Concept of Knowledge Management

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The scientific endeavor that culminated on July 20, 1969, with the first American walking on the moon is considered one of the most significant accomplishments in the history of humankind. What is especially noteworthy about this undertaking is that when President John F. Kennedy issued the promise in 1961 that the United States would land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth before the end of that decade, most of the scientific and technological knowledge required to take this “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” did not exist. .

The necessary science and technology knowledge had to be discovered and developed in order to accomplish this extraordinary task. However, many of those technological advances now have permanent presence in the landscape of our lives, from cordless tools to cellular phones. These first missions to space carried less computer power on board than what some of us lug around as portable computers. The computers on board Apollo 11, considered “state-of-the-art” in the 1960s, had 4 KB of RAM, no disk drive, and a total of 74 KB of auxiliary memory!

From the knowledge management perspective, how did they manage the extraordinary quantities of knowledge that had to be developed in order to accomplish the task? The required knowledge about space travel, rocketry, aerodynamics, control systems, communications, biology, and many other disciplines had to be developed and validated prior to being used in the space mission. From the knowledge creation perspective, this was an extraordinarily successful endeavor. On the other hand, a closer look reveals that attempts to elicit and capture the knowledge resulting from these efforts may have been largely unsuccessful, and some studies even suggest that NASA may have actually lost that knowledge.

Knowledge has become the key resource, for a nation’s military strength as well as for its economic strength. It is fundamentally different from the traditional key resources of the economist—land, labor, and even capital.

We need systematic work on the quality of knowledge and the productivity of knowledge.

The performance capacity, if not the survival, of any organization in the knowledge society will come increasingly to depend on those two factors.

What then is knowledge Management?

It may simply be defined as doing what is needed to get the most out of knowledge resources. Although Knowledge Management can be applied to individuals, it has recently attracted the attention of organizations. KM is viewed as an increasingly important discipline that promotes the creation, sharing, and leveraging of the corporation’s knowledge.

It can be argued that the most vital resource of today’s enterprise is the collective knowledge residing in the minds of an organization’s employees, customers, and vendors. Learning how to manage organizational knowledge has many benefits, some of which are readily apparent, others not. These benefits may include leveraging core business competencies, accelerating innovation and time-to-market, improving cycle times and decision-making, strengthening organizational commitment, and building sustainable competitive advantage. In short, they make the organization better suited to compete successfully in a much more demanding environment.

Organizations are increasingly valued for their intellectual capital. An example of this fact is the widening gap between corporate balance sheets and investors’ estimation of corporate worth. It is said that knowledge-intensive companies around the world are valued at three to eight times their financial capital. Consider for example Microsoft Corporation, the highest-valued company in the world, with a market capitalization that was estimated at around $779.7 billion as of December 2018.

Clearly, this figure represents more than Microsoft’s net worth in buildings, computers, and other physical assets. Microsoft’s valuation also represents an estimation of its intellectual assets. This includes structural capital in the form of copyrights, customer databases, and business-process software. Added to that is human capital in the form of the knowledge that resides in the minds of all of Microsoft’s software developers, researchers, academic collaborators, and business managers.

In general, knowledge management focuses on organizing and making available important knowledge, wherever and whenever it is needed. The traditional emphasis in knowledge management has been on knowledge that is recognized and already articulated in some form. This includes knowledge about processes, procedures, intellectual property, documented best practices, forecasts, lessons learned, and solutions to recurring problems.

Increasingly, knowledge management has also focused on managing important knowledge that may reside solely in the minds of organizations’ experts. It is known as intellectual capital, which is considered by many as the most valuable enterprise resource. An organization’s intellectual capital refers to the sum of all its knowledge resources, which exist in aspects within or outside the.

There are three types of intellectual capital: human capital, or the knowledge, skills, and capabilities possessed by individual employees; organizational capital, or the institutionalized knowledge and codified experience residing in databases, manuals, culture, systems, structures, and processes; and social capital, or the knowledge embedded in relationships and interactions among individuals.

Therefore, effective Knowledge management is essential for an organization to maintain its competitive edge. It is also important for all organizations since today’s decision maker faces the pressure to make better and faster decisions in an environment characterized by a high domain complexity and market volatility.

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