Knowledge Management: Structuring a Better Tomorrow
Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on May 04, 2011
Knowledge Management is the framework within which the organization views all its processes as knowledge processes. It involves management of the accumulated expertise and abilities within the organization by the collaboration of right people and right information. Business processes involve creation, dissemination, renewal and application of information towards the survival and sustenance of the organization. And knowledge management indirectly helps in achieving various critical factors like effective time management, avoiding rigid processes etc.
The two perspectives and schools of thought that prevail are
•IT perspective i.e.; management of information entirely through technology
•People’s perspective i.e.; focus on people’s skill, learning and implicit knowledge that is vested in its people.
In most Companies, Knowledge Management is technologically driven or companies seem to adopt technological perspective to knowledge management. IT facilitates gathering, channeling and dissemination of information but the final burden of translating the information into actionable knowledge lies on humans. Thus the key to success lies in the synergy of both these elements.
Although technology is important, human perspective is of greater importance in capturing tacit knowledge i.e.; application and experience rather than rational thought. Tacit knowledge has to be more people-focused as well as people-driven. Tacit knowledge also includes information picked up external to an organization. This can be achieved either as ‘tacit to tacit manner’ i.e.; socialization or personal interaction, or ‘ tacit to explicit manner’ i.e. converting tacit knowledge to explicit concepts within the organizational framework for easy reuse resulting in high return on investment for such efforts.
A convergent approach is essential for designing a knowledge management system to transfer abstract talent and individualistic tacit knowledge to an easily accessible reusable and applicable form. It is therefore important to develop an organizational culture that promotes a conducive environment for sharing knowledge information. In employees, there exists a fine balance between their education and experience. Most employees tend to use their personal experience as well as professional knowledge to discern a suitable solution to a given situation but also become anxious while sharing their knowledge and skills. Therefore motivation and reward-system encourages knowledge-sharing among employees. Counseling and training of employees is essential to effectively handle information systems. The employees should be made to realize that knowledge and its right utilization is crucial for the organization, as it helps in creating a positive employee attitude. Linking of computers within an organization is one of the ways to disseminate information. Personal interaction and socialization too help in transfer of knowledge. But creating a knowledge management team helps to check what goes into the information repository.
The bottom-line of an organization’s success depends on an ‘open organizational culture’, which is one of the key factors that facilitate sharing of information. In a technology-driven world today, we need to search for newer techniques and tools for technical and behavioral aspects of sharing knowledge because there may not be any formal system for knowledge transfer during socialization.
Knowledge management is an active dynamic procedure because what is good today may not hold good tomorrow. It is critical in today’s business scenario to survive unpredictable changes being encountered daily and find opportunities in adversity where ever possible. There is a need to evolve employee-centric systems that can effectively translate abstract knowledge into tangible organizational knowledge archives, which can be a boon for business organizations.
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