Ethical Issues in Knowledge Management (Km)

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INTRODUCTION

Knowledge Management (KM) has never attained so much publicity as it has in recent years. It is a relatively new facet in organisations and also in educational institutions. Today, it is of utmost importance in the corporate world. The definition of KM has been defined and redefined by various experts through all these years. KM is defined as the tools, techniques and strategies which are essential to retain, analyse, organise improve and share business knowledge. (Groff & Jones 2003: 2) There are many aspects of KM which include KM Strategy, KM Systems, and KM Culture etc. But, of all these constituents of KM, one important and essential ingredient is Ethical issues. According to the Webster dictionary, “Ethics is the part of philosophy that studies foundations of the morals; it is the set of moral principles which is the basis of someone’s conduct”. Ethics generally include morals that answer the questions: “what should I do?”, “is it wrong or right?”, “am I doing the right thing?” etc.

In this world of Globalisation, businesses and organisations resort to quick and illicit solutions or means of production. This is where Ethical and Legal issues arise in KM. If KM is approached rightly, it will address logical, social, organisational and ethical issues while maintaining a focus on business ethics. (Groff & Jones 2003: 143) ETHICAL ISSUES AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

What do we actually mean by the term Ethical?

Ethical means certain accepted standards in terms of personal and social benefit; what we believe is right. (Velasquez 2002: 7) Ethics is also referred as making a judgement. It seeks to answers whether a certain moral standard is correct or wrong.

For example, a cashier at a departmental store gives you change as if you had given a $20 note. But, in fact you had given him a $10 note. So, based on factors like the way you are raised, your faiths and beliefs, your conscience, you are the one who should be able to determine that keeping



References: Adobe (2007), ‘Adobe anti-piracy initiative’-Types of software piracy, (27/10/2007), http://www.adobe.com/ap/aboutadobe/antipiracy/types.html Awad, E.M Boisot, M. & Griffiths, D. (2001) ‘To Own or to Possess? Competence and the Change of Appropriability’ in R. Sanchez (ed), Knowledge Management and Organizational Competence, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Bulinge, F. (2002) ‘Ethical Dimensions of KM in Professional Settings’, (22/10/2007) https://www.ceramexpert.net/tikiwiki/tikiindex.php?page=Articles+et+publications+CE+IEKM. Groff, T. R., Jones T. P. (2003) Introduction to Knowledge Management: KM in Business, Burlington, Elsevier Science. Jashapara A., (2004) Knowledge Management: An integrated approach, Harlow, Prentice-Hall Land, F., Amjad, U., & Nolas, S.M Velasquez, M. G. (2002) Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases (5th edition), New Jersey, Prentice-Hall. World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), ‘What is Intellectual Property?’ (20/10/2007), http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/index.html World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), ‘Internet Domain Name Disputes: Some Questions and Answers.’ (20/10/2007), http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/studies/publications/domain_names.htm

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