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Syllabus

EN IT

Updated A.Y. 2022-2023

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The objectives of the "Knowledge management foundations" course are mainly two. The first is to provide students with basic theoretical knowledge of fundamental concepts and analytical and operational tools related to the management and creation of knowledge within firms and, in particular, to the central position that knowledge and learning play concerning the achievement of a sustainable competitive advantage by firms. In fact, the course focuses on the importance of improving knowledge management in firms to increase their competitiveness, emphasizing the importance of both human and technological aspects. The second objective of the course is to provide practical knowledge - functional to the theoretical one - through: i) the cycle of seminars "Meet the knowledge expert" which sees the participation of entrepreneurs, managers, and knowledge management experts, ii) analysis of specific case studies and iii) elaboration of project work, allowing students to directly approach the complexity associated with the knowledge management by firms. The course trains students consistently with the purpose of the Bachelor’s Degree Course in Business Administration & Economics, helping them to develop competencies and skills to implement knowledge management properly and allowing them to cover entrepreneurial or management roles in the vast and heterogeneous field of manufacturing and service firms. At the end of the course, students will have to demonstrate that they have achieved the expected learning outcomes, in compliance with the Dublin descriptors, as follows:

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING - Understand the importance of knowledge management and knowledge creation within firms - Understand the fundamental concepts related to knowledge and its creation, acquisition, dissemination (transfer and sharing), use, reuse and management - Know the main theories and the most critical processes to properly implement knowledge management within firms, of any nature and size - Know the tools and techniques for identifying and measuring intellectual capital and for knowledge sharing both within the firm and with external parties - Identify the different actors who can favour/hinder the knowledge management in a firm and the relationships between them, also from a systemic and co-evolutionary point of view - Interpret and analyze the complexity of the governance and management decision-making processes that characterize the knowledge management choices in the firm, also taking into account the social, institutional, and physical-environmental factors as well as the power relationships between companies and non-market forces

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING

- Demonstrate the ability to identify, analyze, evaluate, and solve complex problems related to knowledge management within companies - Compare knowledge management methods, tools and techniques learned during the course, as well as from related courses, and be able to choose the most suitable ones in light of the specific context of analysis - Explain how the application of general management principles to knowledge management can lead to positive results for society as a whole - Draw up and discuss a project work through which to demonstrate not only to have acquired the knowledge deriving from the course but also to know how to apply them to specific real contexts adequately.

MAKING JUDGMENTS

Identify the fundamental role of the basic theoretical knowledge learned during the course in the re-elaboration, argumentation, and autonomous evaluation of knowledge management practices, including personal reflections on social, scientific, and ethical issues related to them. Making judgments based on limited or incomplete information.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

- To present the concepts acquired during the course, in both written and oral form, in a clear, correct, and orderly way and with a technical language consistent with the course - Knowing how to explain the concepts acquired during the course to specialists and non-specialist interlocutors - Demonstrate the ability to work in a team and manage relational dynamics

LEARNING SKILLS

- Build and develop a suitable study and research method to allow the deepening of the knowledge acquired during the course - Identify the possible fields of application of the knowledge and skills acquired during the course for a future career - Evaluate the importance of the theoretical and practical knowledge base acquired in the overall Bachelor’s program.

PREREQUISITES

In the didactic regulations of the Bachelor's degree program in Business Administration & Economics there are no preparatory courses for the Knowledge management foundations course. Nonetheless, to better understand the contents of the lessons and achieve the educational objectives of the course, it is useful for the student to have already acquired basic knowledge at least from business area courses and in particular from the disciplines of Business economics and General Management.

DETAILED PROGRAM

The course program is articulated into the following 6 main parts:

Part I – Knowledge What is knowledge?; Knowledge hierarchy; Why is Knowledge important?; Typologies of Knowledge; Relationship between tacit and explicit knowledge; Other types of knowledge; Knowledge, Skill, (Cap)Ability; Knowledge models: Nonaka & Senge; Knowledge strategy; Knowledge strategy process; Resource appraisal; Exploration vs. Exploitation; Filling the knowledge gap: make or buy?; Knowledge loss; Employee turnover; Managing knowledge loss; Knowledge manager

Part II – Knowledge management What is Knowledge Management?; KM views; KM purposes; Pillars of KM: Management and organization, Infrastructure, People and Culture, Content management system; KM implementation: Advocate and learn, Develop strategy, Design and launch KM initiatives, Expand and support initiatives, Institutionalize knowledge management

Part III – Intellectual capital  Components of intellectual capital; Measuring and Safeguarding Intellectual Capital; Finding Measures for Intangible Assets: Balance scorecard, Intangible asset monitor, Skandia navigator, Knowledge account; Intellectual Capital Reporting

Part IV – Learning What is learning?; Conscious learning; Absorptive capacity; Action learning vs. Learning from action; Kolb’s model; What is organizational learning?; Learning types

Part V – Knowledge sharing What is Knowledge sharing?; Knowledge sharing vs. knowledge transfer; Models of knowledge sharing; Implementing knowledge sharing; Knowledge sharing barriers; Knowledge characteristics; Sharing knowledge creatively

Part VI – Knowledge management tools and techniques Peer assist; After action review; Knowledge cafè; Communities of practices; Social network services; Knowledge cluster; Knowledge mapping; KM maturity model

DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODS AND CRITERIA FOR VERIFICATION OF LEARNING

For both attending and non-attending students, the exam focuses on the topics of the course program, including topics emerging from in-depth seminars and the analysis of business cases. The exam consists of an oral test that involves two parts: 1. questions related to the topics covered by the course and 2. presentation and discussion of project work. For attending students, the evaluation of the project work is based on a PowerPoint presentation and classroom discussion of the project. For non-attending students, the evaluation of the project work takes place based on a report that must be delivered to the teacher within the last week of the course and discussed by the student during the oral test. Furthermore, in addition to the text adopted and the supplementary teaching materials, non-attending students must deepen their study through Nonaka’s articles, available in the bibliographic references of the course. The exam assesses the overall preparation by the student following the Dublin descriptors, as follows: acquired knowledge (quantity and quality) concerning the topics of the program and consequentiality of reasoning; ability to apply such knowledge and to make connections among the different parts of the program, including also the acquired knowledge from other similar courses; analytical ability, synthesis, and autonomy of judgement; communication skills of the student (language properties, clarity of presentation, and appropriate use of terminology, specific to the course). The final mark of the exam is expressed out of thirty and will be obtained through the following grading system: Fail: important deficiencies in the knowledge and understanding of the topics; limited analytical and synthesis skills; frequent generalizations and limited critical and judgmental abilities; the topics are set out inconsistently and with inappropriate language.  18-21: the student has acquired the basic concepts of the discipline and has an analytical capacity that emerges only with the teacher's help; the way of speaking and the language used are on the whole correct. 22-25: the student has acquired the basic concepts of the discipline discreetly; knows how to orient him/herself among the various topics covered, and has an autonomous analysis capacity knowing how to express using the correct language.  26-29: the student has a well-structured knowledge base; he/she can independently rework the knowledge acquired in the context of the choice of conventional and unconventional materials according to the application; the way of speaking and the technical language are correct.  30 and 30 cum laude: the student has a comprehensive knowledge base. The cultural references are rich and up-to-date, expressed with brilliance and properties of technical language.

MATERIALS

Peter Massingham (2020): Knowledge Management: Theory in Practice, SAGE

Additional materials exclusively related to the thematic seminars and business case study analysis will be available to students.

REFERENCES

• Peter Massingham (2020): Knowledge Management: Theory in Practice, SAGE; • Choo, C. W. (1996). The knowing organization: How organizations use information to construct meaning, create knowledge and make decisions. International journal of information management, 16(5), 329-340; • Leoni, L. (2015), “Adding service means adding knowledge: an inductive single-case study”, Business Process Management Journal, 21(3), 610-627. ISSN: 1463-7154. Doi: 10.1108/BPMJ-07-2014-0063; • Nonaka, I. (1991). The knowledge-creating company. Harvard business review, 85(7/8), 162-171; • Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization science, 5(1), 14-37.

DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE PROCEDURE AND TEACHING METHODS ADOPTED

The teaching activity, in line with the training objectives of the course, responds to a theoretical-practical approach that combines lectures, thematic seminars with testimonials, discussion of business cases, and project work in the classroom for a total of 36 hours of training, according to the calendar published before the start of the semester on the Bachelor’s Degree Course website. The lectures include the treatment of the theoretical and methodological foundations included in the course program and their application through the use of business cases and examples to allow students to develop understanding and application skills of concepts and methodologies suitable for solving Knowledge management issues. Furthermore, for some topics of the course (or related to it, also concerning significant socio-economic and environmental evolutions taking place in national and international contexts), thematic seminars are planned introduced by the teacher and carried out by managers, entrepreneurs, and experts in knowledge management. These testimonials form an integral part of the training objectives of the course as they further and effectively develop the student's ability to understand and apply them through a direct approach to the complexity of the processes of knowledge management, creation, and enhancement in a firm. During the lectures, the discussion of the cases, and the conduct of thematic seminars, students are encouraged by the teacher to ask questions, express doubts, and present their critical point of view, highlighting the concepts and tools used for their arguments, starting from those learned during the course.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ATTENDANCE MODE

The course is organized into frontal lessons. Given that the teaching methodology is intensely based on interaction and active participation in the classroom, attendance - albeit optional - is strongly recommended.