Global Knowledge Management At Danone Case Study Analysis

Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2007 (Revised September 2011)

Global Knowledge Management at Danone (A)

by Amy C. Edmondson, Bertrand Moingeon, Vincent Marie Dessain and Ane Damgaard Jensen


This case explores French consumer goods company Danone's novel approach to knowledge management. In 2007, Human Resource Chief (Executive Vice President) Franck Mougin assesses the company's knowledge-sharing tools and considers his options going forward. Through informal knowledge marketplaces and sharing networks, Danone had helped managers connect with each other and share good practices peer-to-peer, rather than relying on traditional hierarchical lines of communication or IT repositories. From 2004 to 2007, Mougin and his team had found that 5,000 Danone managers around the world-the company conducted business in 120 countries-had shared about 640 now-documented good practices. In 2007, the strategic importance of saving time in a decentralized organization through adoption of colleagues' good practices was put to a test. Should the knowledge management tools be extended to include all employees and external partners on a regular basis? And on top of sharing good practices, could it be extended to include the creation of new solutions and processes? Would this require more formalization of processes and more tracking of results? The case illustrates Mougin's options on taking knowledge management into the future of Danone.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Employee Relationship Management; Knowledge Management; Knowledge Sharing; Social and Collaborative Networks; Expansion; Consumer Products Industry; France;

Question 01: What is your assessment of the Networking Attitude initiative?

According to my assessment of the Networking Attitude initiative it has been quite an excellent facilitator that has helped in encouraging the Danone employees to actually network with each other. The goal of Danone has been to rather utilize and use a structure which can allow the employees within the company to form a special bond and communication with one another.
Along with this, the Networking Attitude initiative has helped in organizing the marketplace activity where the company has setup a fun and a relaxing informal atmosphere for the employees that has helped them to interact and exchange ideas with each other. This has been a rather positive move that has made the employees come closer to each other.

Furthermore, the dressing in different costumes has also helped to remove the barrier of lower people to make connection..
Moreover, if the objective of the employees is not aligned, then they tend to restrict connection with each other. Many employees have actually been hesitant to interact within this initiative and they are more concerned for their work.

To make it a successful option, I will suggest the company to bring in more alignment of employees and help them achieve the personal goals all the way. For instance, the company can help the employees to connect across the different divisions which can help the different departments.......................

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Question 02: What should Mougin and Benanti do next?

With the major problem that has been identified in the case, the next step for Mougin and Benanti should be to restudy and also to reintroduce the concept of networking with the company Danone.

This will actually help the company in ensuring that all the different benefits of the networking shall be emphasized and the users of this facility shall be given the full education on its use and effectiveness.

Along with this, with this option it would provide technology that would be used,which shall be error free as well. Through the strategy of restudy and also reintroducing the concept of networking with the company, Danone will minimize the cost and this would also help the firm in investing upon the current technology.

Moreover, the company should also use the internet and actually introduce an alternative technology that would help the management in sharing ideas, knowledge and the different concepts to the existing members within the firm......................

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Global Knowledge Management at Danone (A)


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