Knowledge Management - Part 8 - Management Essay Example
In modern world, knowledge management can represent the know-what, the know-how, and know-why of a company’s overall picture as well as its functional areas - Knowledge Management introduction. Knowledge is acquired by managers and employees, including analysts, by examining and investigating areas under study. This differs from the acquisition of specialized knowledge that are learned by performance over time. Usually, knowledge work is conducted by company personnel who possess a high level of skills in their field of work, for example, strategic planning, marketing, manufacturing, accounting and finance, and human resources. Besides, there are other company occupations that include some type of knowledge work, directly or indirectly. Knowledge management can therefore be defined as ‘‘the acquisition, creation, packaging, or application of knowledge’’ (Lesser 90). KANGPUT Technology Development Company has been increasingly, and heavily, influenced by economic theories of the firm; notably, developing knowledge management systems, selecting appropriate software that may be placed under the umbrella term of the “knowledge-based view of the firm”. KANGPUT Technology Development Company based on customer satisfaction. This is a knowledge management essay based on KANGPUT Technology Development Company in China. This paper will consider how to use, maintain and control the knowledge effectively so the company has a better future overall. This work also covers the possible need for the director of KANGPUT Technology Development Company to accommodate changing knowledge work processes. An important part of developing knowledge management systems is selecting appropriate software, and therefore software selection is also discussed in the paper.
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People are the source of the ideas and actions that grow organizations. Yet the role of people and human capital has been changing in a fundamental way over the last several decades. Until recently, institutions have been the dominant part of the equation. As long as human inputs into wealth were seen as commodities, then people were interchangeable, one for another. Their contributions were marginal to the profits and practices of the company. As much as leadership proclaimed, “Our people are our most important resource,” very few organizations actually mobilized their people (Thierauf 32).
A major challenge for knowledge-based companies is to engage and cultivate their networks of human capital. In this era, the human capital that supports the company is only partially a group of direct employees. In fact, as time goes on, many organizations will operate with a core group of strategic leadership. The era where benign bureaucracies hired people to have jobs for life has come to an end. Instead, people will work in a number of organizations during their working lives and may have multiple engagements with a number of companies at the same time. People will increasingly begin to see themselves as companies of one, where they are responsible for their learning, their personal growth strategies, the quality of their relationships, and their work environment. As a result, a growing proportion of the people working with enterprises will be independent contractors, outsourced from other organizations, members of organizations with whom the enterprise has alliances. KANGPUT Technology Development Company raises these critical questions and lay the groundwork for establishing the kinds of frameworks, practices, and relationships that are necessary for any company to successfully navigate knowledge management.
KANGPUT Technology Development Company must to make organization that is nothing more than an extension of human thought and action, which makes human capital the only active capital. Financial and physical resources are important, but they cannot be transformed without the lever of human capital. The input of human capital grows in value and is becoming the differentiator for the company. Therefore, KANGPUT Technology Development Company must recalibrate to see how that input operates and bring it into balance with all of the other elements, including long-term knowledge management strategy. There should be a power shift. As people will begin to be better able to autonomously gather information, achieve mobility, and initiate connectivity, they will redefine the role and value of their human capital. As a result, they will make new demands on management for more satisfying kinds of relationships, working conditions, and compensation.
Knowledge management has to, in a sense, catch up with its workforce and respond with increasing flexibility to obtain the kinds of capabilities and commitments it needs to succeed. This is a major reversal for knowledge management, which is used to being able to dictate the terms of employment. Regardless, it is a necessity. Company leadership must come to know better what human capital it needs, not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the day after. It must understand how to rapidly acquire, compensate, grow, and retain it so that it can positively affect its business performance and operating objectives. The result is that it must change its orientation and its basic systems to be at the lead of the knowledge-based enterprise reality. Managing the knowledge and human capital for continuous learning, sharing, and connecting as human beings needs to be part of the daily practice of everyone, from leadership to the frontline of the company (Thierauf 67-78).
In the beginning, it should be said that there is no single hardware or software product or combination of the two that can give a comprehensive approach to knowledge management. If a comprehensive knowledge management system environment is the ultimate purpose, hardware and software products cannot be utilized alone. Creating a company-wide knowledge management infrastructure needs the integration of many different technologies. For KANGPUT Technology Development Company to open successfully its collective knowledge for companywide use, it is essential not only to develop and use integrated hardware and software technology but also to use the development company’s employees and their related business processes with this knowledge management technology. If KANGPUT Technology Development Company employees are not working in a collaborative environment or if no procedures are in place to share the knowledge, no amount of knowledge management system technology can change that. For knowledge management system environment to work well, it must be viewed by company employees at all levels as a strategic means for KANGPUT Technology Development Company to become more competitive and ensure success in the long run.
To better comprehend what needs to be done to develop knowledge management systems effectively, it is best to begin with past and current approaches to knowledge acquisition. This can be done in the form of expert systems and then go on to various levels of knowledge acquisition and use—beginning from operational knowledge and tactical knowledge to strategic knowledge.
Today, to have positive results, KANGPUT Technology Development Company needs newer methods and techniques to improve its knowledge management. This ties in with the essential focus of knowledge management systems. They will provide the means for professional and technical staff to capture knowledge and permit it to be accessed easily so that it can be applied well to achieve good results. Knowledge work processes can focus on finding existing knowledge (i.e., searching for it, among multiple sources) or focus on making new knowledge from resources that were not unused in the past. Knowledge can also be created outside—for instance, the creation of new knowledge about financial reporting by an outside auditor. In the same way, the knowledge work process can concentrate on the reuse of knowledge, such as when using object-oriented technology in the computer field.
The goal of implementing a successful knowledge management system may seem insuperable. But as usual, most computer consultants present a different view. Some have indicated that up to 90 percent of all infrastructures needed for knowledge management already exist. This refers in KANGPUT Technology Development Company to the existing structure of their computer networks and servers. Therefore, only a small shift in the total computer technology budget is needed to swap a knowledge management system (Leonard-Barton 90).
To acquire and spread narrow- to wide-based knowledge for KANGPUT Technology Development Company’s employees, the present knowledge work processes may have to be innovated. This may include reengineering in which knowledge work processes have to be revamped so that knowledge flows freely to every functional unit and subpart that needs it. In order to achieve this ambitious knowledge work redesign, several approaches can be undertaken by knowledge management system developers. First, KANGPUT Technology Development Company can change the content of knowledge by expanding what it encompasses in order to better meet desired goals. Second, the company can reorder the composition of work so that company employees may change the concentration of their jobs from information to knowledge. This change may demand the use of more teams of employees in order to share knowledge learned from previous projects, job assignments, and the like. From another side, the change can concentrate on the employment of new networking technology that lends itself to groupware. Using this technology allows employees to have individual knowledge bases and global knowledge bases so that to improve the effectiveness of their activity. Overall, the described changes are quite consistent with reengineering approaches to work and also bolster the efforts of employees using knowledge to make their jobs more effectively.
For the purpose to decide which approach to use for reengineering knowledge work processes, it is essential for the knowledge system developers to define which knowledge orientation is required by the company and its employees. Additionally, there are other factors that can influence which direction to choose. These involve the competitive environment, corporate culture, company strategies, problem-finding approach, and the information technology infrastructure. By creating an effective relationship among knowledge work processes, company employees, and the items set forth above, knowledge system developers can sort out the important factors and set forth ones that are useful in the final design.
Although knowledge system developers can define which needs should be emphasized, it is needful to make a corporate-wide or global knowledge base that brings together the diverse elements of knowledge found throughout the company. Many of the useful elements to think of in creating a corporate-wide knowledge base should be considered. Besides, knowledge system developers have to make lists of company experts, information maps, and corporate yellow pages that are sources of knowledge. Other workable items for determining an appropriate knowledge orientation comprise the age of the work force, educational level, and time on the job. Based on a thorough analysis of these items, an appropriate knowledge orientation can be developed for management, their staffs, and technical employees to help them become more effective in their activity.
Knowledge management systems represent a new business intelligence technology that is useful. Business intelligence technology has become popular because it gives decision makers the opportunity to access and analyze large quantities of information. This information can be used to distil knowledge concerning current and future patterns and trends. Besides, knowledge management systems are attractive because they give decision makers faster access to desired knowledge which can be presented in new ways that do not require extensive custom programming. In the future of the company they will assist decision makers in making better informed decisions. The point is that decision makers have a wide base of resources at their command to use on problems facing them. Since no one software product can serve the full range of user knowledge needs, there are a host of products available today.
Good knowledge management systems require the cooperation of the vendors, the computer department, and the company’s decision makers and their employees. Most outside vendor products have limitations that will be reached the first time a user says, ‘‘I need …’’. What the person then finds is that the package has provided what is thought to be needed. The vendor can do little to adapt it. So instead of simply acquiring this package, it is necessary to look for one or more software packages that provide capabilities for adapting it to the needs of company decision makers.
This naturally leads to the next team that must be created, the computer department. Cooperating with the computer department rather than treating it as an outsider will result in a knowledge management system much better used to the users’ needs. These computer employees, after all, have been providing much of the information that managers and their employees use. Therefore, they know what some of the decision makers’ needs are already. They will also be the people who will create and implement the system and adapt it to decision makers’ needs.
There is summary of the critical factors for determining the appropriate software useful in providing knowledge for decision makers (Leonard-Barton 123):
• Is the software easy to use for the development and use of knowledge?
• Does the software provide for in-depth analysis of patterns and trends?
• Does the software actually do what decision makers want here and now?
• Does the software allow decision makers to access and analyze large amounts of information in order to get at pertinent knowledge?
• Is the software generally a combination of packages designed for the organization’s size or will it be outgrown in a few years?
• How are changes and updates in the software handled?
• Is the software reasonably priced?
• Does the software provide flexibility in the development of pertinent knowledge to meet decision makers’ needs?
• Will the vendor support the installation adequately?
• On what hardware does the software run?
• Is all of the documentation clear?
• Can the user visit at least one other user of the software package(s)?
It is important that knowledge developers know what they actually need to guide them to make better decisions. It is important that decision makers get involved and support the effort to get the system up and running. For this purpose, they need to take the time to sit down with the computer department and discuss their real needs. Which knowledge-based systems are in current moment available (i.e., what nuggets of knowledge exist in a company that are available now for use by decision makers)? Besides, does the current knowledge systems approach need to be improved to make the decision makers’ work easier? Especially, should a broad-based, global knowledge base be installed that encompasses all knowledge elements found throughout the company? What are the new knowledge requirements of decision makers? Is there something they need that they have not asked for? Overall, decision makers can explore with computer professionals some of the knowledge-based systems currently in place and see how they can be improved using a knowledge management system technique to create for more useful decision making (Thierauf 234).
Another dimension is the human capital equation. Simply put, employees now see that they are the owners of their human capital. They are no longer just sets of hired hands, detached from people with brains and experience. The task of leadership in KANGPUT Technology Development Company is to have a business strategy that takes into account that people see themselves as workers-as investors. In this collaborative relationship, the company must be clear about its aims as it negotiates with its individual workforce members, who are seeking equity for their investment. In this changed equation, the company needs a return of performance and outcome from its investment, and members of the workforce need the financial, social, and physical conditions and learning opportunities that will garner their commitment.
The new social contract requires not just a new perspective on the part of enterprise leadership. It also mandates that the rest of knowledge management developers grasp this and act on this new understanding. Knowledge management developers, importantly, will take on the new and very significant role of negotiating “the deal,” that is, the customized contracts with workforce members. They must make sure that the conditions are there to support success and make sure that all parties get the return on investment that they seek. This demands new sets of skills on the part of everyone involved. The benefit to all parties is significant. Developing these capabilities creates a platform for high-level, measurable performance. This in turn will allow the knowledge-based company to effectively compete in its market (Thierauf 128).
Shared values will function as the glue holding the knowledge-based KANGPUT Technology Development Company together. Shared values will allow networked KANGPUT Technology Development Company to share knowledge easily, act cogently and coherently, and be in alignment. Shared values will set up the context and environment for sharing knowledge. If the values are in alignment, the actions and communications will also be in alignment. One of the first tasks of the leadership of KANGPUT Technology Development Company is to identify the core values of the company, values that a diverse workforce can identify with, link with, and support. Not only do shared values provide a common ground for communications and action. They also are critical for any necessary reframing of KANGPUT Technology Development Company.
Different sets of people in KANGPUT Technology Development Company may have different clusters of values. The leadership may have one cluster, midlevel management another, and the front line a third. Depending on its goals and market requirements, one organization may need just a minimum of shared values to achieve a desired level of performance. At the same time, another organization may need a much more collaborative, self-initiating environment to accomplish its ends. KANGPUT Technology Development Company needs to assess its goals and see if its core values will support and sustain it in reaching its goals. It can then target certain values to nurture that will allow it to transition.
KANGPUT Technology Development Company will need values alignment appropriate to its ends. These values must be the authentic values held by KANGPUT Technology Development Company and its people. Values provide a set of common reference points that can be used as criteria for decision making and serve as enablers for deployment. The trust that comes from shared values breeds viable, long-term relationships throughout the network of customers and suppliers as well. When there is a divergence from the values framework, the enterprise becomes vulnerable as its channels begin to corrode. Incompatible or token values, like wallpaper pasted over a fractured wall, do not work when there is the least amount of stress (Lesser 89).
This knowledge-based KANGPUT Technology Development Company is moving away from the static “wars of position” stance and toward being engaged in a “wars of capabilities” business model (Lesser 78). In the “wars of capabilities” environment, KANGPUT Technology Development Company has to be able to rapidly create and execute knowledge management strategy in a volatile and changeable marketplace. Learning, both organization-wide and personal, and managing knowledge are fundamental in this perspective. Learning here is learning for use and learning that is just-in-time. It is learning in a business context where knowledge is immediately applicable to specific goals and aligned with the strategy of KANGPUT Technology Development Company. This involves establishment of learning management systems across the extended enterprise that enable its users to map its knowledge, analyze its knowledge gaps, and then provide managed learning to close those gaps. The human capital management approach gives managers, as well as workers, the opportunity to take control of the learning, resources, systems, and processes they need to achieve the goals of KANGPUT Technology Development Company.
Much of what is discussed in this work deals with performance. Knowledge management and intellectual capital have dealt with many technical, knowledge resource, and organizational design issues. The knowledge movement is now on the verge of grappling with performance issues. In the end, it may be performance, more than any other factor, that makes the difference for KANGPUT Technology Development Company.
This paper explores the convergence of knowledge management and learning as part of the evolution toward something larger and different in KANGPUT Technology Development Company. Human capital management is a broader and more integrated effort to manage and develop human capabilities to achieve significantly higher levels of business performance. This paper traces the emergence of knowledge management from its focus on capturing, storing, and codifying explicit knowledge to a much more dynamic field that began including tacit knowledge and then whole networks of people who are continuously learning to respond to changing conditions in their enterprise and world. Moving to develop and deploy knowledge and people in the most effective way and to facilitate the flow of knowledge across KANGPUT Technology Development Company requires not just technology. It also involves building capabilities in strategy and leadership development, changing organizational design and structure, and shaping a set of management, financial, and quality processes that are in concert and able to constantly adjust to new conditions. This means moving toward KANGPUT Technology Development Company that are capable of systematic transformation.
Leonard-Barton, D. (1995). Wellsprings of Knowledge. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Lesser, Eric. (2004). Creating Value with Knowledge: Insights from the IBM Institute for Business Value. Oxford University Press: New York.
Thierauf, Robert J. (1999). Knowledge Management Systems for Business. Quorum Books: Westport, CT.