Every company has, to a greater or lesser extent, an information subsystem — that is, a means by which it gathers data, interprets it, and makes it available to employees through a distribution system. Whether we are talking about marketing information, cost projections, accounting results, or internal quality reports, every company depends on knowledge to support its planning, decision-making, and control.
So how does knowledge fit into the picture? The emergence of the field called knowledge management has highlighted some key propositions in the last 10 years or so.
All organizations are storehouses of knowledge that operate in information-rich environments made up of people and things both inside and outside the organization itself
Organizations organize, interpret, and evaluate this information to solve organizational problems
Knowledge is the primary mechanism for processing and utilizing information
People’s brains are the key knowledge resource of any organization
Codified knowledge stored in books, audio, videotapes, and computer systems can be an important knowledge resource as well
There are organizational processes and strategies for IT management and management in general. Therefore, processes and strategies in particular can significantly enhance the ability of organizations to use their knowledge resources for problem solving
Several of these themes will come up again in later modules in this course. But by way of introduction to the subject, let’s take a look at some views of how knowledge works. Read and review each of the lectures in Frost’s Knowledge Management site to gain a good understanding of KM and its relation to data, information, and knowledge.
Frost, A. (2015). Knowledge Management. KMT An Educational KM Site. Retrieved from http://www.knowledge-management-tools.net/
Leonard, D., & Swap, W. (2005). The Knowledge Coach. HBS Working Knowledge. Retrieved from: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/4562.html
The Case assignment for Module 1 consists of two parts. Part I introduces the notion of computer basics. Part II analyzes the Kobuku Food Company which provides an opportunity to appreciate how companies use and differentiate among data, information, and knowledge.
Please review the following tutorials on computer basics and answer the questions below. The tutorials are located athttp://www.gcflearnfree.org/computerbasics
- What are computers?
- Understanding Operating Systems
- Understanding Applications
- Understanding the Cloud
After watching the videos, please answer the following questions in 2-3 pages.
- What operating system does your computer use?
- What are some examples of applications residing in your personal computer?
- Do you use any apps or websites now that you think are cloud-based?
- How is a web app different from a desktop application?
For part II of the assignment, read the required articles and then write a 3-5 page paper answering the Kokubu case study questions. Be sure your discussion demonstrates that you understand the meanings and differences between data, information, and knowledge. In your discussion, give a real-world example of data, knowledge, and information in the context of the Kokubu Food Company.
Kokubu management has asked you to be the company consultant and prepare a management analysis of the business to help assess the firm’s current situation and future plans. To familiarize yourself with Kokubu’s background, you should review the corporate information, functions and business, and social and environmental conservation activities in the website. Particular attention must be given to the functions and business link to appreciate how IT supports Kokubu operations and knowledge management activities within the company.
Review the Kokubu website at http://www.kokubu.co.jp/english/business/ and after finding the answers to the Case questions, prepare a summary in 3-5 pages analyzing the following questions.
- What kind of organizational trends are evident in the Kokubu case when we consider the business environment, management, and technology?
- Discuss the IT applications to the company operations as discussed in the website.
- Why is the company considered to be customer focused?
- The CEO said his company “created a culture where people are addicted to data, information, and knowledge.” What does he mean by that, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of such a culture?