Knowledge processes: From managing people to managing processes

Alon Hasgall, Snunith Shoham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this article is to discuss the necessity of access to the personal knowledge of each employee in order to cope with requirements in an organization's dynamic environment. The research question posed is which type of organizational structure, working environment and management style is most conducive to this access. Design/methodology/approach - The research was a qualitative study, allowing for examination of behavior in the organizational reality as is, by analyzing interviews and observations of about 60 employees in six private, government and public organizations. The research analysis was based on five criteria regarding performance of a complex adaptive system (CAS). Findings - There are indications that in organizations where a higher number of CAS characteristics existed, employees were better able to provide immediate solutions to the dynamic requirements. To allow this, managers should focus more on the synchronization of organizational processes and less on the control and the direct command of their subordinates. Research limitations/implications - Organizations in a dynamic environment require a change in their structure and management method to resemble in line with CAS characteristics. In a CAS organization employees are autonomous, applying personal knowledge in developing immediate and systematic responses to change. Originality/value - The research shows that the effective use of personal knowledge does not readily occur in hierarchical organizations. Knowledge management in organizations in the knowledge era requires a greater focus on process management than on people management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Adaptive system theory
  • Knowledge management
  • Management styles


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