One of our nation’s founding fathers, James Madison, said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” (Lewis). Information surrounds us in every part of our lives but in order for a company to harness or “arm” ourselves with this information, it needs to be consolidated into a dynamic system that is readily available. This paper will review the knowledge management efforts of Frito-Lay and the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to show the value of managing corporate knowledge.
Both Frito-Lay and RTA seemed to work from the same understanding that the intellectual assets within the corporation were unique sources, critical functions and potential bottlenecks that could affect the flow of knowledge to the point of use. They understood that management of corporate knowledge protected these intellectual assets from decay and enhanced decision making opportunities. (KM Forum). Frito-Lay wanted to capture the best practices within the company and provide employees with corporate information. (Shein, 2001). RTA wanted to support less experienced staff with effective information. (Robertson, 2001) The management of corporate knowledge would help them address these goals and help them reach for the “golden ticket” of success.
Frito-Lay and RTA faced similar dilemmas within their corporation. There was no centralized area where corporate knowledge could be consolidated and made available to their employees. Frito-Lay had knowledge trapped in files scattered around the company in different systems and geographically separated sales staff that could not easily access that needed information. (Shein, 2001). RTA on the other hand, had their information tied into current manuals and call centers. RTA had to review the information available and restructure or rewrite it, to bring it up to date and make it easy to read. (Robertson, 2001). Both... [continues]
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