Knowledge management

Knowledge management ( KM ) is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. [1] It refers to a multidisciplinary approach to achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. [2]

An established discipline since 1991, KM includes courses taught in the fields of business administration , information systems , management, library, and information sciences . [3] [4] Other fields may contribute to KM research, including information and media, computer science , public health and public policy . [5] Several universities offer dedicated master’s degrees in knowledge management.

Many large companies, public institutions and non-profit organizations have resources dedicated to internal KM efforts, often as a part of their business strategy , IT , or human resource management departments. [6] Several consulting firms provide advice regarding KM to these organizations. [6]

Knowledge management efforts focus Typically one objective Organizational Such As Improved performance, competitive advantage , innovation , the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement of the organization. [7] These efforts overlap with organizational learning and may be distinguished from that by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and on encouraging the sharing of knowledge . [2] [8]KM is an enabler of organizational learning. [9] [10]


Knowledge management has a long history, including on-the-job discussions, formal apprenticeship , discussion forums , corporate libraries, professional training, and mentoring programs. [2] [10] With Increased use of computers in the second half of the 20th century, specific adaptations of technologies Such As knowledge bases , expert systems , repositories information , group decision support systems , intranets , and computer-supported cooperative work -have-been To improve such efforts. [2]

In 1999, the term personal knowledge management was introduced; It refers to the management of knowledge at the individual level. [11]

In the enterprise, early collections of case studies Recognized the importance of knowledge management dimensions of strategy, process and measurement . [12] [13] Key lessons learned include people and the cultural norms that influence their behaviors are the most critical resources for successful knowledge creation, dissemination and application; Cognitive, social and organizational learning processes are essential to the success of a knowledge management strategy; And measurement, benchmarking and incentives are essential to accelerate learning and cultural change. [13] In short, knowledge management programs can yield impressive benefits to individuals and organizations if they are purposeful,


KM emerged as a scientific discipline in the early 1990s. [14] It was INITIALLY supported by individual Practitioners, When Skandia hired Leif Edvinsson of Sweden as the world’s first Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO). [15] Hubert Saint-Onge (formerly of CIBC , Canada), started investigating KM long before that. [2] The objective of CKOs is to manage and maximize the intangible assets of their organizations. [2] Gradually, CKOs became interested in practical and theoretical aspects of KM, and the new research field was formed. [16] The KM idea has been taken up by academics, Such As Ikujiro Nonaka ( Hitotsubashi University ), Hirotaka Takeuchi (Hitotsubashi University), Thomas H. Davenport ( Babson College ) and Baruch Lev ( NYU ). [3] [17] In 2001, Thomas A. Stewart , form editor at Fortune magazine and subsequently the editor of Harvard Business Review , published a cover story highlighting the importance of intellectual capital in organizations. [18] The KM discipline has been gradually moving towards academic maturity. [2] First, it is a trend towards higher cooperation among academics; Single-author publications are less common. Second, The role of practitioners has changed. [16] Their contribution to academic research Declined from 30% of overall contributions up to 2002 to only 10% by 2009. [19]

Multiple KM disciplines exist; Approaches vary by author and school. [16] [20] As the discipline matured, academic debates Increased Regarding theory and practice, Including:

  • Techno-centric with a focus on technology, ideally those that enhance knowledge sharing and creation. [21] [22]
  • Organisational with a focus on how an organization can be designed to facilitate knowledge processes best. [6]
  • Ecological with a focus on the interaction of people, identity , knowledge, and environmental factors as a complex adaptive system akin to a natural ecosystem . [23] [24]

Regardless of the school of thought , core components of KM Roughly include people / culture, processes / structure and technology. The details depend on the perspective . [25] KM perspectives include:

  • Community of practice [26]
  • Social network analysis [27]
  • Intellectual capital [28]
  • Information theory [14] [15]
  • Complexity science [29]
  • Constructivism [30] [31]

The practical relevance of academic research in KM has been questioned [32] with action research suggested as having more relevance [33] and the need to translate the findings in academic journals to a practice. [12]


Different frameworks for distinguishing between different types of knowledge exist. [10] One Proposed Framework for Categorizing the dimensions of knowledge distinguishes tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge . [29] Tacit knowledge represents an internalised knowledge of a particular person. At the opposite end of the spectrum, explicit knowledge represents knowledge that the individual holds consciously in mental focus, in a form that can easily be communicated to others. [16] [34]

Ikujiro Nonaka proposed a model ( SECI , for Socialization, Externalization, Combination, Internalization) which considers a spiraling interaction between explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. [35] In this model, knowledge follows a cycle in which implicit knowledge is ‘extracted’ to become explicit knowledge, and explicit knowledge is ‘re-internalised’ into implicit knowledge. [35]

Hayes and Walsham (2003) describe knowledge and knowledge management as two different perspectives. [36] The content perspective suggests that knowledge is easily stored; Because it may be codified, while the relational perspective recognizes the contextual and relational aspects of knowledge. [36]

Early research suggested that KM needs to convert internalised tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge to share it, and the same effort. [6] [37]

Subsequent research suggests that a knowledge-based approach to the development of knowledge is an essential element in the development of knowledge. [11]Specifically, for knowledge to be made explicit, it must be translated into information (ie, symbols outside of our heads). [11] [38] More recently, together with Georg von Krogh and Sven Voelpel , Nonaka returned to his previous work on knowledge conversion. [4] [39]

A second Proposed Framework for Categorizing knowledge dimensions distinguishes embedded knowledge of a system outside of a human individual (eg, an information system May-have knowledge embedded into ict design) from embodied knowledge Representing has Learned capability of a human body’s nervous and endocrine systems . [40]

A third proposed framework for the creation of new knowledge (ie, innovation) vs. The transfer or exploitation of “established knowledge” within a group, organization, or community. [36] [41] Collaborative environments such as communities of practice or the use of social computing tools can be used for both knowledge creation and transfer. [41]


Knowledge may be accessed at three stages: before, during, or after KM-related activities. [28] Organizations have tried knowledge capturing incentives , including making submission mandatory and incorporating rewards into performance measurement plans. [42] Considerable controversy exists over such incentives work and no consensus has emerged. [7]

One strategy to KM involves actively managing knowledge (push strategy). [7] [43] In such an instance, individuals strive to explicitly encode their knowledge into a shared knowledge repository, such as a database , as well as retrieving knowledge. [43]

Another strategy involves the development of new and emerging technologies. [7] [43] In such an instance, individual expert (s) provide insights to requestor (personalization). [29]

Hansen et al. Defined the two strategies. [44] Codification on the collection and storing codified knowledge in electronic databases to make it accessible. [45] Codification can therefore refer to both tacit and explicit knowledge. [46] In contrast, personalization encourages individuals to share their knowledge directly. [45] Information technology plays a less important role, as it is only facilitates communication and knowledge sharing.

Other knowledge management strategies and instruments for companies include: [7] [23] [29]

  • Knowledge sharing (fostering a culture that encourages the sharing of information, based on the concept that knowledge is not irrevocable and should be shared and
  • Storytelling (as a means of transferring tacit knowledge)
  • Cross-project learning
  • Make knowledge-sharing as a key roles in employees’ job description
  • After-action reviews
  • Knowledge mapping (a map of knowledge repositories within a company accessible by all)
  • Communities of practice
  • Expert directories (to enable knowledge seeker to reach the experts)
  • Expert Systems (Knowledge-Based Systems )
  • Best practice transfer
  • Knowledge fairs
  • Competence management (systematic evaluation and planning of competences of individual organization members)
  • Proximity & architecture (the physical situation of employees can be either conducive or obstructive to knowledge sharing)
  • Master-apprentice relationship, Mentor-mentee relationship, Job shadowing
  • Collaborative software technologies (wikis, shared bookmarking, blogs, social software , etc.)
  • Knowledge repositories (databases, bookmarking engines , etc.)
  • Measuring and reporting intellectual capital (a way of making explicit knowledge for companies)
  • Knowledge brokers (some organizational members take responsibility for a specific “field” and act as first reference on a specific subject)
  • Inter-project knowledge transfer


Multiple motivation to lead organizations to undertake KM. [34] Typical considerations include: [29]

  • Making available increased knowledge in the development and supply of products and services
  • Achieving shorter development cycles
  • Facilitating and managing innovation and organizational learning
  • Leveraging expertise s across the organization
  • Increasing network connectivity between internal and external
  • Managing business environments and Allowing employees to obtenir falling insights and ideas Appropriate to Their work
  • Solving intractable or wicked problems
  • Managing intellectual capital and assets in the workforce (Such As the expertise and know-how possessed by key gold Individuals Stored in repositories)

KM technologies

Knowledge management (KM) technology can be categorized:

  • Groupware -Technologies that facilitate collaboration and sharing of organizational information. One of the earliest successful products in this category was Lotus Notes : it provided tools for threaded discussions , sharing of documents , organization-wide uniform email, etc.
  • Workflow -Workflow tools allow the representation of processes associated with the creation, use and maintenance of organizational knowledge. For example, the process to create and uses forms and documents.
  • Content / Document management -Systems that automate the process of creating web content and / or documents. Roles such as editors, graphic designers, writers and producers can be explicitly modeled along with the tasks in the process and validation criteria. Commercial vendors started either to support documents (eg Documentum ) or to support web content (eg Interwoven ) but as the internet grew these functions.
  • Enterprise portals -Web sites that aggregate information across the entire organization or groups.
  • eLearning -Enables organizations to create Customized training and education software. This can include lessons plans, monitoring progress and online classes.
  • Scheduling and planning-Automate schedule creation and maintenance, eg, Microsoft Outlook . The planning aspect can integrate with project management tools such as Microsoft Project . [21]
  • Telepresence -Enable individuals to have virtual “face-to-face” meetings without assembling at one location. Videoconferencing is the most obvious example.

Workflow for example is a tool for developing enterprise portals. [7] [47]

The adoption of Internet standards led KM technology products such as. The Internet drove most vendors to adopt Internet formats. Open-source and freeware tools for the creation of blogs and wikis . [33] [48]

KM is driving the adoption of tools That enable organizations to work at the semantic level, [49] as share of the Semantic Web . [50] For example, the Stanford Protege Ontology Editor .

See also

  • Customer knowledge
  • Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management
  • Ignorance management
  • Information management
  • Information governance
  • Journal of Knowledge Management
  • Journal of Knowledge Management Practice
  • Knowledge cafe
  • Knowledge community
  • Knowledge ecosystem
  • Knowledge engineering
  • Knowledge management software
  • Knowledge modeling
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Knowledge translation
  • Legal case management


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