Knowledge Management Part 2: Is it worthwhile?

This is the second part of a series of posts looking at Knowledge Management (KM), in these posts I will seek to explore what it is, whether it is worthwhile, and look at its future.

Is Knowledge Management Worthwhile?

Knowledge Management remains quite a controversial subject, with some believing the main interest in Knowledge Management is from business consultants and IT providers selling their services and products (See Wilson, 2002). It may not be accepted by everyone, but academic literature has provided many illuminating case studies of successful Knowledge Management initiatives within major companies (Microsoft, Xerox, BP, Skandia and many others).

If you subscribe to Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard viewpoint, where there is a cause and effect relationship in the drivers of performance, you could look at Knowledge Management as being part of the learning and growing organisation to leverage the creativity and knowledge of all of its employees (Balanced Scorecard Institute, 2002). Forming a basis for driving improved performance and generating greater shareholder value.

In order for knowledge management to be worthwhile, depends on full commitment from senior management in communicating, demonstrating and encouraging the organisation to embrace an organisational culture whereby knowledge and experience is shared freely with others. Whether that is through the master and apprentice approach, group discussions, face-to-face meetings, through the use of knowledge maps, or through the application of IT and the Internet. As one questionnaire respondent in my dissertation said

“[it] should be a way of life for everyone and not seen as a chore.”

So Knowledge Management does not rely on having the latest IT and communication tools, nor is it about having lots of explicit knowledge codified and stored in repositories, they help but, without a culture of sharing information, knowledge and experience across the organisation then it is very unlikely to succeed.

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2 Responses to “Knowledge Management Part 2: Is it worthwhile?”

  1. Knowledege Management Part 1: What is it? « Richard Thinks… Says:

    […] based on my research as part of my dissertation. In these posts I will seek to explore what it is, whether it is worthwhile, and look at its […]

  2. J Jeyaseelan Says:

    Knowledge management is a global requirement and responsibility. It is often the lack of global management that makes it difficult for individual organizations to undertake KM effectively. Every organization requires knowledge that can be generated within itself as well as what is available globally. In my view, it is the limitations of technology and lack of standardization of KM tools and methods that are making knowledge management for end users more and more difficult You may read more about it at http:/infotwines.wordpress.com

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