MGT 403 Saudi Electronic University knowledge Management Questions

Description


Classification: Internal Use
‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬
‫وزارة التعليم‬
‫الجامعة السعودية اإللكترونية‬
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of Education
Saudi Electronic University
College of Administrative and Financial Sciences
Assignment 2 MGT403 (2nd Term 2021-2022)
Deadline:16/04/2022 @ 23:59
(To be posted/released to students on BB anytime in Week 7)
Course Name: Knowledge Management
Course Code: MGT-403
Student’s Name:
Semester: 2nd
CRN: 25189
Student’s ID Number:
Academic Year: 1442/1443 H, 2nd Term
For Instructor’s Use only
Instructor’s Name: Dr. Gaurav Sukhdayal Vishwakarma
Students’ Grade: /10
Level of Marks: High/Middle/Low
Instructions – PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY


This assignment is an individual assignment.
Due date for Assignment 1 is by the end of Week 11 (09/04/2022)
• The Assignment must be submitted only in WORD format via allocated folder.
• Assignments submitted through email will not be accepted.
• Students are advised to make their work clear and well presented, marks may be
reduced for poor presentation. This includes filling your information on the cover
page.
• Students must mention question number clearly in their answer.
• Late submission will NOT be accepted.
• Avoid plagiarism, the work should be in your own words, copying from students or
other resources without proper referencing will result in ZERO marks. No exceptions.
• All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font.
No pictures containing text will be accepted and will be considered plagiarism).
Submissions without this cover page will NOT be accepted.
Classification: Internal Use
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of Education
Saudi Electronic University
‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬
‫وزارة التعليم‬
‫الجامعة السعودية اإللكترونية‬
College of Administrative and Financial Sciences
Course Learning Outcomes-Covered
L.O 1.3: Define the different Knowledge types and explain how they are addressed by
knowledge management in different business environments.
L.O 2.1: Demonstrate effective knowledge management skills to utilize knowledge
management tools for the benefits of the organization.
L.O 2.2: Identify and analyze role of communities of practice in knowledge management
and the challenges and issues pertaining to community of practice.
The focus of the assignment is to evaluate the understanding level of students related to communities
of Practice, learning organization, and various techniques used to capture tacit and explicit
knowledge.
Assignment Questions
Q.1:
A. Explain in detail the Wiig’s Knowledge management model. How is the Wiig KM
model related to the Nonaka and Takeuchi model? In what important ways do they
differ? (2.5 Marks) 400-500 words.
B. How do public, private, and shared knowledge differ? What are the implications of
managing these different types of knowledge according to the Wiig KM model? Also
discuss the four types of knowledge defined by K. Wiig in his Knowledge management
model. (2.5 Marks) 250 – 350 Words.
Q.2:
A. Explain in detail various “Tacit Knowledge” capturing methods used by the
organizations. (1.5 Marks) 250 – 350 Words.
B. Discuss the Strategic Implications of Knowledge Capture and Codification. (1.5
Mark) 150-250 Words.
C. Discuss the role of communities of practice in knowledge management? How can
organizations cultivate communities of practice? (2 Marks) 300 – 400 words.
Note: Each part in Q1 and Q2 must be at-least supported by two peer reviewed journal references.
Classification: Internal Use
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of Education
Saudi Electronic University
‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬
‫وزارة التعليم‬
‫الجامعة السعودية اإللكترونية‬
College of Administrative and Financial Sciences
Answer:
Knowledge Management
in Theory and Practice
Second Edition
Kimiz Dalkir
foreword by Jay Liebowitz
Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice
Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice
Second Edition
Kimiz Dalkir
foreword by Jay Liebowitz
The MIT Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts
London, England
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or
mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval)
without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information about special quantity discounts, please e-mail special_sales@mitpress.mit.edu
This book was set in Stone Sans and Stone by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited. Printed and
bound in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Dalkir, Kimiz.
Knowledge management in theory and practice / Kimiz Dalkir ; foreword by Jay Liebowitz.
— 2nd ed.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-262-01508-0 (hardcover : alk. paper)
1. Knowledge management. I. Title.
HD30.2.D354 2011
658.4’038—dc22
2010026273
10
9
8 7
6 5
4 3 2
1
Contents
Foreword: Can Knowledge Management Survive?
Jay Liebowitz
1
xiii
Introduction to Knowledge Management
Learning Objectives
Introduction
1
1
2
What Is Knowledge Management?
5
Multidisciplinary Nature of KM
8
The Two Major Types of Knowledge: Tacit and Explicit
Concept Analysis Technique 11
9
History of Knowledge Management 15
From Physical Assets to Knowledge Assets 19
Organizational Perspectives on Knowledge Management
Library and Information Science (LIS) Perspectives on KM
Why Is KM Important Today?
22
KM for Individuals, Communities, and Organizations
Key Points
26
Discussion Points
References
2
27
27
The Knowledge Management Cycle
Learning Objectives
Introduction
31
32
Major Approaches to the KM Cycle 33
The Meyer and Zack KM Cycle 33
The Bukowitz and Williams KM Cycle
38
The McElroy KM Cycle 42
The Wiig KM Cycle
45
An Integrated KM Cycle
51
Strategic Implications of the KM Cycle
54
31
25
21
22
vi
Contents
Practical Considerations for Managing Knowledge
Key Points
57
Discussion Points
References
3
57
58
Knowledge Management Models
Learning Objectives
Introduction
57
59
59
59
Major Theoretical KM Models
62
The Von Krogh and Roos Model of Organizational Epistemology 62
The Nonaka and Takeuchi Knowledge Spiral Model
64
The Choo Sense-Making KM Model 73
The Wiig Model for Building and Using Knowledge
76
The Boisot I-Space KM Model 82
Complex Adaptive System Models of KM 85
The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) KM Model
The inukshuk KM Model
90
Strategic Implications of KM Models
92
Practical Implications of KM Models
92
Key Points
93
Discussion Points
References
4
93
95
Knowledge Capture and Codification
Learning Objectives
Introduction
89
97
97
98
Tacit Knowledge Capture
101
Tacit Knowledge Capture at the Individual and Group Levels
Tacit Knowledge Capture at the Organizational Level
118
102
Explicit Knowledge Codification 121
Cognitive Maps 121
Decision Trees
123
Knowledge Taxonomies 124
The Relationships among Knowledge Management, Competitive Intelligence, Business Intelligence,
and Strategic Intelligence
131
Strategic Implications of Knowledge Capture and Codification
133
Practical Implications of Knowledge Capture and Codification
134
Key Points
135
Discussion Points
References
136
135
Contents
5
vii
Knowledge Sharing and Communities of Practice
Learning Objectives
Introduction
141
141
142
The Social Nature of Knowledge
147
Sociograms and Social Network Analysis
Community Yellow Pages 152
149
Knowledge-Sharing Communities 154
Types of Communities 158
Roles and Responsibilities in CoPs
160
Knowledge Sharing in Virtual CoPs 163
Obstacles to Knowledge Sharing
The Undernet 169
168
Organizational Learning and Social Capital
170
Measuring the Value of Social Capital
171
Strategic Implications of Knowledge Sharing
173
Practical Implications of Knowledge Sharing
175
Key Points
175
Discussion Points
References
6
176
177
Knowledge Application
Learning Objectives
Introduction
183
183
184
Knowledge Application at the Individual Level 187
Characteristics of Individual Knowledge Workers
187
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Objectives
191
Task Analysis and Modeling 200
Knowledge Application at the Group and Organizational Levels
Knowledge Reuse
211
Knowledge Repositories 213
E-Learning and Knowledge Management Application
214
Strategic Implications of Knowledge Application
216
Practical Implications of Knowledge Application
217
Key Points
218
Discussion Points
Note
219
References
219
218
207
viii
7
Contents
The Role of Organizational Culture
Learning Objectives
Introduction
223
223
224
Different Types of Cultures
227
Organizational Culture Analysis
229
Culture at the Foundation of KM 232
The Effects of Culture on Individuals 235
Organizational Maturity Models
KM Maturity Models
239
CoP Maturity Models
244
238
Transformation to a Knowledge-Sharing Culture
Impact of a Merger on Culture 256
Impact of Virtualization on Culture 258
246
Strategic Implications of Organizational Culture
258
Practical Implications of Organizational Culture
259
Key Points
262
Discussion Points
References
8
262
263
Knowledge Management Tools
Learning Objectives
Introduction
267
267
268
Knowledge Capture and Creation Tools 270
Content Creation Tools
270
Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery
271
Blogs
274
Mashups 275
Content Management Tools 276
Folksonomies and Social Tagging/Bookmarking
277
Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) 279
Knowledge Sharing and Dissemination Tools
280
Groupware and Collaboration Tools 281
Wikis 285
Social Networking, Web 2.0, and KM 2.0 288
Networking Technologies
292
Knowledge Acquisition and Application Tools
Intelligent Filtering Tools 298
Adaptive Technologies
302
297
Strategic Implications of KM Tools and Techniques
303
Practical Implications of KM Tools and Techniques
304
Contents
Key Points
ix
304
Discussion Points
References
9
305
306
Knowledge Management Strategy
Learning Objectives
Introduction
311
311
311
Developing a Knowledge Management Strategy
Knowledge Audit
318
Gap Analysis
322
The KM Strategy Road Map
325
316
Balancing Innovation and Organizational Structure
Types of Knowledge Assets Produced
Key Points
336
Discussion Points
References
10
337
338
The Value of Knowledge Management
Learning Objectives
Introduction
339
362
362
Additional Resources
11
359
360
Discussion Points
References
339
339
KM Return on Investment (ROI) and Metrics 343
The Benchmarking Method
345
The Balanced Scorecard Method
351
The House of Quality Method 354
The Results-Based Assessment Framework
356
Measuring the Success of Communities of Practice
Key Points
328
333
364
Organizational Learning and Organizational Memory
Learning Objectives
Introduction
365
365
365
How Do Organizations Learn and Remember?
368
Frameworks to Assess Organizational Learning and Organizational Memory
The Management of Organizational Memory
370
Organizational Learning
377
The Lessons Learned Process 378
Organizational Learning and Organizational Memory Models
379
369
x
Contents
A Three-Tiered Approach to Knowledge Continuity
Key Points
390
Discussion Points
References
12
391
392
The KM Team
Learning Objectives
Introduction
385
397
397
398
Major Categories of KM Roles
402
Senior Management Roles 403
KM Roles and Responsibilities within Organizations
410
The KM Profession 412
The Ethics of KM 413
Key Points
419
Discussion Points
Note
References
13
420
421
421
Future Challenges for KM
Learning Objectives
Introduction
423
423
424
Political Issues Regarding Internet Search Engines
The Politics of Organizational Context and Culture
Shift to Knowledge-Based Assets
KM Research
A Postmodern KM
446
Concluding Thought
Key Points
14
447
448
Discussion Points
References
449
450
KM Resources
453
The Classics 453
KM for Specific Disciplines
International KM
455
KM Journals
440
442
455
Key Conferences
456
454
427
429
Intellectual Property Issues 433
How to Provide Incentives for Knowledge Sharing
Future Challenges for KM
425
435
Contents
xi
Key Web Sites
457
KM Glossaries
457
KM Case Studies and Examples
KM Case Studies 458
KM Examples
459
KM Wikis
459
KM Blogs
459
Visual Resources 460
YouTube
460
Other Visual Resources
460
Some Useful Tools 460
Other Visual Mapping Tools
Note
460
Glossary
461
Index 477
458
460
Foreword: Can Knowledge Management Survive?
The title of this foreword, “Can Knowledge Management Survive?” is perhaps rather
strange for this second edition of this leading textbook on knowledge management
(KM). However, as the KM field has taught us to be “reflective practitioners,” this
question is worth pondering.
Knowledge management has been around for twenty years or more, in terms of its
growth as a discipline. Even though the roots of knowledge management go back far
beyond that, is knowledge management generally accepted within organizations, and
is KM a lasting field or discipline?
To answer the first question, we can review some anecdotal evidence that suggests
KM is more widely accepted within certain industries than others. Over the years,
the pharmaceutical, energy, aerospace, manufacturing, and legal industries have
perhaps been some of the leaders in KM organizational adoption. In looking toward
the future, the public health and health care fields are certainly well positioned to
leverage knowledge throughout the world. And as the graying workforce ensues and
the baby boomers retire, knowledge retention will continue to play a key role in
many sectors, such as in government, nuclear energy, education, and others. So, KM
has permeated many organizations and has the propensity to propagate to others.
However, there are still many organizations that equate KM to be IT (information
technology), and do not fully grasp the concept of building and nurturing a knowledge sharing culture for promoting innovation. Many organizations do not have KM
seamlessly woven within their fabric, and many organizations do not recognize or
reward their employees for knowledge sharing activities. It is getting harder to find
the title of a “chief knowledge officer” or a “knowledge management director” in
organizations, suggesting two possibilities. The first is that KM is indeed embedded
within the organization’s culture so there is no need to single it out. The second
proposition is that KM has lost its appeal and importance, so there is no need to
have a CKO or equivalent position, especially in these difficult economic times.
xiv
Foreword
Probably, both propositions are true, depending perhaps on the type and nature of
the organization.
So, returning to the first question about KM being widely accepted within today’s
organizations, the jury is still out. It may be simply an awareness issue in order to
show the value-added benefits of KM initiatives. Or it may be that KM was the “management fad of the day” and we are ready to move on. I believe that KM can have
tremendous value to organizations by stimulating creativity and innovation, building
the institutional memory of the firm, enabling agility and adaptability, promoting a
sense of community and belonging, improving organizational internal and external
effectiveness, and contributing toward succession planning and workforce development. KM should be one of the key pillars underpinning a human capital strategy for
the organization. As with anything else, some organizations are leaders and some are
laggards. Those who recognize the importance of KM to the organization’s overarching
vision, mission, and strategy should hopefully be in the winning side of the equation
in the years ahead.
Let us now address the second question posed, “is KM a lasting field?” In other
words, does KM have endurance to stand on its own in the forthcoming years? This
relates back to whether KM is more an art than a science. KM is certainly both, and
as the KM field has developed over the years, an active KM community of both practitioners and researchers has emerged. There are already well over ten international
journals specifically devoted to knowledge management. Worldwide KM conferences
abound, and individuals can take university coursework in knowledge management,
as well as being certified in knowledge management by KM-related professional societies and other organizations. There are funded research projects in knowledge management worldwide, both from basic and applied perspectives. In addition, there are
many KM-related communities of practice established worldwide. So certainly there
is an active group of practitioners and researchers who are trying to put more rigor
behind KM to accentuate the “science” over the “art” in order to give the KM field
lasting legs.
On the other hand, there is the “art” side of KM. Like many fields that draw from
a multidisciplinary approach, especially from the social sciences, there is art along
with the science. Whether KM contributes to “return on vision” versus “return on
investment” indicates some of the difficulty in quantifying KM returns. There certainly
is a “touchy-feely” side to KM, but there is a sound methodological perspective to KM,
too.
Here again, the jury is still out on whether the KM field will last. So what needs to
be done? This is where textbooks such as Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice
Can Knowledge Management Survive?
xv
play an important role. This textbook, in its second edition, marries the theory and
practice of knowledge management; namely, it provides the underlying methodologies for knowledge management design, development, and implementation, as well
as applying these methodologies and techniques in various cases and vignettes sprinkled throughout the book. It addresses my first question of having knowledge management being more widely accepted in organizations by discussing how KM has been
utilized in various industry sectors and organizational settings. The book also emphasizes the “science” behind the “art” in order to address my second question regarding
providing more rigor behind KM so that the field will endure in the years ahead.
Professor Dalkir, a leading KM researcher, educator, and practitioner, uses her
insights and experience to highlight the important areas of knowledge management
in her book. People, culture, process, and technology are key components of knowledge management, and the book provides valuable lessons learned in each area. This
book is well-suited as a reference text for KM practitioners, as well as a textbook for
KM-related courses.
This book, and others, is needed to continue to take the mystique out of KM and
provide the tangible value-added benefits that CEOs and organizations demand. Professor Dalkir should be commended on this new edition, which will hopefully propel
others to be believers in the power of knowledge management. As this happens, the
answers to my two KM questions will be quite obvious! Enjoy!
Jay Liebowitz, D.Sc.
Professor, Carey Business School
Johns Hopkins University
1 Introduction to Knowledge Management
A light bulb in the socket is worth two in the pocket.
—Bill Wolf (1950–2001)
This chapter provides an introduction to the study of knowledge management (KM).
A brief history of knowledge management concepts is outlined, noting that much of
KM existed before the actual term came into popular use. The lack of consensus over
what constitutes a good definition of KM is addressed and the concept analysis technique is described as a means of clarifying the conceptual confusion that still persists
over what KM is or is not. The multidisciplinary roots of KM are enumerated together
with their contributions to the discipline. The two major forms of knowledge, tacit
and explicit, are compared and contrasted. The importance of KM today for individuals, for communities of practice, and for organizations are described together
with the emerging KM roles and responsibilities needed to ensure successful KM
implementations.
Learning Objectives
1. Use a framework and a clear language for knowledge management concepts.
2. Define key knowledge management concepts such as intellectual capital, organizational learning and memory, knowledge taxonomy, and communities of practice
using concept analysis.
3. Provide an overview of the history of knowledge management and identify key
milestones.
4. Describe the key roles and responsibilities required for knowledge management
applications.
2
Chapter 1
Introduction
The ability to manage knowledge is crucial in today’s knowledge economy. The creation and diffusion of knowledge have become increasingly important factors in
competitiveness. More and more, knowledge is being thought of as a valuable commodity that is embedded in products (especially high-technology products) and
embedded in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile employees. While knowledge is
increasingly being viewed as a commodity or intellectual asset, there are some paradoxical characteristics of knowledge that are radically different from other valuable
commodities. These knowledge characteristics include the following:

Using knowledge does not consume it.

Transferring knowledge does not result in losing it.

Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce.

Much of an organization’s valuable knowledge walks out the door at the end of the
day.
The advent of the Internet, the World Wide Web, has made unlimited sources of
knowledge available to us all. Pundits are heralding the dawn of the Knowledge Age
supplanting the Industrial Era. Forty-five years ago, nearly half of all workers in
industrialized countries were making or helping to make things. By the year 2000,
only 20 percent of workers were devoted to industrial work—the rest was knowledge
work (Drucker 1994; Barth 2000). Davenport (2005, p. 5) says about knowledge
workers that “at a minimum, they comprise a quarter of the U.S. workforce, and at
a maximum about half.” Labor-intensive manufacturing with a large pool of relatively
cheap, relatively homogenous labor and hierarchical management has given way to
knowledge-based organizations. There are fewer people who need to do more work.
Organizational hierarchies are being put aside as knowledge work calls for more collaboration. A firm only gains sustainable advances from what it collectively knows,
how efficiently it uses what it knows, and how quickly it acquires and uses new
knowledge (Davenport and Prusak 1998). An organization in the Knowledge Age is
one that learns, remembers, and acts based on the best available information, knowledge, and know-how.
All of these developments have created a strong need for a deliberate and systematic
approach to cultivating and sharing a company’s knowledge base—one populated
with valid and valuable lessons learned and best practices. In other words, in order to
be successful in today’s challenging organizational environment, companies need to
learn from their past errors and not reinvent the wheel. Organizational knowledge is
Introduction to Knowledge Management
3
not intended to replace individual knowledge but to complement it by making it
stronger, more coherent, and more broadly applied. Knowledge management represents a deliberate and systematic approach to ensure the full utilization of the
organization’s knowledge base, coupled with the potential of individual skills, competencies, thoughts, innovations, and ideas to create a more efficient and effective
organization.
Increasingly, companies will differentiate themselves on the basis of what they know. A relevant
variation on Sidney Winter’s definition of a business firm as an organization that knows how to do
things would define a business firm that thrives over the next decade as an organization that knows
how to do new things well and quickly. (Davenport and Prusak 1998, 13)
Knowledge management was initially defined as the process of applying a systematic approach to the capture, structuring, management, and dissemination of knowledge throughout an organization to work faster, reuse best practices, and reduce costly
rework from project to project (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Pasternack and Viscio
1998; Pfeffer and Sutton, 1999; Ruggles and Holtshouse, 1999). KM is often characterized by a pack rat approach to content: “save it, it may prove useful some time in the
future.” Many documents tend to be warehoused, sophisticated search engines are
then used to try to retrieve some of this content, and fairly large-scale and costly KM
systems are built. Knowledge management solutions have proven to be most successful
in the capture, storage, and subsequent dissemination of knowledge that has been
rendered explicit—particularly lessons learned and best practices.
The focus of intellectual capital management (ICM), on the other hand, is on those
pieces of knowledge that are of business value to the organization—referred to as intellectual capital or assets. Stewart (1997) defines intellectual capital as “organized knowledge that can be used to produce wealth.” While some of these assets are more visible
(e.g., patents, intellectual property), the majority consists of know-how, know-why,
experience, and expertise that tends to reside within the head of one or a few employees (Klein 1998; Stewart 1997). ICM is characterized less by content—because content
is filtered and judged, and only the best ideas re inventoried (the top ten for example).
ICM content tends to be more representative of the real thinking of individuals (contextual information, opinions, stories) because of its focus on actionable knowledge
and know-how. The outcome is less costly endeavors and a focus on learning (at the
individual, community, and organizational levels) rather than on the building of
systems.
A good definition of knowledge management would incorporate both the capturing
and storing of knowledge perspective, together with the valuing of intellectual assets.
For example:
4
Chapter 1
Knowledge management is the deliberate and systematic coordination of an
people, technology, processes, and organizational structure in order to add value
and innovation. This is achieved through the promotion of creating, sharing,
knowledge as well as through the feeding of valuable lessons learned and best
corporate memory in order to foster continued organizational learning.
organization’s
through reuse
and applying
practices into
When asked, most executives will state that their greatest asset is the knowledge
held by their employees. “When employees walk out the door, they take valuable
organizational knowledge with them” (Lesser and Prusak 2001, 1). Managers also
invariably add that they have no idea how to manage this knowledge! Using the intellectual capital or asset approach, it is essential to identify knowledge that is of value
and is also at risk of being lost to the organization through retirement, turnover, and
competition.. As Lesser and Prusak (2001, 1) note: “The most knowledgeable employees often leave first.” In addition, the selective or value-based knowledge management
approach should be a three-tiered one, that is, it should also be applied to three organizational levels: the individual, the group or community, and the organization itself.
The best way to retain valuable knowledge is to identify intellectual assets and then
ensure legacy materials are produced and subsequently stored in such a way as to make
their future retrieval and reuse as easy as possible (Stewart 2000). These tangible byproducts need to flow from individual to individual, between members of a community of practice and, of course, back to the organization itself, in the form of lessons
learned, best practices, and corporate memory.
Many knowledge management efforts have been largely concerned with capturing,
codifying, and sharing the knowledge held by people in organizations. Although there
is still a lack of consensus over what constitutes a good definition of KM (see next
section), there is widespread agreement as to the goals of an organization that undertakes KM. Nickols (2000) summarizes this as follows: “the basic aim of knowledge
management is to leverage knowledge to the organization’s advantage.” Some of
management’s motives are obvious: the loss of skilled people through turnover, pressure to avoid reinventing the wheel, pressure for organization-wide innovations in
processes as well as products, managing risk, and the accelerating rate with which new
knowledge is being created. Some typical knowledge management objectives would
be to:

Facilitate a smooth transition from those retiring to their successors who are recruited
to fill their positions

Minimize loss of corporate memory due to attrition and retirement

Identify critical resources and critical areas of knowledge so that the corporation
knows what it knows and does well—and why
Introduction to Knowledge Management

5
Build up a toolkit of methods that can be used with individuals, with groups, and

with the organization to stem the potential loss of intellectual capital
What Is Knowledge Management?
An informal survey conducted by the author identified over a hundred published
definitions of knowledge management and of these, at least seventy-two could be
considered to be very good! Carla O’Dell has gathered over sixty definitions and has
developed a preliminary classification scheme for the definitions on her KM blog (see
http://blog.simslearningconnections.com/?p=279) and what this indicates is that KM
is a multidisciplinary field of study that covers a lot of ground. This should not be
surprising as applying knowledge to work is integral to most business activities.
However, the field of KM does suffer from the “Three Blind Men and an Elephant”
syndrome. In fact, there are likely more than three distinct perspectives on KM, and
each leads to a different extrapolation and a different definition.
Here are a few sample definitions of knowledge management from the business
perspective:
Strategies and processes designed to identify, capture, structure, value, leverage, and share an
organization’s intellectual assets to enhance its performance and competitiveness. It is based on
two critical activities: (1) capture and documentation of individual explicit and tacit knowledge,
and (2) its dissemination within the organization. (The Business Dictionary, http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/knowledge-management.html)
Knowledge management is a collaborative and integrated approach to the creation, capture,
organization, access, and use of an enterprise’s intellectual assets. (Grey 1996)
Knowledge management is the process by which we manage human centered assets . . . the
function of knowledge management is to guard and grow knowledge owned by individuals, and
where possible, transfer the asset into a form where it can be more readily shared by other
employees in the company. (Brooking 1999, 154)
Further definitions come from the intellectual or knowledge asset perspective:
Knowledge management consists of “leveraging intellectual assets to enhance organizational
performance.” (Stankosky 2008)
Knowledge management develops systems and processes to acquire and share intellectual assets.
It increases the generation of useful, actionable, and meaningful information, and seeks to
increase both individual and team learning. In addition, it can maximize the value of an organization’s intellectual base across diverse functions and disparate locations. Knowledge management maintains that successful businesses are a collection not of products but of distinctive
knowledge bases. This intellectual capital is the key that will give the company a competitive
6
Chapter 1
advantage with its targeted customers. Knowledge management seeks to accumulate intellectual
capital that will create unique core competencies and lead to superior results. (Rigby 2009)
A definition from the cognitive science or knowledge science perspective:
Knowledge—the insights, understandings, and practical know-how that we all possess—is the
fundamental resource that allows us to function intelligently. Over time, considerable knowledge
is also transformed to other manifestations—such as books, technology, practices, and traditions—within organizations of all kinds and in society in general. These transformations result
in cumulated [sic] expertise and, when used appropriately, increased effectiveness. Knowledge is
one, if not THE, principal factor that makes personal, organizational, and societal intelligent
behavior possible. (Wiig 1993)
Two diametrically opposed schools of thought arise from the library and information science perspective: the first sees very little distinction between information
management and knowledge management, as shown by these two definitions:
KM is predominantly seen as information management by another name (semantic drift).
(Davenport and Cronin 2000, 1)
Knowledge management is one of those concepts that librarians take time to assimilate, only to
reflect ultimately “on why other communities try to colo

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