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Collective intelligence: a keystone in knowledge management

André Boder (André Boder is an Associate Researcher at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 1 January 2006




The purpose of this article is to provide a new paradigm and a practical model whereby knowledge management may reunify the founding principles of knowledge with business challenges in organizations, such as innovation or yet customer's needs.


The new paradigm revolves around the concept of collective intelligence. It is broken down into three blocks, each of which constitutes an aspect that needs to be taken into account while addressing a business challenge. In each case presented, these aspects have been exemplified, so as to show how they participate to the problem solving process.


The paper provides practical methods. The paper also provides information about how the approach can be applied in a great variety of domains, such as electrical engineering, health care or yet information technology.

Research limitations/implications

Opens a new field of reflection whereby the organization's knowledge, seen as representing its uniqueness, internal coherence and ability to solve everyday problems, can play a strategic role. Also, it is a reference for co‐innovation between partners, as the reciprocal integration between two sources of knowledge may be seen as a co‐adaptation between the organization's value chain and the partner's one.

Practical implications

Constitutes a real potential to develop a variety of new approaches in knowledge management, based on the concept of collective intelligence.


The paper brings together issues that are usually dealt with in separate domains, such as customer relationships, analysis of competencies and know how or yet innovation processes and value chains.



Boder, A. (2006), "Collective intelligence: a keystone in knowledge management", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 81-93.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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