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Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management

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Knowledge Management: A Frameworkfor building a Knowledge Sharing Cultureby
 
Palvinderjit Kaur
UCTI Working PaperWP-07-04
April 2007
 
 
Palvinderjit Kaur Page 
1
 
Knowledge Management: A Framework for building a Knowledge Sharing Culture 
Palvinderjit KaurAsia Pacific University College of Technology & InnovationTechnology Park MalaysiaBukit Jalil, 5700 Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaApril 2007palvin@apiit.edu.my
Abstract
Knowledge management has now become the ultimate goal and business strategy inmany organisations to gain the competitive edge. Knowledge is known to be the mostpowerful and intellectual asset in organisation which require managing and sharingcapabilities. Organisations will be able to upgrade their position by becomingknowledge intensive organisations if they start valuing knowledge and use it as apowerful tool to meet business challenges.Knowledge repository implementation will add value to the success of knowledgemanagement by providing a new platform for continuous learning process. The processof creating, managing and storing knowledge requires a new shift that now focuses onknowledge sharing to leverage the organisational capital asset which is the knowledge.The entire concept of knowledge management will not work if a knowledge sharingculture is not established. This paper describes concepts such as the
3C‟s and CoPs
which need to be incorporated to guarantee the success of knowledge management.By examining the application of models and frameworks for knowledge management aframework for a building knowledge sharing culture is recommended. No knowledgecan be managed if sharing capabilities are not supported with the cultural andtechnological shifts. With this understanding, the framework includes 5 key enablerswhich are simplified and presented as a checklist to guide organisational interest inimplementing knowledge management. Methods which can be adopted to encouragethe success of the recommended framework are then discussed.Knowledge management with the strong support of a knowledge sharing culture willraise any organisation to a new level for meeting business challenges This can beachieved with the creation of knowledge repositories and generating knowledgeworkers as part of their business strategy.
Keywords
: Knowledge management, knowledge sharing, models, framework and keyenablers.
1.
 
Introduction
Organisations in
today‟s world are viewing a
new business strategy which includesknowledge management as their ultimate goalfor competition advantage and success factors.According to the Head of KnowledgeManagement in Hindustan Lever Limited,
knowledge management refers to allsystematic activities for the creation andsharing of knowledge that connect people topeople and people to information
(Murty,2004).Knowledge management is not just aboutcapturing and disseminating knowledge but itis also about the sharing element that is themost important aspect that is still difficult to beestablished and achieved by organisations. Thereason for this is that knowledge is known tobe the most powerful asset to an individual.Authors such as Koulopoulas and Frappaolo(1999) and Polanyi (1964) highlight that theonly irreplaceable capital organisations possessis their knowledge.Regardless of the fact that knowledge is eitherexplicit or tacit, it is important to be shared andimproved continuously. Churman (1971)mentions that knowledge is a collection of information that res
ides in the person‟s mind.
 
 
Knowledge Management: A Framework for Building a Knowledge Sharing Culture WP-07-04 Palvinderjit Kaur Page 
 2
 
2.
 
Knowledge
It is true, explicit knowledge can be easilystored compared to tacit knowledge. Explicitknowledge concentrates on formal andsystematic documentation that is made publicto all domain users (Conway and Silgar, 2003)but it is the tacit knowledge which evolvesfrom experience and intuition which is notbeing shared and explored (Cornell et al,2003). It is now incredibly important fororganisations to value and manage both theexplicit and the tacit knowledge and shouldseek ways creating, storing, finding andacquiring this knowledge with the modelsuggested by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995).This model allows conceptualisation of knowledge which is crucial as it is known as
“justified
belief and commitment based on theindividual capacity to take the effective action
 stated by Alavi and Leider (2001).In addition Davenport and Prusak (1998)noted that organisations should viewknowledge as a
“fluid mix of frame
experiences, values, contextual informationand expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating newexperiences and information
”.
Thereforeorganisations should focus on sharing theirknowledge especially using documentation andrepositories. The knowledge should includetacit knowledge from business processes,routines and norms which encapsulate theapplication of best practices to becomeknowledge intensive organisation as suggestedby Malhotra (2004).
2.1 Knowledge IntensiveOrganisation
A knowledge intensive organisation relies onhuman capital and knowledge as being asource of competitive advantage, whereknowledge has more importance than otherinputs such as physical or financial capital
 (Starbuck, 1992). Knowledge is an intangibleresource for an organisation (Svieby, 1977),utilising this resource becomes the source of innovation and strategic renewal for thesuccess criteria of knowledge sharing.Nonaka and Takeuchi
‟s
model can be used tofocus on the creation of knowledge, known asthe Knowledge Value (KnoVa) (Tissen, et al,2000) to start the knowledge sharing culture.David Owens, Vice President of Knowledge
Management at Unisys Corp quoted “Only 2%
of information gets written down and the restis in pe
ople‟s heads” (Hickins, 1999). He is
concerned as he believes that the need to createa knowledge intensive organisation becomescrucial because the
organisation‟s risk 
willinclude the loss of knowledge when anemployee leaves the organisation. Thereforethe individual should be allowed andencouraged to share knowledge. Knowledgestoring and sharing should be supported withrepositories that can be accessed by allemployees suggested by Brown and Woodland(1999).Swart (2003) defines
knowledge intensiveorganisations in terms of their emphasis on thenature and quality of their highly skilledhuman capital. In addition, work processes thatcreate market value through knowledge andthe deployment of the knowledge involvinginnovation, initiative and competence shouldbe built into the organisation
.Therefore it becomes extremely important forthe survival of any organisation to beknowledge intensive with the establishment of knowledge repositories that can be shared bythe employees in the organisation.
 
2.2 Knowledge Repositories
The relationship between data, information andknowledge is important to be understood(Furlong, 2001). Data are raw facts such asfigures that can be stored easily. The databecomes information when the human mindinterprets the combination of data in a moremeaningful format, such as a report. Asinformation resides in human minds it willbecome knowledge only when more and morevaluable ideas, insights and interpretations arecreated, stored and shared. This is onlypossible if knowledge repositories are createdas discussed by Marchand (2000) and Stewart(1999).Authors such as Davenport and Marchand(2000), Bukowitz and Williamns (1999),Davenport and Prusak (2000), Stewart (1999),Nonaka and Takeuchi (1999) and Koulopoulosand Frappaolo (1999) all state that knowledge
repositories are “a se
t of knowledge categories,the location of the knowledge and in some
cases its condition and value”.
(DavenportT.H, 1999) Therefore organisations should make theseknowledge repositories accessible usingknowledge maps or expertise directories to

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