little was achieved. This is due to confusion that engulfed workers as knowledge management is not all about installation of software, but also sharing knowledge amongst people within the organization (Evans & Wurster, 2002). Another major challenge faced was that of increased knowledge gaps between business performance and technology inputs and knowledge processes.
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