Table of Contents
1-Table of Figures
i: The Wiig Knowledge Management Cycle
ii: Knowledge Management in Educational Organizations
1-Table of Figures
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Knowledge Management (KM) is a fundamental asset in any organization, although intangible, it is the intellectual investment. It is the main drive for innovation and development. KM is a process by which an organization improves its business performance by means of developing, storing, and disseminating information. In order to remain competitive, organizations need to control the knowledge they have to be transformed into learning organizations.
Knowledge Management also helps organizations in organizing and transferring essential information and expertise needed in problem solving and decision making to improve the organizations’ effectiveness. (Aronson, 2000).
Knowledge management is as critical in the educational organizations as in other fields. Educational for organizations are learning environments by nature and require arrangement and dissemination of knowledge for better improvement in performance and objectives.
What is Knowledge and Knowledge Management?
What is the relevance of Knowledge Management to educational organizations?
The term “Knowledge” is used on daily basis to define either wisdom or to refer to the information we have, the term is connected to another two concepts: data and information. Mainly knowledge and information are identical in the field of information technology when knowledge is defined as a type of information that has an objective. However, knowledge is recently distinguished from data which is merely a collection of facts, figures and information which is a structured, categorized, and digitalized stored data. Knowledge is defined as a more complicated mixture that synthesis experience, information, skills, understanding, the know-how, and the insights.
“Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, expert insight, and grounded intuition that provides an environment and framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.” (Hajric, 2018).
There are two types of knowledge: The explicit and the tacit knowledge. The explicit knowledge is easy to store, codify and modify. It is the know-what of any organization, while the tacit knowledge is the know-how which is based on personal experience and hard to transfer or store. (Hajric, 2018).
FIGURE 1: FROM DATA TO KNOWLEDGE (Sharma, 2016)
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Recent developments in knowledge management have heightened the need for utilizing KM in any organization. Knowledge Management is defined as making the right knowledge accessible to the right person at the suitable time. It is about turning the organization to a learning environment.
“Knowledge Management is the systematic management of an organization’s knowledge assets for the purpose of creating value and meeting tactical and strategic requirements.” (Hajric, 2018).
Nowadays, as the world is getting more global and more connected, knowledge became an essential factor of communication and a crucial element in the professional development of organizations, and the improvement of any business. Also knowledge enhances productivity and the acquisition of values for individuals and organizations. (Mohajan, 2017).
The present time worldwide competition in business entitles companies to making less errors in order to compete with their rivals in the market. However, companies differ in their capabilities to attain the conventional aimed at outcome of an affordable project with fast development and high quality. (D. Stenholm, 2014).
The objective of making less errors could be attained through knowledge; however, time given to acquiring and applying knowledge is noticeably not enough. The outcome of any project is not only the responsibility of management, it is the result of how knowledgeable the project members are. (D. Stenholm, 2014).
Nevertheless, members in organizations tend to leave at some point of time with the individual knowledge they have either by retiring or resigning. This leads to lost knowledge in case of facing certain problems and when decisions need to be made.
However, the concept that organizations learn from their errors is highly doubtful; when the outcome of a project is different from the objective, the organization is supposed to learn from failure by employees reflecting which nurtures learning and capturing knowledge.(D. Stenholm, 2014).
Although knowledge is considered lately as an asset for any organization, it is differently characterized from other assets in the way that knowledge isn’t consumed, neither its usage or transfer leads to losing it. Likewise, knowledge is plentiful but rarely used in the right way, and knowledge lies in the employees’ experience more than in digital database.
“An organization in the knowledge age is one that learns, remembers, and acts based on the best available information, knowledge and know-how”. (Dalkir, 2011).
Organizational knowledge doesn’t mean to ignore the individual knowledge, but to complete and collaborate with it making it more powerful and applicable. Knowledge management tends to ensure that all the knowledge is fully used, innovated, and efficiently applied. It is also the coordination of employees, technology, managers and customers to add more value to the organization through the best practices and the lessons learned from errors. (Dalkir, 2011).
According to Dalkir, Knowledge Management is a subject of “The Three Blind Men and an Elephant” syndrome. (Dalkir, 2011).There are three different aspects of KM which lead to three different definitions.
First, the business aspect in which knowledge is the explicit component of business like strategies, policies and practices, with the connection between both tacit and explicit sides.
Second, the knowledge science aspect deals with the practical knowledge that we have and apply which is transferred overtime to books, traditions and practices and which is considered the expertise or the know-how that makes personal and social communication possible.
Third, the technology aspect where digital information is turned into personal knowledge that could be applied and transferred. (Dalkir, 2011).
“As the world becomes more interconnected and business becomes more complex and dynamic, work must become more “learningful.” It is no longer sufficient to have one person learning for the organization. The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization.” (M.Senge, 2006).
The key to success of any organization lies in the ability of the organization to create business knowledge and sharing this knowledge with those who need it.
Globalization made organizations establish many branches in different countries, and the way to communicate business among these different locations would be a pool of well utilized knowledge or information to manage the production and figure out solutions for problems that may occur because of difference in time and distance. (Bowman, 2002).
The knowledge management system’s network attempts at building repositories for knowledge by defining and categorizing whatever knowledge related to the organization, then classifying the owners of knowledge to create a kind of data base directory to help knowledge searchers in the organization. This network has tools for communication to distribute knowledge for better sharing.
However, a network based on defining, sharing, and storing knowledge is only dealing with explicit knowledge which is the experience and innate knowledge of some members. (Bowman, 2002).
Therefore, in order to conceptualize, explicit knowledge needs to be captured and collected, then connecting it to people. Nevertheless, there are some assumptions about conceptualizing explicit knowledge that are not all correct.
The correct assumptions are that knowledge is one of the main assets of an organization and needed to be acquired, created, and utilized. (Dixon, 2018).
However, there are some assumptions that are partially correct like the ability to manage knowledge. Actually, there is no such thing as the “best practice” which the employees seek. They only seek knowledge that they need at a certain issue.
The totally incorrect assumptions fall into the concept that knowledge is unchangeable, what is the best practice today can be totally altered tomorrow for the sake of improvement.
Also the misconception that there is a best way to do any task, as tasks are subject for endless modifications. Besides, not all knowledge needed for doing a job could be found written because there is much knowledge captured from others’ expertise. (Dixon, 2018).
In order to improve the organizations’ knowledge data base to get the required knowledge to the people who need it, a knowledge management cycle is needed to transfer information which is digital to knowledge which is more of a people property. (Dalkir, 2011).
Any Knowledge Management Cycle starts with identifying what type of knowledge is needed, planning how to acquire it, who needs to know what, then applying knowledge till it becomes tacit after being explicit, and finally dispose the unneeded knowledge.
- Quote paper
- Heba Ahmed (Author), 2020, The Relevance of Knowledge Management to Educational Organizations, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/988305