Role of Hr Function in Knowledge Management at Unilever

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Role of HR function in Knowledge Management at Unilever
Knowledge management is getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time to maximize an entreprise’s knowledge related effectiveness. Knowledge management focuses on doing the right things instead of doing the things right. In this view all the business processes involve creation, dissemination, renewal and application of knowledge towards the organizational survival. Effective knowledge management enhances products, speeds deployments, increase sales, improves profits and creates customer satisfaction.

It is widely known that Knowledge Management (KM) as a discipline and a tool is meant to provide an integrated way to identify, capture, reshape, and, share, the organization’s information assets so as to create faster response time for seekers in the organization.

It is often a debatable question if KM should be a separate department by itself handling the various aspects of KM or should it be integrated with an already established department. KM processes directly improve organizational processes, such as innovation, collaborative decision-making, and individual and collective learning. These improved organizational processes produce intermediate outcomes such as better decisions, organizational behaviors, products, services and relationships. These, in turn, lead to improved organizational performance.

This brings me to the Human Resource (HR) department. KM is all about people and the culture of sharing and not just the tools employed. Hence from my perspective, the HR department has a very crucial and vital role to play in not just its formation but also in giving KM its shape.

In many large organizations the HR department is in itself divided into smaller units looking at various components within the company like policy making, recruitment, corporate communication & entertainment, etc. However, given that the policies created will go a long way in shaping the attitude of its



References: o Cross, R., and L. Baird, 2000, Technology is not enough: Improving performance by building organizational memory, Sloan Management Review. o Davenport, T.H., and L. Prusak, 2000, Working knowledge: How organizations manage what they know, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. o Dixon, N.M., 1994, The organizational learning cycle: How we can learn collectively, New York, McGraw-Hill. o Earl, M., 2001, Knowledge management strategies, Journal of Management Information Systems. o Easterby Smith, M., and M. Lyles, 2003, The Blackwell handbook of organizational learning and knowledge management, Oxford, Blackwell. o Hansen, M.T., N. Nohria, and T. Tierney, 1999, What’s your strategy for managing knowledge?, Harvard Business Review. o Huber, G.P., 1991, Organizational learning: The contributing processes and the literatures, Organization Science.

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