Knowledge Management


By

L. Rajarajeswari
Asst. Professor
Department of Business Administration
Arul Anandar College
Karumathur-625514, Madurai Dist, Tamilnadu
 


Knowledge management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice.

An established discipline since 1991 KM includes courses taught in the fields of business administration, information systems, management, and library and information sciences. More recently, other fields have started contributing to KM research; these include information and media, computer science, public health, and public policy.

Many large companies and non-profit organizations have resources dedicated to internal KM efforts, often as a part of their 'business strategy', 'information technology', or 'human resource management' departments. Several consulting companies also exist that provide strategy and advice regarding KM to these organizations.

In other words, Knowledge Management is a process that, continuously and systematically, transfers knowledge from individuals and teams, who generate them, to the brain of the organization for the benefit of the entire organization.

KM efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, and continuous improvement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with Organizational Learning, and may be distinguished from by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the exchange of knowledge.

What is knowledge management?

At Knowledge Praxis, we define knowledge management as a business activity with two primary aspects:

* Treating the knowledge component of business activities as an explicit concern of business reflected in strategy, policy, and practice at all levels of the organization.

* Making a direct connection between an organizations intellectual assets  both explicit [recorded] and tacit [personal know-how]  and positive business results.

In practice, knowledge management often encompasses identifying and mapping intellectual assets within the organization, generating new knowledge for competitive advantage within the organization, making vast amounts of corporate information accessible, sharing of best practices, and technology that enables all of the above  including groupware and intranets.

That covers a lot of ground. And it should, because applying knowledge to work is integral to most business activities.

Knowledge management is hard to define precisely and simply. (The definition also leapfrogs the task of defining "knowledge" itself. Well get to that later.) Thats not surprising. How would a nurse or doctor define "health care" succinctly? How would a CEO describe "management"? How would a CFO describe "compensation"? Each of those domains is complex, with many sub-areas of specialization. Nevertheless, we know "health care" and "management" when we see them, and we understand the major goals and activities of those domains.

Few KM Definitions

Prof. Gopinath defines the Knowledge Management in three different views:
* Knowledge Management is a right principle for right application and right use.
* Knowledge Management is a field of handling knowledge in different stages. It focuses around creation, capturing, nurturing, documenting, disseminating, absorbing and conserving for development of human resources.
* Knowledge Management is a process of enriching human resource, material resource and environment (organization's environment, work environment) preservation.

R. Gregory Wenig (1998) defines KM from organizational perspective. According to his definition, Knowledge Management for the organization consists of activities focused on the organization gaining knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of others, and on the judicious application of that knowledge to fulfill the mission of the organization.

Tom Davenport (1998, brint.com) says KM is: "Process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge.

Ellen Knapp (1998 brint.com) defines KM as the art of transforming information and intellectual assets into enduring value for an organization's clients and its people.

Simple Definition:

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 organisation 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.  Or
- Culture –The biggest enabler of successful knowledge-driven organizations is the establishment of a knowledge-focused culture
- Structure – the business processes and organisational structures that facilitate knowledge sharing
- Technology – a crucial enabler rather than the solution.

The History of Knowledge Management

1. 70's, A number of management theorists have contributed to the evolution of knowledge management

* Peter Drucker: information and knowledge as organizational resources
* Peter Senge: "learning organization"
* Leonard-Barton: well-known case study of "Chaparral Steel ", a company having knowledge management strategy

2. 80's,

* Knowledge (and its expression in professional competence) as a competitive asset was apparent
* Managing knowledge that relied on work done in artificial intelligence and expert systems
* Knowledge management-related articles began appearing in journals and books

3. 90's until now,

* A number of management consulting firms had begun in-house knowledge management programs
* The International Knowledge Management Network(IKMN) went online in 1994
* Knowledge management has become big business for such major international consulting firms as Ernst & Young, Arthur Andersen, and Booz-Allen & Hamilton

What is "knowledge"?

Arent we managing knowledge already? Well, no. In fact, most of the time were making a really ugly mess of managing information . In practice, the terms information and knowledge are often used interchangeably by business writers.

Lets choose a simple working definition and get on with it:

Knowledge has two basic definitions of interest. The first pertains to a defined body of information. Depending on the definition, the body of information might consist of facts, opinions, ideas, theories, principles, and models (or other frameworks). Clearly, other categories are possible, too. Subject matter (e.g., chemistry, mathematics, etc.) is just one possibility.

Knowledge also refers to a persons state of being with respect to some body of information. These states include ignorance, awareness, familiarity, understanding, facility, and so on.

Types of Knowledge from Knowledge Management point

Skills: These are personalized skills possessed by individuals. Many times experts explicit their skills so that their knowledge can be used more effectively by users.

Cases are stories of real time events that give practical knowledge to the users. Thus we learn how the world works in real life. This is the best way to learn from previous mistakes and achieve from previous successes.

Processes are supposed to be high-level skills that are systematized to provide most abstract form of knowledge. Out of many skills required for a work, few are worked out into processes to make them standards.

Stages of Knowledge Management

Michael Koenig explained three stages of Knowledge Management:
1.) The first stage of KM all about use of IT (intranets) for knowledge sharing and coordination across the enterprise.

2.) The second stage added focus on human and cultural factors as essential in getting humans to implement KM.

3.) The third stage is the awareness of the importance of content- and, in particular, an awareness of the importance of the retrievability and therefore of the arrangement, description, and structure of that content.

Why we need knowledge management now

Why do we need to manage knowledge? Some of the specific business factors, including:

- Marketplaces are increasingly competitive and the rate of innovation is rising.
- Reductions in staffing create a need to replace informal knowledge with formal methods.
- Competitive pressures reduce the size of the work force that holds valuable business knowledge.
- The amount of time available to experience and acquire knowledge has diminished.
- Early retirements and increasing mobility of the work force lead to loss of knowledge.
- There is a need to manage increasing complexity as small operating companies are trans-national sourcing operations.
- Changes in strategic direction may result in the loss of knowledge in a specific area.

To these paraphrases observations we would add:

- Most of our work is information based.
- Organizations compete on the basis of knowledge.
- Products and services are increasingly complex, endowing them with a significant information component.
- The need for life-long learning is an inescapable reality.

In brief, knowledge and information have become the medium in which business problems occur. As a result, managing knowledge represents the primary opportunity for achieving substantial savings, significant improvements in human performance, and competitive advantage.

Its not just a Fortune 500 business problem. Small companies need formal approaches to knowledge management even more, because they dont have the market leverage, inertia, and resources that big companies do. They have to be much more flexible, more responsive, and more "right" (make better decisions)  because even small mistakes can be fatal to them.

What Is Knowledge Management Related To?

Knowledge management draws from a wide range of disciplines and technologies:

  • Cognitive science
  • Expert systems, artificial intelligence and knowledge base management systems (KBMS)
  • Computer-supported collaborative work (groupware)
  • Library and information science
  • Technical writing
  • Document management
  • Decision support systems
  • Semantic networks
  • Relational and object databases
  • Simulation
  • Organizational science
  • object-oriented information modeling
  • electronic publishing technology, hypertext, and the World Wide Web; help-desk technology
  • full-text search and retrieval
  • performance support systems

Although around 20 kinds of disciplines and study areas were listed above, there is no way to include all of the related subjects to knowledge management.

The Value of Knowledge Management

Some benefits of KM correlate directly to bottom-line savings, while others are more difficult to quantify. In today's information-driven economy, companies uncover the most opportunities — and ultimately derive the most value — from intellectual rather than physical assets. To get the most value from a company's intellectual assets, KM practitioners maintain that knowledge must be shared and serve as the foundation for collaboration. Yet better collaboration is not an end in itself; without an overarching business context, KM is meaningless at best and harmful at worst. Consequently, an effective KM program should help a company do one or more of the following:

  • Foster innovation by encouraging the free flow of ideas
  • Improve decision making
  • Improve customer service by streamlining response time
  • Boost revenues by getting products and services to market faster
  • Enhance employee retention rates by recognizing the value of employees' knowledge and rewarding them for it
  • Streamline operations and reduce costs by eliminating redundant or unnecessary processes

These are the most prevalent examples. A creative approach to KM can result in improved efficiency, higher productivity and increased revenues in practically any business function.

Knowledge Management Today

According to a recent IDC report, knowledge management is in a state of high growth, especially among the business and legal services industries.  As the performance metrics of early adopters are documenting the substantial benefits of knowledge management, more organizations are recognizing the value of leveraging organizational knowledge.  As a result, knowledge management consulting services and technologies are in high demand, and knowledge management software is rapidly evolving.

Knowledge Management Drivers

The main drivers behind knowledge management efforts are:

Knowledge Attrition:  Despite the economic slowdown, voluntary employee turnover remains high.  A recent survey by the global consulting firm Drake Beam Morin revealed an average voluntary employee turnover rate of 20 percent with  81 percent of organizations citing employee turnover as a critical issue. Estimated annual costs of employee turnover was a staggering $129 million per organization.  Much of this cost is due to knowledge attrition, which can be effectively minimized using knowledge management techniques.

Knowledge Merging: Since 1980, the annual value of mergers has risen 100 fold reaching a cumulative $15 trillion in 1999.  Over 32,000 deals were announced, triple the number of 10 years earlier and more than 30 times as many as in 1981.  The recent frenzy of corporate mergers coupled with the increased need to integrate global corporate communications requires the merging of disparate and often conflicting knowledge models.

Content Management:  The explosion of  digitally stored business-critical data is widely documented. Forester Research estimates that online storage for Global 2,500 companies will grow from an average of 15,000 gigabytes per company in 1999 to 153,000 gigabytes by 2003, representing a compound annual growth rate of 78%.  As the volume of digital information expands, the need for its logical organization is critical for purposes of information retrieval, sharing and reuse.

E-Learning: As the economy becomes more global and the use of PCs more pervasive, there has been a dramatic increase in e-learning, also known as computer based training. E-learning is closely linked to and overlapping with, but not equal to knowledge management.  E-learning can be an effective medium for knowledge management deliverables.

KM Objectives  

The graph below shows the results of a recent IDC study in which corporations cited various objectives for knowledge management efforts:


Activities related to these objectives include: creating knowledge sharing networks that facilitate a corporate knowledge culture, developing knowledge leaders, optimizing intellectual capital by producing knowledge management solutions such as codification strategies and knowledge bases, and estimating revenue and efficiency gains resulting from knowledge management in terms of  return on investment (ROI).

KM ROI

Although 65% of organizations that are currently implementing KM initiatives have not measured the impact of their performance, large revenue gains and efficiency improvements have been recorded by numerous major corporations.  For instance: Ford Motor Company accelerated its concept-to-production time from 36 months to 24 months. The flow on value of this has been estimated at US $1.25 billion, The Dow Chemical Company saved $40 million a year in the re-use of patents, Chase Manhattan, one of the largest banks in the US, used Customer relationship management KM initiatives to increase its annual revenue by 15%, and Pfizer credits KM practices for discovering the hidden benefits of the Viagra drug.

Technologies That Support Knowledge Management

The following diagram reflects the main technologies that currently support knowledge management systems.


These technologies roughly correlate to four main stages of the KM life cycle:

1. Knowledge is acquired or captured using intranets, extranets, groupware, web conferencing, and document management systems.

2. An organizational memory is formed by refining, organizing, and storing knowledge using structured repositories such as data warehouses. 

3. Knowledge is distributed through education, training programs, automated knowledge based systems, expert networks.

4. Knowledge is Applied or leveraged for further learning and innovation via mining of the organizational memory and the application of expert systems such as decision support systems.  

All of these stages are enhanced by effective workflow and project management.

Present and Future State of KM

Currently, communities of practice such as the Knowledge Management Network and the development of standards and best practices are in a mature stage of development.  KM curricula such as certification, corporate training and university graduate certificate programs are on the rise. Techniques such as data mining and text mining that use KM for competitive intelligence and innovation are in the early stages of development. Finally, organizations are investing heavily in ad hoc KM software that facilitates organizational knowledge.  The chart below estimates the state of their current and future KM activities.


The Future of Knowledge Management

In the next several years ad-hoc software will develop into comprehensive, knowledge aware enterprise management systems.  KM and E-learning will converge into knowledge collaboration portals that will efficiently transfer knowledge in an interdisciplinary and cross functional environment. Information systems will evolve into artificial intelligence systems that use intelligent agents to customize and filter relevant information.  New methods and tools will be developed for KM driven E-intelligence and innovation.

The Effect of Knowledge Management on Databases

Multiple corporate databases will merge into large, integrated, multidimensional knowledge bases that are designed to support competitive intelligence and organizational memory.   These centralized knowledge repositories will optimize information collection, organization, and retrieval. They will offer knowledge enriching features that support the seamless interoperability and flow of information and knowledge. These features may include: the incorporation of video and audio clips, links to external authoritative sources, content qualifiers in the form of source or reference metadata, and annotation capabilities to capture tacit knowledge.  Content will be in the form of small reusable learning objects and associated metadata that provides contextual information to assist KM reasoning and delivery systems.  

The Implications of Knowledge Management For...

  • Database Users: From business class users to the general public, database users will enjoy a new level of interaction with the KM system including just-in-time knowledge that delivers precise relevant information on demand and in context.  More complex, smart systems will translate to optimal usability and less time spent searching for relevant information.   For example, data analysts will enjoy simplified access and more powerful tools for data exploitation. The use of knowledge bases can reduce customer service costs by providing customers with easy access to 24/7 self service via smart systems that reduce the need to contact customer service or technical support staff.  Database users may even create customized views of knowledge bases that support their needs.  
  • Database Developers:  The design and development of knowledge based systems will be considerably more complex than current database development methods.  Developers must  consider the overall technical architecture of the corporation to ensure seamless interoperability.  The use of standardized metadata and methods will also facilitate both intra-corporate and inter-corporate interoperability.   Making effective physical storage and platform choices will be equally more complex.  Both knowledge base developers and administrators must understand the role of the knowledge base in the overall KM system.
  • Database Administrators:  Database Administrators will evolve into Knowledge Managers.  The knowledge base will store and maintain corporate memory  and Knowledge Managers will become the gatekeepers of corporate knowledge.  The lines between technical roles such as Web Developer, Data Analyst or Systems Administrator will blur as these systems merge into and overlap with KM systems.  DBAs will need to have some knowledge about each of these disciplines.
  • General Public: Even if they are not interacting directly with a knowledge base, the general public will benefit from the secondary effects of improved customer service due to faster access to more accurate information by service providers.

Knowledge managers

"Knowledge manager" is a role and designation that has gained popularity over the past decade. The role has evolved drastically from that of one involving the creation and maintenance of knowledge repositories to one that involves influencing the culture of an organization toward improved knowledge sharing, reuse, learning, collaboration and innovation. Knowledge management functions are associated with different departments in different organizations. It may be combined with Quality, Sales, HR, Innovation, Operations etc and is likely to be determined by the KM motivation of that particular organization.

Knowledge managers have varied backgrounds ranging from Information Sciences to Business Management. An effective knowledge manager is likely to be someone who has a versatile skills portfolio and is comfortable with the concepts of organizational behaviour/culture, processes, branding & marketing and collaborative technology.

Business strategies related to knowledge management

Several well-known management strategies, practices, and business issues, including

o Change management
o Best practices
o Risk management
o Benchmarking

There is a common thread among these and many other recent business strategies: A recognition that information and knowledge are corporate assets, and that businesses need strategies, policies, and tools to manage those assets.

The need to manage knowledge seems obvious, and discussions of intellectual capital have proliferated, but few businesses have acted on that understanding. Where companies have take action and a growing number are doing so implementations of "knowledge management" may range from technology-driven methods of accessing, controlling, and delivering information to massive efforts to change corporate culture.

Opinions about the paths, methods, and even the objectives of knowledge management abound. Some efforts focus on enhancing creativity creating new knowledge value while other programs emphasize leveraging existing knowledge.

Roadblocks to adoption of knowledge management solutions

There have been many roadblocks to adoption of formal knowledge management activities. In general, managing knowledge has been perceived as an unmanageable kind of problem an implicitly human, individual activity that was intractable with traditional management methods and technology.

We tend to treat the activities of knowledge work as necessary, but ill-defined, costs of human resources, and we treat the explicit manifestations of knowledge work as forms of publishing as byproducts of "real" work.

As a result, the metrics associated with knowledge resources and our ability to manage those resources in meaningful ways have not become part of business infrastructure.

But it is not necessary to throw up ones hands in despair. We do know a lot about how people learn. We know more and more about how organizations develop and use knowledge. The body of literature about managing intellectual capital is growing. We have new insights and solutions from a variety of domains and disciplines that can be applied to making knowledge work manageable and measurable. And computer technology itself a cause of the problem can provide new tools to make it all work.

We do not need another "paradigm shift" but we do have to accept that the nature of business itself has changed, in at least two important ways:

1. Knowledge work is fundamentally different in character from physical labor.

2. The knowledge worker is almost completely immersed in a computing environment. This new reality dramatically alters the methods by which we must manage, learn, represent knowledge, interact, solve problems, and act.

Applying technology blindly to knowledge-related business problems is a mistake, too, but the computerized business environment provides opportunities and new methods for representing "knowledge" and leveraging its value. Its not an issue of finding the right computer interface although that would help, too. We simply have not defined in a rigorous, clear, widely accepted way the fundamental characteristics of "knowledge" in the computing environment.

Knowledge management: a cross-disciplinary domain

Knowledge management draws from a wide range of disciplines and technologies.

o Cognitive science. Insights from how we learn and know will certainly improve tools and techniques for gathering and transferring knowledge.

o Expert systems, artificial intelligence and knowledge base management systems (KBMS). AI and related technologies have acquired an undeserved reputation of having failed to meet their own  and the marketplaces  high expectations. In fact, these technologies continue to be applied widely, and the lessons practitioners have learned are directly applicable to knowledge management.

o Computer-supported collaborative work (groupware). In Europe, knowledge management is almost synonymous with groupware and therefore with Lotus Notes. Sharing and collaboration are clearly vital to organizational knowledge management with or without supporting technology.

o Library and information science. We take it for granted that card catalogs in libraries will help us find the right book when we need it. The body of research and practice in classification and knowledge organization that makes libraries work will be even more vital as we are inundated by information in business. Tools for thesaurus construction and controlled vocabularies are already helping us manage knowledge.

o Technical writing. Also under-appreciated even sneered at as a professional activity, technical writing (often referred to by its practitioners as technical communication) forms a body of theory and practice that is directly relevant to effective representation and transfer of knowledge.

o Document management. Originally concerned primarily with managing the accessibility of images, document management has moved on to making content accessible and re-usable at the component level. Early recognition of the need to associate "metainformation" with each document object prefigures document management technologys growing role in knowledge management activities.

o Decision support systems. According to Daniel J. Power, "Researchers working on Decision Support Systems have brought together insights from the fields of cognitive sciences, management sciences, computer sciences, operations research, and systems engineering in order to produce both computerised artifacts for helping knowledge workers in their performance of cognitive tasks, and to integrate such artifacts within the decision-making processes of modern organisations."

o That already sounds a lot like knowledge management, but in practice the emphasis has been on quantitative analysis rather than qualitative analysis, and on tools for managers rather than everyone in the organization.

o Semantic networks. Semantic networks are formed from ideas and typed relationships among them sort of "hypertext without the content," but with far more systematic structure according to meaning. Often applied in such arcane tasks as textual analysis, semantic nets are now in use in mainstream professional applications, including medicine, to represent domain knowledge in an explicit way that can be shared.

o Relational and object databases. Although relational databases are currently used primarily as tools for managing "structured" data and object-oriented databases are considered more appropriate for "unstructured" content  we have only begun to apply the models on which they are founded to representing and managing knowledge resources.

o Simulation. Knowledge Management expert Karl-Erik Sveiby suggests "simulation" as a component technology of knowledge management, referring to "computer simulations, manual simulations as well as role plays and micro arenas for testing out skills."

o Organizational science. The science of managing organizations increasingly deals with the need to manage knowledge  often explicitly. Its not a surprise that the American Management Association APQC has sponsored major knowledge management events.

Thats only a partial list. Other technologies include: object-oriented information modeling; electronic publishing technology, hypertext, and the World Wide Web; help-desk technology; full-text search and retrieval; and performance support systems.

Categorization of knowledge management approaches

The term "knowledge management" is now in widespread use, having appeared in the titles of many new books about knowledge management as a business strategy, as well as in articles in many business publications, including The Wall Street Journal. There are, of course, many ways to slice up the multi-faceted world of knowledge management. However, its often useful to categorize them.

In a posting to the Knowledge Management Forum, Karl-Erik Sveiby identified two "tracks" of knowledge management:

o Management of Information. To researchers in this track, according to Sveiby, " knowledge = Objects that can be identified and handled in information systems."

o Management of People. For researchers and practitioners in this field, knowledge consists of " processes, a complex set of dynamic skills, know-how, etc., that is constantly changing."

At Knowledge Praxis , we have adopted a three-part categorization: (1) mechanistic approaches, (2) cultural/behavioristic approaches, and (3) systematic approaches to knowledge management.

Mechanistic approaches to knowledge management

Mechanistic approaches to knowledge management are characterized by the application of technology and resources to do more of the same better. The main assumptions of the mechanistic approach include:

o Better accessibility to information is a key, including enhanced methods of access and reuse of documents (hypertext linking, databases, full-text search, etc.)

o Networking technology in general (especially intranets), and groupware in particular, will be key solutions.

o In general, technology and sheer volume of information will make it work.

Assessment: Such approaches are relatively easy to implement for corporate "political" reasons, because the technologies and techniques although sometimes advanced in particular areas are familiar and easily understood. There is a modicum of good sense here, because enhanced access to corporate intellectual assets is vital. But its simply not clear whether access itself will have a substantial impact on business performance, especially as mountains of new information are placed on line. Unless the knowledge management approach incorporates methods of leveraging cumulative experience, the net result may not be positive, and the impact of implementation may be no more measurable than in traditional paper models.

Cultural/behavioristic approaches to knowledge management

Cultural/behavioristic approaches, with substantial roots in process re-engineering and change management, tend to view the "knowledge problem" as a management issue. Technology though ultimately essential for managing explicit knowledge resources is not the solution. These approaches tend to focus more on innovation and creativity (the "learning organization") than on leveraging existing explicit resources or making working knowledge explicit.

Assumptions of cultural/behavioristic approaches often include:

o Organizational behaviors and culture need to be changed dramatically. In our information-intensive environments, organizations become dysfunctional relative to business objectives.

o Organizational behaviors and culture can be changed, but traditional technology and methods of attempting to solve the "knowledge problem" have reached their limits of effectiveness. A "holistic" view is required. Theories of behavior of large-scale systems are often invoked.

o Its the processes that matter, not the technology.

o Nothing happens or changes unless a manager makes it happen.

Assessment: The cultural factors affecting organizational change have almost certainly been undervalued, and cultural/behavioristic implementations have shown some benefits. But the cause-effect relationship between cultural strategy and business benefits is not clear, because the "Hawthorne Effect" may come into play, and because we still cant make dependable predictions about systems as complex as knowledge-based business organizations. Positive results achieved by cultural/behavioristic strategies may not be sustainable, measurable, cumulative, or replicable and employees thoroughly "Dilbertized" by yet another management strategy may roll their eyes. Time will tell.

Systematic approaches to knowledge management

Systematic approaches to knowledge management retain the traditional faith in rational analysis of the knowledge problem: the problem can be solved, but new thinking of many kinds is required. Some basic assumptions:

o Its sustainable results that matter, not the processes or technology or your definition of "knowledge."

o A resource cannot be managed unless it is modeled, and many aspects of the organizations knowledge can be modeled as an explicit resource.

o Solutions can be found in a variety of disciplines and technologies, and traditional methods of analysis can be used to re-examine the nature of knowledge work and to solve the knowledge problem.

o Cultural issues are important, but they too must be evaluated systematically. Employees may or may not have to be "changed," but policies and work practices must certainly be changed, and technology can be applied successfully to business knowledge problems themselves
o Knowledge management has an important management component, but it is not an activity or discipline that belongs exclusively to managers.

Assessment: Unrepentant rationalists in the business world are taking a systematic approach to solving the "knowledge problem." Youll also find evidence of such approaches as well as a less formal use of the term systematic knowledge management Karl Wiigs Knowledge Research Institute Web site and Gene Bellingers Systems Thinking Web pages. Systematic approaches show the most promise for positive cumulative impact, measurability, and sustainability.

Conclusion

Organizations are realizing that intellectual capital or corporate knowledge is a valuable asset that can be managed as effectively as physical assets in order to improve performance.  The focus of knowledge management is connecting people, processes and technology for the purpose of leveraging corporate knowledge.  The database professionals of today are the Knowledge Managers of the future, and they  will play an integral role in making these connections possible.

References:

1. Allee, Verna. "12 Principles of Knowledge Management." Training & Development 51.11 (November 1997): 71-74.

2. Cortada, James W. and John A. Woods, eds. Knowledge Management Yearbook 1999-2000 . Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.

3. Albert, Steven and Keith Bradley. Managing Knowledge: Experts, Agencies and Organizations. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

4. American Productivity and Quality Center. Knowledge Management. Houston, TX: American Productivity and Quality Center, 1996

5. Demarest, Marc. "Understanding Knowledge Management." Long Range Planning 30.03 (June 1997): 374-384.

6. Frappaolo, Carl. "Defining Knowledge Management: Four Basic Functions." Computerworld 32 (23 February 1998): 80.

7. Martinez, Michelle Neely. "Knowledge Management: The Collective Power." HR Magazine 43 (February 1998): 88-92, 94.

Websites:

  • Brint: Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning
    http://www.brint.com
  • KMWorld Magazine
    http://kmonline.com
  • Knowledge Management
    http://www.mbs.umd.edu/is/malavi/icis-97-KMS/index.htm
  • Knowledge Management
    http://www.vknowledge.net/
  • Knowledge Management Benchmarking Association
    www.kmba.org
  • Knowledge Management Consortium
    http://www.km.org
     


L. Rajarajeswari
Asst. Professor
Department of Business Administration
Arul Anandar College
Karumathur-625514, Madurai Dist, Tamilnadu
 

Source: E-mail September 28, 2010

          

Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399 / Articles No. 400-499 / Articles No. 500-599
Articles No. 600-699 / Articles No. 700-799 / Articles No. 800-899 / Articles No. 900-1000 / Articles No. 1001-1100
Articles No. 1101-1200 / Articles No. 1201 Onward / Faculty Column Main Page