Nortel Networks (the first private-sector organization studied) manufactures core switching, wireless, and optical systems for telephone carriers and data service providers worldwide. Nortel's metro and enterprise network equipment includes systems for digital voice and data switching and routing and call center communications. The company's wireless products include cellular base stations and controllers. Nortel also manufactures long-haul fiber optic products such as multiplexers and optical switches. Nortel's customers include global communications carriers; regional, local, and wireless phone carriers; and non- telecommunications corporations.
Nortel is a company with a history of reinventing itself. The latest reinvention involves the transformation of the firm from a technology company to an opportunity-focused company through the integration of knowledge management into the strategic management system. The company's major competitors are Alcatel, Cisco Systems, and Lucent Technologies. The company's financial performance is comparable with that of the telecommunications industry as a whole. Considering the problems experienced by the industry since 2000, this performance does not confer any bragging rights to the company. The company is making a concerted strategic effort to re-focus its energies to create a strategic framework for future success.
Knowledge has become a primary resource in organizations. Organizations are implementing knowledge management procedures and technologies on the promise of increasing effectiveness, efficiency, and competitiveness. The basis of such promises is an assumption that knowledge is a positive factor. Knowledge, however, can produce different outcomes in different situations. Too little knowledge can lead to inefficiencies (poor decisions, as an example), while too much knowledge can create counterproductive organizational rigidity (no decision at all, as an example). The use...
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