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Evolution of Ipod

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Knowledge Management MG3048 The iPod In today's extremely competitive business environment knowledge managements is understood to be a crucial part of an organisations strategic assets. Efficient and effective knowledge management is recognised by firms as away of gaining sustainable competitive advantage. The concept of knowledge is still being heavily debated by organisation business thinkers and a definition that everyone accepts is hard to find. The definition which I feel best explains knowledge management is by Malhotra (1997) who maintains that knowledge management "embodies organisational processes that seek synergistic combination of data and organisational processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings." This definition is good because it discuses the concept that knowledge management has both "soft" and "hard" components, further more it deals with the idea that knowledge is centered around human beings. The iPod is an MP3 digital personal music player produced and distributed by Apple. The design, production, distribution and marketing of the iPod have all been developed with different types of knowledge. The iPod overall has high levels of embodied knowledge and was the first product of its kind to be released into the personal music market The idea of the iPod was started in 2001 when apple introduced iTunes for the Macintosh. iTunes is a program that converts audio CDs into compressed digital audio files, organizes digital music collections, and plays Internet radio. ...read more.


This gives Apple a large competitive advantage over their competitors. In the 1990's Tony Fadell created the pioneering idea to create a music player that combined both music software and hardware. This idea was not seen as revolutionary by the first few firms that Fadell pitched to, however it was Apple who understood his vision and gave him the resources and backing he needed. This idea was revolutionary and gave apple's iPod the embodied and tacit knowledge needed to be the industry leaders. Tacit knowledge is knowledge that people posses in their minds and is hard to communicate or transform into explicit form. Having a high level of embodied knowledge in apples iPod resulted in them having very few competitors and enabled Apple to saturate the market. As a result of Apples success they enjoyed a large market share and profits were at an all time high. Apples ability to have high levels of both Codified and Tacit knowledge meant they had a huge competitive advantage. Codified and tacit knowledge are complementary as one enables creation of the other. The balance between codified and tacit knowledge is extremely important to organisations Nonka and Takeuchi (1995) stated that "not only that tacit knowledge can be transformed into codified knowledge, but also, by using new codified knowledge, new kinds of tacit knowledge may be developed." ...read more.


Furthermore Apple has created an atmosphere and culture throughout the organisation which promotes knowledge transfers and modernisation. Apple has created this culture through strong financial backing, excellent management ability and their operating capabilities. Another attribute in Apples armoury is how well the firm as a whole learns and the speed at which they learn. Apple is always trying to create knowledge through acquiring new skills, technologies and practices. At all levels of the organisation there is a concerted effort for individuals to learn new skills as well as management learning how to introduce new processes and systems. Today Apple is still being innovative and knowledge hungry this is shown by the latest versions of the iPod from the shuffle to the nano. However recently there has been some criticism of the iPod as some of the batteries are failing and new batteries are expensive and only available in specialist Apple stores which are only located in the centre of major cities. The iPod is a very good example of how knowledge management is a way of creating sustainable competitive advantage. Apple does have some competitors but due to there lack of knowledge they are a few years behind Apple. The iPod has used many different types of knowledge to help it become a success. Knowledge is a sort after asset by all firms but the difficulty comes because most knowledge is not explicit and is hard to quantify or see. Many business analysts say that the iPod is an icon for twenty first century business and culture. ...read more.

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