Developing a Knowledge Strategy

Michael Zack

College of Business Adminstration
Northeastern University, Boston


(Zack, Michael H. 1999. Developing a Knowledge Strategy. California Management Review 41, no. 3: 125-145.)

Today, knowledge is considered the most strategically important resource and learning the most strategically important capability for business organizations. However, many initiatives being undertaken to develop and exploit organizational knowledge are not explicitly linked to or framed by the organization's business strategy. In fact, most knowledge management initiatives are viewed primarily as information systems projects. While many managers intuitively believe that strategic advantage can come from knowing more than competitors, they are unable to explicitly articulate the link between knowledge and strategy. A framework is provided for making that link and for assessing an organization's competitive position regarding its intellectual resources and capabilities. It is recommended that organizations perform a knowledge-based analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, comparing their knowledge to that of their competitors and to the knowledge required to execute their own strategy.

To appear in "Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organizational Knowledge" edited by Nick Bontis & Chun Wei Choo (Oxford University Press).