Developing New Knwoledge at Nike
Business and Management
Submitted By hohov
KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRED BY NIKE OVER THE YEARS
STRATEGIC KNOWLEDE * Knowledge of their customers * Marketing * Design and Development of new products * Their Supply Chain
Customers and customer knowledge
When Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman formed the company, its products were targeted at the narrow market sector of serious, competitive athletes. Of course, most serious athletes are young men and women, so that Nike’s main customers were in their late teens and early 20s. The targeting of this customer group of serious athletes led Nike to focus on the development of high performance running shoes. Having been keen amateur athletes themselves, Knight and Bowerman had considerable tacit and explicit knowledge of the performance that athletes demand from their shoes. In fact, it was their personal dissatisfaction with existing athletic shoes, which led them to set up Nike to produce shoes, which were fit for purpose in terms of comfort and durability. They launched their offerings at the US Olympic track and field trials and in the mid-1970s they developed the first impact-absorbing sole drawing upon their tacit knowledge of runners’ needs and their explicit knowledge of the properties and potentialities of modern materials. This combination of tacit knowledge of customer needs and explicit knowledge of technology was translated into their knowledge based core competences in design and development, and became their earliest source of CA. These core competences combined with the attention gained from launching the company at the high profile US trials, led to rapidly growing sales among athletes. The next stages in the development of Nike’s knowledge-based competences were possibly fortuitous but were quickly followed by further organizational learning and the creation of new strategic knowledge. Many high profile American athletes adopted Nike’s...