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Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management

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Published by RajaRajeswari.L

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Published by: RajaRajeswari.L on Jan 31, 2010
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08/15/2013

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Knowledge managementKnowledge management (KM)
comprises a range of strategies and practices used in anorganization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insightsandexperiences. Such insights and experiences compriseknowledge,either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizationalprocessesor practice.An establisheddisciplinesince 1991 KM includes courses taught in the fields of  business  administration, information systems,management, and library andinformation sciences. More recently, other fields have started contributing to KM research; these includeinformation and media,computer science, public health,andpublic policy. Many largecompaniesandnon-profit organizationshave resources dedicated to internal KM efforts, often as a part of their ' business strategy', 'information technology', or 'human  resource management'departments. Several consulting companies also exist that providestrategy and advice regarding KM to these organizations.KM efforts typically focus on organizationalobjectivessuch as improved performance, competitive advantage,innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvementof theorganization. KM efforts overlap withorganizational  learning,and may be distinguished from that by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the sharing of knowledge. KMefforts can help individuals and groups to share valuable organizational insights, toreduce redundant work, to avoidreinventing the wheelper se, to reduce training time for newemployees, to retainintellectual capitalas employeesturnover in an organization, and to adapt to changingenvironmentsandmarkets In other words, Knowledge Management is a process that, continuously andsystematically, transfers knowledge from individuals and teams, who generate them, tothe brain of the organization for the benefit of the entire organization.KM efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance,competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, and continuousimprovement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with Organizational Learning, andmay be distinguished from by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as astrategic asset and a focus on encouraging the exchange of knowledge.
What is knowledge management?
At
 Knowledge Praxis
, we define knowledge management as a business activity with two primary aspects:
o
Treating the knowledge component of business activities as an explicitconcern of business reflected in strategy, policy, and practice at all levelsof the organization.
 
o
Making a direct connection between an organizations intellectual assets both explicit [recorded] and tacit [personal know-how] and positive business results.In practice, knowledge management often encompasses identifying and mappingintellectual assets within the organization, generating new knowledge for competitiveadvantage within the organization, making vast amounts of corporate informationaccessible, sharing of best practices, and technology that enables all of the aboveincluding groupware and intranets.That covers a lot of ground. And it should, because applying knowledge to work isintegral to most business activities.Knowledge management is hard to define precisely and simply. (The definition alsoleapfrogs the task of defining "knowledge" itself. Well get to that later.) Thats notsurprising. How would a nurse or doctor define "health care" succinctly? How would aCEO describe "management"? How would a CFO describe "compensation"? Each of those domains is complex, with many sub-areas of specialization. Nevertheless, we know"health care" and "management" when we see them, and we understand the major goalsand activities of those domains.
Few KM Definitions
Prof. Gopinath defines the Knowledge Management in three different views:Knowledge Management is a right principle for right application and right use.• Knowledge Management is a field of handling knowledge in different stages. It focusesaround creation, capturing, nurturing, documenting, disseminating, absorbing andconserving for development of human resources.• Knowledge Management is a process of enriching human resource, material resourceand environment (organization’s environment, work environment) preservation.R. Gregory Wenig (1998) defines KM from organizational perspective. According to hisdefinition, Knowledge Management for the organization consists of activities focused onthe organization gaining knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of others, and on the judicious application of that knowledge to fulfill the mission of theorganization.Tom Davenport (1998, brint.com) says KM is: “Process of capturing, distributing, andeffectively using knowledge.Ellen Knapp (1998 brint.com) defines KM as the art of transforming information andintellectual assets into enduring value for an organization’s clients and its people.
 
Simple Definition:
Knowledge Management (KM) refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achievingorganizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. KM focuses on processessuch as acquiring, creating and sharing knowledge and the cultural and technicalfoundations that support them.
Knowledge Management may be viewed in terms of:
o
People how do you increase the ability of an individual in theorganisation to influence others with their knowledge
o
Processes – Its approach varies from organization to organization. There isno limit on the number of processes
o
Technology – It needs to be chosen only after all the requirements of aknowledge management initiative have been established.Or 
o
Culture –The biggest enabler of successful knowledge-drivenorganizations is the establishment of a knowledge-focused culture
o
Structure the business processes and organisational structures thatfacilitate knowledge sharing
o
Technology – a crucial enabler rather than the solution.
The History of Knowledge Management1. 70's, A number of management theorists have contributed to the evolution of knowledge management
Peter Drucker: information and knowledge as organizational resources
Peter Senge: "learning organization"
Leonard-Barton: well-known case study of "Chaparral Steel ", a company havingknowledge management strategy
2. 80's,
Knowledge (and its expression in professional competence) as a competitive assetwas apparent
Managing knowledge that relied on work done in artificial intelligence and expertsystems
Knowledge management-related articles began appearing in journals and books
3. 90's until now,
A number of management consulting firms had begun in-house knowledgemanagement programs

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