In this paper we address the issue of managing knowledge within firms that span multiple countries. Through a series of semi-structured interviews with 29 senior managers, spanning three continents and 11 firms, we present insights on knowledge management approaches and strategies being undertaken. In the organizations we interviewed we found presence of three strategies for knowledge management: Headquarter Commissioned and Executed, Headquarter Commissioned and Regionally Executed, and Regionally Commissioned and Locally Executed. We also discuss challenges faced in executing global knowledge management initiatives.
This study highlights the three KM strategies mentioned above and two major issues associated with deploying across boarders: Change Management and Culture. These should not be surprising, as they are issues for building KM anywhere. Nearly every article I read that provides an overview of KM talks about these important aspects, frequently adding technology to the mix or splitting these topics into a few pieces.
The study as presented is cursory and admittedly limited in scope. The authors claim at the end that the best approach is to "think globally and act locally," for successful KM in global organizations. This reminds me of my friend, Carol Tucker, who talks and writes about stealth KM.