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The Dilemma in Knowledge Management..
Human Resources » Staffing & Training


Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date:
Rank: Coach Post Date: 12/06/2006 23:25:25 Points: 1045 Location: India

According to one of the definitions that I recollect, "Knowledge Management"  is a new branch of management for achieving breakthrough business performance through the synergy of people, processes, and technology. It has been gaining significance amongst key economic industries where technology is constantly upgraded to get integrated with people processes.

Considering this, let us consider this article which really puts the dilemma of work performance on people and technology..

Technology or People ? The Dilemma in Knowledge Management

{Organisations seem to be only focusing on the technology aspect of Knowledge Management but they should realise that without a people centric approach they would fail to achieve the desired results.}

Knowledge Management is the accumulated Expertise and abilities within the organization by the collaboration of right people and right information. Knowledge Management is the framework within which the organization views all its processes as knowledge processes. In this respect all business processes involve the creation, dissemination, renewal and application of information towards the organizational sustenance and survival. Knowledge Management is becoming increasingly important because of a paradigm shift in the world from one, which was predictable to one of rapid discontinuous change.

The words Intellectual capital and Knowledge management is sometimes used synonymously, however there is a slight difference. Intellectual Capital is all about measuring and quantifying the intellectual assets of a firm whereas Knowledge management includes the development, creation and management of Knowledge assets. In other words it is an active, dynamic procedure. It is at this juncture that there are two perspectives and schools of thought. One is the people perspective and the other is the IT perspective. The first group believes in the management of information entirely through Technology whereas the second lot focuses on people. They believe that Knowledge consists of the skills, the learning and the implicit Knowledge that is vested in its people. They believe that the Knowledge bank is the people and it is the people who learn. However, most Indian companies seemed to have embarked on the path where Knowledge Management is technologically driven.

Information Technology can facilitate the gathering, channeling and dissemination of information but the final burden of translating this information into actionable knowledge (depending on the situation and context) is on humans.Having the best breed of technologies do not ensure the creativity and innovation required for the success of an organization. The key thus lies in the synergy of both these elements.

Technology is important but what is of greater importance is the capturing of Tacit knowledge. This is essential as two problems and two situations are never the same. This is where the human perspective comes into play. Tacit knowledge is based on two words application and experience rather than on rational thought. There are many components not understood by the users in clear scientific terms but could be explained using empirical relations. The mind picks up and processes information as and when they originate and not always from organizational repositories. Thus transfer and capture of tacit information through organizational repositories is not as simple ad is still in its nascent stage. Technology and repositories is however a good way of exchange of explicit information. The advent of the Intranet has facilitated the gathering and dissemination of information.

The need of the hour is however, to evolve measures to capture Tacit Knowledge, which has to be more people focussed as well as people driven. This can be done either as a Tacit to tacit manner or a tacit to explicit manner. The former is referred to as socialization. The organization realizes that it is essential to have personal interaction or socialize to transfer knowledge. This typically tends to be an informal process. Mentoring in an organization is theclassic case of tacit Knowledge transfer. It is a formal process to the extent that a mentor is assigned to a person. How the transfer takes place is essentially personal. Thus in addition to the explicit knowledge, tacit Knowledge is transferred through observation and inculcation from people who have these abilities. On the other hand Tacit to explicit stresses on converting tacit Knowledge to explicit concepts within the organizational framework for easy reuse resulting in high ROI for such efforts. An example is the conversion of the sound of a car to vibrations to identify defects, instead of relying only on the ear of the mechanic.

The rest of the article can be read here http://www.indiainfoline.com/bisc/imtart18.html

Any members with their expert comments on this issue ??

Regards,

CHRM

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