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The advent of knowledge angels

European researchers have coined the term "Knowledge Angels" to describe those people in information industries who are the most expert, understand innovations in their sector and add the most value to a company. The team proposes new research to help identify such people in the International Journal of Services Technology and Management.

Knowledge, data, information, and innovation have become the major commodities of modern economies, explains Emmanuel Muller an economic scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, in Karlsruhe, Germany. He says that scholars are now taking a keen interest in Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS).

The term knowledge angels is being used to facilitate the identification of the concerned individuals and to favour discussion between scholars on the topic, Muller explains. By using this term he is drawing together the overarching name for the information sector and a common term used in business. A common theme when discussing business angels and brand dragons, for instance.

"We are not invoking any supernatural might, being perfectly conscious that in this case, no 'higher forces' or 'hidden powers' are in play. Other possible names, such as, for instance, 'consulting wizards', 'services magicians', 'knowledge-intensive demons' or any further hybrid creatures resulting from the crossing of a management handbook and a magic trading cards, would sound less attractive."

Preliminary studies and intuition based on the observation of KIBS as well as on discussions with people who are employed in KIBS, suggests that there are individuals within different organisations who are crucial for explaining some of the competitive advantages of information-driven companies.

These individuals are typically acting as consultants, although not necessarily exclusively for a single company. They presumably have the talent to see things before they happen or even to make them happen, from the subjective point of view of an external observer. These people also make a difference in the way knowledge is created, organised and flows within a company and with its partners.

Personality, experience, personal networks, informational assets, charisma, etc," all play a role in the effectiveness of our knowledge angels, says Muller. These characteristics, as with any angel, are to a certain extent, intangible, if not evanescent, but the impact they have in a knowledge economy is very real.

Albert Ang | alfa
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