Knowledge Management

Publish on: 14 Sep 2015

Ever since the term knowledge management became popular in the mid 1990s, there have been many definitions of knowledge management. From an IT perspective, knowledge management has been perceived as the application of information technology to increase the efficiency of organizations focusing on the appropriate structuring and flow of information to decision makers and the computerization of major business applications leading to a technology revolution dominated by the perceived efficiencies of process reengineering. In a more holistic approach, knowledge management is as Broadbent (1997) puts it

'a form of expertise management which draws out tacit knowledge, making it accessible for specific purposes to improve the performance of organizations; about how the organization's 'know-how' should be structured, organized, located and utilized to provide the most effective action at that point in time'

Knowledge management benefits organizations in a wide variety of ways:
  1. Streamlining operations, thus eliminating redundant or unnecessary processes which reduce costs
  2. Improves customer service by reducing response time
  3. The free flow of ideas facilitated through knowledge management fosters innovations and boosts revenues by effectively delivering innovative products and services to the market
  4. Improves the image of the organization itself as relationships with similar entities are
  5. established and expanded
  6. Avoids the danger of knowledge leaving when the staff member or consultant leaves
  7. Allows the organization access to experience of how problems were successfully overcome in the past
  8. Problem solving becomes faster and easier
  9. Enables the sharing of best practice across the organization
  10. Avoids inefficiency and missed opportunities

To implement knowledge management initiatives, a few knowledge management tools which
organizations can use:
  1. Brainstorming - a technique used to help a group of people generate new and unusual ideas
  2. Storytelling - a way to share and transfer tacit knowledge
  3. Community of Practice - groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly
  4. Knowledge bases - creation of new knowledge for a topic and expanding the knowledge by discussions, feedback, new learning and ideas
  5. Blogs - simple 'journal style' website that contains a list of entries (short articles or stories) often relating to current events
  6. Repositories - databases that systematically capture, organize, and categorize knowledge based information
  7. Knowledge maps - inventory of an organization's sources of information or knowledge which may include documents, files, databases, recordings of best practices or activities

If you have implemented knowledge management initiatives in any sector (public, private or NGOs) share how these initiatives have contributed to promote learning, effectiveness, innovation and profitability in their respective organization?
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