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1.1 INTRODUCTION Today’s organizations are fundamentally different as compared to organisations that existed two decades ago in terms of their functions, structures and style of management. The new organisations put more premium on understanding, adapting and managing changes and competing on the basis of capturing and utilizing knowledge to better serve customers, improve the operations or to speed up the delivery of their products to markets. The emergence of these new organizations calls for a new way of management, which is generally known as ‘Knowledge Management’ (KM). To begin any topic, it is useful to have a perspective and background to understand what is going on with respect to that topic. Now knowledge management is widely known and practiced in many large organizations, it might be useful to get an overview on this subject before we discuss the details of it. Knowledge management is the hottest subject of the day. The question is: what is this activity called knowledge management, and why it is so important to each and every one of us? Why is it important to adopt this new methodology of management? How to successfully implement KM in organizations? The following section offers some emerging perspectives in response to these questions. This chapter provides an introduction to the study of KM by looking at the overview of KM with regard to its meaning, usefulness, history, future, limitations, etc, and also briefly examines the nature and types of knowledge. The multidisciplinary roots of KM are enumerated, together with their contributions to the discipline. The importance of KM today is described together with the emerging roles and responsibilities needed to examine KM implementation. The emergence of economic system with knowledge as its basic ingredient is enumerated and the need to develop knowledge management strategies to stay competitive in today’s environment were pointed out and finally the need to prioritize the knowledge strategy is justified.
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1.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this Unit, you should be able to understand the following: The definition, meaning and evolution of knowledge management Describe how KM helps organizations Outline the history of KM Identify the key process of KM Know the nature, characteristics and key drivers of knowledge economy Identify and compare the technology components of KM The impact of KM matrix and its parts Describe the KM strategy and its need in the context of KM Analyse knowledge as a strategic asset and its value
1.3 THE CONCEPT OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge management, as it is practiced today, is a system of technologies focused upon the delivery of strategically useful knowledge and expertise, the availability of which facilitates effective collaboration and timely decision-making. The strategically literate employee, armed with the best and most up-to-date knowledge, delivered in a timely manner, will produce work that results in more satisfied customers, increased success and corporate value. Knowledge management, before the term was coined, used to be simply the transfer of knowledge from one person to another, the result of which enabled the recipient to benefit from the collected wisdom of the more experienced members of an organization or group. For instance, knowledge transfer happens when the founder of the family business trains his sons and daughters to run the business. It also takes place when a young person goes to college to learn from a renowned professor and when an apprentice welder trains under a master welder. Yet, today, companies have learned that there is much more to knowledge transfer than what took place in the past. They have seen their competitors leap ahead by using technology and sound knowledge transfer principles (newly rediscovered) to create dynamic collaborative environments that deliver knowledge strategically—when and where it is needed and to the people who need it—at the front line where the client solution is being invented. This is knowledge management today. We must not confuse knowledge with information. The two are distinct concepts that function in completely different ways. Information is tangible, hard numbers, facts. Knowledge is intangible, mental awareness, a part of the process of learning, a “habit” burned into the mind. Information represents the working and monitoring of physical objects. Knowledge represents mental objects, intellectual units that have a practical component. Information is independent of context. With knowledge the context affects the meaning and value of the knowledge. Information is easily transferable by means of recording and recitation. Knowledge requires learning and habituation for effective transfer.
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Information is easily reproducible by means of copying. Knowledge is seldom reproduced in a consistent fashion because it is filtered according to the perspective of each individual, his context and understanding. Information is not knowledge. That was realized clearly during the Information Age when organizations found themselves drowning in huge in-house stores of unusable data. The fundamental difference between knowledge management as it was practiced in the past and how it has evolved today is that corporations are now using network technologies to enable employees to find and use knowledge and, in the process, contribute to a more direct impact on customer satisfaction and corporate value. Companies that effectively use knowledge break it down into its basic components. Knowing why represents having a basic understanding of the reasons for facts, conditions, job responsibilities, client requirements, etc. Knowing what means knowing the cause of a problem or condition. Knowing where provides a spatial reference to understanding. Knowing how provides the critical element for problem solving, the knowledge of how to get something done. Knowing when provides a temporal reference and is closely tied to timing and opportunity development. The major shift brought about by current perspectives on knowledge management is the shift in the value proposition between employer and employee. Employees have become more valuable assets because the knowledge they possess and use on behalf of customers is now recognized as vital to the success of the organization. Yet, if knowledge is an asset, it has to be managed in the same way as financial and physical assets. Estimates indicate that 70 - 80 percent of what employees know is hidden. Many organizations today don’t know what they know and who knows it. KM Viewpoint 1.1 In 1996, teams of leading heart surgeons from five New England medical centers observed one another’s operating room practices and exchanged ideas about their most effective techniques in collaborative learning experiments. The result was a 24% drop in their overall mortality rate for coronary bypass surgery. The concept of Knowledge Management proves to be a life-saver here! 1.3.1 Definitions of knowledge management Knowledge Management refers to the processes and/or tools an organization uses to collect, analyze, store, and disseminate its intellectual capital. This intellectual capital can include training materials, processes, procedures, documents, ideas, skills, experiences, and much more. Besides deployment of appropriate technology and processes by a business enterprise in order to maintain and retain it’s intellectual capital, an effective knowledge management also refers to making optimum use of experience and understanding of human resource in an organization as well as of the information artifacts, such as inherent knowledge
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based documents (reports) available internally within the organization, and also, the related information procured from the external resources. A logical extension of this concept is into the entire organization, in the form of Enterprise Knowledge Management (EKM). Among the areas of greatest concern for the modern knowledge worker (from CIO down to the Content Manager), is identifying, collecting, securing and maintaining the information (aka knowledge base) of the organization. Without a process to ensure this system’s usefulness, there are invariably holes which are only found when a user tries to obtain that (missing) information. Let us see the other useful definitions of KM to have a still broader outlook of KM. Arun O. Gupta, Senior Director Business Technology, Pfizer Ltd describes “KM as a practice that addresses the need for information that is required for making effective decisions”. If this information is structured, the same can be translated into knowledge by applying a set of predefined rules. For example, comments on discussion boards can be converted into useful FAQs. The perception of KM differs from one industry vertical to another. In software service companies, knowledge management can be a highly effective practice as it helps capture knowledge across different skill sets. For instance, information regarding common queries about specific technologies (if captured on the Intranet) can help solve common problems. This, in turn, boosts productivity. As Indian software service organisations employ software professionals in thousands, employee inputs can be extremely useful for organisational growth. Satish Joshi, Senior VP, Patni Computer Systems Limited says “For us, “KM is a set of processes and tools which give us the ability to leverage and combine the collective abilities of our knowledge workers.” Simply put, a KM practice should let an organisation provide relevant information to each and every user. As Sunil Kapoor, Head IT, Fortis Healthcare says, “KM is nothing but having customised information tailored to the needs of each user”. As KM practice provides a structured way of capturing knowledge that exists within the organisation, it gives an organisation the ability to improve the productivity and knowledge of its employees by means of knowledge sharing. “A KM practice that encompasses end-to-end processes owned by a department can go a long way toward boosting productivity,” says M D Agrawal, GM IS Refinery Systems, BPCL. According to the American Productivity & Quality Center, “KM refers to the strategies and processes of identifying, capturing, and leveraging knowledge to enhance competitiveness”.
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When knowledge is shared and used.3. It is put on paper in a report. The classification can be the addition of keywords which could be indexed. Knowledge is organized. 1. surveys. it’s modified by the resources that use it. or simply remembered. etc.2 Objectives of knowledge management The following are the major objectives of KM 1. This happens in the heads of people.) 5 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Knowledge is captured. where it is classified and modified.brint.1 below NOTES The various steps involved are described as follows: Knowledge is created. Create knowledge repositories a) External knowledge (competitive intelligence. managing and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. policies and procedures. documents. survival and competence against discontinuous environmental change.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT According to Yogesh Malhota of www. Organization. Modification can add context. According to Gartner Group. Essentially it embodies organizational processes that seek synergistic combination of data and information processing capacity of information technologies. as well as previously unarticulated expertise and experience resident in individual workers. market data. Gartner defines Knowledge management as an integrated and collaborative approach to the Creation.com “KM refers to the critical issues of organizational adaptation. “Knowledge is shared and used. background or other things that make it easier to reuse later. entered into a computer system of some kind. These information assets may include databases. The test of this step’s success is to determine how easily people in the organization will be able to access and use the knowledge when they need it. and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings”. KM is defined as a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying. This takes us back to knowledge creation. Access and Use of Information Assets. Capture. The Knowledge cycle is depicted in the Figure 1.
3 Motivation for Knowledge Management Internal and external pressures and rapid inflows of information make effective operation of organizations extremely difficult (see Figure 1. . etc. automated inventory procurement and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Subsequently.3.) c) Informal internal knowledge (discussion databases of ‘know how’) 2. companies are being forced to move faster and at new levels of personalized interaction. marketing materials. Filtering through this barrage of information for relevant data or combinations of information is a formidable undertaking. 3. Employees are moving from organization to organization at alarming rates. Changes in government legislation and regulatory practices provide a steady flow of new threats and opportunities. 6 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Customers are demanding new products and services that are bundled to their preference. To address these challenges. organizations must develop management methods that accept information as a valued resource.Enhance the knowledge environment a) Change organizational norms and values related to knowledge in order to encourage knowledge use and knowledge sharing b) Customer’s rating of organisation’s expertise 4. Manage knowledge as an asset a) Attempt to measure the contribution of knowledge to bottom line success 1. convert information into organizational knowledge and generate value-added information from that knowledge. The pace of technology.DBA 1735 NOTES b) Structured internal knowledge (reports. taking with them important knowledge of company operations that must be relearned by new employees. particularly information technology (IT) continues to force management to consider organizational change associated with the implementations of electronic commerce store-fronts. The Internet and ECommerce have generated competitors that are on the other side of the world but only a mouse click away. Improve knowledge access through a) Technical expert referral b) Expert networks used for staffing based on individual competencies c) Turnkey video conferencing to foster easy access to distributed experts.2).
We see the ultimate goal for an organization as communicating information and managing knowledge with the same efficiency and effectiveness as an individual. Since 1998. books such as “The Information Paradox” by John Thorp have asked serious questions about the role of information systems within organizations.3 Organizational knowledge environments. Leading companies are able to filter information in from these entities. build on their organizational knowledge and synthesise valuable information for return. how they are managed and the methods used to measure their benefit. Figure 1. Fundamental to the success of these methods is the realization that information technology does not. 7 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Management of Organizational Knowledge Competitors Partners Suppliers Products Services Customers Channels Figure 1. on its own.3 shows the major entities that act as sources and sinks of information for organizations. Dealing with these pressures requires methods of managing organization knowledge that are rarely found in today’s companies and institutions.2 Internal and external pressures on an organization.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 4 NOTES Competition Global Opportunities Organization Customer Demands Regulatory Change Technological Change Employee Turn-over Figure 1. equal knowledge management. Managing knowledge within an organization involves a composite of people and information technology. Employees Gov’t Reg.
partners. Communication is primarily via ad-hoc meetings augmented by telephone. As individuals we pride ourselves on our ability to learn from our triumphs and defeats through the effective consolidation of knowledge. Information and requests received from customers.3. The individual’s brain processes the information with possibly the aid of a calculator or a small computer. The following figure depicts this knowledge management cycle as consisting of four fundamental steps that involves the storage. an individual uses personal memory as well as notes and paper files for storing information. In each case the methods of storing. fax and email messages when a person is traveling or at home. Knowledge Management Cycle For humans the process of transforming data and information into knowledge and then back into value-added information is a cycle that is natural and on going. and the government is stored within individual memories.DBA 1735 NOTES 1. As the figure depicts. Information processing takes place in individual brains as well as at productive meetings where the strengths and weakness of the individuals are well understood. 7 Environmental data Observation and Analysis Information Problems Opportunities Knowledge Consolidation INFORMATION Storage Processing Communication Theory Generation Results Testing and Application Approach Methods An individual makes his or her way through the world being inundated with data and information from the environment. accepted and utilized. knowledge consolidated at the end of one iteration through the knowledge management cycle provides new information that can be used in yet another iteration. Small organizations of 2 to 20 persons are able to emulate the knowledge management cycle of an individual with some degree of success. in documents and in simple database systems.4. Various small computer systems and possibly a network server are shared by all. To deal with this. 8 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . processing and communication of information. Communication of information is primarily internal from a knowledge management perspective. We begin the discussion of this cycle as it applies to the individual and move on to discussing the cycle as it applies to small and then large organizations. processing and communication information are described and followed by a description of the progression through the four steps of the knowledge management cycle.
3. NOTES 9 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . channels. filing cabinets. Information is stored in various formats and locations that include policy documents. Meetings must be scheduled several weeks in advance for executives and many events must be cancelled and rescheduled due to conflicts. queries and other forms of information from a multitude of customers. creative and able to move quickly to meet a changing environment with a high degree of synergy where the value derived from a project can often be greater than the sum of the individual efforts. internal process and product databases as well as external customer and distribution databases. Subsequently. And the tools listed in the four technical domains can be used to help institutions share.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge consolidation by each individual is facilitated by a collective effort to ensure that failure does not recur for the same reasons and that success can be repeated as often as possible.4) is organized in four parts to indicate four technical domains for Knowledge Management. microfiche. audio tape and video tape. small organizations are said to be well-oiled. Knowledge gained at the end of a product cycle is often lost and for this reason failure can recur and success is not repeated as often as possible. Various computer systems developed over the last ten years process portions of information in silos that have a difficult time talking to one another for technical and political reasons. mobile devices. partners. lacking creativity and slow to react to meet a changing environment. Large companies and institutions receive proposals. large organizations are said to be lethargic. The chaos that results is largely due to the ineffective management of organizational knowledge. Consequently. Larger organizations have a difficult time emulating the knowledge management cycle of an individual. Communication is achieved via a cornucopia of local area network. government and regulatory bodies. Portions of the information in-flow are processed by individual brains only to be confounded by a multitude of meetings in which the persons assigned to various roles change from quarter to quarter. 1. distribute. Internet.5 Domains for Knowledge Management The diagram (Figure 1. capture and create knowledge better.
An OAS can be any application of information technology that intends to increase the productivity of information workers. imaging. Distribute Knowledge: Office Automation Systems (OAS) helps disseminate and coordinate the flow of information throughout the institutions. teleconferencing.4 Technical domains of KM Knowledge Sharing: Group Collaboration Systems (GCS) foster the creation and sharing of knowledge among people working in groups. desktop publishing. and desktop databases. videoconferencing. Groupware and Intranets represent the most prevalent examples. KWS have special characteristics that support the unique needs of knowledge workers.DBA 1735 NOTES Figure 1. Capture Knowledge: Artificial Intelligence Systems (AIS) provides institutions and administrators with codified knowledge that can be reused by others in the institution to expand the knowledge base. Create Knowledge: Knowledge Work Systems (KWS) support the activities of highly skilled knowledge workers and professionals as they create new knowledge and try to integrate it into the institutions. Examples include expert systems. and Internet-based applications. Examples of knowledge work applications include computeraided design (CAD) systems and virtual reality (VR) systems for simulation and modeling. groupware. fuzzy logic. Common examples include word processing. Improved group coordination and collaboration is enabled through e-mail. electronic calendars. data-conferencing. and genetic algorithms. 10 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . neural networks.
Together. The first one involves capturing documents and creating a context sensitive repository. intellectual property Providing project workspace Delivering competitive intelligence Managing customer relationships Providing training. The second initiative focuses on converting unstructured data into structured data and warehousing the same. NOTES 1. Uses of Knowledge Management The Knowledge Management principles are being used for: Reducing cycle times Reducing overheads Boosting revenues by getting products and services to market faster Improving customer service by streamlining response time Empowering employees Creating innovative and high quality products Creating knowledge-sharing platform for the geographically dispersed teams Enhancing employee retention rates by recognizing the value of employees’knowledge and rewarding them for it Fostering innovation by encouraging the free flow of ideas Streamlining operations and reducing costs by eliminating redundant or unnecessary processes Enhancing supply chain management Enhancing web publishing Managing legal.6. corporate learning Capturing and sharing best practices Fostering cross-departmental effectiveness 11 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .3.2 Pfizer India has embarked on two initiatives that will gradually evolve into a KM framework. these initiatives will provide Pfizer with key metrics and information that will assist decision making.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT KM Viewpoint 1.
the knowledge. Knowledge Management is orderly and goal-directed. intuition. Knowledge Management is about people. buy-in. it shouldn’t begin there. Knowledge is constantly tested. Knowledge Management is visionary. most importantly. and alliances. Knowledge Management is value-added. not only does the business have structured data available in its strategic applications. and in a manner that generates enthusiasm. practical. skills and experiences of its employees. ideas. 5. with the aim of improving competitiveness and profitability. It draws upon pooled expertise.DBA 1735 NOTES Making available increased knowledge content in the development and provision of products and services Achieving shorter new product development cycles Facilitating and managing organizational innovation and learning Leveraging the expertise of people across the organization Increasing network connectivity between employees and external groups with the objective of improving information flow Managing the proliferation of data and information in complex business environments and allowing employees to access appropriate information sources Managing intellectual capital and intellectual assets in the workforce (such as the expertise and know-how possessed by key individuals) as individuals retire and new workers are hired Ultimately making the business more adept at change. and how what they know can support business and organizational objectives. There is no such thing as an immutable law in Knowledge Management. the information on individuals’ hard drives. 12 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . and boards can be instrumental in creating common ground and organizational cohesiveness. and motivations.7 Nature of Knowledge Management 1. and motivates managers to work together toward reaching common goals. It is inextricably tied to the strategic objectives of the organization.3. It is a fluid. It is not a technology-based concept. Knowledge Management is ever-changing. It is directly linked to what people know. revised. It draws on human competency. This vision is expressed in strategic business terms rather than technical terms. and sometimes even”obsoleted”when it is no longer practicable. 4. relationships. and purposeful. 3. To facilitate this vision. updated. Organizations can further the two-way exchange of ideas by bringing in experts from the field to advise or educate managers on recent trends and developments. Although technology can support a Knowledge Management effort. external sources and. ongoing process. Forums. 1. councils. 2. it also has network drives and databases. may be an Intranet. It uses only the information that is the most meaningful.
It is important for knowledge managers to show interim successes along with progress made on more protracted efforts such as multiyear systems developments infrastructure. determine priorities. why they had such differing performance levels in their deep-water drilling rigs. act.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 6. using a knowledge perspective. forgets. and its organization.4 DISCIPLINES OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge management draws upon a vast number of diverse disciplines such as: Religion and Philosophy to understand the role and nature of knowledge and the permission of individuals ‘to think for themselves’ Psychology to understand the role of knowledge in human behavior. It looks at natural cognitive processes and raises questions of will and motivation that make it impossible to think of knowledge in terms of mechanical transfer from donors to recipients. It can be integrated with other organizational learning initiatives such as Total Quality Management (TQM). knowledge that was mostly tacit and undocumented. As a result of their efforts to have this local knowledge more globally practiced. ignore. Psychology too is concerned about different kinds of knowing as well as about how and why people learn. evaluate progress and to understand work. they found wide differences in local knowledge and practices. Business Theory & Economics to create strategies. or enterprise architecture projects. Knowledge Management is complementary. NOTES Cognitive Sciences to understand how best to support knowledge workers’ mental functioning required by their work settings Ergonomics to create effective and acceptable work environment Information Sciences to build supporting infrastructure and special knowledgerelated capabilities Knowledge Engineering to elicit and codify knowledge Artificial Intelligence to automate routine and assist knowledge-intensive work with reasoning and other high-level functions Management Sciences to optimize operations and integrate KM efforts with other enterprise efforts 13 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .3 When BP (now BP Amoco) decided to analyze. BP achieved very significant savings and subsequently achieved legendary status within knowledge management circles. 1. KM Viewpoint 1. or fail to act.
tested and refined Focused on the ‘learning organisation’ as one that can learn from past experiences stored in corporate memory systems Studied how knowledge is produced. Sociology has contributed both macro and micro perspectives to knowledge management. 1. people processes.G. it looks at what people actually do—the circumstances in which they share knowledge or do not share it. among others. Those social facts guide (or should guide) the development of knowledge management tools and techniques. or ignore what they learn from others. Evolution of Knowledge Management PERIOD 1938 1960 1986 AUTHOUR/ORGANISATION CONTRIBUTION H. domain familiarization. Their documentation of this momentous change—the underlying principles for working with knowledge— crystallized and validated a dawning sense that something quite different was happening globally in the world of work. and diffused within organizations and how much knowledge contributed to the diffusion of innovation Described what is ‘Community of Practices’ Introduced the concept called ‘Intellectual Capital’ Concept of Balanced Scorecard KM courses in Universities with KM texts 1989 1990 SENGE 1991 1995 1994 1996 1997 2000 2003 NONAKA & TAKEUCHI BROWN STEWART KAPLAN & NORTON ACADEMIA 14 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The first rigorous attempts to define a postindustrial. analysis & design efforts and accumulated knowledge must be translated into code.5 EVOLUTION OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT The following table provides a bird’s eye view of the important phases of evolution of Knowledge Management: Table 1. Rather than build from theory.WELLS PETER DRUCKER Dr. used.WIIG McGRAW & HARRISONBRIGGS BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EVOLUTION Coined the word ’World Brain’ which depicts an intellectual organization the sum total of collective knowledge Coined the term ‘knowledge worker’ Coined KM concept at UN Described ‘knowledge engineering’ as involving information gathering. and cultural environments. the ways they use. At the micro level. sociology’s strong research interest in the complex structures of internal networks and communities has obvious relevance to knowledge management.DBA 1735 NOTES Social Sciences to provide KM-related motivations.K. Knowledge management has inherited the concern for social facts. change. knowledge-based society were made by sociologist Daniel Bell and sociologically oriented economist Fritz Machlip.
Out-ofthe-box thinking was not likely and knowledge hoarding was the order of the day. The lessons learned by these early adopters of knowledge management indicated that though they knew what knowledge was.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 1. As CEOs evaluated their knowledge management dynamics. how they were doing it and why. They began evaluating how knowledge was being used in their organizations. And as time went on. the value of these people and what they knew was exerting an increasing influence on the success of their organizations. business models. communication tools and learning systems around these extremely important people. As a result. a basic purpose for the existence of these consulting organizations – if they were to be successful. it became apparent that the people who drove their enterprises were those who were creating and accumulating knowledge. cost accountants saw the most knowledgeable workers as an unnecessary expense. They tore down barriers and ancient processes and replaced them with a systematic approach to knowledge sharing based on the fluid dynamics of a networked economy. The biggest shock came with the discovery that 80 percent of corporate knowledge assets were not owned by the companies. Knowledge hoarding was then replaced by a culture of knowledge hiding. Employment was secure as long as they performed assigned tasks and minded their own business. These early pioneers knew that their organizations had to adapt quickly. most employees had to fit into their organizational structures by means of performance standards based upon strictly defined job descriptions. But consultants are in the business of selling their own knowledge and had little inclination to share it. They went home every night with the employees. Many organizations made the strategic mistake of pushing their intellectual assets out the door. used and delivered became paramount. International networks of consultants communicated through computer networks by sharing their own problem-solving expertise with other consultants whose clients had the same problems. a liability to be eliminated through down sizing or early retirement. 15 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . consultancies practiced knowledge management on the fly. finding out who has it. questions such as how knowledge is acquired. They spent their time rethinking what they were doing. During the 1990s chief executives in the consulting trades realized that the foundation of our economy had been shifting from natural resources toward intellectual assets. reorganizing operations to nourish and manage it. especially with their colleagues and peers. This goal had to become a central mission. The challenge then became how to create the information. During the era of business process reengineering. In the past. organizational intelligence.6 SHORT HISTORY OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT In past eras. changing the work culture to support it and building knowledge networks around it were the real challenges of the future.
Effective measurement of business processes and knowledge assets 9. The challenge. Documentum and others have developed knowledge management tools that enable corporations to manage and deliver strategic knowledge. however.7 AREAS FOR RESEARCH IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Based on differences between how individuals and organizations manage knowledge. 7. store and deliver knowledge enabled organizations to strategically use critical knowledge more easily and cheaply. 6. new ways to codify. 2. Management of changing requirements 10. 5.3. Today. 3. a group of leading edge companies like Lotus. it is possible to select and integrate a full-featured Knowledge Management System that includes and integrates key components like document management and collaborative software. Methods of collective reflection 11. Retrieval and filtering of data/information Enabling access to salient environmental data Sharing organizational goals and objectives Elimination of “silo” processing and reinvention Fostering knowledge creation through small teams Reduction of bureaucracy and formal meetings Enabling “start to finish” development and deployment 8. The following table presents the major research topics by each of the four steps of the knowledge management cycle described in the sub section 1. let us see several important areas of research in knowledge management for organizations. Observation and Analysis Theory Generation Testing and Application 1. and since many of the tools available were created for management consulting firms. The result was a new knowledge management industry that was born out of the few models that were developed in those early days. Table 1. It is no longer necessary to reinvent the wheel. share. Retaining knowledge when employees leave Knowledge Consolidation 16 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Open Text. 4. Building trust for the dissemination of knowledge 12. particularly large organizations.4. 1. became how to develop a successful knowledge management model—there were too few examples from which to work.DBA 1735 NOTES With the advent of networked resources.2 Areas of research within each step of the knowledge management cycle.
Studies of the relative strengths and weaknesses of systematic approaches to information retrieval and filtering in the workplace would be of benefit. Intelligent user interfaces that can learn the profile of a user’s interest and filter information based on that profile would greatly facilitate Internet searches. The best organizations are composed of “organic” networked teams where knowledge is able to flow freely across disciplines and departmental boundaries. This leads to competing analysis of environmental data and the generation of tactical business strategies that often conflict when they are executed. Large organizations suffer greatly from a lack of sharing and caring about organization goals. Although there is much organizational data that is encoded into electronic form for ease of communications and analysis. Most company wrestle every day with effective and efficient methods of retrieve data and filtering out the salient information. Enabling access to salient environmental data. Having 17 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Research into advanced methods of Knowledge Query and Manipulation (KQML) will also facilitate the retrieval of information. Sharing organizational goals / objectives. telephone calls and most notably the Internet is overwhelming. Research is required into methods of cultivating cultural change.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Retrieval and filtering of data / information. and information surrounding important interactions with customers is rarely communicated beyond the sales staff and their managers. Internet. This is an area where both people skills and technology require improvement. Work-teams of small numbers of people that share common goals are highly innovative environments. automated telemetry. Large organizations have traditionally developed “silos” of endeavour because departmental and professional barriers make knowledge management difficult. Clear and repeated communication of company objectives to all employees provides an environment in which knowledge can be better managed. there is other important information that is not. The rate of data and information in-flow to organizations by way of card-readers. these technologies will provide very powerful observation tools. however there is a fundament need for cultural change in most organizations that encourages the capture of salient environmental data. on the manufacturing floor. The major problems that must be addressed are dynamic management methods and career development approaches that consider individual and organizational objectives and reward trusting relationships at every opportunity. Fostering knowledge creation through small teams. in hospitals much of the important information on a patient is recorded with pencil on paper. For example. important data is communicated verbally. Integrated with content management systems and the Internet. Elimination of “silo” processing and reinvention. Methods of sharing organizational goals and objectives and bringing them in-line with individual goals are important areas of research. The education of knowledge workers in library science research skills is needed. groupware and portal technologies can be used to assist with these problems.
Methods of feedback between designer and user need to be created that ensure better communication of success and failure with a minimum investment of both parties’ time. Sharing knowledge takes time and can cause short-term delays in group performance. This having been said. proposals and meetings versus strong analysis and decisive action. design engineers or business strategists are not involved in the testing of the final product or the implementation of the tactical operations.DBA 1735 NOTES members of an organization move between these groups passing along best-practice methods is very important. legal and fiscal responsibility requires a formal chain of command within organizations. testers and front-line workers from the start of design to implementation and deployment. Creating an organizational culture that is receptive to personnel movement and knowledge exchange is a challenge. corporate intranets. 18 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Effective measurement of business processes and knowledge assets. for interoperation between systems is an active area of research Enabling “start to finish” development and deployment. Research and application of new management methods and technologies is needed. Standard protocols and languages. The traditional hierarchy fosters a climate of presentations. yet often disruptive. Further work is needed in measuring the quality and value of business processes and intangible knowledge assets. Moving from four levels of management bureaucracy to delegated authority and responsibility has been one of the most difficult transitions for modern organizations. methods of measuring success due to knowledge creation and knowledge transfer are needed. Marketing through data mining and customer relationship management is really the first area of business administration outside of finance to widely employ rigorous mathematical methods. In particular. such as the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). This has many management researchers excited about the use of measures and mathematics in other areas. A healthy knowledge management environment is one in which people wish to share information for the common good and not one in which they must share information in order to proceed with projects or business plans. Too often in large organizations. Resolving this conflict continues to be an important area of research in business administration. portals and collaborative software (such as Lotus Notes) can be very helpful in creating and enabling small teams. This can lead to a false sense of accomplishment on the part of the engineer or strategist and a poor opinion of upper management and technical authority on the part of front-line employees. practical job shadowing by designer engineers and the involvement of designers. Reduction of bureaucracy and formal meetings. Technologies such as electronic mail. Technologies such as message passing. groupware and document management systems can facilitate a more efficiently and effective movement of “paper-work” within the office and across the globe. Solutions can include people-centered approaches such as education of front line workers.
Why? There must be better ways to regularly reflect on successes and failures and share in the consolidation of new knowledge. education. The generation of a trusting environment is one that must extend from the top of the organization to the grass roots. However. job rotation. in seclusion and happen at best annually and often only at points of crisis.8. Proactive methods include personnel rotation programs. 1. An organization unlike an individual. incremental approaches that can more easily incorporate change (e. Success factors within most organizations are closely guarded secrets. Without trust between people there cannot be a productive sharing of information that results in knowledge transfer. milestone celebrations. The pressures affecting modern organizations ensure that change will always occur. 19 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . when an organization does do so. induction programs. impromptu lunches and face-to-face communications need to be encouraged. Most typically these events take place off-site. Further research is required to find better methods of retaining organizational knowledge. rarely takes the time to reflect on successes and failures. the balance between knowledge and resources has shifted so far towards the former that knowledge has become perhaps the most important factor determining the standard of living . Innovative new methods of managing projects. Retaining knowledge when employees leave. neo-classical economics has recognised only two factors of production: labour and capital. KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY For countries in the vanguard of the world economy. a defining moment in the life of the business. productivity. Today’s most technologically advanced economies are truly knowledge-based. Building trust for the dissemination of knowledge. tools and labour. Surprisingly. Methods of retaining knowledge can be divided into proactive and reactive categories. The loss of organizational knowledge when an employee leaves is a very serious problem. Project management research has turned to engineering methodologies that have established methods of change management. Methods of collective reflection. and intellectual capital were all regarded as exogenous factors that are. Trust building activities such as team social activities.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Management of changing requirements. the Unified Software Development Process used in Software Engineering).more than land. falling outside the system. products and services have also been developed that take iterative. For the last two hundred years. it is often recognized as a hallmark event. From an intellectual property perspective this makes a great deal of sense. secrets between departments. master/apprentice schemes and recording information from internal experts (such as salesmanship techniques). Tried and proven methods of managing change within projects and product cycles are needed.g. work-units or project teams within the same organization are counter-productive. Reactive methods include exit interviews and aftermath peer discussion sessions. Knowledge.
While any given technological breakthrough may seem to be random. Various management writers have for several years highlighted the role of knowledge or intellectual capital in business. something that traditional economic models have had difficulty with. According to Romer. rather than having one-off impact. This goes against traditional economics. In order to make investments in technology. Traditional economics sees “perfect competition” as the ideal. Romer argues that earning monopoly rents on discoveries is important in providing an incentive for companies to invest in R&D for technological innovation. Knowledge has become the third factor of production in leading economies. can create technical platforms for further innovations. even those with unlimited labour and ample capital. But the rules and practices that determined success in the industrial economy of the 20th century need rewriting in an interconnected world where resources such as know-how are more critical than other economic resources. Investment can make technology more valuable and vice versa. which explains why developed countries can sustain growth and why developing economies. or an ‘information society’. cannot attain growth. Traditional economics predicts that there are diminishing returns on investment. Technology can raise the return on investment. Economic growth is driven by the accumulation of knowledge. a country must have sufficient human capital.DBA 1735 NOTES New Growth Theory is based on work by Stanford economist Paul Romer and others who have attempted to deal with the causes of long-term growth. the virtuous circle that results can raise a country’s growth rate permanently. But sustained GDP growth doesn’t just happen. Romer considers that new technological developments. Romer’s theory differs from neo-classical economic theory in several important ways: Knowledge is the basic form of capital. training and on-the-job learning embodied in the workforce. The value of high-tech companies such as software and 20 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Enhancing human capital is critical for GDP growth. and that this technical platform effect is a key driver of economic growth. Human capital is the formal education. Technology and knowledge are now the key factors of production. Romer has proposed a change to the neoclassical model by seeing technology (and the knowledge on which it is based) as an intrinsic part of the economic system. Robert Solow and others. Various observers describe today’s global economy as one in transition to a ‘knowledge economy’. New Growth theorists argue that the non-rivalry and technical platform effects of new technology can lead to increasing rather than diminishing returns on technological investment. Following from the work of economists such as Joseph Schumpeter.
8. online network.2 What is knowledge economy? The World Bank Institute offers a formal definition of a knowledge economy as one that creates.1 Background of knowledge economy We are now living in a knowledge economy where the principal economic resource businesses have to offer their customer is knowledge. 1. The knowledge economy is often taken to mean only high-technology industries or information and communication technologies (ICTs). It would be more appropriate. In the industrial era. particularly if they are working in service areas or are used as sources of expertise by others. The shift to a knowledge economy has increased the complexity of work activities. Fig.8. disseminates.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT biotechnology companies is not in physical assets as measured by accountants.5 illustrates the main phases of this transformation process. however. The nature of work in an organization has changed enormously with the shift from an industrial economy where the focus is production of commercial products to a knowledge economy where the main outcomes are service and expertise. 1. The last few years have a growing recognition by accounting bodies and international agencies that knowledge is a crucial factor of production. industry. analysis tools. NOTES Fig.1. and human intelligence into knowledge and expertise. but in their intangibles such as knowledge and patents. People increasingly work closely with others to accomplish common goals. Many people associate the 21 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . 1. and uses knowledge to enhance its growth and development. Many employees spend considerable time interacting with others: collaborating with work colleagues. customers or people in other organizations through face-to-face meetings. emails and many other mechanisms. A knowledge economy uses data as it raw material and transforms it using technology. wealth was created by using machines to replace human labour. Employers have recognized the value of identifying and accessing a diversity of expertise and knowledge from different sources to work on common goals.5 Steps in the Knowledge Creation Process A knowledge-driven economy is one in which the generation and exploitation of knowledge play the predominant part in the creation of wealth. to use the concept more broadly to cover how any economy harness and uses new and existing knowledge to improve the productivity of agriculture. The shift to a knowledge economy has also led to increasing concern for building strong interpersonal relationships with others. and services and increase overall welfare.
Learning means not only using new technologies to access global knowledge. so far. 1. rather than that instilled by formal education and training. structured and explicit knowledge. education and information communication technologies. it also means using them to communicate with other people about innovation. and countries will be able to create wealth in proportion to their capacity to learn and share innovation. Instruments such as trade secrets protection and patents. 2.8. nor have its boundaries been drawn with clarity. 22 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Thus. In knowledge economy citizens would be working in service industries rather than in manufacturing or agriculture. a certain extent of grayness is associated with the term knowledge economy. are important aspects of knowledge economy. the creator of knowledge finds it hard to prevent others from using it. 3. and trademarks provide the creator with some protection. According to New Growth economics a country’s capacity to take advantage of the knowledge economy depends on how quickly it can become a “learning economy’. is a restricted view of the term. there is zero marginal cost to sharing it with more users. chips. growth and employment. however. knowledge strives to be a public good (or what economists call “non-rivalrous”). firms. There are different kinds of knowledge. integrated circuitry. Once knowledge is discovered and made public. Further in the knowledge-based economy the shift in focus is from products to services where the greater recognition of the importance of the knowledge held within an organisation is responsible. The implication of the knowledge economy is that there is no alternative way to prosperity than to make learning and knowledge-creation of prime importance. In the “learning economy” individuals. copyright. probably due to its being an early starter. codified. research. In knowledge-based economy there is a need to develop a national focus on innovation. it has not been adequately defined. with a strong reliance on information technology. “Tacit knowledge” is knowledge gained from experience. Secondly.DBA 1735 NOTES knowledge economy with high-technology industries such as telecommunications and financial services. In the knowledge economy tacit knowledge is as important as formal. The space occupied by the Information Technology (IT) industry within the content of the term knowledge economy is significantly large. and technology used in biosciences. This.3 Impact of knowledge in the knowledge economy 1. commonly used to refer to aspects of the service sector of the economy. To a significant extent. primarily because. Unlike capital and labour. According to Housel and Bell a knowledge based economy is the one where knowledge is the main source of wealth. for instance. the linkages of the operations in the service sector lie in the hardware part. However. The term knowledge economy is a relatively new one.
8. against the prevailing and slow changing attitudes and practices of existing institutions and business practice. In the knowledge economy. companies must learn how to recognise changes in intellectual capital in the worth of their business and ultimately in their balance sheets. virtual teams and market places are possible in which operations will be faster than in the traditional economy. The economics of knowledge economy is that of abundance.are a key component of value in a knowledgebased company. The physical assets of a firm such as Microsoft. 2. it is difficult to apply controls in terms of laws. brainpower. 7. Price and value of knowledge depends heavily on context. taxes and barriers in the national level as the businesses become global in nature. In contrast. such as buildings or equipment. and processes. though. know-how. These characteristics.4 Characteristics of knowledge economy The knowledge economy differs from the traditional economy in several key respects: 1. senior executives and knowledge workers alike. are a tiny proportion of its market capitalisation. In the knowledge economy the products which are developed based on knowledge will attract premium price compared to the products with low embedded knowledge or knowledge intensity. In the knowledge economy. yet few companies report competency levels in annual reports. The same knowledge can have different value to different people at different times. as well as their ability to continuously improve those processes . A firm’s intellectual capital employees’ knowledge.8. 3. 8. 6. Human capitals . for example. Knowledge when locked into systems or processes has higher inherent value than when it can ‘walk out of the door’ in people’s heads. so different from those of the physical economy. The difference is its intellectual capital. Knowledge is the resource which unlike other resources will not deplete when used.5 Key drivers of knowledge economy (a) The Importance of Intellectual Capital Intellectual capital is a firm’s source of competitive advantage. 1. requires leadership and risk taking. The traditional economy is that of scarcity. But there is now considerable evidence that the intangible component of the value of high technology and service firms far outweighs the tangible values of its physical assets. To become knowledge driven. To do so. In the knowledge economy the distances will be meaningless and the world will be considered as a global village where using appropriate technology virtual organisations. 23 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . 4. It can be shared and grow through its application. 5.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 1. require new thinking and approaches by policy makers. downsizing is often seen as a positive ‘cost cutting’ measure. the knowledge and information leak may be inevitable where the demand is highest and the barriers are lowest.competencies .is a source of competitive advantage.
the value of being connected to it grows exponentially.the total bandwidth of communication systems will triple every 12 months . the ICT sector has a powerful multiplier effect in the overall economy compared with manufacturing. the advantage goes to the firm that has the greatest value-addition. There can be no doubt that the cycle of technology development and implementation is accelerating and that we are moving inexorably onward. Gordon Moore first formulated Moore’s Law in the early 1970s. twenty-four hours a day.7 new jobs in Washington State. the vision of perfect competition is becoming a reality. computers become faster. it is also true of telephone systems. Moore’s Law holds that the maximum processing power of a microchip at a given price doubles roughly every 18 months. Gilder’s Law . but the price of a given level of computing power halves. (d) Globalisation ICT open up global markets and foster competition. the best-known brand. When businesses can deliver their products down a phone line anywhere in the world. (c) The New Economics of Information The rate of technological change has greatly increased over the past thirty years. The new economics looks at ICT not as drivers of change but as tools for releasing the creative potential and knowledge embodied in people. 24 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . and the lowest “weight’. Metcalfe’s Law holds that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of nodes. While Metcalfe’s Law has been applied to the Internet. Consumers can now find out the prices offered by all vendors for any product. They do not by themselves create transformations in society. Wealth-generation is becoming more closely tied to the capacity to add value using ICT products and services. In other words. New markets have opened up. So.DBA 1735 NOTES (b) The Importance of ICT ICT (Information Communication Technology) releases people’s creative potential and knowledge and are the enablers of change. Software provides the best example: huge added value through computer code.describes a similar decline in the unit cost of the net. while the cost per user remains the same or even reduces. With the advent of information and communication technologies. as a network grows. and prices have dropped. Three laws have combined to explain the economics of information. A 1995 study of the effect of software producer Microsoft on the local economy revealed that each job at Microsoft created 6.8 jobs. However. out of the Industrial Age and into the Information Age. light “weight” so that it can be delivered anywhere at any time. ICT are best regarded as the facilitators of knowledge creation in innovative societies. whereas a job at Boeing created 3.
Products and processes can be swiftly imitated and competitive advantage can be swiftly eroded. Competition and innovation go hand in hand. 1. Scotch whisky. Brands strengthen consumers’ trust in nations and their products. this industry has helped generate employment potentialities in the economy. Industrial growth derives from investments in large-scale infrastructure (such as railways. New Zealand butter. which is quite far-fetched in the current scenario. Further. These ventures employ numerous workers with limited education and skills. It is intangible in the sense that it often consists of customers’ perceptions of the value they gain from using a product or service rather than any measurable benefit. German cars. and has had an impact on various segments of the economy.6 Growth of IT industry in the knowledge economy IT industry in India has grown. (e) Brands are critical. roadways. Swiss watches. Japanese appliances. This by no means is a simple contribution. but a firm must be able to innovate more quickly than its competitors in order to compete in the knowledge economy. It is only a short step from here to attribute this industry with pan-economic relevance. The impact of IT is best understood when the differences between industrial and knowledge-intensive ventures are recognised. In addition to being a sunrise revenue-generating industrial sector. As a proxy for the knowledge economy. Knowledge spreads more quickly. A nation’s brand can be as important (or more) as the firm’s. The Business Process Outsourcing units are further expected to play a major role in the generation of additional employment. the IT industry has established linkages with hardware manufacturing industries thereby giving a fillip to that sector. water and people). Such infrastructure supports the growth of physical-asset intensive industries (such as the steel and transportation industries) that create and move physical entities (such as goods.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Competition is fostered by the increasing size of the market opened up by these technologies. NOTES 25 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . power grids and dams). this industry is often identified as a solution provider for shortcomings in the economy. brand recognition assures their trust in both the tangibles and intangibles that a product will deliver. The IT industry has also made its presence felt on the education sector from where it draws one of its main resources.8. Like intellectual capital. and can uplift large sections of society. Products with a high knowledge component generate higher returns and a greater growth potential. And yet these and other attributes have been emphasised to the extent that the industry has acquired a larger than life image. and provide extra leverage for whichever firm’s brand is attached to the actual product – Indian tea. brand equity can be hard to measure yet it may account for a significant proportion of a company’s value. In a global marketplace where consumers are overwhelmed by choice.
7 Implications of knowledge economy The evolving knowledge economy provides critical implications for policy makers of local and national government as well as international agencies and institutions concerned with the growth and development of an economy as well as the businesses concerned with creating knowledge based organization. 4. Policies to promote collaboration to stimulate market development. Implications for policy makers 1. 1. Beyond the physical labour required for initial construction. ventures in the knowledge economy usually involve the production of knowledge-intensive goods (like software). 4.DBA 1735 NOTES In contrast. Wider policy support to knowledge based industries to remove regional imbalances. 8. 2. Following are some of the important implications of knowledge economy. but rather on infrastructure for sustainable ‘knowledge enhancement’ that act as an attraction to knowledge-based industries. 26 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . through new organisational structure and processes that is in tune with the changing global environment. 3. Economic development policy should focus not on creation of jobs. 7. Implications for business 1. Traditional measures of economic success must be supplemented by new ones such as encouraging knowledge based industries with incentives and rewards. 5.8. 3. Building a technology infrastructure to enhance knowledge creation and sharing. Example: Hewlett-Packard’s uses an intranet for knowledge sharing throughout the company on a global basis. Design and develop new measures of enhancing corporate performance based on knowledge. building and maintaining such infrastructure requires specialised knowledge. 6. Systematically enhance learning and knowledge. Recognition of the importance of knowledge to the organisational business bottom line. Development of policies for efficient regulation and taxation for information and knowledge trading at international level as well as looking to future knowledgebased industries rather than traditional industries. Strict policy measures to check information and knowledge frauds and thefts. Policy support to promote education and training to take the challenges of knowledge economy and to promote R&D activities. fiber and routers). and the large-scale capture. 2. Recognition and support of local talents to get into knowledge based industries and to prevent brain drain. cable. movement and utilisation of information using sophisticated network infrastructure (such as computers.
This will be the result of a highly focused effort to achieve global thought leadership in a few select fields that offer the highest potential for Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO). Example: Buckman Laboratories recognizes the value of solving customer problems by enhancing knowledge flows from their chemical experts direct to the customer interface. science or mathematics. NOTES 27 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Such responses should be part of a coordinated effort that: a) Recognizes the importance of knowledge to their business bottom line.9 INDIA AS A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY The various experts’ vision is that India will become a leader in the global knowledge economy by 2010. The entrepreneurial and energetic business community in India has the capacity to step up to this challenge and is capable of working closely with a supportive government to remove barriers that stand in the way of achieving of this vision. patents. 3. primarily those who graduate from the IITs.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 5. They are a rich source of domain expertise and can be motivated to help transfer knowledge and expertise to India and nurture a new generation of India-based thought leaders. b) Develops new measures of corporate performance based on knowledge: Example: Skandia’s supplements annual reports with intellectual capital reports using measures from the Skandia Navigator. Recognising human contribution to knowledge such research and development. Many businesses are now realizing the role of knowledge and are creating knowledge management programmes and appointing CKOs (Chief Knowledge Officers). discovery. have figured out on their own how to become world-class knowledge workers and thought leaders. 1.etc. who are capable and flexible to learn new skills fast given the right opportunity and reward structure. 2. c) Encourages the sharing of knowledge through effective Internet settings and business practices: Example: Steelcase designs ‘smart’ working environments and has developed a culture of knowledge sharing. 6. A small minority of the scientists and engineers. Indians are able and willing to learn the necessary analytic and interpersonal skills needed to achieve thought leadership in the knowledge economy. To foster organisational wide dissemination of knowledge through effective Internet / Intranet technologies and business practices.. 7. IIMs and other elite institutes in India. 4. Here are some reasons for the optimism: 1. India enjoys unique advantages in having a large pool of English-speaking professionals with degrees in engineering. The Indian Diaspora (diaspora-a dispersion of people originally belonging to one nation) in the United States and the United Kingdom has several among them who have achieved thought leadership in knowledge intensive fields.
apply and disseminate knowledge. a tool to assist individuals and groups in creation. Technology is a facilitator of knowledge management. the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) was established in June 2005. IT brings in a new revolution in knowledge management. Many companies have embraced electronic processing to conduct their basic work activities through newer technologies such as e-workplace. promote research and development in a variety of fields. government and industry sectors to balance traditional knowledge. agriculture. e-commerce 28 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . capturing and distribution of knowledge. 1. As a result. and managerial along with the deployment of appropriate technology. a well-developed financial sector. a well-developed ICT sector. This objective is expected to be implemented through the following strategies: Creation of Knowledge: strengthen education systems. foster improved literacy. especially those marginalized groups. institutions of a free market economy. Technology advances have greatly contributed for the growth of knowledge management although the field has not yet reached full maturity. improve information and communication technology (ICT) and enhance standards of education through public awareness.10. KM Viewpoint 1. Dissemination of Knowledge: focus on widespread basic education for all citizens. and partner with foreign sources to expand learning. create lifelong opportunities for skill acquirement. and global provider of software services. The main objective of the commission will be to take appropriate actions to give India a knowledge advantage to create.1 National Knowledge Commission India’s growing population of young people will give the country a demographic advantage over many western countries and possibly even China in the decades to come. innovation encouragement and revise governance through technology. social. TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Effective knowledge management typically requires an appropriate combination of organisational. broad & diversified science and technology infrastructure. a dynamic private sector.DBA 1735 NOTES 5. As a result of this initiative. Application of Knowledge: target health. by acting as a catalyst to the organizations knowledge management practices. India’s Prime Minister has said India must position itself to “leapfrog in the race for social and economic development” through the formulation of knowledge-oriented focus of development. The capacity to link the many systems and processes in an electronic system has opened up many different possibilities of businesses. India also has many of the other key ingredients for making itself as knowledge economy such as macroeconomic stability. create a culture of learning.
Knowledge management has flourished as the technological systems have increased in robustness. across time and distance. in project design or knowledge-base development.1. The Web. 1. knowledge bases. visual tools and other technologies. particularly in organization-wide knowledge sharing programs. and of immediate value to the user.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT and e-community. software help desk tools. groupware. problem free in operation. Since its adoption by the mainstream population and business community. by enabling participation. and other technologies. However there are also many examples of systems that are neither quick. corporate ‘Yellow pages’ directories. provide a comprehensive knowledge base that is speedily accessed. intranets. and instant information. is not a trivial task. Knowledge management does have a very strong technology components attached to it. web conferencing. various types of Information Management. learning and research. interactive. Each enabling technology can expand the level of inquiry available to an employee. while providing a platform to achieve specific goals or actions. Electronic technology for transferring knowledge The availability of the World Wide Web has been instrumental in catalyzing the knowledge management movement. the Internet has led to an increase in creative collaboration. These reflect a shift in orientation from working with papers to the use of an electronic interface to perform organizational activities. there have been a number of technologies ‘enabling’ or facilitating knowledge management practices in the organization. The development of tools that support knowledge sharing in an appropriate and user-friendly way. The practice of KM will continue to evolve with the growth of collaboration applications. including elearning. Tools that assist in knowledge creation are even less well developed. The advent of the Internet brought with it further enabling technologies. Historically. if well resourced and implemented. but offer less assistance for knowledge use. or easy to maintain. email lists.10. content management systems. Information technology may. Most of the technological tools now available tend to help dissemination of knowhow. blogs. search and retrieval engines. e-commerce. frequently creates information overload. collaborative software. Knowledge management is strategic management and hence it requires that the top management fully exploit the opportunities given by information technology for business purposes. for example. including expert systems. so that those most knowledgeable about development problems — the people living them on a day-to-day basis – can actively contribute to their 29 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . although collaborative workspaces offer promising opportunities. document management systems and other IT systems supporting organizational knowledge flows. reliability and costeffectiveness. easy-to-use. wikis.
7. it is key to integrate knowledge-related technology with preexisting technology choices. Integration with existing systems: since most knowledge sharing programs aim at embedding knowledge sharing in the work of staff as seamlessly as possible. 30 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Content structure: in large systems. the telephone. electronic mail. In the process. One of the major risks in knowledge management programs is the tendency for organizations to confuse knowledge management with some form of technology. both technology tools and human practices. Hardware-software compatibility is important to ensure that choices are made that are compatible with the bandwidth and computing capacity available to users. Responsiveness to user needs: continuous efforts must be made to ensure that the information technology in use meets the varied and changing needs of users.g. the World Wide Web. and requires social arrangements like communities to enable it to happen on any consistent and sustained basis. Knowledge sharing programs that focus on the simultaneous improvement of the whole system. Rather. Some of the more user-friendly technologies are the traditional ones — face-toface discussions. or one of the off-the-shelf technology tools that are now proliferating. 6. whether it is Lotus Notes. Synchronization of technology with the capabilities of users is important so as to take full advantage of the potential of the tools. it is important to recognize that knowledge management is a different and better way of working which affects people. Content quality requirements: standards for admitting new content into the system need to be established and met to ensure operational relevance and high value. particularly where the technology skills of users differ widely. 4. the essentially ecological concept of knowledge management becomes degraded into a simple information system that can be engineered without affecting the way the work is done. HTML web sites) may not be appropriate for extrapolation organization-wide or on a global basis. 3.DBA 1735 NOTES solution. 5. Scalability: solutions that seem to work well in small groups (e. and paper-based tools such as flip charts. It is not that information systems are bad. are likely to be more successful than programs that focus on one or the other. 2. classification and cataloguing become important so that items can be easily found and quickly retrieved. Among the issues that need to be considered in providing information technology for knowledge sharing programs are: 1.
At the other end of the spectrum. Information Technology for Knowledge Management There is an ongoing lively debate about the role that information technology can play for knowledge management. At the moment. inert information.4 KA Technology for KM at Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce plc is one of the world’s leading organisations in the design. a total of twelve Rolls-Royce employees are on the programme. typically comprising two company employees on secondment to a special facility based at the University of Nottingham for a period of twelve weeks. when the corporate motto was “More IT.2. they conjure grim scenarios of organizations with enough memory to remember everything and not enough intelligence to do anything with it. The company identified the relevance of early findings from SPEDE to its own KM programme and embarked upon a bilateral programme with the University of Nottingham to exploit KA techniques for the rapid development of components of the Rolls-Royce Capability Intranet.10. manufacturing processes.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT KM Viewpoint 1. The scope of the Capability Intranet spans business processes. Knowledge management strategies of this type would bring back the ghost of the infamous. technical skills and training. and none too far in time. less people!”. information technology is used pervasively in organizations. 31 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . development and manufacture of jet engines and also a leading industrial partner in SPEDE. working practices. thus disregarding altogether the role of tacit knowledge. though this is expected to rise significantly over the next year as personnel and facilities are expanded. The danger that this viewpoint sees is that IT-driven knowledge management strategies may end up objectifying and calcifying knowledge into static. re-engineering days. The programme has involved a series of coached projects. Sixteen groups have passed through the facility over the past year amounting to thirty-eight Rolls-Royce employees. for accomplishing their goals. providing quick and easy access to all the latest information needed by staff in order to complete tasks accurately and reliably including the capture of lessons learned and evolving best practices. information about technologies and capabilities and specific examples of good (and bad) practice based on real case examples. On the one hand. and thus qualifies as a natural medium for the flow of knowledge. NOTES 1. It includes quality manuals. possibly at the expense of investments in human capital. product definitions. on the setting up of a suitable IT infrastructure. Rolls-Royce’s Capability Intranet is intended to become the company’s quality system. A recent study from the American Productivity and Quality Center shows that organizations embarking in knowledge management efforts generally rely. leading knowledge management theorists have warned about the attitude that drives management towards strong investments in IT. A technology transfer programme was conceived in early 1998 whereby established KA tools and techniques could be applied and evaluated within the context of developing knowledge-rich web sites for the Rolls-Royce Capability Intranet.
Let us briefly understand the some of the technologies that are currently associated with the field of knowledge management: Some Key Technologies are as follows: The impact of each technology varies enormously from situation to situation. and thus represent explicit knowledge transfer. As for information databases. any where. if it is not accompanied by a global cultural change toward knowledge values. Internet The ubiquitous Internet protocols make it easy for users to access “any information. such tools for the most part are still based on text and code. In particular the use of semantic technologies for search and retrieval and the development of knowledge management specific tools such as those for communities of practice. Several technologies recur in many knowledge management programs. Knowledge Management Technologies The early Knowledge Management technologies were online corporate yellow pages (expertise locators) and document management systems. However.DBA 1735 NOTES Part of the problem here derives from a linguistic ambiguity: nowadays information technologies are as much about creating direct connections among people through such applications as electronic mail. (a) Intranet. investments in IT seem to be unavoidable in order to scale up knowledge management projects. partly because they are generic and pervade many core activities and processes. More recently social computing tools (such as blogs and wikis) have developed to provide a more unstructured. Generally speaking. platforms and forums. capture and creation of knowledge through the development of new forms of community. network or matrix. in a knowledge management perspective. the awareness of the limits of information technology. The best way of applying information technology to knowledge management is probably a combination of two factors: on the one hand. 1. as resources for the sharing of best practices and for preserving the intellectual capital of organizations. KM technologies expanded in the mid 1990s. Let us briefly review some of the main technologies used in KM programs.3. Combined with the early development of collaborative technologies (in particular Lotus Notes).10. the availability of information technologies that have been expressly designed with knowledge management in view. on the other hand. at any time”. Subsequently it followed developments in technology in use in Information Management. Further. they can also be fruitfully re-thought. chat-rooms. video-conferencing and other types of groupware as they are about storing information in databases and other types of repositories. self-governing approach to the transfer. and of the fact that any IT deployment will not achieve much. These tools face challenges in distilling meaningful re-usable knowledge and intelligible information and ensuring that their content is transmissible through diverse channels. browsers and client software can act as front-ends to 32 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
through one of Lotus’s key features. With annotation and redlining facilities. Users such as Thomas Miller. can represent conceptual linkages between different source documents. However. (c) Intelligent Agents The problem of information overload is becoming acute for many professionals. its multiple ‘views’. that the basic functions of email. the best intelligent agent is still a human being! A related technology is that of text summarizing. existing explicit knowledge can be assembled from the archive. When writing new insurance proposals. which British Telecom have found can summarize large documents. such as those at Price Waterhouse. that help individuals and teams develop cognitive maps or ‘shared mental models’. discussion lists and private newsgroups often have the biggest short term impact. retaining over 90 per cent of the relevant meaning with less than a quarter of the original text.5 Booz Allen & Hamilton’s Knowledge Online is an Intranet that provides a wealth of information (e. Intelligent agents can be trained to roam networks to select and alert users of new relevant information. such as COPE and IDONS. and especially structured documents.Lotus Notes What groupware products like Lotus Notes add over and above Intranets are discussion databases. such as those found in Knowledge X. as well as current news feeds in areas of interest. Additionally they can be used to filter out less relevant information from information feeds. guided by expert systems front-end. In addition. (b) Groupware . in practice it seems that a well run knowledge center. while tacit knowledge is added through discussion databases. they can become active 33 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . best practice. access their ‘organizational memory’. Remember too. (e) Document Management Documents. are the form in which much explicit knowledge is shared. database of experts) to their consultants world-wide. NOTES KM Viewpoint 1. (d) Mapping Tools There are an increasing number of tools. These have been used by companies such as Shell to develop future scenarios and resolve conflicting stakeholder requirements. industry trends. a London based manager of insurance mutuals. other mapping tools. Through active information management by knowledge editors (subject experts and librarians) the information remains well structured and relevant.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT information in many formats and many of the other knowledge tools such as document management or decision support.g.
34 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . and objects. These expert systems represent the expertise knowledge as data or rules within the computer. This program knowledge is often embedded as part of the programming code. although certainly with a narrower range of application than most programming languages. Conventional computer programs perform tasks using conventional decision-making logic — containing little knowledge other than the basic algorithm for solving that specific problem and the necessary boundary conditions. within the domain of the knowledge-base. They typically come with a number of other features. where the latest version and thinking is readily shared amongst project eams. A different problem. forward chaining. for constructing friendly user interfaces. use human knowledge to solve problems that normally would require human intelligence. (f) Expert systems Knowledge-based expert systems. can be solved using the same program without reprogramming. Knowledge-based systems collect the small fragments of human know-how into a knowledge-base which is used to reason through a problem. such as tools for writing hypertext. These shells come equipped with an inference mechanism (backward chaining. strings. so that as the knowledge changes. The ability of these systems to explain the reasoning process through back-traces and to handle levels of confidence and uncertainty provides an additional feature that conventional programming doesn’t handle.6 By using a document management system for the construction of the Thelma North Sea oil platform. Books and manuals have a tremendous amount of knowledge but a human has to read and interpret the knowledge for it to be used. and require knowledge to be entered according to a specified format.7 Most expert systems are developed via specialized software tools called shells. and for interfacing with external programs and databases. KM Viewpoint 1. the program has to be changed and then rebuilt. These rules and data can be called upon when needed to solve problems. AGIP reduced construction time by 9 months and reduced document handling costs by 60 per cent. Suppliers like Dataware are repositioning their products as knowledge management products and are also adding ‘knowledge enriching’ functionality. for manipulating lists. These shells qualify as languages. or both).DBA 1735 NOTES knowledge repositories. using the knowledge that is appropriate. or simply expert systems. KM Viewpoint 1.
35 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . (k) Corporate portals and knowledge portals. A number of software applications are available that allow users to create their own knowledge bases. organization. a knowledge base is not a static collection of information. Collecting. digital dashboards. An integral component of knowledge management systems. for example. As a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. business intelligence. (i) Case-based reasoning systems.tax laws or company policies and procedures. but a dynamic resource that may itself have the capacity to learn. knowledgebase management systems. Closely related domains include informatics. (h) Artificial intelligence technology. and qualitative analysis. Many large companies — for example. A well-organized knowledge base can save enterprise money by decreasing the amount of employee time spent trying to find information about . Related terms: knowledge discovery and automatic discovery.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (g) Knowledge base A knowledge base is a centralized repository for information: a public library. AI is providing key components in a variety of KM applications. In relation to information technology a knowledge base is a machine-readable resource for the dissemination of information. generally online or with the capacity to be put online. (l) Data mining. a knowledge base can give customers easy access to information that would otherwise require contact with an organization’s staff. (j) Competitive intelligence applications. this capacity should make the interaction simpler for both the customer and the organization. Related terms: corporate portals. CBR systems solve new problems by adapting previously successful solutions to similar problems. Meeting customer-support requirements is just one of the applications. According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Full-text retrieval and various kinds of taxonomies are applied to provide access to the information.among myriad possibilities . It is sometimes referred to as competitive analysis or competitive intelligence. analyzing. It is concerned with gathering the information resources of an organization into a centralized resource. In general. in the future the Internet may become a vast and complex global knowledge base known as the Semantic Web. pharmaceutical and chemical corporations — have major intellectual assets buried in their paper and electronic files. and communicating the best available information about technological trends and developments outside a company’s walls is the purpose of competitive technical intelligence. as a rule. either separately (these are usually called knowledge management software) or as part of another application. a knowledge base is used to optimize information collection. and retrieval for an organization. Extracting them isn’t easy. as part of an artificial intelligence (AI) expert system. applied informatics. or for the general public. and a database of related information about a particular subject. such as a CRM package. knowledge portals.
Companies are rushing to automate and better manage all the ways they deal with customers. computer science. a document authored by many people. Help desk systems and customer-support systems are designed to reduce the heavy labor costs imposed by demands for information from users of increasingly complex products and improve timeliness and quality of support. a return to interest in “hypertext” as a method of representing and providing access to critical organizational knowledge is reflected in the Topic Map standard (ISO/IEC 13250) and in Tim Berners-Lee’s Semantic Web effort. Groupware also includes computer applications for organizing meetings and supporting interactions and group decision-making processes-without a substantial shared artifact. Both are XML-based and are seeking common ground. but the richer. (q) Customer-support technology. Performancesupport systems (PSS) and “eLearning” are designed to reduce the skyrocketing costs of classroom training in specific skills while addressing the problems caused by the rapid pace of change. “Customers” may be internal or external clients. whose primary function is to manage the data that goes into corporate Internet and intranet (and extranet) sites. A more recent development or. including people who might not consider themselves customers yet. Although document management systems have been with us for many years. (This is not the simple Web hypertext model. (r)Performance-support systems and distance-learning technology. See also. (p) Customer relationship management. and systems engineering both in order to produce computerized artifacts for helping knowledge workers in their performance of cognitive tasks. operations research. it is usually out of date. Computer-supported collaborative work. (n) Decision-support systems. but products designed to automate CRM efforts are among today’s hottest new computer applications.) 36 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .” (o) Content management and document management. many original DM products have been recast as content management systems. often proprietary hypertext models that preceded the World Wide Web. Decision-support systems incorporate insights from cognitive science.DBA 1735 NOTES (m) Groupware and artifact-based collaboration. management science. By the time a classroom training program is designed. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies have been around since the first bazaar. The term artifact-based collaboration is often used to describe products like Lotus Notes. perhaps more accurately. (s) Hypertext technology. because the collaborative activity centers on an artifact — for example. The HyTime standard on which the Topic Map standard is based grew in part out of a need for creating a common ground among the hundreds of unique hypertext systems. and to integrate such artifacts within the decisionmaking processes of modern organisations.
various tools developed for different purposes Best things and worst things Postmortem reports External Demographics Legal policies: Customs & Tax information Competitor analysis Road shows/Meetings/Conferences Research Publications Customers care policies Customer promotions Corporate Vision and Culture Articles/quotes on the organization appeared in trade magazines Internal R&D . PCMM Project Postmortem reports Induction programs Networking with professional organizations Idea generation/sharing session Figure 1.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (t) Semantic networks. Please see next page for the Knowledge Matrix External Customers Feedback reports Questionnaires on quality & service Customer profiling Payment history Customer meetings and visits Annual reports & Financial analysis Contact Analysis Customer Newsletter Suppliers Performance history Product catalog Vendor meetings/seminars Annual reports & Financial analysis Internal Employees Knowledge on products/services Technical expertise & Reusable components Best practices from previous projects Learning from previous assignments Vertical industry experience External Sales and marketing processes Lead-time Information Billing procedures Internal Logistics .Procurement & Inventory Quality processes HR processes Financial processes Lead time information for all the processes Six-sigma processes Project Execution Methodologies Security policies: Network.ISO. but with emphasis on typed links among concepts. The author has referred the following Knowledge Matrix to enable organizations to uncover various sources of knowledge in order to provide knowledge services to both internal and external customers. A semantic network is a method of representing knowledge often used for critical analysis of literary texts. 1. data and personnel Manufacturing processes NOTES KM Database External Customer feedback reports Product successes Product failures Competitive forces Customer meetings Internal Tools information . Similar to hypertext technologies in some ways.Research Publications Learning from projects execution Brand equity information Organization structure & Who's who of the organization? Quality: SEI.6 Knowledge Matrix 37 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .11 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT MATRIX Knowledge Matrix helps in identifying different islands of knowledge to create a Knowledge Management database/data warehouse.
The 38 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . brought on by marketplace pressures or the nature of the workplace. (a) Call Centers Call centers have increasingly become the main ‘public face’ for many organisations. Typically. it is useful to explore a number of these situations in order to provide a context for the development of a KM strategy. costly and lengthy training for new staff. 1. Failure to address these issues impacts upon sales. KM as business strategy will only succeed when certain fundamental requirements are employed. information technology and information incorporated into the strategic business processes. public reputation or legal exposure. or be located at branches or behind front-desks. In large organisations. including high-pressure. with limited communication channels to head office. However. While they are not the only issues that can be tackled with KM techniques. The human resource elements. such as sales staff or maintenance crews. (b) Front-line staff Beyond the call center. high staff turnover. This role is made more challenging by the expectations of customers that they can get the answers they need within minutes of ringing up. increase sales. and to meet the customer needs. this front-line staffs are often very dispersed geographically. the need for knowledge management is clear and immediate. each organisation will have unique issues and problems to be overcome.12 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY Organisations are facing ever-increasing challenges. In this environment. Other challenges confront call centers. must all be tightly incorporated into the management and working culture of the organization. there are also few mechanisms for sharing information between staff working in the same business area but different locations. Such initiatives are often started with the development of a knowledge management strategy. It is only by this kind of synthesis of the knowledge management components that creates the organizational ability to exploit the total information and knowledge potentials of the organization. many organisations have a wide range of front-line staff who interacts with customers or members of the public. They may operate in the field. Many organisations are now looking to knowledge management (KM) to address these challenges.DBA 1735 NOTES 1.1 The Need for KM strategy There are a number of common situations that are widely recognised as benefiting from knowledge management approaches. Knowledge management strategy is termed as an approach undertaken by an organization to use its information and knowledge resources for building competitive strength and sustainable growth for realizing that pursuing KM strategy can enable it to dramatically reduce cycle time and costs.12. closely-monitored environment. Beyond these typical situations.
accuracy and repeatability. Long-serving staff has a depth of knowledge that is relied upon by other staff. Knowledge management can assist by putting in place a structured mechanism for capturing or transferring this knowledge when staff retires. are constructed to ensure consistency. warehouse or memorize and distribute knowledge. (d) Aging workforce The public sector is particularly confronted by the impacts of an aging workforce. there is a need for sound decision making. and how to nurture it in a business environment. It can also assist with the mentoring and coaching skills needed by modern managers. (e) Supporting innovations Many organisations have now recognised the importance of innovation in ensuring long-term growth (and even survival). This strategy enables organizations to dramatically reduce cycle time and costs.12. KM facilitates this function. the challenge is now to filter out the key information needed to support business decisions. private sector organisations are also recognising that this issue needs to be addressed if the continuity of business operations is to be maintained. complete and relevant information. Most organisations. biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.2 Development of organisational KM strategies The commonly employed strategy is to design and develop systems and practices to obtain. repeatability and efficiency of current processes and products.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT challenge in the front-line environment is to ensure consistency. telecommunications. There has been considerable work in the knowledge management field regarding the process of innovation. as are the demands on the ‘people skills’ of management staff. Innovation is does not tend to sit comfortably with this type of focus. increases sales and effectively brings the knowledge of the organization to bear on customer needs. consulting. The pace of organisational change is also increasing. This is particularly true in fast-moving industry sectors such as IT. and organisations often need to look to unfamiliar techniques to encourage and drive innovation. Knowledge management can play a key role in supporting the information needs of management staff. In this situation. 1. however. (c) Business managers The volume of information available to business management has increased greatly. Increasingly. In this environment. restructure. organize. These decisions are enabled by accurate. Known as ‘information overload’. based on this strategy. An approach. the loss of these key staff can have a major impact upon the level of knowledge within the organisation. results in improvement operations or to develop and NOTES 39 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . particularly in environments where little effort has been put into capturing or managing knowledge at an organisational level.
deliver products and services tailored to the market requirements. Building of teams, relationships and networks forms the basis for effective transfer, besides approaches of encouraging collaborative knowledge transfer. Many organizations especially those in the service industry adopt a strategy with strong focus on their customer. This customer-focused knowledge strategy is directed towards capturing, developing and transferring knowledge and understanding of customers’ diverse needs, preferences, and businesses. These efforts bring about a significant improvement in sales and use the collective knowledge of the organisation to solve customer problems. This strategy recognizes and facilitates learning from customers and understand their needs better and development of effective solutions to take them. By establishing personal responsibility for knowledge, organizations are recognizing that individuals must be supported and made accountable for identifying, maintaining, and expanding their own knowledge as well as renewing and sharing their knowledge assets. Companies are now realizing the value of each knowledgeable and capable employee and recognize the key fact that the development of their skills lay with employee themselves and not with the organization. Some firms building incentives into their appraisal system and offering other motivators to encourage the development of a knowledge-intensive culture. Another important strategy revolves around leveraging assets such as patents, technologies, operational and management practices, customer relations, organizational arrangements, and other structural knowledge assets and concentrates on renewing, organizing, valuing, safekeeping, increasing availability of, and marketing these assets. The final strategy, innovation and knowledge creation emphasizes the creation of new knowledge through basic and applied research and development. Organisations adopting these strategies need to ascend the knowledge spiral and continually discover new and better ways of functioning and innovating. They recognize that innovation is central to growth and that unique knowledge and expertise enhances their competitive value in the marketplace. 1.13 PRIORITIZING KNOWLEDGE STRATEGIES Effective knowledge management is of vital importance for any enterprise with a quest to ensure viability and survival. Enterprises need to develop a KM strategy which impinges on all areas of the organization and requires a corporate approach to make it work. Knowledge strategy designs an organisation’s future based on using knowledge effectively. Knowledge strategy starts with the notion that an organisation’s business strategy should guide its planning for knowledge management. Therefore, knowledge strategy
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follows business strategy. The first activity in knowledge strategy is understanding the current business strategy then progressing that strategy as the basis for organizational analysis. The knowledge strategy should clearly articulate why the organization should share its know-how, what the organization will share, with whom the organization will share and how the organization will share. A knowledge strategy should start from existing strategies, plans and modus operandi of an organization. It should explicitly identify specific areas of inefficiency – lost opportunities, or costly mistakes – where a good KM practice would improve productivity and minimize risks. It should seek to support people throughout the organization in performing their daily tasks efficiently and effectively. It should identify how knowledge can create new opportunities – in innovative customer solutions, in business processes or in new product and services. A four-phased approach for prioritizing the knowledge strategy and moving projects forward are as follows: 1. Envisioning business strategy: Identifying and developing a business strategy and linking initial knowledge needs to the strategy. This phase uses strategy workshops, SWOT analyses and scenario planning sessions to develop the initial strategy. 2. Knowledge valuation: Analysing the current state of the organization, diagnosing strategic gaps, evaluating the learning rate and assessing cultural issues. This phase delivers an organizational assessment and gap analysis. 3. Creating knowledge strategy: This phase analyses impacts and develops strategies for addressing gaps and redesigning processes. Strategic gaps are prioritized and action plan developed and knowledge resources and practices are aligned to the strategy. 4. Knowledge path building: This phase establishes plans and designs for building a knowledge architecture to support full organizational participation. This phase coordinates plans, people and information resources to integrate the knowledge strategy into organizations, systems, product lines and business processes. 1.14 KNOWLEDGE AS A STRATEGIC ASSET Business organizations are coming to view knowledge as their most valuable and strategic asset, and bringing that knowledge to bear on problems and opportunities as their most important capability. They are realizing that to remain competitive they must explicitly manage their intellectual assets and capabilities. Today, knowledge is considered as the most strategically important asset for every business organizations. Having unique access to valuable assets in an organisation is one way to create competitive advantage, in some cases either this may not be possible, or competitors may imitate or develop substitutes for those assets. Companies having superior knowledge, however, are able to coordinate and
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combine their traditional assets and capabilities in new and distinctive ways, providing more value for their customers than can their competitors. That is, by having superior intellectual assets, an organization can understand how to exploit and develop their traditional assets better than competitors, even if some or all of those traditional assets are not unique. Therefore, knowledge can be considered as the most important strategic asset, and the ability to acquire, integrate, store, share and apply it has become the most important capability for building and sustaining competitive advantage by any organisation. The broadest value proposition, then, for engaging in knowledge management is that it can enhance the organization’s fundamental ability to compete. What is it about knowledge that makes the advantage sustainable? Knowledge, especially context-specific, tacit knowledge embedded in complex organizational routines and developed from experience, tends to be unique and difficult to imitate. And unlike many traditional assets, it is not easily purchased in the marketplace in a ready-to-use form. To acquire similar knowledge, competitors have to engage in similar experiences. However, acquiring knowledge through experience takes time, and competitors are limited in how much they can accelerate their learning merely through greater investment. Knowledge-based competitive advantage is also sustainable because the more a firm already knows, the more it can learn. Learning opportunities for an organization that already has a knowledge advantage may be more valuable than for competitors having similar learning opportunities but starting off knowing less. Sustainability may also come from an organization already knowing something that uniquely complements newly acquired knowledge, providing an opportunity for knowledge synergy not available to its competitors. New knowledge is integrated with existing knowledge to develop unique insights and create even more valuable knowledge. Organizations should therefore seek areas of learning and experimentation that can potentially add value to their existing knowledge via synergistic combination. Sustainability of a knowledge advantage, then, comes from knowing more about some things than competitors, combined with the time constraints faced by competitors in acquiring similar knowledge, regardless of how much they invest to catch up. This represents what economists call increasing returns. Unlike traditional physical goods that are consumed as they are used, providing decreasing returns over time, knowledge provides increasing returns as it is used. The more it is used, the more valuable it becomes, creating a self-reinforcing cycle. If an organization can identify areas where its knowledge leads the competition, and if that unique knowledge can be applied profitably in the marketplace, it can represent a powerful and sustainable competitive advantage. Organizations should strive to use their learning experiences to build on or complement knowledge positions that provide a current or future competitive advantage. Systematically mapping, categorizing and benchmarking organizational knowledge not only can help make
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knowledge more accessible throughout an organization, but by using a knowledge map to prioritize and focus its learning experiences, an organization can create greater leverage for its learning efforts. It can combine its learning experiences into a “critical learning mass” around particular strategic areas of knowledge. While a knowledge advantage may be sustainable, building a defensible competitive knowledge position internally is a long-term effort requiring foresight and planning as well as luck. Longer lead time explains the attraction of strategic alliances and other forms of external ventures as potentially quicker means for gaining access to knowledge. It also explains why the strategic threat from technological discontinuity tends to come from firms outside of or peripheral to an industry. New entrants often enjoy a knowledge base different than that of incumbents, and which can be applied to the products and services of the industry under attack. This has been especially evident in industries where analog products are giving way to digital equivalents. The strategic challenge is to develop sufficient knowledge to support a shift to those new technologies and markets before non-traditional competitors make significant inroads in those markets, while not abandoning its years of experience and knowledge about physical imaging that is supporting its core business. This long learning lead-time or “knowledge friction” highlights the importance of benchmarking and evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization’s current knowledge platform and position, as this knowledge provides the primary opportunity from which to compete and grow over the near-to-intermediate term. This must, in turn, be balanced against the organization’s long term plans for developing its knowledge platform. Knowledge is not static and what is innovative knowledge today will ultimately become the core knowledge of tomorrow. Thus defending and growing a competitive position based on strategic knowledge asset requires continual learning and knowledge acquisition. The ability of an organization to learn, accumulate knowledge from its experiences, and reapply that knowledge is itself a skill or competence that, beyond the core competencies directly related to delivering its product or service, may provide strategic advantage. 1.14.1 Asset Value of Knowledge How valuable is knowledge? The value is in the eyes of the beholder - opinions vary widely. However, there are several directions you can approach this from: Market value: what is specific knowledge assets worth on the open market e.g. a team of experts, a customer database, and a license for a patent? Cost: how much does it cost to train a new hire? How many person-days went into developing your intranet content?
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structural capital and intellectual property. the availability of which facilitates effective collaboration and timely decision-making. and managerial along with the deployment of appropriate technology. It is one several components of intellectual capital . capturing and distribution of knowledge. a tool to assist individuals and groups in creation. is a system of technologies focused upon the delivery of strategically useful knowledge and expertise. for product traceability.reducing costs. They spend a fortune monitoring and accounting for physical assets. innovation Customer and stakeholder benefits .others are customer capital. Technology is a facilitator of knowledge management. increasing productivity.are worth 5-10 time more than the assets recorded on the company’s balance sheet. yet ignore those assets . social. what would it cost today to get back to where you started? Liability cost: how exposed are you to legal liability e. Benefits Potential For most organizations the real value of knowledge management is in the benefits it brings to the bottom line.that according to most surveys . Effective knowledge management typically requires an appropriate combination of organisational. as it is practiced today. higher quality.minimizing duplication. your computer records destroyed). growing asset valuation.g. These benefits range from increased knowledge worker productivity. The major objectives of KM are creating knowledge repositories. better value. for long overlooked terms in extant contracts? Many organizations do not have a handle on the value of their assets. gaining access to expertise. having all the required information accessible in one pace (e. Knowledge aware organizations consider human capital as an asset.better products and services. sharing knowledge across organizational boundaries. to better customer service. SUMMARY Knowledge management. enhancing the knowledge environment and managing knowledge as an asset.g. through a portal) Intermediate benefits . to faster time-to-market for new products. getting new hire up to speed faster Organizational benefits . Typically the benefits fall into the following categories: Information and knowledge benefits . 44 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .DBA 1735 NOTES Replacement cost: if you had a disaster (a team leaving. improving knowledge access.retrieving vital information faster.
social. They are realizing that to remain competitive they must explicitly manage their intellectual assets and capabilities. SHORT QUESTIONS 1. Effective knowledge management typically requires an appropriate combination of organisational. 45 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Knowledge strategy starts with the notion that an organisation’s business strategy should guide its planning for knowledge management. Effective knowledge management is of vital importance for any enterprise with a quest to ensure viability and survival. The various experts’ vision is that India will become a leader in the global knowledge economy by 2010. knowledge strategy follows business strategy. fiber and routers). Define ‘knowledge management’. and managerial along with the deployment of appropriate technology. movement and utilisation of information using sophisticated network infrastructure (such as computers. 3. What is intellectual capital? What are the components of knowledge cycle? List down the domains of knowledge management. Therefore. capturing and distribution of knowledge. The first activity in knowledge strategy is understanding the current business strategy then progressing that strategy as the basis for organizational analysis.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Technology and knowledge are now the key factors of production. cable. Business organizations are coming to view knowledge as their most valuable and strategic asset. Enterprises need to develop a KM strategy which impinges on all areas of the organization and requires a corporate approach to make it work. This will be the result of a highly focused effort to achieve global thought leadership in a few select fields that offer the highest potential for Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO). Technology is a facilitator of knowledge management. and the large-scale capture. or an ‘information society’. Various observers describe today’s global economy as one in transition to a ‘knowledge economy’. a tool to assist individuals and groups in creation. The knowledge economy usually involve the production of knowledge-intensive goods (like software). increase sales. Knowledge management strategy is termed as an approach undertaken by an organization to use its information and knowledge resources for building competitive strength and sustainable growth for realizing that pursuing KM strategy can enable it to dramatically reduce cycle time and costs. 4. and to meet the customer needs. 2. and bringing that knowledge to bear on problems and opportunities as their most important capability. Knowledge strategy designs an organisation’s future based on using knowledge effectively.
DBA 1735 NOTES 5. 6. Compare ‘industrial economy’ with ‘knowledge economy’. Explain the KM cycle with an example. 5. Define ‘knowledge economy’. 7. List down and explain the various objectives of knowledge management. What is the need for KM initiation in today’s context in an organization? 3. “Knowledge is considered as the most important strategic assets” Do you agree? Why? 46 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . What is semantic network? 10. 10. What are the characteristics of knowledge economy? 8. Explain the various key technologies needed for the KM programs? 11. What is groupware? 7. 2. 4. Mention the difference between knowledge portal and corporate portal? 9. 6. Why KM strategy is the need of the hour in today’s competitive environment? 12. 8. 13. Distinguish between knowledge management and expert system. Trace the history and evolution of knowledge management. List out the uses of KM for an organization. Explain the four-phased approach for prioritizing the knowledge strategy. Analyse the chances of India becoming world’s leading knowledge economy. What are the implications of knowledge economy to business and policy makers? 9. What do you understand by the word knowledge management matrix? LONG QUESTIONS 1.
2. Know-why is knowledge about the natural world. society. or knowledge about facts. and trademarks provide the creator with some protection. attributes. the creator of knowledge finds it hard to prevent others from using it. and the human mind.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT UNIT II NOTES KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION AND PROCESSING 2. Secondly. 47 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . knowledge strives to be a public good. copyright.3 PERSPECTIVES ON KNOWLEDGE Unlike capital and labour. This chapter deals with the various facets of knowledge by elaborating its meaning. creation. is nowadays diminishing in relevance. Instruments such as trade secrets protection and patents. types as well as its sources. and in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile employees. there is zero marginal cost to sharing it with others. processing and dissemination of knowledge have become important for competitiveness in an organization. Knowwhat. Know-who refers to the world of social relations and is knowledge of who knows what and who can do what.1 INTRODUCTION The ability to manage knowledge is becoming increasingly more crucial in today’s knowledge economy. There are different kinds of knowledge that can usefully be distinguished. Knowledge is regarded as valuable commodity that is embedded in products. Once knowledge is discovered and made public. The acquisition. you should be able to understand the following: Outline the meaning and forms of knowledge and its attributes Overview the knowledge formation in an organization What is organizational knowledge? Compare the differences between tacit and explicit knowledge Identify the various sources of knowledge Describe the different phases of knowledge development 2. conversion and diffusion.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this Unit. formation.
and wisdom. let us understand the knowledge hierarchy. because it becomes owned as organizational. Data may be regarded as a commodity. At the level of the organisation learning must be continuous. And thus it is argued that organizational knowledge is socially constructed because its added value derives from an intra-organizational social process – the process of sharing. 2. it is often referred to as DIKW hierarchy. of a learning process. “Tacit knowledge” is knowledge gained from experience. or product. information. rather than that instilled by formal education and training. it also means using them to communicate with other people about innovation. codified. Know-where and know-when are becoming increasingly important in a flexible and dynamic economy. such knowledge is sticky in the sense that it is both localized and contextualized. Organisational learning is the process by which organisations acquire tacit knowledge and experience.3. Learning means not only using new technologies to access global knowledge. so it cannot be acquired by formal education and training. firms. Information gains further value when it is used in new contexts and is transformed into enterprise specific knowledge in the process. Successful firms are giving priority to the need to build a “learning capacity” within the organisation. In the “learning economy” individuals. The implication of the knowledge economy is that there is no alternative way to prosperity than to make learning and knowledge-creation of prime importance. There are different kinds of knowledge. The four levels that we deal with are data. Contextualized knowledge is regarded as the outcome. and countries will be able to create wealth in proportion to their capacity to learn and share innovation. A country’s capacity to take advantage of the knowledge economy depends on how quickly it can become a “learning economy’. dissemination. for example – thereafter being retained within the organization as organizational knowledge.1 Data. Instead it requires a continuous cycle of discovery. Information and Knowledge Before we understand what knowledge means. In these circumstances knowledge can be utilized in novel ways . In common parlance. and the emergence of shared understandings. Such knowledge is unlikely to be available in codified form. knowledge. 48 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . In the knowledge economy tacit knowledge is as important as formal. the ability to do things on a practical level. Knowledge is also defined as information to which experience. Know-how refers to skills. context. interpretation and reflection are added by individuals so that it becomes a high value form of information. structured and explicit knowledge.DBA 1735 NOTES Knowing key people is sometimes more important to innovation than knowing scientific principles. value is added to data when they are processed into information and in turn information gains further value when it is applied in new contexts becoming transformed into enterprise specific knowledge.making predictions.
We can share our experiences that create the building blocks for wisdom. doing. such as making it visual or auditory. creation. Thus. wisdom operates within us. and discovery. and reflecting. When one has context. Knowledge deals with the present. Knowledge is built from scratch by the learner through experience. The greater the context. the distinctions between data. Data is turned into information by organizing it so that we can easily draw conclusions. it need to be communicated with even more understanding of the personal contexts of our audience than with knowledge sharing. This is why training and education is difficult .one cannot count on one person’s knowledge transferring to another. Wisdom is the ultimate level of understanding. Information is static. understanding is a continuum: Data comes about through research. Knowledge has the complexity of experience. thus the distinctions between each term often seem more like shades of gray. information.1 The Continuum of Understanding One gains knowledge through context (experiences) and understanding. gathering. Data and information deal with the past. the more one is able to weave past experiences (context) into new knowledge by absorbing. knowledge. interacting. which come about by seeing it from different perspectives. As with knowledge. one can weave the various relationships of the experiences. Often.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT NOTES Figure 1. Data is also turned into information by “presenting” it. and wisdom continuum are not very discrete. It becomes a part of us and enables to 49 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . They are based on the gathering of facts and adding context. rather than black and white. The greater one understands the subject matter. Information has context. however. but knowledge is dynamic as it lives within us. the greater the variety of experiences that one is able to pull from.
interest rate. I will earn more interest. Principal is the amount of money. Information: If I establish a bank savings account as the basis for context. while if I withdraw money from my account. then interest. The principle is that any action which produces a result which encourages more of the same action produces an emergent characteristic called growth. in fact. they find things they need or want more than being rich. 50 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Interest. we start dealing with the future as we are now able to vision and design for what will be.100 in my savings account. KM Viewpoint 1. why doesn't everyone simply become rich by putting money in a savings account and letting it grow? The answer has to do with the fact that the pattern described above is only a small part of a more elaborate pattern which operates over time. and interest rate become meaningful in that context with specific interpretations.105 in the bank. principal. If one studied all the individual components of this pattern. when we gain wisdom. rather than for what is or was. Interest rate. However. when I understand it. out of context. Withdrawing money depletes the principal and subsequently the interest they earn on that principal. are not much more than data as each has multiple meanings which are context dependent. interacts. is the factor used by the bank to compute interest on the principal. Knowledge: If I put Rs. or when they do. and interest. Only when the pattern connects. Data: The numbers 100 or 5%. if this knowledge is valid. they would never discover the emergent characteristic of growth. Wisdom: Getting wisdom out of this is a bit tricky. founded in systems principles. knowledge. and wisdom relate to principal. so they withdraw money. I know. and evolves over time. and what I know is knowledge. If I deposit more money in my account. information. which represents knowledge. In understanding the pattern. Rs. and is. 5%. and interest rate. in time. in the savings account. And. completely out of context. and the bank pays 5% interest yearly. principal. which. does the principle exhibit the characteristic of growth.DBA 1735 NOTES perform. People don't get rich because they either don't put money in a savings account in the first place.1 An Example This example uses a bank savings account to show how data. allows me to understand how the pattern will evolve over time and the results it will produce. Getting into this any deeper is more of a systems thinking exercise than is appropriate to pursue here.5 and add it to my principal and I will have Rs. Now. This pattern represents knowledge. I will earn less interest.100. then at the end of one year the bank will compute the interest of Rs. nothing grows forever for sooner or later growth runs into limits. are just pieces of data.
how we feel. Information results from placing data within some meaningful context.2 Defining knowledge Knowledge is the process of translating information (such as data) and past experience into a meaningful set of relationships which are understood and applied by an individual. values and expert insight. The second part defines the function or purpose of knowledge. values. KNOWLEDGE ATTRIBUTES Knowledge is commonly distinguished from data and information. Even in an organization where strong KM practices don’t exist. beliefs. applying expertise. values and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. Knowledge can be viewed both as a thing to be stored and manipulated and as a process of simultaneously knowing and acting . Drucker 2. the existence is haphazard or unorganized. Knowledge is that which we come to believe and value based on the meaningfully organized accumulation of information (messages) through experience. there are islands of knowledge. Knowledge is the perception of the agreement or disagreement of two ideas . As a practical matter.” Notice that there are two parts to this definition: First. organizations need to manage knowledge both as object and process.” Notice how this relates back to Locke’s definition — we have within us a framework (one idea) that we use for evaluating new experiences (the second idea). “a fluid mix of framed experience. contextual information. markets.John Locke Locke gave us the first hint of what knowledge is all about. and operational issues. NOTES “Knowledge is information that changes something or somebody — either by becoming grounds for actions. motivation.3.Peter F.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 2.” This includes a number of things that we have within us. often in the form of a message. communication or inference. Data represent observations or facts out of context. Although knowledge is increasingly being viewed as a commodity or an intellectual asset. Knowledge about products. and information. These knowledge attributes includes the following: 1. “that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.” . Knowledge exists everywhere. there is content: “a fluid mix of framed experience. others have tried to refine it. Davenport and Prusak define knowledge as. or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action. customers.that is. it possesses some attributes that are radically different from those of other valuable commodities. Since that time. 51 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .4. and therefore not directly meaningful. contextual information. such as experiences.
Sustained efforts need to be put to imbibe new information and unlearn old and outdated knowledge. in turn. each of which may be made explicit. often publicly available. Explicit knowledge. its context commonly shared. Knowledge of how something occurs or is performed is called procedural knowledge. can be more easily and meaningfully codified and exchanged. is context-specific. Knowledge can be tacit or explicit. Shared explicit procedural knowledge lays a foundation for efficiently coordinated action in organizations. and descriptors lays the foundation for effective communication and knowledge sharing in organizations. Knowledge about something is called declarative knowledge. product literature. The brands. and it is considered by some to be the most important factor of production in the knowledge economy. Explicit knowledge is playing an increasingly large role in organizations. 6. Knowledge is an asset. requires explicitly defining contextual categories and relationships that are meaningful across knowledge communities. special skills. in contrast. documented. developed from direct experience and action. story-telling and shared experience. 7. explicit understanding of concepts. Much of the organization’s knowledge goes out of the organization. This. Specific knowledge. Transfer of knowledge does not result in losing it. Knowledge is abundant. 8. Tacit knowledge is subconsciously understood and applied. Knowledge is perishable. Codifying specific knowledge so as to be meaningful across an organization requires its context to be described along with the focal knowledge. Therefore. although more abstract. Use of knowledge does not consume it. ask people from different parts of your organization to define a customer. 4. For example companies can publish a set of Intellectual Capital Account annually so that investors and other stakeholders can value the business for its intellectual worth. patents. Treating knowledge as a tangible asset allows for a value to be imputed to knowledge repositories.DBA 1735 NOTES 2. 5. 9. 10. categories. 52 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . transferred or shared. Imagine an organization without procedure manuals. 3. an order. Knowledge also may range from general to specific. and usually shared through highly interactive conversation. Knowledge may be of several types. can be more precisely and formally articulated. especially among different knowledge or practice communities. and independent of particular events. but the ability to use it is scarce. or even your major lines of business. difficult to articulate. Shared explicit causal knowledge. and see how much the responses vary. often in the form of organizational stories. or computer software. it can be more easily codified. To see how difficult (and important) this may be. A shared. enables organizations to coordinate strategy for achieving goals or outcomes. General knowledge. Knowledge why something occurs is called causal knowledge. in contrast. General knowledge is broad. and customer relations of an organization are treated as assets. What knowledge is used today would become outdated tomorrow.
knowledge management is the process of continuously creating new knowledge. 12. In practical sense. learn and regenerate the new knowledge. It is supported by formal process and structures for its acquisition. sharing and utilization. The key is to find the worthwhile knowledge within a vast sea of information. Knowledge is the most important asset and greatest competitive advantage of many organizations today. New knowledge has to be created continuously in order for a company to survive in this competitive business environment. Hence. My knowledge and yours also is related intimately to the areas where we grew up and where we live. your father’s knowledge about farming is specific to a particular place and a particular time from say 1920 to the 1990s. Simultaneously. information arguably becomes knowledge. technologies and systems. disseminate and reuse knowledge in modern fast changing organization. and embodying it quickly in new products/services. hard to communicate and difficult to express in words and chunk of it’s not stored in database but in the minds of people who work in formation of new knowledge.5 FUNDAMENTALS OF KNOWLEDGE FORMATION “Knowledge is power”. Knowledge and information is expressed in commonly accepted idea. Knowledge is intuitive. The role of information. in which the information is stored with help of a code. it can be observed that many organizations realize it is highly problematic and complicated to collect. knowledge management helps us to share. Knowledge relates to place and context. and all knowledge is not valuable. but most of his knowledge pertains directly to paddy and cattle production in that particular place. Knowledge formation is based on information transmission carried out through signals (Stimuli). All information is not knowledge. The traditional concept of the senses as transmitters of knowledge is based explicitly on the idea of two systems (organism and environment) between which the transfer of knowledge occurs. activities of every organization require familiarity with basics of information and knowledge. 2. retrieve.5.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 11. This relationship has been formulated in recent decades with the help of information theory. For example. 2. knowledge and digital technologies that manipulate them. store. Some of what he knows about farming could be adapted to other circumstances.1 Knowledge Formation One of the basic problems is understanding the characteristics of “Knowledge formation”. find. The concept of the senses as “Windows to Knowledge” seemed so strong and irrefutable that attempts to treat organism and environment as one system. in the plan and policies. 53 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Knowledge becomes obsolete as soon as it is formed or created. From ancient times the senses have been thought to have the role of channels through which knowledge arrives in to the organism from the environment. disseminating it widely through the organization. have become the crucial factors in the economy.
discovery. The focus on knowledge is shared by quite a few recent approaches. regular mail.6 ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE What is organizational knowledge? In the organizational context. first process is encoding—organizations learn by encoding inferences from experiences in organizational routines that guide behaviour. play. the main challenge to organizations is now seen as producing and processing knowledge. meetings.2 Flows of knowledge Knowledge and information have a long tradition in research. Exploitation generates incremental knowledge with moderate but certain and immediate returns. Exploration captures “search. unsettled knowledge with potentially high but uncertain returns. and exploitation describe different modes of organizational knowledge production.DBA 1735 NOTES 2. including organizational. with the advent of powerful information technologies.5. shared technologies. Knowledge can be distinguished from information by its inclusion of interpretations. production. execution”. knowledge can be looked at as information that is tested against the business rules of the organization and found to be valid by knowledgeable individuals and is therefore elevated to a level of validated information or knowledge. some authors have seen knowledge flows as transfer of skills and technology between organizations. risk taking. Codification. Exploitation captures “refinement. innovation”. Knowledge is what has been learned from experience or study. choice. Notions of knowledge flows vary somewhat in the literature. information processing has lost its role as a key bottleneck in organizations. resource-based and knowledge-based views. These differences suggest that the three modes of learning generate knowledge that varies in fluidity and relevance to others and thereby can stimulate or constrain knowledge flows from originating units to other parts of the organization. It is a broad concept that usually includes insights. exploration. including via telephone. Some even understand knowledge flows as a multistage process that might involve initiation. and information. and instead. and from wisdom by its more transient veridical.. Exploration generates new. implementation. more recently. efficiency. selection. The second and third processes are the twin processes of exploration and exploitation. 2. e-mail. Knowledge flows as the aggregate volume of know-how and information transmitted per unit of time. interpretations. knowledge consists of assumptions about problems and their solutions. implementation. 54 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . policy revisions. flexibility. and integration or search and transfer. Codification generates knowledge encoded in forms that facilitate its transmission to others. variation. from beliefs by its higher degree of validity. experimentation. and reviews of prototypes. Notions of information became prominent in the middle years of the 20th century. Knowledge is involving three processes viz.
is more than the sum of individual knowledge. individual knowledge in an organization consists of four different types of knowledge: “Know-what” is the basic knowledge that individuals can acquire through extensive Training.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Organizational knowledge is the collective sum of human-centered assets. “Know-how” is the ability to apply “know-what” knowledge to complex realworld problems. which is created via individual knowledge. Characteristics of organizational knowledge Key characteristics of organizational knowledge are as follows: Organizational knowledge is knowledge that is shared among organizational members. 55 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Knowing when which information is needed (Know when). rules and culture. Individual construct organizational knowledge by sharing the above five types of knowledge with other employees. It is processed information embedded in routines and processes that enable action. Knowing where information can be found to achieve a specific result (Know where). NOTES Similarly. “Know-why” is deep knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships. Organizational knowledge is created and managed by individuals who act autonomously within a decision domain. The value of organizational knowledge can increase markedly as an organization helps its employee develop self-motivated creativity. and leverage this type of knowledge throughout the organization. infrastructure assets. and market assets. It is also knowledge captured by the organization system’s processes. Organizational knowledge. intellectual property assets. Knowing how information must be processed (Know how). motivation and adaptability. and “Self-motivated creativity” is the highest level of knowledge and it consists of will. Knowing why information is needed (Know why). Organizational knowledge consists of five different types of knowledge: Knowing which information is needed (Know what). Organizational knowledge is distributed. products. Complete organizational knowledge is achieved only when individuals keep modifying their knowledge through interactions with other organizational members.
It may be compared to skill acquisition for example swimming. and hunches. Before tacit knowledge can be communicated. from an organizational perspective knowledge can be defined as an entity that can be generated. it must be converted into words. and the value system. In addition. but not impossible). 2. Cognitive Dimension: This consists of beliefs. acquired. it is important to create and sustain an organization as a knowledge creating company and develop the knowledge management system to manage it. ideals. 56 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . 2. For instance swimming in a pool is very different from swimming in the sea. intuitions. Tacit knowledge is generally described as: subconsciously understood or applied difficult to articulate developed from direct action and experience shared through conversation. For example. perceptions. hunches and inspirations derived from bodily experience fall into this dimension. values.1 What is tacit knowledge? Tacit knowledge refers to the personal knowledge embedded in individual experience and involves intangible factors. models. Tacit knowledge is hard to articulate with formal language (hard. perspective. context-specific and therefore difficult to articulate”.7 TACIT AND EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE In a global economy.DBA 1735 NOTES Thus. Highly subjective and personal insights. there are two dimensions to tacit knowledge: Technical Dimension (procedural): This encompasses the kind of informal and skills often captured in the term know-how. story-telling etc Polanyi defines that “tacit knowledge is personal. modified. Though they cannot be articulated very easily. transferred and applied for the creation of value.7. But a craftsperson often has difficulty articulating the technical or scientific principles of his or her craft. Tacit and explicit knowledge are the two components of organizational knowledge and let us note the important differences between what is called tacit and explicit knowledge which appears to be in widespread use. a craftsperson develops a wealth of expertise after years of experience. or numbers that can be understand. It may be possible to read the ‘how-to’ manual but such manuals do not embody the full reality of the experience in context. such as personal beliefs. emotions and mental models so ingrained in us that we take them for granted. this dimension of tacit knowledge shapes the way we perceive the world around us. It contains subjective insights. intuitions.
managers are urged to identify the knowledge possessed by various individuals in an organization and then to arrange the kinds of interactions between knowledgeable individuals that will help the organization perform its current tasks. Blumentitt et al contend that information can be captured and stored in digital form whereas tacit knowledge repositories reside only in intelligent systems that are within individuals. Thus.” Nonaka and Takeuchi refer to tacit knowledge “as knowledge that comprises experience and work knowledge that resides only with the individual. “Tacit knowledge is not available as a text. a common initiative within the tacit knowledge approach is usually some effort to improve understanding of who knows about what in an organization . Whatever the difficulties the argument for finding an effective means of capturing the experiences and skills of any workforce is compelling and it may be that there will never be more than guidelines since any successful knowledge management system will be essentially unique to the organization in which it is operated. transfer knowledge from one part of the organization to another. experiences. . Most managers of organizations today do not know what specific kinds of knowledge the individuals in their organization know. especially in knowledge intensive business services and for impact on strategy development and implementation. and more globally dispersed. The knowledge management literature recognises the growing importance of knowledge-based activities as being important for innovation. . Platts and Yeung considers tacit knowledge as “knowledge-in-action” which presumes that this is knowledge that has not been articulated as opposed to explicit knowledge that is readily accessible within the organizational domain. and values. As firms become larger.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT According to Pan and Scarbrough. more knowledge intensive. The literature recognises the potential value of tacit knowledge and the general inability of organizations to gather an individual’s experiences although there are views emerging on how attempts at capturing tacit knowledge might be effected. the need for their managers to “know what we know” is becoming acute. Let us consider an example (See Box of KM – Viewpoint) of current practice in each of these activities that are typical of the tacit knowledge approach.It involves intangible factors embedded in personal beliefs. and/or create new knowledge that may be useful to the organization. To make wider use of the tacit knowledge of individuals. NOTES 57 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .an effort that is sometimes described as an effort to create “know who” forms of knowledge. What is essential is that whatever any organization takes from the literature an organizational concept of knowledge management is developed alongside an understanding of how it can be used within that organization to gain competitive advantage. .
1 An example of such an effort is the creation within Philips. of a “yellow pages” listing experts with different kinds of knowledge within Philips’ many business units. As improvements developed by Quality Circles are accumulated over many years. Today on the Philips intranet one can type in the key words for a specific knowledge domain . groups of Toyota production workers spend one to two hours analyzing the performance of their part of the production system to identify actual or potential problems in quality or productivity. the new workers are sent back to the new factory site. which is repeated weekly as an integral part of the Toyota production system. Each group proposes “countermeasures” to correct identified problems. and even prevents errors. knowledge about the design of optical pickup units for CD/DVD players and recorders . 58 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .and the yellow pages will retrieve a listing of the people within Philips worldwide who have stated that they have such knowledge. Contact information is also provided for each person listed. Toyota employees share their ideas for improvement. for example. such as the factory recently opened in Valenciennes. so that anyone in Philips who wants to know more about that kind of knowledge can get in touch with listed individuals. eliminates. devise steps to test new ideas for improvement. the global electronics company. and assess the results of their tests. who will then work alongside all the new employees in the new factory to assure that knowledge of Toyota’s finely tuned production process is fully implanted in the new factory. highly experienced Toyota workers. After several months of studying the production system and working alongside experienced Toyota assembly line workers. progressively identifies. This knowledge management practice. Toyota’s production system has become one of the highest quality production processes in the world. Toyota typically selects a core group of two to three hundred new employees and sends them for several months training and work on the assembly line in one of Toyota’s existing factories. At the end of each work week.say.DBA 1735 NOTES KM Viewpoint 1. France. When Toyota wants to transfer knowledge of its production system to new employees in a new assembly factory. These repatriated workers are accompanied by one or two hundred long-term. Case examples of tacit knowledge in practice An example of the tacit knowledge approach to transferring knowledge within a global organization is provided by Toyota. and discusses the results of countermeasures taken during the week to address problems identified the week before. Through personal interactions in such Quality Circle group settings. Toyota’s use of Quality Circles also provides an example of the tacit knowledge approach to creating new knowledge.
etc. the explicit knowledge approach also believes that formal organizational processes can be used to help individuals articulate the knowledge they have to create knowledge assets.. Working from the premise that important forms of knowledge can be made explicit. Also. as a management tool to be exploited for the manipulation of organizational knowledge. list servers. Managers hope that these tools will retain knowledge within the company when employees have left and also that this will encourage learning and the flourishing of communities of interest across functional boundaries. or stored in databases. manuals.e.7. mathematical expressions.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Tacit Knowledge Contextual Mental Processes Difficult to Transfer NOTES Explicit Knowledge Tangible Systematic Ease of Transfer Figure 1. specifications. including grammatical statements (words and numbers).2 Two Types of Knowledge 2. groupware systems. intranets. Other examples of explicit knowledge include documented best practices. intranets and internets are seen as the ultimate knowledge management systems for initiating and supporting discussion forums and communities of practice. Explicit knowledge can be readily transmitted to others. The explicit knowledge approach also believes that explicit knowledge assets can then be 59 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . length times width). database management and knowledge action networks allow the sharing of organizational knowledge. Tools such as co-coordinated databases. transmitted electronically.2 What is explicit knowledge? Explicit knowledge refers to the contents that has been captured in some tangible form and can be articulated into formal language. Groupware. the formalized standards by which an insurance claim is adjudicated and the official expectations for performance set forth in written work objectives Explicit knowledge is increasingly being emphasised in both practice and literature. An example of explicit knowledge with which we are all familiar is the formula for finding the area of a rectangle (i. it can easily be processed by a computer. knowledge repositories.
a new factory with higher-speed. manuals of best practice. categorizing. Each new pager generation was designed to offer more advanced features and options for customization than the preceding generation.plus the new and improved design methods that the team had developed to meet the product and production goals for its project. At the beginning of their project. Experiments and other forms of structured learning processes can be designed to remedy important knowledge deficiencies or market transactions or strategic partnering may be used to obtain specific forms of needed knowledge or to improve an organization’s existing knowledge assets. Motorola was able to increase the number of customizable product variations it could offer from a few thousand variations in the late 1980s to more than 120 million variations by the late 1990s. The recommendations for knowledge management practice usually proposed by researchers and consultants working within the explicit knowledge approach focus on initiating and sustaining organizational processes for generating. and (iii) an improved design manual that incorporated the design knowledge provided to the team in the manual it received . more flexible assembly lines was designed and built to produce each new generation of pager. To sustain this high rate of product and process development. Usually accompanying the views that knowledge can be made explicit and managed explicitly is the belief that new knowledge can be created through a structured. drawings.DBA 1735 NOTES disseminated within an organization through documents. each new team of designers received a manual of design methods and techniques from the team that had developed the previous generation of pager and factory. and systematically leveraging explicit knowledge assets. (ii) the design of a more efficient and flexible assembly line for the factory that would produce the new pager. Motorola sought to make explicit and capture the knowledge developed by its engineers during each project and to systematically leverage that knowledge in launching the work of 60 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . scientific learning process. articulating. This manual would then be passed on to the next design team given the task of developing the next generation of pager and its factory. The new team would then have three deliverables at the end of their project: (i) an improved and more configurable nextgeneration pager design. and the like. In this way. managed. Motorola formed teams of product and factory designers to design each new generation of pager and factory. To maintain this leadership position. Information systems are usually seen as playing a central role in facilitating the dissemination of explicit knowledge assets over company intranets or between organizations via the internet. Some examples of cases of knowledge management practice in this mode help to illustrate this approach. Motorola introduced new generations of pager designs every 1215 months. standard operating procedures. In addition. Case examples of explicit knowledge in practice In the 1990s. Motorola was the global leader in the market for pagers. Using modular product architectures to create increasingly configurable product designs.
In addition to developing well-defined and documented process descriptions for routine. repetitive production tasks. In the Chrysler unit of DaimlerChrysler Corporation.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT the next project team. the sequence of steps to be followed in performing each task. 61 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . GE Fanuc tries to make explicit and capture the design knowledge of its engineers and then to systematically re-use that knowledge by automating most new component design tasks. and the steps to be taken by each worker in checking his or her own work. for example. develops design methodologies that are applied in the design of new kinds of components for their factory automation systems. Toyota also follows a highly disciplined explicit knowledge management practice of documenting the tasks that each team of workers and each individual worker is asked to perform on its assembly lines. so that good design solutions developed by one platform team can also be located and used by other platform teams. When improvements are suggested by solving problems on the assembly line as they occur or in the weekly Quality Circle meetings of Toyota’s teams of assembly line workers. However. GE Fanuc’s engineers work together to create detailed design methodologies for each type of component the firm uses. This catalog of developed design solutions is then made available to all platform teams to consult in their development processes. Other firms have taken this explicit knowledge management approach to managing knowledge in product development processes even further. each platform team is also required to place the design solution it has selected for each aspect of their vehicle platform in a “Book of Knowledge” on Chrysler’s intranet. instead of leaving it up to each engineer in the firm to devise a design solution for each new component needed. and GE Fanuc’s computer system automatically generates a design solution for the component. Fanuc Automation. how long each task should take. Desired performance parameters for each new component variation are entered into the automated design program. These design methodologies are then encoded in software and computerized so that the design of new component variations can be automated. In this way. In effect. These documents provide a detailed description of how each task is to be performed. some organizations have also created explicit knowledge management approaches to supporting more creative tasks like developing new products. several “platform teams” of 300-600 development engineers have responsibility for creating the next generation platforms (A platform includes a system of standard component types and standardized interfaces between component types that enable “plugging and playing” different component variations in the platform design to configure different product variations) on which Chrysler’s future automobiles will be based. one of the world’s leading industrial automation firms. Each platform team is free to actively explore and evaluate alternative design solutions for the many different technical aspects of their vehicle platform. those suggestions are evaluated by Toyota’s production engineers and then formally incorporated in revised task description documents. In addition to its tacit knowledge management practice of moving new employees around to transfer knowledge of its production system.
Ability to teach. 2. face-to-face basis 62 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . research reports. document collections and datasets that can be consulted.storing information and documents that can be shared and re-used.4. research interests. to reproduce. meeting minutes.7. price lists. know-why. Learning can be designed to remedy knowledge deficiencies through structured.1 Basic beliefs between tacit and explicit KM approaches TACIT KNOWLEDGE APPROACH Knowledge is personal in nature and very difficult to extract from people Knowledge must be transferred by moving people within or between organizations Learning must be encouraged by bringing the right people together under the right circumstances EXPLICIT KNOWLED APPROACH Knowledge can be articulated and codified to create explicit knowledge assets Knowledge can be disseminated (using information technologies) in the form of documents. Basic beliefs between tacit and explicit knowledge approaches Table 1. fostering learning groups and holding ‘best practice’ sessions. know-how.DBA 1735 NOTES 2. into operational guidelines Coaching and mentoring to Transfer of knowledge via products. client presentations. drawings. to train and care-why Ability to collaborate.2 Comparison of properties of tacit Vs explicit knowledge TACIT KNOWLEDGE EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE Ability to adapt. customer data. scientific processes 2. Knowledge route maps and directories (tacit and explicit knowledge) .providing opportunities for face-to-face contacts and electronic interaction. and exceptional situation. product specifications. policy documents. best practices. marketing materials.pointing to people. for example. to transmit a culture to translate a vision into a mission statement. Knowledge networks and discussions (tacit knowledge) . competency profiles. transfer experiential knowledge services.5 Comparison of properties of Tacit Vs Explicit Knowledge Table 1. ‘yellow pages’/’expert locators’ containing CVs.3. Typical applications of tacit and explicit knowledge Knowledge databases and repositories (explicit knowledge) . and documented processes on a one-to-one. competitor intelligence. for example. vision. and to reapply throughout the organization Expertise.7. establishing chat facilities/ ’talk rooms’. to systematize. training packs. to access. managed.7. to deal with new Ability to disseminate. project proposals. etc. for example. to share a Ability to organize.
3. 3. Articulated knowledge (explicit knowledge assets) may be moved instantaneously anytime anywhere by information technologies. Individuals may not have the knowledge they claim to have. 4. Disadvantages 1. Relatively easy and inexpensive to begin. Expert committees must be formed to evaluate explicit knowledge assets. which is costly and limits the reach and speed of knowledge dissemination within the organization. each of the two knowledge management approaches we have discussed has both advantages and disadvantages. Important knowledge kept in tacit form may be less likely to “leak” to competitors. Codified knowledge may be proactively disseminated to people who can use specific forms of knowledge. 2. NOTES Disadvantages 1.6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge Approaches Like most alternative approaches to managing. 2. Application of explicit knowledge throughout organization must be assured by adoption of best practices. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Explicit Knowledge Approach Advantages 1. and improved. 2. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Tacit Knowledge Approach Advantages 1. 3. Considerable time and effort may be required to help people articulate their knowledge. Let us now briefly summarize the main advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches. 3. Knowledge that has been made explicit can be discussed. 4. Employees may respond well to recognition of the (claimed) knowledge. Knowledge profiles of individuals need frequent updating. 4. Employment relationship with key knowledge workers may have to be redefined to motivate knowledge articulation. 2. Organization may lose key knowledge if key people leave the organization. Likely to create interest in further knowledge management processes. 4.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 2. Making knowledge explicit makes it possible to discover knowledge deficiencies in the organization. Ability to transfer knowledge constrained to moving people. 63 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .7. debated.
7. However. such as documents. Explicit knowledge can be easily captured and then distributed/ transmitted to worldwide audience. analogies. and categorizing.Embodying explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge.DBA 1735 NOTES 2. Combination. and practice.The quintessential process of articulating tacit knowledge into explicit concepts through metaphors.2 below: To tacit knowledge Socialisation Internalization To explicit knowledge Externalization Combination From tacit knowledge From explicit knowledge Figure 1. Externalization: from tacit to explicit . Internalization: from explicit to tacit . imitation. The combination of these two kinds of knowledge makes it possible to conceptualize four modes of conversion patterns. Information is reconfigured by such means as sorting.g. hypothesis. This implies taking explicit knowledge (e. 64 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The interactions between the explicit and tacit knowledge lead to the creation of new knowledge. Closely related to “learning by doing.3 onaka’s SECI Model Socialization: from tacit to tacit . such as shared mental models and technical skills. Articulation among people through dialog (e.Nonaka’s Knowledge Creation Framework According to Professor Ikujiro Nonaka. or models.g.” Normally. combining. Formal education and many training programs work this way. One significant goal of knowledge management is to create technology to help the users to derive tacit knowledge from explicit knowledge. This also includes observation. a report) and deducing new ideas or taking constructive action.. Takes place between people in meetings or in team discussions. meetings. which his why the mere “transfer of information” often makes little sense to the receiver. we express its essence mostly in language. knowledge creation is a spiraling process of interactions between explicit and tacit knowledge.Sharing experiences to create tacit knowledge. concepts. “experience” is the key. The four conversion patterns of knowledge are illustrated in Figure 1. and conversations.7 Four modes of knowledge creation or conversion . from explicit to explicit .A process of systemizing concepts into a knowledge system. This transformation phase can be best supported by technology. brainstorming). Note that when we conceptualize an image. Individuals exchange and combine knowledge through media.. knowledge is verbalized or diagrammed into documents or oral stories.
The process of knowledge development is dynamic and responsive. People develop knowledge as an ongoing process through their work. in turn. their individual knowledge becomes a part of a collective activity that seeks to build a bank of knowledge for use by the organization. or stored as a retrievable artifact. procedures. use and learn from the original knowledge sources. Organizational knowledge relies on collective and individual contributions. as more people spend most of their work time creating and innovating.4 illustrates the five stages of organizational knowledge development: knowledge sourcing.8 ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE CREATION Knowledge is an important element in the world of business and the ability to distribute and duplicate knowledge across a range of people is the key to its value in organizations. NOTES 65 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . concepts. drawing cues and feedback from a range of sources throughout the stages. These. processes. Knowledge evolves as it is reshaped through encounters with new events. This feedback may influence subsequent knowledge construction as it provides further cues and information which are considered and evaluated.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 2. It may reside within an individual as personalized knowledge. It evolves as others review. and save significant costs in lost opportunities. knowledge diffusion. Artifacts derived from knowledge creation are facts. Organizations are increasingly regarding knowledge creation and innovation as core business. Let us see the detailed account of the phases of knowledge creation. Figure 1. are used to help create knowledge in others and are valuable mechanisms for sharing the outcome of knowledge creation. knowledge conversion. information or other people. knowledge abstraction. and knowledge development and refinement. meetings and thinktanks. In projects. It can reduce time taken to learn new competencies and insights. be accessible through others. and principles.
66 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . In response to the identification of a knowledge gap. the organization commonly reviews existing sources of guidance held by individuals or other organizational resources. expert guidance from people such as consultants. This process of drawing together as many informed knowledge sources as possible is called knowledge sourcing.4 Phases of organizational knowledge creation 2. organizational record or the firm’s intranet.1 Knowledge sourcing The identification of knowledge gap between what is known and what needs to be known is often the stimulus for the knowledge creation process. particularly where the problem under investigation has significant resourcing implications.8.DBA 1735 NOTES Figure 1. Learning from previous experience is a significant source of guidance. Sources to be tapped might include specialized and prior knowledge held by individuals within the organization.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge sourcing is an important stage of knowledge creation. Customer knowledge In virtually every survey. that in many cases is automated and hence knowledge is embedded in a procedure or computer program. the generic high-level activities involve gathering and processing of information which is communicated with other people. For example. This is a vital meta-knowledge that can help an organization to be more effective. An important part of KM is therefore about creating an environment and culture in which this knowledge is facilitated to be accumulated and people are encouraged to share their knowledge with each other. Knowledge in people It is said that 90% organizational knowledge is in its people who is valuable and when it is shared. it becomes even more valuable to the organization as a whole. if an organization wanted to introduce a new customer promotional scheme. Yet most organizations do not know as much about their customers as they think they do. Effective knowledge programs will therefore put 67 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . nor do they integrate their various sources of customer knowledge that the organization already has. Appropriate feedback system may be created to get this valuable source of knowledge. The richness and accessibility of the available and known sources greatly influence the outcomes. it might seek the appropriate sources of guidance from the following: Customer feedback Marketing expert’s opinion Previous promo schemes data and their success and failures Available secondary data ]Lessons from competitors similar schemes Contributions from employees concerned with such schemes NOTES Sources of organizational knowledge Following are the few sources of knowledge which are crucial for any organization gain strategic competence. customer knowledge tops the list as an organization’s most vital knowledge. Knowledge gained is not recorded for use at another time or place. Organizational memory Many organizations do not know what they already know. Knowledge in process Normally in an organization an ad hoc activity gradually evolves into a process. Generally.
Knowledge workers need to recognize the importance of reflection and consideration in the knowledge creation process. Another useful technique is that of ‘knowledge refining’ with which a series of memos. e-mails or meeting minutes are collected for their relevant and reusable content. Less experienced seekers will rely more heavily on external sources. for example. Knowledge abstraction helps to frame the insights gained from knowledge sourcing and to extrapolate new knowledge from the basic guidelines and issues that have emerged. an organization can also conduct formal post-assignment reviews to derive lessons and put the knowledge gained into an accessible form for future assignments. many organizations do not provide sufficient to reflect and weigh the various sources before abstraction. Failure to carefully build some clear frameworks to guide the knowledge creation process can lead to faulty reasoning and poor outcomes. complex or involves working through group consensus (committees). organizations need to do more to capture this knowledge and provide forums where these relationships cab be strengthened. Knowledge relationships This is concerned with depth of personal knowledge arising out of relationship of two people who worked together for a long time and know one another’s approach with regard to what to do and what not to do in situations.8. while they are still fresh in people’s minds which may be used for future. An ARR. is a technique first developed in the US Army to capture lessons from battle field engagements. Unfortunately. and some broad principles confirmed. This process is called knowledge abstraction.DBA 1735 NOTES significant emphasis on capturing knowledge from every day work and from assignments. Where the knowledge seekers are highly expert.2 Knowledge abstraction After analyzing the sources of knowledge. 68 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . this knowledge is lost. they will rely heavily on their own knowledge. 2. some approaches ruled out. With the growing need for collaboration with external partners and agencies. When firms reorganize. The abstraction of the various sources reduces the complexity of the factors to be considered. which is put into an evolving and structured knowledge base. reflection time at meetings and After Action Reviews (ARRs) are commonly adapted tools for this purpose. The target population might be clarified. In this way. Decision diaries. with other sources simply validating or enriching that knowledge. the general principles and concepts are generated to guide the construction of the new knowledge. and enables the ideas to be converted into outcomes using a sound framework. Think back to the customer promo schemes mentioned before. The process of abstraction can take a long time – particularly if the knowledge involved is politically sensitive.
Embodied knowledge. However. and so on. Many organizations typically rely on both the forms of knowledge conversion when creating new knowledge. meetings. Diffusion occurs best when the recipients can understand and integrate the insights into their own mental constructs. metaphors or personal advice as required.. knowledge converts into various forms of useful applications that can be tested and shared with others. published guidelines and presentations relating to the scheme. 2. may be harder to transfer to others.4 Knowledge diffusion Knowledge diffusion is the spread of knowledge once it is codified or embodied.3 Knowledge conversion From abstract foundations. The success of knowledge diffusion depends on the level of previous knowledge held by the audience and the effectiveness of the channels available to share the knowledge. the promotion of new promotional scheme might be disseminated in various ways via the Intranet. modeling of new practices. Knowledge conversion describes the phase during which the various ideas and principles are refined into specific outcomes. Codified knowledge is knowledge that can be recorded and accessed by others as required. diffusion can occur through communication media such as newsletters.8. this also place more challenges on organizations that seek to capture and hold knowledge for use by others. 2. seminars etc.8. ensuring the knowledge remains current and useful. It can be shared through stories. whereas the embodied knowledge would be drawn from the guidelines and insights of the project leaders and experts. for example. Embodied knowledge is more difficult to access without ongoing engagement with the knowledge creators.8. In organizational settings. Knowledge can be either codified or embodied. Using the same example. It can be developed into artifacts. This revolutionary process of knowledge development and refinement is one of the key features of knowledge management. such as models. the Intranet. is of little value to those who are not directly involved in the new scheme. equations and guidelines. such organizations need to ensure that the created knowledge is constantly reviewed and updated to reflect any new understanding that has 69 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 2. Codified knowledge relating to the customer marketing scheme might be in the form of a marketing plan and implementation guidelines.5 Knowledge development and refinement Knowledge is regularly reshaped and further tested through additional experience and feedback. Embodied knowledge is the tacit knowledge of individuals. which draws on significant expertise. The main goal is to share the knowledge with those who will most benefit. A forum of all employees in an organization. and demonstrations or coaching in specialized procedures. learning and experience.
rules and culture.DBA 1735 NOTES been acquired. creation. Tacit and explicit knowledge are the two components of organizational knowledge. products. and in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile employees. mathematical expressions. Knowledge is an important element in the world of business and the ability to distribute and duplicate knowledge across a range of people is the key to its value in organizations. and market assets. and the human mind. The acquisition. Know-where and know-when are becoming increasingly important in a flexible and dynamic economy. Know-how refers to skills. manuals. Explicit knowledge refers to the contents that has been captured in some tangible form and can be articulated into formal language. There are different kinds of knowledge that can usefully be distinguished. or knowledge about facts. the ability to do things on a practical level. perspective. and the encouragement to disseminate knowledge to others 70 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . A pilot study of the scheme may reveal some significant issues relating to the created process. SUMMARY Knowledge is regarded as valuable commodity that is embedded in products. It is processed information embedded in routines and processes that enable action. Knowledge creation is a spiraling process of interactions between explicit and tacit knowledge. is nowadays diminishing in relevance. and the value system. society. infrastructure assets. including grammatical statements (words and numbers). It is also knowledge captured by the organization system’s processes. etc. specifications. such as personal beliefs. Know-who refers to the world of social relations and is knowledge of who knows what and who can do what. Know-why is knowledge about the natural world. The pilot study thus generates new knowledge to be converted and diffused. Consider the promotional scheme again. Knowwhat. processing and dissemination of knowledge have become important for competitiveness in an organization. There is a need to understand the different phases of organizational knowledge creation and to recognize that each phase is influenced by the access to sources of guidance. Organizational knowledge is the collective sum of human-centered assets. Knowing key people is sometimes more important to innovation than knowing scientific principles. Tacit knowledge refers to the personal knowledge embedded in individual experience and involves intangible factors. intellectual property assets.
List down the various attributes of knowledge and support each with an example. 4. 2. 3. 5. 6.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SHORT QUESTIONS 1. Describe how knowledge is formed in an organization? 4. Enumerate different application areas of tacit and explicit knowledge. Define knowledge. What are the sources for knowledge? NOTES LONG QUESTIONS 1. 3. 5. 71 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . conversion and diffusion. 7. What are the differences between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge? Give an example of each. Illustrate by example the possible relationship between knowledge and data. What are the advantages and disadvantages of tacit ant explicit knowledge? 6. 7. Explain Nonaka’s knowledge creation framework. Write a detailed account on knowledge abstraction. What is meant by organizational knowledge? What is tacit knowledge? What is explicit knowledge? Compare the properties of tacit ant explicit knowledge. 2.
DBA 1735 NOTES 72 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT UNIT III NOTES KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS 3. but also by permitting. Learning is primarily a process of acquiring. encouraging and facilitating it. This is the process of organizational learning. diminishing competitive power in the global economy coupled with and the need for organizational renewal and transformation forced many organization to feel the importance of organizational learning. Learning 73 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Learning is the acquisition of useful new knowledge.1 INTRODUCTION Today’s business environment witnesses decline in many of the well established organization. 3. skills and/or behaviour patterns. not just by giving it direction.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this Unit. you should be able to understand the following: Define organizational learning and skillets required for individuals Describe the characteristics of learning organization Outline the five learning disciplines Construct an architecture for organizational learning How to capture and codify knowledge Analyse how tacit knowledge is captured How knowledge repositories functions Know the KM application domains Define collaborative platforms and outline its features 3. assimilating and internalizing inputs for effective and varied uses when required. Many senior managers are also convinced of importance in improving organizational learning. ideas. Through organizational learning knowledge management can be made into a day-to-day reality in the organization.3 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND ORGANISATIONAL LEARNING Companies that build competitive advantage through effective information and knowledge management must continually refresh and update their intellectual capital. Knowledge management must enable organizational learning.
Organizational learning as the means of acquiring and generating knowledge and skills (i.DBA 1735 NOTES can be from one’s own experience. Applying the concept of learning to organizations. suppliers and business patterns.4 THE CONCEPT OF ORGANISATIONAL LEARNING The term organizational learning refers to continuous improvement of existing approaches and processes and adaptation to change. from each other. (c) The ability to fundamentally renew or revitalize business function based on need. Learning is as much a task as the production and delivery of goods and services.. (b) An attitude that supports continuous improvement in the business’s value-added chain. The term embedded means that learning: Is a regular part of the daily work? Is practiced at personal. leading to new goals and/or approaches. because it stays within the organization even if individuals change. each organization must build capabilities for managing knowledge and strengthening learning. operational knowledge). becomes a key internal driver of the externally focused enterprise strategy. and from customers. and organizational levels Results in solving problems at source Is focused on sharing knowledge throughout the organization Is driven by opportunities to affect significant c change and do better Organizational learning is the capacity or processes within an organization to maintain or improve performance based on experience. Learning is a systems-level phenomenon. retains and uses information and ideas for its development and for strengthening its self-learning and selfrenewing capacity. It is the connection between knowledge and learning which establishes organizational focus and strategy. While companies do not usually regard learning as function of production. While it does involve learning of individual employees. research on successful firms indicates that three learning-related factors are important for their success: (a) Well-developed core competencies that serve as launch point for new products and services. Organizational learning thus has the crucial and continuing responsibility for capitalizing on knowledge as the source and base of a leading competitive edge. organizational learning can be described as the collective learning of the organization. Learning needs have to be embedded in the way the organization works.e. Hence. it is more than just the sum of learning of its individual members. work unit. Organizational learning is the process by which the organization acquires. 74 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . 3. hence.
The focus of an organization should be on improving the learning. However. This stage involves the dissemination of the learning throughout the organization. Skill sets needed by individuals for organizational learning 1. In this way. and providing support to.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (d) These factors identify some of the qualities of an effective learning organization that diligently pursues a constantly enhances knowledge base. an organization’s ability to survive and grow is based on advantages that stem from core competencies that represent collective learning. Knowledge utilization. customer input. best practice sharing and benchmarking. however. In these instances. the organization as a whole. research and development (R&D). Acting together. The process of organizational learning is.language as an indicator Multitasking Miniaturization Short-term memory overload Low level depression and increasingly angry culture Changes of speed 75 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . insights and relationships. Knowledge sharing. employee ideas. Indeed. This knowledge allows for the development of competencies and lead to incremental or transformational change. All learning can be characterised as occurring at the individual level. less well understood than individual learning. the effective organization ensures that an individual’s actions and learning are both supported by. These can be generalized as follows: Knowledge acquisition. there is assimilation and utilization of knowledge and some kind of integrated learning system to support such “actionable learning”. Ability to let go of old myths 3. to ensure their effectiveness. skills and hence competitive advantage of individuals. This stage provides the integration of learning so that it is broadly available and can be generalized to new situations. This stage deals with the development or creation of skills. work and compete better than they could on their own. Learning at individual level Learning at the individual level can be conceptualized as the process of obtaining and retaining skills and information with relevant aptitude that leads to changes and improvements in action and decision making. Ability to notice new patterns. individuals have to be able to fully integrate with and be able to maximise the benefits of learning at the organizational level. the individuals that make up the organization are able to learn. Ability to understand the culture of the organization 2. Sources for learning include learning at the individual level of an employee.
and what are they measuring 5. and memory of the organization. ability to bring energy into a room. An innovative or a product organization would strive to be a learning organization ‘skilled at creating. evaluate. 76 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . what is learned is built into the structure. Over time. (c) “Organizational learning occurring when individuals. knowledge) remain within the organization even though individuals may change. The phrases organizational learning and learning organizations are used interchangeably. It is a process by which individuals share their insights. Ability to learn forever 7. culture. Ability to develop a clear perspective/ open perspective Ability to relax Sense of humor . Organizational learning occurs when members of an organization share associations. Ability to see what’s coming and what’s leaving so you can make choices faster. faster response time 3. and control. Learning by organizations relies on the people and groups to serve as agents for the transfer of knowledge. and memories. Lessons (i. knowledge and ideas to develop a common understanding.DBA 1735 NOTES 4.4. organizations enrich their knowledge base. Ability to generate energy with coaching and building self-esteem. which helps them in knowledge generation and in the long run to face external challenges. Through this process of learning. cognitive systems. detect a mismatch of outcomes to expectation which confirms or disconfirms organization theory-in-use” (d) “The transformation process that translates individual learning into organizational domain is termed organizational learning”. what they are paying attention to. Ability to create “safe” environment for others 9. 6.e. acting from their own images and maps. knowledge and mental models”.ability to laugh Knowing your hishhtory Insulate hot buttons and fears Ability to scan for information Pretend you are an anthropologist and examine what leaders reward. acquiring and transferring knowledge and modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights’. schemes or cognitive maps that guide behaviour are modified through recognition of a change in information concerning an organization’s environment”.1 Definitions for organizational learning (a) “Organizational Learning occurs when the mental models.. (b) “Organizational Learning occurs through shared insights. Ability to own your own career 8. Organizational learning is the development of new knowledge and insights that have the potential to influence behavior.
2.2 Benefits of organizational learning Organizational learning can result in: 1. Learning reward system for employees. 9. Key characteristics of learning organization 1. to achieve sustainable objectives . Supportive corporate cultures. if an insurance firm is trying to make inroads into the investment management business. its executives will have to make sure that their firm learns the new business while continuing to advance its knowledge of the insurance business.4. 8. For example.4. Education and training of the whole workforce.for them and the communities in which they participate. mechanisms and processes that are used to continually enhance its capabilities and those who work with it or for it. Constant experimentation. 10. Every organization learns. Enhancing the organization’s performance in fulfilling its public responsibilities and service as a good citizen 3. Improving responsiveness and cycle time performance. implementing job rotations. 5. Reducing errors. Systemic thinking and mental models. Learning – both individual and organizational – is the process by which knowledge assets are increased over time. 2. Free vertical and horizontal flow of information. designing new projects. defects. and related costs. Increasing productivity and effectiveness in the use of all resources throughout the Organization. 3. Enhancing value to customers through new and improved products and services. they need to determine what. 3. 4.3 What is a ‘learning organization’? A learning organization is an organization which has in place systems. 5.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 3. waste. 6. Decentralized hierarchies and participative management. Continuous improvement of work. may include hiring new talent. Developing new business opportunities. to be successful. A knowledge management strategy. 4. 77 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . specifically – and when – their firms need to learn. therefore. managers must seek to align both individual and collective learning with the strategic intent of the firm. Team work and team learning. and create mechanism to do so. This means that as executive design their business strategies. and 6. Flexibility of employees and company strategies. But. 7. and altering organizational structures to facilitate the flow of the new knowledge between existing and new business.
as being a consensually supported result of information processing. This kind of knowledge is lost when a longtime employee leave an organization.e. (d) Documentation Knowledge is viewed in personal terms as something an individual possesses by virtue of education or experience. i. However. Both of these approaches have great merit as opposing styles rather than as normative or negative behaviors. processes and insights evaporate because they were not shared or made a part of collective memory. and providing support to. This calls for the development of organizational memory or a publicly documented body of knowledge. the effective organization ensures that an individual’s actions and learning are both supported by. less well understood than individual learning. knowledge and skill acquisition takes place in the sharing and utilization stages. however. This distinction is seen as the difference between innovation and adaptation or imitation. the organization as a whole. they need to finalise the extent whether new knowledge is to be developed internally or seek inspiration in external ideas. The focus of an organization should be on improving the learning. The following are some of the commonly employed orientation by organizations in their quest for effective knowledge dissemination.DBA 1735 NOTES 3. All learning can be characterised as occurring at the individual level. to ensure their effectiveness. social terms. This is described as the “creation of shared understandings”. knowledge is defined in more objective. Moreover. On the other hand. Learning may take place in planned or informal ways. individuals have to be able to fully integrate with and be able to maximise the benefits of learning at the organizational level. In this way. 78 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . It is not something that occurs simply by organizing an ‘acquisition effort’. (c) Focus on products and processes Organizations need to decide whether they would prefer to accumulate knowledge about product and service outcomes or about the basic processes underlying various products. Acting together. the individuals that make up the organization are able to learn. The process of organizational learning is. work and compete better than they could on their own. skills and hence competitive advantage of individuals. (b) Learning at the individual level Learning at the individual level can be conceptualized as the process of obtaining and retaining skills and information with relevant aptitude that leads to changes and improvements in action and decision making.4 Orientation for effective knowledge dissemination Organizational learning does not always occur in the linear fashions implied by typical learning models.4. (a) Knowledge sources Organization needs to carefully assess their source of knowledge.
In this way. The latter are sales. and so on. it would have a natural bias in favor of substantial learning investments in related areas.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (e) Knowledge dissemination An organization need to establish an atmosphere in which learning evolves or in which a more structured. It uses written communication and formal education methods or certifies learning through writing the procedure down. In the more informal approach. controlled approach induces learning. and those more externally focused of a ‘sell and deliver’nature. (f) Organizational learning Organizational learning needs to encounter on methods and tools. engineering. and service activities. In the more structured approach. If a particular organization is heavily focused on heavy engineering. The former include R&D. including training and education. these learning capabilities reinforce each other. and manufacturing. pilot projects. (g) Value-chaining Organization need to build an index of their core competencies and learning investments that need to be valued and supported. distribution. available resources. In another approach. the company decides that valuable insights or methods should be shared and used by others across the organization. developmental assignments. to improve what is already being done or on testing the assumptions underling what is being done. The value chain can be classified into two categories: internally directed activities of a ‘design and make’ nature. Organizational performance problems are more likely due to a lack of awareness or inability to articulate and check underlying assumptions than to a function of poor efficiency. NOTES 79 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . (h) Skill development An organization need to develop both individual and group skills. Generally. It can also develop better ways of integrating individual learning programs with team needs by taking a harder look at the value of group development. Learning investments include allocation of personnel and money to develop knowledge and skill over time. learning is spread through encounters between role models and gatekeepers who compellingly reinforce learning. learning occurs when members of an occupational group or work team share their experiences in ongoing dialogue. an organization can assess how it is doing and improve either one of those skills.
Culture is the key. but all companies need to synthesize information and generate knowledge faster. when leaders actively and continuously promote that values. A spirit of openness and enthusiasm for continues learning occurs. in the long run.DBA 1735 NOTES KM Viewpoint 1. Technological change. 2. Learning enhances a company’s speed. OL. Responses were received from 345 companies in 26 countries (1999).1 EIU Study Survey: The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in co-operation with IBM Consulting Group had conducted an intensive study of emerging Organizational Learning (OL) and Knowledge Management (KM) practices around the globe. competence and personal relations on the other. Learning Organizations are considered masters of managing change for financial gains. market shifts and global competition affect some industries more than others. This type of over-prescription undermines learning. Benefits 1. Managerial accounting systems that currently guide investment and strategy offer little insight into the value that human know-how. A Company’s official chain of command and formal business procedures must co-exist with informal personal networks. innovative-ness and adaptability. Business organizations discourage people from learning all the time. reach the market with more innovative products faster than competitors and maximize responsiveness to customers needs. Best leadership creates a balance in the organization between reaping and sowing. they are telling you not to learn. 2. Skandia and other companies now report intangible assets in their balance sheet.4. Such attitude changes take place when individuals take personal risk and challenge themselves psychologically to see and do things differently. creativity and experience add to products and services. production on one hand and building capacity. Every company has a different approach. Formal business procedures must be balanced with the freedom to create. Typical OL activities undertaken are: behavioral changes to improve teamwork. team based and collaborative management . assembly of multi-disciplinary teams to solve business problems. shorter product life cycle. facilitating ongoing. leading individual or team training activities. 80 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Learning builds shareholder value for the long term. buy also in applying that knowledge to continually improve their tasks and activities. refers to a variety of practices and values that enable a company to explore continually new directions and anticipate or even lead change in the market place and society at large. 3. in its broadest sense. Every time someone tells you to do something a certain way because that is the standard way. There is no roadmap to becoming a learning organization. Learning addresses a company’s desire to better anticipate and adapt to changing market conditions. Learning organizations are effective not only at creating and/or acquiring new knowledge. They recognize that learning is the key contributor to value addition. Enabling factors 1. Managers need to develop confidence to let go of control and accept ambiguity and uncertainty. changing individual and corporate behaviour. Individuals must commit to personal change.
They embrace creative tension as a source of energy and renewal. decentralized. 3.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT NOTES Element Organization Structure Availability of information Trust culture Communication Innovation Managers style Learning systems Characteristics of a learning Organization Flat hierarchy. Dynamic networks Systems in place to make information freely available High level of trust. Coaching style Continual learning and double loop learning 3.4. They use learning to reach their goals.4. making it safe for people to share openly. Self mastery practiced Decentralized communication processes Innovation and risk taking encouraged Facilitator. They foster inquiry and dialogue. They link individual performance with organizational performance.6 Characteristics of the Traditional organization Vs Learning organization Element Shared Values Management Style Strategy/Action Plan Structure Staff Characteristics Traditional Organization Efficiency Effectiveness Control Learning Organization Distinctive Staff Skills Measurement System Teams Excellence Organizational Renewal Facilitator Coach Top down approach Everyone is consulted Road map Learning map Hierarchy Flat structure Dynamic networks People who know People who learn (experts) Mistakes tolerated as part Knowledge is power of learning Adaptive learning Generative learning Financial measures Working groups Departmental boundaries Both financial and nonfinancial measures Cross functional teams 81 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .5 Characteristics of learning organization They provide continuous learning opportunities. They are continuously aware of and interact with their environment.
of building shared visions. Process of encouraging pilot testing and experimentation. These include: (1) Personal Mastery — Personal mastery is what Peter Senge describes as one of the core disciplines needed to build a learning organization. It is exactly this type of individual that one needs at every level of an organization for the organization to learn.4.DBA 1735 NOTES 3. 6. 8. Traditional managers have always thought that they had to have all the answers for their organization. posits the radically humanist idea that organizations should become places where people can begin to realize their highest aspirations. Second. Continuous process and system improvement and re-engineering. experts to provide leadership to learning activities. 4. and Senge says that organizations cannot learn until their members begin to learn. Senge described the core of a learning organization’s work as based upon five learning disciplines. Personal Mastery has two components. Peter Senge. 7. in particular. Availability of core subject matter. The job of the manager in the learning organization is to be the teacher or coach who helps unleash the creative energy in each individual. The presence of strong marketing research functions for effective environmental scanning.8 The five learning disciplines of Peter Senge In his book The Fifth Discipline. He talks of developing worker commitment not compliance.7 Facilitators for organizational learning The following are some of the key facilitators for organizational learning: 1. which represented lifelong programs of both personal and organizational learning and practice. They learn to use both reason and intuition to create. Peter Senge (1990) defined a learning organization as “… a place where people continually expand their capacity to create results they truly desire. one must define what one is trying to achieve (a goal). Free flow of information within the organization. Personal mastery applies to individual learning. Organizations learn through the synergy of the individual learners. Measures to ensure that feedback regarding organizational functions and processes are adequate. where collective aspiration is set free and where people are continually learning how to learn”. 2. They become systems thinkers who see the interconnectedness of everything around them and. Development of metrics to gauge the effectiveness of organizational learning systems. of effectively reconciling individual and organizational objectives. Continuous learning within the organization. 9. 82 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . one must have a true measure of how close one is to the goal. where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured. Individuals who practice personal mastery experience other changes in their thinking.4. they feel more connected to the whole. First. as a result. Proper management support. 3. 3. not imposing a mission statement from above. The managers of the learning organization know that their staff has the answers. 5.
developing shared images of common and desirable futures. the vision must be created through interaction with the individuals in the organization. but rather to encourage others to share their vision too. it determines how we think and act. Learning only comes from seeing the world the way it really is. 83 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . This discipline helps managers and employees alike to see how to change systems more effectively. and this is where OD can play a role. and improving his or her internal pictures of the world. This should not be done to force that vision on others. It would be naive to expect that the organization can change overnight from having a vision that is communicated from the top to an organization where the vision evolves from the visions of all the people in the organization. not individuals.” Team learning is vital because teams. In other words. Only by compromising between the individual visions and the development of these visions in a common direction can the shared vision be created. The leader’s role in creating a shared vision is to share an own vision with the employees. (4) Team Learning — this involves relevant thinking skills that enable groups of people to develop intelligence and an ability that is greater than the sum of individual members’ talents. In the development of a learning organization. It is a discipline that starts with “dialogue. are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. The organization will have to go through major change for this to happen. the organization’s vision should evolve. continually clarifying. (5) Systems thinking — this involves a way of thinking about. and an individual vision is something that one person holds as a truth. It means individuals building a sense of commitment within particular workgroups.” the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine “thinking together. Based on these visions. and the principles and guiding practices to support the journey to such futures. What this means for the leader in the Learning Organization is that the organizational vision must not be created by the leader.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (2) Mental Models — a mental model is one’s way of looking at the world. It is a paradigm premised upon the primacy of the whole —the antithesis of the traditional evolution of the concept of learning in western cultures. the OD-consultant would use the same tools as before. A simple example of a mental model comes from an exercise described in The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. (3) Shared Vision — what does it mean to have a shared vision? A shared vision begins with the individual. It involves each individual reflecting upon. just on a much broader scale. and to act more in tune with the larger processes of the natural and economic world. and a language for describing and understanding forces and interrelationships that shape the behavior of systems. and seeing how they shape personal actions and decisions. The shared vision of an organization must be built of the individual visions of its members. rather. It is a framework for the cognitive processes of our mind.
the next step is to justify why systems thinking is even more important to organizations of people. Empowered employees will take more initiative & they will try to solve the problem where and when it will arise. The team structure will facilitate sharing of common resources and objectives. 3.DBA 1735 NOTES Once we embrace the idea that systems thinking can improve individual learning by inducing people to focus on the whole system. It also leads to pooling & sharing of experience and mutual learning.Information should be provided to everyone. No organization can empower its employees with out sharing information with them so to empower employees the organization has to share information with employees and this connects open information with empowered employees. empowered employees and open information all coexist and they are linked with each other as essentials. the discipline of systems thinking is most clearly interrelated with the other disciplines.Teams are the best way of mixing energy with experience and for any organisation teams are good sources of attaining targets effectively and efficiently. and by providing individuals with skills and tools to enable them to derive observable patterns of behavior from the systems they see at work. Looking at these benefits. and team learning.Employee empowerment will make sure that employee take full responsibility for their actions and they work in an open environment this will also facilitate growth of employees and encourage innovation as well as instills the ability to think out of the box.5 RCHITECTURE FOR ORGANISATIONAL LEARNING Learning Organisation is an organisation that purposefully takes steps to create architecture to enhance and maximize the potential for explorative and exploitative organizational learning to take place. a team-based structure is necessary for any organization aiming to become a learning organisation. Open Information . this makes organizational climate more conducive to learning. Team-Based Structure . Empowered Employees . Open information builds trust and confidence of employees in the management and reduces the employee-management conflict. Here. especially with mental models. Transparency in decision-making must be maintained. Employees who have information and who also posses the power to act and decide will definitely try their level best to improve the performance of the organization also they will be open towards learning & information 84 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Team based structures support continuous learning and pooling of experience and sharing knowledge. Overall performance of the team or group will depend upon total of performances of each individual as well as team will make a coordinated effort to attain its targets or to perform effectively and efficiently. Even information considered obsolete or rudimentary may turn out to be of importance and may result into organizational growth. shared vision. The Linkages Team based structure.
and to help us see how to change them effectively. 2. this information can be shared and used by other employees working in the same organization. Certainly. depicted in Figure 3. Middle-Down-Up Management An integrative architectural framework that unites the concepts of learning organization and knowledge management is presented for the readers to get a meaningful view.” the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine “thinking together”. 4. 3. The practice of shared vision involves the skills of unearthing shared “pictures of the future” that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance. the people performing a certain job are likely to learn the most about it. Building Shared Vision. Through knowledge management. The discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision. The discipline of team learning starts with “dialogue. of developing patience. Personal Mastery. A conceptual framework.1 Middle-Down-Up Management. Mental Models. 5. of focusing our energies. generalizations. is based on Senge’s five “disciplines” of learning organizations: 1.1.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT sharing. Knowledge management seeks to share this learning and knowledge throughout an organization. The model. 85 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The knowledge or enriched experience that might not be written down or codified in formal documents. the most important ingredient for a learning organization is Knowledge Management. As employees do their jobs. Systems Thinking. to make the full patterns clearer. and of seeing reality objectively. NOTES Figure 3. a body of knowledge and tools that has been developed over the past fifty years. Over and above these elements.being able to capitalize on the knowledge members of the organization. they gain knowledge about the tasks they perform and learn the best ways to get certain things done and solve specific problems. or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. Deeply ingrained assumptions. Team Learning.
leaders manifest espoused values. and the tacit knowledge is externalized into explicit knowledge. Mental models underlie all learning. integrates the other four by enhancing each of them. assumptions. Figure 3. ultimately. and the value goes through a process of cognitive transformation into a belief and. Systems Thinking. are not necessarily internalized by the organization but remain to be questioned. surfaced and examined. learning may change mental models. and assumption. debated. By signaling their own priorities. the images and maps of the conceptual framework are then incorporated into organizational theory-in-use. and ways of thinking and acting. On the contrary. group (team learning). The fifth discipline. and organizational (building shared vision). however. let us propose middle-down-up approach. In this framework. They can either impede it by going unnoticed or accelerate it by being reflected. Shared vision emerges from the personal visions of individuals in the management process.2 Organizational Learning and Enterprise Architecture 86 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . They figure out the strategic intentions of the top management and translate them into a conceptual framework comprehensible to their subordinates. in which the mental models are manifested on the surface of the organizational culture. they can be empowered: they will know how to operate in various business settings as long as the overall business reality remains invariant. In this leadership process. Figure 3. middle managers play an important role by working as a “bridge” between the broad visions of the top management and the concrete realities of business that front-line employees confront. These conscious and explicitly articulated values.DBA 1735 NOTES Learning occurs at three levels: individual (personal mastery). until the team has a shared perception of the success based on these values. When people share common mental models congruent with the shared vision. On the other.2 depicts how the levels of enterprise architecture correspond to the model. Adapting the middle-up-down management process of Nonaka and Takeuchi. and explicit knowledge is internalized into tacit knowledge. “to empower people in an unaligned organization can be counterproductive”. Revisiting this model. and challenged in dialogue.
in the form of real-time management dashboards facilitating strategic decision-making. idempotent faculties optimized to perform their predefined function. exposing organizational theory-in-use. These processes can be configured by composing underlying contextindependent services and coordinating the interplay of executable processes. the knowledge of the organization. binding them to its execution context.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT On the strategic level. Simulation capabilities are also employed as the means of optimizing the processes. Team learning also has an effect on tacit knowledge within the organization through the leadership process. Knowledge has to be captured and codified in such a way that it can become a part of the existing knowledge base of the organization. The services are context-independent. Choreography is the prevalent means to describe relatively static collaborative processes. In a broader view. Using an appropriate tool to elicit information from the expert 2. Interpreting the information and inferring the expert’s underlying knowledge and reasoning process 87 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Thus this level corresponds to personal mastery: the purpose of orchestration is to optimize resource utilization and streamline service efficiency against some performance measure defined by the management process. it can be equated to mental models in the MiddleDown-Up model. orchestration describes the sequence and conditions in which the service accesses underlying resources. It is the vast repository of “sources of truth” dispersed in enterprise information systems and databases. Thereby. The output of this process is the new and revised models describing the business processes on the highest level. technical manuscripts. 3. Knowledge capture is a demanding mental process in which a knowledge developer collaborates with the expert to convert expertise into a coded program. knowledge capture may also include capturing knowledge from other sources such as books. Three important steps are involved: 1. or actual behavior. new concepts are emerging to address more dynamic collaborations. business activity is monitored (BAM) through the management process. Typically. The tactical level is about coordination and associated with team learning.6 CAPTURING AND CODIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE Knowledge capture is a process by which the expert’s thoughts and experiences are captured. This is where the team learning occurs: the coordination of the collaborative effort requires a significant amount of dialogue between the process participants. The model reflects the reality as perceived by the organization. and drawings. The operational level embraces the operational and information model of the organization in the form of services. The strategic intent of the top management is translated to unique end-to-end core business processes. The shared vision of the organization is built as a steering process of external adaptation and internal integration.
We need to capture both types of knowledge – explicit and tacit. uses facts and figures. o The expert is found to be consulted by people in the organization. A wide variety of techniques may be used to capture and codify knowledge which is described here. o The expert avoids irrelevant information. In most cases. o The expert exhibits his/her depth of the detailed knowledge and his/her quality of explanation is exceptional. and facilitates learning and problem solving. when some problem arises. The capture of explicit knowledge is the systematic approach of capturing. the developer must be able to identify real expertise and how well a particular expert’s know-how suits the project. o The expert is not arrogant regarding his/her personal information. and refining information in a way that makes information easy to find.1 Capturing tacit knowledge Tacit knowledge capture requires free access to a cooperative and articulate expert. describe. Tacit knowledge.DBA 1735 NOTES 3. 3. and when to make exceptions.6. organizing. the knowledge developer does not have the luxury of deciding on the expert. o The expert should be able to see the big picture. but we may need to abstract and summarize this content. may require much more significant up-front analysis and organization before it can be suitably described and represented. o The expert is able to explain properly and he/she can customize his/her presentation according to the level of the audience. 88 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The approach used to capture. o The expert possesses self confidence and he/she has a realistic view of the limitations. Using the interpretation to build the rules that represent the expert’s thought processes or solutions. and subsequently code knowledge depends on the type of knowledge: explicit knowledge is already well described. Tacit knowledge management is the process of capturing the experience and expertise of the individual in an organization and making it available to anyone who needs it. on the other hand. Experts qualifications o The expert should know when to follow hunches. o The expert should posse’s good communication skills. (a) Expert Evaluation There are several indicators of expertise: Indicators of expertise o The expert commands genuine respect. However.
The single expert usually provides a single line of reasoning. The knowledge is often found to be dispersed.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT o The expert should be able to tolerate stress. and the funds allocated for building the KM system. Experts levels of expertise Highly expert persons. the types of expert available. a prime consideration is whether to tap one expert or a panel of experts and this decision is based on several factor such as the complexity of the problem. The single expert can facilitate the logistics aspects of coordination arrangements for knowledge capture. o The expert should be able to exhibit self-confidence in his/her thought and actions. They are more likely to change meeting schedules. the experts’ knowledge is found to be not easy to capture. o The expert should be able to generate enthusiasm as well as motivation. New experts. Problem related/personal conflicts are easier to resolve. The single expert tends to share more confidentiality. Ideal when the problem lies within a restricted domain. the criticality of the project to the organization. Advantages of working with a single expert: Ideal for building a simple KM system with only few rules. o The expert should share his/her expertise willingly and without hesitation. NOTES Advantages of working with multiple (team) experts: Complex problem domains are usually benefited. o The expert should emulate an ideal teacher’s habits. o The expert should be able to think creatively. Moderately expert problem solvers. 89 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . o The expert should use chunked knowledge. Disadvantages of working with a single expert: Often. Each alternative has advantages and limitations. o The expert should maintain credibility. Capturing single versus multiple experts’ tacit knowledge: To ensure the reliability and quality of the KM system. o The expert should operate within a schema-driven/structured orientation.
These types of experts are found to be focused on the content of the domain at the expense of the solution. 90 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . explaining why his/her solution is the best. Listening to a multitude of views allows the developer to consider alternative ways of representing knowledge. and technical as well as marketing skills to attract the experts respect and attention.DBA 1735 NOTES Stimulates interaction. The knowledge developer must be familiar with project terminology d he/she must review the existing documents. The knowledge developer should be able to make a quick rapport with the expert. Coordinating meeting schedules are more complicated. (b) Developing Relationship with Experts Creating the right impression: The knowledge developer must learn to use psychology. Initial sessions can be most challenging/critical. Formal meetings are sometimes better environment for generating thoughtful contributions. Often requires more than one knowledge developer. Disadvantages of working with multiple (team) experts: Disagreements can frequently occur. verbal and always procedural. Preparation for the session: Before making the first appointment. The knowledge developer must build the trust. These types of experts are found to be compulsive to take over. Understanding of the expert’s style of expression: Experts are usually found to use one of the following styles of expression: Procedure type: Storyteller type: Godfather type: Salesperson type: These types of experts are found to be logical. Overlapping mental processes of multiple experts can result in a process loss. These types of experts are found to spend most of the time dancing around the topic. Harder to retain confidentiality. the knowledge developer must acquire some knowledge about the problem and the expert. common sense.
(c) Fuzzy Reasoning & Quality of Knowledge Capture Sometimes. discuss the problem domain. Approach using primary and secondary experts: o o The knowledge developer hold sessions with the senior expert early in the knowledge capture program for the clarification of the plan. and the functionality of each expert is tested against the expertise of the others. The meeting place should be quiet and free of interruptions. months or years ago). NOTES Approaching multiple experts: Individual approach: The knowledge developer holds sessions with one expert at a time. Analogies/Uncertainties: In the course of explaining events. as well as cognition skills. experts can use analogies (comparing a problem with a similar problem which has been encountered in possibly different settings. an aspect of uncertainty. Small groups approach: o o o o Experts gather together in one place. Experts’ responses are monitored. This approach requires experience in assessing tapped knowledge. An expert’s knowledge or expertise represents the ability to gather uncertain information as input and to use a plausible line of reasoning to clarify the fuzzy details. tends to describe the level of credibility. The expert is usually more comfortable in having his/her necessary tools and information available close to him/her. For a detailed probing. The fuzziness may increase the difficulty of translating the expert’s notions into applicable rules. and usually provide a pool of information. he/she may ask for other experts’ knowledge. 91 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The knowledge developer must deal with the issue of power and its effect on expert’s opinion. the information gathered from the experts via interviewing is not precise and it involves fuzziness and uncertainty. Belief.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Deciding the location for the session: Protocol calls for the expert to decide the location.
(d) Interviewing as a Tacit Knowledge Capture Tool Advantages of using interviewing as a tacit knowledge capture tool: It is a flexible tool. Specific words or components may be left out of an explanation. and they are used in the case when the knowledge developer really needs to explore an issue. It is very effective in case of eliciting information regarding complex matters. Sometimes. Absolute words and phrases may be used loosely. 92 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .g. or other kinds of problem-solving methods. extremely. Interviews can range from the highly unstructured type to highly structured type.. The right question usually evokes the memory of experiences that produced good and appropriate solutions in the past. Often people enjoy being interviewed. how quickly an expert responds to a question depends on the clarity of content. better. Some words always seem to have a built-in ambiguity. The resulting answer is often found to be the culmination of the processing of stored information. whether the content has been recently used. faster) are sometimes left hanging. and how well the expert has understood the question. and they are used in the case when the knowledge developer needs specific information.DBA 1735 NOTES People may use different kinds of words in order to express belief. Problem with the language: How well the expert can represent internal processes can vary with their command of the language they are using and the knowledge developer’s interviewing skills. When a question is asked. It is excellent for evaluating the validity of information. These words are often paired with qualifiers such as highly. The unstructured types are difficult to conduct. Understanding experience: Knowledge developers can benefit from their understanding/knowledge of cognitive psychology. then an expert operates on certain stored information through deductive. The language may be unclear in the following number of ways: Comparative words (e. inductive. The structured types are found to be goal-oriented.
Problem with communication. the knowledge developer asks predefined questions. o Errors in part of the knowledge developer: validity problems are often caused by the interviewer effect (something about the knowledge developer colours the response of the expert). Setting the length of the interview. o Dichotomous questions. Listening closely/avoiding arguments. Problems with communication. Some of the effects can be as follows Gender effect Age effect Race effect o Problems encountered during interviewing Response bias. Fear of unknown in the part of expert. and to summarize the key points of the session. Guidelines for successful interviewing: Setting the stage and establishing rapport. Hostile attitude. Process of ending the interview: The end of the session should be carefully planned. o Ranking scale questions. NOTES Reliability of the information gathered from experts: Some uncontrolled sources of error that can reduce the information’s reliability: Expert’s perceptual slant. One procedure calls for the knowledge developer to halt the questioning a few minutes before the scheduled ending time. In semi structured types. The failure in expert’s part to exactly remember what has happened.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Structured questions can be of the following types: o Multiple-choice questions. 93 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI o . Inconsistency. Role bias. but he/she allows the expert some freedom in expressing his/her answer. Standardizing the questions. Evaluating the session outcomes. Phrasing questions.
How to deal with the situation when the expert does not like the knowledge developer for some reason. in which knowledge is added with each knowledge capture session. The prototype can create user expectations which in turn can become obstacles to further development effort. This approach can open up communication through its demonstration of the KM system. It allows the knowledge developer to learn each time a change is incorporated in the prototype. (a) On-Site Observation (Action Protocol) It is a process which involves observing. How to deal with uncertain reasoning processes. This is an iterative approach which allows the expert to verify the rules as they are built during the session. and to be prepared for the most important ones.2 Other knowledge capture techniques Like any other professional. This approach is highly interactive. avoids giving advice and usually does not pass his/her own judgment on what is being observed. it reduces the risk of failure. recording. the knowledge developer must be well versed in the use of specialized knowledge capture tools. (e) Rapid Prototyping in interviews: Rapid prototyping is an approach to building KM systems. Many verbal/nonverbal cues can be used for ending the interview.6. Issues: Many issues may arise during the interview. The knowledge developer does more listening than talking. Each tool has a unique purpose. and interpreting the expert’s problem-solving process while it takes place. even 94 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . depending on whether the capture process revolves around a single expert or multiple experts. Let us examine other tools used in knowledge capture. 3. Due to the process of instant feedback and modification. the knowledge developer can consider the following questions: How would it be possible to elicit knowledge from the experts who can not say what they mean or can not mean what they say? How to set up the problem domain. How to deal with the situation of difficult relationships with expert(s).DBA 1735 NOTES o This allows the expert to comment a schedule a future session.
does not argue with the expert while the expert is performing the task.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT if it seems incorrect. Another disadvantage is the accuracy/completeness of the captured knowledge. and then generates ideas. Looking for signs of possible convergence. and procedures used by the expert. on-site observation brings the knowledge developer closer to the actual steps. Presenting the problem to the experts. One disadvantage is that sometimes some experts to not like the idea of being observed. Usually the comments/suggestions are displayed electronically on a large screen without identifying the source. Electronic Brainstorming Is a computer-aided approach for dealing with multiple experts? It usually begins with a pre-session plan which identifies objectives and structures the agenda. Prompting the experts to generate ideas. but no evaluations are done at the spot. During the session. and most of all. Similarities (that emerge through opinions) are usually grouped together logically and evaluated by asking some questions like: o What benefits are to be gained if a particular idea is followed? o What specific problems that idea can possibly solve. Compared to the process of interviewing. each expert sits on a PC and gets themselves engaged in a predefined approach towards resolving an issue. techniques. questions can be raised for clarification. NOTES (b) Brainstorming It is an unstructured approach towards generating ideas about creative solution of a problem which involves multiple experts in a session. 95 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . In this case. The reaction of other people (in the observation setting) can also be a problem causing distraction. This allows experts to present their opinions through their PC’s without having to wait for their turn. which is then presented to the experts for approval. o What new problems can arise through this? The general procedure for conducting a brainstorming session: o o o o Introducing the session. If the experts are unable to agree on a specific solution. they knowledge developer may call for a vote/consensus.
3 The process of brainstorming (c) Protocol Analysis (Think-Aloud Method) In this case. The result is usually the joint ownership of the solution. effective discussion regarding sensitive issues. an episode. A scenario can involve individuals and objects. Knowledge developers do not interrupt in the interim. and closes the meeting with concise recommendations for necessary action. Figure 3. Here the term scenario refers to a detailed and somehow complex sequence of events or more precisely. The elicited information is structured later when the knowledge developer analyzes the protocol. The benefit includes improved communication.DBA 1735 NOTES This approach protects the introvert experts and prevents tagging comments to individuals. This eventually leads to convergence of ideas and helps to set final specifications. 96 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . protocols (scenarios) are collected by asking experts to solve the specific problem and verbalize their decision process by stating directly what they think.
97 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . NOTES (d) Consensus Decision Making Consensus decision making usually follows brainstorming. The knowledge developer follows a procedure designed to ensure fairness and standardization. NGT is an idea writing technique. The domain expert classifies and categorizes a problem domain using his/her own model. Each element is rated according to the constructs which have been provided. The grid is a scale (or a bipolar construct) on which elements can be placed within gradations. The knowledge developer usually elicits the constructs and then asks the domain expert to provide a set of examples called elements. In order to arrive at a consensus. It is effective if and only if each expert has been provided with equal and adequate opportunity to present their views. (g) Delphi Method It is a survey of experts where a series of questionnaires are used to pool the experts’ responses for solving a specific problem. This method is democratic in nature. This method can be sometimes tedious and can take hours. (e) Repertory Grid This is a tool used for knowledge capture. (f) Nominal Group Technique (NGT) This provides an interface between consensus and brainstorming. Here the panel of experts becomes a Nominal Group whose meetings are structured in order to effectively pool individual judgment. Idea writing is a structured group approach used for developing ideas as well as exploring their meaning and the net result is usually a written report. Two experts (in the same problem domain) may produce distinct sets of personal and subjective results. The grid is used for capturing and evaluating the expert’s model. the knowledge developer conducting the exercise tries to rally the experts towards one or two alternatives.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT A scenario provides a concrete vision of how some specific human activity can be supported by information technology.
o Each idea of interest is usually represented by a node linked by lines (called arcs) which shows relationships between nodes. o To communicate ideas. It is an effective way for a group to function without losing their individuality. (i) Blackboarding In this case. Concept Mapping It is a network of concepts consisting of nodes and links. o Fundamentally it is a network of concepts and relationships. a semantic net is a collection of nodes linked together to form a net. Similar to concept mapping. A node represents a concept. o Interpretation o Utilization. the experts work together to solve a specific problem using the blackboard as their workspace. and a link represents the relationship between concepts. 98 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . o A knowledge developer can graphically represent descriptive/declarative knowledge through a net. Each expert gets equal opportunity to contribute to the solution via the blackboard. o Statement structuring.DBA 1735 NOTES Each expert’s contributions are shared with the rest of the experts by using the results from each questionnaire to construct the next questionnaire. Six-step procedure for using a concept map as a tool: o Preparation. o Idea generation. o To generate ideas. Concept mapping can be done for several reasons: o To design complex structures. Concept mapping is designed to transform new concepts/propositions into the existing cognitive structures related to knowledge capture. It is a structured conceptualization. It is assumed that all participants are experts. The process of blackboarding continues till the solution has been reached. o Representation. o To diagnose misunderstanding. but they might have acquired their individual expertise in situations different from those of the other experts in the group.
Efficient storage of information 4.7 KNOWLEDGE CODIFICATION After knowledge is captured. codification means converting tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge in a usable form for the organizational members. explicit. it is organized and codified in a manner amenable for transfer and effective use. Diverse approaches to problem-solving. 5. Flexible representation of information. The organizing part is usually in the form of a decision tree. 3. From an information system view. or a repository that can store all partial solutions and other necessary data that are presently in various stages of completion. 7. 10. Components of blackboard system: 8. 13. and usable for value-added decision making. codification is converting undocumented to documented information. a decision table. Often knowledge is not available at the correct time when it is needed. but hoarded (this can involve political implications). 16. Common language for interaction. a frame. accessible. 2. Organized participation. A Control Mechanism: It coordinates the pattern and flow of the problem solution. Codification must be in a form and a structure that will build the knowledge base which must make it accessible. a database. 3. The knowledge developer should note the following points before initiating knowledge codification: 12. NOTES 99 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Often knowledge is not found in the proper form. 15. codification is making corporate-specific knowledge (tacit and explicit) visible. Diffusion of new knowledge is too slow. 14. 6. Recorded knowledge is often difficult to access (because it is either fragmented or poorly organized). etc. From a knowledge management perspective. 11. Knowledge is nor shared. Iterative approach to problem-solving. and easy to access. The Blackboard : It is a global memory structure. The inference engine and the knowledge base are part of the blackboard system. The Knowledge Source (KS): Each KS is an independent expert observing the status of the blackboard and trying to contribute a higher level partial solution based on the knowledge it has and how well such knowledge applies to the current blackboard state. Knowledge codification is organizing and representing knowledge before it is accessed by authorized personnel.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Characteristics of blackboard system: 1. Regardless of view. 9.
Key can be extracted from database or literature and placed in tabular form as lists of facts. telecommunications systems. Knowledge Mapping is very useful when it is required to visualize and explore complex systems. Often knowledge is not present in the proper location where it should be present. These tabled relationships can then be connected in networks to form the required knowledge maps. They can represent explicit/tacit. internal / external knowledge. 18. Often the knowledge is found to be incomplete. It may identify strengths to exploit and missing knowledge gaps to fill. 100 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . It is a sort of directory that points towards people. 3. It is not a knowledge repository. Knowledge map is a visual representation of knowledge.7. It indicates that self-determined change is sustainable. Knowledge Mapping is a multi-step process. documents.7.2 Codification Tools and Procedures (a) Knowledge Maps Knowledge maps originated from the belief that people act on things that they understand and accept. documented / undocumented. and customer-supplier chains in the stock market. formal/informal. and repositories. the internet.DBA 1735 NOTES 17. Examples of complex systems are ecosystems.1 Codifying Knowledge An organization must focus on the following before codification: o What organizational goals will the codified knowledge serve? o What knowledge exists in the organization that can address these goals? o How useful is the existing knowledge for codification? o How would someone codify knowledge? Codifying tacit knowledge (in its entirety) in a knowledge base or repository is often difficult because it is usually developed and internalized in the minds of the human 3.
20. if the amount is less than Rs.35.35. do not apply any discount. Steps to build the map: (b A structure of the knowledge requirements should be developed. A phonecard company sends out monthly invoices to permanent customers and gives them discount if payments are made within two weeks. if the amount is greater than or equal to Rs. It consists of some conditions. Knowledge required of specific jobs must be defined. You should rate employee performance by knowledge competency. subtract a 4% discount. Their discounting policy is as follows: ‘If the amount of the order of phonecards is greater than Rs.20 and less than or equal to Rs. subtract 5% of the order.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT NOTES Figure 3. and actions.” 101 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .4 Knowledge Map A popular knowledge map used in human resources is a skills planner in which employees are matched to jobs. You should link the knowledge map to some training program for career development and job advancement Decision Table It is another technique used for knowledge codification. rules.
5 Decision Table (c) Decision Tree It is also a knowledge codification technique. CONDITIONS AND ACTIONS RULES 1 Paid within 2 weeks Order > Rs.20<= Order <= Rs.6 Decision Tree 102 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .DBA 1735 NOTES We shall develop a decision table for their discounting decisions. where the condition alternatives are ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Figure 3. A decision tree for the phonecard company discounting policy (as discussed above) is shown next.35 Rs. A decision tree is usually a hierarchically arranged semantic network.35 Order < Rs.20 5% discount 4% discount No discount Y Y N N X RULES 2 Y N Y N X X X RULES RULES 3 Y N N Y 4 N - Figure 3.
o Facet: The value of an object/slot. Deciding on the programming language(s). The action part of the rule is separated from the premise by the keyword THEN. Rules can incorporate certain levels of uncertainty. Considering partial solutions and liking them through rules and procedures to arrive at a final solution. The premise is a Boolean expression that should evaluate to be true for the rule to be applied. Developing the user interface. Testing and validating the system. In case of knowledge-based systems. A certainty factor is synonymous with a confidence level. In case of knowledge-based systems.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (d) Frames A frame is a codification scheme used for organizing knowledge through previous experience. Reducing unnecessary risk. It deals with a combination of declarative and operational knowledge. Role of inferencing: NOTES 103 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Syntax: IF (premise) THEN (action) Example: IF income is ‘standard’ and payment history is ‘good’. which is a subjective quantification of an expert’s judgment. Deciding on the software package(s). Promoting clarity. planning involves: Breaking the entire system into manageable modules. making rules clear. Key elements of frames: o Slot: A specific object being described/an attribute of an entity. (e) Production Rules They are conditional statements specifying an action to be taken in case a certain condition is true. flexibility. THEN ‘approve home loan’. The action clause consists of a statement or a series of statements separated by AND’s or comma’s and is executed if the premise is true. They codify knowledge in the form of premise-action pairs. rules are based on heuristics or experimental reasoning.
most importantly. People with knowledge provide content. Adding new cases and reclassifying the case library usually expands knowledge. (f Case-Based Reasoning It is reasoning from relevant past cases in a way similar to human’s use of past experiences to arrive at conclusions. They can exhibit goal directed behaviour by taking initiative. The aim is to bring up the most similar historical case that matches the present case. A case library may require considerable database storage as well as an efficient retrieval system. This combination provides the efficiency and performance to managing the knowledge core of the organization.7. (g) Knowledge-Based Agents An intelligent agent is a program code which is capable of performing autonomous action in a timely fashion. increasing awareness of the criticality of knowledge sharing amongst all employees. KM infrastructure is complete with a dedicated team. a fully functional technical infrastructure and. relying on technology to transfer and share knowledge. An inference engine is a program that manages the inferencing strategies. technology and content. o People usually draw informative conclusions. In terms of knowledge-based systems. 3. 104 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . they can be programmed to interact with other agents or humans by using some agent communication language. These components are inseparable and interdependent as shown in Figure 3.8 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE OR ARCHITECTURE Knowledge management infrastructure is a prerequisite to knowledge sharing which is viewed as a combination of people. an agent can be programmed to learn from the user behaviour and deduce future behaviour for assisting the user. Case-based reasoning is a technique that records and documents cases and then searches the appropriate cases to determine their usefulness in solving new cases presented to the expert. o Reasoning depends on premise as well as on general knowledge. Reasoning is the process of applying knowledge to arrive at the conclusion.DBA 1735 NOTES Inferencing implies the process of deriving a conclusion based on statements that only imply that conclusion.
and the database(s) they usually access. the people they usually contact for solutions. Here. the term knowledge center means areas in the organization where knowledge is available for capturing. the official emails they send/receive. the next step is to find out where the required knowledge resides. All the above stated resources help to create an employee profile. our goal is to evaluate the existing information/ documents which are used by people. a knowledge network has to be designed in such a way as to assign people authority and responsibility for specific kinds of knowledge content. customers. In order to expedite knowledge sharing. These centers supports to identify expert(s) or expert teams in each center who can collaborate in the necessary knowledge capture process. and suppliers. a conceptual view The People Core By people. which can later be used as the basis for designing a knowledge management system. Activating knowledge content satellites This step breaks down each knowledge center into some more manageable levels. the applications needed by them. managers. which means: Identifying knowledge centers After determining the knowledge that people need. here we mean knowledge workers. 105 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT NOTES PEOPLE TECHNOLOGY CONTENT Figure 3. satellites. and the way to capture it successfully. or areas. The idea behind assessing the people core is to do a proper job in case of assigning job content to the right person and to make sure that the flow of information that once was obstructed by departments now flows to right people at right time. the associates they collaborate with.7 Knowledge Management. As the first step in knowledge architecture.
It is the top layer in the KM system architecture. one manager should be assigned for each knowledge satellite that will ensure integrity of information content. software. and the specialized human resources. security. access. Communication networks create links between necessary databases. Technology provides a lot of opportunities for managing tacit knowledge in the area of communication. Here the term technical core is meant to refer to the totality of the required hardware. and knowledge implementation. speed. A knowledge core usually becomes a network of technologies designed to work on top of the organization’s existing network. graphics. The way the text. fight can occur over the budget or over the control of sensitive processes (this includes the kind of knowledge a department owns). tables etc are displayed on the screen tends to simplify the technology for the user. the goal of knowledge economy is to push employees towards greater efficiency/ productivity by making best possible use of the knowledge they posses.DBA 1735 NOTES Assigning experts for each knowledge center o After the final framework has been decided. o In a typical organization. o Often. o Ownership is a crucial factor in case of knowledge capture. The user interface layer should provide a way for the proper flow of tacit and explicit knowledge. o These reasons justify the process of assigning department ownership to knowledge content and knowledge process. reliability. departments usually tend to be territorial. Since an organization can be thought of as a knowledge network. and integrity. User Interface Layer Usually a web browser represents the interface between the user and the KM system. knowledge transfer. and update. Expected attributes of technology under the technical core: Accuracy. o Adjacent / interdependent departments should be cooperative and ready to share knowledge. 106 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The Technical Core The objective of the technical core is to enhance communication as well as ensure effective knowledge sharing.
o Undesirable material (movies. suppliers. images. Extranet is a type of intranet with extensions allowing specified people (customers. use of protocols (like passwords). o Unauthorized access from the outside world. The knowledge is usually captured by using internet. and making it available to people for solving complex problems. An organization’s intranet represents the internal network of communication systems. storing it in knowledge base. Features to be considered in case of user interface design: o o o Consistency Relevancy Usability NOTES o Visual clarity o Ease of Navigation Figure 3. etc. music etc). intranet of extranet. and software tools like firewalls.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT The necessary knowledge transfer between people and technology involves capturing tacit knowledge from experts. Issues related to the access layer: access privileges. Firewalls can protect against: o E-mails that can cause problems.8 The Transfer of Knowledge Authorized Access Layer This layer maintains security as well as ensures authorized access to the knowledge captured and stored in the organization’s repositories. 107 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .) to access some organizational information. o Unauthorized sensitive information leaving the organization. backups. The access layer is mostly focused on security.
In terms of the prerequisites for this layer. Key components of this layer: o The registration directory that develops tailored information based on user profile. o Flexibility o Scalability o Ease of use. the following criteria can be considered: o Security. Collaborative Intelligence and Filtering Layer This layer provides customized views based on stored knowledge. reason. o Membership in specific services. o Viruses on floppy disks. 108 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Intelligent agents (active objects which can perceive.DBA 1735 NOTES Firewalls can not protect against: o Attacks not going through the firewall. news service etc. and act in a situation to help problem solving) are found to be extremely useful in some situations. there happens to be frequent and direct interaction between the client and the server. In case of mobile agent computing. o Portability. o The search facility such as a search engine. Authorized users can find information (through a search mechanism) tailored to their needs. o Heterogeneous operation. the interaction happens between the agent and the server. o Integration. A mobile agent roams around the internet across multiple servers looking for the correct information. such as sales promotion. In case of client/server computing. Some benefits can be found in the areas of: o Fault tolerance. o Weak security policies. o Reduced overall network load.
search tools. NOTES Transport Layer This is the most technical layer. These may include legacy applications.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge-Enabling Application Layer (Value-Added Layer) This creates a competitive edge. intelligent data warehouses. extranets. o An integrated repository brings together all the knowledge available from the repositories. and internet. 109 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . In this layer we consider multimedia. This layer associates with LAN (Local Area Network). o The main advantage of an integrated knowledge repository is that the user does not care in which repository the knowledge resides. They include knowledge bases. they are linked to form an integrated repository. intranets. It contains a range of programs to do this job. Repositories Layer It is the bottom layer of the KM architecture which represents the physical layer in which repositories are installed. connectivity speeds/bandwidths. Most of the applications help users to do their jobs in better ways. discussion databases. It ensures to make the organization a network of relationships where electronic transfer of knowledge can be considered as routine. URL’s. o After establishing the repositories. operational databases etc. decision support etc. and consider managing of network traffic. A conceptual model for an enterprise-wide integrated knowledge management system is shown in Figure 3.9. Middleware Layer This layer makes it possible to connect between old and new data formats. WAN (Wide Area Network).
110 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . categorizes and analyses an organization’s knowledge assets. organizational units or groups. In effect. organizes. The way core knowledge is shared with other members of the knowledge community is an important issue for organizations. The repository also acts as the vehicle for contributing new knowledge. forms of knowledge such as unwritten local rules and procedures.9 Integrated Knowledge Management System 3. web sites. but nonetheless still explicit. The repository can be searched and data can be quickly retrieved. The focus of such systems tends to be on storing unstructured. The aim is to be able to retrieve data in a context sensitive way rather than just through the use of simple keyword-based retrieval. It is a collaborative system where people can query and browse both structured and unstructured information in order to retrieve and preserve organizational knowledge assets and facilitate collaborative working. and for requesting personalized services which keep the user updated on repository additions. a highly effective knowledge repository should serve as a single point of contact for all knowledge needs. The knowledge repositories act as the link between users and core knowledge.DBA 1735 NOTES Figure 3. policies and other avenues) which may guide and inform the knowledge seeker. operating as a single point of entry to help people to find relevant information from many different organizational sources.9 REPOSITORIES A Knowledge Repository is a computerized system that systematically and continuously captures. A repository’s broad functions are to codify explicit knowledge in a logical manner and to direct the user to enabling sources (including people.
2 Features of knowledge repository Knowledge repositories offer a range of options for users to explore. with the main menu offering access to identified knowledge sources in the organization and beyond. such as topics. The repository may include the following: links to organizational and external sources search services to help users find required objects or sources reference materials and services discussion topics frequently asked questions (FAQs) case studies real-life examples a site where solution may be shared a help services to support users who are unfamiliar with the system a contribution channel to allow easy linkage of new materials a direct link to keywords which may help find sources an explanation of system scope and usage information on the main knowledge support officers 111 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . projects or reports: methodologies. 3. 3. knowledge activities and core business priorities should all be reflected in the features of the repository. problem solving). learning. For example. users might seek guidance on the following: content. algorithms. such as research approaches.e. principles and generalizations). i.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 3. techniques and methods) and 4. meta-cognitive (knowledge about knowledge. templates and data presentation longitudinal developments to build an historical perspective. factual (terminology. 2. models.9. A major challenge is the anticipation of those needs so that a successful outcome is generally possible. NOTES They will have many different needs to be supported through the repository. as it supports a specific knowledge community. These forms of knowledge can be presented in a number of ways to facilitate effective access with different needs. procedural (skills. specific details and elements). Each repository will be presented in a different way and with different content and features. The users’ expectations and priorities. thinking.1 Content of knowledge repository That there are four layers of organizational knowledge which needs to be shared through repository: 1.9. conceptual (theories.
The repository should be indexed according to those concepts and categories. retrieved and manipulated. These links may represent conceptual associations. Repositories need to be carefully developed to provide this selective but detailed guidance on what is known in the organization. indexed. circumstances and intentions under which the knowledge was developed and is to be applied (specific contextual knowledge). A high degree of viewing flexibility enables users to alter and combine views dynamically and interactively and to more easily apply the knowledge to new contexts and circumstances. knowledge-as-object becomes knowledge-as-process.3 The design of a knowledge repository The design of a knowledge repository reflects the two basic components of knowledge as an object: structure and content. The repository structure also includes the schemes for linking and cross-referencing knowledge units. An effective repository ensures users can draw from an appropriate array of options which support their most important knowledge activities.g. processes. stored. 3. and competitor intelligence for a particular market might be stored separately but viewed as though contained in one repository. To reflect the full range of explicit organizational knowledge.1) For example. At this point. size and content of knowledge units may vary depending on the type of explicit knowledge being stored and the context of their use. These repositories may be logically linked to form a composite or “virtual” repository. actions and sequences of events (procedural knowledge). the content of each providing context for interpreting the content of the others. Knowledge structures provide the context for interpreting accumulated content. ordered sequences. atomic packet of knowledge content that can be labeled. (Refer Figure 1.DBA 1735 NOTES A repository is unlikely to include all these features. If the repository is conceived as a “knowledge platform”.9. each with a structure appropriate to a particular type of knowledge or content. categories. providing access paths that are meaningful to the organization. causality or other relationships depending on the type of knowledge being stored. best sales practices. The selectivity of the content management system is its strength. It cannot be all things to all workers. 112 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . a formally defined. and by whom. Its design needs to reflect user needs and the knowledge that is most important to core business.. The basic structural element is the knowledge unit. rationale for actions or conclusions (causal knowledge). by linking annotations) as subsequent authors and creators adapt the knowledge for use in additional contexts. then many different views of the content may be derived from a particular repository structure. and the linkages among them. A knowledge platform may actually consist of several repositories. and definitions. (declarative knowledge). product literature. repositories should strive to record significant and meaningful concepts. It should accommodate changes or additions to that knowledge (e. The format.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT NOTES Figure 1. is subjected to value-adding processes (refining) such as cleansing. requiring major reorganization. Information and knowledge is either created within the organization or can be acquired from many different internal and external sources. Presentation. Storage and Retrieval. Refining.10 Composite Designs 3. This process includes five stages: Acquisition.9. integrating. Distribution. Once created. and reorganizing what is left. and re-categorizing. abstracting. standardizing. This stage bridges upstream repository creation to downstream knowledge distribution. reaching a point where they begin to collapse under their own weight. Capabilities should be provided for flexibly arranging. Their rejuvenation requires deleting obsolete content. selecting. Captured knowledge. labeling. sorting. Reorganizing requires eliminating those redundancies.4 The Knowledge Refinery The refinery represents the process for creating and distributing the knowledge contained in the repository. The value of knowledge is pervasively influenced by the context of its use. before being added to the repository. This stage represents the mechanisms used to make repository content accessible. and integrating the knowledge content. Content or topic areas may become fragmented or redundant.9. archiving less active but potentially useful content. 113 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . they tend to grow. indexing.5 Repository lifecycle Knowledge repositories have a lifecycle that must be managed. 3.
Different lexicons naturally emerge from different parts of an organization. Often the variety of experiences within a local community of practice is not great enough to fully understand some phenomenon. They support well-structured repositories for managing explicit knowledge while enabling interaction to integrate tacit knowledge. However. In most organizations. Yet their explication is essential for effectively managing explicitly encoded organizational knowledge. their structure must reflect the structure of shared mental models or contextual knowledge tacitly held by the organization. and restructuring categories as needed. This requires defining what is meant by a knowledge-unit and how that collection of knowledge units should be meaningfully indexed and categorized for ease of access. Together. the variation of experience is enlarged. retrieval. the ability to integrate and share knowledge depends on some broadly meaningful scheme for its structure. generalizing content for easier reapplication.10 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT APPLICATIONS Based on the knowledge management architecture. By sharing knowledge of how customers in different market segments made use of a particular product. By being able to combine experiences across communities. exchange and integration. Creating “semantic consensus” even within common practice communities is often a difficult task. those structures are neither well-defined nor widely shared.DBA 1735 NOTES combining similar contributions. let alone across an entire organization. For example. salespeople in each territory were exposed to patterns. these approaches provide a broad set of knowledge processing capabilities. an imaging firm had created a standard means to capture and share sales techniques among its market segments. Standards are in many ways counter to the culture of many organizations.11). Successful knowledge management organizations proactively manage and reorganize their repositories as an ongoing activity rather than waiting for decline to set in before acting. A practice community’s exposure to how its knowledge can be applied in other contexts increases the scope and value of that knowledge.9. 3. 114 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . knowledge processing can be segmented into two broad classes: integrative and interactive (Refer Figure 1. insights and selling opportunities they might not have perceived on their own. each addressing different knowledge management objectives. as is the ability to learn from those experiences. 3. Integration of knowledge across different contexts opens an organization to new insights.6 Repository structure For knowledge repositories to be meaningful.
Figure 1.11 Segments of knowledge processing Integrative Applications Integrative applications exhibit a sequential flow of explicit knowledge into and out of the repository. Producers and consumers interact with the repository rather than with each other directly. The repository becomes the primary medium for knowledge exchange, providing a place for members of a knowledge community to contribute their knowledge and views. The primary focus tends to be on the repository and the explicit knowledge it contains, rather than on the contributors, users, or the tacit knowledge they may hold. Integrative applications vary in the extent to which knowledge producers and consumers come from the same knowledge community. At one extreme, lies electronic publishing, wherein the consumers (readers) neither directly engage in the same work nor belong to the same practice community as the producers (authors). Once published, the content tends to be stable, and those few updates that may be required are expected to originate with authors. The consumer accepts the content as it is, and active feedback or modification by the user is not anticipated (although provisions could be made for that to occur). For example, the organization may produce a periodic newsletter, or the human resources department may publish its policies or a directory of employee skills and experience.
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At the other extreme, the producers and consumers are members of the same practice community or organizational unit. While still exhibiting a sequential flow, the repository provides a means to integrate and build on their collective knowledge. We can label these as integrated knowledge-bases. A best-practices database is the most common application. Practices are collected, integrated and shared among people confronting similar problems. Regarding the organizational roles for managing integrative applications, acquisition requires knowledge creators, finders, and collectors. Capturing verbal knowledge requires interviewers and transcribers. Documenting observed experiences requires organizational reporters. Surfacing and interpreting deeply held cultural and social knowledge may require corporate anthropologists. Refining requires analysts, interpreters, abstractors, classifiers, editors, and integrators. A librarian or “knowledge curator” must manage the repository. Others must take responsibility for access, distribution and presentation. Finally, organizations may need people to train users to critically interpret, evaluate and adapt knowledge to new contexts. Interactive Applications Interactive applications are focused primarily on supporting interaction among people holding tacit knowledge. In contrast to integrative applications, the repository is a byproduct of interaction and collaboration rather than the primary focus of the application. Its content is dynamic and emergent. Interactive applications vary by the level of expertise between producers and consumers and the degree of structure imposed on their interaction. Where formal training or knowledge transfer is the objective, the interaction tends to be primarily between instructor and student, or expert and novice, and structured around a discrete problem, assignment or lesson plan. We can refer these applications as distributed learning. In contrast, interaction among those performing common practices or tasks tends to be more ad hoc or emergent. We may broadly refer to these applications as forums. They may take the form of a knowledge brokerage - an electronic discussion space where people may either search for knowledge (e.g., “Does anyone know…”) or advertise their expertise. The most interactive forums support ongoing, collaborative discussions. The producers and consumers comprise the same group of people, continually responding to and building on each individual’s additions to the discussion. The flow continually loops back from presentation to acquisition. With the appropriate structuring and indexing of the content, a knowledge repository can emerge. A standard categorization scheme for indexing contributions provides the ability to reapply that knowledge across the enterprise. Interactive applications play a major role in supporting integrative applications. For example, a forum can be linked to an electronic publishing application for editors to discuss
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the quality of the contributions, or to offer a place for readers to react to and discuss the publication. Best practice databases typically require some degree of forum interaction, so that those attempting to adopt a practice have an opportunity to discuss its reapplication with its creators. Regarding the organizational roles for managing interactive applications, acquisition requires recruiters and facilitators to encourage and manage participation in interactive forums so that those with the appropriate expertise are contributing. The refining, structuring, and indexing of the content often is done by the communicators themselves, using guidelines and categories built into the application, supplemented by a conference moderator. Assuring the quality of the knowledge may require quality assurance personnel such as subject matter experts and reputation brokers. Managing a conference repository over its lifecycle usually falls to a conference moderator. Others may be required to work with users to help them become comfortable and skilled with accessing and using the application. Composite Applications Complex knowledge management problems typically require multiple repositories segmented by a degree of interactivity, volatility of content, or the structure of the knowledge itself. Each repository may have a different set of processes and roles by which its content is created, refined and stored. Long-cycle knowledge may have a more formal review and approved process, while best practices may receive a more expedited editing, and discussion databases for rapid exchange may have no review process other than after-the-fact monitoring by a forum moderator. Further, use of knowledge repositories typically causes knowledge creation and use to become separated in time and space. Therefore, the knowledge must be continually evaluated to ensure that it applies to present context and circumstances. Repositories and their underlying management processes may, therefore, need to be segmented based on the volatility of their context as well as content. For example, the storage structures and processes for managing product knowledge in rapidly changing markets may differ significantly from managing that knowledge in stable markets. Segmenting these repositories and identifying any significant differences in their refinery processes is crucial for successful application, as is their integration to provide seamless access to their knowledge. 3.11 COLLABORATIVE PLATFORMS Collaborative platform is a tool that supports team members or other tools that share information and contribute to knowledge management system. The collaborative platform, along with the communications network services and hardware, provides the pipeline to enable the flow of explicated knowledge, its context, and the medium for conversations. Besides this, the collaborative platform provides a surrogate channel for defining, storing, moving, and linking digital objects, such as conversation threads that correspond to knowledge units. The collaboration platform enables the content of the KM system with a
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high degree of flexibility so that it is rendered meaningful, useful, and applicable across the many possible contexts of use. More importantly, the collaborative platform empowers the users. The user can either search for content - the pull approach to content delivery – or subscribe to content, that is, have content pushed to him or her. 3.11.1 Different features of platforms (a) Collaborative filtering Collaborative filtering or deduction, gathers knowledge on general user traits, and models this into a profile. A profile is compared to other profiles by detecting similarities and opposites. It then makes predictions upon these comparisons. Sharing of knowledge through peer recommendations is widely used mechanism distributing information. Collaborative filtering can be built into a KM system by deploying one of two possible mechanisms: 1. Active filtering: Users manually define filters and pointers to interesting content and share across their work group. 2. Automated filtering: Statistical algorithms make recommendations based on correlations between the user’s personal preferences and content ratings. Content ratings can be generated either automatically (such as those produced by measuring the average time all readers spent on reading the item) or by manually assigning an average rating (aggregated across multiple readers). (b Community-centered collaborative filtering
Automated collaborative filtering might seem to be reasonable approach, but it will not provide the expected benefits or gain a sufficiently high level of commitment from its users if it ignores the community that it is built for. Separation of automated filtering from personal relationships limits its usefulness to a greater degree than one might expect. The network of existing social relationship between employees can be a valuable basis for improving the collaborative filtering process. Although anonymity of contributors is essential, anonymous reviews tend to carry less weight than do signed ones. This is especially true in collaborative communities where people know colleagues by name and reputation. Reputation, trust, and reciprocity come into the picture of collaborative process enhancers when contributions are signed. (c) Meta knowledge Meta knowledge implies knowing what you know and it is knowledge about knowledge. Knowledge inventories, knowledge maps and expertise directories are examples of meta-knowledge. When a request for information is sent to a computer-based repository or database, the system has no way of determining whether the information is known or present in its memory. For example, if a traditional database is confronted with a request
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multimedia support.11. areas of expertise. In work groups where context is not well shared. and develop new products and services. Companies are developing these collaborative tools to foster information sharing among employees. They help to foster relations between two business partners and provide access to all the relevant information that is shared on an ongoing basis. the system will have to search exhaustively through all records before it can determine whether a record on the missing customer exist in the database. (e) Technology choices When choosing a technology or a vendor. In other words. when a company is faced with an incoming glut of information. Therefore. confusion often surrounds the determination of the presence or absence of that information. ensure that rich communications (video conferencing. it is vital to consider whether that technology or that vendor will be there throughout the life of the system. the significance of rich communications channels and a high degree of interactivity cannot be overemphasized. Most companies build on cross-functional teams – people with differing backgrounds. make decisions. Creation of meta knowledge is often extremely context dependent and requires the use of pattern recognition or analogical reasoning. Being able to extract meta knowledge from knowledge is a necessary characteristic of an effective KM system. organizational affiliations. In the same vein. Can the technology deliver consistency that the application requires and it provide the quality is also important considerations? 3. and culture to solve problems. there is little that the company can do to figure out whether that information represents something truly new or unknown. and informal channels) are built in to the KM system as an integrated feature. It is also necessary to ensure that vendor’s technology is a market leader and ancillary products and services remain available. Let us analyse some of the commonly available tools and technologies used as collaborative platform.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT for information on two customers. knowledge tends to be primarily tacit in nature. NOTES 119 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . If loose social bonding exists between potential users of the system.2 Tools for collaborative platform Knowledge sharing is an important component for any business to move ahead. only one of which exists in the database. not as a separate add-on component. voice. Collaborative tools play an important role in knowledge sharing. (d) Accommodating multiple degrees of context The use of IT tools is necessary for effective sharing of knowledge through KM system when an organization shares an interpretive context. The benefits of knowledge management are tremendous if it is used as a catalyst for collaborative efforts.
An organizational portal serves as an ideal tool that lets a member of an organization to select what information the member wishes to receive. Some examples of collaborative tools include: 120 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . distribute selected information to selected people. For most organizations. They are also capable of handling information from structured as well as unstructured data sources and include collaborative functions. usually implemented through a web browser that offers a single gateway into a universe of information about a specific subject area. publishing processes. Many intranets are valuable tools to support knowledge. which help put information into action and thus directly contribute to a KM framework within an enterprise. They allow for virtual on-line meetings and data sharing. The organizational intranet can be optimized to support collaborative platform if changes are made to the existing content. collaborative platform if they have the confidence that it will consistently provide them with authoritative. organize information and collaborate with others on how information should be organized. (c) Other collaborative tools Collaborative tools (groupware) are computer-based tools that help people work together and share information. (b) Portals A portal is a system of integrated applications.DBA 1735 NOTES (a) Intranets It is certainly true that knowledge management is not a technology issue. validated and qualified knowledge in return. and the information architecture of the intranet. Well-planned intranets make ideal platforms for knowledge management initiatives as employees use the intranet as a learning. effort must still be spent in providing a suitable environment to facilitate knowledge capture and sharing. this role is most easily taken on by the corporate intranet. the existing information resource that is available to most staff.
Permits real time display of drawings. Use video at a desktop computer or a video teleconferencing center to see the person or group with whom you are working virtually. Once complete. Topics are posted to a website for discussion and comment where participants can follow a line of discussion on a topic. the text document can be copied into word processing software. it becomes a knowledge management device and is invaluable to a long term effort. The most popular way of outrunning "snail mail. pictures or documents for group discussion and comment.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Examples of Generic Collaborative Tools Tool Chat (Audio and text) Description Use this to conduct toll-free conversations. NOTES Whiteboard Bulletin board Video Discussion groups (newsgroups) File sharing tools Presentation tools Application sharing Text tools Email Persistent capability 121 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Using this tool. Used to post notices and facilitate discussions on any topic. an entire team can use an application running on one computer to revise documents. Virtual file cabinets allow information to be stored on web servers. Allows live text input and editing by group members. Properly organized. No need to wait for something to arrive in your mailbox. Participants can annotate in real time as well. These are used in a virtual auditorium and allow lectures and briefings to be given to an audience." This is the ability to preserve files. briefings or other team/ project material for future reference. and are available to anyone having access to the site and electronic permission to use the files.
in real time—to work out the necessary changes. 3. the retailer and the vendor can view the document simultaneously—online.DBA 1735 NOTES Collaborative tools are great for bringing geographically dispersed teams together for virtual meetings. share documents and drawings and specifications to be sure they’ll be able to deliver. both parties can notify the appropriate people within their companies to view the updated purchase order and make the necessary scheduling changes. When companies start using knowledge management as a catalyst for collaborative efforts— ranging from sharing the plans for a new product or an invoice that needs sorting out—the potential benefits are huge. collaborative tools allow better change management by permitting the team to continuously communicate with the organization at large. Additionally. That video could be stored on a secure Web site to be referred to later if necessary. (b) Sales forecasts can also be one of the most critical applications for collaborativebased knowledge management systems. (d) Collaborative KM also has the potential for greater sharing of information during the design of a new product. This can reduce time to market. and even departments within a company.11. A benefit for process redesign teams is that they can now interact more easily with process experts in other locations. financial data and even human resource information. A cell phone maker. Once the purchase order has been adjusted. the parties involved in a project can set up a “virtual office” on the Web that provides access to all relevant information that is shared on an ongoing basis. cell phone or instant messaging. and in many cases the alerts can be triggered automatically. Essentially. to work together. The KM system acts as both a communication hub and data repository. pager. for example. a buyer at a retail firm might be able to get an e-mail alert that a vendor has a concern about a particular purchase order. For example. That notification can happen via e-mail. This can bring more information to the core team faster and can elicit important inputs that may have been missed just because it was inconvenient or expensive to transport the person to the session physically. Together. which are corporate wide systems used for tracking things such as inventory. Knowledge management needs to be built around transactions and Collaboration features of a knowledge management system help companies work together. 122 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . can have dozens or even hundreds of component suppliers and work very closely with the top 10 maybe and get them involved in the new phone design. (c) Companies are also integrating KM with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. a video conference might be arranged. If a further discussion between the retailer and the supplier is necessary.3 Collaborative knowledge applications (a) Collaborative technologies or tools such as instant messaging and video conferencing are being integrated into KM systems to provide seamless access to all types of information necessary for companies. and you can hopefully deal with quality issues upfront.
Not only could the team coordinate better but it could do so faster and with conviction.000 plus employees involved.12 CASE STUDY TCS sees synergy in Gen X tools A team of engineers at India’s largest IT services provider firm. and jam sessions. IM is clearly the most popular method with almost 1. the KM portal .uses 8-9 channels of communication to get the 100. These systems are now accessible through a standard Internet browser. It now uses tools that are popular among Generation ‘X’ such as IM. for instance. it uses multiple universal access technology. Blog platform and Idea Storm. South America and India . the company also uses the ‘Just Ask’ system (embedded into the KM). and acts as a store-house of corporate knowledge.Europe. The current KM portal using the latest technology encourages sharing. It was then that a project manager suggested the use of a central instant messaging (IM) system. uses a single system for IM worldwide. one can access information from a laptop while on move. While it was cocoordinating work from three geographical units . That’s not all. private IP telephony (where an employee can dial a seven-digit number and speak to anyone anywhere in the world). TCS’ knowledge management initiative has always kept pace with the latest technology available at the time. collaboration tools. Followed by Just Ask System. NOTES 123 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The Idea Storm is a once-a-year event wherein 2-3 topics are posed by the corporate team on which ideas are invited by everyone. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was working on a project for an important client.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (e) The benefit of a Web-based collaborative KM system is that it does not require any specialized software to enable business partners to view documents and other files online.000 online meets happening on the system everyday across the globe. “The latest technology was set up two years ago. TCS. Other than these channels. We have been upgrading regularly. Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. TCS. which could be a simple question and answer interaction to a detail discussion. 3. blogging.build using Microsoft’s Sharepoint . and video conferencing.” says Anant Krishnan. Currently at TCS.it was finding it difficult to collaborate through telephone or other voice means as there were language and pronunciation hurdles. Many of the collaboration tools are yet to be integrated into the KM portal. This is simply an instance of how the knowledge management (KM) system at TCS has undergone a sea of change over the last 20 years.
allows each associate to have a personal page like facebook or orkut. within this is a system called TIP. Learning Organization is an organization that purposefully takes steps to create architecture to enhance and maximize the potential for explorative and exploitative organizational learning to take place. Going ahead the IT behemoth will continue to invest in adopting social networking tools. It is an anytime open portal for product innovation and potential new ideas. Knowledge has to be captured and codified in such a way that it can become a part of the existing knowledge base of the organization. Of this 15-20 are reasonable good product and services idea.DBA 1735 NOTES However. Krishnan believes as the company becomes larger and as the usage in business will multiply because of the sheer access this allows. 124 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Question: Critically analyse the case in the light of collaborative concepts and list the Tata’s collaborative initiatives. create Wiki’s among other tools. It will add many more feature in its blogging systems. For instance. it is organized and codified in a manner amenable for transfer and effective use. The system. “I get about 25.” adds Krishnan. including Krishnan.” says Krishnan. Knowledge capture is a demanding mental process in which a knowledge developer collaborates with the expert to convert expertise into a coded program. today most interaction we see are on short run immediate practical solutions. Krishnan opines that the immediate advantage of the KM portal is to get solutions to practical problems. TCS has also initiated a feature called My Site.000 TCS staff blog on the official intranet. 8. After knowledge is captured.” he says. “I use my blog as a means to gathering inputs on some problem I might face or on specific platform.000-50. it is blogging that has caught on quite rapidly. embedded into the KM portal. Applying the concept of learning to organizations. Almost 40.00010. This is the process of organizational learning. Now.000 solutions a year on any given issue right from how TCS should innovate its buses to product innovation. Knowledge codification is organizing and representing knowledge before it is accessed by authorized personnel. “In the 80s KM were deployed with an ability to get tactical teams to work on programmes.000 employees are using this. SUMMARY Companies that build competitive advantage through effective information and knowledge management must continually refresh and update their intellectual capital. organizational learning can be described as the collective learning of the organization.
SHORT QUESTIONS 1. What is the interviewer effect? 12. 3. Explain knowledge codification in your own words. What is a knowledge map? 9. Define organizational learning. along with the communications network services and hardware. and the medium for conversations. Define brainstorming and how it differs from e-brainstorming? 13. 7. How would you identify expertise? 11. Distinguish between protocol analysis and Delphi method. 16. The repository can be searched and data can be quickly retrieved. It is a collaborative system where people can query and browse both structured and unstructured information in order to retrieve and preserve organizational knowledge assets and facilitate collaborative working. What is a knowledge repository? What are its contents? 19. What are the characteristics of learning organizations? 4. 21. Distinguish between decision table and decision tree. What is a portal? 22. provides the pipeline to enable the flow of explicated knowledge. its context. A Knowledge Repository is a computerized system that systematically and continuously captures. Distinguish between organizational learning and learning organization. Collaborative platform is a tool that supports team members or other tools that share information and contribute to knowledge management system. 2. What is concept mapping? 18. Compare learning organization with traditional organization. What is knowledge refining? 20. technology and content. categorizes and analyses an organization’s knowledge assets. Distinguish between intranet and extranet. 6.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge management infrastructure is a prerequisite to knowledge sharing which is viewed as a combination of people. Give the differences between blackboarding and electronic brainstorming? 17. How does knowledge map differ from decision tree? 10. What is bulletin board? 125 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . organizes. What are the distinctive features of on-site observation? 15. How knowledge codifications differ from knowledge creation? 8. 5. What is protocol analysis? 14. The collaborative platform.
15. Present justification for knowledge codification. Cite an example in which the use of multiple experts is a must. Describe in detail the individual’s role and contributions in organizational learning? 2. Write a detailed note on KM applications. In your own words. Under what conditions would you use one tool over the other? 12. Explain the five learning disciplines propounded by Peter Senge. 4. What is the commonly employed orientation by organizations for effective dissemination of knowledge? 3. Define collaborative platform? What are its tools for information sharing? 126 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . define tacit knowledge capture. In your own words. explain knowledge codification. Working with multiple experts has definite benefits and limitations. 6. 14. Define the procedure to design a knowledge repository. Review briefly some of the problems encountered during an interview? 8. Justify your decision? 7. In what way does consensus decision making follow brainstorming? 11. In what way is rapid prototyping related to interviewing? Be specific in your answer. What makes it unique? 5. 16. Summarize the pros and cons of decision tables versus decision trees. 10. How does it differ from knowledge creation? 13. 9. Explain your choice. Use an example of your own to illustrate the conditions under which you would be willing to build a KM system based on single expert.DBA 1735 NOTES LONG QUESTIONS 1. How is brainstorming conducted? Provide an example.
1 127 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . But if any change to a new management system is to deliver value in the long term. infrastructure.1 INTRODUCTION The introduction of any new management system into an organization requires a change in culture. then there needs to be a way of sustaining the culture – of making sure that behaviours stay changed.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT UNIT IV NOTES KNOWLEDGE CULTURE IN ORGANISATION 4. the introduction of a customer-relationship management (CRM) system will demand culture change in terms of the way staffs interact with clients. For example. These factors include culture. Introduction of KM in an organization is also not an exception to this and several researches suggests after review of KM critical success factors identified for its implementation that many factors have been important in implementation of a successful KM program. the processes are carried out and that people do what they are supposed to do. technology and measures. Figure 4. A common element in many KM research frameworks and models is organizational culture. Refer the following figure 4.1.
thereby transforming it from the individual to the organizational level. These processes require that the organizational culture value. and it shapes the processes by which new knowledge is created. employee suggestion programs are often developed using traditional methods (i.” Without the benefit of a culture that recognizes. information will not reach the intended audience and will thus cause a knowledge-transfer bottleneck. b) invented. methods not involving information technology). individuals must adhere to the norms. consistent performance of KM activities will not occur. managers begin to panic. Interaction and collaboration among employees is important when attempting to transmit tacit knowledge between individuals or convert tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge.. A knowledge sharing culture is an environment where individuals are willing to disseminate information regardless of the size of the organization or company. think. To be accurate. Culture is important because it shapes assumptions about what knowledge is worth exchanging. d) that has worked well enough to be considered valid and. Culture also” is [composed] of the values. encourages. or developed by a given group. attitudes and beliefs established by the organization. discovered. In order to do so. c) as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration. Organized processes are more important. competencies. it creates the context for social interaction that determines how knowledge will be shared in particular situations. a) a pattern of basic assumptions. and beliefs of a group of people that strongly influence whether and how organizational strategies are implemented. For example. managers must assess the knowledge-sharing culture within their company. sharing and documenting knowledge. and distributed in organizations. Most organizations have sufficient technology to assist them in creating. Thus a knowledge 128 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Sophisticated software applications and other technology may help but are certainly not a requirement. When these aspects of the knowledge sharing are breached. Definition of culture Culture is defined as. therefore e) is to be taught to new members as the f) correct way to perceive. Lack of technology does not prevent KM activity – it just means that KM activity must be accomplished in different ways. encourage. and rewards KM activities. and reward KM behavior. managers must examine the entire department. values. and feel in relation to those problems.e.DBA 1735 NOTES Source: Based on the American Productivity and Quality Center’s Model for Knowledge Management When firms invest numerous resources in their knowledge management infrastructure and do not see the returns later. it defines relationships between individual and organizational knowledge. When there are no signs of problems with the applications being used in the department. legitimated.
They also interpret the work culture from a number of visible or implicit cues. LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this Unit. from the rules and values adopted by individuals to the alliances formed within the organization and hence it is rare for an organization to have a single uniform culture. culture is influenced at a number of levels. Stories. beliefs and values of employees in the workplace. model and encourage different values through public displays. Thus. Several factors have been identified as key influences on organizational culture. 4. including the nature of team work. Each of these layers contributes to the socialization of new staff and the ongoing reinforcement of existing values. A strong leader can enunciate. 129 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . information flows across community. you should be able to understand the following: What is organizational culture? The relation between organizational culture and the business context and how does culture contribute to organizational innovation and success Appreciate the contribution of organizational culture to the management of change Discuss the key organizational culture enablers and the chief obstacles to effective knowledge sharing and KM How to implement knowledge culture enhancement program Describe the key components of a community of practice Define the major roles and responsibilities in a community of practice How CoP is developed and nurtured? How to develop organizational memory? NOTES 4. anecdotes and shared reminiscences all contribute to the building of culture. Individuals learn their organizational culture from the day one he or she joins the organization and these learned experiences help them to interpret the work environment so that they can conform and operate effectively in that setting. type and quality of supervision provided.2. interactions. strategic direction or ongoing encouragement. process re-engineering. level of individual involvement in organizational processes. discouraged or allowed in an organization also reinforce a certain set of values. behaviours and priorities.3. The behavioral patterns that are encouraged. ORGANISATIONAL CULTURES Organizational culture describes the collective perceptions. the climate and related morale. Leadership can be a particularly powerful influence.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT culture is required where each individual recognizes and accepts knowledge sharing as a desirable behaviour. and the quality of workplace interactions.
tolerance.DBA 1735 NOTES Culture may act as different ways in an organization which are as follows: (1) It act as a controlling mechanism which provides community members with a collective knowledge of the social expectations. and (4) It also seeks to ensure both stability and predictable values which are sustained over a long period. Principles of knowledge culture Knowledge management is a value-driven process relying on shared knowledge. and (9) Knowledge sharing is actively encouraged by supervision and leadership. Organizations should not attend more closely to the knowledge system than to the culture since KM relies on people who share and use knowledge to perform their work roles. providing direction and guidance on the social values which underlie the organization. (3) Culture may also operate as ‘social glue’. communicative cultures which encourage sharing. given the strong reliance on sharing.1. Knowledge flows should be encouraged since employees may operate from a basis of self-interest if the culture does not reinforce the knowledge values. Knowledge cultures Knowledge-intensive communities. (4) Learning is incorporated into the work community and practice. gaining employee acceptance and sustaining knowledge sharing in the workplace. The various organizational processes and 130 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . (6) Innovative ideas and solutions are developed through combined efforts. The organizational asset is in the minds of each individual and hence organizations need to demonstrate through word and action that they value what employees know. (3) Working together is seen as a core activity. honesty and concern for others is encouraged. seeking to achieve harmony. need to be concerned with the underlying values which are communicated and adopted by employees. (7) Openness. (8) Employees are kept informed of events. Knowledge cultures are particularly susceptible to cultural influences. Following are some of the implicit values found necessary in collaborative knowledge cultures: (1) Regular communication across levels and organizational units. (2) Culture can act as a ‘compass’. Introduction of KM initiatives leads to a range of responses in the form of work patterns and values. knowledge and sharing of expertise. collaboration and trust. (5) New ideas are welcomed and explored. (2) Colleagues invitation for sharing and learning.3. 4. Knowledge communities are characterized as open. collaboration and trust. consensus and cohesion among the disparate members of the community. which rely on service. requiring an integrated approach to changing employee attitudes. issues and innovations.
he or she should know the importance of sharing the right information with the right people. knowledge will be hoarded. Information that is in the hands of a few individuals can be dangerous.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT systems also need to be aligned so that the knowledge philosophy is reflected in the structures. it is often overlooked. knowledge workers must be prepared to disseminate relevant data on an ad hoc basis. With sharing being a norm for companies that depend on information to make sound business decisions. performance outcomes and rewards. (b) Promote trust One of the most crucial elements behind a solid knowledge-sharing culture is trust.2. If there is a lack of trust within the company among personnel. To do so. they must: Know how knowledge sharing has helped the company in the past through the use of case studies and best practices report Be trained on the tool used to share information within the company Be provided with “a cause-and-effect analysis” of disseminating information when it is needed Be rewarded when information is shared NOTES Individuals who are unable to see the need to share within the company may not be the most appropriate persons to work in the unit. Here are a few elements of a plan that should be taken into consideration by managers if they need to re-design their culture: Stress the need to share Promote trust Beware of information overload Have the correct tools Change the sharers Report small problems Build a solid relationship with your vendor (a) Stress the need to share Although this aspect may seem elementary. From the moment an individual is brought into a knowledge management unit. a structured plan should be followed.3. 4. Improving knowledge culture In order to improve a knowledge-sharing culture. When only a selected 131 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Thus the knowledge philosophy needs to be embedded in the organizational culture and be evident in various ways to ensure its acceptance and adoption by every employee. practices.
Begin to filter information on the basis of keywords Conduct more focus searches on the Web and databases Readjust the approach used to gather information internally Have a solid criteria to judge what is relevant to the department (d) Have the correct tools In order to have individuals contribute to a culture that promotes knowledge sharing. managers must promote an environment where knowledge workers can trust their colleagues regarding what they have discovered and analyzed. The exercises should mimic the processes that knowledge workers will carry out on a regular basis. managers should be able to evaluate what is needed to transform their department into an efficient unit that transfers data within a few clicks of a mouse. Participate in team building exercises. Team members who have been together for a long duration seem to build relationships based upon trust. (c) Beware of information overload Information overload can hinder a knowledge-sharing culture. they become powerful individuals in the company and can influence decisions that are made by top management. there is a limit to how much an individual can disseminate. The following strategies can be implemented to provide a safe and trusting department where information will not be hidden and used for someone’s own purposes. while leaving the rest of the data in emails and databases. If information overload is threatening the culture. Assess the environment. The department should not be made of individuals with their own respective goals. vital information will be held back from the individuals who need easy access to it. Finding out the root causes will lead to removing the barriers to trust. By listening to the needs of the knowledge workers. With the enormous amount of data flowing into a company and the limited amount of time that knowledge workers have per day. Instead. Being constantly bombarded with information can cause individuals to share the bare minimum. it should be made of individuals who can form a team to get tasks done. the following tips can be used to help improve the process of sharing information in a company. Select the right individuals. 132 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Managers must discover why there is a lack of trust among colleagues.DBA 1735 NOTES few have access to knowledge. As a result. To avoid this situation. Personnel should be removed from the working environment and be taken to a retreat to be involved in a series of teambuilding exercises. Obtaining the input from the personnel working in the unit can accomplish this goal. they must be given the right tools to deliver data within the company.
Making the necessary changes in personnel is a very delicate issue to tackle. Changing the sharers will breathe new life into the knowledge management unit and hopefully bring new ideas to the table. Hence knowledge culture enablers are those influences that contribute to the creation of an effective and positive knowledge community. organizations need to have a range of strategies to ensure the values inherent in knowledge management are enacted (i. as they keep people informed of new initiatives. managers have to consider issues such as: Are the individuals unhappy with their current tasks within the department? Are the individuals skilled enough to remain a part of the team? What contributions have the individuals made over the past 6 to 12 months? Can the company afford to make the necessary changes? 4. Not wanting to be unfair when removing individuals from their present job. With substantiated claims.e. NOTES (e) Change the sharers If the situation should arise that individual(s) in the department are hindering the flow of data in the company. followed in practice) by each employee. and encourage ongoing acceptance of important values.4. maintain their connection with organizational values and priorities. personnel can be repositioned within the department to ensure that the skilled individuals who are motivated to share are in the right place. managers should consider: Investigating which of the present tools in the company are being used to share information Discovering how the present tools can be used more efficiently to make information accessible Continuing to obtain the best possible tools to assist individuals in their work of providing data to key decision makers Finding the tools that will be the right fit with its users for the long term Training personnel to use the applications to execute sharing tasks efficiently Once the tools are obtained and utilized by the intended users.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT To ensure that the individuals who will be sharing information throughout the company utilize the right tools. 133 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . managers have the power to replace the individual(s). A range of influences and people help with knowledge culture development. KNOWLEDGE CULTURE ENABLERS When building an effective knowledge culture. managers must constantly evaluate the performance of the applications and make the necessary modifications to ensure that the department is not encountering any difficulties distributing information.
flexibility. Knowledge based cultures need to nurture innovative and creative thinkers. Employees need to be encouraged to think outside their normal routine and to identify different ways of looking at issue. many core values may influence the knowledge culture. systems and processes. The desired core values in the knowledge community need to be identified. In reviewing these enablers.2 shows. Core values are those values which are believed to be essential to the organization’s growth and achievement of its goal. from the initial creative idea to the experimentation and sharing of insights with others.2 provides a more detailed overview of those elements which may contribute to effective knowledge cultures. CORE VALUES Collaboration Communication Interaction Innovation Adaptation Learning orientation Trust Knowledge is valued Knowledge is shared STRUCTURAL SUPPORT Organizational structure Transparent decision making Information access Problem solving Communication channels HRM ENACTED VALUES Models Leaders Opportunities to collaborate Encouragement to collaborate INTERACTION WITH COLLEAGUES Quality of interaction Focus of interaction Mentorship Team behaviour Co-worker interaction Figure 4. innovation.2 Knowledge Culture Enablers KNOWLEDGE CULTURE Core values. The four levels all contribute in an integrated manner to the creation of an effective knowledge culture. 134 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . In the case of a knowledge community. Figure 4. As figure 4. it is important to recognize their strong interactions. encouraged and monitored. Knowledge communities rely on the collaboration and goodwill of their individual members to stimulate and enhance the knowledge context. open communication. these might include collaborative orientation. In particular.DBA 1735 NOTES Knowledge culture enablers operate over several levels of the organization. and individual behaviours to build a positive and effective knowledge culture. organizational structures. An effective knowledge culture encourages innovation. Each element is discussed below. a learning orientation and a willingness to trust. they help align the core values.
If the organization encourages isolationism. The communal nature of the organization communicates much about the underlying culture of the workplace. Many organizations focus on outcomes. ongoing improvement. emphasizes learning through experimentation. testing and evaluation to support the long term goals of the organization. This also affirms the importance of individual knowledge workers and reinforces the message that the organization is a learning culture. or a celebratory function at the success of an innovation. A learning orientation. it needs to encourage employees to look beyond immediate needs when sharing and exploring knowledge potentials. Knowledge communities need to encourage flexible and adaptable behaviour. with several workers possibly operating differently to achieve the same outcomes. Knowledge intensive organizations need to encourage a strong communal focus to enhance collaboration and sharing across organizational boundaries and groupings. Employees will need to be consistently encouraged to work towards the development of their knowledge processes and to see that their contributions are valued. aiming to gain financially from each activity. Knowledge workers need to be responsible for identifying the best ways of achieving the desired goals. people interpret messages from their work environment to identify the behaviours and values which should be adopted. on the other hand. Organization routines and processes need to be flexible. Structural support describes the 135 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . knowledge workers need opportunities to attend conferences. Organizations need to ensure that they provide plenty of opportunities for learning in the workplace. there is less opportunity for cross fertilization of ideas and sharing of different perspectives. The ongoing recognition of the valued knowledge of employees is another way of recognizing the human capital in the organization. where people communicate only with those in their own section. Structural support As noted earlier. Innovative communities rely heavily on learning orientation as they encourage creativity. collaborate with others.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Further. For example. A single minded focus on outcomes can be detrimental to knowledge management as it forces employees to get quick and measurable results. experimentation and considered risk taking. Communal interactions can lead to more opportunities to build stronger networks and sharing. seeking sound outcomes through a number of different mechanisms. gestate ideas. and accept the diversity of outcomes which maybe generated. A simple example is the public acknowledgement of those who contribute to a project. A strong learning orientation is also desirable in knowledge cultures. communicate and work across organizational boundaries. Knowledge cultures must consistently affirm the value placed on knowledge workers. Flexibility encourages people to seek opportunities to experiment and work towards creative alternatives.
The real values demonstrated in everyday activities are strong evidence of the real culture which operates. Allied to this openness is the need to encourage problem solving and exploration. knowledge workers also require efficient and effective communication mechanisms that encourage and enable sharing across the knowledge community. as it increases the level of trust and the willingness to share. If staff is firmly directed into particular areas of activity. Human resources management systems are major cultural influences. To interact effectively. Structural supports.they help with employee socialization. particularly in reducing structural boundaries which may operate. performance management. the human resources practices and systems are most important in directing the employee’s focus and priorities. Organizational communication channels need to encourage openness and network building. Organizational transparency stimulates the knowledge culture by keeping employees informed of new and important initiatives which they may apply or contribute to. called enacted values. Thus. These communication channels may be electronic (such as e-mail or the web site) or based on interpersonal. In fact. For example. group or written communication. may operate as either barriers to or facilitators of knowledge cultures. and wide sharing and accessibility of information contribute to the underlying culture.2 lists a number of structural supports which help build knowledge cultures. which may include technological systems. collaborative problem solving and planning. human resource process and other forms of work related infrastructure. some companies encourage the seeking of problems and their resolution through group deliberation and collaboration. and reward and recognition. Enacted values The organization culture is strongly influenced by the values which are reflected in actual practice. The level of control and coordination of staff activities also influences the culture. Enterprises that encourage knowledge hubs and network through structural arrangements and/or technological support will foster a stronger collaborative culture. A further structural influence relates to the ways individual employees are managed. and will be heeded either consciously or subconsciously by each member. Openness breeds collaboration. Figure 4. systems and processes which the organization sponsors through resource allocation and public affirmation. they may have less desire or capacity to experiment or socialize with areas beyond their stipulated roles. Open and accountable decision making. as bottlenecks will occur. Communication channels strongly affect the capacity to share and to influence organizational commitment. This also affirms the importance and value placed on the knowledge contributions of individuals. 136 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . a structural arrangement that reinforces knowledge chains will limit the capacity to collaborate.DBA 1735 NOTES organizational structure.
processes and structural support. Effective change processes ensure that accurate information is available at all times. Regular communication reduces uncertainty and increases understanding and learning. A program web site can be a useful way of ensuring good dissemination of the purpose. and how it will better support the organization’s need. and develop further involvement and contribution. Every member of the program team needs to be aware of the intended processes. The communication processes which operate across the group can be significant in facilitating a particular culture. the more people see the core values in practice. the web site can also garner feedback on pilot group experiences and other contributor insights. strategy and desired outcomes of the program. Mentorship. as people are asked to review their existing values. why it needs to be done. Many developmental processes are sabotaged by innuendo and gossip before they are even in the public domain. Their public support of and demonstrated commitment to the values offer strong messages to others. team behaviours.5. there are opportunities to overcome concerns and fears. Communicating the program intentions and progress Communication is imperative. particularly from those who provide models of behaviour or hold leadership positions. and their own roles. the greater the likelihood they will adopt and practice them Interaction with colleagues A further way of building the knowledge culture is through interaction with colleagues. discuss the feasibility of the strategies to be implemented. Employees also need access to communication channels where they may offer feedback on the cultural and systematic changes. 4. individuals are strongly influenced by people with whom they regularly interact. as people seek to gain a good understanding of what is intended. co-workers interaction and the presence of communities of practice all play a part in developing the culture. 137 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The program implementation process needs to operate from a number of broad principles. It keeps people informed and provides opportunities to share and discuss shifts. The quality and focus of that interaction play a major role in determining the strength of the knowledge culture in the smaller community. Every member of the organization will ultimately be affected by knowledge culture change programs. as they will affect values. There are many aspects to interaction with colleagues. which may help to allay concerns. As noted earlier. work process and strategies. Thus. IMPLEMENTING KNOWLEDGE CULTURE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMS The introduction of a knowledge culture program can be exiting and challenging.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Cues and messages about the knowledge culture can be generated from many different sources. advocacy and leadership are important elements of knowledge culture intervention. As the program evolves.
Contributors may seek to shift the focus of the proposed cultural change. When interventions are planned. prepare members for the likely impact of any changes. These communication channels need to be maintained over the course of the program. a further pilot study might be done before large scale implementation. and to integrate their own existing preferences. so that members of the organization’s community can seek further affirmation and advice as the process continues. Some changes may be enthusiastically embraced. Pilot tests of the planned changes can help identify possible problems. Adaptation can lead to some very different outcomes from those initially planned by the program managers and sponsors. It is important for members to make sense of the changes. They also allow close support and analysis of the various processes by the program team. commit to trialing new behaviours or ideas. as they test any proposed work or value enhancements and then. they need to be open to renegotiation and adaptation as further insights are gained. Accommodating difference within the knowledge culture Knowledge intensive communities encourage adaptive behaviours. and focus group meetings in which the shifting knowledge focus and its implications may be discussed.DBA 1735 NOTES Communication may also be in the form of open forums. Thus. The promotion of new values and processes without careful testing of the strategy can be high risk. Pilot testing Cultural change programs rarely run smoothly as they seek to influence and persuade organizational members to adopt different values. To achieve acceptance of and commitment to the planned intervention. Further. following their affirmation of the worth of the proposed changes. 138 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The time taken to undertake pilot studies is well rewarded in terms of success and the removal of problems. If need to be. and promote the communication mechanisms available for both information and feedback. members of the knowledge community need to be encouraged to test any new strategies and communicate their insights and approaches that may be adopted. Participants in these initial test sites need to be both recognized and valued for the contribution they make. publicize any time frames or activities. in keeping with the knowledge culture precepts. public messages from the chief sponsor of the project. attitudes and patterns of behaviours. they enable the development of case studies and real experts who can share their insights with others who follow. but others may be bitterly opposed. the knowledge organization needs to effectively communicate the intended intervention. They also build expertise within the community which may be accessed in the second stage of the implementation.
users can be encouraged to share their ideas and insights with others. Similarly. Knowledge communities rely on their members to maintain a culture of respectful interchange and collaboration. and ongoing sharing of experiences in enhancing knowledge management all serve to reinforce the strong knowledge culture. Various networking options might be encouraged. including bulletin boards. and response to difficulties will facilitate the smooth running of the program. 4. list-servs. knowledge of the full intervention plan. Members with significant roles may need to be provided with time release so they can give their full support to the initiative. as it assures users that their needs and experiences are of great concern. The socialization of new members.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Supporting planned cultural interventions Employees and other knowledge users need to be well supported during cultural intervention. MAINTAINING THE KNOWLEDGE CULTURE Each individual contributes to the organization’s prevailing knowledge culture. Coping with issues as they arise is very important. as it gives users an easy access point for registering difficulties. using both knowledge workers and official knowledge leaders is an important strategy. As the initiative takes root. suggestions and ongoing concerns. The development and mentoring of new leaders and ongoing professional development of knowledge related competencies also send strong messages regarding the importance of these contributors. A help desk can also be of great value during the initial implementation of key changes.6. Communal learning is an important element of the building of knowledge culturesit creates positive attitudes to the desired organizational approaches to knowledge management. Events. An organizational developer who strives to maintain the knowledge culture throughout 139 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . and support of frequently asked questions or frequently identified problems. Knowledge champions are particularly important. slippage can occur if the organization does not actively sustain the knowledge culture which has been established. Recognition of key knowledge workers. The development of reward and performance management systems which integrate knowledge values expectations are key aspects of ongoing support for the knowledge culture. through mentoring or by communal sharing through a range of dissemination channels. messages and enacted values are reinterpreted constantly to ensure there is agreement between personal beliefs. as it affirms the culture of the workplace immediately. and clarifies the values which should be evident in the new employee’s work practices. ideas. celebration of major knowledge advancements and strategies. The prompt resolution of problems also ensures that negativity does not become a prevailing attitude. A range of strategies can help maintain the knowledge culture. Their positive outlook. However. professional behaviours and desired consequences. the integration and constant improvement of existing knowledge systems and services (such as the knowledge help desk) can be of significant value in encouraging positive responses to the knowledge culture.
likely scope of activities and expectations of each contributor. Clearly define the purpose or domain of the CoP so that the members have a good understanding of the focus. talents or expertise to contribute to the group. respectful and viable CoP. and these champions may not have extensive skills in leading guiding cultural change. Support the group’s identification and development of its individual and group capabilities and identity. or some initial seed funding to develop the group. Knowledge champions play a significant role in sustaining positive and informed approaches to knowledge sharing across the knowledge community. The support for leaders is an important element of the knowledge development strategy. Maintaining the cultural wellbeing of communities of practice Communities of practices (CoPs) benefit from organizational development support to help sustain their cultural wellbeing. Certainly. Facilitate the identification of potential members to encourage the connection of those with common interests. Organizations which encourage CoPs have a responsibility to support the maintenance and ongoing development of groups identified as strategically important. Support key members with recognition in terms of workload. Their role can be a demanding and consuming process. The appointment of a coordinator of this culture can be one of the strongest affirmations of the importance of the knowledge culture. Many start with a flourish.DBA 1735 NOTES the community can be of great value. leadership development opportunities. There are some simple approaches to ensure a healthy. Supporting leader’s maintenance of the knowledge culture An important element of sustaining community is to ensure the leaders are well supported and nurtured. since it ensures that there are strong and knowledgeable champions with a sound understanding of the strategic needs of the organization. and help build leadership networks. Their leadership strategies also need to be supported as they seek to influence and guide the knowledge culture. the greater the willingness of the group members to commit to such networks. or may more directly support particular groups with additional resourcing and expertise. The stronger the organizational support. Support may therefore operate in a number of ways. but gradually lose their impetus. administrative or technological support. Larger organizations regard this role as an important full time commitment. ongoing team development activities. briefing sessions at the start of initiatives are highly beneficial. or simply a chance to remove the group from the normal work routine. Opportunities to get together and share learning and concerns with other knowledge leaders can facilitate creative problem solving and maintain motivation. Support may be in the form of guidance on how to develop and sustain a positive constructive CoP. as they offer guidance on the issues to be disseminated. 140 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . This support might consist of a designated meeting area.
Defining Communities of Practice a. Brokers can help with the complex processes of translating. 4. they are a company’s most versatile and dynamic knowledge resource and form the basis of an organization’s ability to know and learn. 141 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . potential members and likely areas of collaboration. Consider appointing a broker to act as a facilitator and group support agent. Better understanding of the ways cultures can be influenced enhances the building and sustaining of knowledge cultures. Greater recognition of the interactive nature of values and structural support has been particularly helpful in enhancing culture. to learn from one another regarding some aspects of their work and to provide a social context for that work. 4. CoPs are not. coordinating and suitably integrating the different perspectives of the various members. such as databases. Traditional knowledge management approaches attempt to capture existing knowledge within formal systems. These “communities of practice” are mostly informal and distinct from organizational units. It can also reduce conflicts of interest. Yet systematically addressing the kind of dynamic “knowing” that makes a difference in practice requires the participation of people who are fully engaged in the process of creating. Even when people work for large organizations. Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups of people in organizations that form to share what they know. Yet we seldom understand this truism in terms of the communities through which individuals develop and share the capacity to create and use knowledge. insights. This can be particularly helpful when the participants find it hard to contribute the extra effort to maintain the CoP connection and focus. Communities of practice are groups of people with common interest who meet to share their insights in order to develop better solutions to problems or challenges. and using knowledge. refining.1. COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE We now recognize knowledge as a key source of competitive advantage in the business world. We frequently say that people are an organization’s most important resource.7. NOTES Knowledge cultures affect the way knowledge management operates in a particular organization.7. and experiences with others who have similar interests or goals. but we still have little understanding of how to create and leverage it in practice.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Provide opportunities to interact across CoPs. they learn through their participation in more specific communities made up of people with whom they interact on a regular basis. Such groups have been around ever since people in organizations realized they could benefit from sharing their knowledge. b. communicating. This wider interaction can greatly help the various groups identify common interests. However. Although the term “Community of Practice” is new.
members develop practices that are their own response to these external influences. outside constraints or directives can influence this understanding. They can be found: 142 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Because membership is based on participation rather than on official status. sensibilities. As a result. Communities of practice also move through various stages of development characterized by different levels of interaction among the members and different kinds of activities. informal gathering and sharing of expertise. web-site forums or other forms of virtual networking. neither of which implies a shared practice. their practices reflect the members’ own understanding of what is important. 4. Through networking and sharing their experiences. Members of a community are informally bound by what they do together–from engaging in lunchtime discussions to solving difficult problems–and by what they have learned through their mutual engagement in these activities. A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions: What it is about – its joint enterprise as understood and continually renegotiated by its members How it functions .mutual engagement that bind members together into a social entity What capability it has produced – the shared repertoire of communal resources (routines.DBA 1735 NOTES One of the best-known examples of a CoP was formed by the copy machine repair technicians at Xerox Corporation. A community of practice is thus different from a community of interest or a geographical community. Obviously. these communities are not bound by organizational affiliations. Communities of practice develop around things that matter to people. but even then.2. etc. Even when a community’s actions conform to an external mandate. for the most part. a core group of these technicians proved extremely effective in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of efforts to diagnose and repair Xerox customers’ copy machines.7. it is the community–not the mandate– that produces the practice. vocabulary. once the company realized the value of the knowledge being created by this CoP. In this sense. communities of practice are fundamentally selforganizing systems. Communities of Practice in Organizations Communities of practice exist in any organization. The impact on customer satisfaction and the business value to Xerox was invaluable.) that members have developed over time. CoP groups function through discussion lists. they can span institutional structures and hierarchies. this was a voluntary. styles. not a “corporate program” (however. particularly the problems they encountered and the solutions they devised. Yet. artifacts. steps were taken to support and enhance the efforts of the group).
People can participate in different ways and to different degrees. or the people they know. engineers who work for suppliers and buyers may form a community of practice to keep up with constant technological changes. By participating in such a communal memory. communities of practice become useful by crossing organizational boundaries. Communities of practice are not a new kind of organizational unit. For instance. the boundaries of a community of practice are more flexible than those of an organizational unit. This permeable 143 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . they can develop strategic perspectives that transcend the fragmentation of product lines. as members develop among themselves their own understanding of what their practice is about. This living process results in a much richer definition than a mere institutional charter.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Within businesses: Communities of practice arise as people address recurring sets of problems together. When communities of practice cut across business units. Across company boundaries: In some cases. NOTES Across business units: Important knowledge is often distributed in different business units. exist over time. the project they are working on. So claims processors within an office form communities of practice to deal with the constant flow of information they need to process. Communities of practice differ from other kinds of groups found in organizations in the way they define their enterprise. For instance. The membership involves whoever participates in and contributes to the practice. they are a different cut on the organization’s structure–one that emphasizes the learning that people have done together rather than the unit they report to. rather. and set their boundaries: A community of practice is different from a business or functional unit in that it defines itself in the doing. People who work in cross-functional teams thus form communities of practice to keep in touch with their peers in various parts of the company and maintain their expertise. in fast-moving industries. they can do the job without having to remember everything themselves. a community of practice may propose a plan for equipment purchase that no one business unit could have come up with on its own. As a consequence.
The table “Relationships to Official Organization” shows different degrees of institutional involvement. and exists because participation has value to its members. they form relationships. Rather. People belong to communities of practice at the same time as they belong to other organizational structures. And in their communities of practice. having an impact. as outsiders and newcomers learn the practice in concrete terms. A community of practice is different from a network in the sense that it is “about” something. A community of practice exists because it produces a shared practice as members engage in a collective process of learning. but it does not imply that some relations are better or more advanced than others. smugness. they develop the knowledge that lets them do these other tasks.DBA 1735 NOTES periphery creates many opportunities for learning. they take care of projects. and thus shapes the identities of its members. over-management. new demands Strategic Short-term pressures. not by an institutional schedule. It does not appear the minute a project is started and does not disappear with the end of a task. they shape the organization. managing boundaries ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI Capable of redefining its Transformative environment and the direction of the organization 144 . awareness Unrecognized sometimes even to members of value and of limitation themselves Bootlegged Legitimized Only visible informally to a circle of people in the know Officially sanctioned as a valuable entity Getting resources. This informal fabric of communities and shared practices makes the official organization effective and. It has an identity as a community. keeping hidden Scrutiny. possible. It takes a while to come into being and may live long after a project is completed or an official team has disbanded. these distinctions are useful because they draw attention to the different issues that can arise based on the kind of interaction between the community of practice and the organization as a whole. In their teams. and core members gain new insights from contacts with less-engaged participants. A community of practice is different from a team in that the shared learning and interest of its members are what keep it together. Relationships to Official Organization Relationship Definition Challenges typical of the relationship Invisible to the organization and Lack of reflexivity. it is not just a set of relationships. the organization's success exclusion Relating to the rest of the organization. In their networks. blindness Widely recognized as central to of success. A community of practice’s life cycle is determined by the value it provides to its members. Communities of practice have different relationships with the official organization. acceptance. In their business units. It is defined by knowledge rather than by task. elitism. indeed.
organized. in a sea of information. c) They can steward competencies to keep the organization at the cutting edge. Knowledge is created. it is by these communities that knowledge is “owned” in practice. This collaborative inquiry makes membership valuable. they know what is relevant to communicate and how to present information in useful ways. tips. Consider the annual computer drop at a semiconductor company that designs both analog and digital circuits. it helps us sort out what we pay attention to. an effective organization comprises a constellation of interconnected communities of practice. They are not as temporary as teams. For this reason. which manifest themselves in the jargon people use. forward-looking community. accumulation. unlike a database or a manual. Because members have a shared understanding.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 4. what we participate in. they are ideal for initiating newcomers into a practice. because people invest their professional identities in being part of a dynamic. Importance of Communities to Organizations Communities of practice are important to the functioning of any organization. they must support communities as a way to help them develop their identities. members distribute responsibility for keeping up with or pushing new developments. shared. If companies want to benefit from people’s creativity. they can do so in a manner that responds to local circumstances and thus is useful to practitioners. The computer drop became a ritual by which the analog community asserted its identity. a community of practice that spreads throughout an organization is an ideal channel for moving information. the clothes they wear. but they become crucial to those that recognize knowledge as a key asset. to esoteric technical inventions. each dealing with specific aspects of the company’s competency–from the peculiarities of a long-standing client. to manufacturing safety. revised. From this perspective. Members of these groups discuss novel ideas. Identity is important because. and unlike business units. Communities of practice preserve the tacit aspects of knowledge that formal systems cannot capture. across organizational boundaries. they are organized around what matters to their members. and keep up with developments inside and outside a firm. and what we stay away from. d) They provide homes for identities.3. their hero would climb the highest building on the company’s campus and drop a computer. In a deep sense. or feedback. to the great satisfaction of his peers in the analog gang. b) They can retain knowledge in “living” ways. and the remarks they make. and diffusion of knowledge in an organization: a) They are nodes for the exchange and interpretation of information.7. As a consequence. Once a year. Even when they routines certain tasks and processes. and passed on within and among these communities. Having a sense of identity is a crucial aspect of learning in organizations. work together on problems. 145 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Communities of practice fulfill a number of functions with respect to the creation. such as best practices. When a community commits to being on the forefront of a field. The corporate world is full of these displays of identity.
but rather recognize. radically new insights often arise at the boundary between communities. 4.7. and to make sure that there is enough activity at these boundaries to renew learning. organizations must understand the processes by which these learning communities evolve and interact. It can take many forms: a) The inspirational leadership provided by thought leaders and recognized experts b) The day-to-day leadership provided by those who organize activities c) The classificatory leadership provided by those who collect and organize information in order to document practices d) The interpersonal leadership provided by those who weave the community’s social fabric e) The boundary leadership provided by those who connect the community to other communities f) The institutional leadership provided by those who maintain links with other organizational constituencies. 146 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . And some may actually need to be carefully seeded and nurtured. in particular the official hierarchy g) The cutting-edge leadership provided by those who shepherd “out-of-the-box” initiatives. Whether these communities arise spontaneously or come together through seeding and nurturing. as long as this attention does not smother their self-organizing drive. support. For while the core is the center of expertise. recognized experts need to be involved in some way. But a good number will benefit from some attention. even if they don’t do much of the work. To develop the capacity to create and retain knowledge. But internal leadership is more diverse and distributed. Like any asset. Developing and nurturing Communities of Practice Just because communities of practice arise naturally does not mean that organizations can’t do anything to influence their development. Communities of practice truly become organizational assets when their core and their boundaries are active in complementary ways. these communities can become liabilities if their own expertise becomes insular. in order to legitimize the community as a place for sharing and creating knowledge. Certainly. their development ultimately depends on internal leadership.4. It is therefore important to pay as much attention to the boundaries of communities of practice as to their core. We need to build organizational and technological infrastructures that do not dismiss or impede these processes.DBA 1735 NOTES Communities of practice structure an organization’s learning potential in two ways: through the knowledge they develop at their core and through interactions at their boundaries. Most communities of practice exist whether or not the organization recognizes them. Many are best left alone–some might actually wither under the institutional spotlight. and leverage them.
2) Negotiating their strategic context. Because communities of practice must be self-organizing to learn effectively 147 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . managers and others must work with communities of practice from the inside rather than merely attempt to design them or manipulate them from the outside. therefore. To be successful. the knowledge that companies need is usually already present in some form. The learning that communities of practice share is just as critical. reward systems. To be effective. organizations must leverage existing practices. but it is also easy to overlook the potential cost of their short-term focus. These factors rarely determine whether people form communities of practice. including management interest. and the best place to start is to foster the formation of communities of practice that leverage the potential that already exists. sales. Nurturing communities of practice in organizations includes: 1) Legitimizing participation. They then instituted a learning strategy for combining the three functions that took advantage of this existing practice. and by creating an environment in which the value communities bring is acknowledged. researchers from the Institute for Research on Learning discovered that people were already learning from each other on the job while answering phone calls. Organizations must therefore develop a clear sense of how knowledge is linked to business strategies and use this understanding to help communities of practice articulate their strategic value. when the customer service function of a large corporation decided to combine service. In what Richard McDermott calls “doubleknit organizations. and may be concentrated in a core group or more widely distributed. The value of team-based projects that deliver tangible products is easily recognized. 4) Fine-tuning the organization.” people work in teams for projects but belong to longer-lived communities of practice for maintaining their expertise. it is important to have an institutional discourse that includes this less-recognized dimension of organizational life. by giving members the time to participate in activities. corporate culture. By leveraging what they were already doing. It includes understanding what knowledge–and therefore what practices–a given strategy requires. More generally. and company policies. but its longer-term value is more subtle to appreciate. issues of compensation and recognition often come up. it also includes paying attention to what emergent communities of practice indicate with regard to potential strategic directions. But in all cases. work processes. workers achieved competency in the three areas much faster than they would have through traditional training. For instance. but they can facilitate or hinder participation. leadership must have intrinsic legitimacy in the community. To this end. Many elements in an organizational environment can foster or inhibit communities of practice. Organizations can support communities of practice by recognizing the work of sustaining them. and repairs under the same 800 number. This involves a process of negotiation that goes both ways. 3) Being attuned to real practices. Merely introducing the term “communities of practice” into an organization’s vocabulary can have a positive effect by giving people an opportunity to talk about how their participation in these groups contributes to the organization as a whole.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT These roles may be formal or informal. For example. Conversely.
but they can benefit from some resources.DBA 1735 NOTES and because participation must be intrinsically self-sustaining. KM Viewpoint 4. Work process designers must devise process improvement systems that thrive on. travel. Managers also need to make sure that existing compensation systems do not inadvertently penalize the work involved in building communities. Change managers must help build new practices and communities to bring about changes that will make a constructive difference. just the existence of such a team sends the message that the organization values the work and initiative of communities of practice. 148 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Communities of practice are mostly self-sufficient." toward supporting the whole social and technical ecology in which knowledge is retained and created. Accountants must learn to recognize the capital generated when communities of practice increase an organization's learning potential. Knowledge managers must go beyond creating informational repositories that take knowledge to be a "thing. Training departments must move the focus from training initiatives that extract knowledge out of practice to learning initiatives that leverage the learning potential inherent in practice. In addition. engaged communities of practice. such as outside experts. But organizations shouldn’t ignore the issue of reward and recognition altogether.1 Different members of an organization can take actions in their own domains to support communities of practice and maximize the benefits they can provide: Line managers must make sure that people are able to participate in the right communities of practice so they sustain the expertise they need to contribute to projects. by including community activities and leadership in performance review discussions. they need to adapt reward systems to support participation in learning communities. rather than substitute for. conflicts between short-term demands on people’s time and the need to participate in learning communities. Strategists must find ways to create two-way connections between communities of practice and organizational strategies. This team typically provides guidance and resources when needed helps communities connect their agenda to business strategies encourages them to move forward with their agenda and remain focused on the cutting edge makes sure they include all the right people helps them create links to other communities Such a team can also help identify and eliminate barriers to participation in the structure or culture of the overall organization. Facilities managers must understand the ways in which their designs support or hinder the development of communities of practice. meeting facilities. for instance. 5) Providing support. and communications technology. A companywide team assigned to nurture community development can help address these needs. it is tricky to use reward systems as a way to manipulate behavior or micro-manage the community. rather. for instance.
trouble shooting guides etc. This approach seems inexpensive. The negotiation aspect is very relevant. and not just of single groups and individuals holding ``power’’roles and positions in the organization. rather than reconstructed post mortem by knowledge engineers. DEVELOPING ORGANISATIONAL MEMORY‘ Organizational or corporate memories record the accumulated knowledge about the services and the products of an organization. Acknowledging the existence of this point of view and allowing for its negotiation is an important step towards getting organizations knowing themselves and making workers fully empowered. The opposite approach involves an intensive initial knowledge engineering effort leading to the construction of corporate knowledge bases and expert systems. instruction manuals. associate parts with properties and connect single actions for operating the products into complex plans corresponding to full operating instructions. because explicit knowledge comes often dressed with a deceitful appearance of “objectivity” which in reality hides a specific point of view. Such hyper textual representations are created and negotiated ex vivo by knowledge workers.). In this way. Buckingham Shum proposes a middle way. It is possible to build a corporate memory in a totally unstructured way: by maintaining all documents and recording all practices of an organization. highlighting the different options considered at each step and associating actions and decisions with role and competencies of the people involved.8.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 4. The knowledge thus acquired is represented in the form of conceptual graphs that relate the different parts of the products. they show how to extract the explicit knowledge that is in there and integrate it with further explicit knowledge obtained by externalizing the tacit knowledge related to the context of use of the documents. by providing a language-independent semantic representation of product knowledge that could be used to enforce enterprise coherence for companies operating in multilingual and multicultural environments. Starting from the collections of documents about the products of these organizations (product specifications. They show then how the initial investment needed for building this type of knowledge bases pays off in a number of ways: by providing capabilities for automatic multilingual document generation. 149 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . We can also describe instead a full-fledged knowledge engineering approach suitable for building corporate memories from the product knowledge of large manufacturing organizations such as automotive industries. with the purpose of supporting the continuous enhancement of knowledge-intensive work practices and of alleviating the risk of “corporate amnesia” due to experts taking away their knowledge when they leave. amassing a lot of irrelevant information that will need to be filtered later on. however. they record process knowledge related to knowledge-intensive problem-solving and decision-making activities. which can be particularly viable for organizations of knowledge workers: the recording of relevant team activities through the use of hyper textual representations linking the different steps of the activities. it involves. the negotiated point of view will effectively reflect the commitments of all involved stakeholders. by providing a knowledge space of existing product knowledge to support the fast design of new products.
Culture penetrates to the essence of an organization. Define community of practice. Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups of people in organizations that form to share what they know. followed in practice) by each employee. to learn from one another regarding some aspects of their work and to provide a social context for that work.DBA 1735 NOTES The software engineering requirements for supporting this type of corporate memories. with the purpose of supporting the continuous enhancement of knowledge-intensive work practices. Write a note on organizational memory. Culture is important because it shapes assumptions about what knowledge is worth exchanging. When building an effective knowledge culture. 4. Knowledge culture enablers are those influences that contribute to the creation of an effective and positive knowledge community. 150 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .e. document management and business process support. it creates the context for social interaction that determines how knowledge will be shared in particular situations. SUMMARY Organizational culture describes the collective perceptions. What do you mean by knowledge sharing culture? Define organizational culture. and it shapes the processes by which new knowledge is created. A corporate memory architecture that meets these requirements is necessary and the paradigm shift of corporate memories from artificial intelligence to a more general framework for IT integration is the need of the hour. 2. beliefs and values of employees in the workplace. organizations need to have a range of strategies to ensure the values inherent in knowledge management are enacted (i. 3. and distributed in organizations. SHORT QUESTIONS 1. needed for the strong integration of corporate memories with existing IT infrastructures. Individuals learn their organizational culture from the day one he or she joins the organization and these learned experiences help them to interpret the work environment so that they can conform and operate effectively in that setting. Organizational or corporate memories record the accumulated knowledge about the services and the products of an organization. with particular regard to existing capabilities for database management. Communities of practice structure an organization’s learning potential in two ways: through the knowledge they develop at their core and through interactions at their boundaries. it defines relationships between individual and organizational knowledge. legitimated.
What are the various knowledge culture enablers? Explain. The chapter describes a number of knowledge culture features. How do you develop and nurture a CoP in an organization? NOTES 151 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . What are some of the key enablers and major obstacles to effective knowledge sharing that can be attributed to the overall organizational culture? 3. Discuss this statement. Choose three organizational culture elements and consider how these might be different in a manufacturing community and knowledge community? 6. What is the culture of an organization? Why is it important to understand? 2. Why do knowledge cultures need to be maintained? Whose responsibility is it? 9. 4. How to cultivate knowledge culture in organizations? 5. 8. Choose any four of these and outline how their absence might affect the knowledge community? 7.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT LONG QUESTIONS 1. ‘Knowledge culture interventions should be centrally driven’.
DBA 1735 NOTES 152 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
6. The following are some of the KM technologies as tools that Enhances and enable knowledge generation. 8.1. Generate knowledge to make knowledge available for others. 7. codification. and transfer. 5. 4. INTRODUCTION Many dimensions are involved in describing knowledge management tools. 153 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . 2. 3. KM technologies are classified according to the following scheme: 1. 9. Transfer knowledge to decrease problems with time and space when communicating in an organization. Communication Collaboration Content creation Content management Adaptation E-learning Personal tools Artificial intelligence Networking The knowledge capture and creation does not make extensive use of technologies but a wide range of KM technologies may be used to support knowledge sharing and dissemination as well as knowledge acquisition and application. Many tools and techniques are borrowed from other disciplines. and others are specific to KM. All of them need to be mixed and matched in the appropriate manner in order to address all the needs of the KM discipline.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT NOTES UNIT V KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT – LOOKING AHEAD 5. and the choice of tools to be included in the KM toolkit must be consistent with the organization’s overall business strategy.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES Knowledge management tools are the ‘face and place’ as well as the ‘nuts and bolts’ of knowledge in the 21st century workspace which make data into knowledge. Introduces a “KM measurement bell curve” and offers explanation of organizations’ ongoing assessment techniques. Examines the different stages of KM implementations and metrics for evaluating an initiative’s progress. Discuss the purpose of a knowledge audit and how to conduct a KM audit. enterprise resource planning (ERP) or business intelligence system.3.2. 5. Compare and contrast different types of intelligent agents and show how they can be used to personalize KM technologies. LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this Unit. Technology is used to facilitate primarily communication. Knowledge management implementation requires a wide range of diverse tools that are responsible in the KM cycle. you should be able to understand the following: Describe the key communication technologies that can be used to support knowledge sharing within an organization. Many content management system projects fail owing to lack of good implementation standards and a lack of an understanding of usability issues. Identify the various career opportunities emerges in the field of KM and qualities and attributes required for knowledge career. especially in dealing with the information overload that is plaguing most organizations that have launched an intranet. collaboration. Knowledge capture and creation tools (a) Content Creation Tools It is predicted that content management systems (CMS) will become a “commodity” in the future.1. KM-enabling tools and techniques are also play a useful facilitating role in learning organizations. Understand the major components of a knowledge repository and explain how organizations make optimal use of one. and content management for better knowledge capture. 5. Analyse selected case studies in KM field. Define the difference between push and pull KM technologies. Define data mining and explore its applications. Technology154 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . sharing. Major categories of KM tools are presented here.DBA 1735 NOTES 5. Illustrate the major advantages and drawbacks of synchronous versus asynchronous KM technologies. Characterize the major groupware tools and explain how they would be implemented within an organization. dissemination and application.3.
g. Raw data is analyzed in order to offer a model that attempts to explain the observed patterns. records. The move towards open standards would greatly assist the evolution of CMS. usually over a significant period of time. Additional standards are needed for storing. but this relationship may not have any meaning or usefulness. Reality checks are always needed with statistics before any conclusions can be drawn. and knowledge management will converge. Examples of easy-to-understand models are decision trees. CMS should be handled in a strategic way. and range from the general (e.g. The major drawback of the black box models is that it becomes very difficult to hypothesize about casual relationships. word processing) to the more specialized (e. there are usually a few gems to be NOTES 155 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . evaluation of retail promotions. Authoring tools. and the types of model produced range from “easy” to “almost impossible” to understand. A large number of inputs are required. This model can then be used to predict future occurrences and to forecast expected outcomes. structuring. For example. As yet. These failures provide a valuable source of learning. Annotation technologies enable short comments to be attached to specific sections of text document. documents. This allows a “running commentary” to be built up and preserved. This finding should not be the basis for a policy that would automatically reject any applicants from their state. cluster analysis). often by a number of different authors (e. customer profiling. which will be of greatest benefit to organizations. Eventually. by making use of the track changes feature in Word). and neural networks remain black boxes. Typical applications of data mining and knowledge discovery systems include market segmentation. there is no merged platform to accommodate such a convergence. (b) Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery The data mining and knowledge discovery processes automatically extract predictive information from large databases based on statistical analysis (typically. Regression analyses are moderately easy to understand.g. and database technology. content. which is likely to proceed with the use of XML-based protocols for communicating with and between content management systems. credit risk analysis. web page design software). Annotations may be public (visible to all who access and read the document) or private (visible to the author only). a major bank found a correlation between the state an applicant lived in and a higher percentage of defaults on loans given out. and market basket analysis. the most commonly used content creation tools. and managing content. However. statistical analysis. modeling techniques. Variables may be correlated. fraud detection.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT only approaches will continue to generate unsuccessful projects. Using a combination of machine learning. data mining detects hidden patterns and subtle relationships in data and infers rules that allow the prediction of future results.
Commercial software systems can also be used to mine e-mail data in order to determine who is answering what types of queries or themes. Data mining suites (e. skill mining or expertise profiling can be used to detect patterns in online curriculum vitae of organizational members. SNTReport. It chronicles what a person wants to share with the world on an almost daily basis. These are often unexpected correlations that upon further study yield some useful (and often actionable) insights into what is occurring. Similarly. The same caveat applies to all of these data mining applications: a human being is always needed in the loop in order to carry out “reality checks” (i. text mining and thematic analysis and web mining-to look at what content. for how long (e. For the uninitiated. for example. and Epsilon. how often. as businesses.to detect patterns. blogs are becoming much more common. which is very helpful in content management. in a virtual reality or simulation environment where you can “walk around the data points”. A blog is a frequently updated. but they have internal uses as well. It is also possible to apply this technique and use these tools to mine content other than data-namely. enterprise Miner). Furthermore.g. For example. policy makers.g. everal librarians publish blogs that offer a wealth of information about social software and its uses. Data visualization software that coherently presents a large amount of information in a small space. large organizations can use a well formed blog to exchange ideas and information about web 156 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . SAS).com focuses on the social software industry and how social software tools are being used to help people collaborate. to verify and validate that the patterns do indeed exist and that they have been interpreted in a useful and valuable manner.) (c) Blogs A blog is a slang name for a web log. number of hits).e. and even libraries and library associations have begun to blog as a way of communicating with their patrons and constituents. Organizational experts and expertise can be detected by looking at the patterns of questions and answers contained within the e-mails. politicians. Consulting/outsourcing tools such as EDS. Although the “blogosphere” started off as a medium for mostly personal musings. it has evolved into a tool that offers some of the most insightful information on the web. not just software). IBM. (Note that these are models.g.DBA 1735 NOTES mined with data mining applications. They make use of human information processing capabilitiesyour eyes. A person’s web log is much like an open diary. Data mining tools that are currently in use include: Statistical analysis tools (e. a web log is a popular and fairly personal content form on the Internet. Expertise location systems can be automatically created based on the content that has been mined. publicly accessible journal. Blogs not only offers a new way to communicate with customers.
most major search engines have altered their algorithms to push blogs down in the search results. At this time. In fact.it is their format. but no product dominates the scene. or lack of bias. a piece of software or a remotely hosted service that periodically reads a set of news sources. accuracy. The odds are that if you have searched on a controversial topic in the past year you have run across several archived blog posts. identifies what is new. these high rankings were introducing a lot of noise into online searches. At present. they are HTML. bringing a sophisticated multimedia blend to the medium. Most importantly. and displays them on single page). Blogs are also good sources of unfiltered information on either faulty or very useful products. arguably much lower than that for standard web pages. Spiders and bots (or web crawlers. there is no guarantee of authority. they frequently have access to unfiltered information faster from war zones and sites of natural disasters than the mainstream media outlets. will implement audio and video elements. the majority of blogs are published exclusively in text. Recently. java script. These questions and answers can be cross-indexed and archived. Since blogs are technologically any different from other web pages (that is. Engines that only return two results from any one site use this feature to limit the impact of blogs on the search results. Feeds and blogs are two different concepts. 157 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . . Search engines that place greater value on sites that are recently and frequently updated and are highly linked tend to rank blog posts very highly.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT development projects. secure blog and leverage it into a knowledge and content management tool is a pittance when compared to the cost of other. personal blogs are frequently biased and can be good sources of opinion and information from the “man on the street”.e. Blog searching breaks down into atleast two categories: (1) information from within blogs/across blogs or (2) addresses of feeds from blogs so that you may subscribe in your aggregator (i. not their coding that is different). however. knowledge robots) automatically search for information online and collect posts (i. Just like any other information on the net. or research issues. training initiatives. In the beginning. such as blogs. which helps build a knowledge network among the participating members. XML. Blogs are collections of articles or stories arranged in reverse chronology and are generally updated more frequently than regular web pages. messages that are submitted to a computerized messaging system) the same way as they collect other online information. Because the barrier to publication is so low in blogs. Just as in other web search tools.e. the price of setting up a well formed. The next generation of blogs. but they are closely linked because most blogs have feeds and many feeds are generated by blogs. etc. blog search engines are where general search engines were before the Google Age: there are many competing smaller products. Because blogs can be updated on the fly. proprietary solutions. there are search engines and directories. blogs appeared in search results alongside regular web pages.
In other words. Keep tags with developments on the schemas and metadata standards in your field. with your suppliers.the concepts. KM will become a pervasive part of how we conduct our everyday business lives. the group or community. and other technology to understand some of the meaning. However. customers. produce categories. text summarizers. different languages). and the organization. location and whether or not it exists in a number of alternative forms (e. and partners). summarization. best purposes. you may all use the same words (tags). which is an asset “owned” by an organization. annotations by those who have made use of it. It is also useful to include attributes such as storage medium. date created. Personal capital is a term coined to explain a divergence from the traditional notion of capital. merging.behind blocks of text. and taxonomies serve to better organize and classify content for easier future retrieval and use.g. In fact.DBA 1735 NOTES (d) Content management tools Content management refers to the management of valuable content throughout the useful lifespan of the content. and in theory to exchange data more easily between applications (e. but if each of you defines and applies them differently. the future of KM will blur the boundaries between the individual. quality. They can help overcome differences of language usage in different part of an organization and even clarify the use of different languages. and an expiry or “best before” date where applicable. then we remain in the land of Babel. handle multiple changes and updates. and classify the content using these categories. Content lifespan will typically begin with content creation. and to tag and index it appropriately to aid subsequent retrieval. and other repackaging. Automated classifiers find patterns in textual content. analogous to the library subject catalog. Taxonomies are hierarchical information trees for classifying information. XML is increasing being used to tag knowledge content. date changed. keywords to describe content. best practices. Metadata includes such information as source/ author. The growing problem of information overload means that taxonomies are receiving significant attention. Personalized KM (PKM) will gain increasing importance given the ever-increasing momentum of information overload with which we must deal. But how do you cope with the evolution of terms whose meanings seem to change from one year to the next? Automatic (or semiautomatic) classification of information objects uses software such as natural language analyzers. and will typically end with archiving. Metadata (information about the content) is used to better manage content throughout its useful lifespan. Traditionally. taxonomy development is manually intensive in that it is created and maintained by people. and business processes of KM that have to date been focused at the organizational level will filter down to be used by individuals managing their own personal capital. Common agreed schemas are essential. 158 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .g. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) gives you the ability to structure and add relevance to chunks of information (that is why many CM solutions use XML). some of the key principles.
if you think about e-mail and portals.all a person’s information and application needs harmoniously brought together into a preferred arrangement on the desktop. 5.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PKM and traditional knowledge management differ depending on whether an organizational or personal perspective is adopted. if not all. meaningful. news aggregators and instant messaging. This is mass customization in front of your eyes.g. Tools for personal information management are impressive and. Communication and collaboration are invariably intertwined. and communities. Local Area Networks [LANs]) to organize their activities. Both types of tools have been grouped under the category of groupware or collaboration tools. 2004). Newer tools such as blogs. and valuable to the individual. maintaining networks. it is very difficult to draw a line between the two. Again. of the communication and collaboration technologies described in this section. and it is quite difficult to establish where one ends and the other begins. Typically. represent a new toolset for PKM. (a) Groupware and Collaboration Tools Groupware represents a class of software that helps groups of colleagues (workgroups) attached to a communication network (e. Definitions of PKM revolve around a set of core issues: managing and supporting personal knowledge and information so that it is accessible. Personal portals. PKM involves filtering and making sense of information and organization paper and digital archives-mails. contacts. Knowledge sharing and dissemination tools Although there is a distinction between communication technologies (such as telephone and e-mail) and collaboration technologies (such as workflow management). including project teams and work units.are now focused n needs of the individual. but reality and theory are often miles apart. and exploiting personal capital (Higgison. and bookmark collections. the aims are laudable. Although all organizational members will make use of communication and collaboration. PKM brings many of the key principles of KM to bear on the personal productivity and specific work requirements of a given knowledge worker. making life easier and more enjoyable.2. On an information management level. communities of practice will be particularly active in making use of many. groupware supports the following operations: Scheduling meetings and allocating resources E-mail Password protection for documents Telephone utilities Electronic newsletters File distribution 159 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .3.which were once known as “enterprise” portals. are already widely used.
cooperate. on the other hand. The visual component is especially useful when demonstrations are presented to all participants. This technology may be used to communicate. It is technology designed to facilitate the work of groups. Participants communicative with one another in real time via a web server that provides the interaction facility. Desktop videoconferencing is similar but does not require a dedicated videoconferencing facility. e-mail. or chat. compete. Whether users of the groupware are working together at the same time (“realtime” or “synchronous” groupware) or different times (“asynchronous” groupware). Messages are exchanged through text boxes. a telephone call).g. and discussion forums. phone text messaging (SMS). Communication technologies are almost always integrated with some form of collaboration.DBA 1735 NOTES The most commonly used communication technologies include the telephone. Videoconferencing introduces a multimedia component to the communication channel as participants can not only hear (audio) but also see the other participants (audiovisual).g. but in this case participants sign on to the instant messaging system and they can immediately see who else is online or “live” at that same time. The SMS (Short Messaging System) allows text messages to be sent via a cellular phone rather than through the internet. Following are the different categories of taxonomy of groupware: 1. group mailings) as well as in an asynchronous group discussion mode (by forwarding previous discussion threads). coordinate. such as e-mail. Instant messaging is also real-time communication. videoconferencing. or negotiate. solve problems. videophones. internet telephone (voice over IP or VOIP). Chat rooms are text-based but synchronous. Groupware technologies are typically categorized along two primary dimensions 1. teleconferencing. Although e-mail messaging is dyadic. may have more than two participants interacting with one another real time. Whether users are working together in the same place (“colocated” or “face-toface”) or in different places (“non-colocated” or “distance”). 2. instant messaging. Electronic mail and messaging 2. it can also be used in a more broadcast mode (e. Communication is said to be dyadic when it occurs between two individuals (e. newsgroup. Simple and inexpensive digital video cameras can be used to transmit images. the term is ordinarily used to refer to a specific class of technologies relying on modern computer networks. Although traditional technologies like the telephone qualify as groupware. E-mail continues to be one of the most frequently used communication channels in organizations. fax. Group calendaring and scheduling 160 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . whether it be planning for collaboration or organizing collaborative work. chat rooms. Teleconferencing. Collaboration technologies are often referred to as groupware or as workgroup productivity software.
Group document handling 7. Although the basic technology is designed to pass simple messages between two people. Desktop video. a copy is archived and then routed to the employee’s manager for approval. Newsgroup and mailing lists are similar in spirit to e-mail systems except that they are intended for messages among large groups of people instead of one-to-one communication. Other features that have been explored include automatic sorting and processing of messages. Groupware services 10. the system becomes group work. Groupware applications 12. development of forms. thus giving users a basic awareness of what other people are doing in the system. or at least seeing how often a link has been followed. electronically approves it. and the expense is registered to the group’s account and forwarded to the accounting department for payment. Electronic meeting systems 4. A simple example of a workflow application is an expense report in an organization: an employee enters an expense report and submits it. Workflow systems may provide features such as routing. while mailing lists deliver messages as they become available (an “interrupt-driven” interface). Whenever multiple people author and link documents. constantly evolving and responding to other’s work. of course. filing messages. Groupware and KM frameworks 11. Non-real-time asynchronous conferencing 6. Workflow systems allow documents to be routed through organizations by means of a relatively fixed process. with the web being an obvious example. and support for differing roles and privileges. and sends it on.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 3. automatic routing. the main difference between newsgroups and mailing lists is that newsgroup shows messages to users only when they are explicitly requested (an “ondemand” service). In practice. even relatively basic e-mail systems today typically include interesting features for forwarding messages. Hypertext is a system for linking text documents to each other. creating mailing groups. Workgroup utilities and development tools 9. and structures communication (messages requiring certain information). the manager receives the document. Workflow 8. and attaching files with a message. collaborative Internet-based applications and products E-mail is by far the most common groupware application (besides. Page counters on the web are a crude approximation of this function. Another common multi-user feature in hypertext (that is not found on the 161 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . real-time synchronous conferencing 5. the traditional telephone). Some hypertext systems include capabilities for seeing who else has visited a certain page or link.
where each person can jot down notes (e. number of people. Shared whiteboards can indicate where each person is drawing or pointing by showing telepointers. video may also be used in less direct collaborative situations. Authors collaborating on a document may also be given tools to help plan and coordinate the authoring process. location. it appears at the bottom of a scrolling screen. 162 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Synchronous support allows authors to see each other’s changes as they make them. topic of discussion. which are color-coded or labeled to identify each person. and coordination among many people and may provide support for scheduling equipment as well. Chat groups are usually formed by listing chat rooms by name. such as methods for locking parts of the document or linking separately authored documents. for instance. and chat systems. Typical feature detect when schedules conflict or find meeting times that will work for everyone.or videoconferencing. publishing. or people can work collaboratively on a visual problem. Collaborative writing systems may provide both real-time and non-real-time support. but may not provide substantial benefit in most cases where conventional audio telephones are adequate. For example. providing essentially a telephone system with an additional visual component. so that others can be informed when there are relevant links not known to the original author. shared whiteboards allow two or more people to view and draw on a shared drawing surface even from different locations. phone number. Typical concerns are privacy (users may feel that certain activities are not public matters) and completeness and accuracy (users may feel that the benefits of the calendar do not justify the time it takes to enter schedule information). As each person submits a message. Synchronous or real-time groupware is exemplified by shared workplaces. Group calendars also help to locate people. Word processors may provide asynchronous support by showing authorship and by allowing users to track changes and make annotations to documents. such as collaborative graphic design. tele. Chat systems permit many people to write messages in real time in a public space. and usually needs to provide an additional communication channel to the authors as they work (via videophones or chat systems). Most shared whiteboards are designed for informal conversation. Group calendars allow scheduling.DBA 1735 NOTES web) is allowing any user to create links from any page. but they may also serve structured communications or more sophisticated drawing tasks. Video communications systems allow two-way or multiway calling with live video. In addition to supporting conversations. such as by providing a view of activities at a remote location. or map). Video is advantageous when visual information is being discussed. project management. Cost and compatibility issues limited the early use of video systems to scheduled videoconferencing meeting rooms. during a phone call.g. or engineering applications. a name. This system can be used. and so on.
A wiki site grows and changes at the will of the participants. using a Word-like screen. the text version of chat has the rather interesting aspect of having a direct transcript of the conversation. but also allows for backward reference during conversation. which allows multiple users to create and edit content on a website. following the stream of conversation. which not only has long term value. Although chat-like systems are possible using nontext media. Wikis support new types of communications by combining internet applications and websites with human voices. without knowing any programming or HTML commands. making it easier for people to drop into a conversation and still pick up on the ongoing discussion. location or time zone.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Many systems allow for rooms with controlled access or with moderators to lead the discussion. usage.can be posted. but most of the topics of interest to researchers involve issues related to unmoderated real-time communication. and if one does not exist for your favorite subject. For example. and help features. including anonymity. honesty. or correct information. you can start one on it and add it to the list. and abusive users. Wikis exist for thousands of topics. Public wikis are developed first and are freewheeling forums with few controls. delete. Today. Its central location makes it easy to keep everyone informed and up to date regardless of their home office. People can add and edit pages at will. a wiki can be established for a particular project. it is faster than e-mail since updates are available 163 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . with the project team given access to update the status of tasks and add related documents and spreadsheets. a wiki is composed of web pages where people input information and then create hyperlinks to another page or new pages for more details about a particular topic.called “flames”. two types of wikis exist: public wikis and corporate wikis. a vandalized site can be restored. The community polices itself. Corporate wikis differ from public wikis in that they are more secure and have many more navigation. and integrity of its users. Sites can be vandalized. (b) Wikis Wikis are web-based software that supports concepts such as open editing. Anyone can edit any page and add. literally. An example of wiki is wikipedia. A search field at the bottom of the page lets you enter a key word for the information you want to find. corporations have been harnessing the power of wikis to provide interactive forums for tracking projects and communicating with employees over their in-house intranets. scalability with number of users. derogatory remarks. In the last year or two. a free encyclopedia written. However. by thousands of people around the world. A public wiki survives thanks to the initiative. and information can be corrected by anyone who knows better. More specifically. A wiki is more reliable than continually e-mailing updates back and forth to the team members. Corporate wikis are used for project management and company communications as well as discussion sites and knowledge databases. and misinformation can be published. a flame can be erased.
Informal internal knowledge repositories (such as “lesson learned”). Also. knowledge repositories. Knowledge repositories also tend to be more dynamic than other types of architectures because the knowledge content is continually updated and splintered into varying perspectives to serve a wide variety of different users. For security reasons. extranets (interorganzational networks). To this end. The repository can either be filled with knowledge through passive collection – where some people in the organization are scanning communication processes to detect knowledge. knowledge portals. corporations look for wiki software that has authorization and password safeguards. summarized. a new way of project management reporting). In creating a knowledge repository. and documentation about a particular domain of expertise. 164 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . subjective. knowledge is collected. Some wikis notify users when new information is added. and web-based shared work places. Knowledge repositories can be defined as an online computer based storehouse of expertise. A knowledge repository differs from a data warehouse and an information repository primarily in the nature of the content that is stored.DBA 1735 NOTES instantly. and easy uploads capabilities for documents and images. 3. and fairly pragmatic content. experiences. Such repositories are sometimes referred to as experiences bases or corporate memories. (c) Networking technologies Networking technologies consist of intranets (intraorganizational networks). There are three types of knowledge repositories: 1. External knowledge repositories (such as competitive intelligence) 2. repositories typically end up being a series of linked mini-portals distributed across an organization. Content in knowledge repositories tends to be unstructured. and integrated across sources. “rollback” versions so that information can be restored to its former state.g. corporations usually buy wiki software rather than lease space on the internet. knowledge. and it is more efficient than e-mail since each team member does not have to maintain his or her own copies. Structured internal knowledge repositories (such as research report and productoriented market material). Managers like wikis because they allow them to see what progress the team is making or what issues it is facing without getting involved or raising concern (e. Knowledge content will typically consist of contextual. and they set up the wiki behind the company’s firewall as a part of the intranet or as an extranet if customers or vendors are allowed access. this is an especially nice feature for corporate projects where fast responses are required.
knowledge of care-why. use of a term such as knowledge warehouse should be strongly discouraged. They typically feature searching capabilities through content as well as through pull technologies (intelligent agents) may exist. expertise. The interface to the repositories should be user-friendly.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Most repositories contain the following elements: 1. communities. connect to others who have come into contact with the content. what is and what is not done. The access and application of the content of a repository should be as directly linked to professional practice and concrete actions as possible.g. . documents. as well as contribute content of their own. in the form of mini-portals for each community of practice. seamless.g. processes. The knowledge repository typically involves content management software tools such as a Lotus Notes platform and will be run as an intranet within the organization. Portals are a means of sorting and disseminating organizational knowledge such as business processes. analyzed. The knowledge repository should instead be visualized as a lens that is placed on top of the organization’s data and information stores. Knowledge portals provide access to diverse enterprise content. assumptionsknowledge of what) 2. and transparent. etc. Context (e. informal knowledge. and projected valuable knowledge content. There may be a number of services that users can subscribe to as well as webbased learning modules on selected topics and professional practices. with appropriate privacy and security measures in place. Casual knowledge (e. concepts. categories. definitions. and used as inputs to decision 165 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . accepted. The critical content will have the best practices and lessons learned that have been accumulated over the years and to which many organizational members have added value. procedures. Procedural knowledge (e. current. and so forth will help maintain the repository in a manageable state. for rejected decisions-knowledge of why) 4. and other codified knowledge. actions. The purpose of a portal is to aggregate content from a variety of sources into a onestop-shop for relevant content.g. Portals enable the organizations to access internal and external knowledge that can be consolidated. rationale for decisions. Communities can be accessed via the portal for communication and collaboration purposes. activities.g. manualsknowledge of how or know-how) 3. events. Declaration knowledge (e. To this end. circumstances of decisions. Personalization in the form of personalized news services through push technologies. All users should be able to connect to and annotate content.) The knowledge repository is the one-stop-shop for all organizational users providing access to all historical. and internal and external services and information. policies.
The portal organizes valuable knowledge content using taxonomies or classification schemes to store both structured and unstructured contents. making use of) knowledge content that is made available to them by the organization. Recommender systems can detect similarities or affinities between different types of users and make recommendations of additional content that others like them have found to be useful to acquire and apply. and expertise of all those who have worked within that organization. comprehension. The common feature is the online learning environment provided for learners. Today. Knowledge portals support knowledge creation. understanding) and applying (i. processes. they have evolved into sophisticated shared workplaces where knowledge workers cannot only contribute content and share content but also acquire and apply valuable organizational knowledge. Knowledge portals link people. Adaptive technologies can be used to personalize knowledge content push or pull. sharing. Portals promote knowledge sharing by providing links to other organizational members through expertise location systems. and a number of tools derived from artificial intelligence can at least partially automate processes such as text summarization.e. E-learning systems provide support for learning. and valuable knowledge content and provide the organizational glue or common thread that serves to support knowledge workers. Tools such as electronic performance support systems (EPSS). content classification and content selection.DBA 1735 NOTES making. portals will take into account the different needs of the users and the different sorts of knowledge work they carry out in order to provide the best fit with both content and the format in which the content is presented (the portal interface). portals support knowledge acquisition and application by providing access to the accumulated knowledge. First generation portals were essentially a means of broadcasting information to all organizational members. 5. Portals serve to promote knowledge creation by providing a common virtual space where knowledge workers can contribute their knowledge to organizational memory. and better understanding of the new knowledge to be acquired. Finally. Knowledge maps and other visualization tools can help to better acquire and apply valuable knowledge. The particular knowledge and know-how to be acquired can be scoped and delivered in 166 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . know-how. Communities of practice will typically have a dedicated space for their members on the organizational portal and their own membership location system included in the virtual workspace. and decision support systems (DSS) help knowledge workers to better apply knowledge on the job. Courses can now be delivered via the web or the company intranet. E-learning applications started out as a computer based learning (CBT) and web based training (WBT) applications. and use by allowing a high level of bidirectional interaction with users.e. Ideally. expert systems.3. experience.3 Knowledge acquisition and application tools A number of technologies play an important role in how successful knowledge workers are in acquiring (i.
representing. AI developed automated reasoning systems that would make use of explicit knowledge representations in order to provide expert level advice. and voting. called intelligent agents or software robots (“softbots”). These agents act as proxies for knowledge workers and can be tasked with information searching. and applying knowledge long before the term knowledge management entered popular usage. Primarily designed to facilitate meetings. Natural language processing also grew out of AI research. and filtering functions.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT a timely fashion in order to support knowledge acquisition. they encourage equal participation by. and other forms of support to knowledge workers. NOTES 167 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . troubleshooting.that is. retrieving. Expert systems are decision support systems that do not execute an a priori program but instead deduce or infer a conclusion based on the inputs provided. providing anonymity or enforcing turn-taking. Many of the automated reasoning capabilities studied in AI research are encapsulated in autonomous pieces of software code. These agents are autonomous computer programs. (a) Intelligent Filtering Tools Intelligent Agents can generally be defined as software programs that assist their user and act on his or her behalf: a computer program that helps you in newsgathering. putting weights and probabilities on events and alternatives. software programs inhabiting the Net and performing their functions there. Such systems enable presumably more rational and evenhanded decisions. Most agents are internet based. have intelligence and can learn. Common applications today are voice interfaces or natural language queries that can be typed in to search databases. critiquing ideas. Decision support systems are designed to facilitate groups in decision making. Similar AI technologies can also be applied to analyze and summarize text or automatically classify content. improving its performance in executing its tasks. acts autonomously and on its own initiative. regardless of any time or distance constrains. Artificial intelligence (AI) research addressed the challenges of capturing. Linguistic technologies resulted in automating the parsing (breaking into subsections) and analysis of text. E-learning technologies also greatly increase the range of knowledge dissemination because knowledge that has been captured and coded or packaged as e-learning can be easily made available to all organizational members. Visualization technologies and knowledge mapping are good ways of synthesizing large amount of complex content in order to make it easier for knowledge workers to acquire and apply knowledge. for instance. They provide tools for brainstorming. They help users deal with information. where their environment dynamically affects their behavior and strategy for problem solving.
5. by learning from how the user reacts to the agent’s performance. including changes in the physical world. or the internet. Many knowledge management applications make use of intelligent agents. 3. electronic commerce (such as locating information for purchasing and buying). Learning agents: tailor to an individual’s preferences by learning from the user’s past behavior. other software agents and humans. So much data is available that we often claim to be “overloaded with information”. Autonomy: the ability to do most of their tasks without any direct assistance from an outside source. This has to do with memory and learning: an agent learns from its user and progressively improves in performing its tasks. 4. while controlling their own actions and states. Proactivity: the ability of an agent to take initiatives by itself. Social ability: the ability to interact with. Personalizability: the ability to adapt to its user’s needs. 6. Cooperation: the interactivity between agent and user. information. The most experimental bots even develop their “own” personalities and make decisions based on past experiences. 7. Let us categorize this information overload problem into two divisions: 168 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .DBA 1735 NOTES The following features define a true Intelligent Agent: 1. This range includes personalized information management (such as filtering e-mail). In the age of computers. often on a periodical basis. 3. Responsiveness: the ability to respond in a timely fashion to perceived changes in the environment. autonomously (out of a specific instrument by its users) and spontaneously. Shopping agents: compare “the best price for an item”. These tasks/applications can generally be grouped into five categories: 1. whether useful or useless. Information retrieval agents: help the user to “search for information in an intelligent fashion”. 2. when they deem appropriate. Adaptivity: the capacity to change and improve according to the experiences accumulated. as we must sift through so much information to get what we need. is readily available on the internet. which is fundamentally different from the one way working of ordinary software. Watcher agents: look for specific information. Having too much data can cause as much trouble as having no data. 4. which makes the agent a very helpful and time saving tool. 5. which includes human and other agents. Helper agents: perform tasks autonomously without human interaction. other agents. and management of complex commercial and industrial processes (such as scheduling appointments and air traffic control). 2.
News agents are designed to create custom newspapers from a huge number of web newspapers throughout the world. The program “learns to prioritize. “Push” technology is strictly connected to news bots developments. Intelligent agent services can supplement but not replace the value of edited information. delete. Using them to filter the oncoming “traffic” of the “information highway” can help reduce cost. Tasks that are redundant or routine need to be minimized by some individuals who can otherwise spend their time more productively. databases. As information becomes more available. As it gains in popularity and use. The trend in this field is toward autonomous. Information filtering: we must go through an enormous amount of information to find the small portion that is relevant to us. answering basic queries and forwarding others to specialized workers. Some companies receive so much e-mail that they have to employ clerical workers to sift through the flood of e-mail. which is a type of learning agent. forward. There is so much content out there that the tools that filter content are going to be as important as the content itself. which reads a preestablished “knowledge chart” to determine who should receive what mail. But having agents to perform tasks as such searching and filtering can ultimately reduce the information overload to a degree. Depending upon threshold limits that are constantly updated. consisting basically in the delivery of information on the web that appears to be initiated by the information server rather than by the client. An end user. Others use intelligent filtering software such as GrapeVine for Lotus. and so on and deliver selected information to their users. contributes to information overload. effort and time. The program monitors the user’s actions and treats these actions as a lesson on what to do. and archive mail messages on behalf of a user”. we can expect to see more sophisticated and better developed Intelligent Agents. Maxims will guess what the user will do. Information overload is a world wide problem today. An electronic mail filtering agent called Maxims. Information filtering is a particularly important function in KM because users need a way of filtering this data into a more manageable situation. personalized. Yet the development of Intelligent Agents is still in its infancy. adaptive. Upon surpassing a degree of certainty. Information gathering: there is not enough information available to us. it becomes more and more crucial to have strong editors filter that information. Knowledge workers need information in a timely manner as it can greatly affect their success. newsgroups. sort. NOTES 169 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . but Intelligent Agents help reduce this problem. required to constantly direct the management process. 2.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 1. and very smart agents that surf the Net. and we have to search long and hard to find what we need. it will start to suggest action for the user to take.
for example. selecting user preferences to change the desktop interface. with themes checked off). The knowledge workers use the web to find information external to their organizations as part of their daily work life. Customization refers to the knowledge workers “manually” changing their knowledge environment.3. Community profiles ca be established just as individual profiles and can be used in the same moment in order to better adapt content and interfaces to the community members. Strategic implications of KM tools and techniques Tools and techniques are a means and not an end in themselves. and then a consensus must be reached on priority 170 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . First. A typology of different complementary modes of using the web as an information source was identified and described. Amazon. Communities of practice are affinity groups to some extent. visitors to the site are provided with information on related books that others who have bought the same book have also purchased. Personalization. and personalization technologies are often used to target or push certain types of content that are of interest to a given community. found that information studies theory provides an appropriate framework for examining internet based information seeking behaviours. for example. One way of automatically personalizing knowledge acquisition makes use of recommender systems. many MS office applications offer the option of dynamically reordering popdown menu based on frequency of usage (the ones used most often will be displayed on top). uses affinity groups when. 5. refers to the automatic changing of content and interfaces based on the observed and analyzed behaviors of the intended end user. on the other hand. or subscribing to certain news or listserv services.g. specifying certain requirements in content to be provided to them (language. (b) Adaptive technologies Adaptive technologies are used to better target content to a specific knowledge worker or to a specific group of knowledge workers who share common work needs. the business objectives must be clearly identified. Affinity groups make use of similarity analysis of users in order to develop groups of individuals who appear to share the same interests. For example. format). or the recommendation may be based on affinity groups. Recommendations regarding content that is likely to be considered useful and relevant by a given knowledge worker may be based on a user profile of that knowledge worker (e.4. after ordering a book online.DBA 1735 NOTES Information studies research has examined information seeking behavior for over five decades now and can serve as an excellent theoretical basis for the study of the Internet as an information source and Intelligent Agents as mediators in this digital environment using a case study to explore how knowledge workers made use of internet based information systems.
American Productivity and Quality Council (APQC) focused on how some of the most advanced early KM adopters implement a knowledge management initiative. three. In the earliest stages of knowledge management implementation. This is a good building block for subsequent application such as yellow pages or expertise finders and groupware tools to enable newly connected knowledge workers to continue to work together. the need for measurement steadily increases. experts. and other valuable intellectual asses that exist within an organization. Once this is done. employee development. create a business case. an initial KM application will typically be some form of content management system on an internally managed intranet site. and employed. As KM becomes more structured and widespread and companies move into stages two. Determinative means the constant assignment of numerals given constant conditions. In knowledge management measurement. Determining KM’s pervasiveness and impact is analogous to measuring the contribution of marketing. The KM tools and techniques have an important enabling role in ensuring the success of KM applications. communities of practice. nor is it required. and four. the intellectual assets can be better assessed. and the need to measure the effectiveness of knowledge-intensive business processes replaces them. Measuring knowledge management (KM) is not simple. As KM becomes institutionalized—a way of doing business—the importance of KM-specific measures diminishes.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT application areas to be addressed. and measure and evolve their KM programs.4. or any other management or organizational competency. The need for measurement of KM follows a bell curve pattern through the life cycle of a business life cycle. we are trying to select and/or formulate those concepts useful in measuring and influencing knowledge management performance. Non-degenerate means allowing for the possibility of assignment of different numerals under varying conditions. rule”. non-degenerate. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND MEASUREMENTS “Measurement is the assignment of numerals to things according to any determinative. 5. mobilize resources. leveraged. For example. NOTES 171 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . This has helped to identify measurement approaches and specific measures in use. It is nonetheless a necessity if KM is to last and have significant impact in an organization. formal measurement rarely takes place. A number of the techniques presented here address the phenomenon of emergence that can help discover existing valuable knowledge. and how impact measures and is impacted by the evolution of KM.
Energized by his or her vision. There has to be a new source of energy or interest to cause KM to appear in the option set for the organization. The central task for the champion at this stage is to create a vision that inspires others to join in the exploration of how managing knowledge might contribute value to the enterprise and its people. Making comparisons with similar industries that have successfully implemented KM also can convince skeptics. and use. Find redundant efforts.1 Knowledge Measurement Stage 1 – Enter and Advocate Stage The fire to manage knowledge starts with the spark of inspiration. then the organization implementing KM likely found a good candidate to use as proof of KM’s power. discover areas where knowledge is lost. If the competitor has gained recognition for its KM efforts and has seen its productivity jump and operating costs plummet. 172 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The most effective way of convincing them may be to find the greatest areas of “K-spots” within your organization. Someone must become inspired with the vision of what it would be like if the organization could effectively support human knowledge capture.DBA 1735 NOTES Figure 5. Interviewing key stakeholders helps uncover KM needs and exposes areas of lost time. effort. transfer. and therefore money. It is important to expose the need for knowledge management at this stage. Measures Appropriate for Stage 1 The value of embarking on the KM journey needs to be understood by members of management—more in theory at this stage than in quantitative numbers. and find points of frustration in your employee base. this champion begins to search for opportunities to share the vision with others and to find opportunities to demonstrate the value of KM to the organization.
). Examples of potential measurements include: NOTES 173 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Focus should be on meaningful measures that concentrate on exploring the various opportunities in the organization for implementing knowledge management practices. Measurement of financial returns or results should not be undertaken at this point except as byproducts of other concurrent efforts.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Stage 1 is the time for advocating the potential of KM to the stakeholders and after that more concrete measures will be necessary. if the organization is measuring for financial returns when your organization is at this particular juncture. the pilots’ focus begins to center on specific knowledge management ideas and principles in order to demonstrate concepts and capabilities. it allows organizational sponsors to realize and consequently support the formation of a cross-functional team that can bring alignment. etc. success stories. etc. and experimenting with different knowledge management concepts and concentrate on developing and selling the concept and then measure against the plan. reduced overhead. measuring the progress toward organizational awareness. At this point in the process. Stage 2 – Explore and Experiment Stage During the second stage of KM implementation. Simply stated. but not in the early stages. Toward the end of this stage. These measures can appear in three main categories: anecdotal (war stories. a practical definition of knowledge management is formulated within an organization and consideration of its applicability is made. The development of several successful knowledge-enabling practices and pilots can be the catalyst to draw positive senior management attention. Examples of Stage 2 Measures Simple measures are critical at this stage. quantitative (growth). It is appropriate to begin this section by identifying what should not be measured in Stage 2. the instinct is to identify quantifiable financial measurements such as productivity increases. and qualitative (mainly extrapolation from anecdotal). then it is measuring the wrong thing. Further. increased sales. The movement can start from several isolated. grassroots knowledge-enabling activities and develop into a cross-corporate vision and strategy. Since most management initiatives are driven by financial results. Measures Appropriate for Stage 2 The emergence of a need for measurement in Stage 2 is felt as interest about KM escalates in several parts of the organization. developing the organization’s knowledge management strategies. negotiations for some corporate funding can add additional resources to the scarce and limited funds from the local teams. Knowledge management will generate these financial measurements and others.
Critical practices that foster employee information exchange. As part of this assessment. The framework for communities of practice begins to be formalized at this stage. (b) Measure Against a Benchmark Benchmarking with other organizations can be a persuasive tool and can lead to executive sponsorship. measurement within the various division/department is crucial. measurements are currently being used. and qualitative. Document stories to encourage role model behavior. you should attempt to identify what. The existing measurement can. The degree of rigor and refinement becomes more defined and focused on business strategy in Stage 3. provide you with a benchmark for future measurements. (c) Measure Your Cultural Readiness It is important at this stage to build the foundation to develop a knowledge-sharing culture. and funding and support are derived from a mix of central resources as well as the donation of time. teamwork.DBA 1735 NOTES Measure for Progress: Measure the progress you make in developing and growing sponsorship and support from top management. Since most successful KM initiatives are grassroots or organizational (department/division) and not corporate (top-down) in origin. you should have completed an assessment or knowledge map of your organization to determine what practices you currently have in place and what you are missing. if any. It is important to establish a 174 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . and money from within organizations that are enthusiastic about enabling knowledge sharing. Stage 3 – Implementation Stage This stage signals the formal implementation of a knowledge management initiative. collaboration. The key here is to begin to ensure that direct business value is perceived by the organization as a result of the knowledge-enabling projects. quantitative. The goal of Stage 3 is to provide evidence of knowledge management’s business value by conducting pilots and capturing lessons learned that can be transferred and used to help the organization better implement KM on a larger and expanding scale. at a minimum. (a) Measure the Gap As part of your early work in Stages 1 and 2. Measures Appropriate for Stage 3 There is a convergence at Stage 3 of the three main categories of measurement that exist in the early stages of KM implementation: anecdotal. their norms. people. and trust development can be built upon through crediting the contributors. practices and insights needs to be observed and incorporated into other teams. Teams that operate in this manner. You will at some point need to determine the value of that measurement and whether it can be used going forward.
Measure the Retention of Knowledge: Measure the amount of information contributed to the knowledge base over time against retrieval and reuse. Extrapolation of anecdotal measurements into more solid quantifiable measurements occurs. and improved time to market. Repeat customers indicate two things—either specific information is of repeated use to them or they find value in the additional information continually added to the application. content dimensions. information technology dimensions. Measure the Business Value: Both the hard and soft business value derived from each pilot should be documented. What is the threshold for indicating a repeat user is a steady customer? Someone may sample a site several times but will stop visiting if they fail to get the results they seek.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT mechanism to capture the hard and soft lessons learned in the knowledge management pilots. Having a predefined taxonomy on the classification of lessons learned can be helpful in developing conclusions and identifying areas desirable for replication throughout an organization. This would have to be correlated with the number of individuals using it for an extended period of time and repeat users. This does not necessarily need to be rigorous at this point. Quantifiable measurements are not enough. support staff cost reductions. These measures include process dimensions. as these will be the building blocks for the later KM stages. NOTES 175 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . which is easy to figure. Then beginning should be made to map measurements of specific business goals. In addition. establishing measures for the various components of a knowledge management initiative is beneficial. and people dimensions. b. Are the IP addresses those of repeat users? The intent for this measurement is to track repeat customers. culture dimensions. the number of hits to a Web site is not good enough. This can reveal if individuals entering the site are actually reviewing its content (indicates quick review and rejection vs. Some potential areas are resource redistribution. during the acceleration of knowledge management scale-up. Specific measures and issues to be considered may include the following: Time spent per hit. such as improved clock speed. they must be balanced with qualitative data to ensure an accurate. Effort needs to be put into determining the ancillary costs associated with time savings. what would constitute an individual actually digesting some content). full picture. Examples of Stage 3 Measures a. How often is a site visited? What percentage of total hits represents repeat users? Value can be measured by repeat business. Unlike in previous stages. Can the pilot results be duplicated in other parts of the organization? Time saved equals direct labor cost.
Considerable effort needs to be placed on determining: the types of measurements the potential value of the measurements the cost for measuring vs. incentives for individual contributions are still required. Is the cost of the capture process too high in comparison to the value of the captured information or knowledge? 176 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . If the information is not retrievable it is of little value. Draw correlations against CoPs that have not been as successful. (v) Measure the Ownership of Capture and Compilation: What are the costs involved in capturing information in a usable manor? This includes not only the capturing but also the indexing. 1. This can be critical in evaluating the impact of a pilot project. (ii) Performance review. Do they share their knowledge in an open and constructive way? 2. the value of measuring processes In selecting measures. A reward or recognition system properly implemented can provide quantitative measurements. the issues surrounding the potential for measuring the cultural side of knowledge management need to be addressed. Do others find their knowledge of value and use it? What results are gained from it? 3. consideration should be given to if and how the cultural side of KM can be measured in Stage 3. As part of these applications feedback on the usefulness of the knowledge provided is essential. Another means of measuring cultural impact is through the performance review process. Individuals can be rated by their peers (360-degree feedback) on three major knowledge-sharing points listed below. This is not necessarily the only or best means of using anecdotal measurements. Quantifiable measurement of the time required to capture the information in a usable manner is applicable. (i) Anecdotal stories. determine essential elements that contribute to coherent and effective CoP. (iii) Public and private recognition and rewards for individuals and teams: Though an organisation advocates team building and sharing of knowledge. but considering the intrinsic value of the anecdote can be important. Based on the findings. Extract lessons learned and best practices from these correlations and use them to build new CoPs and improve existing ones. stories can form the basis for extrapolation of quantitative data. This can be implemented in Stage 3 because there are formal (if only pilot) applications in place. Do they use others’ knowledge and apply it to improve operations? This can be measured somewhat by traditional business measurement tools. (iv) Measure the Effectiveness of Sharing Communities: Document the effectiveness of communities of practices (CoPs).DBA 1735 NOTES c Measure the Cultural Impact: In Stage 3. As stated earlier.
Demand for KM support by other parts of the organization tends to be high. Other measurements can be made using the number of times a lesson was used or through a feedback system allowing the capture of users’ comments. Creating the storytelling environment (either electronic production or live storytelling) If live. A qualitative measurement can be reached through a feedback measurement system such as Eureka’s thumbs-up or -down method of capturing the value of a tip to a user. Measurements can be quantitative. Does the measurement of capture and compilation warrant effort? NOTES (vi)Measure Project Management Effectiveness and Intended Results: Successful pilots will contribute to building organizational support and future funding. measurements can enable a KM team to rethink its priorities in an efficient and timely manner. it becomes necessary to evaluate the fitness of the knowledge areas in relation to the whole organization. qualitative. Measuring cost in your pilots can provide critical information for determining program direction and strategy. or anecdotal. KM has proved valuable enough to be officially expanded to become part of the organization’s funded activities. providing additional evidence of its value. Measures Appropriate for Stage 4 Since organizations at Stage 4 are undertaking multiple projects in diverse areas of the business. Here are some of the factors to be considered. allowing for shifting resources to strengthen the potential for success. what is the time commitment of participants (storyteller and audience)? If electronic. KM is on its way to being considered a strategic and necessary competency. If the information is not retrievable. the added visibility of costs and resources devoted to KM will require more formal business evaluation and ROI justification and unless unforeseen factors derail the efforts. Evaluating a knowledge area project might require examining 177 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . If properly set up.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Consider storytelling as an example. Was a formal methodology employed? Was a time line established and progress tracked? Were project objectives and expectations clearly stated and measured? Measure the performance of the pilots themselves against the intended results or hypothesis. what are the production costs? Are the storage and distribution costs insignificant? How much responsibility is there on the individual to capture his information in a usable manor? This includes not only the capturing but also the indexing. it is beneficial to track the projects. it is of little value. Pilot results are an added benefit. High visibility and the authority to expand are a mixed blessing. Can the capturing of lessons learned from your pilots be used for measurements? The obvious answer is yes. Stage 4 – Expand and Support Phase When an organization reaches Stage 4. An organization can quantify these in two basic ways: number submitted and number referenced. To ensure that projects are managed effectively.
determine how much has been saved in time to market. it is still important to show that KM is working and will work going forward. Then questions can be asked of employees to determine whether management really does support knowledge sharing. competitive positioning. 178 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . should the organization limit that? Is that limitation visible and understood? Openness for combination/innovation. To estimate ROI. in aggregate. Targeted questions such as “How do you support creation and innovation?” can also help determine employee mindset. he or she can communicate the causal linkages between where the business started and where it ended up because of the concentration on creating a viable knowledge project. Then decide how much effort has been saved by sharing solutions in the community. etc. Has a process become world-class because of KM. Another way to approach ROI estimation might be by looking at sub communities and their generation of solutions in terms of community projects. Project criteria may include: Proficiency.DBA 1735 NOTES many areas of fitness that. Is the knowledge described in jargon that no one understands? Is the knowledge base open to other disciplines? Does the project generate questions to the organization to help it grow? Justification measures can be difficult when the organization is trying to decide whether to adopt KM as part of the ongoing corporate strategy. Although most corporate KM programs have been well-established and “proven” by Stage 4. and facilities) and then define how much effort is spent on KM by knowledge management experts. At this stage. Personal performance reviews can be a useful avenue to determine whether managers support knowledge sharing and give employees a chance to show their ability to share. help the organization determine whether the projects in its KM portfolio are of high impact and beneficial to the success of the company. it is important to tap into the values of the organization and determine whether a culture shift is occurring. When the improvements occur. meetings. This can be easier if the business owner decides what needs to be improved through a project before embarking on it. Because codifying knowledge is expensive. Has KM been properly executed? Is the project and knowledge managed well? Is it well understood? Codification. or has it made only mediocre improvement? Diffusion. add the costs of a community (including labor. The question of measurement must often be restated at this stage. If a group needs a solution and embarks on a knowledge-creation effort. The organization has to not only measure how knowledge area projects perform but also evaluate how it feels the business key indicators are linked to the knowledge areas.
5. In the relatively young arena of KM. but the measurement of these assets has eluded so far managers. As of today.5.1. NOTES Sharing and using knowledge become part of the organization’s “way of doing business” as well as an expected management competency. return on investment. ROE) is seriously flawed since the value of the firm’s major asset— intangible capital—is missing from the 179 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . As in Stage 4. Most organizations measure some of their intangible assets and they use non-monetary measures for particularly measuring operational efficiency. They are used to check progress and monitor the continued evolution of the culture. Intangible asset measurement It is widely accepted that intangible (knowledge or intellectual) assets are the major drivers of corporate value and growth in most economic sectors. and financial analysts valuing investment projects. There is no difference between monetary measures and other measures though monetary measurement is objective and guided by definitions and standards. Stage 5 is the continuation of Stage 4 to its logical conclusion of full enterprise-wide deployment. school measure student’s performance in terms of marks. by say.5. employee satisfaction and retention as a measure of competence by most business organizations. but becomes the backbone on which the organizational business processes are built on. The value of knowledge or the intellectual capital of any organization and the efficiency and performance of the associated KM systems cannot be measured by the conventional tools and techniques in existence. Hospital and hotel measure bed utilization. 5. KNOWLEDGE MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES This section outlines a non-financial measurement system for intangible assets. Manufacturing companies measure “output per hour” as a basis. The organization structure must be realigned. Stage 5 measures are not used to prove value. accountants. there exists no system that uses money as a measurement tool. KM can no longer be called an initiative or project at this stage. How are The Intangibles Metrics Computed? Why measure intangible assets? Evaluating profitability and performance of business enterprise. assets or equity (ROA. Stage 5 differs from Stage 4 in three fundamental ways: It does not happen unless KM is embedded in the business model. Evidence of knowledge management competency becomes part of the formal performance evaluation. only a few organizations have reached this stage. However.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Stage 5 – Institutionalizing Knowledge Management In some ways.
Average pre-tax earnings of a company for a period of time are divided by the average tangible assets of the company. it does not satisfy the need to seek information about and value of intangible assets. brands or unique organizational designs (e. What is the use of a measure (market-minusbook) that is derived from what investors already know (market and book values)? There is obviously a need for a different approach to estimating the value of intangible assets. Valuations for the purpose of mergers and acquisitions are incomplete without an estimate of intellectual capital. such as patents and trademarks. Market Capitalization Methods (MCM). Once these components are identified. Estimate the rupee-value of intangible assets by identifying its various components. Measures of price relatives (e. Return on Assets methods (ROA). The market-minus-book approach to valuing intangibles is also unsatisfactory because it is circulatory.g. and (b) that balance sheet historical values of assets reflect their current values. etc. Some of the approaches are as follows: Direct Intellectual Capital methods (DIC). particularly accountants and corporate executives. software products. many. The difference is multiplied by the company’s average tangible assets to calculate an average annual earning from the 180 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . While such attitude concerning balance sheets may be understandable. are reluctant to recognize intangible or intellectual capital as assets in financial reports.g. either individually or as an aggregated coefficient. The risk of these assets (e. in practically all economic sectors. except for intellectual properties.. and the property rights over these assets are not fully secured by the company. Some have attempted to gauge the value of intangible assets from the difference between the company’s capital market value and its book value (the balance sheet value of net physical and financial assets). One searches for measures of intangibles value in order to provide new information to managers and investors.. price-to-book ratio) are similarly misleading.g. on par with physical and financial assets. The result is a company ROA that is then compared with its industry average. Resource allocation decisions within corporations require values of intangible capital. Internet-based supply chains) are by and large not traded in organized markets.1 Accordingly. This approach is unsatisfactory because it is based on two flawed assumptions: (a) that there is no mispricing in capital markets. These and other uses create the need for valuing intangible assets. Intangible (knowledge) assets. absent the value of intangible assets from accounting book values. they can be directly evaluated. such as new discoveries (drugs. drugs or software programs under development not making it to the market) is generally higher than that of physical assets.DBA 1735 NOTES denominator of these indicators..). Calculate the difference between a company’s market capitalization and its stockholders’ equity as the value of its intellectual capital or intangible assets.
shareholders are interested in dividends. customers are interested in service levels.e. efficiency. differ. the most important figure is what they earn after tax. efficiency and effectiveness measure different things. Intangible assets monitor Intangible asset monitor is a method for measuring intangible assets and a presentation format that displays a number of relevant indicators for measuring intangible assets in a simple manner. how well an organization is using its capacity. Unfortunately. The purpose is to get a broad picture: so one or two indicators in each category could be designed. often used by consultancy firms is billable time. Scorecard Methods (SC). and stability. however.2. growth. as a proportion of time available. employ different efficiency measures. Efficiency measures utilisation. This measures how much time consultants are paid for. The format is particularly relevant for knowledge organizations. and renewal as well as efficiency and stability measures. must be used instead to calculate efficiency. The various components of intangible assets or intellectual capital are identified and indicators and indices are generated and reported in scorecards or as graphs. i. Efficiency and effectiveness Although often used as synonyms. time billed to clients. It measures profit generated by the capital invested in a company. often shortened ROE. to both creditors and the owners of the invested capital. for different audiences. this technique cannot be applied to intangible assets. i. For shareholders. and quality. Normally. The intangible assets monitor can be integrated in the MIS. The needs of the various parties concerned may. The management must also track the return on the firm’s total capital. 5. The choice of indicators depends on the company strategy. The most important areas to cover are growth/renewal. so various income statements. Dividing the above-average earnings by the company’s average cost of capital or an interest rate. so that they can control their allocation of capital. ROI (return on invested capital) is a criterion of efficiency popular in financial circles. It is a simple and good indicator of short term profitability because it measures capacity usage. but it says nothing about what the consultants accomplish in that time. 181 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . therefore.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Intangibles. of course. and on particular investment projects. and nonmonetary measurements. in the form dividends on the capital they have put into the company.e. Firms should. A criterion of efficiency. there are significant differences between the two. organizations are interested in indicators that indicate change. A composite index may or may not be produced.5. one can derive an estimate of the value of its intangible assets or intellectual capital. regardless of what it produces. the return after tax on their own equity. SC methods are similar to DIS methods. The intangible assets monitor appears similar to balanced score card. or a project and is thus a very important indicator of efficiency. expect that no estimate is made of the rupee-value of the Intangible assets.
Profit per Employee. Indicators of Renewal/Innovation Indicators of Organization Enhancing Renewal/Innovation Customers. Even if it is not practically possible to measure effectiveness. Rookie Ratio. Frequency of Repeat Orders. Seniority Devoted Customers Ratio. Measuring customer satisfaction for instance. Intangible Assets External Structure Indicators Internal Structure Indicators Indicators of Growth Investment in IT Investments in Internal Structure Competence Indicators Indicators of Growth Competence Index Number of Years in the Profession. Image Enhancing Customers Proportion of new Sales to new customers products/services New processes implemented Indicators of Efficiency/Utilization Profitability per Customer. revenue focus is effectiveness oriented.2 Intangible Assets Monitor 182 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Indicators of Efficiency/Utilization Proportion of Support Staff Indicators of Risk/Stability Indicators of Risk/Stability Satisfied Customers Index. Profit per Professional. What gives the most revealing picture of performance? To focus on the costs of people or on the revenues they bring in? Cost focus is efficiency oriented. Therefore effectiveness is seldom measured. Training and Education Costs. Level of Education. It is more difficult to measure also because one must often go outside one’s own organization. an important indicator of an organization’s effectiveness relies on customer polls. Competence Turnover.DBA 1735 NOTES Effectiveness measures how well an organization is satisfying the need of those it serves. Sales per Customer. Leverage Effect. Indicators of Growth Organic Growth. Figure 5. Value Added per Employee. Values/Attitudes Index Indicators of Risk/Stability Proportion of Big Professionals Turnover. it is never-the-less valuable to think in effectiveness terms. Customers. Value Added per Professional. Age Structure. Relative Pay. Diversity Indicators of Efficiency/Utilization Proportion of Professionals. Age of the organization. Seniority. Win/Loss Index. Support Staff Turnover. Indicators of Renewal/Innovation Competence-Enhancing Customers.
The learning perspective directs attention to the basis of 183 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . but which are of critical importance to a company’s long-term profitability. The BSC is a proven approach to strategic management that imbeds the long-term strategy into the management system through the mechanism of measurement. and (4) learning perspective.5.4. Balanced Scorecard Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a management system devised by Robert Kaplan of Harvard Business School and David Norton which uses a ranch of “leading and lagging” indicators for evaluating the progress of a business towards fulfillment of its strategic goals. A basis for improvement and change activities which can be used on both management and operational levels.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 5. financially based measurement systems. (2) customer perspective. The BSC translates vision and strategy into a tool that effectively communicates strategic intent and motivates and tracks performance against the established goals. This analysis can be repeated in order to measure the goal achieved. A vision describes the ultimate goal and a strategy is a shared understanding about how that goal is to be reached. strategic focus to the entire organization. The area of improvement can be identified after which decisions about changes can be made. NOTES 5. The BSC provides a medium to translate the vision into a clear set of objectives. The indicators are based on the strategic objectives of the firm. the BSC glues an organization’s focus on future success by setting objectives and measuring performance from four distinctive perspectives. forward-looking. annual reports) as well as within the organization where the tool creates a new basis and a new language for internal aspects important to business activity. An IC Rating provides management with a foundation for optimizing the competitiveness of the organization by functioning as: A foundation of a modern business control system with clear and measurable goals for maximizing future profitability.3. IC Rating IC rating can be said to constitute value creating factors not shown in traditional balance sheets. In contrast to traditional. IC Rating is a way of measuring intellectual capital from a new perspective and with a new approach focus on the assets that in fact decide the ability of knowledge based companies to create value for its interest groups. These objectives are then further translated into a system of performance measurement that effectively communicates a powerful. A structured image of value creating assets that can be used in market communication (investor relations. (3) internal process perspective.5. A company’s performance is measured by indicators covering four major focus perspectives: (1) financial perspective.
The development of a true learning organization supports success in the next BSC perspective. 184 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The customer perspective considers the business through the eyes of a customer. The loaded BI system can extract that data from existing systems. who enter data and notes about what is happing on the front lines into personalized scorecards. and issue a grade on the corporate scorecard. Together. This makes the BSC a potent system for communicating strategic goals. Adequate investments in these areas are critical to long term success. Organizational implementation A company initiates a BSC system by setting strategic goals in each of the four quadrants described below: Customer satisfaction Internal business processes Learning Financials It then assigns metrics that can be measured to determine whether the business is meeting its goals. these four perspectives provide a balanced view of the present and future performance of the business. – and translate into a company-wide BSC summery which keep track of the successful and unsuccessful goals of the organization. Much of the detail comes from individual employees. etc. length of customer service calls. in order to translate superior processes into financial success. process it. If they require information about a goal. Improvement in internal processes now is a key lead indicator of financial success in the future. Finally. companies first please their customers. they can drill down and obtain more minute details. sales figures. the internal process perspective. universally accessible via the organizational intranet on the Internet. the financial perspective measures the ultimate results that the business provides to its shareholders. Internet technology makes the system accessible to anyone in the business from anywhere. determine whether the company is meeting customer satisfaction goals. In the ultimate BSC environment. BI systems take ground-level data – such as delivery time. Business intelligence and Internet technology are the foundations of BSC systems. The internal process perspective focuses attention on the performance of the key internal processes which drive the business. there are different scorecards for everyone in the business.DBA 1735 NOTES all future success – the organization’s people and infrastructure. Executives can view a scorecard on their desktops that displays business’s strategic goals. These scorecards also tell them hoe their performance matches their goals. and for the business itself. so that the organization retains a careful focus on customer needs and satisfaction. However. The grades are based on metrics that put measurable value on factors usually considered too vague to quantify.
they also must translate into measures that are ultimately linked to financial indicators. The following three criteria help to determine if the performance measures are in tune with the organizations strategy. Examples include market share or customer retention. Despite this recognition. Methodology: The approach should include the capture and translation to measurement of an organizational strategy across a wide variety of strategic and operational situations. failing to provide the long-term strategic management capabilities that today’s organizations need. customer satisfaction and innovation. 1. Performance Drivers: Measures common to most companies within an industry are known as “lag indicators”.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Measurement Measurement is a critical component of any management system. Today’s measurement systems focus organizations on past performance and encourage a short-term view of strategy. 2. philosophy. An architect who has a framework. The BSC and the management system which will be built around it are. A client who will be totally engaged and assume ultimate ownership of the project. A good BSC should have a mix of lead and lag indicators. NOTES 185 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Financial Linkage: Most organizations are preoccupied with goals such as quality. because they consist of many financial indicators. While these goals are frequently strategic. understanding that the person must live with the results long after the architect withdraws. the responsibility of the executive team. A good BSC should convey the details of the organization’s strategy. The client is the executive team of the business organization. 3. most organizations do not operate with a measurement system that adequately fills all these roles. and a methodology for designing and developing the new management system. The BSC has been quickly accepted by the business world. incepting and tracking the achievement of an organization’s strategy. it is easy to see the value of a focused set of performance measurements. Most managers recognize its vital role in communication. 1. a BSC project should not be attempted. The drivers of performance (known as “lead indicators”) tend to be unique because they reflect what is different about the strategy. Cause and Effect Relationships: Every measure selected for a BSC should be part of a chain of cause and effect relationships that represent the strategy. The following approach can be employed in designing a BSC measurement system. Organizational BSC design There are two essential ingredients to the successful design of a balance scorecard. because it is bound to fail. Without their active sponsorship and participation. ultimately. 2.
Sub-team working sessions focus on the development of measures for a subset of the objectives. thereby concluding the design of the BSC measurement system. The second step of the development process is designed to build consensus among the members of the executive team around the long-term strategic priorities of the organization. The architecture of a BSC has several dimensions which must be incorporated into Scorecard design. the executive team learns about where there is and is not a consensus about their strategy and discusses unresolved issues. Developing an implementation plan This step typically reviews the client’s approach to data reporting and review. The personal visions are then synthesized into feedback that is reviewed at an executive workshop. the sub-teams synthesize their recommendations into a united “strategic story” in consonance with the strategic objectives and measures. Whether operating a growing. Development of strategic objectives: In general. Similar frameworks for the customer and the learning perspectives give both the architect and the clients a common ground from which to consider the setting of strategic objectives. it must be integrated into the management system of the organization. or maturing business. planning and budgeting. At the end of this step. Design measures: With the prioritized strategic objectives agreed upon by the executive team. a coherent group vision for the organization emerges in the form of 10 top priority objectives. the management groups in well managed organizations lack a shared understanding about the overall strategy of the organization and the relative roles of different groups within the organization keeps the team agreeing on priorities. each executive team member is interviewed individually to capture his or her implicit and explicit strategies for the business. strategic learning. finalizing the working of objectives and searching for measures appropriate for tracking each objective. Implementation plan: For a BSC measurement system to create value. the next step is the selection of measures to track the achievement of these objectives. strategic communication. There are frameworks that describe that describe the strategy and represent the foundation on which a complex design is based. 186 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . personal objective setting. Evaluating opportunities for integrating the BSC into the management process 3. Identifying the current practices in various management processes 2. management meetings and decision-making. During this session. To achieve this goal. mature. A good design process will recognize these dimensions and provide a framework to guide the architect and the executive team in their thinking about the strategy. executive teams use this framework to anchor their financial objectives.DBA 1735 NOTES Measurement architecture: An organization must develop a distinct business strategy. A business strategy and a BSC that describes it are not random. Ultimately. The final step of the process entails three primary tasks: 1.
Abandoning the effort of measurement when initial problem in execution is felt 3. It is characterized by a control panel similar to that found in automobiles or airplanes. 1. 2. KNOWLEDGE AUDIT The knowledge audit (K-Audit) is a systematic and scientific examination and evaluation of the explicit and tacit knowledge resources in the company. Managers leading the organization use the gauges on the control panel to assess and modify action over time. The vision and mission statements are the foundation of an effective performance measurement system. so that management has the necessary data to quickly assess the health of the organization along several fronts. Non-availability of data and its integrity while measurement 6. With the direction and a reason for existing in place. Lack of leadership at the top 2. Customer connectivity Internal process efficiency and effectiveness Individual and group innovation and learning Financials. 5. The K-Audit investigates and analyses the current knowledge-environment and culminates. NOTES The BSC provides a holistic view of the short and long-term health of the organization. Standardization itself would be a factor contributing to resistance among employees. Unnecessary variation to the measurement system due to varying formats between operation and between review periods 7. The BSC tightly integrates the key business measures into a few manageable metrics. Resistance from individuals from the fear of specific and measurable objectives to achieve 4.6. Implementation Barriers Even with the best known tools and techniques for installing a measurement system.5.5. many attempts fail. 5. Here are the some of the barriers to implementation of measurement systems. linking the vision to individual and group activities. by having metrics established in each of the basic elements with financial performance being the ultimate lagging indicator. quantitative objectives can be defined to determine progress towards the vision. Several measurement concepts should be considered as the measurement system is designed: the balanced control panel.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Performance measurement: A performance measurement system enables the organization to ensure its tracking along an appropriate path as it moves from its current state to a future state. The BSC has four basic measurement areas: 1. in a diagnostic 187 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Fear of cultural change in organization owing to the measurement system 5. 4. and the PDSA cycle as a control system. 3.
technology infrastructure in its various knowledge processes. This section will cover four main areas of the knowledge audit: The aims and objectives of the audit. 5. Identify opportunities to add value to current communities. A knowledge audit should also include an examination of organization’s strategy. leadership. The objectives of a knowledge audit are: 1. or ideas).1. which will provide a current state of knowledge capability of the organization and a direction of where and how to improve that capability in order to be competitive in this fast changing knowledge era.DBA 1735 NOTES and prognostic report on the current corporate ‘knowledge health’. 188 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . existing knowledge assets/resources. The audit outcomes. content and conversations. observations. opportunities. a knowledge audit can reveal an organization’s knowledge strengths. information and knowledge contained within the organization. The report provides evidence as to whether corporate knowledge value potential is being maximized. In order to transform an organization into a learning organization and ensure an effective knowledge management strategy. a knowledge audit should be conducted. provide support and show reciprocity) content (forms and combinations of words. Creating new knowledge or promoting innovation. Aims and objectives There are three broad aims of a knowledge audit: Leveraging the organisation’s knowledge. Study and develop a deeper understanding of existing communities (groups that share resources. knowledge flows. The key tasks involved. The first stage in adopting a knowledge strategy is performing an audit of existing data. images and pictures) and conversations (exchanges of sentiments. Increasing collaboration and hence enhancing the skill level of employees. threats and risks. Knowledge audit is a systematic examination and evaluation of organizational knowledge health. 2. learning culture. knowledge gap analysis as well as the behavior of people in sharing and creating knowledge. collaborative. Process mapping. opinions. future knowledge needs. In one way. which examines organization’s knowledge needs.6. weaknesses. In this respect the K-Audit measures the risk and opportunities faced by the organization with respect to corporate knowledge.
data. analogue and digital systems. Focus 189 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . allowing them to become more visible and therefore more measurable and accountable. Forming and nurturing communities of practice. 2) Perform process mapping: It is important to ‘map’ key processes as well as key players within the organization. revealing both gaps and duplication. There are a number of software tools that can be used for such mapping including MS Project and MS Visio. It provides an inventory of knowledge assets. and is used by.6. 4. face-to-face. It gives tangible evidence of the extent to which knowledge is being effectively managed and indicates where improvements are needed. However. front/back office and differing locations. 5. information and knowledge repositories types of communication. It provides vital information for the development of effective knowledge management programmes and initiatives that are directly relevant to the organization’s specific knowledge needs and current situation. It provides a map of what knowledge exists in the organization and where it exists. such as. knowledge audits result in the following outcomes: Development of a knowledge repository. It explains how knowledge moves around in. that organization. Internets and extranets. Key tasks It is possible to separate a knowledge audit into seven key tasks: Create a data. NOTES 1) Identify areas of organizational quick gain: This can be used as a way of demonstrating to key players that you are committed to high levels of achievement in the short as well as the medium and long-term. 8. there are many others to explore. Most commonly. 10. 7. Develop a knowledge management strategy that delivers on the identified opportunities. It is possible to take mapping a stage further by using XML image maps to illustrate processes over Intranets. information and knowledge systems database: This involves creating an inter-relational database with tables for: each section of the organization. 3) Organise focus groups: The composition of such groups needs to be balanced between differing levels of seniority. 9.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 3. 6. K-audit helps an organization to clearly identify what knowledge is needed to support overall organizational goals and individual and team activities.2. 5. It helps in leveraging customer knowledge.
4. It can be simple and short. will feel empowered and capable of enthusing and empowering others.3. It is usually linked to other processes. say. 5) Organise feedback session: This is particularly important where you have a project steering group for the audit. 5. 4) Design and pilot knowledge needs survey: The importance of a pilot project is that it sets an achievable object in the foreseeable future. A key starting-point to any improvement project. secondary. Well-balanced focus groups can be used again over time. responsibility and accountability 190 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . A starting and end point. A process has the following characteristics: 1. 2.DBA 1735 NOTES groups are an important means of keeping on track. through its involvement with the strategy. if they fail to work. Draft strategy: This should demonstrate key findings. It helps an organisation to know where to start making improvements that will have the biggest impact. Rules governing the standard or quality of inputs throughout the process. large or small. This steering group. The opportunity to bring together multi-disciplinary teams from primary. and tertiary organizational levels to create a culture of ownership. resources used are limited and lessons learnt can be recorded quickly. be well analyzed and the data should be arrayed in an accessible format. 5. six to twelve months. A good definition of a process describes it as a series of connected steps or actions to achieve an outcome. and to identify opportunities for improvement. A map will give you: 1. A purpose or aim for the outcome.6. Senior managers are often very keen on pilots as. 3. Process mapping Process mapping is a simple exercise. Process mapping is one of the most powerful ways for multi-disciplinary teams to understand the real problems from the individual’s perspective. or complex and long. 2. active and peripheral members Intranet Presence: Tracking progress Monitoring and Evaluation Procedures: Internal consultant 6. An effective steering group should consist of: Chair: An operational Director Representatives: One from each Section Quality Minutes: Rotate between members Regular Meetings: Monthly and ad hoc Email List: Discussion List for core.
This document should be made available in both hard and soft copy. C. how complicated the systems can be. often for the first time.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 3. An event that is interactive. An overview of the complete process – helping staff to understand. B. that gets people involved and talking 7. Outcomes of knowledge audit The outcome of a knowledge audit tends to be marked by the production of a document. Components of a Knowledge Audit A Knowledge audit can have the following components (not necessarily need to be in order): A.4. 4.3.6. An end product – the map – which is easy to understand and highly visual rocess mapping is also easy.5. Amrit Tiwana suggested the following figure to explain the Knowledge-Strategy Link. creative and fun. 191 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . D. 5. 5.6. An aid to help plan effectively where to test ideas for improvements that are likely to have the most impact on the project aims 5. Knowledge Needs Analysis (K-Needs Analysis) The major goal of this task is to identify precisely what knowledge the organization. Knowledge need analysis can help any organization to develop its future strategy. It should be accessible both as a dynamic Intranet site and interactive CD ROM. but who really know how things work 6. K-Audit Components A. Knowledge need analysis Knowledge inventory analysis Knowledge Flow analysis Knowledge mapping NOTES K-Needs Analysis K-Inventory Analysis K-Flows Analysis K-Mapping Figure 5. Brilliant ideas – especially from staff who don’t normally have the opportunity to contribute to service organization. its people and team possess currently and what knowledge they would require in the future in order to meet their objectives and goals.
This process involves counting. evidence based. B. making sense. and categorizing of corporate tacit and explicit knowledge. peers and subordinates. types and categories of documents. team spirit.4. databases.DBA 1735 NOTES Figure 5. and how relevant and appropriate they are for that purpose. relevance and quality of knowledge (why do these resources exist. Strategic K Gap analysis The K-need analysis can also measure the staff skills and competency enhancementneeds and opportunities for training and development. Knowledge Inventory Analysis (K-Inventory Analysis) Knowledge inventory is a knowledge stock taking to identify and locate knowledge assets and resources throughout the entire organization. intranet websites. Knowledge inventory analysis comprises of 2 entities: Physical (Explicit) Knowledge inventory and Corporate Experts (sources of tacit knowledge) inventory. (a) Physical (Explicit) Knowledge inventory of an organization: Numbers. and in its various systems The organization and access of the knowledge (how knowledge resources are organized and how easy is it for people to find and access them) Purpose. libraries. rewards and recognitions & staff relationship with their superiors. links and subscriptions to external resources Knowledge locations in the organization. reliable. indexing. collaboration. corporate knowledge culture-practices such as knowledge sharing attitude. relevance to the organization) 192 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . are they of good quality up to date.
Usage of the knowledge (are they actually being used by whom, when, what for and how often) (b) Corporate Experts (sources of tacit knowledge) inventory: Staff directory and their academic and professional qualifications, skill & core competency levels and experience Training and learning opportunities Future potentials-leadership potential
The K-inventory analysis may involve a series of surveys and interviews in order to get relevant answers to the above questions on both tacit and explicit knowledge that an organization may hold and have. By making comparison between knowledge inventory and the earlier analysis of knowledge needs, an organization will be able to identify gaps in their organization’s knowledge as well as areas of unnecessary duplication. (C) Knowledge Flows Analysis (K-Flows Analysis) Knowledge flow analysis look at knowledge resources move around the organization, from where it is to where it is needed. In other words, it is to determine how people in an organization find the knowledge they need, and how do they share the knowledge they have. The knowledge flow analysis looks at people, processes and systems: Analysis of people: examine their attitude towards, habits and behaviors concerning, and skills in knowledge sharing, use and dissemination. Analysis of process: examine how people go about their daily work activities and how knowledge seeking, sharing, use and dissemination form parts of those activities, existence of policies and practices concerning flow, sharing and usage of information and knowledge, for example, are there any existing policies such as on information handling, management of records, web publishing etc? Or are there other policies that exist that may directly or indirectly affect or relate to knowledge management, which may act as enablers or barriers to a good knowledge practice? Analysis of system: examine technical infrastructure: for example, information technology systems, portals, content management, accessibility and ease of use, and current level of usage. To what extend those existing systems facilitate knowledge sharing and flow, and help to connect people within the organization.
An analysis of knowledge flows will allow an organization to further identify gaps in their organization’s knowledge and areas of duplication; it will also highlight examples of good practice that can be built on, as well as blockages and barriers to knowledge flows and effective use. It will show where an organization needs to focus attention in their knowledge management initiatives in order to get knowledge moving from where it is to where it is needed.
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(D) Knowledge Mapping (K-Mapping) The knowledge map is a navigation aid to explicit (codified) information and tacit knowledge, showing the importance and the relationships between knowledge stores and dynamics. The knowledge map, an outcome of synthesis, portrays the sources, flows, constraints and sinks (losses or stopping points) of knowledge within an organization. There are two main approaches to knowledge mapping: 1. Mapping knowledge assets and resources- the map shows what knowledge exists in the organization and where it can be found (holders of the knowledge-knowledge creator, collector, connector, users and knowledge critics, and data repositories) 2. Mapping knowledge flows- the map shows how knowledge moves around the organization from where it is to where it is needed. Deliverables of a knowledge audit Common approaches and tools that can be applied to conduct a knowledge audit are: Site observation, questionnaire-based surveys, face to face Interviews, focus group discussion, forums. A knowledge audit could be divided into four parts: background study, data collection, data analysis and data evaluation. So the deliverables of a knowledge audit could be: A list of knowledge items (K-needs & current K-assets) in the form of spreadsheets a) A knowledge network map which shows the flow of knowledge items b) A social network map that reveals the interaction among staff on knowledge sharing These deliverables will help an organization in identifying the gap between “what is” at present and “what should be” in the future from a KM perspective. 5.7. KNOWLEDGE CAREERS The revolution in the field of knowledge is gradually leading to the establishment of a knowledge society, a knowledge economy, and knowledge organizations with knowledge workers, in the process giving a strong momentum to the all-pervasive concept of ‘Knowledge Management’. As the KM field expands, organizations increasingly rely on ‘knowledge workers’ to generate, classify, manage, and distribute tacit and explicit knowledge. Knowledge career offers extensive opportunities in the filed of KM and we are seeing the emergence of specialist knowledge professionals. Variety of new titles and job responsibilities appearing in a variety of functions - knowledge engineer, knowledge editor, knowledge analyst, knowledge navigator, knowledge gatekeeper, knowledge brokers, knowledge handyman, knowledge asset manager, knowledge steward or shepherd etc. And these do not include the facilitation and coaching roles nor the functional job titles which are assuming the leadership role in many companies.
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Knowledge careers is therefore a highly confidential, executive level recruiting competence for organizations interested in formalizing knowledge strategy and operations capabilities. Organizations are relying on people with specific training in information and knowledge systems coupled with a strong functional expertise to occupy the various positions being thrown up. This section presents the various career opportunities that exist in the organizations employing KM initiatives. 5.7.1. Organizational knowledge role classification As organizations become more knowledge-based, new knowledge roles are emerging and the roles of existing knowledge workers are changing. All roles require more knowledge creation (creativity) and knowledge-sharing. Successful knowledge-based companies depend upon how successful individual knowledge workers create and apply new ideas productively and efficiently (i.e., how they innovate). This requires new roles, new skills and new ways of developing organization capabilities that continuously improve, such as through organizational learning. Let us present first a classification system that divides knowledge professionals into eight categories based on skills required. This classification help potential candidates to determine what positions are appropriate for their skills and also aware of the tremendous amount of potential and opportunities available in the field of KM. Knowledge and Innovation Professionals Individuals have strong background in shaping and formulating knowledge-based programs. Many have developed best practices for global Fortune 1000 Companies. Most are highly skilled in a variety of disciplines including business process improvement, innovation, performance measurement & modeling, case history, facilitation, strategic integration and developing best practices. Chief Knowledge Officers are part of this group as are consultants. Knowledge Management Professionals Knowledge Management Professionals have expertise in implementation. They ensure a company gains from management of knowledge. They are involved in all phases of Innovation (Knowledge creation, knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing, knowledge conversion, knowledge commercialization. Career background may be in any functions, e.g. Finance, Human Resources, Quality, IT, R&D, Manufacturing, Sales, Service). Knowledge Catalogers, Researchers and media Specialists These are contributors whose skills are web site, internet and intranet developers, librarians, catalogue specialists, content developers, communicators, software designers and developers, middle managers and others who create the knowledge networks and links.
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Knowledge and Competitive Intelligence Professionals Emphasis focuses on competitive intelligence. Heavy research, the ability to create and develop solid positions, on line research savvy mixed with the ability to cogently and concisely present ideas in a clear and concise format are well developed skills. Writing and presentation skills are strong. Knowledge and Strategic Integration Professionals Composed of top strategists, thinkers, planners, marketers, and individuals with senior management experience. These folks make planning and strategy the engine for business improvement and growth. Knowledge Academicians, Theorists and Visionaries This group focuses primarily on discussion within an academic setting and developing and testing models and applications. Visionaries are thought leaders who are frequently well in front of the practice. These individuals make outstanding speakers and can stimulate your organizations thinking. Knowledge facilitators, trainers and Corporate Educators These individuals focus on learning and education in a corporate setting. Many have created outstanding models and programs for linking external and internal audiences, designing and developing curriculums, implementing distance learning and creating customtailored courses for executives and senior managers. Knowledge and Expert Systems Professionals One facet of knowledge and knowledge management is expert systems and how to institutionalize corporate knowledge. Individuals in this area include Systems specialists, Technologists, Chief Information Officers, Technology Transfer Specialists, Expert Systems Engineers, Project managers and others who primarily focus on information technology. 5.8. CLASSIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT CAREERS The following section presents the classification of career opportunities in the field of knowledge management as well as the various requirements of specific positions in KM enabled organizations. The specific responsibilities are highlighted. Some of the career opportunities are as follows: Managerial positions (a) Chief Learning Officers (CLO) (b) Chief Knowledge Officers (CKO) (c) Knowledge Managers (d) Knowledge Initiative Managers
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His role here is more of creating a social environment that stimulates and encourages knowledge creation and exchange. As for managing qualities. incorporate them and nurture them if they fit the knowledge vision. A graduate study in Humanities-sociology. The CKO’s primary focus is on the intangible assets as against the CFO’s (Chief Financial Officer) focus on tangible assets. history or political science is very helpful and essential. The CKO has to understand which technologies can contribute to capturing. and in particular sharing of knowledge.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (e) (f) (g) (h) Knowledge Management Experts Knowledge Transfer Experts Knowledge Engineers Knowledge Strategist NOTES Technical positions (a) (b) (c) (d) Knowledge Analyst Knowledge Mapping Specialists Knowledge Content Creators Knowledge-Base Architects and Administrators Non-Management Positions (a) Librarians (b) Cybrarians (c) Information Brokers 5. He needs to be an entrepreneur and a strategist who can understand the implications of using KM to transform organizations. In this respect the CKO’s role is perhaps deeper than the CEO’s and is often broader than the CIO’s (Chief Information Officer) can or has the time to be. The qualities & attributes of CKO The Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) needs to broadly possess two major attributes .leading and managing qualities. The qualities required by the CKO are multidisciplinary in nature.8.1. psychology. To rise to the level of CKO one needs to have considerable ability in all fields of functionaries (as mentioned below) and have the additional qualifications of people management and group dynamics. At the same time he needs to be a consultant to listen to other people’s ideas. he needs to be techno-savvy. His second competence lies more in the management of tacit knowledge. 197 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . economics. exploring. The desired qualifications for a CKO are a post graduation in Human Resource Management though it is not mandatory. storing.
Without the use of knowledge management analyst the facility may inadvertently lose money.3. is strongly favored. A knowledge management analyst must have several years in the research field with most having an average of 10 years experience. as well as make recommendations to the governing bodies of the research facility as to what is the most opportune way to present the data. The knowledge management analyst may also work to develop relationships with other research facilities and enhance the ability to share information through networking or other group processes. The knowledge management analyst may work onsite at the research facility or may work off-site with link up through the internet. This position also liases with the product and development managers to help determine the direction of the product. Strong ethical understanding as well as a comprehensive knowledge of regulations. Knowledge Architect Position description A Knowledge Architect is a SME with additional responsibilities including the structural of organizational knowledge-bases and maintaining the even flow of the current development process.2. funding. Most knowledge management analyst’s positions require Bachelor level training in business administration. 5. ability to work with others as well as understanding the various data collection processes is essential. Knowledge Management Analyst The job of a knowledge management analyst is to understand the proper collection.8. or access to other research options because of poor management of the information. mathematics. laws and protocols regarding information dissemination is critical for a knowledge management analyst. Usually the knowledge management analyst will have regular contact with the facility even if they work primarily from another location. In addition the knowledge management analyst works closely with the research grant writers and other individuals involve in preparing data collections and assessments for publication and dissemination. A knowledge management analyst must be able to understand what is the best possible market for the information or research. A high level of communication. hospital or other type of care facility. storage and presentation or dissemination of research or intellectual capital that is created with a research facility. bioinformatics or other related field. In addition experience in working with data collection programs such as Oracle.8.DBA 1735 NOTES 5. statistics. 198 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
Assist in product planning by working with product and development managers. Assist in packaging and releasing each edition of the content product. In-depth knowledge of the platforms with which the content product is integrated. Ability to analyze and translate user requirements. NOTES Secondary duties Maintain an in-depth understanding of the various knowledge-base platforms. More than 5 domain areas 5.8. locating and including FAQs and common problems. Required skills Broad knowledge of all domains areas for the designated product. if applicable. Expert in a minimum of 2 domain areas Level 2: 3-5 years of experience. including requesting and attaching module icons. Job levels Level 1: 1-3 years of experience using the above skills. including analyzing and processing licensed content. Maintain an even flow of symptoms to be further analyzed through research. for example. etc. Maintain broad knowledge of all the related domain areas. as well as customers and in-house SMEs. Knowledge Strategist Position description The knowledge strategist functions as a consultant in all phases of the KM consulting practice. Ensure a logical and user-friendly structure for knowledge-base to allow easy-tofind solutions. Ability to plan multiple projects. and in-depth knowledge of designated domain areas. 3-5 domain areas Level 3: more than 5 years of experience. helping with release notes. 199 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . This involves working with clients to design and develop processes/applications/ systems that improve the client organization’s ability to leverage information and expertise.4.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Primary duties Ensure the proper coverage of a domain area by. Ensure the quality of the structure by performing structural level quality assurance tasks.
5. Understand/capacities to sell consulting services and have a successful track record of selling ideas to clients and co-workers. Formal management qualifications desired. Depending on the depth and breadth of a particular organization. Exceptional relationship building track record. assisting clients in implementing KM systems. communicating knowledge requirements to service providers. Demonstrated ability to manage projects. c. Required skills A minimum of 3-5 years of experience delivering on-site business consulting services to Major Corporation and implementing successful business solutions. generating client proposals. Knowledge Manager As the primary leader of the Knowledge Management team. 200 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . e. Understanding the end-user’s information needs. Broad understanding of IT systems and leading edge software. to support the utilization of this accumulated information by both the internal and external end-user communities. as well as assisting in selling organizational services. creating a business environment that is conducive to knowledge sharing. or. the KM may wear one of many hats common to more lateral organizations. summarizing and generating recommendations. synthesizing. focused group. communicating the availability of knowledge to the end-user community. b.5. the Knowledge Manager (aka KM) is primarily responsible for managing the organization’s knowledge assets. This may include any or all of the following duties and capabilities: a. within the IT department of a relatively small company. and increasing the speed and productivity of key business processes within the organization. in a large corporation. Monitoring the use of the knowledge assets and measuring the business value of the knowledge to the end-user community. d. Among the responsibilities of the Knowledge Manager is to manage the creation and delivery of IT (and/or business) knowledge. this team member may be part of a small. including webbased technologies. and.8. Ability to work well in all levels in an organization. Where appropriate. This position also includes. Coordinating who is responsible for each knowledge asset. Planning and managing the delivery of knowledge projects. developing presentation material.DBA 1735 NOTES Primary duties Responsibilities include conducting on-line assessments of client’s requirements needs.
integrators. NOTES Required skills Extensive experience (5 years +) in software systems development. Previous experience in KM tools deployment and operations. the research analyst is responsible for researching and cataloging specific industry. Primary duties To define the requirements for KM at divisional/departmental level within organizations. To ensure proper operation of the KM tools.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Position description The primary broad objective of this role is to define and manage the organizational KMS.6. Define operational requirements for managing KM tools. Capability to manage relationship with users. and suppliers in a distributed environment. MLS. Cataloging will include assigning subject headings as well as writing abstracts and reviews. or equivalent with minimum of two years professional experience within a specific industry or industries. or other college graduate with research experience and minimum three years experience within a specific industry or industries. Define and implement the KM tools required to support these needs. Required skills MLIS. Primary duties The research analyst is responsible for developing the controlled vocabulary for their area. Research Analyst/Manager Position description Under the direction of the category manager. preferably within the telecommunications or IT industry.8. Sound knowledge of information resources within a specific industry (more than one industry preferable) and most possess knowledge of business information needs. Proven capability to work in an international multi-cultural multilingual environment. and operations. or topic areas on the internet with a business focus. The research analyst can progress to the level of a category expert by understanding all of the business resources available on the internet within their area of responsibility. functional. as well as contributing to other standards of organization and control. 5. 201 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
and the KM applications. and management of technical teams. 5. 5. Educational background in business is a plus. Thorough knowledge of the internet and its available resources is a must.8.8. the KM process and organization. Must have a strong user-focus and a passion for solving business problems using technological solutions. Required skills Minimum 2 years of KM or electronic performance support experience in planning. and creation of new infrastructure or the improvement and enhancement of existing infrastructure. design. Computer Science.8. relationship. Companies are hiring these skilled professionals to perform conventional information functions as well as branch into other areas like information architecture for web sites. In addition the individual would also be responsible for the development of systems to implement specific business processes using tools and technologies of KM. business. implementing. as well as a comfortable level of technical knowledge. or Engineering) Strong desire to work in the management consulting industry. and communication skills. 202 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . project management. Media Specialist Position description General. the technology infrastructure. Primary duties The incumbent would be primarily responsible for the architecture.DBA 1735 NOTES Excellent analytical. Bachelors Degree (preferably in Information Systems. design. Qualifications should include strong planning.7. and specialty publications indicate that the demand for special librarians or knowledge catalogers is increasing qualitatively and quantitatively. communication. Experience in KM tools and software selections. Knowledge Management Consultant Position description Partner with clients to help create the environment. The role also involves assisting in managing the knowledge sharing strategies and organizational processes both internal and external. organizational. and supporting KM initiatives and strategies.
9. One + years experience in building ontologies for commercial use Experience in e-commerce systems. Undertake ontology maintenance procedures.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 5. Excellent communication skills. database administration. employee web-site administration. This is an addition to the responsibilities for the administration of organizational repositories including managing the idea submissions. NOTES 5. 203 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .10. and participant communication. Assist in development of automatic classification methods. Primary duties Assist in the development and implementation of schema for classification across multiple domains. Senior Market Intelligence Librarian Position description This position would be responsible for providing human and database infrastructure support to employees and members to facilitate effective access to marketplace information for development of business intelligence and product innovation. database administration.8. Experience in database administration and web site development. This will include management of proprietary and syndicated research and innovation results. Work with domain experts internal to the company. and on-line research. Work with SME’s in multiple industries. Candidates must have strong project management and organizational skills.8. Ontologist/Knowledge Engineer Position description This position calls for a proven track record developing timely and usable solutions to complex problems with experience in building ontologies and knowledge representation systems besides the following: Software development experience. market research or library science specialization preferred. Degree in business. Required skills College degree or equivalent. Primary duties The primary responsibilities include strategic marketing and market research library management which includes report cataloging. Effective oral and written communication.
12. Applicable area of expertise. lexical semantics. disseminate. serve as a subject matter expert in the formulation and implementation of career development. and business planning. computer science. 204 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . business development. Ability to lead and work with a team. Able to interface and deal with a wide variety of people. Goal driven. Required skills Two to five years of experience in internet site content management. Work under tight deadlines. One to two years experience in defining and implementing business operation procedures. fast-paced. analyze performance gaps. implementation. 5. The responsibility would include the definition.DBA 1735 NOTES Required skills Two +years experience as an ontologist.8. Intranet Developer/Knowledge Management Content Developer Position description Capability to collect. store.hour basis.8. Knowledge of computational classification methodologies. learning organization. AI. Graduate degree or equivalent experience: linguistics. This position will also be responsible for documenting and maintaining all of formal business procedures of the organization including those related with project management. and archive critical business information. Knowledge Management Specialist Position description Manage organizational employee development and/or KM programs Primary duties Provide leadership to develop agency-wide coalitions. 5. Primary duties The above mentioned capability must be implemented on intranet/extranet to provide secured global access on a 24. retrieve.11. Possess knowledge base of industry-specific tools available. and/or knowledge management systems. knowledge representation. competency models. research state-of-art interventions. create measurement evaluation criteria to build a dynamic. and support of several intranet/extranet based applications and related procedures.
14 Z. information management concepts. Experience in designing and implementing intranet applications and websites preferably on enterprise-scale internet/intranet sites is highly desirable Experience using software development methodologies. 205 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Experience with defining. Engineering degree preferred. and architecting all of the knowledge required for the organizational functioning. The candidate would oversee current and future team efforts around building and enhancing web-based KM solutions. Required skills Demonstrate understanding of current and emerging technologies from an architectural standpoint with the ability to rapidly learn new technologies and experience with server-based products.8. Primary duties Responsibilities include the definition. network services. consolidating.13. Work with SME’s in multiple industries. and security is necessary.8. and internet development. Develop automatic classification methods. implementing. Knowledge Management Director Position description Independently responsible for capturing. shaping and of the organizational knowledge management solutions. 5. and metrics. developers. Director of Ontologies Responsibilities/qualities Develop and implement schema for classifying and describing items across multiple domains. W3C standards and definitions. Work with domain experts inside the company. Opportunities for specialists in knowledge representation and categorization schema continue to expand as e-commerce applications grow.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT End user and/or IS staff experience with internet based applications. This includes managing complete development life cycle of the KMS from design to deployment. Short position descriptions are listed below. processes. multimedia over the internet. and maintaining operational procedures. Strong knowledge of web authoring. HTML. and testing staff. organizing. and managing the project team consisting of program managers. Strong understanding of all facets of the intranet/internet infrastructures. NOTES 5.
8. Desired A proven track record developing timely and usable solutions to complex problems. Ability to lead and work with a team. or in electronic publishing mark-up languages. Required competencies Experience in building ontologies. and categorize biological knowledge from diverse sources. 5. Possess knowledge base of industry-specific tools available.DBA 1735 NOTES Managing a team of ontologies. Required educational background Degree in a field related to biology or medicine. 206 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . analyze. Create a team environment in ontology group with a “get it dome” attitude. or related categorizing specialties. Two years experience as an ontologist. Desired educational background Ph. Leverage ontology “maintenance” procedures. Two years experience building ontologies for commercial use. Experience in building ontologies and knowledge representation systems. Data modeling experience in biotechnology. Knowledge of computational classification methodologies.D or Masters in linguistics or equivalent experience. Experience in a similar role in a business enterprise. Gather.D in biology with research in computational data modeling. Work with SME’s to accurately present knowledge. Progressive thinking. Goal driven. Experience in genetic and protein-related research. Required Ph. Desired competencies Knowledge of biological issues and vocabulary. Ontologist (biological domain) Responsibilities Build ontologies in a team of knowledge representation experts.15. Ability to lead a team and a company to implement and improve schema.
5.8.16. Natural Language Processing Specialist (medical/biomedical) Responsibilities Knowledge extraction from medical/biomedical text corpus in support of knowledge representation product.
Required educational background MS in computer science or computational linguistics. 5.8.17. Knowledge Development Manager Position description The primary responsibility is to assist in managing the organizational knowledge reuse strategies. Primary duties Implementing processes to locate existing knowledge/content from selected areas within the organization and extending it into educational opportunities for customers. This content may be in the form of survey data, white papers, research publications, conference proceedings, etc.The resulting educational programming would be created in partnership with the original content developers and maybe delivered via seminars, publications, CD ROMS, web-based, satellite networks, streaming media or two-way interactive video. In addition, this position will be responsible for the process related to the organizational identification and communication, the topics of current interest to customers as well as stimulating the creation of new knowledge directed towards these topics
Personal competencies Excellent networking skills in order to develop and maintain highly effective internal and external relationship. Ability to quickly grasp new concepts. High level of initiative and creativity. Crisp, precise written communication and well-developed presentation skills. Adept with all types of educational technologies Strong project management skills.
Managerial Develop methods, techniques, policy and evaluation criteria for obtaining results. Drive change and gain acceptance of others in sensitive situations. Work on complex, undefined problems.
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Knowledge and experience 5-7 years instructional design with proven abilities in needs assessment, creating educational programming and documentation.
5.9. CASE STUDIES Case I - TATA Steel Tata Steel has been recognized as the overall (1st place) 2006 Indian Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) Winner compared to its 6th position far the last year (2005). Tata Steel’s 2006 Indian MAKE rankings in the 8 knowledge performance dimensions which are the basis of the MAKE framework are: creating an enterprise knowledge-driven culture (1st place) developing knowledge workers through senior management leadership (2nd place) delivering knowledge-based products/solutions (3rd place) maximizing enterprise intellectual capital (3rd place) creating an environment for collaborative knowledge sharing (1st place) creating a learning organization (1st place) delivering value based on customer knowledge (1st place) transforming organizational knowledge into shareholder value (2nd place)
According to Rory Chase, managing director of Teleos, “India is emerging as a dynamic center of innovative knowledge management. The annual Indian MAKE study serves as a benchmark to recognize those Indian companies which are leaders in effectively transforming enterprise knowledge into wealth-creating ideas, products and solutions. These companies are building portfolios of intellectual capital and intangible assets which will enable them to out-perform their competitors - both in India and abroad - in years to come.” This is the first time that the Tata Group has been named a Global MAKE Winner. As per the summary report available Tata Group was rated high in two of the following knowledge dimensions Developing knowledge workers through senior management leadership (8th place) Creating an environment for collaborative knowledge sharing (13th place) According to Mr. Rory Chase, MD, Teleos, Tata Steel and Tata Consultancy Services received a similar number of nominations from the 2006 Global MAKE expert panel. Most of Tata Steel’s nominations (approx. 90%) were from 2006 Global MAKE expert panel members located in Asia. Tata Steel received particularly high scores in the following knowledge performance dimensions: Creating a learning organization Delivering value based on customer knowledge Areas where Tata Steel can improve are:
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Maximizing enterprise intellectual capital Transforming enterprise knowledge into shareholder value
The American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) selected Tata Steel as one of the Best Practice Partners in the area of “Leveraging Knowledge across the Value Chain”. The other organizations selected as best-practice partners are Buckman Labs, Raytheon, Caterpillar, and the US Air Force Material Command. All the Best Practice Organizations has been recognized on January 24-25, 2006 at Houston at the Knowledge Transfer Session. The message received from APQC is as follows:“Congratulations on being selected as a best-practice partner in APQC’s Leveraging Knowledge across the Value Chain consortium benchmarking study! The study sponsors are impressed with the work Tata Steel is doing and are eager to learn from your organization as we continue through this study. The other organizations selected best-practice partners are Buckman Labs, Raytheon, Caterpillar, and the US Air Force Material Command.” APQC is involved in conducting consortium benchmarking study on various business processes. They have a structured methodology for identifying and selecting “Best Practice Partner” for a particular consortium benchmarking study. In the process they have identified Tata Steel as one of the potential best practice partners and after one and a half hour of teleconferencing APQC prepared a case study for Tata Steel which was then discussed with the sponsors of the benchmarking study. After going through the case study of each potential partner, sponsors select the best practice partner. All selected Best Practice Partners share their practices with sponsors and with each other through a virtual site visit and the cycle finishes with one and a half day Knowledge Transfer Session (KTS) in which Best Practice Partners present their case study to all the participating organizations and APQC recognizes them at the end of KTS. TATA STEEL Launches ‘Knowledge Manthan’ - The KM programme, which so far was primarily focused on officers and a few supervisors who were computer savvy, was brought within the reach of other employees working at the shop floor through a new initiative named Aspire Knowledge Manthan.(Churning of Knowledge). This new initiative was launched by Dy. Managing Director (Steel), Dr T Mukherjee on 2nd March, 2004. This is an initiative to capture and share the tacit knowledge directly from the grass-root level. Knowledge Manthan is conducted every month on certain selected topics (e.g. Motor, Leveling and alignment, Lubrication, Water Treatment, etc.) in which supervisors from all corners of the plant including the sister concerns of Tata Steel participate. They discuss and share their knowledge on a common topic through various methods like Story-telling’ method or through case studies to generate initial interest in the group. In order to facilitate the discussion, all these Manthan sessions are chaired by one ‘Champion’ and an ‘Expert
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Question: Write a detailed account of KM initiates at Tata? Case II - Cognizant Most Indian firms aren’t exactly global leaders in the use of technology. IT penetration is taking off in Indian firms today, and there are some trendsetters, but these are few and far between. Take the hot field of Knowledge Management. Even the most IT-enabled Indian firms—with comprehensive electronic-KM infrastructure and systems such as intranets, HR guidelines and performance-linked incentives for KM practitioners—are content to let their CIOs or CEOs double up as Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs). However, Cognizant is a trendsetter here and is perhaps one of the very few software companies in the country that has a senior position titled as the CKO, exclusively for knowledge management. R Ramkumar, who’s the CKO at Cognizant, explains why an organisation needs a CKO in the first place. “Look at the sheer enormity of requirements of a KM system. You need to spearhead all knowledge efforts; make knowledge visible by ensuring smooth running of knowledge practices and leverage knowledge by ensuring that generated/ transferred knowledge delivers for the organisation in the form of inputs for innovation, decision-making, etc. So if KM is to be practiced in its truest sense, the organization certainly requires an individual focusing entirely on these efforts.” He adds however that just a CKO alone does not help—there has to be a committed team to support the initiative in order for KM to become a success. Ramkumar also explains the evolution of the CKO role in companies. “The CKO emerged in the early 1990s. In the initial days of KM practices CKOs routed bits of information through different pipes to the right people, then they built better networks: company-wide e-mail networks and corporate intranets, and, further down the line redesigned work and communications processes to promote collaboration.” The other C From the way KM is being shaped at Cognizant, it becomes clear that it is not just about creating a culture conducive for knowledge creation, but more importantly, it is also about generating business. “Yes, our KM department has a revenue target too,” says Ramkumar. Having acquired substantial knowledge about KM in practice in the last four years since we embarked on the KM initiatives, developing KM systems itself has now become a new line of business.” ChannelOne Channel One is the knowledge management portal developed by Cognizant. Postings on best practices, proposals, estimations and methodologies are created, managed and distributed online via this portal.
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whenever they wanted to know some crucial information but had no clue with whom it resided. it is crucial to build metrics of the results of KM systems and continually monitor the return on the investment (RoI) made with the infrastructure. The staffs were motivated by the monetary incentives but they were not happy about working long hours. CoPs are making a difference to the company. Indian Railways sourced out some of the processing operations that its existing staff could not handle in their eight-hour work shifts. the management decided to provide extra monetary benefits for its staff. “Earlier. But now. which helped the company cut R&D costs by almost 50 percent. which also has a feature called: ‘What I didn’t find. Ramkumar has this anecdote to share whenever he is asked to explain the power of CoP. At Chrysler.” 211 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT The company has around 60 knowledge harvesters.” He points out that CoPs have been instrumental in driving the World Bank’s KM strategy.” he feels and adds. including eight knowledge auditors. At one point. they were able to process all the additional processing work well within the eight hours. “In a sense the metric is the limitation.5 million for the company and contributed to revenues by more than $13 million in a single year. Finally. For these reasons. It is also not about a one-time investment. Communities of Practice (CoP) Another important facet of KM at Cognizant is the communities of practice. “The effects of community activities are often delayed.” However. senior managers and engineers formed ‘tech-clubs’ comprising experts from different car platforms. “It is akin to one trying to compute the RoI of a telephone.’ that enables users to inform the KM team about their knowledge requirements which are not available in the portal. who could work extra time to finish those additional processing operations. people used to send bulk mail to all employees. They now maintain an Engineering Book of Knowledge that captures variations in best practices. For instance communities at Shell saved $2. in fact expensive and has a long gestation period. At Cognizant too. The returns “KM is not about building a smarter intranet. “In the punch-card days.” Ramkumar says. But CoPs do pay off. Intranets are only part of the KM initiative in an organization. they can find everything at ChannelOne.” Ramkumar explains. KM is. whose role is to encourage everyone in the organisation to participate in digitizing corporate memory and knowledge management initiatives. This is a classic example of ‘communities of practice (CoP)’ in practice. Ramkumar acknowledges that there is a lack of comprehensive standards for measuring the impact of KM. So they started exploring all ways to share their experiences and knowledge together in creative and free-flowing ways that fostered new approaches for completing the additional work well within office hours.
because it might also be the by-product of other factors such as competition. Hence. with the phenomenal growth in size (now. Those conversations could be personal. this geographically dispersed software firm uses online platforms to facilitate the formation of more CoPs on new technology domains and managerial practices. The thinking at Cognizant is that it may be better to carefully select a set of 15-20 metrics to act as a barometer in order to focus on and measure the past. about their colleges or native places. etc. and it would be wrong to ignore these. The best measures would therefore be the ones that would be the natural outcome of people’s work. “Welcome to our Sholinganallur development centre. but they provide the necessary bonding for the communities that are technology centric.” he says. expansion into new domains and markets. to KM. each dedicated to one particular technology or a client or an industry practice.DBA 1735 NOTES “Metrics data should be collectable without undue burden since it’s not the measures themselves that matter but the decisions that will be based on them. a skilled sales person. present and future value of investments in KM simultaneously.000 plus). Question: What are the knowledge sharing practices at Cognizant? Explain briefly the KM measurement system in Cognizant? Case III . 25. Hard results are often dependent on soft employee attitudes and behaviour. informal conversations. Measures that are expensive and cumbersome to collect will detract from the measurement program’s perceived value. closely-knit communities of practices (CoPs) have existed at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) since the eighties. Considerable care had gone even into the architecture of TCS’ own development centers located across the country to encourage employee “conversations”—the lifeline of lively communities (of practices). it may not be possible to attribute a higher project win-rate. when its team size was just around a thousand. Ramkumar further adds that it would be wrong to focus on the metrics that just emphasise hard (financial) results while totally ignoring the soft ones.” invites the chief financial officer S Mahalingam. they often get solutions for problems they were vexed with. However. where employees gather during their break for animated.” he explains.Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) The informal. The other limitation is that outcomes can often be based on other reasons. These structures lead to garden terraces. to show how the building allows employees to talk to each other. adding. for instance. “This centre consists of modules. that when they converse with their colleagues. 212 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
When capturing organizational memory becomes a necessity. “There is knowledge pertaining to operational—that is on how to deal with a particular type of project or how to do business with a particular customer. K Ananth Krishnan.” says Mahalingam. Or it could even be about how to do business itself. The earliest “group” in TCS was based on the migration of technologies headed by Professor Kesav Nori. but there have been CoPs in the past as well. there needs to be a way to transfer the knowledge of our development team in the US. certified quality auditor (CQA). who was heading the mainframe group. architecture and technology consultant. His understanding is that vibrant communities—the repositories of organizational memory—enhance organizational capabilities. like healthcare. organizational memory resided in human memory. Then teams were formed for mainframe. recollects the group practices in the initial days: “Typically such groups were built around one or two experts in that particular field. 10 service practices and six corporate functions. The knowledge was passed from one person to another within the organization through some type of mentoring processes. In the event of the same client moving to Singapore. Web postings. etc. We almost instantly came to know what were the opportunities and solutions for the problems in the small setup. For instance. Then there were only about a thousand employees in TCS and the physical separation also was manageable. And the knowledge that has to do with the people and their project expertise. Supported by this Web portal and several Intranet sub. to the Singapore team. UNIX and databases.” The beginnings “The phrase communities of practices might have been coined some five years back.” Now the mentoring process takes place online through mailing lists. It could even be about customers of one particular geographic location.portals are 26-odd divisions of CoPs—one each for 10 major industry practices.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Organizational memory To continue to facilitate the conversations across a growing and diversified team spread across different time zones and locations has been something Mahalingam and his colleagues are trying to do—with the help of IT. Mahalingam explains. the communities become inevitable. “In traditional set-ups. which had already learned a good deal about this customer. our US team could have delivered a project to a client based in the same country. Mahalingam explains the two important knowledge types in an organization that CoPs and IT tools can help capture and disseminate. We simply did not have the software tools then and that is the only difference. TCS has built a Web-based electronic knowledge management (EKM) portal—Ultimatix. telecom. Or knowledge about a business domain. etc.” NOTES 213 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
we had around 40 reviewed case study documents way back in 1993. training materials.500-odd case studies.” Then came Ultimax. They typically work on a single site.000 transactions. adding. Similarly for quality area. among others. Says Krishnan. “We concentrated on process change management and technology change management areas. Also we started creating Process Asset Libraries (PALs). we formed the Software Engineering Group and made available the PAL copies to all development centres through the intranet. Still in each community—at sub-levels— we have members in the range of 10 or 20 and not more than that. Krishnan explains how the “relationship-based” exchanges. “We have over 5. Not all of them have equal expertise in all project aspects. and process-related information. “Between January 2003 and June 2003. software productivity improvement. which made the knowledge globally available. we had over 1. which have technology. where the activities can take place with a wider user base. The PAL library and knowledge bases. case studies. etc.” Measuring the success Measuring the return on investment and the success of CoP is not entirely possible. could still be maintained in the networked era.000 project leaders in TCS who have experience in the range of five to ten years. In the late nineties. “In the mid-eighties. for project leaders. This excludes the intranet-based community activities. became a part of Ultimatix. The telecom CoPs alone had 6. For mainframe.DBA 1735 NOTES The groups kicked off formal documentation practices with the members writing down the best practices. service practices via Ultimatix. The company has EKM administrators for each practice and subject group with defined responsibilities. “The groups are still there. It presently has sub-portals for quality management system.000 document transactions (uploads and downloads) pertaining to the industry practices and 21. The precursor to Ulitimatix was the intranet system built after 1997. which were hosted on the intranet. tools information. the level of participation of the members could indicate the vibrancy and activeness of a particular CoP. the community practices had been formalised. However. So. we started documenting the problems and solutions.” informs Krishnan.” About EKM EKM was the next big thing to happen to the community infrastructure. so typical of small groups. our telecom group is based at Hyderabad and most members of this community are located there. We had this knowledge base to fall back on. Krishnan informs. They edit the documents and approve it for publishing. CoP members had exchanged around 10.000. With technology we made them communicate with rocket power. For instance. The intranet is still accessible only to the employees in India.” 214 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .
Breyers. Calvin Klein 215 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . the more expensive part of building the EKM and CoPs is not the hardware or software. whether China is an emerging market in a particular segment. you have to extrapolate all sorts of data to do business. comprehensive collaboration among the members of the CoPs. which is emerging as an IT consulting service firm. Omo. It should not be like walking into a room to use a video conferencing facility. telephone and physical meetings down. home and personal-care products. According to Krishnan. It should be simple at the desktop level and not in one designated area. TCS will be rolling out new systems that would make it far easier for more comprehensive collaborations among employees working in geographically dispersed areas. The future The challenge before the company is to make collaboration more cost effective. for instance. Diversified groups Mahalingam emphasis that the sole objective of knowledge creation is knowledge dissemination.” To facilitate interaction among members working in other offices. People should be able to do this with relative ease. Question: What are the causes of success of CoP practices at TCS? Case IV . In his opinion though EKM and CoPs are evolved confining to the people who create solutions. “We want to bring the cost incurred on travel. etc. travel. the knowledge they create should be extended to the staff of other functional areas as well.” he points out. with corporate centres in London and Rotterdam. marketing and other functional areas.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Though active community participation is not included in an employees’ appraisal process. and annual sales of around $48bn. project related data can actually understand. it does count indirectly. under well known brands like Lipton. It produces and markets a wide range of foods. They are the innovators of the company. Now the cost of the first touch is almost nothing thanks to the Web. The marketing team with access to seemingly technical. rather than just a software development company. Ragu. “From the strategic point of view. These are only a part of their routine tasks.Unilever Unilever is one of the largest consumer goods companies. Flora. “We do video conferencing but a lot has to be simplified.” says Krishnan. The company has already minimized the cost of the first point communication by establishing mailing lists for the members. He points out. cost is involved in the second level of in-depth. However. but the investment the company makes on the employee-experts themselves. involving phone. TCS. All. “Again the experts are not here to participate in the community and share knowledge by writing documents or taking training classes alone. especially to diversified functional groups. can expect to have more CoPs on management practices in the future.” Though the CoPs exist for human resource. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
At the heart of Unilever’s corporate purpose are the ambition to be a truly ‘multi-local’. However. Elisabeth Arden and Dove. knowledge workshops were organized. they found it difficult to keep the community of practice alive. organizational level. both on a personal. given their day-to-day pressures. innovation and R&D programmes were put in place to address the knowledge gaps that were identified. which will produce a sustainable advantage. multinational company – understanding and anticipating the everyday needs of people everywhere and meeting these needs with branded products and services. About 2. it is the continuous creation of new knowledge and learning. At the same time. informal level and on a more structured. Unilever has made significant investments in IT over the past decades. communities of practice emerged – groups of experts acting as the custodians of a specific knowledge domain. But the company soon realized that this was only part of the solution and that it was becoming more important that the investments the firm was making in knowledge contributed to top-line growth and profitability. a specific. but tacit. as it stems from personal experience and individuals are not always aware of the value of the knowledge they hold. it is this tacit knowledge that is most under threat. primarily because the experts that worked in an area that was of high strategic value were also in high local demand. In light of continuous restructuring. in an interactive and structured way.000 people in 100 countries. Most knowledge in the organization is not explicit. Existing good practices were captured and rolled out to the wider community. However. Unilever employs almost 250. A truly global company. From knowledge workshops to communities of practice Taking this learning-organization perspective as a starting point. residing in the heads of its employees. Trying to capture or transfer this tacit knowledge is not easy. leading to the filing of more than 400 patent applications each year. Having recognized the importance of knowledge as a key differentiator and the source for sustainable competitive advantage. it soon emerged that the most strategically relevant communities were not necessarily the most active ones. as 216 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Moreover. with sales in over 50 more.DBA 1735 NOTES Cosmetics. strategically relevant knowledge domain. The aim of the workshops was to come to a common understanding about the knowledge strengths and weaknesses of the company as a whole. From these workshops. To their own frustration.5 per cent of annual turnover is invested in basic research and product innovation. Unilever has put numerous knowledge-management initiatives in place across the company. rather than static knowledge assets. In order to capture what was known and identify what was not (knowledge gaps). In fact. Key experts and practitioners from around the world discussed. knowledge is not static. Networks have been interwoven with Unilever’s organization for many decades.
operations and leverage. Likewise. the activist position is a rotating role that all members can eventually fill. The people pillar also addresses the stakeholders and sponsors external to the community. The CoP identifies the broader network of stakeholders and ensures effective two-way communication is maintained. The people pillar is about the roles and responsibilities of CoP members. Another aspect of this pillar is the effective branding of the community within the organization. and bottom-line improvements bear fruit. each community defines these ground rules itself.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT the organization becomes leaner. The activist ensures continued strategic alignment in the activities of the community. Equally important is the role of the activist. A clear distinction is made within the firm between communities of interest and communities of practice. safety improvements and the like). but necessary to validate its existence and free up resources for the members. The Unilever CoP framework The communities’ framework advocates certain principles within which Unilever CoPs operate in order to ensure added business value. Typically. inputs from the wider network need to be able to flow without restrictions. In order to prevent a community becoming isolated within the organization. geographical representation and local versus corporate resource. good practices and so on) and business deliverables (such as increased speed of implementation of businessimprovement projects. it has become apparent that communities of practice depend on careful management and the appropriate allocation of resources if they are to survive. ongoing deliverables are identified that contribute to Unilever’s business results. Members themselves are key experts. It forms the basis for creating an open and trusting culture in which members feel safe to share and create. Communities of practice are defined around a knowledge domain that is core to the company’s strategy. recognized as such both inside and outside the community. the outcomes generated by the community need to be communicated to the rest of the organization. roll-out of specific innovations. Therefore. the Knowledge Management Group (KMG) has put in place a more formal framework to help ensure the effective and efficient operation of the firm’s communities of practice. These deliverables can be knowledge deliverables (such as improved insights. These principles can be organized into four pillars: deliverables. These challenges are addressed by the leverage pillar. people. clear. NOTES 217 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The operations pillar is centered on the way the community functions. They should represent the right mix of background. including the ICT support needed to ensure effective ongoing communication and knowledge sharing. For this reason. As part of its launch. training programmes.
a CoP needs to shift focus or include new members. A first proposal for operational procedures and leverage of results is drawn up. For example. A champion identifies the need for networking and knowledge development in their part of the business. This brief is further refined by the champion and other stakeholders. after a number of years. the KMG also works outside of the company. a health check allows the company to assess whether the community is still on track. A healthcheck questionnaire and the recommendations that result can help to identify strengths and gaps in the sustainability of a community. the KMG works closely with activists and champions who are in the process of setting up a community of practice. The next step is then to clarify what the objectives are. During the kick-off meeting.DBA 1735 NOTES Leveraging community capabilities The Unilever Knowledge Management Group has designed community guidelines and training for CoP activists. the community kick-off meeting is planned. The course offers practical insights about communities of practice and hands-on experience in tools and techniques in establishing and sustaining a community. the KMG also maintains contact with the activists. Acting as a profit centre within Unilever. and as testimony to the quality of the way CoPs are set up in Unilever. In addition. outlining the broad objectives of the community and the relevant stakeholders. based on a standardised approach and guidelines. and whether setting up a CoP is the most effective way of realising these objectives. focus and spirit of each community. When this has been clarified. the KMG has also provided training to ABN Amro and other multi-nationals. one of 218 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Once a CoP has been up and running for some time. the champion looks to appoint an activist for the CoP. CoP participants discuss the deliverables and potential ways of working within the community. and the agenda and process for the meeting are carefully designed. The KMG works closely with the activist to prepare them for their role. which lasts between two and five days. The training course is aimed at raising awareness of the general benefits offered by communities and building an understanding of CoP terminology. However. Sessions on defining the role of the CoP are interspersed with team-building activities aimed at building trust and relationships between the participants. due to changes in the organizational environment. Potential community participants are suggested and invited to join. For instance. such that during and after the kick-off meeting they are confident in their ability to energise their community and help it to deliver results. and the training material used by the KMG is adapted continuously according to the learning’s and needs of the activists and their communities. The constituent elements of the four pillars described above are specified and tailored to the needs. An initial brief is then specified. It could be that.
and will continue to be as the company strives to satisfy its customers’ needs. Each recommendation a CoP makes requires appropriate resources and is therefore treated as an investment decision. increased innovation and improved risk management. A debrief workshop can be a useful tool to ensure that lessons learnt will be captured and transferred. Currently there are several dozen CoPs in Unilever that are highly active. NOTES 219 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . the payback is many times higher than the investments in starting up and operating the communities. can help the community to identify which areas of knowledge have the most potential value. communities of practice are an essential element in Unilever’s organizational culture. However. Two examples of communities of practice that have resulted in quantifiable value to the business are the Agronomy community and the NPI Buying communities (see sidebars). once a CoP is no longer adding value to the business. valuation of community activities is embedded in community processes from the beginning. Seven years and counting Walking the fine line between the empowered ‘anarchy’ of a purposeful network. it is important in such instances to recognise and celebrate the community’s achievements. Ranging from efficiency improvement. where knowledge is of a more tacit nature. Communities originated in areas such as supply chain. the urgency of sharing and leveraging knowledge in these areas is higher than ever. now and in the future. Knowledge visioning. Due to a high turnover and the tacit nature of knowledge. and resources tend to be scarce. and is a continuous process that lasts from conception of a CoP to its closure. to causal tracking and balanced scorecards – are used to help a community of practice to continuously manage (identify and exploit) the added value of the its activities. it should be allowed to disband.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Unilever’s communities is looking to broaden its focus from sharing knowledge and good practices to generating new knowledge. Therefore. one of the KMG’s other offerings. Communities require substantial levels of investment. and as such should be seen to add significant value to the business. As such. More recently communities have also emerged in areas like marketing and consumer insights. The company also recognises that. the flexibility and speed of CoPs have resulted in very impressive results for Unilever over the past seven years. and the structure of a focused and result-oriented business team. technology and innovation – sectors in which the value of knowledge is explicitly recognised. Various valuation approaches – ranging from gathering success stories and quotes of satisfied CoP ‘customers’. The valuation results provide the basis for the business case underpinning the resulting recommendations.
their departments and the broader organization. Knorr soups and sauces. Stakeholders and champions will change. Training CoP activists provides them with an understanding of CoP terminology and a common framework that can be applied across your organization. Successful CoPs do not just happen. knowledge-based initiative. Participants came from all over the world. Training helps to impart practical insights about communities. and a solid operational plan. Unilever’s tomato-processing plants are spread across the world. Solution: Lesson learnt As CoPs bring together the most highly talented people in their area. Balance longer-term projects with quick wins. and indeed the experts involved. it is often difficult for them to balance community participation with the demands of their day job. A quick win can help in motivating your participants (and their stakeholders) in the short run. 220 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . and the CoP needs to be able to survive these changes. it is critical to be clear about the investment needed and the resource implications. and many more.DBA 1735 NOTES Question: Analyze the case of Unilever with light of principles learnt in Communities of Practice. felt it was so important to exchange and share knowledge in the area that they decided to establish a community. they need to be carefully designed and supported. so a carefully designed kick-off meeting is essential. It is crucial that you maintain a balance between the benefits for participants. With products such as Ragu Pasta Sauces. specifically about what makes them work and how to generate the most business value. Avoid single-leader dependency. The Agronomy community Unilever is one of world’s largest processors of tomatoes. Seven years ago the Culinary division organised a knowledge workshop. Chicken Tonight. You get only one chance to launch a community. Management. highvalue projects are required for the company to benefit from the step-change improvements a community can deliver. bringing together experts in the field of tomato production and processing. with clear and measurable objectives and roles. but longer-term. but as a more effective way of achieving tangible business results. The following section offers an example of the value that the community has generated. As such. Do not sell communities as a separate. The CoP that was formed remains active today.
Information exchange between the experts in the Agronomy CoP. in addition to local technical support in Brazil. one of the global initiatives that emerged focused on communication. Global Supply Management is divided into Production Items (e. the CoP invites local growers to discuss cultivation problems and plans. In all areas. the additional advantages turned out to be higher yields and less chance of disease. over-irrigation led to moulds and the prevalence of bacteria. and were fully empowered by the organization. Instead of spraying the fields overhead. IT supplies. unlike. in Australia. raw materials. pesticides and herbicides close to the plants. a workshop was organized where representatives of all regions attended to discuss key issues and to identify must-win battles for global NPI. and to the introduce drip irrigation systems across its tomato-growing network. NOTES 221 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The fact that different experts from across the world had formed a CoP. lease contracts. Australia and Europe. The Agronomy CoP meets twice a year. The NPI-Buying communities Within Unilever. pesticide and fungicide savings.. a sufficient water supply is essential for growth. developed professional trust and respect. In countries where water was scarce.g. Unilever worked with the local growers to develop highly sophisticated and efficient drip irrigation systems. South America. Besides water. Both groups make grateful use of the tips and experiences they exchange in order improve the quality of the tomatoes and increase the yield. In the summer of 2002. During each meeting. and the realization of considerable business benefits. in areas where water was plentiful. plenty of water is available. In Brazil. dripping water. often locally in the field or in the grower’s own business. travel contracts. office supplies and market research).KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT The regions where tomatoes are grown and processed for Unilever are located in North America. Both the local growers and the Unilever agriculture managers appreciate this exchange of knowledge and experience. packaging materials) and Non-Production Items (NPI) (e. with regional targets.. However. From this workshop. resulted in a rapid and effective implementation. and others in regions with more rainfall. each time in a different country. knowledge sharing and collaboration. NPI is currently organized regionally. Some tomato-growing locations are situated in dry to very dry areas. One can easily imagine the enormous potential of savings that can be reached by aligning and standardizing the global buying programme of a company the size of Unilever. Depending on the local situation. the water was brought to the plants through a web of tubes. allowed Unilever to overcome these difficulties. which lasts a couple of days. The relatively high investment costs could be quickly paid back owing to the return on investment generated by significantly higher yields and the lower costs of fighting diseases. various types of irrigation systems are in use.g. for example.
the project consisted of two steps: first.DBA 1735 NOTES To encourage global collaboration and leverage cross-regional opportunities. Groupware and other collaboration tools are essential enablers of knowledge flow and knowledge-sharing activities among personnel. Knowledge management technologies help support emergent phenomena involved in the creation. Some of these techniques may provide valuable insights. new communities within NPI are emerging and being integrated with the global initiative. The NPI CoPs were set up in three key areas: Engineering & Technical. transfer. second. not least in creating a common terminology. Each community was to bring together a core team of NPI professionals to share expertise and good practice. the participants of all the CoPs arrived at the venue and the launch event began. Data mining and knowledge discovery techniques can be used to identify emergent patterns that could not have otherwise been detected. After the course. generate knowledge to make knowledge available for others and also transfer knowledge to decrease problems with time and space when communicating in an organization. Travel and Marketing. SUMMARY Knowledge management tools and techniques are used to enhance and enable knowledge generation. launching all three global CoPs in parallel with each other. 222 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The CoP course was tailored to the specific NPI context and needs. Intelligent filtering agents are a KM technology that can help address the challenges of information overload by selecting relevant content and delivering this in a just-in-time and just-enough format. both internally and in sharing with other communities. The NPI communities have since contributed to significant cost savings. with specific attention on the tools and techniques for a kick-off meeting that would follow straight after the course. sharing. training the global activists and potential regional activists-to be. codification. the company decided to establish three global CoPs. and application of valuable knowledge assets. What’s more. A knowledge repository will often be the most frequently used and most visible aspect of a KM technology. As some activists had yet to be trained. Content creation and management tools are used to structure and organize knowledge content for each retrieval and maintenance. What is important is not so much the container but the content and how this content will be managed. The CoPs are very active.
What are the responsibilities of a CKO? 15. What is a chat room? 5. What is the function of filtering tools? 7. KM auditing is often the first step in any KM initiative because it serves to inventory what knowledge-intensive resources exist within a company. classify. classified based on the various organizational knowledge processes with clear picture of qualities and attributes required for the K-careers. What are the objectives of K-audit? 13. Define newsgroup and mailing lists. Distinguish between content creation tools and content management tools. IC rating and the balanced scorecard method. Define ‘knowledge audit’. 8. employee development. or any other management or organizational competency. Who is a chief learning officer (CLO)? NOTES 223 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . This provides snapshot of the “as is” or current state of the organization with respect to KM and helps in measuring progress toward organizational culture change and other KM goals. Define KM measurement. 12. manage. Determining KM’s pervasiveness and impact is analogous to measuring the contribution of marketing. A number of fairly sophisticated KM measurement techniques are available now that can help assess how well an organization is progressing. The unit presented the various opportunities that exist in various organizations employing KM professionals. 10. As KM field expands. What is meant by balanced scorecard? 11. 4. organizations increasingly rely on “knowledge workers” to generate. What is process mapping? 14. Define data mining. Some selected case studies were given to know more about the KM practices and lesson to be learned from them. and distribute tacit and explicit knowledge. SHORT QUESTIONS 1.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge management measurement is concerned with trying to select and/or formulate those concepts useful in measuring and influencing knowledge management performance. Measuring knowledge management (KM) is not simple. Compare “efficiency” with “effectiveness”. The CKO represents the pinnacle position in a knowledge enabled organization. It is nonetheless a necessity if KM is to last and have significant impact in an organization. What is a tangible asset monitor? 9. Why are intellectual assets difficult to measure? 2. 3. These include benchmarking. 6.
Discuss the pros and cons of technologies used in the knowledge-sharing and dissemination phase. Describe some of the ways in which unstructured content may be managed? 7. Describe push and pull technologies that can be used in conjunction with knowledge repositories. 2. 14. what are the approaches needed to measure KM? 16.DBA 1735 NOTES LONG QUESTIONS 1. What are the duties and skills required for the positions of (i) K-architect. Describe the pros and cons of major technologies used in the knowledge acquisition and application phase. (ii) Kstrategist and (iii) K-engineer? 224 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . How would you categorise the different forms of groupware or collaboration technologies? How would you adopt a cost benefit approach to such a technology selection decision? 9. What role can a wiki play in promoting group collaboration? What advantages does a wiki offer when compared to a discussion forum? 10. ‘Measuring knowledge management is not simple’ – Do you agree with this statement? If not. How can intelligent agents help knowledge workers find relevant knowledge content? 13. 4. 17. Describe an application of blog technology within an organization and its potential benefits? 6. What role do e-learning tools play in KM? 12. 15. Give your detailed analysis of balanced scorecard management system. 3. Describe the components of K-audit. What are some of the artificial intelligence technologies that can play a role in knowledge management? 11. What are some best practices in the management of the useful lifecycle of knowledge content? 8. What are the major categories of data mining technologies and what sorts of patterns would this technology detect? 5. Discuss the pros and cons of the major technologies used in the knowledge creation and capture phase. What are the different classifications of KM career? Explain each one of them briefly.
which downplays the key role of knowledge transfer. See also the Benefits Tree tool. both financial and non-financial. It adds customer. BBS. Balanced Scorecard. Artificial Intelligence (AI). Helpful in making the business case for knowledge management. many people now prefer the term good practice. internal processes and innovation and learning indicators to financial ones to provide a more balanced view. See Balanced Business Scorecard. BSC. Benefits Tree. NOTES 225 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . A set of computer techniques that make the computer appear to behave with a degree of human intelligence. it draws on inferences and rules to guide its actions.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT APPENDIX Knowledge Management Glossary After Action Review (AAR). A performance measurement system that incorporates a balanced set of measures. A diagrammatic depiction of cause-effect relationships from knowledge processes to business outcomes. The distillation of accumulated wisdom about the most effective way to carry out a business activity or process. A systematic process for comparing the performance of an activity or process across a range of organizations or departments. A systematic process to extract the learning from an event or activity. Identifying gaps in performance leads to on to benchlearning and learning good practice from high performers. it overcomes the often narrow focus of benchmarking on quantitative comparisons. Contrast with the more specific intellectual capital measurement methods. Now a less common abbreviation than BSC. Rather than the procedural way of programming. intelligent agents and natural language search are examples of the use of AI techniques in knowledge management. Since ‘best’ is highly subjective and context dependent. Best Practice. A structured approach whose focus is on learning from others to create distinctive improvements. See Balanced Business Scorecard. Expert systems. Benchmarking. Benchlearning. The process addresses the questions: What should have happened? What actually happened? What lessons are there for the future? Answernet. Developed by Bengt Karlof and colleagues. A service provided by a network of experts who answer questions posed online. as well as implying that no further improvements are possible.
often at board level with responsibility for an organization’s knowledge agenda. Combination is the bringing together of different sources of explicit knowledge. See Chief Knowledge Officer. One of four basic knowledge conversion processes described by Nonaka and Takeuchi. See Message Board Case Based Reasoning (CBR). although they may directly manage a small knowledge team. A well established KM blog can be seen at David Gurteen’s website. Bulletin Board. An application of AI techniques. Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO). Others suggest that it perpetuates knowledge silos and that a Wiki is more appropriate. A community of interest or practice. Documents are classified and indexed according to their core terms and concepts. Community. Combination. See Knowledge Codification. See Instant Messaging. commons are open areas for socialization and meeting rooms for team discussions.DBA 1735 NOTES Blog (originally Web log). Internalization and Socialization. and hold budget responsibilities. See Content Management System. they may not manage a knowledge ‘function’. See Community of Interest. often with hyperlinks to sources that have stimulated his or her thinking. The focus of a community is usually part of a website that typically provides message boards and other conversational facilities (such as discussion lists and instant messaging as well as a library of online 226 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Unlike other officers. where solutions to a given problem are sought through a reasoning process that draws analogies with similar problems whose solution is already known. Design of working space can significantly enhance the productivity of knowledge workers. Caves and Commons. Codification. using natural language or statistical methods. CKO. A string of thoughts of an individual shown in chronological sequence on a Web page. Chat. and reconfiguring it into new explicit knowledge. CoI. Contrast this with Externalization. while the AOK website lists a selection of KM blogs. alongside storytelling. A key process in the knowledge sharing cycle. CMS. Although often dismissed as a gimmick some people see blogging as grass-roots KM. Classification. Increasingly computer systems provide a level of automation of this process. Denotes two main types of physical working area: a cave is a private area for concentrated thinking. A senior executive.
. Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Customer Capital. Concept Mapping. knowledge of customers and their needs. by separating the management of content from its presentation (display). CRM. Customer knowledge comes out as the most important knowledge to manage in many KM surveys. One of the several types of knowledge mapping. Using artificial intelligence methods it identifies unanticipated patterns 227 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . including size of customer bases. Since a single block of content may appear on many Web pages. Compared to document management systems the focus of a CMS is individual content blocks. CoP. A measure of the intangible value that accrues through customer relationships.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT resources. A group of people who share and develop their knowledge in pursuit of a common purpose or task. and related intellectual property such as brands. See Customer Relationship Management. A group of people who share knowledge and experience around a common interest. A computer technique for extracting meaningful knowledge from masses of data. Data Mining. Community of Interest (CoI). A visual representation of core concepts showing the relationships between them. Web pages are generated (often ‘on-the-fly’) by accessing content from the database and inserting it into the relevant ‘placeholders’ on Web page templates. Content Management System (CMS). See Community of Practice. this technique is used to generate keywords and thesaurus terms to improve subsequent text search and retrieval. even though they do not necessarily work in the same department or organization. Analysis of a body of content (text) into its key concepts. Driven more by learning and less on outcomes than a Community of Practice. The latter result is increasingly achieved through the use of automated classification systems. A component of intellectual capital. As well as a method of discerning trends. the task of maintenance and updating is simplified. An approach that gathers and uses knowledge of customers’ buying habits and preferences in order to strengthen the ongoing relationship for mutual benefit. A computer system that makes it easier to develop enterprise portals and websites. Some people also refer to communities of purpose or communities of commitment. Content Analysis. Community of Practice (CoP). Blocks of content are tagged with metadata and other attributes and held in a content database. A typical concept map comprises a set of nodes or bubbles (the concepts) with arrowed links between them (the causal relationships).
A typical expert system has three main parts . A common class of AI computer system that applies the logic and domain knowledge it has acquired from a human ‘expert’. content management and records management systems are increasingly blurring. Users have a personalized starting page that gives them a single point of access to enterprise information. procedures and in databases. Externalization.DBA 1735 NOTES by considering the interaction of many more variables than is achievable by humans. A mechanism used by to share information and knowledge using a single email address to communicate to all members of a given list. an entry point (home page) into an organization’s intranet. It is the conversion of tacit to explicit knowledge. or may be embedded in the product as part of a watermark to reduce illegal copying. Document Management System. Explicit Knowledge. See Enterprise Information Portal. Many provide version control and audit trails of changes and usage. Contrast with text mining. The distinctions between document management. A diary in which decisions are recorded. Evidence suggests that this often transfers expertise better than simply using email or documents. Desktop Conferencing. They are used to derive lessons and record knowledge that will help future decision-making. Decision Diary. Knowledge which is codified and articulated. Electronic (sometime Enterprise) Document and Records Management System. Digital Rights. EDRMS. Strictly. It appears in the form of documents. These rights may be part of the product’s wrapper. wherever it is held. 228 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . A small camera (webcam) is usually mounted on top of the user’s display screen. EIP. The rights and conditions of use for a piece of digital content. Typically all messages generated during one day are grouped together and sent as a single email in a ‘digest’. Discussion List.a knowledge base (that contains the rules). A computer-based system for storing and retrieving documents held in a variety of formats. Videoconferencing using a desktop PC. Expert System. an inference engine (that interprets the situation against the rules) and a human interface. although the term now often refers to the intranet itself and its content. One of four basic knowledge conversion processes described by Nonaka and Takeuchi. Enterprise Information Portal (EIP). articulating thoughts through language or diagrams. including scanned images of paper documents. together with the assumptions and reasoning behind them.
The output of the process may be an expertise directory or a database that is used in automated question and answer systems. The measurement of the Intellectual Capital of an organization. NOTES 229 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Computer software tools that support collaborative working. Often referred to as ‘Yellow Pages’.g. know-how. Information providers use this technique to minimize the number of recurring queries and calls. capabilities and experience possessed by individuals. Lotus Notes was the archetypal groupware software. for customers to access specific areas following input of a password. Groupware. One of the three main components of Intellectual Capital. A list of questions that are most frequently asked or are anticipated by website or intranet users. The identification and classification of personal knowledge and skills. They include the identification of information. A technique used in artificial intelligence that works on a balance of probabilities for rules. Extranet. The term is generally falling into disuse compared to ‘collaboration software’. its classification and ways of valuing and exploiting it. The competencies.actually asked questions . bulletin boards. A portion of an organization’s intranet that is opened up for external Internet access on a selective basis e. Human Capital. Extensible Markup Language. Examples of its use are found in text retrieval and case based reasoning applications. Information Resources Management (IRM). See XML.since many writers of FAQs anticipate what might be asked or what questions their content answers. IAM. Some organizations use the term AAQs . This may be done through manual completion of data forms or by computer systems that infer people expertise according to what they write in emails and documents. The techniques of managing information as organizational resources. discussion forums. The others are Structural Capital and Customer Capital. Intellectual asset management or Intangible Assets Monitor. instant messaging. IC. See Intellectual Capital. rather than precise matching of data or patterns. Expertise Profiling. A database of personnel and their skills that allow users to search for people with specific skills or relevant project experience. Over the last few years there have been significant developments in IC measurement methods to help managers focus on knowledge and other intangible sources of wealth creation.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Expertise Directory. Fuzzy logic. together with their answers.g. but many groupware facilities are now provided on the Internet e. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). IC Measurement.
Combination and Socialization. external structure and internal structure.but not exactly . Some schemes separate out intellectual property. Typically this is done as an annual IC supplement to the formal accounts. Implicit knowledge. Contrast with Externalization. It is roughly . An Internet or intranet facility in which users type messages into a window that is simultaneously viewed by other participants in that chat room or area. Intellectual Capital (IC). In other words an internal computer network that runs the Internet protocol (TCP/IP). the tool is a useful adjunct for synchronous knowledge exchange in a corporate context. They are therefore more difficult to identify and count as discrete entities. Indicators are divided into four distinctive groups . while others use the broader term relationship capital instead of customer capital. The intangible assets of a company not normally valued on the balance sheet. Internalization is conversion of explicit to tacit. An internal internet. Assets that is not physical or tangible in nature. It indicates how well an organization leverages its human capital through it structural capital. Most intranets have a computer ‘gateway’ to the wider 230 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The ratio of Structural Capital / Human Capital. for example through applying explicit knowledge and learning from the experience. Intellectual capital that is identifiable and protect able in law. IC Reporting. An example is the knowledge held in software that can be deduced by reverse engineering. customer capital and structural capital. trademarks etc. renewal. Knowledge that is not explicitly identified but can be inferred from its context or packaging. It is often divided into the categories of human capital. Intellectual Property (IP). Instant Messaging.competencies. Internalization. patents. designs. One of four basic knowledge conversion processes described by Nonaka and Takeuchi. efficiency and stability. The reporting of an organization’s intellectual capital in a similar way that financial results are reported. Information Audit. Ahigher ratio indicates good leverage and minimizes the loss of knowledge when people leave.DBA 1735 NOTES IC Multiplier. It divides intangible assets into three main categories . Intangible Assets. It includes copyrights. Intranet. Intangible Assets Monitor (IAM). While commonly associated with informal social groups.growth. A method of IC Measurement developed by Karl Erik Sveiby for recording intangible assets. for example as a way of interaction during a ‘webinar’. Knowledge is one type of intangible asset. See Knowledge Audit.the difference between the market and book value of a company.
Knowledge Audit. Knowledge Based System (KBS). knowledge inventory and knowledge mapping are often used synonymously. K-Log (Knowledge Log). NOTES 231 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Know-bot (Knowledge robot). See Information Resources Management. such as ownership. An intelligent agent that gathers or exchanges knowledge from other agents or computer systems. Mechanisms that help are alerting systems linked to computerized procedures or what a knowledge worker is typing into their computer and natural language retrieval. KM Assessment. The systematic analysis of an organization’s information and knowledge entities and their key attributes. A computer held database that record knowledge in an appropriate format for later extraction. This overcomes the problem of information overload. This is gauged by reference to a KM maturity model that looks at stages of maturity from ad-hoc to fully embedded and integrated into the organization’s core activities. knowledge audit. mapped against user and organizational knowledge needs. where knowledge not immediately needed may be forgotten or ignored. Examples include expert systems and neural networks. It may take various forms depending on whether it supports an expert system or contains documents and textual information for human retrieval. The level of adoption of KM within an organization. A typical assessment tool will have a set of questions against which employees score the level of actual and desired capabilities. usage and flows. Knowledge Asset. A person or business that interprets the needs of a knowledge seeker and finds the most suitable sources. The terms information audit. Knowledge Base. An identifiable piece of knowledge that has some intrinsic or extrinsic value. The concept of delivering knowledge to an individual just at the time that they need it to carry out a task. Just-in-time Knowledge. A blog (weblog) whose subject is knowledge. KM Maturity.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (external) Internet and deploy a ‘firewall’ to prevent unauthorized access to a company’s information. A computer system that draws on AI techniques or knowledge bases for its operation. KM. May also act as a knowledge broker. Knowledge Archaeology. IRM. The process of rediscovering an organization’s historical knowledge that has become lost. See Knowledge Management. An assessment of the quality and capabilities of knowledge management within an organization. Knowledge Analyst.
Knowledge Elicitation. intranet content. There are two main cycles . Knowledge Codification. A business whose primary outputs are knowledge products and services. Knowledge Economy. Similar to intellectual capital. which is wholly knowledge. Knowledge Café. 232 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI .the innovation cycle and the knowledge sharing cycle. The capital of an organization that is not physical or financial. expertise directories etc. making it explicit and putting it into a template and format that aids dissemination and understanding. Caf´s can be virtual meeting rooms as well as real ones. High levels of codification are found in computer software and mathematical formulae. An economy in which knowledge is one of the main factors of production and constitutes the major component of economic output. The process of eliciting knowledge from a human expert in order to codify it into some form of explicit knowledge base or rule based computer system (expert system). Often developed around a corporate library. Knowledge Business. a typical knowledge centre will manage both physical and virtual resources .documents. databases. Knowledge Commercialization. Some overlap with a knowledge analyst.their sources. The process of articulating knowledge in a more structured way. Contrast with agricultural and industrial economies. An intermediary that connects knowledge seekers to knowledge providers. Informal meeting area for the exchange of knowledge. A sequence of core knowledge processes that result in new knowledge. A central function for managing knowledge resources. Contrast with a knowledge product. It typically involves eliciting tacit knowledge from an expert. It may involve brokering a deal and retaining anonymity between buyer and seller until a suitable stage of negotiation.DBA 1735 NOTES Knowledge-based product. users and uses. Knowledge Centre. Knowledge Broker. this is the term used by Paul Strassmann and Baruch Lev to describe the results of their methods that start with the capital reported in a company’s balance sheet. This may occur directly through knowledge products and services or indirectly where knowledge is an added-value part of other products and services. A list or database of knowledge entities . It may be the output of a knowledge audit. Knowledge Capital. The process of creating tradable goods and services from a body of knowledge. A product in which knowledge is a major component. Knowledge Cycle. Knowledge Inventory.
gathering. Knowledge Practice. A marketplace for the buying and selling of knowledge. Knowledge Networking. competitors.g. sharing and dissemination. when it should remain inside. A specific method or technique used to manage or process knowledge. aggregating and summarizing knowledge drawn from a wide range of resources. diffusion. Knowledge Management (KM). The process of filtering. Knowledge Narrative. It is typically a task carried out as part of a knowledge audit. A piece of knowledge held in a well-defined and structured format.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge Leakage. A broad knowledge activity often performed at an aggregated level. such as a hierarchical tree or a node and link diagram. A product which consists almost entirely of information or knowledge. Examples are knowledge gathering. Knowledge Product. Although predominantly in the form of explicit knowledge. They commonly allow the posting of knowledge needs and knowledge offers. A map may be portrayed in many visual formats. Several methods may be used within a knowledge process. Online knowledge markets are sometimes referred to as knowledge e-marketplaces. unauthorized personnel). The loss of critical or damaging knowledge from an organization to the outside world (e. The transformation processes that uses existing knowledge assets as inputs and combines them in distinctive ways to create useful outputs and outcomes. Knowledge Mapping. It often forms part of an IC report. such that it is easy to replicate and disseminate. use and exploitation in pursuit of organizational objectives. The process of sharing and developing knowledge through human and computer networks. Knowledge Process. The process of identifying core knowledge and the relationship between knowledge elements. The articulation of value of and organization’s products and services to customers and how knowledge resources are used to achieve this value. 233 NOTES ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Knowledge Refining. and may conduct sales by auction. Knowledge Market. Knowledge moves from one process to another as part of a knowledge cycle. it may contain some element of human knowledge. See the list of common practices. organizing. Knowledge Object. The explicit and systematic management of vital knowledge and its associated processes of creating. It derives from the organization’s vision and strategy and describes its KM ambitions. Knowledge Recipe. either deliberately or unintentionally.
to achieve sustainable objectives . A visual method of organizing ideas. mechanisms and processes that are used to continually enhance its capabilities and those who work with it or for it. In most mind mapping systems the ideas branch out from a central point. each branch can have additional branches or links to other mind maps. Knowledge Worker. 234 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . This contrasts with workers whose work is predominantly manual or following highly specified procedures with little scope for individual thought. It holds metadata in a standard format and may hold encrypted digital rights information. it can also refer to humanheld knowledge. Knowledge Wrapper. Knowledge about knowledge.DBA 1735 NOTES Knowledge Repository. Natural Language Processing (NLP). A specific example of a Community of Interest. organizing. Knowledge Value Chain. It processes text through analysis of syntax and semantics. The ability of a computer application. The conversational interaction via the Web is sometimes called Web conferencing. Metadata. Information associated with a knowledge object that accurately describes the contents within. Meta-knowledge.for themselves and the communities in which they participate. dissemination and use that create value from knowledge stocks. Mapping. Message Board. Mind Mapping. Sometimes referred to as a bulletin board. A structured piece of data that describes the contents of a database record. A store of knowledge. In turn. Knowledge inventories. such as a search engine to accept ordinary language input rather than highly specified instructions. See Knowledge Mapping or Social Network Mapping. An individual whose primary contribution is through the knowledge that they possess or process. Learning Network. Data about data. such as documents and databases. One common metadata format is that of the Dublin core (page XXX) that defines metadata fields for bibliographic databases. A specific form of concept mapping. knowledge maps and expertise directories are examples of meta-knowledge. A sequence of knowledge processes including creation. Learning Organization. While the term typically refers to explicit forms of knowledge. An area on a website where messages can be exchanged and viewed by a workgroup or community. A network of individuals who share knowledge for the primary purpose of personal development and learning. An organization which has in place systems.
Organizational Memory. and is readily accessible for reuse. Object-based Knowledge. Portal. A portal is a single point of entry on the Web or an intranet to a wide range of information and knowledge resources and tools that enable a person to do their job more effectively. The core knowledge of an organization’s past includes project histories. Typical relationships include “instance of” and “made of”. The processes by which an organization ‘learns’. A place. where organizational knowledge is stored. A community of interest or practice that uses computer-based collaboration facilities (such as message boards. so as to share best practice and avoid repeating mistakes. An artificial intelligence technique that mimics the operation of the human brain.f. Precision (of search engine). It consists of a network of individual neurons that are triggered according to the intensity of various inputs and their relative ‘weights’. important decisions and their rationale. An extension to a taxonomy that adds specifications of relationships between entities plus a set of automatic inference rules and associated actions. to share knowledge. Organizational Learning. Organizational Memory. Without a systematic storing of such knowledge. In other words. NOTES 235 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . The main activities and decisions taken during a project. discussion lists and chat. key documents and customer relationships. a neural network learns from experience. Knowledge that is held in discrete entities (knowledge objects). c. Contrast with human-held knowledge (in people’s heads). The common term for Enterprise Information Portal. common definition of “gateway”. Online Community. Project History. The learning may be embedded in individuals or in organizational systems and organizational memory. it is easily lost as people move around or leave the organization. It adjusts these weights according to the quality of the outcome for a given set of inputs. The proportion of documents retrieved in a search that is relevant to the searcher’s intention as opposed to results that are irrelevant (or ‘noise’). such as a database or a document. Ontology. Recalling into organizational memory avoids ‘reinventing the wheel’ and repeating mistakes. Closely related to the learning organization (an organization which has good organizational learning processes).KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Neural Networks. recorded in a way that aids knowledge sharing and derives lessons for similar projects in the future.
Schema. Common terms are used to describe an organization’s knowledge domains which are categorized into hierarchies and related terms. A piece of software or a service that indexes pages from the Web and lists those that match or closely match a user’s search terms. Contrast with Reach. It is estimated that over four fifths of Internet content is now hidden.DBA 1735 NOTES RDF. Reach. It consists of nodes and links. Search Engine. that enhances a piece of core knowledge. Typically organized as a conference and exhibition with booths. An ontology can be viewed as domain knowledge represented in the form of a semantic network. Contrast with Precision. Semantic Web. See Resource Description Framework. A taxonomy (classification) of knowledge or information. Richness. A framework developed by W3C for developing metadata standards for WWW resources. A method of representing structured knowledge. Share Fair. search engine data collection and digital library collections. as does the use of portable computers and mobile telephones. The Semantic Web is seen by some as the next evolution of the World Wide Web (the ‘intelligent’ Web). Socialization is conversion of tacit knowledge to other tacit 236 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . such as contextual knowledge. The proportion of documents from the total that are available that are retrieved as the result of a search. One of the growing problems is the ‘hidden’ Web. The extent to which knowledge is accessible in various locations. where the nodes are concepts or entities and the links represent relationships and associations among the concepts. Socialization. Multimedia also adds richness by giving the viewer more visual information and cues. Semantic Network. Results are ranked by relevance or other factors and include items from sources all over the Web. content that is not indexed because it is generated on the fly or held in databases. It brings together in one place metadata activities for resources such as site maps. One of four basic knowledge conversion processes described by Nonaka and Takeuchi. The addition of semantic constructs (ontological elements) to World Wide Web resources to create semantic networks accessible via the Internet. Recall (of search engine). The Internet extends reach. Contrast with Richness. Richness. An event especially constructed to encourage the interchange of knowledge. The resource descriptions use XML as the interchange language. Resource Description Framework (RDF). The depth of knowledge. content ratings.
Portal sites and search engines are very ‘sticky’. such as an Internet browser. systems and other non-human elements. Topic Map. “synonym of”. it is heavily dependent on personal knowledge and/or context.KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT knowledge. as a way of sharing knowledge and helping the process of learning. Internalization and Combination. where lower level terms are more specific instances of higher level ones. Tag. “used for” etc. “preferred terms”. Tags are used in markup languages (HTML and XML). “belongs to”. Instruction for an application or formatting tool. i. judgmental and context sensitive. A system of classification. A measure of the intangible value of the firm embedded in its processes. NOTES 237 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . Taxonomies in which a term can appear in more than one branch are called ‘poly-hierarchical’. Associations and Occurrences are key constructs in the XTM (XML Topic Map) standard. Contrast with Externalization. it may be difficult to articulate. Knowledge that is not codified but held in people’s heads. The use of stories in the organizational context. Taxonomy. typically by group processes where people learn together through a shared experience. experiential. Extracting the essential concepts and meaning from large amounts of textual information. A typical taxonomy is a hierarchy of terms (nodes). Systems range from desktop units on PCs (desktop conferencing) to dedicated systems that use cameras and monitors in a conference room setting.e. Thesaurus. Text Mining. Contrast with explicit knowledge. Videoconferencing. The term is also applied to a website that encourages visitors to spend significant time there and return repeatedly. A property of knowledge that is difficult to transfer. all the main concepts of a large document can be summarized in less than twenty per cent of its original size. Communications over an electronic network using video. The result of text mining a single document and producing a summary which includes some of its key sentences. A component of Intellectual Capital. Contrast with Thesaurus and Ontology. Stickiness. Structural Capital. Tacit knowledge.g. A controlled vocabulary of terms for a corpus of information. Tagging content is a key activity in implementing Content Management Systems. An ISO standard (ISO 13250) for describing relationships of nodes in an ontology independent of its underlying resources. Storytelling. Typically. An extension of a taxonomy that includes rules on vocabulary usage for document classification e. Intuitive.
Contrast with a blog which is authored by an individual. A collaboration tool that allows multiple authors to create and update Web pages. 238 ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI . An organization whose participants are geographically separated but who work together through online communications. A presentation delivered over the Web using videoconferencing.DBA 1735 NOTES Virtual Organization. XML (eXtensible Markup Language). Wiki. Webinar (Web seminar). The full term for Blog. Less commonly. A colloquial term for an expertise directory. then structured information can be shared between computer applications. Weblog. A Web-based markup language that allows a wide range of user-defined tags. but whose members remain independent. KMWiki is an example of a Wiki devoted to KM. If a community uses a common XML schema. the term refers to a temporary organization or network that is created for a specific purpose. since entries are organized by category rather than by name. ‘Yellow Pages.