Knowledge Management: Embedding knowledge sharing culture
1. What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge Management (KM) has made its name since early 1990’s and until today KM still turn out to be one of the burning topic in management world as it have the potential to influence many spheres of an organisation. Lots of organisations acknowledge that knowledge is a crucial asset for them in order to success and subsist in an increasingly competitive market (Benjamin et al., 1998). Therefore it has become one of the main reason for the exponential growth of KM in the past decade.
If we ask what is KM, one would simply explain KM is about how the organisation manage their organisation’s knowledge. This is the most simple and straight forward answer. Actually it is fair enough because we can simply describe the answer from the word “knowledge” and “management” itself. Even though the answer is acceptable but it is not describing the whole picture of KM. KM does not have a specific definition because the definition can be varies in different perspectives (i.e. business, process and technology). Following is one of the widely accepted KM definition for its simplicity and broad context:
“Knowledge Management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers” (Duhon, 1998).
In this definition, Duhon manage to succinctly capture the broad scope of KM. Obviously having all the knowledge assets neatly organised would provide a great value to an organisation.
2. What is knowledge?
In our day to day life, we are dealing with great amount of data and information. The data and information will not transform into knowledge until we know how to dig the value out of it. Knowledge has become one of the most important pillar in KM as it has been recognised as a resource that is valuable to an organisation's ability to innovate and compete (Ahmed & Goulding, 2006).
Knowledge can be categorised as tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Kimiz (2005) described, tacit knowledge is usually resides within the head of knowers and difﬁcult to articulate and to put into words, text, or drawings. In contrast, explicit knowledge represents content that has been captured in some tangible form such as words, audio recordings, or images. Therefore, explicit knowledge is easier to transmit to others as it is already resides in tangible media.
Tacit and explicit knowledge are very essential and priceless to the organisation. Thus organisation must integrate both types of knowledge in order to perform their job effectively. In an organisation, all these knowledge can be found in employees experience, documents (digital and hardcopy), designs and process for goods and services, ideas or strategies for new products and...