Issues in Knowledge Management - The American University in Cairo

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Nov 6, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Issues in Knowledge
Management

Dr Sherif Kamel

The American University in Cairo

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Outline

Introduction

Knowledge management definition

Data, information and knowledge

Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge

Knowledge Management
-

An Evolving Concept

Managing Knowledge



Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Introduction

Ernst and Young Knowledge Management system

Intranet allows 82000 in global organization share leading
practices and intelligence


Allows access to 1200 internal knowledge bases and external
sources


Software tools facilitate search process (including unasked for
information that may be relevant)


Center for Business Knowledge includes subject matter experts at
strategic locations worldwide


they foster strategic thinking and
package knowledge for assimilation


Believe KM efforts have contributed to firm’s success (how to
measure?)

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Knowledge Management Definition

Seeks to collect, organize, and distribute knowledge to
leverage its value collectively across the organization

Many seek to gather and store information

Some do not study whether and how employees use it

KM includes the processes necessary to capture, codify,
and transfer knowledge in order to achieve competitive
advantage

Value is minimized if knowledge is not shared beyond individual
and/or workgroup

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Knowledge Management Definition

KM relation to IT

IT makes up infrastructure for KM systems

KM systems provide data infrastructure for many IS applications

KM is a key application of IS like e
-
mail reflecting a new business
application

IT does not guarantee knowledge is captured and/or used

Related to intellectual capital


knowledge that is used to
produce higher valued goods/ services and/or produce
competitive advantage

Terms are sometimes used interchangeably and/or imprecisely


Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Data, Information and Knowledge

Data

Specific objective facts or observations that can be easily
captured, stored and transmitted


but have no intrinsic meaning.

Information

Data endowed with relevance and purpose, people interpret the
context of the data and summarize it into more condensed form

Knowledge

Information with the most value


includes individual’s unique
experience, judgment and wisdom, values and beliefs are
components, also includes the synthesis of multiple sources over
time, computers are better at dealing with data than knowledge


Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge

First described by Polyani


“we can know more than we can tell”


is personal, context
-
specific, hard to formalize and
communicate, consists of beliefs, skills, and experiences, entirely
subjective and often acquired through physically practicing a skill
or activity

Explicit knowledge

Traditional focus of IT


can be collected, organized and
transferred through physical and digital means

Tacit knowledge is hard to capture outside human mind.

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

“Knowledge Management” An Evolving Concept

Concept is not new

It has implications for new technologies such as collaborative
systems and for Internet systems that act as a large,
geographically distributed knowledge repository

Emerging discipline that draws from many areas

Key to competitive advantage

Sustainable advantage relies upon what its employees know and
how they apply knowledge to business problems

Expectations can be exaggerated due to vendor and others claims


one tool to serve organization needs that must be balanced with
other tasks


Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Managing Knowledge

In the past, no explicit effort had to be made to manage
knowledge

KM was important to success in different areas of the value chain,
has become knowledge intensive (R&D).

KM becomes more important as basis for competition and needs
to be managed effectively

Sharing best practices

Need to leverage knowledge gained by a subset of the
organization, can not afford to “reinvent the wheel”

Setting
-
up systems to capture best practices and disseminate
experience especially in firms that apply expertise such as
accounting, engineering and consulting firms.

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Managing Knowledge
(Cont’d)

Globalization

Entire supply chain can operate more effectively globally than
when subject to local supply and demand

Rapid change

Existing knowledge becomes obsolete faster


Employees must learn new skills in less time


KM provides way to optimize use of existing knowledge and help the
transfer of new knowledge across the firm

Downsizing

Has removed knowledge as eliminated employees experience
from firm.


veteran employees with extensive knowledge of organization and its
processes may be hard to find, new employees take longer to get up
to speed.

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Managing Knowledge
(Cont’d)

Managing information and communication overload

Knowledge embedded in products

Many firms sell knowledge as others sell products

Much of the value in the products is due to knowledge embedded
in such products

Sustainable competitive advantage

Increasingly difficult to keep competitors from copying and
improving on products and processes


Life cycle of innovation is growing shorter

The capacity to learn is the one sustainable
competitive advantage

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Knowledge Management Processes

Knowledge generation

All activities that discover new knowledge (new to individual, firm
or discipline)

Knowledge codification

Capture and organization of knowledge so it can be reused

Knowledge transfer

Transmitting knowledge from on person or group to another and
the absorption of that knowledge

All these processes occur naturally

KM seeks to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of these
activities and leverage their value for the firm

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Knowledge Generation

Concerns the internal activities of the organization to
acquire or create new knowledge (new to the firm)

Techniques for knowledge generation include

Purchase or rental of knowledge

Research and development

Shared problem solving

Adaptation

Communities of practice

Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Knowledge Capture and Codification

Capturing knowledge involves a continuous process of
scanning, organizing and packaging knowledge

Codification is the representation of knowledge in a
manner that can be easily accessed and transferred


Copyright
©

2003 Sherif Kamel

Knowledge Transfer

Four different modes have been identified

Socialization


From tacit knowledge to tacit knowledge
-

This occurs through
observation, imitation and practice in apprenticeships, conferences
and “at the water cooler”.

Externalization


From tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge


must be articulated in a
form such a videotape

Combination


From explicit knowledge to explicit knowledge


copying and
distributing a tape transfers it so all can benefit

Internalization


From explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge


when tape is combined
with prior experience, benefits can result