“Before we measure something we must ask whether we understand what it is we are trying to m

Summative Essay – Section B: Strategic Knowledge Management

Task:
“Before we measure something we must ask whether we understand what it is we are trying
to measure.” (Gray et al, 2015)

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Critically discuss the above statement in relation to effectively developing the strategic
knowledge base in YOUR organization.

A strong essay will use the key themes addressed in the second part of the module to develop the
analysis, namely:
Knowledge Management/Environment
Communities of Practice/Interest
The Challenge of Performance Measurement
Intellectual Capital and Social Networks
Organisational examples from the tutorial sessions should be used to illustrate the themes
covered in the essay. However, the essay is not a case study; it is a discussion of relevant theory.
Remember that a critical study aims to provide a balanced analysis of differing perspectives, and
points of view, before drawing the argument to a coherent conclusion
Required: A wordprocessed essay with referencing to literature. The essay will be 3,000 (+/-
10%) words (inclusive of appendices, NOT inclusive of references).
In order to complete this activity you need to undertake three principal tasks:
(1) Utilise academic research using literature from journals, books, etc.
(2) Undertake a critical evaluation making effective use of evidence and sources
(3) Present findings in an appropriate format (ensure that Harvard referencing is used)
General Considerations
70+ A confident and well written essay that answers the question and relates the ideas well.
Good case studies are used and there is awareness of key authors to illustrate points
60-69 A good essay that looks to answer the question and uses cases and authors to strengthen
the discussion. The main themes are clearly addressed but there are some gaps in the answer and
a little less comfort in the way that the themes are discussed
50-59 A solid essay that recognises the question but does not use it as a thread all the way
through. The main themes are covered clearly but in a more descriptive way and the links
between ideas are less explored. There are examples and authors included to expand the points
40-49 The essay does not address the question directly but does provide the main aspects of
the themes, but in a more ‘information dump’ manner; taking a more general approach to the
topics. At the lower end of this band there are likely to be essays that do not cover all of the
main points but do look to explain the ideas covered to a degree; these are bare passes as there is
an attempt to do more than just list a series of bullet points.
30-39 A weak essay that lists points related to the theme but there is no attempt at the
question. Also, at the lower end there may be essays that touch on general ideas of strategy and
source them but do not provide an analysis that develops the relevant themes
Less than 30 There is no clear understanding of the ideas covered in the essay and the
questions is not considered at all. Examples at this level are likely to have written very general
material that is very descriptive showing no sign of analysis.
Marking criteria:
(i) Introduction to the assignment describing scope, objectives, methods of investigation
etc.
a. Clear structure to the essay providing the course of the analysis
b. The essay should display a coherent introduction; analysis & conclusion
(ii) Discussion of key areas
a. The four main themes need to be clearly covered in the essay and it is important
to develop the links between them
b. Aspects of Knowledge i.e. tacit/explicit need to be clearly explored and discussed
in relation to how they can be developed
c. The categories of IC need to be developed and the reasons and challenges of
measuring should be examined
d. The potential for Communities of Practice to offer a way of developing
knowledge should be discussed, along with the challenges of managing them for
organisational benefit
e. The value and challenges of Performance Management need to be developed
within the discussion
f. Application of examples where KPIs and other measurement systems have been
used to develop performance e.g. Skandia, Essex police
(iii) Application of theory
a. Clear awareness of the relevant authors in developing the analysis of the main
themes e.g. Nonaka; Drucker; Rastogi; Nahapiet & Ghosal; Marr; Wenger &
Lave, etc
(iv) Structured analysis
a. The essay needs to display a coherent analysis drawing the themes together in
order to explore the question in a relevant way
b. The essay is not meant to be separate sections that should be left to the conclusion
to link. Weaker essays will fall into this pattern
(v) Creativity of thought
a. The essay needs to display a clear analysis drawing on the main theory being
explored to display the comfort with the ideas being covered
b. Examples from organisations can be effective in illustrating the thought of the
analysis
(vi) Presentation of document including clarity of expression and referencing.
a. The essay must be clearly set out and well written
b. Avoidance of confusing arguments and messy content e.g. overly long sentences
c. Consistent Harvard referencing is essential to support the analysis

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