Knowledge Managers for Small and Medium Size Service Organizations

Georgiana Toader; Gabriel Radu; Gabriel Jinga; Mihaela Dumitrana
The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate that a knowledge manager is able to lead an organization from a low position on the market to a high position with an important benefit generated by operating activity. This objective will be applied to the architectural organizations, namely those entities that undertake architect and design services for their customers. The main characteristics of the architect services entities consist of the high level of specialization required by each project developed (i.e. the design plan of a house is different of those for an office building) and the necessity to assess the profitability rate of each project in order to attain the overall targeted profit. Why for architectural organizations? Because our team has analyzed the activity of 20 architectural small and medium size companies from Bucharest and the conclusions were unfavorable for those companies. Some of our conclusions are as follows: the activity of all companies was generating loss; managers are not economists and they did not know to ask for appropriate accounting information to sustain good decisions; strategies were inexistent; the market was unknown, etc. Thus, the general conclusion was: without knowledge it is impossible for managers to ensure the success of a company. Knowledge managers should possess varied backgrounds such as: information sciences, organizational behavior, culture, processes, business management, economic information, etc. So, in our opinion, to create knowledge managers, three steps are to be followed: 1) the creation of a culture by learning, 2) the practical application of learning effects, 3) share the best practices. All these steps are important, but the first step will ensure a strong background for managers, because they need to understand that without information it is impossible to decide how and where the organization will go. Based on these arguments, our team has decided to help those organizations by demonstrating the importance of all kind of information in the decision making process, especially economic information and how and when that information must be provided. Consequently, we have conceived a model for a particular Balance Scorecard for architectural organizations, in order to summarize only the most important information that must be known by managers. We think that information about costs, costs component, cost calculation for different types of products, target prices, target profits, number of products that must be sold for a target profit, the level of the price that may be negotiated, are very important for a manager. Another model that was conceived by our team concerns cost management in order to realize the profitability objective.
Knowledge Managers; Knowledge Management; Performance; Cost; Balance Scorecard
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