In my last blog I spoke about Data and Information. Today I would like to speak about knowledge management. Governments and firms invest more and more on knowledge management and collaboration systems. Knowledge management is one of the fastest growing area in the past decades therefore I think it is a very important topic.
When we speak about knowledge we also have to speak about collaboration. It is obvious if you can not share you knowledge with others effectively than your knowledge does not worth a lot. Therefore knowledge has to be shared to have a value. We speak about knowledge when we use information to discover patterns, rules, and contexts. Wisdom is when we apply knowledge to the solution of problems using our own or collective experience. Wisdom involves where, when, and how to apply knowledge. There are two types of knowledge tacit and explicit. Tacit knowledge is in people’s head and it is not written down however explicit knowledge is documented. Finally Knowledge is also situational and contextual. For example it is not enough to know your policy at your workplace but you also have to know how to use it. Knowledge is important for every company because it is an important asset. Knowing how to manage knowledge effectively might lead a company to a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
When organizations use knowledge management and they adjust their behavior according to it we speak about organizational learning. We speak about organizational learning when organizations create new business processes and they change patterns in decision making. Organizations gather knowledge using a variety of tools and mechanism. They measure data, make experiments, they monitor the inside and outside environment of the organization, they get feedback from costumers and from employee.
Knowledge value chain
As we have seen above knowledge management refers to the set of business processes developed in an organization. There are five value-adding steps in the knowledge management value chain.
Organizations acquire knowledge in a lot of ways. They acquire structured and unstructured knowledge as well. A coherent and organized knowledge system requires sales, payments, inventory, customers,news feeds, industry reports, legal opinions, scientific research, government statistics.
Once knowledge is acquired Organizations has to store somehow for later use. Generally data and knowledge is stored in databases. Firms normally use document management systems to digitize, index, and tag documents for having a coherent managing system.
Employee and managers share information with each other and gather information with the use of different tools like e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, social business tools, and search engines. They have to evaluate which information is important. A supportive culture might help employees and managers to find the useful information.Training, programs, informal networks, and shared management experience and communication is a key to create a supportive culture.
Knowledge has to applied to solve problems in an Organization and has to add value to the business. To do so knowledge must become a systematic part of management and decision making. Knowledge must be used in Organization business processes and key application systems by creating new business practices, new products and services, and new markets.
Knowledge management systems
There are three major types of knowledge management systems: enterprise-wide knowledge management systems, knowledge work systems, and intelligent techniques.
Enterprise-wide knowledge management systems make efforts to collect, store, distribute, and apply digital content and knowledge. The firms must deal with three types of data in general. Structured data, such us written documents,semi structured data like email,voice mail etc. and tacit knowledge.
Knowledge work systems (KWS) are specialized systems built for engineers, scientists, and other knowledge workers. Knowledge workers like researchers, designers, architects, scientists, and engineers primarily create knowledge and information for the organization. Knowledge workers require knowledge work systems with powerful graphics, analytical tools, and communications and document management capabilities. Think about Computer-aided design (CAD), 3D printing or virtual reality systems.
The third part of knowledge management are intelligent techniques, such as data mining, expert systems, neural networks, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms, and intelligent agents. Data mining are used for knowledge discovery to find patterns,categories and behaviors. Data mining helps organizations capture undiscovered knowledge in large datasets, providing insight for improving business performance and aid for better decision making. Have a look on my previous blog where I represented R studio and I made an experiment with it.
Hope you enjoyed my blog about knowledge management. If you would like to know more please do not hesitate to read the book Management Information Systems by Kenneth C. Laudon and Jane P. Laudon as I also used it for the base of my post.