Mary Adams, IC Knowledge Center
As promised, I will be sharing some of my favorite papers from the recent European Conference on Intellectual Capital. This one is from Philippe Leliaert about what he calls the Value Conundrum of Knowledge (you have to register to see the paper but it is free). He says:
"Key is to realise that the value of knowledge cannot be determined at the time of the exchange, and neither can its price! The act of sharing knowledge creates options on a continuum of future revenues. The value and price of knowledge should therefore be derived from whatever revenues it generates, as and when these are generated, rather than up front based on assumptions about future uses."
In order to think about how to apply this thinking, Philippe offered the beekeeper model, which is an open source business model which separates the process of sharing knowledge from future revenues through the creation of knowledge options.
Listening to his presentation, it occurred to me that the role of a firm is to be a beekeeper. But the model does leave open the possibility of other organizational structures emerging to fill that role.