You are on page 1of 8

A View of Knowledge Management Models Smitha Ghanta Faculty of P.G.Dept.of Business Administration Maris Stella College, Vijayawada. Email:smithakad2002@yahoo.

com Abstract: The area of knowledge management (KM) is of wide interest within organizations and academia. Knowledge management is a practice to improve organizational capabilities through better use of the organizations individual and collective knowledge resources. These resources include skills, capabilities, experience, routines, and norms, as well as technologies. Astonishingly, despite the importance of knowledge or intellectual capital to every companys success, most companies actually manage knowledge very badly. Very few have clearly defined management roles, such as a Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO), or organizational structures for the management of knowledge as a resource. Few even do not have shared knowledge language that allows efficient communication. However, attention to knowledge management is growing. KM Models are used to provide roadmaps for knowledge processes, as a guide for how to capture, transfer, translate or utilize knowledge, or as a representation of best practice. It is found that the knowledge management models range from the basic to the more complex and complicated ones and an important asset that has to be managed efficiently for firms success. Thus a Knowledge Management Model (KM Model) is a representation of a planned or existing thing, used as a plan to form or shape a desired state to achieve goals and objectives. This paper discusses about the various knowledge management models practiced in various industries representing a wide spectrum of views from mechanistic to more socially orientate. . Also by going through the various models we can understand that to simply apply as-is an external KM model to an organization without adapting that model to the specific needs and abilities of the organization is very difficult in todays modern organization. And in the case of KM models, the journey in learning to successfully adapt the model to the organization may provide more ultimate benefit than the model itself. Keywords: Knowledge Management, models, process. Pls note:Full length paper included

Knowledge shared is Knowledge squared-Microsoft Corporation. An investment in Knowledge pays the best interest-Benjamin Franklin. Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate and in circulating it can increase in quantity and hopefully in value-Louis LAmour. From all the above quotes we can understand knowledge and its creation paves way for the ultimate success. In recent times, KM has become an important success factor for organizations. Increase in competition, globalization, digitalization all these developments have generated interest in KM. Therefore KM is the key enabler for modern organizations. Many of the major global organizations have appointed a chief knowledge officer (CKO) for developing a knowledge sharing model in their organizations. This paper attempts to illustrate some of the theoretical models of KM as well as those practiced in different industries. The paper begins with concept of knowledge and KM followed by the concept of KM models and later the real models in action. Concept of Knowledge and KM There are number of definitions for Knowledge such as Knowledge is the information and skills derived through experience and education-Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Knowledge can be defined as a fluid mix of experience, values, contextual information and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. Knowledge is information in action. Knowledge which is new to an organization has to be either be invented internally or acquired from external sources. In todays economy knowledge is people, money, power and competitive advantage. Knowledge is more relevant for sustainability than the land, labour and capital. But most organizations neglect this asset. Knowledge is the result of the process of data to information and information to Knowledge. Data Information Knowledge.

.Knowledge is what people in an organization know about their customers, products, processes, mistakes and successes. The material assets gets decreased when used whereas as Knowledge asset when used increases. Ideas lead to new ideas and shared knowledge stays with the giver while it enriches the receiver. Types of Knowledge:

There are two kinds of Knowledge: Explicit and Tacit Knowledge. Explicit knowledge is the visible Knowledge available in form of letters, reports, memos, literature etc.It can be embedded in objects, systems, rules, methods, etc.It can be easily transmitted to others. Example: Encyclopedias. Tacit Knowledge is the personal knowledge which is highly invisible and confined in the mind of a person. It is difficult to communicate to others .Example: a master craftsman after years of experience develops a wealth of expertise at his fingertips. But he is often unable to articulate the scientific or technical principle behind what he knows. Transformation of knowledge from tacit to explicit form increases its usability and visibility.

Once the sharing of tacit knowledge becomes part of the organization culture then it can be transferred for the benefit of the organization even when the individual moves out. By then knowledge gets embedded in the organization. Thus these two types of knowledge are complementary to each other and both are crucial to knowledge creation. Thus the challenge is to make the right knowledge available to the right people at the right time.

What Is Knowledge Management? Knowledge Management (KM) refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. KM focuses on processes such as acquiring, creating and sharing knowledge and the cultural and technical foundations that support them.

Knowledge Management may be viewed in terms of: People how do you increase the ability of an individual in the organization to influence others with their knowledge Processes Its approach varies from organization to organization. There is no limit on the number of processes Technology It needs to be chosen only after all the requirements of a knowledge management initiative have been established. KM Models ISO (2004) defines a model as a limited representation of something suitable for some purpose. This definition applies to KM Models. A Knowledge Management Model (KM Model) is a representation of a planned or existing thing, used as a plan to form or shape a desired state to achieve goals and objectives. KM Models are used to provide roadmaps for knowledge processes, as a guide for how to capture, transfer, translate or utilize knowledge, or as a representation of best practice. Since knowledge management (KM) may mean different things to different people, a conceptual framework for KM is a useful organizing tool for the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of KM activities. No one model is perfect for all organizations. A variety of KM conceptual frameworks exists Classification of KM Models: A KM Model is: Either descriptive (i.e. describing the nature of KM Phenomena) or prescriptive (i.e. proposing methodologies for performing KM). Either broad or thematic. Broad attempts to cover the whole of KM, while thematic focus on specific topic. Either abstract, detailed or both. For e.g. a broad model may be abstract and detailed. Either Semantic or analytic. Semantic describes the meaning of the KM concepts and their interrelationships. Analytic models adopt a deductive approach, progressively detailing KM topics by decomposing them into subtopics. Thus several models have been proposed in literatures, some of them are as follows: 1. Wiig KM Model: Wiig (1993) proposed his Knowledge Management model with a principle which states that, knowledge can be useful if it is well oraganized.There are some useful dimensions to be noted in Wiigs KM model. They are:

Completeness 4

Connectedness Congruency Perspective and purpose

'Completeness 'refers to check how much relevant knowledge is available from given source. The source of knowledge may be implicit or explicit (from human brains or knowledge bases).'Connectedness refers to well defined relation between different knowledge objects. A knowledge base possesses 'congruence' when all facts. concepts, values and relational links between the objects are consistent. perspective and purpose' is a phenomena through we know something but from a particular point of view for a specific purpose. Wiig KM model is one of the powerful theoretical KM models which is in existence today. This model helps the practitioners to adopt a refined approach to managing knowledge based on the type of knowledge. 2. Boisot I-Space KM Model: Boisot (1998) proposes 2 key points they are: 1.The more easily data is converted to information the more easily it is diffused. 2.The less the data is structured requires a shared context for its diffusion, the more diffusible it becomes. Boisot's I-Space model is visualized as a 3 dimensional cube with following dimensions: 1. Codified-Uncodified 2. Abstract-Concrete 3. Diffused-Undiffused 'Codification' is creation of content categories. Less the number of categories more the abstract codification scheme. Well-codified abstract content is easy to understand and use then highly contextual content.Loss of context due to codification results in loss of valuable content. Boisot KM model links the content, information and knowledge management in an effective way.Boisot model is different from other KM models because it maps the organizational knowledge assets to social learning cycle which other KM models do not directly address.Boisot's KM model is not widely used implementation and is less accessible. 3. SECI Model: Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi theory of organizational knowledge creation is the most widely accepted knowledge management model which has four modes of knowledge conversion; 1. 2. 3. 4. tacit to tacit (Socialization), tacit to explicit (Externalization), explicit to explicit (Combination) and explicit to tacit (Internalization).

After the completion of the last process internalization, the model continues into a new level where the tacit knowledge held by an individual is shared and amplified by the spiral of knowledge through

above 4 processes. Hence the SECI process of knowledge creation is also referred to as spiral model of knowledge creation. This model focuses on the challenges that organizations face to understand the dynamic nature of knowledge creation and also to establish effective knowledge transfer in program management. The SECI model is a widely accepted and widely used model and is still being used. The SECI model is a best approach to describe the way knowledge is generated, transferred re-created in an organization. Through the knowledge management process, the models can be used to foster the development of organization knowledge and enhance the organizational impact of individuals throughout the organizations.

Based on the above theoretical models let us examine the implications of Knowledge Management for:
1. Software organizations: The role of KM in software industry is no different from other businesses but there are some specific issues and the key difference exists in decision making process. In manufacturing or production companies, once a decision is taken by the top management, others go about it, but in software companies, large amount of decision making process is involved at every stage of software development. Next issue is that most of the knowledge in software industry is tacit and will never become explicit. This is because there is no time or a well developed system to make it explicit. Thus KM frameworks in software companies are among the most complex ones. In spite of all these difficulties and challenges there are sound reasons to believe that KM for software engineering is easier to implement than in other organizations as KM needs to be supported by IT Tools and techniques and therefore such a system can be easily handled and supported by people who are well versed with IT Tools. In software development, learning mostly occurs during projects. For organizational learning, knowledge from all projects must be documented, collected and organized into a repository that will support decision making for future projects and this process can be easily done as all the contents in these organizations are already in electronic form and thus can be easily captured, distributed and shared. Thus KM model helps in organizing knowledge gained from every successful or unsuccessful project. Development teams that are geographically distributed carry out a significant amount of work in a software project. A well organized system for collaboration, communication ad coordination is required for such a system and KM provides this.

2. Higher Education Applying KM techniques and technologies in higher education is as vital as it is in the corporate sector. Universities have traditionally had two main roles: creating knowledge and disseminating knowledge. Research has been the main vehicle for creating knowledge and teaching has been the main vehicle for disseminating knowledge. In todays rapidly-changing economic environment, the traditional role of universities as providers of knowledge is greatly challenged. Universities must recognize and respond to their changing role in a knowledge-based society On the other hand, students no longer are satisfied with first phase education. Modern students will require regular updating of their knowledge, skills and competences. In this context, universities will be required to expand innovative learning and teaching. KM in the universities tries to create innovative relationship and link between work and education helps students to more closely match their talents with current workplace demands An innovative model to apply KM to higher education is a Learning organizations. Examples of activities which are implemented in a learning organization are: research, students Participation in international conferences, publications, development of knowledge repositories such as libraries, knowledge databases (including presentations, project proposals, research reports, manuals, lessons learnt, best practices), knowledge networks, expert systems for specific problem-solving and knowledge dissemination and retrieval (Metaxiotis et al., 2003), multimedia, e-mail system, team working, face-to-face discussions and work group meetings. 3. Healthcare (HC) Even though KM is a business administrative concept, it is applicable in HC with an aim to create, share and apply knowledge to influence medical and clinical procedures like diagnoses, therapeutics and prognosis. Medical errors are a major problem when evaluating HC quality and a threat because patients die. Errors are preventable if the right person utilizes right knowledge at the right time. Medical errors result from underutilization of HC knowledge central to clinician's decision making. Clinical decisions are made in a cyclical manner where in each cycle the HC professional applies his knowledge in order to verify prior hypothesis and satisfy constraints to get closer to the final decision, showing that HC knowledge is not a resource but a service. Therefore the aim is to improve HC quality by utilizing a patient-centered and team-care based KM model.

This paper attempts to show that KM contributes to organizational performance in many ways. It impacts people, processes, products and structures in attempting to minimize risk, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and create innovative processes or products. In this way, KM provides sustainable competitive advantages that ensure the organizations survival or advancement. Finally, this paper promotes the view of KM as a dynamic phenomenon with an emphasis on knowledge growth.

References: Shri Piyal SarkarKM Practices in Higher Education-Bhavishya (Journal of Future Business School), Vol1, No.1, April 2007. Kamlesh Kumar Mishra and Rajeh Kumar Upadhyays KM A framework for IT Sector- MBA Review(The Icfai University Press), November 2009 ACRM Journal of Business and Management Research, Volume4, No.2, September2009.