Knowledge management or knowledge navigation

Technological capabilities in product development consist of the resources needed to generate the technological opportunity and manage the technical change, including skills, knowledge and experience, and the institutional structures and linkages. Technological knowledge is usually the most important. A large part of technological knowledge in product development has a tacit nature, being incorporated in people skills, competencies and organisations. Tacit knowledge is often not codified and is largely company- and indeed often area-specific, and may be difficult to transfer to explicit knowledge. Learning is often the central method for passing tacit knowledge and building it in the product development team.

There is also an ever-increasing bank of explicit knowledge used in food product development, from consumer changes to advancing technology, and it is difficult to find all the appropriate knowledge for a specific project. It is not sufficient just to have storage systems for information; there need to be clear paths to find and assess total knowledge in different areas of the company and indeed outside the company. Knowledge navigation is a better description than knowledge management; knowledge navigation includes the strategic directions for knowledge as well as the knowledge systems. One of the key roles of top management is to create a culture and environment that is conducive to knowledge capture and knowledge sharing. Management leads the company into strategic directions for knowledge.

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