Knowledge Management Practices in Ayurvedic Industry

Introduction Knowledge management (KM) is based on the idea that an organisation’s most valuable resource is the knowledge of its people. This is not a new idea – organisations have been managing “human resources” for years. What is new is the focus on knowledge. This focus is being driven by the accelerated rate of change in today’s organisations and in society as a whole.

Knowledge management recognises that today nearly all jobs involve “knowledge work” and so all staff is “knowledge workers” to some degree or another – meaning that their job depends more on their knowledge than their manual skills. This means that creating, sharing and using knowledge are among the most important activities of nearly every person in every organisation. Knowledge management is essentially about facilitating the processes by which knowledge is created, shared and used in organisations. It is not about setting up a new department or getting in a new computer system. At its broadest, KM is the ‘process through which organizations generate value from intellectual and knowledge based assets’ There are two types of knowledge assets – ?Explicit or formal assets like copyrights, patents, templates, publications, reports, archives, etc. is objective, rational, technical. It can be easily documented and easily transferred/taught /learned. ?Tacit or informal assets that are rooted in human experience and include personal belief, perspective, and values. It is subjective, hard to document, hard to transfer/teach/learn.

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Fundamentally, knowledge management is about applying the collective knowledge of the entire workforce to achieve specific organisational goals. The aim of knowledge management is not necessarily to manage all knowledge, just the knowledge that is most important to the organisation. It is about ensuring that people have the knowledge they need, where they need it, when they need it – the right knowledge, in the right place, at the right time. Value of KM ?It is important to manage knowledge assets because – ?Organizations compete increasingly on the base of knowledge (the only sustainable competitive advantage, according to some) ?

Most of the work is information based (and often immersed in a computing environment) ? Products , services, and environment are more complex than ever before ? Workforces are increasingly unstable leading to escalating demands for knowledge replacement/acquisition The sources of KM ?Today, KM draws from a wide range of disciplines/practices – ? Cognitive science, Groupware, AI, KBMS, Library and information science, Document management, Decision support systems, Technical writing , Organizational science and many more.

Tools and Techniques used in Knowledge Management Programmes: Some of the most common tools and techniques currently used in knowledge management programmes. 1. After Action Reviews (AARs)- to capture lessons learned both during and after an activity or project. 2. Communities of Practice – link people together to develop and share knowledge around specific themes. 3. Conducting a knowledge audit- to identify an organisation’s knowledge needs, resources and flows, to understand where and how better KM can add value. 4.

Developing a knowledge management strategy – a formal knowledge management plan that is closely aligned with an organisation’s overall strategy and goals. 5. Exit interviews- A tool used to capture the knowledge of departing employees. 6. Identifying and sharing best practices- discovered in one part of the organisation and sharing them for the benefit of all. 7. Knowledge centres- Similar to libraries connecting people with each other as well as with information in documents and databases. 8. Knowledge harvesting- to capture the knowledge of “experts” and make it available to others. 9.

Peer assists- to learn from the experiences of others before embarking on an activity or project. 10. Social network analysis- Mapping relationships between people, groups etc. 11. Storytelling -Using the ancient art of storytelling to share knowledge in a more meaningful and interesting way. 12. White pages – an online resource that allows people to find colleagues with specific knowledge and expertise. KM is widely used in the corporate world today, its importance is being recognised in all areas of manufacture and service industry. Its use in the health industry cannot be underestimated.

Health systems based on knowledge and availability of plants with medicinal properties are part of the ancient wisdom and culture of India. Such knowledge has been passed within and across generations, and developed and amended with the benefit of scientific advance. Ayurveda one of the oldest Industries in India, depends on some form of Knowledge Management. The traditional medicine practiced over centuries, depended on methods of knowledge management, which seemed foolproof even today. Ancient writings in the traditional ‘thaliyola’ were preserved over time to provide information over generations.

Many of the ingredients and methods of processing medicines, continues to be referred to from these ancient books in traditional practice. There has been a ‘guru shishya parampara’ being practiced in Ayurveda, from time immemorial. Here it was possible to record information and pass it through the generations without the modern facilities and technology found today. Ayurvedic Industry Challenges And Opportunities – Mr. T. Balakrishnan. I. A. S Kerala Scenario puts Herbal Product’s Market in India to be around USD 80 billion with an annual Growth Rate 7%, which is expected to reach 6 trillion by 2050.

Source : EXIM Bank Report. The scenario in Kerala is different which has a total turnover of less than Rs. 400 crores and exports less than Rs. 60 crores, while the Indian Market it is estimated as Rs. 4205 crores with exports estimated as Rs. 440 crores. Some of the reasons for the bottle necks for the sector development are put down as due to lack of documented validation of Products, lack of documented quality control procedures, lack of documented process validation, information lost when expert/source is lost.

According to Ashish giri, An Overview Of Ayurvedic Industry, Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian Subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. Ayurvedic medicines are produced by several thousand companies in India, but most of them are quite small, including numerous neighborhood pharmacies that compound ingredients to make their own remedies. Preserving, Protecting and Promoting Traditional Knowledge: National Actions and

International Dimensions By Dr. Sophia Twarog, Ph. D, Traditional knowledge (TK) have received increasing attention on the international agenda over the past decade. TK is currently being lost at an alarming rate, and suggests a number of measures, which should be taken to preserve TK. One of the challenges faced by this industry today is the lack of correct methods of preserving these records and the dearth of experienced personnel to continue to practice this traditional art in its original form.

The study is an attempt to understand the practices in KM of traditional medicine and to look into the present scenario in the Ayurveda firms for preserving their knowledge. The present study analysed the current scenario in knowledge practices in some of the firm in Thrissur. OBJECTIVES: ?To understand the perception of firms in the practice of KM ? To study the present scenario in Ayurvedic firms for preservation of their knowledge. METHODOLOGY The present study looks into the knowledge practices in firms in Thrissur.

Some of the aspects studied are the current status of KM in firm, current problems in effective KM, existing policies and procedures, the perception of factory managers, attitude of management to KM cultural barriers, methods used to account for knowledge, use of IT in KM e. t. c. The study is empirical in nature based on primary data collected from factory managers of 10 firms located in the district. The firms included were major players in Kerala and a few smaller companies. For data analysis, average and percentages were used.

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