Knowledge management (KM) has been the focus of comprehensive research over the last two decades, with particular attention paid to the related technology. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the embedding of KM into day-to-day business operations in order to mobilize resources and activities so as to create substantial value for customers. In this paper, we investigate knowledge management practices by applying the concept of the value shop to the case of Eastwei, a professional services firm in China. We explain how Eastwei functions as a Knowledge-based Value Shop (KBVS), creating and disseminating knowledge as it fulfils its obligations with clients. We find that guanxi, a fundamental concept for Chinese society that incorporates personal relationships and reciprocal obligations, plays a significant role in Eastwei’s KBVS arrangements. Given the importance of guanxi, we then discuss how we have set about developing a knowledge-centred strategic direction at Eastwei, drawing on both current knowledge sharing practices and the possibilities offered by instant messaging and wiki technologies.
Davison, Robert; Ou, Carol; Li, Maggie; and Bjorksten, Johan, "Eastwei: A Knowledge-Based Value Shop" (2009). PACIS 2009 Proceedings. 91.