Knowledge Building and Firm Performance

29 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2022

Date Written: October 6, 2022


If you could choose just one thing for a firm's management to get right in order to survive and prosper over the long term, what would that be? In my view, it is a firm's knowledge-building culture that is most important. This PowerPoint begins with a foundational explanation of knowledge building by way of a Knowledge Building Loop that is then used to provide insights as to how the Wright brothers systematically built up knowledge and taught the world how to fly. A knowledge-building culture has six critical characteristics. This includes a systems-thinking mindset that is widely applicable to problem solving in general (e.g., public policy issues). Finally, a knowledge-building culture is positioned as an essential component of a viable theory of the firm.

Keywords: Knowledge building, culture, language, systems thinking, life cycle

JEL Classification: D21, D22, D83, G12, G30, G32, G38, L2, M41, P17

Suggested Citation

Madden, Bartley J., Knowledge Building and Firm Performance (October 6, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Bartley J. Madden (Contact Author)

Bartley J. Madden Foundation ( email )

PO Box 110699
Naples, FL 34108
United States

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