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Knowledge Management

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Chester F Carlson invented the photocopy machine in 1938. He tried to sell his invention to companies like IBM and GE, but failed in his efforts as the companies did not believe that there was a significant market for photocopiers. It was left to a small New York based company called Haloid to finally market a product that later became indispensable for making multiple copies of documents. Xerox Corp officially came into existence in 1961 after Haloid changed its name to reflect its core business. Over the decades, Xerox diversified into a number of other businesses, some of which added value to its business model and others which had to be liquidated.

In the mid-1990s, the company repositioned itself as the 'Document Company', to better reflect its core business. The knowledge management movement of the 1990s prompted the company to focus on knowledge sharing initiatives. It started "Eureka" which captured the tips shared informally by the company's service reps and created a database of tips that could be accessed by reps all over the world. Other initiatives, both internal and commercial, also followed and Xerox was recognized as one of the Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises in the world.

» To study how the knowledge present within a system can be harnessed to yield major benefits to the organization as well as to the people within it.

» To understand the importance of matching new initiatives with the behavioral and working motivations of people to obtain better acceptance of these initiatives and greater benefits.



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