Knowledge Management In An International Context Management Essay

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As we know, the economic nowadays is very developing so that many companies have strategies that do business from local to global in order to make more profits, create more new knowledge for companies and have more challenges with competitors. Like Apple and IBM are the big and old companies which have so many experiences about creating knowledge and managing knowledge in a system. However, when companies are doing these strategies, they also meet a lot of problems in managing human resources such as languages, cultures, process and structure in company.


According to Nonaka and Takeuchi KM cycle, it describes the process transformation of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge through 4 steps that are Socialization, externalization, combination and internalization. This helps all information and knowledge transfer to all staffs, so they can improve, develop and create their knowledge more. In the facts, using this model in a company or local is easier than global all people can share knowledge and understand together. Examples:

Socialization: the manager want to transfer knowledge and experience to new sellers of how to convince customers by having some meetings and discusses due to they transfer their knowledge together.

Externalization: after leading, they write all information they have by documents, notebook and find out some video that can help people easy understanding.

Combination: after the staffs saw documents and video they collects all knowledge and develop them follow their styles.

The last step is the internalization. they improve knowledge by their experience gained from applying them to convince customers.

However, in global company currently, transferring elements of this model will difficult more, staffs in system difficult transfer knowledge together because they have different language, culture of company, culture of country and different thinking.


Nowadays, many companies are global companies which have many branches on the world, so that they have big problem when they communicate together to have difference of opinion with other person, meet with serious difficulties and can’t understand complete ideas or understand another way which they communicate together because they use different languages in their branches. To solve this problem, employees in global company should know a general language to communicate. And English is popular and important language in the world so that everyone can affect to the global companies for communication. It will be a line to connect employees in different branches on the world to make a close community. Example in Tyco International Ltd is a multinational corporation of US; specialize in manufacturing and supplying valve for global companies. TFC acquired KTM (Japanese valve manufacture) and TVC (Taiwan Valve Corporation) in 2001. And TFCA was managing both in the manufacturing relocation and knowledge transfer. However, in the knowledge transfer process, TFC has problems of different languages as Japanese and Chinese. To solve this problem, KTM redraw the codified knowledge from Japanese into Chinese and sent to TVC, then TVC mark some corrections or necessary in the drawings and sent back to KTM to make the technical reasoning became clearly to TVC and KTM staffs became knowledgeable about the main design factors influencing costs. And TFCA required all the document is rewrite into English.

The way of Thinking and Corporate Culture:

Everybody are living in different nations, having differences in lifestyle, differences in education, which forms their different ways of thinking. This will be very difficult to discuss, exchange ideas, conflicting and difficult to unite opinions.

Every business has a separate culture, in which people exchange, unite with each other sociability. When businesses turn into the multi-national companies as the international context today, it would be very difficult for staffs are able to be sociable.

These are some solutions that have summarized in practice business:

Universalizing know ledges about corporate culture, finding out the way of thinking of staffs around the world in common company though out external network system. Example, Buckman established a knowledge network as a forum which name K’Netrix, in which employees in company are able to access. In this way the members of the company can talk, discuss and share knowledge with each other directly in anytime, anywhere and whatever language.

Transferring staffs to other countries to work and study, in order to give them the chance to approach life style, corporate culture and the way of thinking of foreign staffs. Meanwhile this activity helps staffs improve relationship together in organization, help company become a united community.

Scale and structure:

A corporation after expand their size going to globalization will certainly encounter many difficulties arises in the management and coordinate knowledge due the large amount of information and staffs increases with the size of the group. Most companies apply one of two following network: Small, cohesive network

Large network with structural holes

Cohesive network is mostly applied to small company, local scale, characteristic are tight network with many rules are established and building strong relationships among staffs, advantage is create conditions for sharing and coordinate knowledge together but it limit creativity in a fixed range because of they have to sustain the network follow rules.

Network with structural holes usually applied with multi-national companies, it loose interpersonal connection due a huge number of employees with large-scale corporations, which makes knowledge-sharing is limited, but it encourages the creation and expand the range of knowledge.

But it does not mean that multinational companies can not manage information closely as local companies, large corporations can fully improve it if they have appropriate operational structure. Following are two most common structures:

Centralized, hierarchical structure for multinationals

With this structure, the corporation focuses primarily on develop the advantages of home country where multinational originates. Business units are controlled in a top-down by the corporate centre. Therefore, it limits creativity and hinders the process of knowledge-sharing between business units.

Decentralized network structure for multinationals

This structure is considered more efficient when it maximizes the process two-way knowledge-sharing between centers and business units together in order to help stimulate innovation in the whole group. The branch receives the knowledge from home country, and then processing it by creative way to appropriate with the country where they are locate.

So, group should be combined between Structural holes and network settings follow decentralized structure to optimal creativity, building knowledge of staffs and facilitate for the process knowledge-sharing between business units and home country.


Developing business from local to global is very important for any company because it is a new way for company to develop and have more chances as well as challenges. To doing this, company has to have strategies far-seeing, consult employee’s idea, find out about customer’s thinking, storing and understand clearly all the steps in managing human resources, so that company can create more new knowledge for employees and for company.