How Can Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning Used to Improve Hr Management Systems and Practice and Build Intellectual Capital and Competitive Advantage for the Future

Topics: Knowledge management, Human resource management, Management Pages: 13 (3647 words) Published: May 27, 2011

In this current world, human being is increasingly recognised by organisation as the most important asset of the company. With the increased competition for management talent, it also means that the human resources departments will face more and more challenging and new employees’ issues. Globally, knowledge has become the most important factor in economic development and knowledge assets are considered essential for economic growth, competitive advantage, human development and quality of human life (Malhotra, 2003). Therefore, the integration of knowledge management and Organisational Learning into Human Resource Management is essential for organisations to build intellectual capital and competitive advantage for the future.

(A)Definition of Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management (KM) has been described as involving ‘the design, review and implementation of both social and technological processes to improve the application of knowledge, in the collective interest of stakeholders’ (Standards Australia, 2003). Knowledge management (KM) is the facilitation of transferring the right knowledge to the right people at the right time (O’Dell 1998 & Grayson), or in other words, enabling the right people to apply the right knowledge at the right time (Tiwana 2002). The extensive interest in knowledge management as a discipline began in earnest in the 1990’s as those organisations facing tumultuous external environments attempted to manage their “knowledge assets” to ensure continuous innovation (Newell, Robertson, Scarbrough and Swann, 2002).

(B)Definition of Organisational Learning

Organisational Learning (OL) is identified as the coming together of individuals to enable them to support and encourage one another’s learning, which will in the longer term be of benefit to the organisation (Hodgkinson, 2000). The OL activities involving tacit knowledge exchange rely on the active engagement of individuals. Based on the definition, we can clearly see that the purpose of OL is to enhance organisational knowledge, rather than to develop an individual.

(C)Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management (HRM) can be described as a group of processes aimed at managing individuals to achieve desired outcomes that meets the needs of individuals, organisations and larger society (Nankervis, Compton & Baird, 2008). In a permanent changeable and intensive environment, the main tasks of HRM are to monitor measure and intervene in construction, embodiment, dissemination and use of knowledge by employees (Garavan et al., 2000). In view of this, the daily task of human resource development in building of a learning organisation as: assisting employees in creating and using knowledge; establishing appropriate networks; and engaging in double-loop learning.

Kevin Vince, 2008 mentioned that a good HRM must comprise three key components. There are talent identification, talent development (Internal and external) and talent engagement, motivation and retention. Talent identification is a process where the organisation identifies the key positions and roles required to support the design and deployment of strategic and operational plans and initiatives. Internal talent development relates to a variety of activities such as training, performance management, coaching, special projects, and job design and career development while external talent development is essentially recruitment and selection, where the organization goes out into the labour market to identify, attract, select and motivate required talent to join the organization. Last but not least, “Talent EMR” is an acronym for employee engagement, motivation and retention. Once the organization has the required talent, it needs to manage its investment, building required commitment and strategic alignment to support the organization’s strategy.


(A)Relationship between Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning

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