Knowledge Administration – Premeditated Things in Knowledge Evolution
As the old adage goes, “Knowledge is power”. Knowledge management is emerging as an important field in the 21st century. There is increasing awareness around the world that any company, institution that wants to flourish needs to have powerful knowledge resources. Knowledge Management efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement of the organization. Knowledge Management efforts can help individuals and groups to share valuable organizational insights, to reduce redundant work, to avoid reinventing the wheel per se, to reduce training time for new employees, to retain intellectual capital as employees turnover in an organization, and to adapt to changing environments and markets. Through this paper is presented an understanding of the concept of knowledge management and its processes and techniques. The knowledge management process encompasses Companies appoint knowledge leader, Companies set up knowledge centers, Companies form intellectual capital teams to identify and audit intangible assets. The paper also throws light on the challenges faced by this well as suggestions for successful implementation. The following are the suggestions for becoming an effective knowledge management company.
‘British Petroleum has speeded up the solutions of critical operation problems by employing virtual team management using video conferencing.’ ‘Hewlett Packard speeded up its new product launch process by sharing its existing expertise.’ The above mentioned are instances of knowledge management process. We are moving towards knowledge society. The society in which processes relating to knowledge creation, knowledge application and knowledge discrimination would become the most important processes. Basis of competition would shift from sales turnover or market penetration to knowledge management. The power which was reflected in the form of muscle power in the pre Vedic civilization, military power in 1000 A.D. and in economic power in 20th century will now be reflected in knowledge power. The oceans are already visible. India, with its vast technical and competent human capital, has started making presence at international level through IT industry.
Knowledge Administration is also known as Knowledge Management (KM); It is management of knowledge resources in the organization to the optimum scale thereby creating more appropriate technologies, more accurate and timely information base, and more competent human resources. Knowledge management is reflected in the capability of organization in giving organization a distinct edge at industry level as a knowledge centre and as the hub for information and innovations. R&D, Publications, IT, Media are only some of the reflections of knowledge management, knowledge management encompasses the complexities and nuances of human intellectual processes including tacit knowledge, learning and innovating processed, communication, culture, values and intangible assets. It also recognizes the subjective interpretive and dynamic nature of knowledge. At the same time it embraces the dramatic developments in information technology and seeks to bring the benefits effectively to the organization.
Knowledge Administration is an emerging set of processed, organization structures, applications and technology that aim to leverage the ability of capable, responsible, autonomous individuals to act quickly and effectively. Knowledge management is the conceptualizing of an organization as an integrated knowledge system and the management of the organization for effective use of that knowledge.
Knowledge Management Process
It comprises of the following –
Technological Capital – It consists of techniques, copyrights, patents and other technological innovations developed over time.
Human Capital – Human capital is the capabilities of the individuals required to provide solutions to customers.
Customer Capital – Customer capital is the depth and width, the attachments and the profitability of customers.
Structural Capital – Structural capital is the resources, infrastructure and capability of organization to meet market needs to pre empty innovations and social change processes.
There are two levels of knowledge held within these areas explicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is articulated knowledge. The words we speak the words we read the reports we write the data we compile. The greater level of knowledge in an organization however is tacit unarticulated. Tacit knowledge includes the intuition, perspectives, beliefs, values that people form as a result of their experiences, out of the beliefs and assumptions in our individual mindsets. At the individual level tacit knowledge forms a mental grid a unique set of beliefs and assumptions through which we filter and interpret what we see and do. In the last few years, companies have started appointing chief knowledge officers; companies adopt two broad thrusts in applying knowledge management methods.
Sharing existing knowledge better making implicit knowledge more explicit and putting in place where it is needed. An example of this is Benchmarking. Benchmarking is merely a technique for sharing knowledge processes. An organization identifies a benchmarking partner for sharing and developing knowledge bases. The organization sends its manpower to share and learn better practices. The benchmarking may be from the same industry or from different industry, but it must have acquired distinct capability and credence. Another technique is clustering wherein competitors join together to share key information and resources in order to excel and grow. There are a number of other techniques that are emerging in the industrial arena. Innovation through solve the gap between the ideas and commercialization of ideas in practice manner. Innovation management processes are reflected in the capabilities of organization in increasing pace of new product launch and in improving their products/services.
A knowledge management process encompasses a variety of innovative processes and techniques which are diverse and having different applications. The basic thrust is on mindset. Technologies evolve as the mindset of people change. Knowledge further adds to the change in attitude of people which triggers a change process. In the organization some people call it managing in chaos, however, it would be better to club all these processes in knowledge management processes and contributing to organization rejuvenation and rebirth process. Knowledge management processes enable fundamental thereby enabling a rebirth at a shorter interval.
Knowledge Management Techniques
Companies appoint knowledge leader a person integer of furthering knowledge management processes. Companies set up knowledge centers for facilitating knowledge flow across the organization and with the external world. These are knowledge team people from all the disciplines, who engage in developing the methods for knowledge management and actively involve themselves in processes relating to knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and knowledge application. Companies form intellectual capital teams to identify and audit intangible assets. Companies focus on development of knowledge bases best practices, expert directives, market intelligence, etc. Companies develop and master collaborative technologies i.e. intranets, web networks, group wares for exchanging information processes. The companies also develop shareware-occasions. The locations which encourage knowledge exchange.
Capturing and reusing structured knowledge the organization recognizes that knowledge is usually embodied in component parts of organization outputs, product designs, project proposals and reports, documented, implementation procedures, software codes, etc. these outputs can be reused to reduce the time and resources needed to produce a new output. We call this explicit knowledge the companies try towards categorizing the documented knowledge objects in a predefined and structured manner so that users can locate them with ease. Capturing and sharing lessons learned this project captures and fosters the experiential knowledge user must interpret appropriately and adapt a new context.
Identifying sources and networks of experience where intellectual assets and expertise are available within the organization. In these projects, instead of trying to capture and deploy knowledge content, efforts are made to make expertise more visible and accessible to employees. The focus is to facilitate connections between those who seek it. This eliminates situations where employees contact only the people they know or whom they think are knowledgeable to meet their needs, instead of approaching the organizations declared subject matter specialists. Structuring and mapping knowledge needed to enhance performance another type of project impacts efforts like now project development and process design. A knowledge map is created; it specifies the type of knowledge that may be needed at any stage of the activity or project. It also specifies where this knowledge is required and specifies the kind of resources that will have to be developed and packages to answer the knowledge needs at specific stages.
Effective KM business
Knowledge agenda forward, creates enthusiasm and commitment. Such a person would ensure survival and growth of organization in the knowledge age. A CEO who recognizes the value of knowledge and who actively supports the knowledge team in its work is a big asset for a knowledge management company. The board of directors should also be drawn from different disciplines with vast knowledge management experience. Top management commitment would drive knowledge management processes in the organization. Each organization creates a set of values and cultural fabric which fosters and enrich knowledge management processes. This requires identification of link between knowledge and the bottom line business benefit, new measures of performance appraisal and establishment of appropriate reward system.
Vision and Knowledge Architecture
Effective organizations have a vision. Vision is a statement about future. The vision helps in creating a direction for the organization. The vision must be based on knowledge management processes. The vision must focus on establishment of knowledge architecture in the organization and identify the future of organization as a central knowledge center and resource center for industry as a whole and an organization which can create frameworks that drive the knowledge agenda forward at industry level. Culture consists of beliefs, norms, rituals, ethics and practices which make the organization distinct and unique. Establishment of a learning culture helps in being a knowledge company. Learning culture encourages lifelong learning, constant sharing of knowledge, development of appropriate systems and processes which fosters flexibility, innovations and applicability of knowledge in real life situations. Such culture practices are known to each and simultaneously focus on creating self renewal and self analysis processes. All this is usually supported by appropriate reward mechanisms and suitable HRD practices.
From simple knowledge support tools to advances internets and ultimately more sophisticated group ware and decision support system should be acquired and research and publications should be encouraged. Organization that set up would class technological infrastructure would be able to develop world class technologies and knowledge. However, mere infrastructure is not enough. Committed and dedicated manpower is more important. Hence this point should be applied after the above conditions have been fulfilled. The organization should constantly develop specialist knowledge processes in urge to apply knowledge management processes effectively in the organization. It should be better to set up processes like knowledge audit, social audit, HR audit at some stage in the organization, when the organization has grown up and wants to remain at the top and exhibit best practices.
The biggest challenge is how to change the mindset of people and how to convert the culture from believing that “Knowledge is power” to believing that “Knowledge sharing is power”. Such change is not very easy to establish and require constant training and development of human resources of the organization. Knowledge management means changing people. Scientists and technical persons, who are competent and have knowledge are often shy and introvert, being afraid to learn from outsiders or expose internal operations to customers.
Specialist v/s generalist an issue of balance
Knowledge management rest on creating a generalist perspective on application of knowledge, means synthesizing the knowledge centers of organization some common platform to enable emergence to knowledge chain. This depends on organization’s capability to catalyze the organization specialists in blending their knowledge base for wider application across organization and even out of it. It does not mean ignoring the specialists. The specialists only are going to be knowledge centers for the organization.
Organization recognition and reward systems usually do not sufficiently recognize knowledge contributions. These are linked to traditional financial measures. Indian organizations have to break free to their moulds; work culture has to be redefined. Knowledge management implementation is more useful in an environment where the changes are very dynamic in an environment marked by rapid changes in technology, business practices and transactional parameters. Changing organizational structures particularly reward systems and issues relating to structural adaptation are not easy. There is always some resistance to change processes. Organizations need to become adaptive and organic bodies composed of perspective and sensing mechanisms, which guide and encourage change and transformations. Change management goes hand in hand with knowledge management in such phase as structural changes.
The immediate benefits of knowledge management can be seen in the decision support systems, the enterprise and the quality of the decisions taken by the staff. As knowledge management ensures availability of knowledge rather than date or information, the decision quality undergoes a radical change. The result is a highly competitive and creative environment in the organization. The next visible change is the openness of the work culture. Knowledge is a process as well as outcome. It depends on organization’s internal processes and interactions with external milieu. Knowledge management demands a knowledge seeking and knowledge sharing community. Creating and nurturing such community within the structural limitations of organization requires changing an organization, particularly its norms, value, benefits and structural variables.
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