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Knowledge is Power: Knowledge Management, Innovation, and Competitive Advantage: An Example from Egypt

Knowledge is Power: Knowledge Management, Innovation, and Competitive Advantage: An Example from Egypt
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Author(s): Rania Nafie (Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands) and Stephanie Jones (Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 31
Source title: Service Science Research, Strategy and Innovation: Dynamic Knowledge Management Methods
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): N. Delener (Arcadia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0077-5.ch031

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Abstract

In this chapter, the authors suggest that the success of the Knowledge – Knowledge Management – Knowledge Transfer – Innovation – Competitive Differentiation and step-by-step progression may be moderated and even compromised by cultural considerations. These can be the result of organizational and/or national cultural characteristics impacting on organizations and employees. These organizational and national cultural variables can be closely intertwined. The geographical focus of this chapter is based on Egypt, located in the Middle East/North Africa, currently in a state of political upheaval. The focus on Egypt reflects the interest and experience of the authors, and the perception that culture may be playing a part in the problems experienced by companies in Egypt in achieving a high level of sustained innovation. Companies in Egypt are still struggling to gain competitiveness in world markets, and culture is playing a big role in this struggle. Currently, politics and demands for democratic representation are also muddying the waters. These cultural issues, the authors argue, can be seen in terms of moderating the behavior of employees in the knowledge accumulation and knowledge transfer processes. Qualitative evidence is presented from interviews with managers at five Information and Communications Technology companies which suggest that the authors’ propositions may be well-founded.

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