A Case Study Of Knowledge Management essay

This paper presents what Knowledge Management is all about, KM status of an organization, theoretical aspects of KM introduced in different companies, identified examples in the real world, KM tools used in organizations and use to facilitate the KM process in a specific organization. Introduction Knowledge Management (KM) has been growing in importance and popularity as a research topic since the mid 1 990 s. This is enough time for many companies to implement KM initiatives and KM systems (SMS).

This paper presents some cases investigating the implementation Of KM in a umber of companies of all sizes. This paper presents what Knowledge Management is all about, KM status of an organization, theoretical aspects of KM introduced in different companies, identified examples in the real world, KM tools used in organizations and use to facilitate the KM process in a specific organization What is KM? Knowledge Management (KM is about making the right knowledge available to the right people.

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It is about making sure that an organization can learn, and that it will be able to retrieve and use its knowledge assets in current applications as they are needed. In the words of Peter Trucker, who was an Austrian-born American management consultant; it is “the coordination and exploitation of organizational knowledge resources, in order to create benefit and competitive advantage” (Trucker 1999). Where De disagreement occurs is in conjunction with the creation of new knowledge.

Hellman (2009) limits the scope of KM to lessons learned and the techniques employed for the management of what is already known. He argues the knowledge creation is often perceived as a separate discipline and generally falls under innovation management. Bouzouki and Williams (1999) link KM directly to tactical and tragic requirements. Its focus is on the use and enhancement of knowledge based assets to enable the firm to respond to these issues. According to this view, the answer to our question “What is KM would be significantly broader.

What is knowledge? Davenport and Prussia said in their book entitled ‘Working Knowledge‚’ that knowledge locates at the apex of three-story pyramid (as shown in Figure 1 At the first level of the pyramid is data, which expresses objective statement in terms of transaction record. For examples, the collection of transaction fee and service quality is the typical example. The second level of the pyramid is information called as message. To transit a message, it must contain a sender , receiver , and a package of information created by sender.

For example, the comparison of monthly sales can be converted into information by so-called C methods, which are: Categorized: To category information to form a message. Calculated: To use mathematical or statistical method to form message. Corrected: To delete uncorrected data to form information. Condensed: To condense the information into a more concise message. Conceptualized: To collect data as purpose and description to form message. Last but not least, knowledge locates at the third level of the pyramid. It is more general and convenience than data or information, but still needs these two as foundation.

The knowledge includes structured experience, value, judgment, vision, intuition, expert s comment and other values. Knowledge stems from information just as the information is originated from data. To convert information into knowledge, a so-called C method must be adopted: Comparison: To compare information at various conditions. Consequences: What does the information imply to decision and action? Connections: What is the connection between knowledge generated by information and other parts of knowledge? Conversations: By direct communications with others to get their comment to the information.

There are two major types Of knowledge: 1. Tacit knowledge. 2. The concept analysis technique. First of all, I will start with a quote by Poland, who was an economic historian and economic anthropologist. ‘We know more than we can tell” Poland, 1966 Tacit knowledge is difficult to articulate and also difficult to put into words, text, or drawings. In contrast, explicit knowledge represents content that has been captured in some tangible form such as words, audio recordings, or mages. Moreover, tacit knowledge tends to reside “within the heads of owner’s, “whereas explicit knowledge is usually contained within tangible or concrete media.

However, it should be noted that this is a rather simplistic dichotomy. In fact “tackiness” is a property of the knower: what is easily articulated by one person may be very difficult to externalities by another. That is, the same content may be explicit for one person and tacit for another. On the one hand, highly skilled, experienced, and expert individuals may find it harder to articulate their know-how. On the other hand, are more apt to easily verbalize what they are attempting to do because they are typically following a manual or how-to process. The more tacit knowledge is the more valuable it tends to be.

The paradox lies in the fact that more difficult it is to articulate a concept such as “story,” the more valuable that knowledge may be. This is often evidenced when people make references to knowledge versus know-how, or to knowledge of something versus knowledge of how to do something. Valuable tacit knowledge often results in some observable action when individuals understand and subsequently make use Of knowledge. Another perspective is that explicit knowledge tends to represent the final end of product, whereas tacit knowledge is the know-how or all of the processes that were required in order to produce that final product. . The concept analysis technique. Concept analysis is an established technique used in the social sciences, such as philosophy and education, in order to derive a “formula” that in turn can be used to generate definitions and descriptive phrases for highly complex terms. We still lack a consensus on knowledge management-related terms, even though these terms do appear to be complex enough to merit the concept analysis approach. Much of the reason of this lack of consensus lies in the fact that a word such as “knowledge” is necessarily subjective, not to mention value- laden in interpretation.

The concept analysis approach rests on obtaining consensus on three major dimensions of a given concept: a) A list of key attributes that must be present in the definition, vision, or mission statement. B) A list of illustrative examples. C) A list of illustrative unexampled. This approach is particularly useful in tackling multidisciplinary domains such as intellectual capital, for clear criteria can be developed to enable sorting onto categories such as knowledge versus information, document management versus knowledge management, and tangible versus intangible assets. Why is KM important today?

The major business drivers behind today’s increased interest in and application of KM lie in four key areas: 1. Globalization of business. Organizations today are more global-” MultiMate, multilingual, and multicultural in nature. 2. Leaner organizations. We are doing more and we are doing it faster, but we also need to work smarter as knowledge workers, adopting an increased pace and workload. 3. “Corporate amnesia. ” We are ore mobile as a workforce, which creates problems of knowledge continuity for the organization and places continuous learning demands on the knowledge worker.

We no longer expect to spend our entire work life with the same organization. 4. Technological advances. We are more connected. Advances in information technology not only have made connectivity ubiquitous but have radically changed expectations. We are expected to be “on” at all times, and the turnaround time in responding is now measured in minutes, not weeks. Today’s work environment is more complex because we now need to attend daily to the increase in the number of subjective knowledge items.

Filtering over 200 e-mails, faxes, and vocalism messages on a daily basis should be done according to good time management practices and filtering rules, but more often than not, workers tend to exhibit a “Pavilion reflex” when they note the beeps announcing the arrival Of new mail or the ringing of the phone that demands immediate attention. Knowledge workers are increasingly being asked to “think on their feet,” with little time to digest and analyze incoming data and information, let alone retrieve, access, and apply relevant experiential knowledge.

This is due both o the sheer volume of tasks to address and to the greatly diminished turnaround time. Today’s expectation is that everyone is “on” all the time-”as evidenced by the various messages expressing annoyance when voiceless are not responded to promptly or e-mails are not acknowledged. Knowledge management represents one response to the challenge of trying to manage this complex, information-overloaded work environment. As such, KM is perhaps best categorized as a science of complexity.

One of the largest contributors to the complexity is that information overload represents only he tip of the iceberg-”only that information that has been rendered explicit. KM for individuals, communities, and organizations. Knowledge management provides benefits to individual employees, to communities of practice, and to the organization itself. This three-tiered view Of KM helps emphasize why KM is important today. For the individual, KM: ; Helps people do their jobs and save time through better decision making and problem solving. ; Builds a sense of community bonds within the organization. Helps people to keep up to date. ; Provides challenges and opportunities to contribute. For the community of practice, KM: ; Develops professional skills. ; Promotes peer-to-peer mentoring. ; Facilitates more effective en;irking and collaboration. ; Develops a professional code of ethics that members can follow. ; Develops a common language. For the organization, KM: ; Helps drive strategy. ; Solves problems quickly. ; Diffuses best practices. ; Improves knowledge embedded in products and services. ; Cross-fertilizes ideas and increases opportunities for innovation. Enables organizations to stay ahead of the competition better. ; Builds organizational memory. Some critical KM challenges are to manage content effectively, facilitate collaboration, help knowledge workers connect and find experts, and help the organization to learn and make decisions based on complete, valid, and welterweight data, information, and knowledge. In order for knowledge management to succeed, it has to tap into what is important to knowledge workers-”what is of value to them and to their professional practice as well as what the organization stands to gain.

It is important to get the balance right. Fifth KM initiative is too big, it risks being too general, too abstract, too pop-down, and far too remote to catalyst the requisite level of buy-in from individuals. If the KM initiative is too small, however, then it may not be enough to provide sufficient interaction between knowledge workers to generate synergy. The KM technology must be supportive, and management must commit itself to putting into place the appropriate rewards and incentives for knowledge management activities.

Last but not least, participants need to develop KM skills in order to participate effectively. These KM skills and competencies are quite diverse and varied, given the ultrasonically nature of the field, but one particular link is often neglected, and that is the link between KM skills and information professionals’ skills. KM has resulted in the emergence of new roles and responsibilities, and a great many of these can benefit from a healthy foundation based not only in information technology (IT) but also in information science.

KM roles within organizations Monika Monika views KM as a combination of people, processes, technologies, and culture. It is through learning that organizations are able to improve what they do. Appropriate knowledge sharing facilitates effective learning. Various management approaches can be used in combination to produce a learning organization, which can in turn provide improved service; these include competence management and performance management. Organizational values must be reflected in the day-to-day running of an organization in order to impact on its knowledge strategy.

The Monika Way promotes a culture of learning that is premised on four pillars: customer satisfaction, respect for the individual, achievement, and continuous learning. The Monika Way is facilitated through a series of mechanisms, mainly interactions between managers, leagues, and employees placing power in the hands of the individual to develop in the organization. Jazz band analogy best captures Ionians approach to KM: the company shares a common vision and creates the space for an ensemble to perform in unison without controlling the music or constraining the performance.

Change and people management are commonly believed to make up 80% of KM, whereas IT comprises only 20% of it. In Monika no one person owns the KM process-”everyone owns it. Human Resources has a crucial role to play in implementing KM, as do IT, quality, and corporate planning departments. Organizational learning overlaps performance management (individual- al focus), competency management (organizational focus), and knowledge management (thematic or team focus). Monika integrates these three approaches in order to identify best practices and lessons learned.

The Monika Saga, a novel about Ionians history, contains about 1 00 stories that many employees read in order to better understand the company’s values. The storytelling provides examples of what managers do and how they apply Monika values. Ionians annual report is called “No Limits,” and it gives progress reports on how the company culture is moving award a knowledge-sharing culture-”with no limits on learning, participating, and building better futures. Monika does not have a Chief Knowledge Officer (COOK). It has a steering group of about 10 persons from different functional areas coordinating KM activities.

The head of the steering committee is also the head of the quality department. Many organizations have a concern that sharing all their knowledge means giving all their power away. Monika was able to change its culture to one of knowledge sharing by designing a flat, networked, global, and multicultural organization. Speed, flexibility, opportunity, and openness are the key features. Ionians management evaluates how well employees do with respect to supporting KM in terms of creating, sharing, and reusing knowledge.

They do not have incentive systems, as they believe knowledge sharing should be part of the company culture and not something that is rewarded with money. The intention is to try to capture as much organizational knowledge as possible. As in a good jazz band, the players share a common vision, and are interested in producing good products through innovation and improvisation. The end exult is not always clearly seen, but because a common vision guides their performance, these professionals allow their services to be shaped by the feelings and interactions of the various players who are part of the company.

General Electric Sharing best practices is a way life at General Electric (GE)-”employees live and breathe it every day. 2 A culture of what the company calls “boundlessness” ensures that at GE whatever one person knows, everyone knows. GE demonstrates how this process works. Beyond competence, community, and commitment, trust needs communication, both positive and active, both best practices and lessons learned. GE is riddled with communities of practice-”manufacturing councils, finance councils, technology councils-”literally hundreds of interdisciplinary and interruptions groups.

Here Gee’s young bring their ideas to share at meetings, where other members test them, improve upon them, and take them home to be implemented in their own businesses. Individual performance reviews stress the skills that contribute to the culture. Executive evaluations cover two major areas: performance and personal values. Performance is a quantitative assure, but when the qualitative measure of an executive’s personal values is considered, the only category that supersedes boundlessness is integrity. At GE you are at least as well regarded for borrowing a best practice across business lines as you are for inventing it.

Face time is only one way GE shares best practices and other intellectual assets. MS exchange is standard on 50,000 desktops. In addition, GE has an intranet whose goal is to make the right information available at the right place and at the right time. The intranet is an important vehicle for dynamic publishing and for sharing best raciest. In all divisions, executives put even their undeveloped ideas online. Others then modify those ideas using collaborative tools. For example, executives from all EDGE divisions discuss benchmarking for computer usage via Gee’s intranet.

Another discussion site is devoted to enterprise resource planning. Gee’s Technological Leadership Program is an online multimedia just-in-time training program, which is also available live on the intranet. Then CEO Jack Welch committed GE to a 6 Sigma Program whose goal is to allow fewer than 3. 4 customer-perceived defects per 1 million opportunities to err. The linchpin to the knowledge sharing necessary to achieve that goal is an intranet-accessible data warehouse dedicated to shared knowledge about quality. How important is knowledge sharing at GE?

If you are a CEO at GE and you mention that you have developed a great new business procedure, the first question the chairman will ask is, “Whom have you shared this with? ‘ people who hoard an idea for personal glory simply do not do well at GE. KM roles and responsibilities within The main types Of KM roles Observed in a wide range Of private- and public sector organizations can be summarized as follows: 1. Designing information systems (designing, evaluating, or choosing information content, database structures, indexing and knowledge representation, interfaces, networking, and technology. . Managing information systems (maintaining the integrity, quality, currency of the data, updating, modifying, improving the system, and operating the system). 3. Managing information resources (managing organizational information resources to support organizational missions and for competitive advantage).