The Benchmark of Knowledge Management

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Table of contents

Introduction

Knowledge, being everything the world thrives on, has become a very great fundamental part of making sure businesses are successful. Wikipedia describes knowledge as ”facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.” (Wikipedia). This vast wealth of knowledge however needs to be managed, hence the term Knowledge Management. The word management means the ”process of dealing with things or people” (Wikipedia), in the context of this article however, the management of knowledge. This is a very crucial part of any organizational structure. It gives them ideas on how to use that information to help them,how they can keep on gaining this knowledge, how they can work against rival organisations and keep the competitive advantage, how they can improve their existing projects,how to store that information and finally how to share that information.

Knowledge branches into tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is difficult to verbalize and may not even be easily understood by a receiver, or more so explained by John Spacey (2016) as ”knowledge that’s difficult to write down, visualize or transfer from one person to another.”. While explicit knowledge is the opposite of that, meaning that it is information that is easily articulated and more advantageous to a company. It would be a powerful tool if organizations are able to manage all their knowledge and be able to transfer that within their employees as it keeps the company running. This review of knowledge management will identify certain case studies and how they implemented the 7 steps of Knowledge Management Implementation.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Sharing

With such knowledge, it is beneficial for organizations to know how to use and distribute all cognitive awareness at hand, as Bhargav Dave, Lauri Koskela (2009) said ”When organizations are approached from a knowledge-based perspective, one of the key issues of concern is how to integrate the disparate knowledge of individual organizational members into products, services, processes and routines that benefit the organization as a whole”. This would also offer them more strategic capabilities to their competitors. The foundation of knowledge creation in any organization is interaction between employees. this could be with documents, emails or even letters that are shared throughout the intranet or the internet. McElroy (2002) states that it is more sustainable and improves innovation in organisation. An employee may bring in an idea, of which other employees may refine that idea.

Knowledge Management Goals and Objectives

When taking knowledge management into consideration, you should be able to identify your goals and objectives, this will be used in conjunction with the SMART technique. One must take note of the available content the organization has and how that information is being used, thereafter concur on their goals and objectives. A construction case study mentioned that their business goals were to be able to flow through certain stages, according to Bhargav Dave, Lauri Koskela (2009) those requirements being; ”requirements capture to design, design to estimating and estimating to actual construction.” this will be able to help them avoid unnecessary disasters.

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Duplication, Gaps and Overlaps

A Haiti case study notes that they faced challenges when they had to respond to the disaster, communication in a certain areas were not available. So the information that is available is little in order to make informed decisions, that shows the gap of knowledge unavailability and the gap of people who have access to ICT. Dave Yates, Scott Paquette (2010) states that the timeline to making astute decisions had to be at a faster rate as this is an emergency situation and it is very necessary to stabilize this dangerous situation. It is also noted in this case study that knowledge sharing was very vital in order to prevent effort duplication. In a sense that if somebody posted images of road conditions, victims and support relief, there would not be millions of the same pictures and that knowledge would be fully available on social media so that respond reliefs can be able to send relief.

Knowledge Management Strategy

According to Ariffin NHM, Hamdan AR and Omar K, Janom N (2012), the intellectual capital of the firm is more reliant on customers to and fro knowledge. The important issue is to know how to collect and store information, this therefore allows a company to strategize well on how to implement their KMS. By conducting interviews, you gather information about an organization, mainly its planning process, structure and strategies they employ. This gives insight towards the current status of the organization. Questionnaires may be used to gather information which may help companies refine their methods to see where they lack and how they can produce better results.

In the supply chain industry, much has evolved from a technical to a global mode of process flow. In order to remove barriers to organizational relationships, the socialization approach is what should be used, K.E. Samuel et al. (2011). Boden, A.; Avram, G.; Bannon, L.; Wulf, V. (2012) says that in the case study B they focused on challenges SME’s had when they had to outsource developers. One of the methods they used was data coding in order to identify multiple categories. They also say that in the case study of company A or B, people would prefer to ask colleagues rather than look for information in multiple documentation. This goes to show that organizations use multiple different methods and strategies, and in no way is a single method going to yield prosperous results for two different companies.

Culture

Morgan (1986), ”defines culture as the shared meaning, shared understanding, and shared sense making that contributes to the personality of an individual or an organisation.” It is also noted that administrative side are tight-lipped with all the vast knowledge they have and that you need to ask the correct questions in order to get the answers you are looking for whereas the academics are very sharing with all their knowledge and it is much easier for them to do so. A culture of collaboration needs to be built within the company in order for knowledge transfer to be successful.

Purchase or Build

When data mining, it is best to have fitting tools so that your raw data will always be accurate so that you will be able to analyze it well and for it to be eventually turned into information that provides innovation and a competitive advantage to an organization. Cristóbal Romero, Sebastián Ventura, Enrique Garćıa (2008) says that In order to process the data, a database administrator tool can be used. The ability of data mining algorithms help execute a prototype that is of interest to the user, either using a free tool or a commercial one. Moodle is a tool used to store relevant student information. It stores log files in a relational database, using mySQL, PostgreSQL or even Oracle can be used.

However, the article by Roberto Cerchione, Emilio Esposito, and Maria Rosaria Spadaro (2015) notes that most SME’s tend to use older Knowledge Management Systems, the above-mentioned being databases and the usage of emails instead of moving onto the new generation knowledge transfer tools like ”cloud computing, crowd-sourcing systems and collaborative filtering”.

Conclusion

Whenever organisations want to thrive in their business, they should use a holistic approach in their knowledge management activities to be able to use it as a foundation for futuristic growth. Their objectives and goals are very crucial as this leads to a clear direct path for them. Goals or gaps however will not be the same in any organization as different challenges occur, hence the importance of being able to share the information and storing it. It would however be beneficial to identify critical knowledge gaps in order to rectify the issue and prevent risks. By identifying knowledge areas, it is easier to fix problems and organizations become innovative in that manner. By using the knowledge management strategy things are much clearer as they would be now able to know where to store their information, either by buying or building tools then distributing that information within their company. Most case studies read, did implement the 7 steps and it proved to show that it is successful and has the ability to help a company thrive as no or little data may be lost and also sparks innovation. In the summary of the article of KM implementations, Roberto Cerchione, Emilio Esposito, and Maria Rosaria Spadaro (2015:10217), says that ”Three out of 17 papers indicate that KM supports all five performances; four contributions show that KM positively affects four performance types, two papers point out that KM positively influences three performances, whereas one paper highlights two performances, and seven papers show only one performance. This seems to highlight that KM contributes to an overall growth of SMEs by simultaneously enhancing more performance.”

4. References

  1. John Spacey (2016) Simplicable, 2016. 10 Examples of Tacit Knowledge. June 28. Available from: https://management.simplicable.com/management/new/10-
  2. examples-of-tacit-knowledge [Accessed: 13/03/2019].
  3. Bhargav Dave, Lauri Koskela (2009). Collaborative Knowledge Management – A Construction Case Study.
  4. cElroy, M. W. (2002). The New KM: Complexity, Learning, and Sustainable Innovation. Butterworth-Heinemann.
  5. Dave Yates, Scott Paquette (2010). Emergency Knowledge Management and Social Media Technologies: A Case Study of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake
  6. Cranfield, D. J. and Taylor, J (2008). “Knowledge Management and Higher Education: a UK Case Study.” The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 6 Issue 2 2008, pp. 85 - 100, available online at www.ejkm.com
  7. Cristóbal Romero, Sebastián Ventura, Enrique Garćıa (2008). Data Mining in Course Management Systems: Moodle Case Study and Tutorial, Volume 51, Issue 1, August 2008, Pages 368-384
  8. Roberto Cerchione, Emilio Esposito, and Maria Rosaria Spadaro (2015),The Spread of Knowledge Management in SMEs: A Scenario in Evolution
  9. Nor Hapiza Mohd Ariffin, Abd Razak Hamdan Khairuddin Omar, Norjansalika Janom (2012), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Implementation:A Soft Issue in Knowledge Management Scenario
  10. Boden, A.; Avram, G.; Bannon, L.; Wulf, V. (2012). Knowledge Sharing Practices and the Impact of Cultural Factors: Reflections on Two Case Studies of Offshoring in SME. J. Softw.: Evol. Process 2012, 24, 139–152.
  11. K.E. Samuel et al. (2011). Journal of Strategic Information Systems 20 (2011) 283–306
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