Knowledge work and knowledge management in small and medium sized engineer-to-order enterprises
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Knowledge work and knowledge management have become critical success factors for large enterprises and even for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Especially in knowledge-intensive sectors, like the Engineer-to-Order (ETO) industry, knowledge management and the organization and coordination of knowledge work are indispensable for the realization of usually unique and highly complex projects. Particularly SMEs dispose only about limited resources in form of qualified personnel and capital to realize knowledge work. This, nowadays, leads to a lack of knowledge management for these enterprises. This paper describes in a first introduction the challenges regarding the growth of knowledge work and analyses the need of knowledge management in SMEs of the ETO sector, due to actually raising knowledge-intensive trends. The authors present a developed system-theoretical model to realize in consecutive stages an enhanced knowledge management, knowledge work and finally collaboration management of SMEs in the ETO and construction sector.
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