Organizational knowledge

Jump to: navigation, search


The knowledge necessary for the operation of its processes and to achieve conformity of products and services ( Draft ISO 9001E_2014) Source: draft ISO 9001E_2014


The organization shall determine the knowledge necessary for the operation of its processes and to achieve conformity of products and services. This knowledge shall be maintained, and made available to the extent necessary. When addressing changing needs and trends, the organization shall consider its current knowledge and determine how to acquire or access the necessary additional knowledge.

  1. Organizational knowledge can include information such as intellectual property and lessons learned.
  2. To obtain the knowledge required, the organization can consider
  • internal sources (e.g. learning from failures and successful projects, capturing undocumented knowledge and experience of topical experts within the organization);
  • external sources (e.g. standards, academia, conferences, gathering knowledge with customers or providers).

Source: draft ISO 9001E_2014


It is important to recognize there are various perspectives on knowledge that need to be considered. Knowledge can be considered at the individual level, at the group level, at an organizational level, or at the industrial level. Further, knowledge considerations may be quite different depending on time perspective. For example, our ability to identify, retrieve, interpret, transfer, and apply knowledge to a task at hand may be very immediate and knowledge flow and stores that facilitate the speed of utilization may be the primary focus. Conversely, it may be important to consider knowledge accumulation or loss within an organization or across the industry over long periods of time, and in the context of societal needs and technology changes. Finally, knowledge must be considered within organizations.

The process for considering and controlling past, existing and additional knowledge needs to take account of the organization’s context, including its size and complexity, the risks and opportunities it needs to address, and the need for accessibility of knowledge. The balance between knowledge held by competent people and knowledge made available by other means is at the discretion of the organization, provided that conformity of products and services can be achieved.

Related articles

Knowledge lifecycle

Nuclear knowledge

Organizational competency

Organizational memory

Organizational learning

Learning organization