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Razieh Halimi Software Engineer, Expert of Business Excellence of GIG, Iran Razieh_h@yahoo.com & Nafiseh Mottaghian System Engineer, Manager of Business Excellence of GIG, Iran firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper is qualitative, aiming at describing issues that we have identified during knowledge sharing among BSC projects in Golrang Industrial Group ( GIG). The work is based on literature review and case studies in an Iranian Holding company. We found out that knowledge sharing of the projects could be improved by training and improving culture of knowledge sharing and reserving time for the knowledge sharing. Organizations today, being knowledge-intensive and knowledge-aware, have tried to manage knowledge; many different viewpoints and approaches have been implemented. Depending on knowledge needs of particular process, proper KMS should integrate different information sources and tools. BSC Process in GIG, is considered in order to discover and explain possibilities of KM support and introduction.
There are a lot of differences between data, information and knowledge. We summarized it in table 1.
Table1. The relationships between data, information, and knowledge
Simple observations of the world: •Easily captured •Easily structured •Easily transferred •Compact, quantifiable
Data with relevance and purpose: •Requires unit of analysis •Needs consensus on meaning •Human mediation necessary •Often garbled in transmission
More human contribution Greater value
Valuable information from the human mind: includes reflection, synthesis, context •Hard to capture electronically •Hard to structure •Often tacit •Hard to transfer •Highly personal to the source
KM comprises a range of practices used by organizations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge. It has been an established discipline since 1995 with a body of university courses and both professional and academic journals dedicated to it. Many large companies have resources dedicated to KM, often as a part of 'Information Technology' or 'Human Resource Management' departments. KM is a multibillion dollar world wide market.i In the Table 2 has been described the information processing paradigm. The base of all of them is the same but different viewpoints drive more applications.
Table 2. The Information Processing Paradigmii
The process of collecting, organizing, classifying and disseminating information throughout an organization, so as to make it purposeful to those who need it. (Midrange Systems: Albert, 1998) Policies, procedures and technologies employed for operating a continuously updated linked pair of networked databases. (Computerworld:Anthes, 1991) Partly as a reaction to downsizing, some organizations are now trying to use technology to capture the knowledge residing in the minds of their employees so it can be easily shared across the enterprise. KM aims to capture the knowledge that employees really need in a central repository and filter out the surplus. (Forbes: Bair, 1997)
Ensuring a complete development and implementation environment designed for use in a specific function requiring expert systems support. (International Journal of Bank Marketing: Chorafas, 1987) KM IT concerns organizing and analyzing information in a company's computer databases so this knowledge can be readily shared throughout a company, instead of languishing in the department where it was created, inaccessible to other employees. (CPA Journal, 1998) Identification of categories of knowledge needed to support the overall business strategy, assessment of current state of the firm's knowledge and transformation of the current knowledge base into a new and more powerful knowledge base by filling knowledge gaps. (Computerworld: Gopal & Gagnon, 1995) Combining indexing, searching, and push technology to help companies organize data stored in multiple sources and deliver only relevant information to users. (Information Week: Hibbard, 1997) KM in general tries to organize and make available important know-how, wherever and whenever it's needed. This includes processes, procedures, patents, reference works, formulas, "best practices," forecasts and fixes. Technologically, intranets, groupware, data warehouses, networks, bulletin boards videoconferencing are key tools for storing and distributing this intelligence. (Computerworld: Maglitta, 1996) Mapping knowledge and information resources both on-line and off-line; Training, guiding and equipping users with knowledge access tools; Monitoring outside news and information. (Computerworld: Maglitta, 1995) KM incorporates intelligent searching, categorization and accessing of data from disparate databases, Email and files. (Computer Reseller News: Willett & Copeland, 1998) Understanding the relationships of data; Identifying and documenting rules for managing data; and Assuring that data are accurate and maintain integrity. (Software Magazine: Strapko, 1990) Facilitation of autonomous coordinability of decentralized subsystems that can state and adapt their own objectives. (Human Systems Management, Zeleny, 1987) KM programs are typically tied to organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, developmental processes, lessons learnt transfer for example between projects and the general development of collaborative practices. KM is KM programs are typically tied to organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, developmental processes, lessons learnt transfer for example between projects and the general development of collaborative practices. KM is frequently linked and related to what has become known as the learning organization, lifelong learning and continuous improvement. KM may be distinguished from Organizational Learning by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as an asset and the development and cultivation of the channels through which knowledge, information and signal flow. There is a broad range of thought on KM with no unanimous definition. The approaches vary by author and school. KM may be viewed from each of the following perspectives: • Techno-centric: A focus on technology, ideally those that enhance knowledge sharing/growth. • Organizational: How does the organization need to be designed to facilitate knowledge processes? Which organizations work best with what processes? • Ecological: Seeing the interaction of people, identity, knowledge and environmental factors as a complex adaptive system.iii A key distinction made by the majority of KM practitioners is Nonaka's reformulation of Polanyi's distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge. The former is often subconscious, internalized, and the individual may or may not be aware of what he or she knows and how he or she accomplishes particular results. At the opposite end of the spectrum is conscious or explicit knowledge, knowledge that the individual holds explicitly and consciously in mental focus, and may communicate to others. In the popular form of the distinction, tacit knowledge is what is in heads and explicit knowledge is what we have codified (Table 2).
Table2. Tacit and Explicit Knowledge
Tacit knowledge Specification context-specific Personal hard to formalize and communicate Knowing how to identify the key issues necessary to solve a problem Applying similar experiences from past situations
Explicit knowledge easily collected, organized and transferred Can be codified Objective Theoretical Procedures listed in a manual
Books and articles News reports and financial Estimating work required based on intuition & experience statements Information left over from past Deciding on an appropriate course of action projects Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) argued that a successful KM program needs, on the one hand, to convert internalized tacit knowledge into explicit codified knowledge in order to share it, but, on the other hand, it also must permit individuals and groups to internalize and make personally meaningful codified knowledge they have retrieved from the KM system.(Table 3) The focus upon codification and management of explicit knowledge has allowed KM practitioners to appropriate prior work in information management, leading to the frequent accusation that KM is simply a repackaged form of information management. Critics have argued that Nonaka and Takeuchi's distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge is oversimplified and that the notion of explicit knowledge is self-contradictory. Specifically, for knowledge to be made explicit, it must be translated into information (i.e., symbols outside of our heads).
Table3. Conversation process of Tacit and Explicit Knowledgeiv
Explicit Knowledge Externalization Tacit Socialization Use of metaphors, analogies and Knowledge Shared experiences Water cooler Apprenticeship models Internalization Combination Explicit Learning by doing Studying previously captured Exchange and synthesis from Knowledge knowledge (manuals, documentation) existing explicit knowledge Historically, there have been a number of technologies 'enabling' or facilitating KM practices in the organization, including expert systems, knowledge bases, various types of Information Management, software help desk tools, document management systems and other IT systems supporting organizational knowledge flows. KM activities can be a discrete function or a part of an existing departmental function, such as Information Technology or Human Resources. Organization can also be project based, using cross-functional teams incorporating specialist skills. From to Tacit Knowledge
One of the challenges of KM is that of getting people to share their knowledge. Why should people give up their hard-won knowledge, when it is one of their key sources of personal advantage? In some organizations, sharing is natural. In others the old dictum "knowledge is power" reigns.v Why Don't People Share? Some of the common reasons arevi: "Knowledge is power" but how true is this really? Citing this reason is often a cop out by managers or change agents who are not adequately addressing the human factors or motivational aspects. In today's enterprise, where so much depends on teamwork and collective knowledge, it is only a handful of people who have knowledge for which they can hold their peers and bosses to ransom. It might be the owner-manager of a small company not wanting to lose trade secrets; it may be a particular specialist who has been in the organization many years and built up his or her own unique
way of achieving success without perhaps even understanding the deep tacit knowledge of how they do it. "Not invented here" syndrome - this is more common. People have pride in not having to seek advice from others and in wanting to discover new ways for themselves. Not realizing how useful particular knowledge is to others - an individual may have knowledge used in one situation but be unaware that other people at other times and places might face similar situations. Additionally, knowledge derived for one need may be helpful in totally different contexts; or it may be a trigger for innovation - many innovative developments come from making knowledge connections across different disciplines and organizational boundaries. Lack of trust - if I share some of my knowledge, will you use it out of context, mis-apply it and then blame me!, or pass it off as your own without giving any acknowledgement or recognition to me as the source? Lack of time - There is pressure on productivity, on deadlines, and it's a general rule that the more knowledgeable you are, the more there are people waiting to collar you for the next task. How can you possibly find time to add your lessons learnt to the knowledge database or have a knowledge sharing session with your colleagues? For Knowledge Sharing we have to change culture. Culture change is never easy and takes time. But cultures can be changed. Culture is defined in many ways, such as "commonly held beliefs, attitudes and values"vii, "the collective programming of the mind that distinguished one group from another"viii. There is a simple but effective definition "the way we do things around here". There is no one place to start, but most interventions are based on a simple layered model that portrays how people's observable actions and behaviors are influenced by reportable attitudes and values based on more deep-rooted beliefs. Therefore to change people's actions you have to address the more fundamental underlying layers. Remember that culture goes hand in hand with structure it means roles and responsibilities. At every level within the organization, there must be congruence between objectives, structures, processes, people and supporting infrastructure. Commitment to knowledge sharing must be demonstrated throughout the organization. It is apparent through what the leaders of the organization say and do. It is shown by commitment in the organizations' processes, reward systems, development programs etc. It is, above all, shown by individual throughout the organization being committed to share their knowledge with others even if it is not formally part of their 'day job'.ix It has been cited seven incentives for sharing: Hire people who will share Develop trust Vary motivations Show public recognition Reorganize for sharing Create communities Develop leaders. Exploring KM for a group in organization can provide by: Identify types of experts For one of these types of experts describe tacit knowledge they have explicit knowledge related to their jobs and places where this knowledge can be found benefits derived from capturing their tacit knowledge and making it explicit problems in capturing their tacit knowledge suggestions for how to capture their tacit knowledge
GIG is a holding company with about 30 subsidiaries. Its foundation corporation Pakshoo Chemical & Manufacturing Co. was established in1959 and is extremely successful producer and distributor of bath, body
and home care products. In addition, it produces and distributes under the license of Peter & George UK, AVE, Home Plus and Do-Tell brands. The holding company was established in 2003. Now it has about 1600 direct employees and 5000 indirect ones. Its turnover (PPP) in 2006 was about 300million $ and the rate of its growth in five past years has been 70%. Some of GIG businesses are E-commerce, IT, import and export, industrial kitchen instruments, raw materials, construction, distribution and food industry. Existing sites are located in Iran, UAE, England, China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. This holding company is going to be a multinational organization.
Balanced scorecard behaviorsx xi
Dr. Robert Kaplan and Dr. David Norton developed the balanced scorecard as an approach to strategic management in the early 1990s. The difference between this and other approaches is that it is not only about measurement, but also about the ability to translate vision and strategy into action. When it works well, the approach has the ability to transform strategic planning from an academic exercise into a core part of the business. When organizations measure financial performance they tend to focus on the past. However, this does not provide all the information needed to help guide long-term investment decisions and demonstrate how they can create future value. The balanced scorecard requires a more holistic approach to thinking through issues and to the way information is gathered. It recognizes the importance of customers, suppliers, employees, processes, technology, and innovation in helping organizations to deliver the future, and builds on other management ideas such as total quality management (TQM). Most importantly, the approach incorporates a system of feedback loops— centered on both internal business process outputs and the outcomes of business strategies—that act as a means of identifying and understanding any problems.
How KM about BSC implement in GIG?
Information about strategic in GIG is too vast that GIG has been forced to use KM. In strategic meetings knowledge worker started to recording all the conversations. The received information categorized in 2 types.
1: Information about strategies
GIG designs forms that named balance score cards that shows each perspective include: Strategic objectives, scale, indicators, targets, evaluation periods, initiatives and owners.(picture 1) ii. Implementation of strategies with Goal1 software. iii. Documentation the Goal software information. GIG started with designs forms. (pictures 2 & 3) Why GIG documented? 1. The information is too vast so if it didn't document, it would be lost and nobody can use it. 2. Some settings in this software will be lost after each installation of new version so with this documentation, we can do things faster and carefully. 3. Share the knowledge with other staff of the team. 4. Returning and finding the information is too easy. i.
Picture1. BSC Sample
GOlrang ALliance 1
Picture2. Form of GOAL diagnosis
Picture3. Form of GOAL documentation
2: Managers' experience
Conversation of strategic meetings has been recorded and has been analyzed and categorized in some types of experiences. This segment of knowledge contains both management and technical knowledge. It can be useful for new arrival engineers in organization.
Benefits of KM in GIG
1. Explicit Knowledge Benefits Knowing who 's doing what Better sharing Reduce redundancy & Reinvention Decrease costs and Increase productivity Improved customer service Tacit Knowledge Benefits Access to best / latest thinking Faster problem solving Increase persuasion of developers Better decision making Creation new opportunities for business
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki ii Knowledge Management & New Organization Forms: A Framework for Business Model Innovation iii http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki iv http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0402/index.shtml v The 3Cs of Knowledge Sharing: Culture, Co-opetition and Commitment vi The 3Cs of Knowledge Sharing: Culture, Co-opetition and Commitment vii Institute of Personnel Development viii http://www.geert-hofstede.com/ ix The 3Cs of Knowledge Sharing: Culture, Co-opetition and Commitment x www.balanced.scorecard.org xi http://oamweb.osec.doc.gov/bsc/guide.htm
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