Based on a survey of 317 firms and in-depth cases on six firms, this article examines the management of the most intangible asset of the firm—its knowledge. This article examines the sources, uses, and outcomes of knowledge and shows how successful firms acquire and absorb more information and know-how. More importantly, these firms have more effective decision-making processes that enable them both to create new knowledge and to apply this knowledge to generating more innovation in products and processes. Greater levels of innovation in turn lead to improved market and financial performance. This article identifies eight key lessons for knowledge managers and demonstrates how rather than attempting to manage knowledge, firms should measure the change in the innovative outputs that arise from their knowledge management strategies and practices.
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