Inderscience Publishers

Knowledge management in hybrid supply channels: a case study

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In this paper, we present a theoretical framework for information technology supported knowledge management in hybrid supply channels. The framework has been applied to IBM in an exploratory case study. The study supports the framework. The framework characterises the competitive environment of companies and describes the resulting need for hybrid channelling and effective partnering. For hybrid channelling three types of knowledge are important: contextual, operational and functional knowledge. For partners situated upstream in the channel, contextual knowledge is the hardest to acquire. One needs its partners situated downstream in the channel to provide this knowledge. These partners on the other hand need their upstream partners to provide functional and operational knowledge. Information technology is a powerful tool for knowledge management in supply chains by providing four functions: adviser, assistant, librarian and teacher.

Keywords: knowledge management, information technology, supply chain management, case study

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