ORGANIZATION REPORT 8
AlibabaGroupKnowledge and Knowledge Management in e-commerce
AlibabaGroup is a Chinese leading international e-commerce business with alarge online marketing platform for domestic and international firms. Alibaba Group has gained international reputation for its effectivemarket management strategies. A major aspect of Alibaba Group is itspotential to reorganize knowledge and knowledge management inaccordance to the organization structure. With fast evolving economytoday, knowledge sharing and management is an essential resource infirms since it fosters enterprises’ competitive advantages.Alibaba`ssuccess todayisnotdueto Jack Mapersonalcharm but due to effective knowledge sharing and management.Mausesthismethodtocreate a relaxedworkingenvironment for employees,so that employeeshavemoreculturalexchangesandknowledge.The focus of this essay is to analyze Alibaba, the importance ofknowledge and Knowledge management in E-business Ecosystem in China.
Descriptionof Alibaba Group
AlibabaGroup is an online marketing firm for Chinese enterprises andconsumers. Alibaba Group has evolved from a small business in 1998 toa large e-commerce business in China supporting over 70% of onlineshopping. As an online business, Alibaba Group does not operate liketypical businesses the firm has no distribution channels orwarehouses and does not engage in direct selling(Ying, 2013).
AlibabaGroup main market platform is through ‘open online marketing.’Alibaba Group notable online market places are Alibaba.com, Taobao,Alisoft, Alimama and Alipay. In these online market places AlibabaGroup provides customers with wide range of online services such aslisting solutions, online payments, authentication and instantmessaging. One of the main competitive strategy employed by AlibabaGroup have over its competitors is penetration pricing, discountoffers and product line pricing. Another important aspect isknowledge sharing and management.
AlibabaGroup is a dominant Chinese e-commerce firm with less competitionlocally. However, Alibaba Group operates in a competitive globalbusiness environment where e-commerce has gained impetus (Ying,2013).Alibaba Group main competitors are Joy Com, eBay and Amazon Group. Amazon has a different e-commerce model different from that ofAlibaba Group. Amazon is based in U.S. and operates e-commercebusiness with the help of distribution channels and has a managementstructure different from that of Alibaba Group. In contrast, AlibabaGroup operates plainly on ‘online commerce’ with no distributionchannels and has a management structure that relies heavily onknowledge sharing.
Alibabaand Amazon are dominant players in their respective business modelsand locations. As such, Amazon has low competition threat to AlibabaGroup. Alibaba shares some e-commerce business model with e-Bay inset up and provides similar payments systems (Ying,2013).However, Alibaba Group will take time before cracking the brandrecognition enjoyed by eBay and Amazon. These e-commerce firms(Alibaba, Amazon and eBay) have the potential to unseat each otheroutside U.S. and China but not in their respective homeland. Alibabafaces other competition locally from Tenscent, JD.com and Baidu buttheir influence is limited.
Internalanalysis of Alibaba Group
AlibabaGroup is founded on strong company culture that is focused on sharedvision, mission and values. When employees and partners share thesame spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation with a special focus onclients needs, organization output increases (Michael, 2014). AlibabaGroup has maintained a culture of gratefulness, openness and sharingas its main moral obligation. This makes Alibaba Group have consciousleadership and conscious culture that is focused innovative practices(Michael, 2014).
Alibaba’seffective organization culture has enabled its innovativeness andcompetitiveness in the market (World Finance, 2014). Alibaba Grouprespects the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and its mainfocuss is meeting clients’ needs. In addition, Alibaba Group shareshave strong allegiance to ancient cultural values as depicted throughTaoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.
AlibabaGroup is managed by a twenty seven member partners who serves as thefirm’s corporate directors. Mr. Ma is the executive vice chairman.The twenty seven members have powers to select the board members(Michael, 2014). According to Jack Ma, this structure allows the firmto keep control of the company and realize the value of equity. Inaddition, the partnership team ensures that the organizationpreserves its innovative culture in the competitive e-commerceindustry. In addition, the management applies a horizontal structurein the management of Alibaba Group operations. Employees areconsidered important assets at Alibaba Group and actively participatein important decision making. The overall structure helps motivate,nurture and empower employees in their tasks thereby improving theAlibaba Group competitiveness (Michael, 2014).
Inorganizations where the management structure allows for knowledgesharing, bureaucratic red tape is reduced thereby improvingoperations efficiency (Kumis, 2011). This is evident in Alabama Groupmanagement philosophy that is based on knowledge sharing andmanagement that helps achieve the desired sustainable development(Forger, 2009). According to Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, thismanagement philosophy of knowledge sharing is based on Tai Chiteachings on transformation and accommodation(Zheng and Yu, 2010).
Knowledgesharing and management is an important aspect that has shaped AlibabaGroup fortune. The management philosophy is based on Taoism,Confucianism and Buddhism. However, the Alibaba Group managementphilosophy is influenced by their strong corporate culture. Forinstance, according to Jack Ma, Alibaba Gropu management follows TaiChi’s view on transformation and Accommodation. To this end,Alibaba Group constantly transforms its employees through nurturing.In particular, Alibaba Group aims to teach experience to other peopleespecially the employees. Alibaba Group management is interested inhiring, training, nurturing and motivating talents among theworkforce. In this way, Alibaba Group has enhanced shared vision,values and morale among the employees in achieving the firm’sobjective.
Knowledgesharing and management
AlibabaGroup management applies nurture and respect for employees.Employees’ knowledge improvement is a core management aspectemployed by Alibaba Group. Knowledge management is an importantaspect in e-commerce enterprises and helps firms achieve highercompetences. However, effective knowledge management depends on theorganization culture, business process and interpersonalrelationships. Alibaba Group has a strong foundation of enterpriseknowledge management that is entrenched in the organization structureand culture. This helps in creating a common value, cohesion andshared interests in the management of the firm affairs (Kimiz, 2011).
AlibabaGroup constantly trains and nurtures its staffs as part of motivatingemployees. This is an important aspect in good knowledge managementespecially where employees are adequately informed on various mattersof the organization(Zheng and Yu, 2010).Furthermore, training and knowledge sharing helps in motivatingemployees as well as creating trust. In this way, the management ofAlibaba Group enables employees to become innovative and developstrong interpersonal relationship with the management. Alibaba Groupmanagers are tasked with the responsibility of preparing thecompany’s future (Michael, 2014). This is achieved through regulartraining and support to managers to enhance their competence.
Inaddition, AlibabaGroupemployees have “get together" functionssuch astai chi andmountaineeringactivitiesunlikeothercompanies.This allows the employees interact and share knowledge(Kimiz, 2011).In this way,Mahas built a culture of participation, inclusion and fun that areimportant aspects of knowledge management. Mausesthismethodtocreate a relaxedworkingenvironment for employees,so that employeeshavemoreculturalexchangesandknowledge.Theseactivities offeremployeesa platformtosolve businessproblemsorworkandhelpin theirgrowthanddevelopment(Ying, 2013).
Alibaba’sknowledge sharing and management through inclusive activities hasenhanced a loyal, hardworking group of executives, managers andemployees who contribute actively to the organization success.Entrepreneursshould build such brand and culture to enhance their business growth.Employeesareimportantassetsin any organization and knowledge sharing becomes an integral aspectin improving employees’ competence(Zhan, Ma and Lin, 2014).
Ina competitive business world, firms need effective managementphilosophy, culture and innovative strategies that match the dynamicsin the market. Alibaba Group is an example of a conscious businessthat has integrated the principle of conscious leadership, consciousculture and innovativeness in the market. The organizationalstructure, processes and management are aligned to match those in theexternal market environment. In particular, Alibaba’s knowledgesharing and management approach is an important aspect in enhancingthe firm growth and sustainability.
Ying,Z. (2013). “Improve Knowledge Management in IT Company in China: Acase study of Taobao.” Retrieved from
Zheng,Y., & Yu, Z. (2010, May). Knowledge Sharing System of E-businessEcosystem Based on SECI Model. In ICEE(pp. 1836-1839).
Zhan,H. Peng, L., Ma, Y., & Lin, J. (2014). The Research onCharacteristics of E-Commerce Enterprises’ Knowledge Workers andTheir Motivating Factors. ACIS.
Torgeir,D. (2009). “Software Architecture Knowledge Management.”Retrieved fromhttp://www.ebooks-share.net/software-architecture-knowledge-management-theory-and-practice/
Kimiz,D. (2011). KnowledgeManagement in Theory and Practice.Mit Pr Publish. Retrieved fromhttp://mitpress.mit.edu/books/knowledge-management-theory-and-practice
Michael,Z. (2014, September 29). “How Jack Ma`s `Crazy` Management StyleBuilt a Technology Empire.” Retrieved from:http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237881
WorldFinance (2014, March 17). “Alibaba looks set to become largest USIPO of all time.” Retrieved from:http://www.worldfinance.com/markets/alibaba-looks-set-to-become-largest-us-ipo-of-all-time