It is common to think at the current post-industrial global economy as an information-intensive environment. More remarkable is the high number of assertions that knowledge is the key of effective competition, marketplace distinction and profitability .
Knowledge can be defined as the "awareness and understanding of facts, truths or information gained in the form of experience or learning. Knowledge is an appreciation of the possession of interconnected details which, in isolation, are of lesser value" [Wikipedia 2006, Wikipedia Now].
Interconnecting details for creating value: If we read "Blood pressure 110 over 78", we might think of a healthy individual. If we know that the measurement is related to a specific patient, John Doe, we could argue that John exhibit normal blood presure. If we also know that the patient John is in cure for prehypertension, we can infer that the therapy is having a positive effect on our patient. By connecting the details, we are creating a knowledge network that increases our understanding.
Knowledge is considered an enterprise asset  that increases with use, unlike material assets, which decrease as they are used. Ideas breed new ideas, and shared knowledge stays with the giver while it enriches the receiver.
Knowledge has been broadly recognized as the key to effective competition...
... for Health Care Organizations
Knowledge has been recognized as the key to success for Health Care Organizations (HCOs). Knowledge includes both the experience and the understanding of the people in the HCO, and the information artefacts, such as documents, guidelines, protocols, reports and emails archives, available within the organization. In particular, the increasing pressure on HCOs to ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness, balancing quality of care and cost containment, drives them towards a more effective management of medical knowledge derived from research findings. Fostering HCOs knowledge management in general, and evidence-based best practice in particular, requires effective exploitation of new information and communication technology.
... in Biomedical Sciences
For scientific knowledge management systems, the context of information is its warrant for belief, while experiment in relation to theory and hypothesis supplies the criterion of truth. Discourse and social practice (of which it is a part) weave this whole together. What we must know about scientific assertions is:
- What warrant (context) is provided by the author through discourse;
- Whether the warrant is valid in the light of other work and its abstraction in theory (also explored through discourse);
- How can we validate (replicate) this context for ourselves through experiment, in a continuous evolutionary process.
Current practices in providing warrant are poorly adapted to the reality evolved over the past decade – that most scientific discourse now takes place mediated by digital artifacts accessed on the Web.
... and Social Networks
Knowledge is social as produced and shared among a network of human and non-human actors within the organization. The mere existence of knowledge somewhere in the organization is of little benefit; it becomes useful only if it is accessible / sharable, and its value increases with the level of accessibility. This leads to the importance of communication / interaction (between humans and between humans and non-humans) as key factor for the success for a knowledge-intensive environment. Knowledge is social as produced and shared among a network of human and non-human actors within the organization. The mere existence of knowledge somewhere in the organization is of little benefit; it becomes useful only if it is accessible / sharable, and its value increases with the level of accessibility. This leads to the importance of communication / interaction / transfer (between humans and between humans and non-humans) as key factor for the success for a knowledge-intensive environment.