How Scottish Law Firms Manage Knowledge

[German title: Wissensmanagement-Praxis in schottischen Anwaltskanzleien (Translate text to: Deutsch)]

Hunter, Laurie, Beaumont, Phil & Lee, Matthew (2002)
Knowledge management practice in Scottish law firms.
Human Resource Management Journal 12 (2), 4-21.
doi: 10.1111/j.1748-8583.2002.tb00061.x

Abstract: Law firms, as part of the professional services sector, are increasingly engaged in strategic thinking about business growth and development. The management of partners, staff and their knowledge is critical to this strategic development. This study of a sample of Scottish law firms engaged in commercial and corporate law finds that organisations are at different stages of progress, and that change has focused more on technical solutions than on organisational and HR issues. Based on evidence from partners and management, and on attitude data from salaried staff, the article suggests that, although the traditional professional firm’s interest in building and leveraging its human capital is still present, the underlying social and cultural processes involving motivation, sharing of experiences, coaching and mentoring are relatively underdeveloped. The implications for HR strategy and practice, and for the role of the HR manager, are considered.

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