The knowledge leader

Abstract: According to Amidon (2000) modern leaders do not fear the speed of change; rather they embrace an agenda of learning. They know that effective management is not a matter of having the most knowledge; but knowing how to use it. It is not enough to know modern management concepts, but how they get implemented is equally important. Therefore, leadership is more of an art than a science.
Businesses are well advised to manage knowledge as effectively as possible and they are doing this by drawing on the abilities, insight and skills of a new category of professionals – the knowledge officer – to increase organizational competitiveness and to enhance the productivity of all employees (Barclay 2003). According to Davenport (1996), the chief knowledge officer captures and leverages structured knowledge with information technology as a key enabler. Companies need people who are able to extract knowledge from those who have it, reorder it into a format anyone can use and update and edit that knowledge as required over time. The most likely organizations to support knowledge management, organizational learning and formal chief knowledge officer positions are companies that value learning and knowledge as critical to their business strategies, and not just as ‘nice things to do’ (Bonner 2000).
Thus the role of the knowledge leader is deeper than what the chief executive officer (CEO) is often expected to be and broader than the chief information officer (CIO) wants to be or has time to be. Hence the qualities of the knowledge leader are an unusual and perhaps a rare mix.
The purpose of this article is then to discuss the role of, and competencies needed by the knowledge leader.

J. A. Kok: Role of leadership in the management of corporate knowledge. South African Journal of Information Management; Vol 5, No 3 (2003)

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