The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management in the European Union: Could It Improve Competitiveness?

Article Details
Pub. Date : Oct, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJKM11020
Author Name : Magdolna Csath
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 20



Knowledge is the currency for any nation as it can be used for achieving sustainable development and competitiveness. Knowledge has to be created, maintained and nurtured, in other words, managed. Knowledge management is a well-known practice for businesses, but it is less elaborated as theory and practice at the national or regional level. This paper argues that the objective of the European Union (EU) to become a knowledge-based and competitive region requires knowledge management throughout the region, which is not a tangible practice at present. The EU is interested rather in harmonizing industrial policy and financial and banking practices, and delegate knowledge creation and management to the member states. In conclusion, knowledge management practices are very different in the member states. In Central and Eastern Europe, for example, human resources are utilized for the advantage of the value chain operations of the corporations from the developed countries of the EU. This paper argues that a system with weak elements cannot be successful in the long run. Therefore, if Europe wants to be a harmoniously developing and competitive entity, it has to nurture and develop human capital in a balanced manner in every member country. Otherwise, parts of the Union will develop slowly, and may be stuck in the so-called middle income trap, creating not only economic but also social development problems for the EU.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and will create disruptive changes for businesses, nations and regions. To become successful, knowledge has to be created and managed in the economy and society. Knowledge creation requires investment in people, and knowledge management has to guarantee that knowledge is not wasted. Short-term business interests have to be overridden by more complex social and economic entity interests. In the case of the European Union (EU), business interests of large companies of the developed member states should be replaced by the long-term interests of the EU, as an entity, if it wants to be successful not only economically, but also socially. This requires equal opportunities for every inhabitant in the EU to learn, to have a good job in which he can achieve recognition through capitalizing on his capabilities and skills. As this paper will prove, decisions in the EU are strongly influenced by strong industrial lobby groups which try to compete on minimizing costs along their value chains. This means creating poor quality and badly paid assembly jobs in the less developed countries.


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