Understanding the Process of Building KM Competencies: Drawing on the Resource-Based View of the Firm

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



In the last fifteen years, researchers and practitioners alike have promoted knowledge management (KM) as an essential element of organizational life, and have promised a variety of competitive advantages from implementing strategic KM programs. Fifteen years on, and after extensive research in the field, we are still unclear about the competencies that organizations have gained from KM programs. Even if we assume that organizations have benefited from their KM programs, how do we build and where do we find the competencies? While successful strategic KM requires the presence of KM competencies, there is insufficient inquiry that examines the process of building these competencies and therefore the question we ask is: how do organizations build KM competencies. To better understand strategic KM, competencies and competency building, we looked to the resource-based perspective in which these concepts are rooted. From the analysis of the case of the British Council, we found that in the various stages of institutionalizing their KM program, the organization built competencies in four main aspects of the organization: strategy, structure, culture and resources. Within the broad framework of these four aspects, we were able to analyze the action taken by the organization and built a KM competency building framework.


Knowledge management, competency, competency building, resource-based view


Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources


Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, 8-13 August 2008

City or Country

Anaheim, CA, USA

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