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Knowledge Management in the Learning Economy


  • Bengt-Åke Lundvall


The purpose of this paper is to show why to build ‘learning organisations’ must be a central element of knowledge management. The paper argues that the wide use of information technology has a contradictory impact on knowledge management. On the one hand it extends the potential for codifying knowledge. On the other hand it makes tacit knowledge scarcer and it contributes to the formation of ‘a learning economy’. The argument is supported by an empirical analysis of survey data from Denmark showing that firms that introduce several organisational practices, assumed to characterise the learning organisation, are more innovative than the average firm. The paper contributes to the empirical foundation for the argument that learning organisations stimulate innovation and competence building and it makes an original conceptual contribution of practical relevance by linking knowledge management to HRM and innovation management.

Suggested Citation

  • Bengt-Åke Lundvall, 2006. "Knowledge Management in the Learning Economy," DRUID Working Papers 06-06, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:06-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
    2. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1994. "Methodological Individualism and Social Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 1-9, May.
    3. Bj–rn Johnson & Edward Lorenz & Bengt-Åke Lundvall, 2002. "Why all this fuss about codified and tacit knowledge?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 245-262.
    4. Allan Næs Gjerding, 1996. "Organisational Innovation in the Danish Private Business Sector," DRUID Working Papers 96-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Nielsen, Peter & Lundvall, Bengt-Åke, 2005. "Innovation, Organizational Learning and Job Creation," European Journal of Economic and Social Systems, Lavoisier, vol. 18(1), pages 79-97.
    6. Ake Lundvall & Bengt, 2003. "Why the new economy is a learning economy," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2003(117).
    7. Reinhard Lund & Allan Næs Gjerding, 1996. "The Flexible Company Innovation, Work Organisation and Human Ressource Management," DRUID Working Papers 96-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michaela Trippl, 2006. "Cross-Border Regional Innovation Systems," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2006_05, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    2. Ali, Murad & Park, Kichan, 2016. "The mediating role of an innovative culture in the relationship between absorptive capacity and technical and non-technical innovation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1669-1675.
    3. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:10:y:2013:i:06:n:s0219877013400282 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Knowledge management; learning economy; interactive learning; organisational change;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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