Knowledge management is the development of the capability of an organization by a series of professional practices, processes and practices to identify, value, capture, and disseminates the organizations intellectual assets in order for an organizations competitiveness and capacity to improve. The process of knowledge Management has two activities; these are the capturing and documentation of information, and dissemination of knowledge within an organization. This information is documented and stored in libraries. The benefit of knowledge management is that the data stored can be retrieved by employees in an organization, and this builds a culture of knowledge sharing. In a lot with new employees replacing the old and experienced employees in the job places, the library generates exceptional value from the knowledge based assets. The knowledge falls into two broad categories: either tacit or explicit knowledge (Wallace 19). The tacit knowledge deals with the personally acquired knowledge contained in people either from experience or from research.
The principle feature of this form of knowledge is that the information is personal and in various instances difficult to retrieve and in instances where the knowledge is to be disseminated the people have to be transferred like knowledge carriers. In this view learning occurs in conferences seminars or any other instance where people gather and share ideas and develop insights that lead to creation of more knowledge. The other form of knowledge in an organization is the explicit knowledge as mention earlier. In this form, of knowledge individuals can be able to precisely articulate useful knowledge. This kind of approach to knowledge management insists that knowledge can be transferred through documents, manuals, drawings Internet and intranet. The knowledge is gathered through scientific means of experimentation, observations, critical analysis and the documented as part of general knowledge (King 18). The benefits earned from knowledge management are directly related to bottom-line savings, innovations in an organization and improved service to clients by the free flow of ideas and a streamlined response time.
The four pillars of knowledge management are leadership, organization, learning and technology. In today’s dynamic business environment, leadership develops the business by conducting business analysis and establishes goals giving priority to the objectives (Stankosky 18). The leadership is also responsible in implementing strategies. This requires a leader who can be able to provide dedicated and strong leadership for the organization to remain competitive and to remain viable in the changing business environment. In a business environment, this pillar provides innovations to provide solutions to existing challenges. The leader evaluates performance, develops staff, initiates team building and ensures the organization satisfies the customers.
The second pillar is organization. This functions to organize the values of knowledge management. The operations of an organization must be in line with the vision of the organization while still redesigning the business and identifying key components of change. For a growing and changing business, knowledge management has to be integrated into the operational process. This pillar is critical in identifying new business ventures and associated risks.
The technology pillar collects and connects knowledge to enhance accessibility (Mcnabb 48). To collect knowledge the management has to effective deploy intelligent agents to exploit technologies. For efficient business management and functioning all the infrastructure and tools to support knowledge management in the business has to be provided. If an organization lacks the technology to access, search, retrieve and disseminate relevant information to groups and individuals. The information acquired is used to solve or recommend solutions and then integrating with the business processes. To identify the best technological product to use the enterprise define the objectives and requirements of the knowledge management then march it with the product that will effectively meet them.
The integration of best tools and processes cannot achieve without creating a learning culture. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skill by experience, study or, by instruction. The management ought to encourage continuous learning of both tacit and explicit knowledge (Wallace 203). The methods used to support this pillar in a business environment are: encouraging knowledge sharing acquisition and recognition and rewarding innovations. Learning is a continuous process by the break of the day there are a new business processes, new products, and other things that emerge in a dynamic environment.
In a competitive business environment where new products and services arise and new processes arise. There is a need of sustainable development and innovations. This is only achieved by knowledge management in a business organization. For instance, the employees would need to acquire both tacit and explicit knowledge, for the business to develop in innovative mind. Creating an innovative vulture in the business supports growth of the business and also to diversify on business opportunities.
For example, to operate in a software developing company, knowledge management is vital since this is a diverse field of venture. The leadership pillar should efficiently establish clear goals and objectives for the company the next step is to develop a work plan for the achievement of the already laid down goals. This is the pillar that views the entire company as a whole, and provides resources for software development. The creativity and continuous evaluation keeps the business competitive. This kind of business is associated with numerous values and risks the organizational pillar functions to access these risks and provide strategies on how to overcome them. In terms of technology there is always alternative methods of accomplishing a task, the best alternative should be selected to deliver the best results.
There ought to be sufficient technology to collect and disseminate knowledge to employees and the entire organization. This is done because the needs of the audience of whom the products are made for are dynamic and also the competitors in the field of the venture are continuously emerging with new products and prices. Lastly learning is encouraged as a channel of passing information within the company. Continuous learning is enhanced by creation of an accessible library, seminars and workshops. When the software development staff is well equipped with the knowledge they are able to come up with solutions and innovations that may even lead to development of a new venture.
Innovation is the process by which a new product or service is developed from an idea. The result of an innovation is replicable for economical gains and still is of value to the inventor and to the audience it is developed for. This involves the application of knowledge to tap imaginations and develop them to products or services using available resources. Innovations in a business organization are developed in the effort to reduce the gap that exists between customers’ needs or expectations and the company’s actual products.
Innovation goes hand in hand with knowledge management in a company. In a software development company, innovations are required to earn a company a competitive advantage. The first step is for the leadership to facilitate a comprehensive research in the value of the existing products and on ways to develop them. Therefore research is vital in any innovation to sustain a business in the present volatile national and global market. Focusing on knowledge management, company is able to close the gap between academic disciplines by knowledge acquisition and dissemination. This will play a great role in exploiting the present capabilities and practices to serve as a platform to new business opportunities. Research, technical and scientific ideas are validated through a review process in the company where peers meeting once in a month to brainstorm.
Employees at the company are also encouraged to utilize the internet as a means of communication and to access information. The knowledge is either externally acquired or shared internally, although the externally acquired knowledge is the one mostly associated with the innovative culture in a company. To sustain industrial development adoption and implementation of Information Technology in the business is essential. The computer related industry has undergone drastic development in the past years. Therefore to remain in the arena it is indispensable to keep re-inventing the existing products. The computer technology industry being the most rapidly developing industry, the company must hence carry out a thorough research to invent software that is customer friendly.
Also when making an invention the organization must also put in mind the present economic inflation, the company should be well informed of the customer’s demands. The other pillar of knowledge management is learning of tacit knowledge and since this form of knowledge cannot be expressed formal writing, the best way of its transfer is by socialization. The staff is allowed to mingle and share their knowledge in informal talks. The other way to acquire such knowledge is by hiring new staff with distinguished knowledge into the company. Lastly both knowledge management as discussed earlier and innovation have the same objective, which is to yield super performance and to maintain a competitive advantage.
The organizational culture is the experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and values of an organization that have been acquired over time through social learning (Hernandez & O’Connor 107). This culture plays a role in controlling how individuals and groups of people in an organization, and outside an organization interact with each other. On the other hand organizational cultures are the hardest to change. In the incidence that a culture has to change in an organization the employees need time to familiarize them to the new process of organization. Organizational culture functions at three levels as discussed below.
Culture controls human behavior in an organization, these members of the same institution act in the same way even when they are of diverse backgrounds. The culture controls human behavior by certain mechanisms. The first mechanism is by social norms, the most basic of all. The norms dictate general expectations from an individual of a group. These expectations make interactions within an organization to be pleasant and ensure harmony within various departments. It is worth to note that such peripheral norms do not affect the functioning. The norms that affect the functioning of an organization are those that encompass and represent behaviors that are essential to the functioning of the group.
If an individual violates these norms he is either expelled from important group functions or altogether expelled from the group. In knowledge management organizational culture influences innovation and creativity within an organization. The culture of an organization communicates to the people concerned by values, norms, symbols and language. This is pivotal to the functionality of the organization since culture cannot easily be changed. If the culture is positive it actually supplements the rational management. The other important role that it plays is in the induction of new entrants into the organization. This induction is facilitated by socializing and indoctrinating them into the general expectations of the organization, its values and norms, and any other undefined conduct. The attitudes and conceptions of the newcomers are changed, to an internal system common in the organization.
At times the organization has to share stories of the founders and organizational heroes with the newcomers to provide them with an insight on the expectations. With an organization there exist sub-cultures that are based on the department activities, geographical location and particular groups in an organization. They serve to strengthen the established management practices and also to promote inventions. Communication strategy in planning of knowledge management, attempts to establish an informed base to enhance both internal and external flow of information. The management determines the contents of the information to be disseminated and the groups it is designed to serve.
To mitigate undesirable conditions, leaders should make a deliberate effort to train and model the employees to internalize on a desirable perception. Those employees, who perform in line with the organizational expectations, be rewarded and given influential status. In knowledge management, for an institution to attain the desired objectives the leadership pillar should provide a clear cut road map to success. After providing a work plan the next thing is for the leadership to be lead by actions. This sends a powerful message that results to modification and improvement of negative culture. For leaders to influence their organizations, formal statements are formulated to be a reminder of the organizations vision, mission and objectives.