Do the knowledge management strategies of codification and personalisation inform practice in a retail firm? The Case of B&Q.

Harrison, Steven Mark (2012) Do the knowledge management strategies of codification and personalisation inform practice in a retail firm? The Case of B&Q. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Knowledge strategy is an increasingly important concern for managers in almost all industries as they mature, and as the search for competitive advantage moves into knowing more than rivals about customers, resources, and processes. This dissertation seeks to understand how the firm B&Q is addressing this need for an effective way to create and utilise knowledge. B&Q is a retail firm in the home improvement industry. They are the market leader and are aware of and are attempting to reverse a general decline in the industry. Knowledge concerns everything that the firm does from its interactions with customers to the way managers ensure effective performance.

There is significant academic research into the way firms manage their knowledge. Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), Hansen et al (1999), and Zack (1999), among others, have all developed their own models and frameworks that predict and evaluate the knowledge strategies that firms implement. Much of this research is focused on firms in knowledge intensive industries where either knowledge creation is the primary output, such as technology research firms, or where knowledge services are bought by other firms, such as management consultancy. This dissertation will test whether a number of these frameworks are utilised by B&Q – a firm which is in the retail sector. It is important to test these models in industries other than those in which they were originally developed. This will help to gain a general understanding of knowledge management which is not sector specific.

The first part of this dissertation will focus on a review of the literature of knowledge management and strategy. This will inform the analysis of the research results and act as a means of categorisation of knowledge activities within B&Q. The literature review will also help to evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of the knowledge strategy. The analysis will be based on a number of research hypotheses. Chapter 3 will be a description of the framework I will be using to analyse the data and the research methods I will use to obtain the data. Chapters 4 and 5 will then describe the knowledge management strategy of B&Q based on the data gathered in the interview, which will be analysed in terms of the framework discussed before in chapter 6. Finally, the limitations of the study will be highlighted in chapter 7 and the dissertation will conclude with what has been learnt from this study and implications for future research in chapter 8.

This dissertation concludes with the finding that B&Q’s knowledge strategy does closely resemble the results of Hansen et al’s (1999) research. The personalisation and codification strategies are found to be implemented in the manner suggested by Hansen et al (1999) and there are also elements of Zack’s (1999) work as well.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2013 10:20
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2017 09:03

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