Knowledge management

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice. An established discipline since 1991 (see Nonaka 1991), KM includes courses taught in the fields of business administration, information systems, management, and library and information sciences (Alavi & Leidner 1999). More recently, other fields have started contributing to KM research; these include information and media, computer science, public health, and public policy. Many large companies and non-profit organizations have resources dedicated to internal KM efforts, often as a part of their 'business strategy', 'information technology', or 'human resource management' departments (Addicott, McGivern & Ferlie 2006). Several consulting companies also exist that provide strategy and advice regarding KM to these organizations. Knowledge Management efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with organizational 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. KM efforts can help individuals and groups to share valuable organizational insights, to reduce redundant work, to avoid reinventing the wheel per se, to reduce training time for new employees, to retain intellectual capital as employees turnover in an organization, and to adapt to changing environments and markets (McAdam & McCreedy 2000) (Thompson & Walsham 2004).

Contents
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1 History 2 Research o 2.1 Dimensions o 2.2 Strategies o 2.3 Motivations o 2.4 Technologies o 2.5 Knowledge managers 3 See also 4 References o 4.1 Notes

and incentives are essential to accelerate the learning process and to drive cultural change. CKOs became interested in not only practical but also theoretical aspects of KM. and measurement (Morey. early collections of case studies recognized the importance of knowledge management dimensions of strategy. started investigating various sides of KM long before that. discussion forums. former editor at FORTUNE Magazine and subsequently the editor of Harvard Business Review. and organizational learning processes are essential to the success of a knowledge management strategy. and measurement. and action-oriented. indeed. professional training and mentoring programs. Gradually. social. Stewart. The objective of CKOs is to manage and maximize the intangible assets of their organizations. Hubert Saint-Onge (formerly of CIBC. with increased use of computers in the second half of the 20th century. and application. Davenport (Babson College) and Baruch Lev (New York University). It was initially supported solely by practitioners. the future of knowledge management (Davenport 2008). published a cover story highlighting the importance of intellectual capital of organizations. Key lessons learned included: people. In short. expert systems.0 (McAfee 2006). to include on-the-job discussions. However. More recently with the advent of the Web 2. knowledge repositories. specific adaptations of technologies such as knowledge bases. concrete.y 5 External links [edit] History KM efforts have a long history. In 2001.0. knowledge management programs can yield impressive benefits to individuals and organizations if they are purposeful. Hirotaka Takeuchi (Hitotsubashi University). In terms of the enterprise. are the single most critical resource for successful knowledge creation.[1] In 1999. Thomas H. and the cultures that influence their behaviors. group decision support systems. formal apprenticeship. intranets. the term personal knowledge management was introduced which refers to the management of knowledge at the individual level (Wright 2005). dissemination. corporate libraries. when Scandia hired Leif Edvinsson of Sweden as the world¶s first Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO). the KM discipline has . there is an ongoing debate and discussions (Lakhani & McAfee 2007) as to whether Enterprise 2. Thomas A. The KM ideas taken up by academics. and the new research field was formed. More recently. the concept of Knowledge Management has evolved towards a vision more based on people participation and emergence. [edit] Research KM emerged as a scientific discipline in the earlier 1990s. such as Ikujiro Nonaka (Hitotsubashi University). Canada). Maybury & Thuraisingham 2002). cognitive. Since its establishment.0 is just a fad that does not bring anything new or useful or whether it is. process. and computer supported cooperative work have been introduced to further enhance such efforts. benchmarking. This line of evolution is termed Enterprise 2.

[9] (Alavi & Leidner 2001). A broad range of thoughts on the KM discipline exists with no unanimous agreement. Ecological with a focus on the interaction of people. Their contribution to academic research has been dramatically declining from 30% of overall contributions up to 2002. such as how he or she accomplishes particular tasks. depending on the specific perspective (Spender & Scherer 2007). Bontis & Serenko 2008). First. the role of practitioners has changed. As the discipline matures. identity.been gradually moving towards academic maturity. Technology (or) Culture. academic debates have increased regarding both the theory and practice of KM. 2010). Technology. Structure. Second. Organizational with a focus on how an organization can be designed to facilitate knowledge processes best. there is a trend towards higher cooperation among academics. ideally those that enhance knowledge sharing and creation. to include: y y y y y y community of practice (Wenger. Different KM schools of thought include various lenses through which KM can be viewed and explained. Early research suggested that a successful KM effort needs to convert internalized tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge in order to share it. to include the following perspectives: y y y Techno-centric with a focus on technology. and environmental factors as a complex adaptive system akin to a natural ecosystem. but the same effort must also permit individuals to internalize and make personally meaningful any codified knowledge retrieved from the KM effort. [edit] Dimensions Different frameworks for distinguishing between knowledge exist. At the opposite end of the spectrum. Tacit knowledge represents internalized knowledge that an individual may not be consciously aware of. Subsequent research into KM suggested that a distinction between tacit . there has been a drop in single-authored publications. One proposed framework for categorizing the dimensions of knowledge distinguishes between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. knowledge. Processes. particularly. core components of KM include People. approaches vary by author and school. explicit knowledge represents knowledge that the individual holds consciously in mental focus. to only 10% by 2009 (Serenko et al. in a form that can easily be communicated to others. Regardless of the school of thought. McDermott & Synder 2001)[2] social network analysis[3] intellectual capital (Bontis & Choo 2002)[4] information theory[5] (McInerney 2002) complexity science[6][7] constructivism[8] (Nanjappa & Grant 2003) The practical relevance of academic research in KM has been questioned (Ferguson 2005) with action research suggested as having more relevance (Andriessen 2004) and the need to translate the findings presented in academic journals to a practice (Booker.

such as a database. the transfer or exploitation of "established knowledge" within a group.knowledge and explicit knowledge represented an oversimplification and that the notion of explicit knowledge is self-contradictory. One strategy to KM involves actively managing knowledge (push strategy). Internalization) which considers a spiraling knowledge process interaction between explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge (Nonaka & Takeuchi 1995).[10] [edit] Strategies Knowledge may be accessed at three stages: before. Combination. Other knowledge management strategies and instruments for companies include: y y y y rewards (as a means of motivating for knowledge sharing) storytelling (as a means of transferring tacit knowledge) cross-project learning after action reviews .. In such an instance. Different organizations have tried various knowledge capture incentives. it must be translated into information (i. or after KM-related activities. This is also commonly known as the Personalization approach to KM. In this model. Nonaka returned to his earlier work in an attempt to move the debate about knowledge conversion forwards (Nonaka & von Krogh 2009). innovation) vs. individuals strive to explicitly encode their knowledge into a shared knowledge repository.g. More recently. an information system may have knowledge embedded into its design) and embodied knowledge representing a learned capability of a human body¶s nervous and endocrine systems (Sensky 2002). Specifically. including making content submission mandatory and incorporating rewards into performance measurement plans. Another strategy to KM involves individuals making knowledge requests of experts associated with a particular subject on an ad hoc basis (pull strategy). for knowledge to be made explicit.. and explicit knowledge is 're-internalized' into implicit knowledge. Collaborative environments such as communities of practice or the use of social computing tools can be used for both knowledge creation and transfer. A second proposed framework for categorizing the dimensions of knowledge distinguishes between embedded knowledge of a system outside of a human individual (e. In such an instance. organization. A third proposed framework for categorizing the dimensions of knowledge distinguishes between the exploratory creation of "new knowledge" (i. Considerable controversy exists over whether incentives work or not in this field and no consensus has emerged. expert individual(s) can provide their insights to the particular person or people needing this (Snowden 2002). knowledge follows a cycle in which implicit knowledge is 'extracted' to become explicit knowledge. as well as retrieving knowledge they need that other individuals have provided to the repository. during. symbols outside of our heads) (Serenko & Bontis 2004).e. Externalization.. together with Georg von Krogh.[11] This is also commonly known as the Codification approach to KM. Later on. Ikujiro Nonaka proposed a model (SECI for Socialization.e. or community.

etc.) [edit] Motivations A number of claims exist as to the motivations leading organizations to undertake a KM effort.[13] [edit] Technologies Early KM technologies included online corporate yellow pages as expertise locators and document management systems. etc.) measuring and reporting intellectual capital (a way of making explicit knowledge for companies) knowledge brokers (some organizational members take on responsibility for a specific "field" and act as first reference on whom to talk about a specific subject) social software (wikis. as well as create consensus on what elements of KM help determine the success or failure of such efforts (Wilson 2002). though increasing amount of research in this field may hopefully help to answer this question.[12] Typical considerations driving a KM effort include: y y y y y y y y Making available increased knowledge content in the development and provision of products and services Achieving shorter new product development cycles Facilitating and managing innovation and organizational learning Leveraging the expertise of people across the organization Increasing network connectivity between internal and external individuals Managing business environments and allowing employees to obtain relevant insights and ideas appropriate to their work Solving intractable or wicked problems Managing intellectual capital and intellectual assets in the workforce (such as the expertise and know-how possessed by key individuals) Debate exists whether KM is more than a passing fad.y y y y y y y y y y y y y knowledge mapping (a map of knowledge repositories within a company accessible by all) communities of practice expert directories (to enable knowledge seeker to reach to the experts) best practice transfer knowledge fairs competence management (systematic evaluation and planning of competences of individual organization members) proximity & architecture (the physical situation of employees can be either conducive or obstructive to knowledge sharing) master-apprentice relationship collaborative technologies (groupware.) knowledge repositories (databases. KM technologies expanded in the mid-1990s. bookmarking engines. blogs. etc. . Combined with the early development of collaborative technologies (in particular Lotus Notes). social bookmarking.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. These tools face challenges in distilling meaningful re-usable knowledge and ensuring that their content is transmissible through diverse channels[15](Andrus 2005). . processes.[16] [edit] Knowledge managers This section does not cite any references or sources. An effective knowledge manager is likely to be someone who has a versatile skills portfolio and is comfortable with the concepts of organizational behavior/culture. Software tools in knowledge management are a collection of technologies and are not necessarily acquired as a single software solution. but not limited to. Operations etc. Sales. these knowledge management software tools have the advantage of using the organization existing information technology infrastructure. and thus represent explicit knowledge transfer. collaboration and innovation. and wikis) have allowed more unstructured. HR. It may be combined with Quality. reuse. However such tools for the most part are still based on text and code. Knowledge managers have varied backgrounds ranging from Information Sciences to Business Management. (December 2009) "Knowledge manager" is a role and designation that has gained popularity over the past decade. systems and infrastructure to support knowledge management.Subsequent KM efforts leveraged semantic technologies for search and retrieval and the development of e-learning tools for communities of practice[14] (Capozzi 2007). learning. Knowledge management has also become a cornerstone in emerging business strategies such as Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) with companies increasingly turning to software vendors to enhance their efficiency in industries including. It is imperative that these investments are validated properly. branding & marketing and collaborative technology. blogs. development of social computing tools (such as bookmarks. The role has evolved drastically from that of one involving the creation and maintenance of knowledge repositories to one that involves influencing the culture of an organization toward improved knowledge sharing. networks. the aviation industry. made wisely and that the most appropriate technologies and software tools are selected or combined to facilitate knowledge management. and is likely to be determined by the KM motivation of that particular organization. More recently. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Furthermore. capture and creation of knowledge. or matrixed organizations. Innovation. including the development of new forms of communities. Organizations and business decision makers spend a great deal of resources and make significant investments in the latest technology. self-governing or ecosystem approaches to the transfer. Knowledge management functions are associated with different departments in different organizations.

there's no universal definition of knowledge management (KM). Think of a golf caddie as a simplified example of a knowledge worker. " Accurate advice may lead to a bigger tip at the end of the day. the golfer ² having derived a benefit from the caddie's advice ² may be more likely to play that course again. . caddies get bigger tips and deals on merchandise.What is knowledge management (KM)? Unfortunately. the course manager would publish the information in notebooks (or make it available on PDAs). golfers play better because they benefit from the collective experience of caddies. generating value from such assets involves codifying what employees. It's important to note that the definition says nothing about technology. When asked. In this case. On the flip side. "The wind makes the ninth hole play 15 yards longer. Good caddies do more than carry clubs and track down wayward balls. a good caddie will give advice to golfers. technology by itself is not KM. If a good caddie is willing to share what he knows with other caddies. partners and customers know. and sharing that information among employees. and the course owners win because better scores lead to more repeat business. Most often. such as. just as there's no agreement as to what constitutes knowledge in the first place. Succinctly put. KM is the process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets. departments and even with other companies in an effort to devise best practices. For this reason. Once the best advice is collected. then they all may eventually earn bigger tips. while KM is often facilitated by IT. it's best to think of KM in the broadest context. and distribute them to all the caddies. The end result of a well-designed KM program is that everyone wins. How would KM work to make this happen? The caddie master may decide to reward caddies for sharing their tips by offering them credits for pro shop merchandise.