Enhancing knowledge management (KM) in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era: the role of human resource systems

Troy Sarina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Technological innovations are having an unprecedented effect on the way we
live and work and how organisations function in modern economies. The
‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ has been facilitated by the emergence of new
technologies that have sped up the production, distribution and consumption
of goods and services around the globe while also displacing the role of labour
within the production process (Schwab 2017). In this era, the role that knowledge plays in allowing individuals and organisations to respond to these changes is increasing. This chapter revisits our understanding of what knowledge actually entails and identifies how organisations can leverage human resource management (HRM) systems to identify, utilise and retain the repositories of knowledge that organisations rely on to secure a competitive advantage.
This chapter argues that at the heart of knowledge management lies an
inherent tension between organisations’ increasing need to use HRM to access
tacit knowledge held by individual workers, and individuals’ need to retain an
exclusive pool of knowledge that can safeguard their employment, indeed
their livelihood, in the increasingly precarious labour markets emerging in
modern economies. Applying principles associated with communities of practice
(CoPs), this chapter concludes that the strategic use of human resource
(HR) systems can play an important role not only in overcoming these challenges,
but also in helping to enhance the transfer and utilisation of information
found in the knowledge repositories residing within modern organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook of knowledge management
EditorsJawad Syed, Peter A. Murray, Donald Hislop, Yusra Mouzughi
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319714349
ISBN (Print)9783319714332
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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