Knowledge Management Infusion

If managers want to gain more efficiency in operations, businesses need to better understand their knowledge management systems.  In handling short-term matters, many organizations have forgotten the long-term consequences of short changing their corporate knowledge. For today’s businesses,  corporate culture along with the massive retirement of Baby Boomers represents a serious concern as it relates to tacit knowledge. Researchers Xiaoming Cong and Kaushik Pandya argue that tacit knowledge, which is often unwritten and less concrete, has become a key asset.

Many employees from the private sector can point to the 80’s as a period of organizational change in terms of downsizing. For federal employees, this reality of potential job lost was not evident until the 90s. In September of 1993, President Clinton set a goal to reduce the Executive Branch civilian workforce. With budget reductions and in some cases base closures, it was apparent to many employees that downsizing was now a reality for federal workers.

New government initiatives, such as A-76, continued to frighten government employees as they saw their jobs outsourced to others. A-76 referred to OMB Circular A-76 (Performance of Commercial Activities) that requires government agencies to determine if its work functions could be done in the private sector cheaper and better.

Research on downsizing efforts in the public and private sectors has found numerous examples of negative impacts on employee productivity, morale, customer service, and product quality. Organizations are relying more on employee involvement to streamline their processes. If you are an employee, do you share information with others that will decrease your value and potentially place you at risks for layoffs?   

Employee cynicism of management will make this problematic. According to Maritz Poll, less than 15% of employees strongly agree that their managers show consistency between their words and actions. Additionally, only 7% of employees strongly trust their senior managers to look out for their best interest. Leadership blogger Dan McCarthy argues, “While workplace trust has been dwindling since the Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco scandals of the earlier part of the decade, threats of layoffs and downsizing have only exacerbated the problem.” In this blog, we will discuss knowledge management in operations.

In today’s hypercompetitive environment, knowledge management becomes a vital component for modern organizations. Knowledge management (KM) relates to an organization’s ability to systematically capture, organize, and store information. When dealing with KM issues, many people focus on intellectual capital or technology issues, rather than the human element.

Consequently, many organizations develop their own KM perspective. For example, Lotus Development Corporation defines KM by the following five technology pillars: business intelligence, collaboration, knowledge transfer, knowledge discovery and mapping, and the location of needed expertise.  As organizations continue to become more complex, engage in global competition, and operate under uncertainty, disseminating information becomes a valuable commodity. KM has been a core ingredient for most government agencies; it is difficult to separate strategic planning from KM.

Georg Krogh, Kazuo Ichijo, and Ikujiro Nonaka, authors of Enabling Knowledge Creation, maintain that knowledge creation must be supported by organizations in a number of ways if knowledge creation is to happen. In fact, they note the following enablers: (a) instill a knowledge vision, (b) manage conversations, (c) mobilize knowledge activists, (d) create the right context, and (e) globalize local knowledge.

Managing this KM system is not easy after the layoff craze of the 1980s. In fact, knowledge sharing without committed leadership and encouraging organizational culture will only be marginally successful. Researchers Alex Birman and John Risko maintain that an organization can improve competitiveness and adaptability and increase its chance of success with an effective KM process. However, Michael Tushman and Charles O’Reilly, authors of Winning Through Innovation, argue that an organization’s culture can prevent it from undergoing positive change because organizational renewal demands requires mastering both innovation and organizational change.

How do organizations ensure the effectiveness of their knowledge management systems? Can trust be rebuilt with today’s workers after  past management failures? If so, how?

  © 2010 by Daryl D. Green

 

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43 thoughts on “Knowledge Management Infusion

  1. Most all organizations or companies have some sort of knowledge management system in place to collect all of the knowledge that companies have developed or learned. In order for these systems to be effective there must be some way to measure knowledge management systems. One knowledge management success model that has been adapted by companies is Bots and de Bruijn: Knowledge Value Chain (1). This is basically a value chain, or flow chart that looks at a company’s knowledge management and process evaluations. Vision, external developments, and internal developments start the process and lead to strategy and policy. From strategy and policy the next step is make inventory and determine knowledge needed. This flows into sharing knowledge and the next step is applying knowledge. The outcome of this value chain is the return or please that the company or customer receives from knowledge management. If management sees a problem in the value chain then they know what needs improvement. This is only one of many knowledge management evolutions that a company can use, but I believe by putting these processes into a flow chart management can easily see if their knowledge management system is effective.

    Resource:
    http://www.management.com.ua/strategy/str113.html

  2. As seen over the years companies have lost much of their credibility for past scandals taking the spotlight. Now all we do is go to work and complain about how miserable we are and how lame our job can be. Fact of the matter is most of us have to work to live and so on. Even managers are responsible beings who must also work to ensure their security, and yes they must have worked harder in the past to reach their current positions. Yet why do u we still not trust them if they were right at our place at one point in their job careers?
    Knowledge management systems not only help ensure employee satisfaction and trust but also help the company as a whole in healthy competition which other companies(1). This helps promote the company in many levels which allows the company to continue growing in a struggling market, if all the employees and management are able to work together and develop healthy and trusting relationships. On a lighter side managers should also conduct “trust building activities”(2) By doing this managers can show their employees not only is trust important when it comes to work, but also vital throughout the day and throughout the company walls. This helps build more positive trust among other employees as well.

    Reference:

    1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_management_system

    2) http://wilderdom.com/games/TrustActivities.html

      • According to Ezine.com expert author Allie Q. Casey, the most effective way for managers to motivate their employees is to take an empathetic approach. She continues on to say explain that just because the argument that workers should be self-motivated is true to an extent, it is widely the managers and those in leadership positions’ jobs to motivate and encourage workers, thus getting them out of any “funk.” I agree with Casey 100%. The question then becomes, what is the correct empathetic approach? In my opinion, employees are more apt to participate and strive to achieve at their jobs if they know that they are needed and valued in the company. Therefore, using Casey’s empathetic approach, the simplest things such as congratulating a coworker or publicly praising them can go a long way to improving employee morale. If the bulk of the low level employees are always afraid of getting yelled at or losing their jobs, productivity is going to stay the same; only when an environment of support is created can innovation and self-motivation thrive.

        Casey, Allie Q. Management’s Role in Motivating Employees – How to Get Everyone Connected. Ezine@rticles.com. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Managements-Role-in-Motivating-Employees—How-to-Get-Everyone-Connected&id=3975349

    • LAST POST DID NOT COMPLETE:
      Sharing knowledge is crucial to a company’s growth, but employees often have no incentive to share that knowledge. The simple answer of’ because your boss told you to’ does not hold out in the long run. An employee is not going to show their personal incites, just enough not to get in trouble. For all most employees can guess in today’s economy, the person you are sharing the knowledge with may be your younger, less expensive replacement. The personal knowledge an employee accrues is one of their best assets to job retention. Sometimes keeping information to yourself is the right thing to do to keep your job.
      “Knowledge sharing is often one of the most troubling issues facing employers and they keep trying to develop effective ways to encourage employees to share what they have learned on their jobs. It remains a difficult goal.” (Dr David Zweig, University of Toronto)

      http://www.management-issues.com/display_page.asp?id=3122&section=research

  3. I believe all organizations would benefit from an effective KM system. Making it a part of the organisational culture is critical to KM success and effectiveness. For many individuals, hoarding knowledge is power, and it is not so easy for them to imbibe the true spirit of knowledge-sharing. There are others who take pride in being individualistic, and are not willing to learn from the experiences of others. Effective knowledge management is about leveraging the collective ability of knowledge workers for business gain. Kalive believes that the best strategy is a mixture of the ‘carrot, rose and stick’ approaches: Incentivising sharing of knowledge—reward factor (the carrot); giving credit to people—correct visibility (the rose); and making it a part of the quality process (the stick). Employees like to be able to witness the value new systems can bring – especially when incentives are involved. Once KM is implemented and is effective it will become part of the organizations culture and employees processes.

    Reference:
    http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20050530/technologylife01.shtml

    • Leading by example is a good starting point for knowledge management to encourage knowledge sharing. The most effective way to create a knowledge sharing culture – is first to start to practice it at your level. The higher up the organization the more effective you will be in changing the culture but even if you are low down the hierarchy – you have an influence. Second, put in place the knowledge sharing technology and train and educate people in its effective use. The two together – people with the appropriate knowledge sharing mindset and the appropriate knowledge sharing technology to support them will rapidly bring about a knowledge sharing culture that helps you better meet your business objectives.

      References:
      Retrieved from http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/id/ksculture.

  4. I think it starts with the culture of the firm. Management should promote individual creativity to not only promote self growth for their employees, but also because some of the most innovate ideas come from within organizations. Google, for example, allows workers to use 20% of their work time to work on their own ideas. This approach has paid off tremendously for Google, as Google Maps and IM were both developed by employees working on their own time. And as for the employees that produce, they are rewarded with notoriety and benefits. However, at the same time most experts contend that the responsibility of a firm’s management team should focus solely on the shareholders. If an employee comes up with a turnkey idea during hours, the company owns all the rights. But when decisions go against the firms values and have a negative effect on the stakeholders (i.e., employees), the trickledown effect can be severe. Employee’s lower morale level could be the least of the firm’s worries. Management’s actions have a direct correlation to the reputability of the firm.

    Resource:
    McMurian, R. 2006. Journal of Business & Economics Research: Building Customer Value and Profitability With Business Ethics

  5. Companies may use a Knowledge Audit to tell how effective their knowledge management system currently is. The company can start by working with employees to locate the knowledge they need to solve problems faced by the business. In conducting this audit the company may ask the following question: “In order to solve the targeted problem, what knowledge do I have, what knowledge is missing, who needs this knowledge and how do I use the knowledge? The audit can be used to assess to areas: what knowledge currently exists and what
    Knowledge is missing the relevant. At the conclusion of the knowledge audit, the knowledge
    Management team has the information necessary to see how well the knowledge management system t is working.
    This kind of hands on supervision, is not to micro manage but it is to see exactly what the employ has learned and exactly what other aspects of knowledge management needs to be implemented. No process is perfect so this constant tweaking of the system allows for change as the new technology and information comes to light.

    http://www.tlainc.com/articl85.htm

  6. Knowledge sharing threatens to flatten the traditional hierarchical structures of some organizations. Having knowledge and the accompanying skills that others do not leverages the individual worker to feel psychologically safe regarding job security. Having a culture that devalues the transmission of ideas freely may inhibit knowledge sharing and management systems. Having a culture of ongoing, deliberate knowledge management infused into the culture of the organization is vital to having a healthy organization. Trust is gained when the knowledge is not only coming in a top-down dissemination and implementation approach but also more importantly from a bottom-up sharing approach . (Rucker, 2002). In the global market, there are some cultural differences in sharing knowledge that organizations must be aware of to effectively build a knowledge management system. Bottom-up knowledge sharing in some cultures is taboo and “many of the largest and most successful multi-national or global concerns go to great lengths to establish a strong organisational culture that is homogeneous across all parts of the enterprise and transcends national or social culture.” (Rucker, 2002)

    Rucker, J. (2002, November 9). Knowledge across the globe, cultural implications for sharing knowledge. [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.knowledgeboard.com/item/2034/23/5/3

  7. Making a knowledge management system part of the organization culture is one way the organization can ensure the effectiveness of the system but it’s easier said than done. For many individuals knowledge is power and it is not easy to convince them to share it with the rest of the organization. For example an engineer might know the metallurgical composition of an alloy that reduces sound in gear systems and by sharing this information across the organization can lead to better designing of the engine. However the engineer might be reluctant because by doing so he/she might lose the unique ability and importance in the organization.

    On the other hand trust can be built quite simply even after the past failures, it really depends how sincere the organization is in trying to building it. Some ways to build trust in organization is sharing of information which co relates to knowledge management also. When an organization accepts its mistake for past failures, adapts to the new open culture, and provides employees the environment to grow then developing trust should not take any time. Example: Google employees are known to be one of the most satisfied employees because the company provides employees with a unique type of environment at the office where employees have facilities like beach videogames, pool tables and ping pong. They even play roller hockey twice a week. This makes the employers really feel like they are at college campus, instead of being in an office.

    Resources:
    http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20050530/technologylife01.shtml
    http://black-money.blogspot.com/2008/02/googles-employee-satisfaction_03.html

  8. To effectively develop knowledge management in an organization, mangers must identify key points. The organization’s mangers must be aware of what they know, what they need to know, why they need to know it, how to gain additional knowledge and what that knowledge value means to their organization. An article I found identified five key processes for knowledge management, they are as follows;
    1. Every business has many business functions such as strategy, planning, research, development, marketing, etc.
    2. Each of these business functions involves extensive knowledge. There is always room for improvements, need for creativity and need for learning. Every function can be better and different when it is systematically approached.
    3. Managing the knowledge and needs involves various stages (knowledge life- cycle) from strategy to measuring its value. Lack of linkage between our actions and business needs drains our energy and makes our effort a futile exercise.
    4. Addressing the Knowledge Management processes through best practices and knowledge life cycle in a systematic and innovative manner helps to meet the business challenges.
    5. Knowledge Management is about identifying the knowledge activities in each of the business processes.

    Developing and effective knowledge management strategy is a key asset in economic conditions with so many disruptive changes.

    Resources: http://www.lpcube.com/site/HTML/aboutkm_effective-km.html#top

  9. I believe that practitioners of Knowledge Management have found that a critical success factor in the implementation of knowledge management is the creation of a cultural environment that encourages the sharing of information (1). Knowledge sharing involves balancing instincts to share work while still allowing recognition for achieving it. However, I believe once management has lost the trust of the workers it is extremely difficult to regain trust. Sometimes trust is not regained until there is a change in management that brings change to the organization. Also, with the attrition of workers and entrance of new workers trust can be regained. Ultimately it’s the responsibility of the company to change it’s culture to ensure in future the problem of “trust” is never an issue.

    Finneran, Timothy. A Component Based Knowledge Management System. June, 1999.

  10. In order for KM to work for any orginization the employees need to have trust in not only their management but also in the company. Now that most people believe there is no job security it can be turned into a good outcome as it will not matter if you know everything or nothing. If management promoted cross training as part of job function and show employees that it helps the company with meeting buisness needs therefore making more profit employees will see it for employees growth and not just the company’s and implement employees ideas trust can be built back.

  11. According to Ikujiro Nonaka, KM means to have a competitive advantage in a globalized market place. But just having information or data does not ensure a competitive advantage. How a company uses their information and shares their information is the most important part of creating an efficient and effective KM program. For example, the intelligence community computes millions of pieces of data every day, but that alone does not create usable intelligence. For data to be used and analyzed correctly, companies and the U.S. must use collaboration tools (1).
    A collaboration tool can range from companies sharing servers with clients, chat rooms to share information when dealing with a specific type of business, to classified networks linked to create transparency within different organizations.
    Hogging data or knowledge can be very harmful for firms by effecting revenue and potential growth. The only good knowledge is knowledge available to everyone that needs it. Otherwise the knowledge is useless.

    Sources: http://icos.groups.si.umich.edu/Ichijo-NonakaMar06.pdf

  12. For organizations to implement effective Km techniques with past failures still at hand is a hard task and it is easy for them to go about this in the wrong way.People in different departments have different ideas of what the systems should do for them, from both functional and technical perspectives. here are some examples for effective Km solutions and in which ways they can be implemented:
    ·Document management. Provides for the tracking and storing of electronic documents and/or images of paper documents, and directly addresses issues of document storage, retrieval, filing, security, archival, retention, distribution, workflow, and creation.
    ·Collaboration tools. Allow people who are involved in a common task to achieve their goals by providing e-mail, calendaring, text chat, Wiki, workflow management, and so on.
    ·Web portals. Allow for quick and easy access to the information that is stored in the knowledge-management system over the Web and on the corporate intranet.
    ·Blogs. Are either company-hosted or personal Web sites that give employees the opportunity to communicate ideas in an informal environment. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media that are related to its topic, as well as the opportunity for readers to leave comments in an interactive forum;
    When these attributes are introduced correctly the organization is successful because its future users framed the goals and objectives of the system for themselves. This helped to encourage participation from the bottom up, which encouraged the continual migration of existing knowledge into the system, and helped to improve the values to of the company.

  13. Knowledge management can provide a positive impact to organizations by human factor, not by machine or most updated technology if managers can control it effectively. Individual skills and experience are great assets to the organizations. It becomes more crucial for managers to establish culture, work environment and system to recognize, learn and apply the collected knowledge. I’d suggest something like a database especially technical issues as product design and machine problems to let employees search the similar issues and solutions and then to apply them to current processes or problems. (1) OKWave, a Japanese consultant company suggests a Q&A exercise to facilitate an opportunity for employees to discover and document individual knowledge which they may or may not be aware of the value-added information they own. Nowadays constantly updating information is available through websites, news, and other sources for 24/7. We need resources to filter the large amount of information and carefully select and apply the information which may benefit the organizations. (2) Bellinger defines Information relates to description, definition, or perspective (what, who, when, where). Knowledge comprises strategy, practice, method, or approach (how). Wisdom embodies principle, insight, moral, or archetype (why). He sees the value of Knowledge Management relates directly to the effectiveness with which the managed knowledge enables the members of the organization to deal with today’s situations and effectively envision and create their future. In order to ensure the effectiveness in this fast pace society, managers monitor and feedback frequently how well their subordinates are participated in the activity.
    References
    (1) http://www.okwave.co.jp/service/ask_ok/index.html?gclid=CKCF_6-6_6QCFYNk7Aod4xfmig
    (2) http://www.systems-thinking.org/kmgmt/kmgmt.htm#dac

  14. Knowledge management resides within the core of an organization’s operations – it is a fundamental key in improving the organization’s practices and processes across both private and public sectors. The sharing of knowledge is sensitive, but for an organization to be successful it must adhere to specific principles in order for knowledge management to function in the most efficient manner possible. Some such rules constitute the following:

    (1) – recognize complexity
    (2) – focus on adoption
    (3) – deliver tangible & visible benfits
    (4) – prioritize business needs
    (5) – provide strong leadership

    The biggest challenge relates to the need to approach each project as a separate entity. While the said principles may appear pragmatic, knowledge management, ultimately, addresses key needs for building support and expanding an organization’s initiatives.

  15. According to the U.S. Office of Personal Management, there is a system based on critical success factors in which organizations should focus on, to meet system’s standard for success and operate efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with merit system principles. The Leadership and Knowledge Management system is comprised of five critical success factors:

    • Leadership Succession Management
    • Change Management
    • Integrity and Inspiring Employee
    Commitment
    • Continuous Learning
    • Knowledge Management.

    Also, the USOPM states that each critical success factor has several key elements that indicate effectiveness and are linked to suggested indicators that identify how well the agency is doing relative to key elements.
    It’s very hard to rebuild trust with workers after past management failures without possibly changing management as workers tend to be very unforgiving. Managers are looked upon as leaders and when workers feel like they’re being led a stray, then they lose confidence in that manager. However, it really depends upon the manager and how he is viewed by his workers. For example, his years of experience, the level of respect between him and the workers, and the relationship they have.

    Reference:

    The Leadership and Knowledge Management System
    http://www.opm.gov/hcaaf_resource_center/4-1.asp

  16. Today manager can get confident from workers because we know that with no trust manager and workers can not do any good job. It is all about ethical. Operations management is the area concerned with the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation in support and development of the firm’s strategic goals. Other areas of concern to operations management include the design and operations of systems to provide goods and services. To put it succinctly, operations management is the planning, scheduling, and control of the activities that transform inputs into outputs. Operations management is also an academic field of study that focuses on the effective planning, scheduling, use, and control of a manufacturing or service firm and their operations. So after all that workers should get some confident from managers but they have to show them that they are the one for the job and they are here for a company not for themselves.

  17. The industry’s giant, Andrew Carnegie, stated, “The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people.” Then Peter Drucker, author of modern management, wrote, “The basic economic resource – the means of production, is no longer capital, nor natural resources, nor labor. It is however, and will be knowledge.” Both of these business guru’s understand how valuable an asset their employees with many years of experience as well as formal education training can be to their companies. More and more every day, company head hunters are looking for young aggressive, smart, highly educated individuals to hire, because they know and understand that knowledge is the next gold mind for all types of industry. With technology changing our world at a rapid pace, companies will pay big bucks to the have the best of the best when it comes to continuing the company success. Throughout the article, one quote kept coming to mind “Knowledge is Power.” However, management will have to figure out how they will capture and retain the holders of power. Beginning with trust would be a great first step in the right direction.

    References
    Knowledge Management Gateway. 2010. Retrieved from the internet on October 28, 2010 from http://www.knowledgemanagmentgateway.com

  18. In a recent study regarding knowledge management Tsung-Yi Chen discusses three steps in achieving effective knowledge sharing within an organization.

    1. Promoting an enterprise culture which encourages knowledge sharing.

    2. Offering an effective knowledge sharing mechanism to minimize time and space barriers.

    3. Improving knowledge representation technology to increase accessibility by all members of an organization. (Tsung, Yi, C. 2009)

    Several organizations have enlisted the aid of Salesforce.com to help facilitate knowledge sharing. The software has the ability to upload documents and preprogrammed fields for data entry of client information. This system is accessible to other employees within the organization so that an employee can pull the history of the client’s relationship along with information such as hobbies that the client might participate in.

    Organizations require weekly activity reporting into the sales system, which encourages knowledge sharing. This system is online which frees up storage space and will allow an employee on the east coast to review a client’s file that was created on the west coast. By implementing this type of software into an organization easy access to information is given to all members of an organization.

    Reference:

    TSung-Yi, C. (2009). A multiple-layer knowledge management system framework considering user knowledge privileges. International Journal of Software Engineering & Knowledge Engineering, 19(3),361-387. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  19. No matter what physical form you database may take, optimal organization of the data in logical sequence and or group is critical to effectiveness. A database is constructed from a variety of sources. It is important to understand that the type of data and the criteria by which you are selecting data be worth compiling. If the data is worth compiling, then the proper retrieval should be executed. There should be communication and bridge building with the proper associates to correctly compile the information. Once the trust is built with the proper associates a better working relationship can be achieved. According to Ryan Williams, “Technology has brought an explosion of interconnectivity. People can communicate with one another with greater ease and seek information more quickly than ever before. But at the same time there has also been an erosion of the critical components of successful communication: trust, credibility, reliability and consistency”.

    Williams, R.. (2010, May). Change on the horizon. Communication World, 27(3), 16-19. Retrieved November 16, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2037862581).

  20. Trust can be built after past management failures, even if the failure is as large as the Enron scandal. However, research shows that people are more forgiving if this failure is based on the lack of knowledge instead of lack of integrity so in the Enron instance it would be extremely difficult to rebuild that trust, but not impossible. In order to rebuild trust, leaders must identify and replace the causes of the failures whether that is a policy or procedure change or a people or company culture change. Another important factor is that employees might trust their immediate supervisor or management team but not the company itself. The principle of congruence applies here which indicates that trust actions and messages must come from all levels of the organization. Making the necessary changes and having a positive, consistent communication to all levels of the organization can rebuild trust in management.

    Reference: http://www.positive-leader.com/subindex.php?mp_id=12&sp_id=57&title=Trust%20Repair&description=November%202009%20Newsletter

  21. The possibility of management’s ability to regain employee trust is relative to the nature of the management failure. When management makes a habit of laying off workers shortly before they are able to collect on their company retirement plan, an atmosphere of distrust and contempt is created between upper and lower level employees that cannot be easily mended. When these workers leave, so do their years of experience and tacit knowledge. Experienced employees are therefore reluctant to pass down gained knowledge to their potential replacements. Managers can use several techniques to aid in the procurement and retention of knowledge. A database for storing information and documents should first be established. Employees can be required to work in teams so that gained knowledge is shared. Mandatory reports should be submitted often to the knowledge database. Cross-training employees is another solution, so that individual employees do not become so specialized they are irreplaceable.

    References:
    Rothbart, J. (2009, January 31). Layoffs send people and knowledge packing. ReadWrite Enterprize. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2009/01/layoffs-send-people-and-knowledge-packing.php

  22. Companies may struggle with efficiently and effectively managing knowledge within the organization. The company’s ability to transfer knowledge is a key determinant in maintaining a competitive advantage (Ziye, Hao, & Youmin, 2010). The transfer of valuable knowledge among management and employees is essential in generating sustainable performance and productivity. Communication and understanding play into the transfer of knowledge among those in the organization. While intellectual and technological knowledge is valuable to a company, it is not as effective unless it is communicated and understood by the organization as a whole. Employees must have confidence and trust in management to feel comfortable sharing and transferring knowledge from one department to another. To maintain employees’ trust, management must always be open to new ideas and stress the importance of the “distribution and utilization” of employee knowledge and how it is the “chief source and pivotal factor” in the company’s production development and steady economic growth (Mil’ner, 2001).

    Mil’ner, B. (2001). Knowledge management. Problems of Economic Transition, 43(10), 65.
    Ziye, L., Hao, S., & Youmin, X. (2010). Do knowledge characteristics matter? A test of the relationship between knowledge characteristics and performance. SAM Advanced Management Journal (07497075), 75(2), 38-53.

  23. Trust can be rebuilt but it takes time and the correct communication from the company/management to the worker. As people have stated before the high rate of layoffs is a large issue regarding trust. Not knowing if you will have a job is stressful and as worker not knowing who you can trust is also very disconcerting.

    “One party trusts another not only when he perceives honesty and an absence of opportunism but also when expecting that the other’s attitudes and capabilities will turn out as promised.” Trust is, above all, an interpersonal phenomenon. It occurs (or fails to occur) between individuals. Even in terms of trust between organizations, it is their key executives, more or less willing to rely on trust in their dealings with each other, who make or break the relationship. The higher the trust between the executives and the day to day workers will only help to improve the quality of work and the work environment.

    Can Trust Be Rebuilt?: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_27/b3790012.htm

  24. Knowledge management (KM) activities include knowledge generation, knowledge sharing and knowledge codification [1]. Most companies engage in knowledge management (KM) practices through by establishing a workflow that matches a process or collecting information stored in data bases. Data mining is an example of a KM system. Companies should ensure that the user requirements and organizational requirements are understood by employees so the benefits of KM are realized. KM systems should be designed in a way that supports specific processes and create an integrated environment. If effective KN systems are in place, companies can depend on them as a source of competitive advantage. “Knowledge management is effective only if it is aligned with the business strategy of the organization and becomes an integral part of its culture, writes Sudipta Dev [2]”. He also explains that effective knowledge management is about leveraging the collective ability of knowledge workers for business gain [2]. In prior blogs we established that trust is an issue that can take a lifetime to build and in a moment is gone and starting over is a very long-term process. Management should determine how much risk is appropriate to retain their image and reputation.
    [1] Dorit Nevo Developing Effective Knowledge Management Systems – Thesis Summary
    [2] Sudpita Dev Effective knowledge management And http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/cgi-bin/ecprint/Master PFP.cgi?doc=

  25. Knowledge management (KM) activities include knowledge generation, knowledge sharing and knowledge codification [1]. Most companies engage in knowledge management practices through by establishing a workflow that matches a process or collecting information stored in data bases. Data mining is an example of a KM system. Companies should ensure that the user requirements and organizational requirements are understood by employees so the benefits of KM are realized. KM systems should be designed in a way that supports specific processes and create an integrated environment. If effective KN systems are in place, companies can depend on them as a source of competitive advantage. “Knowledge management is effective only if it is aligned with the business strategy of the organization and becomes an integral part of its culture, writes Sudipta Dev [2]”. He also explains that effective knowledge management is about leveraging the collective ability of knowledge workers for business gain [2]. In prior blogs we established that trust is an issue that can take a lifetime to build and in a moment is gone and starting over is a very long-term process. Management should determine how much risk is appropriate to retain their image and reputation.
    [1] Dorit Nevo Developing Effective Knowledge Management Systems – Thesis Summary
    [2] Sudpita Dev Effective knowledge management And http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/cgi-bin/ecprint/Master PFP.cgi?doc=

  26. The value of knowledge management systems is directly related to the effectiveness and how it is used. Organizations ensure the effectiveness of their knowledge management systems by guaranteeing that their employees and other users can understand it. In order for people to understand the system, they need to be educated on it through effective communication.

    Trust can be rebuilt with today’s workers after past management failures by restoring employee confidence in the organization. This can be achieved through a positive behavior and image set forth by management. Trust must start at the top and trickle down. Also, trust can be restored with having clearly defined job responsibilities assigned to each person. This way each person knows what is required, and if for some reason that trust is violated, there will be obvious consequences.
    http://www.stylusinc.com/Common/Scenarios/km.php

  27. “There are many reasons why knowledge should be managed properly especially using the collaborative technology. Among these are information overload, technology advancement, increased professional specialization, competition, workforce mobility and turnover, and capitalization of organizational knowledge.” (1)To ensure effective use of knowledge managements systems, organizations can use technology to create knowledge, find knowledge and distribute knowledge to their employees. These technologies can offer electronic task management, messaging, group decision support, data mining and more. Managers must be able to handle this information available appropriately. The misuse of this shared information could result in distrust amongst the employees and management. This trust can rarely be repaired and can create great turmoil for any company.
    (1) Abdullah, R. (2005). A Framework For Knowledge Management System Implementation In Collaborative Environment For Higher Learning Institution. Journal of Knowledge Management Practice.

  28. Introduction to Knowledge Management states “Knowledge Management (KM) refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. KM focuses on processes such as acquiring, creating and sharing knowledge and the cultural and technical foundations that support them.”

    One aspect of KM is the knowledge gained by employees. The longer a productive employee is on the job and the more aspects of the job they learn to control, the more skills and knowledge they obtain. As employees are forced to leave a firm (due to retirement, new employment, illness, etc.), they often take years of Knowledge with them, leaving a hole in the organization’s Process/Systems.

    In this respect, employee retention is a key, but when that is not feasible, so is ensuring a transfer of skills and knowledge from one employee to another through regular cross training programs. Pairing off workers to train one another, or enacting step systems prompting employees to learn new aspects of the system for bumps in compensation.

    Knowledge management
    http://www.unc.edu/~sunnyliu/inls258/Introduction_to_Knowledge_Management.html

  29. In a recent study regarding knowledge management Tsung-Yi Chen discusses three steps in achieving effective knowledge sharing within an organization.

    1. Promoting an enterprise culture which encourages knowledge sharing.

    2. Offering an effective knowledge sharing mechanism.

    3. Improving knowledge representation technology to increase accessibility by all members of an organization. (Tsung, Yi, C. 2009)

    Several organizations have enlisted the aid of Salesforce.com to help facilitate knowledge sharing. The software has the ability to upload documents and preprogrammed fields for data entry of client information. This system is accessible to other employees within the organization for review.
    Organizations require weekly activity reporting into the sales system, which encourages knowledge sharing. This system is online which frees up storage space and will allow an employee on the east coast to review a client’s file that was created on the west coast. By implementing this type of software into an organization easy access to information is given to all members of an organization.

    Reference:

    TSung-Yi, C. (2009). A multiple-layer knowledge management system framework considering user knowledge privileges. International Journal of Software Engineering & Knowledge Engineering, 19(3),361-387. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  30. A paper written by Holste and Fields explores the role of trust and its effect of tacit knowledge (2010). The paper finds that trust influences the willingness of a party to share and use tacit knowledge (Holste and Fields, 2010). There are different types of trust as defined in the paper: Affect-based trust and Cognition-based trust, one based upon emotional bonds between parties and the other based upon knowledge of the individual’s performance. In order of a firm to develop answers to many of its internal problems it is imperative that the firm finds a way to develop both types of trust. I believe that it is possible to do so. I believe that matrix project organization is one way to encourage knowledge management but it requires that management and leadership adopt and reflect a commitment to honesty and transparency. It is also important that a well known incentive system is in place.

    J. Scott Holste, Dail Fields, (2010) “Trust and tacit knowledge sharing and use”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 14 Iss: 1, pp.128 – 140

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