Knowledge Management and Sustainable Value Creation: Needs as a Strategic Focus for Organizations

Publication: ThesisHabilitation


Organizations increasingly face sustainability and responsibility as pressing challenges in today’s society. As a consequence, business organizations are pushed to reconcile economic, social, and environmental goals and perceive value creation more holistically. Given the central role of knowledge in our economy, the question arises as to how knowledge management can facilitate sustainable and responsible value creation. This book amplifies the idea of knowledge-based development and seeks to understand what knowledge is crucial to serve economic, social, and environmental ends. Focusing on the organizational level, it builds a bridge between knowledge management, sustainability, and responsibility by introducing the concept of needs. As it will be argued, needs substantiate corporate sustainability and corporate responsibility and signpost a way to respond to recent calls from practice for a more inclusive and sustainable way of doing business. In particular, the book outlines the idea of the Need Knowledge-driven Organization. It builds on mature research on organizational purpose, stakeholder theory, and phronesis, and introduces the concept of needs. This provides a new lens for understanding the sustainable and responsible business case: First, people are motivated by their needs and organizations represent social structures that facilitate the satisfaction of shared needs. Second, needs reflect and combine social, environmental, and economic concerns, making sustainability and responsibility more seizable for practitioners. And third, needs provide a reference point for holistic value creation and can thus align knowledge processes and structures in organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509018 Knowledge management

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