Knowledge management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice. An established discipline since 1991 KM includes courses taught in the fields of business administration, information systems, management, and library and information sciences. More recently, other fields have started contributing to KM research; these include information and media, computer science, public health, and public policy.
Many large companies and non-profit organizations have resources dedicated to internal KM efforts, often as a part of their 'business strategy', 'information technology', or 'human resource management' departments. Several consulting companies also exist that provide strategy and advice regarding KM to these organizations. In other words, Knowledge Management is a process that, continuously and systematically, transfers knowledge from individuals and teams, who generate them, to the brain of the organization for the benefit of the entire organization. KM efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, and continuous improvement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with Organizational Learning, and may be distinguished from by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the exchange of knowledge. What is knowledge management? At Knowledge Praxis, we define knowledge management as a business activity with two primary aspects:
* Treating the knowledge component of business activities as an explicit concern of business reflected in strategy, policy, and practice at all levels of the organization.
* Making a direct connection between an organizations intellectual assets both explicit [recorded] and tacit [personal know-how] and positive business results. In practice, knowledge management often encompasses identifying and mapping intellectual assets within the organization, generating new knowledge for competitive advantage within the organization, making vast amounts of corporate information accessible, sharing of best practices, and technology that enables all of the above including groupware and intranets. That covers a lot of ground. And it should, because applying knowledge to work is integral to most business activities. Knowledge management is hard to define precisely and simply. (The definition also leapfrogs the task of defining "knowledge" itself. Well get to that later.) Thats not surprising. How would a nurse or doctor define "health care" succinctly? How would a CEO describe "management"? How would a CFO describe "compensation"? Each of those domains is complex, with many sub-areas of specialization. Nevertheless, we know "health care" and "management" when we see them, and we understand the major goals and activities of those domains. Few KM Definitions Prof. Gopinath defines the Knowledge Management in three different views: * Knowledge Management is a right principle for right application and right use. * Knowledge Management is a field of handling knowledge in different stages. It focuses around creation, capturing, nurturing, documenting, disseminating, absorbing and conserving for development of human resources. * Knowledge Management is a process of enriching human resource, material resource and environment (organization's environment, work environment) preservation. R. Gregory Wenig (1998) defines KM from organizational perspective. According to his definition, Knowledge Management for the organization consists of activities focused on the organization gaining knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of others, and on the judicious application of...
References: 1. Allee, Verna. "12 Principles of Knowledge Management." Training & Development 51.11 (November 1997): 71-74.
2. Cortada, James W. and John A. Woods, eds. Knowledge Management Yearbook 1999-2000 . Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.
3. Albert, Steven and Keith Bradley. Managing Knowledge: Experts, Agencies and Organizations. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
4. American Productivity and Quality Center. Knowledge Management. Houston, TX: American Productivity and Quality Center, 1996
6. Frappaolo, Carl. "Defining Knowledge Management: Four Basic Functions." Computerworld 32 (23 February 1998): 80.
7. Martinez, Michelle Neely. "Knowledge Management: The Collective Power." HR Magazine 43 (February 1998): 88-92, 94. Websites: * Brint: Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning
http://www.brint.com * KMWorld Magazine
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