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Knowledge Management Essay

1828 words - 8 pages

(3)Knowledge Management(KM)is a fashionable business term. Explain what is meant by knowledge and knowledge management(KM), and evaluate why KM is central to the success of an organization.

Knowledge Management (KM) is a newly developed business term. Thanks to the booming of information technology (especially the internet) from the 1990s, people could get information and knowledge much easier than before. As the integration of individuals, organizations need to process and manage even more information and knowledge. Therefore, the art of knowledge management becomes very crucial for modern organizations.

Before talking about the term Knowledge Management, first we need to know clearly ...view middle of the document...

Tacit knowledge is very personal and hard to be formatted, such as subjective understanding, instinct and so on. Explicit knowledge could be expressed using words and numbers, could be shared in the form of data, such as programs and universal rules. Tacit knowledge exist only in people’s brains, it is hard to be codified and hard to be shared. Explicit knowledge exists in documents, which is codified and easy to be shared.

According to a survey result conduct by the Delphi Group, the majority (42%) of knowledge in an organization is the tacit knowledge in their employees’ brains. However, the sum of different type to explicit knowledge (papers documents, electronic documents and electronic knowledge bases) contributes more than the knowledge in employees’ brains. Therefore, we believe that the management of both tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge is important.
Similar to the term knowledge, there is no universal definition for the term Knowledge management. There are some different descriptions of knowledge management.

In 1997, Bassi suggested that Knowledge management is the process or practice that involves ‘acquiring, creating, capturing, storing, sharing and using knowledge to enhance organizational performance’. In 1997, P Quitas et al suggested that ‘knowledge management is the process of continually managing knowledge of all kinds to meet existing and emerging needs, to identify the exploit existing and acquired knowledge assets and to develop new opportunities.’ In 2002, Gupta et al suggested that ‘Knowledge management is fundamentally the management of corporate knowledge and intellectual assets that can improve a range of organizational performance characteristics and add value by enabling an enterprise to act more intelligently’.

The characteristics of knowledge management are from the basic properties of knowledge economy. Knowledge economy is the economy based on the internet information, high technology and intellectual asset. Since the usage and development of high technology, intellectual asset and internet information is the process of sharing information and integration of intelligence, knowledge management is managing the flow of information and intelligence.

The knowledge management has at least involved in the following ten areas; the sharing of business knowledge and experience, the responsibility of sharing knowledge, the usage of experiences, immerging knowledge into product, service and production process, produce knowledge as product, encourage creative production, setting up virtual professional networks, setting up database of required information, understanding and measuring the value of knowledge and the usage of intellectual asset.

There are four major objectives of knowledge management in organizations; to improve creativity, to improve responsiveness, to improve productivity and improve skill ability.

The characteristic of modern competition between companies is rapidly changing in skill...

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