This is the process in which an organization, gathers, organizes and analyses the knowledge of all assets of organization (workers and resourceful materials) for the purpose of improving the organizations’ performance. This can be carried out through the following ways: Identifying and analyzing the available knowledge for the purpose of fulfilling the organizations objectives and generation of valuable information from their intellectual and knowledge based assets.
Knowledge management has to do with the transfer of knowledge from one person to another. This will enable the members of an organization to benefit from the knowledge collected by the more experienced members of an organization. For an organization to effectively manage knowledge, they have to elicit knowledge from its employees (Awad, 2007). The knowledge must also be measured in order to be managed. The indication which shows that knowledge management is in practice is having employees think actively and not passively and think ahead and not behind (Awad, 2007). For an organization which has effectively implemented knowledge management, their customer service is improved by improved problem solving techniques. The organization is able to deliver new products in to the market faster and processes for manufacturing the products improve every time due to innovation and creativity (Awad, 2007). With the invention of advanced technologies, knowledge sharing and innovation has become easier.
Why Should Organizations Consider Knowledge Management
Today, consumers have become very informed, educated, and their demand has increased (Awad, 2007). They have found their own ways of giving feedbacks to manufacturers regarding the design of goods and services (Awad, 2007). This has led to a lot of changes in the business environment. Knowledge management is the only way organizations can respond to this. Internet and other forms of technology have made sharing of information easier (Awad, 2007). Knowledge management creates a lot of benefits to an organization which are discussed in this paper.
IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
Knowledge management system focuses on creating, organizing and dispersing knowledge from the above sources that support the organizations strategic purpose. This will facilitate putting people in touch with each other. Some of the advantages of knowledge management are as follows:
• Organizational change
Knowledge management contributes to organizational change in that organizations are able to utilize it in creation, acquisition and processing of both new and old knowledge. In this way, organizations can utilize this knowledge in case there is need for a sudden change
Enhanced decision making
Knowledge management involves both old and new knowledge. A combination of the two helps organizations to be involved in quick and resourceful decision making process. Innovation
There has been a lot and rapid changes in terms of technology. Organizations are likely to involve themselves in a lot of innovation. However, this is only possible if through knowledge management. Organizations have been able to manage knowledge within them by ensuring that workers are trained on the new technology a situation which has facilitated a lot of innovation within organizations.
An organization can gain more benefit as a result of using its knowledge to create customer value through addressing of customer problems. An organizations benefit depends more on its knowledge on how it uses what it knows and how fast it can know something new that can be of great benefit to the organization.
• Workforce demographic
This is as a result of aging workforce that results to the loss of intellectual capital thus creating a new sense of urgency for the organizations. Due to this lose, organization have resulted to having aging employees to train the new ones so that even if they leave the organization, the knowledge can still remain.
In summary, the effective knowledge management is very essential within an organization and will have the following benefits to the organization;
1. Reduction in the cost of production.
2. Improved quality of goods and services.
3. There is room for expansion due to quality management of knowledge.
4. High profit is realized as a result of proper management of the organization.
CHALLENGES OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
The most challenges arising from knowledge management are as a result of knowledge recycling situations. Every knowledge recycle situation is very unique in terms of its context. Due to the uniqueness of every knowledge recycle, a lot differences occur. If by any chance these differences are not handled, a lot of problems may arise when it comes to implementing knowledge. The problems likely to occur include;
• Inaccurate date
The information generated by a particular group in an organization may need validated to ensure it meets the required standards of the organization.
• Incorrect data interpretation
Information generated from a given source may be interpreted wrongly thus giving incorrect meaning to the user.
• Irrelevancy of data
The information that is irrelevant will add complexity, cost and risk to a given organization. In case the information does not support what is being required, it requires proper analysis to be done in order to provide correct solutions.
• knowledge complexity
When knowledge database become very large and complex, the organization may have a problem in managing its knowledge system. The organization may opt to cleanse the system of very old file, thus diluting its own knowledge management initiative.
• Adoption of knowledge management solution.
Adoption of knowledge management solution may not be readily supported by an organization not because the particular organization is not willing but due to its organizational culture.
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