Knowledge management (KM) is based on the idea that an organisation’s most valuable resource is the knowledge of its people. This is not a new idea – organisations have been managing “human resources” for years. What is new is the focus on knowledge.
This focus is being driven by the accelerated rate of change in today’s organisations and in society as a whole. Knowledge management recognises that today nearly all jobs involve “knowledge work” and so all staff is “knowledge workers” to some degree or another – meaning that their job depends more on their knowledge than their manual skills. This means that creating, sharing and using knowledge are among the most important activities of nearly every person in every organisation.
Knowledge management is essentially about facilitating the processes by which knowledge is created, shared and used in organisations. It is not about setting up a new department or getting in a new computer system. At its broadest, KM is the ‘process through which organizations generate value from intellectual and knowledge based assets’
There are two types of knowledge assets –
Explicit or formal assets like copyrights, patents, templates, publications, reports, archives, etc. is objective, rational, technical. It can be easily documented and easily transferred/taught /learned. Tacit or informal assets that are rooted in human experience and include personal belief, perspective, and values. It is subjective, hard to document, hard to transfer/teach/learn. Fundamentally, knowledge management is about applying the collective knowledge of the entire workforce to achieve specific organisational goals. The aim of knowledge management is not necessarily to manage all knowledge, just the knowledge that is most important to the organisation. It is about ensuring that people have the knowledge they need, where they need it, when they need it – the right...