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Strategic Sustainable Development and Knowledge Management

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The purpose of this study was to explore how organizations can apply the Strategic Sustainable Development (SSD) Framework (Robèrt et al. 2006) as a lens and filter to a Knowledge Management Framework to move an organization towards sustainability. A conceptual framework of Knowledge Management (KM) was developed and then utilized to conduct a sustainability assessment on The Natural Step (TNS) organization as a case study. The researchers explored how an understanding of KM can support SSD and aid an organization in leveraging their existing knowledge.To achieve the objective, the most commonly accepted KM frameworks were summarized through a literature review. Then the researchers’ understanding of a conceptual KM Framework was developed. The SSD lens was used to identify gaps within the KM frameworks when an organization’s ultimate goal of success is sustainability. The conceptual KM Framework viewed through the SSD lens was utilized in conducting a sustainability assessment on TNS as a case study.The authors attempted to illustrate how using SSD as a lens could assist any organization, not just NGO’s with a sustainability mandate, to enhance any Quality Management System, such as KM, to tackle global issues.

The scope of the analysis was focused on understanding the role of KM as it relates to an organization’s journey towards sustainability. Specifically a strengths and weaknesses assessment was conducted. The assessment was used to identify gaps and successes in the following areas: knowledge sharing, sharing methodology and sustainable practices.

Author: Kirk Tyler, Mohamed Bibri, Norman Tyler

Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology

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