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Knowledge Management

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Knowledge Management

"Knowledge management is the set of practices aimed at discovering and harnessing an organization's intellectual resources. It's about finding, unlocking, sharing, and altogether capitalizing on the most precious resources of an organization: people's expertise, skills, wisdom, and relationships. Knowledge managers find these human assets, help people collaborate and learn, help people generate new ideas, and harness those ideas into successful innovations" (Bateman, 2004, p.8-9). One of the most important factors of change in management is the growing need for good, new ideas. Knowledge management is an approach that allows people to produce change. It's bringing people together and collecting ideas from the group that can provide further success for the company and personally for the employees. A new idea can produce growth and motivation within a company. If the employees and the company as a whole come together and grasp a new idea, it ultimately can lead to new inventions of products and services. (Lineman, 2004.)

Knowledge management is the process by which an organization creates, captures, acquires and uses knowledge to support and improve the performance of the organization. Two types of knowledge management are usually defined. The first is identifying knowledge. This means the documents and catalogues knowledge held by individuals and other forms of intellectual capital within the organization. Knowledge documentation generally includes a directory of experts or specialists, a database of best practices, foreign language capabilities, or unique talents or skills. In many organizations these are computer accessible databases of individuals and their competencies in the form of documents: memos, team progress reports, journal articles, resumes, working papers and research reports. The second type of knowledge management functions to facilitate the sharing of knowledge throughout the organization. This is usually accomplished via email on the Internet or intranet, and through groupware, and other interactive software, but also through face-to-face exchange. Therefore, knowledge management is an active or proactive process by which an organization can increase its intellectual capital. This leads to the creation of new positions titled chief learning officer. This knowledge, the sum of what is known in the organization, is managed like other resources. For others, there is a greater appreciation of what knowledge and skills are, how they are gained, and how behavior is changed. For others, the intellectual capital and knowledge management efforts are seen as new and necessary knowledge, skills and abilities. (Kinney, 1999)

Knowledge management is nothing new. For hundreds of years, owners of family businesses have passed their commercial wisdom on to their children, and workers have exchanged ideas and know-how on the job. But it wasn't until the 1990's that chief executives started talking about knowledge management. (Hansen, 1999) More than 15 years ago, Peter Drucker heralded the beginning of the knowledge era. Since then, companies have made many attempts to leverage what they know and to increase their workers productivity. In order to bring together vast amounts of explicit knowledge, they have invested large sums in databases; in order to help people track down others with tacit expertise, they have experimented with open offices, mobile technologies and online directories. (Hammer, 2004)

As the foundation of industrialized economies has shifted from natural to intellectual assets, executives have been compelled to examine the knowledge underlying their businesses and how that knowledge is used. It's those small things that make the difference, and it's up to the managers to choose the way they want to utilize them. (Hammer, 2004)

Most people have an intuitive grasp of management because we are raised in a world of organizations, so at an early age we absorb the basic concepts of working life. That's why management education is often dismissed as "common sense." But it is exactly this commonly understood sense that is the problem. " Prevailing management concepts were conceived for an industrial past, so they are not useful for a different economy based on knowledge. The founding fathers of management would be baffled to hear modern managers talk of networks, telecommuting, and virtual organization"

(Halal, 1996, p. 2).

"Management is the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals. Good managers do those things both effectively and efficiently" (Bateman, 2004, p.14). "Management have four traditional functions, which are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling" (Bateman, 2004, p.8). Good managers don't neglect any of the four important functions because if they do they will fail. They must be determined to be effective and perform to their best abilities. These four functions are the basics to management and have been followed by many managers for a long time. That's why knowledge management has taken such a big role in management because it began a new idea. That's what knowledge management is all about, new ideas. There are many things a company can do to adopt the concept of knowledge management into their systems. Knowledge management really focuses on the people. It's a new idea to utilize the people of the company and get more ideas from them and not just the company owner. It tries to find and unlock peoples' wisdom. It tries to share information with a group therefore creating thoughtful thinking and collaboration of their expertise. (Lineman, 2004)

Decisions can make or break an organization. As a manager, you have to make vital decisions every day. I think knowledge management and decision making go hand in hand. The reason is that a manager has to choose his product. He has to choose his company and those who will help him succeed. He has many decisions that come down to the core, which is management. Knowledge management is a new process & new idea that is improving the company and the people working along side it. A manager has the choice to hire an employee or fire the employee. With knowledge management, the manager has to decide what person to trust. Is he really an expert? He has to choose whom to listen to when coming up with new ideas. (Lineman, 2004)

"Managers face problems constantly. Some problems that require a decision are relatively simple; others seem overwhelming. Some demand immediate action, while others take months or even years to unfold (Bateman, 2004, p.66). The ability of managers to solve problems and make decisions rationally has



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