Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains


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This article presents the conceptual bases to develop a knowledge portal applied on a general supply chain.

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Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains

  1. 1. Portais Corporativos biblioteca Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals This article presents the conceptual bases to develop a knowledge portal applied on a general supply chain. Dr. José Cláudio Cyrineu Terra Introduction Value Chains The purpose of this paper is to establish the • A Brazilian Experience with a conceptual bases for the development of a Knowledge Portal involving 15 Research knowledge portal applied to a generic economic Organizations cluster and value chain and to report the initial results of Communities of Practice developed • Expected Results and Final across a number of different Research Institutes. Considerations Although we start out with solid theoretical bases, the paper does more than just review the concepts 1. Review of Concepts previously presented or developed. In fact, we believe this paper is quite innovative. For a better understanding of the theoretical bases of this paper, we have to briefly revisit Concise revisions are made of the main points the concepts of Cluster Economics, Knowledge related to Cluster Theory and Learning Networks, Management and Corporate Portals. According Knowledge Management and Corporate to our interpretation, there is potential for a highly Portals. These concepts, practices and points of synergistic interaction among these three concepts. convergence make up, then, the starting points In fact, in spite of dealing with concepts from three for a description of the main objectives and distinct areas of study or bodies of knowledge, functionalities (with their corresponding motivators) that is, Economics, Administration and Information that should be included in a “Knowledge Portal Technology, it can be seen that the key and Applied to Economic Clusters and Value Chains”. dominant themes are very similar. This similarity of themes and, in some cases, analytic tool-box, is We will divide this work into the following parts: what motivated the preparation of this article. We • Review of Concepts will try, next, to emphasize each of these themes o “Cluster Economics” and the separately, so that, at the end of this paper, we can Network Era put forward some propositions of a practical nature. o Knowledge Management; • The Innovative Opportunity: Knowledge Portal Applied to Economic Clusters and © TerraForum Consultores
  2. 2. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca Conceptual Model: Synergy of Concepts between Clusters, Knowledge Management and Corporate Portals networks of collaboration and knowledge among Source: Developed by the author enterprises, universities and government. The Japanese kairetsus and the just-in-time methods 1.1 “Cluster Economics” and the Network Era of production, initially developed by Toyota, have spread throughout the world and have as one of Understanding of competitive advantage on their bases a very high level of cooperation and the basis of clusters has its origin in some exchange of information among enterprises in the classical works which detailed the power of productive chain. In Europe, there are already learning networks. Michael Porter, in his book reports that speak of a new corporate structure: The Competitive Advantage of Nations, called the “syndicates of companies”, that is, associations attention to the atmosphere of learning, cooperation of small and medium companies, which do not and high competition existing in micro-regions; compete against each other and which are co- Anna Lee Saxenian related very ably (in her proprietors of “cooperatives” which assume book: Regional Advantage) the development of responsibility for activities in common , such as: Silicon Valley, starting with the informal flows and marketing, distribution, entry into foreign markets, © TerraForum Consultores
  3. 3. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca licensing of technology, etc. With this structure, the (as do the keiretsus) and the information individual enterprises concentrate on their main and exchanges go far beyond those which would be differentiating activities (e.g., design, RD, etc.). required to complete production orders. In many cases, the exchanges of “intangibles” (information In sum, companies which belong to competitive or knowledge) are, in fact, the only relevant clusters work, in general, in a rather synergistic way exchanges among the members of the cluster. In and/or may hold various common interests. Among this new era, the participants of these networks them, the following may be mentioned: satisfaction collaborate to attend to the long and short term of the final customer, technological development, needs of their customers and to create new sectoral or local regulation, training of the work knowledge and products. force, development of infrastructure, exports, relations with the government, academia and other Manuel Castell, well-known Berkeley sociology not-for-profit institutions, etc. professor and astute observer of economic and social changes engendered by the information and Various authors have predicted that, by means telecommunications technologies, believes that: the of new levels and forms of networking, we’re network is the enterprise. The concepts, then, of beginning to see the rapid change in the networks of companies and/or network enterprise role performed by large corporations and the are carried much further ahead by Castell. In his emergence of a picture of how work should interpretation, the network enterprise is a “lean be carried out in the 21st century. The change agency of economic activity”, where the business taking place at this time would be as profound practices are carried out in an ad hoc manner, as that which occurred starting with the industrial depending upon specific projects and quite short- revolution. In spite of the constant reports of lived demand. mergers and acquisitions all over the world, it can be observed that, for example, the proportion that It is necessary to both compete and, at the same employees working for the 500 largest companies time, collaborate. Companies often compete in the USA (the Fortune 500) represents of the in some markets and collaborate in others. total American workforce has been falling steadily Nowadays, in the most advanced markets, they for the past 25 years, having gone down from already talk a lot about “Collaboration Capital” 20% to 10%. These companies are clearly less and “Digital Capital”. It has to do, in large part, vertically integrated today than in the past. Their with the idea of taking advantage of the Internet’s fundamental role, according to MIT professors infrastructure to increase revenue and profits by Malone and Laubacher, will be to: “establish rules, means of never before attained levels of high scale standards and cultures for network organizations collaboration, independent of geographic location. operating partly within and partly outside their own According to this emerging model, everything boundaries”. begins with the final client’s needs and materializes by means of intense collaboration to optimize The Internet, however, is substantially raising the joint processes of the different parties and to the importance of all these concepts of clusters stimulate the exchange of information, knowledge, and integration among companies. Unlike these resources and personnel. more traditional symbiotic forms, the new ways of networking are not restricted by geographic In this environment, we believe that, without having barriers, they do not involve crossed shareholdings very well-connected and rapidly- implemented © TerraForum Consultores
  4. 4. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca business and sector strategies, it is very hard to imagine that enterprises will succeed in making In the context of this paper, it is important themselves competitive and even in surviving the to highlight that sociological and economic challenges imposed by international competition. research and experiments have repeatedly The economic model of substitution of imports, demonstrated that people tend to have less trust adopted by many developing nations led in individuals of another race, country or culture. enterprises in these countries to “learn by doing”. This is an important issue for knowledge-based The external competition with companies from multinationals, regional cooperation and virtual developed countries, nevertheless, require other economic cluster that require cooperation and the forms of learning to be much more prominent and free-flow of knowledge among people from offices demand much more modern strategies to speed across the globe. For years, organizations have up both the creation and the flow of knowledge been trying to mitigate the difficulty of building trust within and among enterprises and other institutions, across cultures by periodically moving people to such as research centres, universities, trade and different offices and countries and by providing industrial associations, governments, etc. many employees with, among other things, diversity and cultural-sensitivity courses. In this scenario, it’s more and more difficult to imagine that small companies (and even countries), The degree of trust is rooted in history, myths and operating in an isolated manner, can manage set of prevailing values. It develops over time and to succeed. They’re incapable of generating is not easily increased. However, it can be very or obtaining all the knowledge and information easily reduced or even totally lost by untrustworthy they need and of attaining large enough scale to actions. This asymmetric nature of trust (hard to perform and compete with a global perspective. To increase, easy to be lost) and its fundamental overcome this disadvantage, they must of necessity importance for building knowledge-sharing and employ coordinated educational, managerial and collaborating networks is one the key issues that business strategies, proactively incorporated need be taken into consideration upfront and not as into the environment. These same ideas also an after-thought. apply to large and traditional organizations. If they are unable to develop an intense ambience of collaboration with their customers, suppliers, 1.2 Knowledge Management partners and even with their competitors, really didn’t understand the new paradigms of the Knowledge management doesn’t even “Knowledge Era”. have its start with technology. It starts with business objectives and processes It is also clear that “trust” is one of the key and the recognition of the need to share currencies in this new environment. People and information. organizations will not voluntarily share what they Bill Gates, know if they do not trust the other parties. On the President of Microsoft other hand, as the need for continuous learning is becoming an essential aspect of life, human and We are living at a time of important transition in computer-based networks become an important the economic environment, where the proactive strategy for individuals to amplify the reach of their management of knowledge acquires a central social and trust-based interactions. role for the competitiveness of both enterprises © TerraForum Consultores
  5. 5. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca and of countries. However, this was not always creation and reutilization of knowledge. They also so, as, in the past, advantages of location, as well need more automated systems, which can bring as access to cheap labour, natural resources and the source of knowledge or correct information to financial capital had much more significant roles. the user – wherever that person may be – virtually It’s quite evident that we’re living in an increasingly instantaneously. Time is extremely important! turbulent environment, where competitive advantages must be permanently reinvented and In quite practical terms, Knowledge Management where low-technology sectors and those having implies, necessarily: low knowledge intensity inexorably lose economic • Development of competencies inter-related share. In this context, the challenge to produce on the strategic, organizational and individual more and better is being replaced by the permanent levels; challenge of creating new products, services, • Acceleration of the generation of new processes and management systems. In turn, the knowledge with competitive value: speed of change and the growing complexity of - Increased collaboration among the challenges no longer allow these efforts to be employees; concentrated in just a few individuals or areas of - Facilitation of employee access to the the organizations, region or even countries. sources of training (on-line and off- line), information and knowledge; It’s increasingly necessary to make innovation • Discovery of Intellectual Capital and a permanent mission and to leverage all types Knowledge already existing in the company; of available knowledge, be they tacit or explicit, • Generation of new revenue based on the re- internal or external, tangible or intangible. In use of the knowledge/intellectual capital this scenario, in the mid-‘90s, “Knowledge existing in the company; Management” emerged as a discipline and a • Protection of the intellectual capital existing in formalized organizational function, initially in private the company; enterprises and, a little later, in government organs • Leveraging of the knowledge existing in the and state-owned enterprises and in supranational company and in the external environment to entities, such as The World Bank and the United better serve the customers; Nations. In sum, when one thinks about Knowledge • Improvement of the decision-making process Management, there is an overlap in the direction at all levels of the company (management, of the “micro” (individuals and groups), “meso” production and on the front line); (organizations) and “macro” (environment) • Reduction of costs and of re-working: analyses. - Don’t reinvent the wheel; and - Avoid activities which add little value. At present, we are confronting challenges without precedent in terms of knowledge management. It’s also clear that investments in information The challenges are especially guided by three technology and telecommunication infrastructure forces: the huge volumes of information which are are having an important role in the attainment of presently being created, stored and distributed; the these objectives. Especially, those technologies incredible speed with which knowledge content is based on the Internet and which facilitate the changing; and the continual transformation of the sharing of implicit and explicit knowledge. Among workplace. To be able to survive, organizations the principal benefits from these technologies are, must be more and more proactive in supporting the mainly, the increase in connectivity among persons © TerraForum Consultores
  6. 6. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca (within and outside the organization), a reduction in Two areas and/or topics which are relatively new the problems of communication between different and quite related to Knowledge Management are hierarchical levels and better interaction with “Practice Communities” and “E-learning”. Some of suppliers and customers. These tools, usually their elements are high-lighted below: integrated in a corporate portal framework, may be classified, from a “Knowledge Management” Communities of Practice perspective, into five large areas: In light of the tremendous challenge of promoting the sharing of knowledge within and among • Access to a repository of reference companies, the concept of “Communities of materials: explicit knowledge which Practice”, created by organizational theoretician may be easily accessed and which Etienne Wenger, is one of the most interesting avoids duplication of effort; developments related to Knowledge Management. • Content Management Systems: tools Communities of Practice (CoPs) consist of persons which permit the quick and orderly who are informally linked by a shared interest in access, publication and distribution the learning and application of a common practice. of contents – in a decentralized way A CoP focuses colleagues on the execution of true and/or according to well-established work. What keeps CoP members together is a flows; common sense of purpose and a real need to know • Expertise maps: data banks with lists what the other members know. “Communities of and descriptions of the competencies Practice” is a term which refers to the ways in which of individuals within and outside the people work together and/or associate with others organization (e.g., internal “yellow naturally. It recognizes and celebrates the power of pages” of the organization), which informal communities of colleagues, their creativity facilitate the sharing of implicit and resources to solve problems and their ability knowledge; to invent better and easier ways to resolve their • Virtual Collaboration Systems: tools commitments. which reduce the barriers of time and distance in access to knowledge. CoPs are intrinsically related to the needs of They may be synchronous (e.g., individuals to connect with others who share similar videoconferences, chat-rooms, etc.) learning experiences or objectives. They may or asynchronous (e.g., e-mails, also bring together persons who would otherwise discussion fora, etc.); and never meet each other. The most interesting CoPs • Knowledge-enabled Processes: are those which are connected (and motivated) key processes can be codified by by specific challenges, interests or problems task designers in order to capture in common. CoPs go beyond the traditional best practices and standardize how boundaries of working groups or teams. These certain activities are done. These working networks may extend well beyond the limits solutions are often based on the of an organization. The meetings may or may not application of workflow technology be regularly scheduled, in a fixed location, or have enhanced by portal abilities to provide structured agendas. They may be real or virtual get- added structured and unstructured togethers. What keeps the members connected are information at the point of need. their common interests in personal development and in joint-learning. The CoPs may be short-lived © TerraForum Consultores
  7. 7. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca or continue for a long time. In any event, they innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurial experience a vital cycle of activity and a variable behaviour, within the cluster, increases remarkably. number of members. This “dynamization”, in turn, may engender healthy levels of internal competition and an increase in global CoP members may work in the same department, ambitions. The review of the concepts presented in be from different parts of a company, or even the foregoing section leads us to believe that there be from different companies and institutions. is a great synergistic and innovative opportunity Communication tends to be broad and includes that may be applied to strengthen certain economic topics that are not necessarily directly related to the clusters and value chains (mainly those which could task or work-project. CoP members may or may not benefit from better information flows and more have participated in joint projects. They may create intensive collaboration between the public and semi-open “clubs”, where participation is based private players of the productive chain, as is the upon a relationship of great confidence and upon case of Government-owned or sponsored Research the contribution which each member brings to the Institutes). community or network. Another important distinction between CoPs and task-forces is that participation Important regional development and/or productive is normally voluntary or individually chosen. This chain strategies are beginning to appear, which signifies that, even though membership is in take into account, at the same time, the concepts many cases open, it is really only effective if the of Cluster Economics and Knowledge Management members attain a certain level of participation and which leverage corporate portals technologies. (even “listening” actively and attentively). Normally, We’re talking about the proposal of development of the most important knowledge exchanges which a “Knowledge Portal Applied to Economic Clusters occur within the context of a CoP (especially when and Value Chains”. they involve more abstract concepts) have to do with exchanges of implicit knowledge. One of For the knowledge portals applied to the productive the implications of this fact is that, even though chain project to be considered a success, it’s IT/Internet applications offer valuable tools of essential that it becomes an integral part of the work collaboration and abundant information, this will of the companies participating in the productive often not be a substitute for the role of intuition chain. It needs to provide the participating companies and the wealth and depth of knowledge transfers with motives to visit the portal frequently. The and creation which occur in face-to-face meetings. solutions which more advanced portals offer are not For that reason, many Knowledge Management limited to access to structured and non-structured efforts are focused upon facilitating the localization information. They also have an essential role in the of specialists who nourish and support the development of collaboration and commerce. They development of Communities of Practice. stimulate exchanges of explicit knowledge, contact among members of the involved organizations and 2. The Innovative Opportunity: Knowledge commerce. Portal Applied to Economic Clusters and Value Chains Following, then, the classical ideas and proposals for the “dynamization” of clusters and transposing The “dynamization” of clusters is always associated typical corporate portals applications, one could with high levels of linkages among the principal foresee the functionalities of the knowledge portal players. When this occurs, the potential for divided into six large areas: © TerraForum Consultores
  8. 8. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca I. Information Flows; IV. Business Generation; II. Collaboration; V. Promotion of Innovation; and III. Training of Personnel; VI. Optimization of Resources. Proposal of Knowledge Portal Applied to Economic Clusters and Value Chains OBJECTIVES OF THE PORTAL MOTIVATION I - INFORMATION FLOWS Provide broad access to updated, relevant It’s evident that the portal can serve as an information source for all the companies in the information focused on the productive chain chain: • Various kinds of reports and market studies are not normally accessible to most companies; • In certain cases, the companies lack the financial resources to acquire the reports; in others, the companies do not even know the reports exist; • It is also possible, via the portal, to reach a large enough scale to look for and organize widely-available data. Collect information from the companies to • It’s possible, via the portal, to establish quite simple and automatic mechanisms for execute and rapidly update sectoral studies data collection from the companies. • This not only permits reductions of cost, but also of time required to carry out research and sectoral diagnoses. • One can also think about creating innovative indicators of the evolution of the sector’s intellectual capital. II - COLLABORATION Promote information exchange and • The portal can use various tools which permit the virtual exchange of information collaboration among companies in the (discussion forums, chats, etc.) and also the decentralized publication of the contents productive chain by the companies participating in the cluster. • Stimulate the development of “Practice Communities” involving persons from diverse companies. • These may include information about the company itself, as well as a description of projects in progress. • It’s also possible to consider areas such as “Urgent Questions”. © TerraForum Consultores
  9. 9. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca Promote interchange between the private • The portal may be designed to provide quite specific information so that, especially sector and knowledge sources in the public small businesses, have instantaneous access to governmental reports (e.g., trade sector and academia missions) and academic information (e.g., lists of experts and national and international laboratories relevant to the sector). • Persons from academia, research institutes and government may also utilize the portal to monitor the companies’ activities, projects and needs. III - TRAINING OF PERSONNEL Centralize and reduce the cost by on-line • On-line training modules may be made available to all the companies. training • There’s a clear reduction in the individual costs of licensing and development of the courses. • Increases are evident in the speed of dissemination of new concepts. Divulge opportunities for off-line training • The portal may have an area for the divulgation of recommended opportunities for training offered by third parties. Create a more efficient job market • The portal may become a reference centre for work opportunities for persons operating both within and outside the sector. • The liquidity and the “oxygenation” of the market are increased. • Elements of confidentiality must be introduced in order to assure the adherence of the companies. Promote greater use of information • The very need for and opportunity to utilize the portal may become an important technology and Internet tools incentive for a more intense use of IT by companies of the sector. • Courses in informatics are ideal for training via the Internet. • As a part of the launching of the portal, special conditions for acquiring computers could be offered to small businesses. IV - BUSINESS GENERATION Promote opportunities for business • The opportunity of creating mechanisms so that companies may promote their between companies commercial interests and find partners within and outside the cluster is quite interesting. • The promotion of the formation of temporary and/or permanent consortia may be facilitated by e-project tools. Promote local companies globally • The portal may serve as an element of divulgation of the products and services of the cluster and also for the quick localization of and contact with the companies. • If some of its functions and areas of content were translated to the English language, the portal could serve as an excellent marketing tool and help develop international business. © TerraForum Consultores
  10. 10. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca Promote electronic trading • Tools which permit the rapid configuration of e-business may be made available on the portal. • The tools may be pre-negotiated and adapted to meet the needs of the productive chain. • Auction-like electronic markets may also be established. V - PROMOTION OF INNOVATION Promote success stories • The portal may be utilized to describe success stories among cluster companies. These kinds of stories are known to incite innovative behaviour. Disseminate technical norms • The faster diffusion of technical norms has a positive impact on the productive quality. VI - OPTIMIZATION OF RESOURCES Map and optimize the utilization of the • Just as multinational mega-businesses which utilize internal portals productive resources of the productive their employees and researchers in Brazil to and reserve productive a for some research institutes may identify provide chain resources, respectively,and sectoral portal may enable associated c adequate services the produce locally-relevant “rent” some based on their own physical and intellectual research of their idle resources. • A market mayThis hascreated for trading competencies and intellectual resources. also be changed dramatically due to the Provide common services to all the • The portal may web has made geographical distances electronic servic fact that the be utilized to automate the providing of companies travel reservations, accounting, etc.). a lot less relevant. Source: Developed by the author In the context of this scenario, ABIPTI (Brazilian Association of Research Institutes) started a 3. A Brazilian Experience with a Knowledge Knowledge Portal project at the end of 2002 with the Portal involving 15 Research Organizations support of the author of this paper. Fifteen out of 115 member organizations were selected to participate Brazil has made huge strides in terms of its overall in this project. They were considered to be the most industrial and technological outputs in the last advanced in terms of technological and managerial three decades. During this period, the Brazilian capabilities. These organizations are scattered Government financed and built a very wide throughout Brazil (Brazil is larger than Western university and public research institute system. This Europe) and develop their research projects in fields led Brazil’s contribution to science, measured by the as diverse as oil exploration, agriculture, information Science Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific technology, etc. Information, to improve significantly from 2,000 articles per year in 1980 to over 12,000 articles in Initially, the concepts of Cluster Economics, 2000. Knowledge Management and Corporate Portals were not very clear among the executives and As these results are celebrated, it becomes clear researchers of these organizations. Consequently, that Brazil’s current Innovation System will have to the first phase of this project involved many training be redrawn in face of the need to foster new levels sessions and events. These training sessions had of collaboration and to leverage scarce research two key objectives: (1) explaining the concepts and resources. In the fairly recent past, it was possible tools of Knowledge Management; (2) changing © TerraForum Consultores 0
  11. 11. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca the cultural mindset of these institutions from a • Chemistry; local, isolated perspective to a broad, networked • Food quality. perspective. 3. National themes defined by the Federal In tandem with this work to foster the necessary Government’s Industrial Policies. For example: cultural change, a project team was also working on • Support to Exports; the development of a knowledge portal with many of • Support to Small and Medium the goals and functionalities described in the above Enterprises. section. More specifically, the Knowledge Portal was developed with key functionalities to support the Since topics in groups one and three are more development of Communities of Practice (including generic and relevant to all research institutes, they Knowledge Bases, Member’s Directory, Content and could be or were implemented and managed by Document Management, Advanced Search, Events an association such as ABIPTI. Topics that fall into Management, Alert and Subscription Tools, Forums, category two tend to be of interest only to a few Personalization, etc). selected institutes, of which usually one or two have a strong, recognized leadership in the field. The initial focus on the development of Communities of Practice across all organizations aimed at rapidly To initiate this project, three Communities of Practice achieving tangible results and, therefore, also were selected: Management Commercialization of fostering the development of KM initiatives within Intellectual Property and Quality Management that each one of the fifteen research institutes. An belong to the first category, and “Geological Risks” important consideration in the choice of Communities that belongs to the second category of topics. of Practice was the fact that these institutes had very These topics were chosen for the following different technological capabilities and interests. reasons: The topics chosen were classified according to the following three groups: • There was enough critical mass both in terms of available digital content, as well as 1. Generic Topics related to the management interested and qualified personnel; skills and techniques of research institutes. • They are well-defined topics; Typical topics here include: • They are topics that can engage and • Management of Intellectual Property motivate wide participation; and Commercialization of Technology; • They are strategic topics with a wide gap • Quality Management; between the top and bottom performers; • Technology Forecasting and • A number of people interested in the Monitoring; promoting debates and knowledge • Client Relationship Management exchanges were identified; (CRM); • A few experts that could help with valuable • Technology Dissemination. initial content were also identified; • These are topics that are directly related to 2. Scientific Topics that may involve a number of the services provided to the clients of these institutes but not all of them. For example: research institutes; • Environment; • These communities can rapidly expand • Design; to include personnel from other types of © TerraForum Consultores
  12. 12. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca organizations (industry, government and on how Brazil integrates the considerable amount universities, etc). of knowledge that is available in this very large country, but that is currently very much dispersed. Throughout the design and development of these Geographical isolation is no longer a viable option communities, a number of face-to-face meetings for any organization or even country. Individuals were held. These meetings played a key role not and organizations now seek information and only in the definition of key aspects of the tools and knowledge regardless of their location. As the first organization of documents (e.g. taxonomy), but also three Communities were launched, one of the most to build trust and understanding among members of telling measures of the impact they may have is the the research institutes. fact that a number of affiliated Research Institutes have contacted ABIPTI for support to start their own These Communities were launched in the beginning Communities of Practice. of September 2003 with great anticipation and support. Key representatives of each of the The experience and the concepts described in this participating institutes, including a few CEOs, flew paper are being tested in a number of different from all over Brazil to the city of São Paulo in order contexts and initiatives in Brazil. Results are still to show their support and commitment to these very preliminary to be analyzed in terms of success Communities. or failure rates. It is our opinion, however, that these kinds of initiatives are of particular importance to developing countries. Such countries do not 4. Expected Results and Final Considerations have the resources of most multinationals that are developing their own internal knowledge portals and This paper attempted to show that the technologies leveraging knowledge from all over the world. The derived from and which take advantage of the route for inter-organizational collaboration through standards established by the Internet may have a knowledge portals is not an easy route, but one that fundamental role in making value chains, economic is very promising. Indeed, it is probably a necessity clusters and regions more dynamic. Corporate to compete in the Knowledge Era. Portals focused on Knowledge Management are one of the recent developments and applications (mainly in large international enterprises) that present great potential for this purpose. Just as is the case when applying portals to Knowledge 5. References Management in large privately-owned companies, the main challenge is not technological. There are Porter recently re-visited his original work and several strategic, operational and organizational published the following article: Porter, M., Clusters elements that are critical to the success of such and The New Economics of Competition, Harvard initiatives. In this paper, we focused our attention Business Review, pp: 77-90, Nov.-Dec., 1998 on the strategic and conceptual elements – which ought, in fact, to precede any initiative in this field. Saxenian, A., Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, Harvard The initiative being led by ABIPTI is significant in its University Press, 1996 ambition. Its success may have a profound impact © TerraForum Consultores
  13. 13. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca The Economist, Will the corporation survive? and communities-of-practice: Toward a unified view November 1st, 2001 of working, learning and innovation. Organizational Science, 2, 1991: pp: 40-57 Malone, T. W. Laubacher, R.J., All change for the e-lance economy, FP Mastering, National Post, July One of the few studies we know of which proposes 10, 2001 something similar is the following one: Jarboe, K., Knowledge Management As an Economic Ibid Development Strategy, Reviews of Economic Development Literature and Practice: No. 7, U. S. Tapscott, D; Ticoll, D Lowy, A. Digital Capital: Economic Development Administration. harnessing the power of business webs, HBS Press, 2000 Castells, M., The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society, Oxford University Press, 2001 Tapscott, D; Ticoll, D Lowy, A., op.cit. Interesting researches and publications on “trust” include: - Alesina, A. La Ferrara, E., Who trusts others?, Journal of Public Economics, 2001 - Clark, K. Serfon, M., The Sequential Prisoner’s Dilemma: Evidence on Reciprocation, Economic Journal, January, 2000 - Fukuyama, F., Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, Penguin Books, 1995 - Glaeser, E. et alii, Measuring Trust, Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 2000 Gates, W.H. (with Collins Hemingway), Business @ the Speed of Thought: Using a Digital Nervous System, Warner Books, 1999, p. 238 Terra, J.C., Knowledge Management: the big business challenge, Negócio Editora, Second edition, 2001 Wenger, E.C. Snyder, W.M., Communities of Practice: The Organizational Frontier, Harvard Business Review, Jan.-Feb., 2000, pp: 139-145 Brown J.S., Duguid, P. Organizational learning © TerraForum Consultores
  14. 14. Portais Corporativos Strengthening Economic Clusters and Value Chains trough the development of Knowledge Portals biblioteca * * * A EMPRESA José Cláudio C. Terra é presidente da TerraForum A TerraForum Consultores é uma empresa Consultores. Atua como consultor e palestrante de consultoria e treinamento em Gestão do no Canadá, nos Estados Unidos, em Portugal, na Conhecimento (GC) e Tecnologia da Informação. Os França e no Brasil. Também é professor de vários clientes da empresa são, em sua maioria, grandes programas e pós-graduação e MBA e autor de e médias organizações dos setores público, privado vários livros sobre o tema. Seu email é e terceiro setor. A empresa atua em todo o Brasil e também no exterior, tendo escritórios em São Paulo, Brasília e Ottawa no Canadá. É dirigida pelo Dr. José Cláudio Terra, pioneiro e maior referência em Gestão do Conhecimento no país. Além disso, conta com uma equipe especializada e internacional de consultores. ARTIgOS RELACIOnADOS PUBLICAÇÕES TERRAFORUM Gestão do Conhecimento e Sistemas de Informações Públicos Winning at Collaboration Commerce Portais Corporativos: novo instrumento de gestão da informação Entendendo os Diferentes Níveis de Sofisticação de um Portal Corporativo Gestão do Conhecimento e E-learning na Prática Portais Corporativos, a Revolução na Gestão do Conhecimento Gestão do Conhecimento - O Grande Desafio Empresarial Gestão do Conhecimento em Pequenas e Médias Empresas Realizing the Promise of Corporate Portals: Leveraging Knowledge for Business Success Gestão de Empresas na Era do Conhecimento © TerraForum Consultores