Knowledge Management Strategies in Organization

The proposed research question will benefit the business community because it will identify the current problems in modern organizations and propose new solutions for knowledge management. Also, the paper will evaluate current literature on the topic and choose the best strategies for modem workplaces. It is recognized that knowledge Management (KM) is the process that has evolved during the last two decades of our century. The modern definition of knowledge management can be formulated in the following manner: Knowledge Management (KM) is the process that is based on the use of artificial intelligence and the other concepts that can be learned by machines. The paper will concentrate on technological solutions and the implementation of information technology in the KM environment. It is difficult to find a definition of KM since it is difficult to define exactly what constitutes knowledge in the first place. KM can be summarized as the process through which organizations can generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets. Knowledge will bring the following benefits for the organization:

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  1. Decreased costs
  2. Saved time
  3. Improved quality
  4. Improved sales

The process of generating value from the knowledge is very complicated first of all because it involves both people and technology components. The components are gathered together to develop best practices about the whole issue.

Knowledge management teaches people how to generate value from our assets that are available to them. The above-mentioned steps are very important for the general functionality knowledge management system. Taking the above-mentioned steps in the required field to make the most of our spatially enabled systems and processes. The measure is taken to justify business change programs that are centered on knowledge management (Davenport and Prusak 1998). Practically, knowledge management is the combination of the data and information contained in databases with the heuristic applications of human thought.

The introduction of technology of knowledge management practice brings many profits for any business. Usually, improvement starts with defining the main strategic problems faced by the organization (Child, 2005). The other aspects that are taken into consideration while improving the performance of the organization include improved customer service, improved reliability, and the improvement of business practices. The division into categories is based on the careful consideration of the following areas:

Decrease Costs Save Time Improve Quality Increase Sales
1. Reuse
products
(methods,
Business
Process,
templates)
2. Learning from
failures (not
repeating costly
mistakes)
3.Faster
Integration of
New
Employees
(reduces time to
billable)
4.Reduced
Training Costs
5.Reduced Sales
1. Avoid
redundant
work
2. Faster
access
3. Optimize
communica
tion &
collaboration
1. Leverage world-wide
competence
2. Best practices &
Quality solutions
3. Faster innovation
Through Quality Methods
1. Higher Average
hourly rate – better
qualified
2. Improved billability by reducing Business
Development
3. Remote access for
sales
4. Selling Knowledge
Management knows how to customers

The major processes in the knowledge process included the following:

  1. Capturing and leveraging knowledge from consulting engagements;
  2. Having every consultant contribute to the firm’s stock of knowledge;

The application of the new strategy has led to dramatic changes within the company. The first step taken by the company was the creation of different knowledge-oriented organizations that existed within the consulting practice (Moore, 2001).

Knowledge managers hold to the idea that knowledge primarily resides in people, not technology. As for the scope and geographical distribution of the knowledge base, it should be used as an enabler of the changes within the system. The main focus of the company was the extension of the common technology platform. The other objective of the company was putting knowledge, models, tools, and techniques into the Accelerated Solutions Environment. In addition, knowledge managers expected that the ASE has all tools to become the primary vehicle for the application of knowledge to client work. The company also organized the consulting with the ASE technology environment, while the Center for Business Knowledge developed the knowledge objects, frameworks, and techniques (Tiwana, 2005).

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Modern organizations demand professional employees able to master new knowledge and skills all their life. Knowledge workers are a unique group of employees who possesses the ability to interpret, use and apply information in new and specific areas of organizational performance (Stacey, 2005). Competence, in this case, refers to one’s capabilities for organizing and effectively using cognitive, social, and behavioral knowledge to achieve one’s purposes and goals at work. Competence is not something that a worker either has or does not have, such as specific knowledge, skills, or abilities. Goals, interests, values, and attitudes influence how one organizes one’s resources for mastering the problems and challenges encountered in life. Every knowledge worker has a level of competence that has been developed in diverse ways and to varying degrees (Tiwana, 2005).

For knowledge workers, the autonomy principle is important because it means that, while the external environment plays an important role in competence development, knowledge workers are not simply the products of their environments or workplaces. Rather, knowledge workers have the potential for managing and changing the course of their organizations. At the same time, it is clear that the roles knowledge workers play in the different organizations in which they act exert strong influences on actions. Such corporations as IBM and Apple are the two best examples of ideal knowledge workers workplaces. Information technology is the main sphere of business for both companies, so knowledge workers have unlimited possibilities to apply their professional knowledge in unique settings. The development of Apple’s iPod and IBM RDBMS are examples of such knowledge development (Tiwana, 2005).

The feedback or messages knowledge workers get concerning how well their actions are meeting goals also play a role in influencing their behavior. Knowledge workers develop greater competence as a result of the experience we acquire through ongoing activities in environments. So, the best place for foreknowledge workers is an innovative and entrepreneur company able to understand and accept innovations proposed by its knowledge workers. Still, the direct experience remains an important element in learning throughout professional lives, and knowledge workers can do without it only if their level of competence development has reached a degree of elaboration that permits a cognitive acquisition of new meanings (Redpath et al 2007). In short, knowledge workers need the stimulation or purpose to motivate them to develop unique competencies as well as the freedom to learn and grow and access to the support and organizational resources to help them succeed. The chance to acquire cultural meanings is a matter of how access to the cultural store is distributed among members of the organizational culture. Company is one major way in which access to knowledge workers meanings is distributed in most societies (Tiwana, 2005).

Knowledge workers need autonomy and independence to apply their knowledge and skills into practice. Two principles of work design in particular — opportunities for ongoing learning and development and opportunities for self-governed action — are constantly associated with better organizational performance. These two principles are associated with higher productivity, quality, and other measures of effective project performance (Madanmohan, 2004). The successful implementation of knowledge management is attributed to the activities of the Center for Business Knowledge (CBK). The Center should be responsible for a database of the skills possessed by consultants. In addition, the members of the CBK group were working on the implementation of a new model for evaluating and describing competencies. The competencies were used to enter into a new information system from PeopleSoft (Kucza and Komi-Sirvio 2001).

An organization has to change its approach to knowledge management thus introducing significant changes into the way the organization has been managed. Embedding knowledge in technology has also brought many changes to the supporting environment. As a result, many of the technology options show the tendency to change rapidly. The major challenge encountered by the company was to accommodate the changing technology to some types of consulting knowledge. Building relationships with senior client executives is a process that can be described as rather tacit (Frame, 2002).

The transaction to knowledge management technology is not that easy. The company has to overcome quite a big number of challenges. The main source of the problem was rather a problematic situation with knowledge management. Though good in general, the system still had weak spots. The main dilemma was concerned with the company’s culture that was traditionally based on pragmatism and experience rather than a conceptual orientation. Also, there was a strong need for the structural changes that should have been introduced into the company (Frame, 2002).

The knowledge management system is not usually welcomed by the workers of the company. The situation is reasoned by the fact that many workers have got used to working according to the rules of the old system. Also, many workers found it particularly difficult to pursue structured knowledge patterns in the process of working with systems and documents. To summarize, the implementation of knowledge management can be described as rather successful. Some of the problems occurred because of workers’ orientation on the traditional pattern of work rather than that suggested by knowledge management (Card, 2001).

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Any company should recognize that effective management and leadership are envisioning what the company must do to prosper. Training programs are often used by companies to improve the skills and knowledge of employees and improve their productivity. Personal development plans and programs need effective leadership and support to lead and motivate employees. Leadership style enables a person to be accepted by others. To deal with this problem, many different approaches have been employed in the search for ways that encompass effective leadership. Giving up on the trait method, critics turned their attention to observing what effective leaders do (Madanmohan, 2004).

The training initiatives often manifest themselves in very cohesive teams affording greater productivity. The leader is often referred to as the manager that holds the productive work team together. The tighter the team is held together, the more productive the team should be. To improve the cohesiveness of the work team there are many things the effective leader should do. Just like team formation, team conflict, earlier on, was also believed to be of no benefit whatsoever to an organization and was to be prevented at any cost. However, we now realize that team conflict is also inevitable and on some occasions can be beneficial to the greater well-being of the organization. While it is still a good course of action to prevent misunderstanding when it does arise the effective leader needs to understand the nature and the causes of the conflict and then choose an appropriate action to deal with it. Effective motivation will help managers and leaders to improve productivity and ensure effective training. Another facet of transmitting messages, which is as equally important to effective communication as is the selection of the medium, is the direction of the medium. An effective communicator will focus on the desired outcomes of the message and then envision possible consequences to the direction of the message. For example, to accomplish a particular goal, a trainee might be well-advised to communicate the message upwardly into the organization to enlist the support of top management (Schuler, 1998). In other situations, it may be more prudent to communicate the message down to one’s employees to obtain the feasibility of accomplishing a particular task before approaching top managements being unprepared for their questions. After the medium and direction of the message have been selected, the sender then transmits the message. Upon receipt of the transmission, the receiver will then begin the image reproduction process (Madanmohan, 2004).

The effective communicator will not allow the communication process to terminate here. He or she will elicit feedback to ascertain to what extent the original image transmitted is the image that the receiver reproduced. The task of the leader is to ensure that everyone is involved in a chance and their voices are heard by the project managers. Painstakingly the leader and the manager are obliged to review many details, exploring all available scenarios, trying to prepare a plan that should ensure a successful implementation of the new system. The leader sees himself answering the many objections to making the main change, especially from those subordinates most directly affected. The willingness and competency of a leader play a crucial role in training and change implementation programs (Madanmohan, 2004).

What evolved from the difficulties experienced with these two-dimensional models is an “it depends” clarification for effective leadership. There are times when the situation calls for a lot of concern for the subordinates, for example, in developing methods to implement major change. It is a currently held belief that the key to effective leadership exists not within the leader or in what the leader does per se, but within the situation (Kucza and Komi-Sirvio 2001). The situation dictates what an effective leader should do. Therefore, the effective leader is an individual who can accurately assess the demands contingent in the situation and act accordingly by creating images of potential actions and results that fit the demands of a critical situation (Schuler 1998). As the human resource professional responsible for the training and development at your organization, it is important that you consider different situations when you design leadership workshops. You should develop many different scenarios that will allow trainees to experience a multitude of varied leadership behaviors. Consider the following scripts which will illustrate two opposed leadership styles (Tiwana, 2005).

During the training program itself, it will be crucial t sustain the interest and show the expertise and professionalism of the leader/manager. The main leadership strategies required for effective training program implementation are competency, willingness, collaboration, Let assume that a leader has to help update the organization’s master information system. In particular, the organization wants to ensure adequate attention to the HR aspects of the intended changes (Tiwana, 2005).

The next step is to set goals and strategies for employees. To be an effective manager, a person must have an idea of where one wants to go and where one wants to be. To do this, an effective manager must anticipate the future so that his or her organization may play a role in that future, rather than being subject to it. When envisioning the future, one should attempt to see what new opportunities will be there that will allow their organization to prosper and to grow. Though, the extra time spent will pay benefits in time saved later on in not having to correct the problems that arise from ineffective communication. In this script, feedback has been asked for in an indirect way that did not belittle the receiver. In addition, the opportunity to make suggestions enhanced the receiver’s sense of self-worth and provided some valuable new ideas. It took more time on the part of the manager to envision the communication process in his mind, but the probability of success for the project has been dramatically improved. This training program accomplishes at least two main functions. It makes people more aware of the communication process that, in and of itself, should have some impact on improving communication effectiveness. The key task of knowledge management technology is concerned with the development of a knowledge architecture and taxonomy. The purpose of this architecture is to focus on knowledge acquisition and retrieval efforts. In this case, knowledge management efforts proved to be rather beneficial. When speaking about the knowledge management process, one has to focus on the analysis of specific domains where knowledge management was introduced. When properly used the knowledge architecture can be successfully used by consultants and knowledge facilitators.

References

  1. Card, David. (2001). “What Makes a Software Measure Successful.” American Programmer. September.
  2. Child, J. (2005), Organization: contemporary principles and practice. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
  3. Davenport, T. and Prusak, L. (1998), Working Knowledge: How organizations manage what they know?, Harvard Business School Press,.
  4. Frame, J.D. (2002). The New Project Management: Tools for an Age of Rapid Change, Complexity, and Other Business Realities. Jossey-Bass.
  5. Kucza, T. Komi-Sirvio, S. (2001). Utilising Knowledge Management in Software Process Improvement – The Creation of a Knowledge Management Process Model. ICE.
  6. Madanmohan, R. (2004). Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques: Practitioners and Experts Evaluate KM Solutions. Butterworth-Heinemann; 1 edition.
  7. Moore, C. (2001). “Tapping knowledge”, InfoWorld. Framingham.
  8. Redpath, L. Hurst, D., Devine, K. (2007). Contingent Knowledge Worker Challenges. Human Resource Planning, 30 (1), 43.
  9. Stacey, R. (2005). Strategic management and Organizational Dynamics, 2 ed., London, Pitman.
  10. Tiwana, A. (2005). Knowledge Management Toolkit, The: Practical Techniques for Building a Knowledge Management System. Pearson Education.
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