Knowledge is defined in many ways. The following are definitions of knowledge. “Acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as form study or investigation”. (Kmconnection, 2006) There is another definition Capturing, organizing, and storing knowledge and experiences of individual workers and groups within an organization and making this information available to others in the organization. (Knowledge Management online definition, 2006)
The third definition: The real managerial challenge is enabling knowledge creation; capturing is by-product, information, is the easy part ( library. ahima, 2006) Knowledge is either tacit (cannot be represented) or explicit (may be shared).
Explicit knowledge is defined as: knowledge that has been or can be articulated, codified, and stored in certain media. The most common forms of explicit knowledge are manuals, documents, procedures, and stories.
The tacit and explicit knowledge of the people in an organization should be managed through making an effective and smart strategy. This management of knowledge in an organization is called knowledge management.
Knowledge Management helps an organization to act intelligently toward their strategic goal and be successful. The foundation of any organization is based on their knowledge and what kind of strategy they practice and follow up. Managing knowledge in an organization has a focus on relevant knowledge related aspects such as: computer based knowledge, economic aspects,and technology networks such as: e-mails, groupware, portals and the other tools. According to Karl Wiig ( 1997) there are four areas of knowledge management emphasis:
-Governance functions: monitor and facilities knowledge resource activities
– Staff functions: establish and update knowledge infrastructure
– Operational functions: Create, review, build & organize knowledge assets
– Realize the values of knowledge: distribute and apply knowledge assets affectivity University and college faculties have been using e-learning systems due to give knowledge and information to the other users.Some mathematicians built sophisticated system in order to demonstrate and teach mathematics (problem & their resolutions) in a very interesting and effective way.
Knowledge Management is becoming a strong tool, using certain methods that help users to collect and organize knowledge that can be used for various purposes.
What is the definition of Knowledge Management? Despite the value of knowledge, it is almost impossible to come up with an objective definition for “knowledge management” to be understandable for everyone. In fact, it is very difficult to give the exact definition for this term as many people mean different things by “KM”. The challenge for businesses these days is to provide the right information that leads to effective knowledge that can be used to make better decisions. The thorough analysis of Knowledge Management gives grounds to single out principal constituents of attaining goals, and clearly shows that:
a) there is no specific right way of doing knowledge management
b) there is no right knowledge executive software program on the market
c) what works for organization A will not necessarily work for organization B. Managing an organization’s knowledge more effectively and exploiting it in the marketplace is the latest search for those seeking a viable gain within their organization? Most likely, it is true.
The interest in knowledge management has surged during the last few years, with a growing number of publications, conferences and investment in knowledge management initiatives. In fact, any action that makes use of and applies knowledge can benefit from the controls of knowledge management and that covers most managerial and professional activities. Therefore, like other management tactics used previously,numerous obtainable business practices such as: information management and intelligence congregations are pending under the knowledge management cover area. Similarly, information systems solutions such as document management and data warehousing are being similarly relabeled.
Definitions of Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management may seem the same to everyone, but there are various definitions found all over that state otherwise. Although Knowledge Management essentially does the same job with respect to organizing an business’ information, assets, structure and provides an organization with a multitude of better and satisfying list of objectives for a company to follow which will bring much more success and offer more incentives to the employees on an intellectual level. Below you will find three such definitions of what Knowledge Management is:
1)Knowledge Management is treated broadly and is used to cover all that an organization needs to know to perform its functions. (Watson, 2002, p. 4)
2) Davenport and Prusak define KM as a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. (Dieng & Corby, 2000, p. 277)
3) KM is less to do with the relatively trivial operational issues of collecting, storing and communicating data, even in the vastly greater quantities that now seem both possible and necessary, than with a new impetus to examine and perhaps, manage the meaning and context of our work and organizational activity. (Holsapple, 2002, p. 60-61) It is clear by looking at the above mentioned definitions, that each person has their own views.
Take Watson for example, who feels that KM is talked about on a much too broad level, giving really, unclear reasoning as to what KM really is. He does state that organizations need to know how to perform their functions, and that by using KM, this can be done. He is vague on the true purpose of KM. On the other hand, Davenport and Prusak interpret KM as mixed experiences; values and information are the backbone for evaluating new experiences as well as information.
Looking at this aspect, you would not right away get a clear definition of what KM is either. Even though the subject here is KM, this definition is not the same as the first one, as this gives a bit more information as to the meaning of what KM might be. Having stated that KM involves experiences and values, where does information come into this? It comes from ones experiences and knowledge of those experiences, which can be harnessed and used for other purposes.
Lastly, we have Holsapple’s definition which clearly states that KM is less about trivial issues of collecting, storing and communicating data, than it has to do with managing what the organization does and what the goings-on are. This definition in itself is completely opposite than the others.
It is not vague, nor does it offer us a one sided picture of what KM is.
Overall, Knowledge Management is an activity restraint that promotes a shared and integrative move toward the establishment, capture, organization, admission and use of information resources, including the inferred, un-captured knowledge of people. It is the course of action of converting information and rational assets into long-term significance. In an organizational setting, this would mean a methodical move toward getting a business to make the best possible use of knowledge in implementing its undertaking, roughly viewed as either sustainable competitive improvement or lasting high routine.
Each of the above mentioned definitions look similar and all have the same ending result, which is to increase an organizations optimal performance and attain increased success for that company. Knowledge Management is not just a simple process, but involves a large portion of time and structure to provide sufficient results. By collecting, organizing and integrating a structured practice, any organization can achieve their ultimate goals.
Discussion: IT Solutions/Systems developed for KM
There are four main areas in which the requirement of systematic KM is felt and fulfilled:
– The areas in which knowledge-related activities are required for providing and checking the basic effect of knowledge management in the working system.
– The areas in which the knowledge infrastructure has to be created and maintained for the improvement of the organization.
– The Knowledge Management database has to be renewed and organized in such a way so that the transformation is easy and useful.
– To teach the handling of knowledge to improve their effect on the system.
Most technology based concepts have been for the most part been rooted in modus operandi manuals, numerical models or programmed logic that confines the ideal solutions to the given selection of the organization’s problems.
The Defense Acquisition University for instance at Fort Belvoir, Va., has maintained Intranet and Internet websites, and has created distance learning courses, as well as having operated the IT and network infrastructure.The DAU is responsible for training and the technology and logistics workforce; therefore they require an improved KM system. DAU’s Knowledge Systems provide tools and resources that maintain a continuous learning presence for a 145,000 person workforce, by means of online knowledge systems and communities of practice, to improve the performance of the workforce and its partners. They have developed several key knowledge systems which are listed as follows:
-They have implemented the Acquisition Knowledge Sharing System, which is an essential gateway for all resources and information. This provides an integrated but decentralized information system.
-They have created the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) is an online reference to acquisition policy and best practice for the DOD acquisition community and its industry partners. It provides links to pertinent sections of the AKSS.
The implementations have helped with communications, collaboration and sharing among DOD services and agencies on a wide range of topics. They also have enhanced admittance to attainment information, resources, and tools across the DOD and have allowed sharing of service-developed products and tools. Other such systems as the following are best suited for simpler organizations:
(a) Well-structured problem situations for which there exists strong consensual position on the nature of the problem situation, being the Lockean Inquiry System.
(b) Well-structured problems for which there exists an analytic formulation with a solution, being the Leibnizian Inquiry System.
Ian Watson would argue that the only KM solution that can provide a methodology for dealing with storing, retrieving, reviewing and so forth, and one that would also be controlled and managed the right way, would be Case Based Reasoning. This system would be an essential part of locating and reviewing stored knowledge more effectively (Watson, p. 233). The fundamental power of CBR is that it is simplistic, easy to understand as well as being computationally straightforward.
Knowledge management systems based upon the Hegelian inquiry systems, would smooth the progress of multiple and contradictory interpretations of the important information. This course of action would ensure that the main information is the topic of recurrent assessments and revisions, given the changing reality. Continuously challenging the current ‘company way,’ such systems are expected to prevent the hub’s potential from becoming that of tomorrow.
If we are to assume that either of these systems or solution tools is going to work, the organization needs to be up-to-date on what is happening within their company and out in the marketplace. Knowledge Management will help to identify current issues or areas that are lacking, and bring the organization up to speed.
The Hegelian inquiry systems are based on a synthesis of multiple completely antithetical depictions that are differentiated by strong variances due to the dissimilar basic assumptions. Leibnizian systems are closed systems without access to the external environment: they operate based on given axioms and may fall into competency traps based on diminishing returns from the ‘tried and tested’ heuristics embedded in the inquiry processes.
Each of these systems would be a benefit to the organization, given that by looking at the core matter, applying the right system for their trade and implementing the correct changes, they can achieve higher success in a closed environment without losing anything pertaining to information, accessibility of information, employee standards or operation methods. The organization would be smooth running and can achieve faster success.
Overall, with the incorporation of Knowledge Management, any organization can attain a much higher rate of information gathering, sorting and resolution problem-solving than they had before. By making sure that every employee also has the proper training of using any new technology systems that pertain to the information collection, there should be any unforeseen problems.
At this day in age, it is nearly impossible for any organization to improve upon their systems or business without having put in place a proper solution method, high-end technological system for gathering and storing of information or any other such means. By not incorporating such systems for problem-solving, collecting and storing data, the organization is leaving themselves open for market down falls.
There will be much needed implementations before the company could see better margins or increased profitability.
While most company’s have introduced better Knowledge Management systems to better control their information collection and storing methods, others have implemented new information management practices.
On the administrative side, some structures have loosened up and are more coordinated,faster IT facilities were put in place that enables them to have separate teams and projects that form swiftly around new challenges. These have been administered by using updated communication systems rather than finding and locating employees or through the use of managerial staff that walks around. These are what we call ‘virtual teams’, meaning that these teams of people can locate and capture any necessary information on achieved progress, their clientele or even their competitors.
By using new and improved systems such as the ones mentioned above, collected information can be targeted and re-located to the proper section and stored in their main databases. Information networks can now be mapped, analyzed and managed with ease and at a faster rate then previously done. This ensures a better grounded organization and can be more responsive to changes happening or needed and will be able to focus better while harnessing its employees and measuring any effects from its actions.
Brint.com, Definitions of Knowledge Management, URL:http://www. brint.com/wwwboard/messages/11484.html Accessed on November 17, 2006.
David Skyrme Associates, (1999), Knowledge Management: The Basics, URL: http://www. skyrme.com/resource/kmbasics.htm Accessed on November 12, 2006.
Defense Acquisition University (U.S.), (2006), Knowledge Management Tools Developed by CSC Team Earn e-Gov Award for DAU, URL: http://www. csc.com/industries/government/casestudies/2249.shtml Accessed on November 20, 2006.
Dieng, R., & Oliver Corby (Editors), (2000), Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management, Methods, Models, and Tools: 12th International Conference, EKAW 2000, Juan-les-Pins, France, October 2-6, 2000 Proceedings.
Holsapple, Clyde W., (Editor), (2002), Handbook on Knowledge Management 1: Knowledge Matters, ISBN: 3540435271, p. 60-61.
INGATE, Knowledge Management Solutions”, URL: http://www. ingatedevelopment.com/pages/ Knowledge-Management-Solutions.asp Accessed on November 24, 2006.
Kmconnection, (2006) “What is knowledge and how you can manage it”, URL: http://www. kmconnection.com/What%20is%20knowledge.htm Accessed on November 27, 2006
Knowledge Management,(2006)” Definition of Knowledge Management”, URL: http://www.google.no/searchhl=no&lr =&oi=definer&q=define:knowledge+management fl=en Accessed on November 27th 2006
Library Ahima (2006) “Definition of knowledge Management”, URL: library .ahima.org/xpedio/groups/public/ documents/ahima/pub_bok1_025042.html, Accessed on November 27 2006
Malhotra, Yogesh. (1997), “Knowledge Management in Inquiring Organizations,” in the Proceedings of 3rd Americas Conference on Information Systems (Philosophy of Information Systems Mini-track), Indianapolis, IN, August 15-17, pp. 293-295, located at http://www. kmnetwork.com/km.htm Accessed on November 25, 2006.
Stuhlman, Management Consultants, (2006), Helping you turn data into knowledge: Knowledge Management Terms, located at http://home. earthlink.net/~ddstuhlman/defin1.htm Accessed on November 25, 2006.
Wiig, M. karl ( 1997) article: Knowledge Management Knowledge research institute,Inc. ;5211 Vicksburg Drive, Arlington, TX 76017-4941;USA. E-mail: email@example.com
Watson, Ian, (2002), Applying Knowledge Management: Techniques for Building Corporate Memories, p. 4.
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