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Human resource issues in knowledge management - Essay Example

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Knowledge management can be defined as any organizations efforts to enable the handling of knowledge that it possesses in an effective and efficient manner and in such a way which gives the utmost advantages and benefits to the human resources that exists within that organization,…
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Human Resource Issues in Knowledge Management and Section # of Knowledge management can be defined as any organizations efforts to enable the handling of knowledge that it possesses in an effective and efficient manner and in such a way which gives the utmost advantages and benefits to the human resources that exists within that organization, so that implicit and explicit, both types of knowledge can be stored, accessed, used and analyzed by the human resources there.
Many scholars have debated over the fact whether knowledge can be managed at all or not (Carter, 2000). One of them says that knowledge is intellectual capital and thus, like any other capital, it should also be managed by the company. Moreover, when anything can be measured, as knowledge can be, it can be managed as well. Furthermore, human resource management still forms an integral part of knowledge management because the ultimate benefit that KM is giving is to the employees of the organizations. Another scholar says that knowledge management is the wrong term to use; rather it should be the exchange of knowledge and its fresh creation done through communication. (Bergeron, 2003)
There are many issues when it comes to HR in knowledge management. The first one is that of organizational structure. Does it facilitate communication to enhance effective knowledge management Structure can be vertical, autonomous or network. All kinds of structures have different implications for how the human resources shares and communicates knowledge. The second issue is that of culture. Different kinds of corporate cultures exist in various organizations (Jackson, 2006). The type of communication that human resource does depends a lot on the culture that exists there. For instance, there is the "clan" culture, where all the human resource exists as a family and believes in sharing information. Then there is the reward system, which can play a huge role in whether knowledge management is effective or not. For instance, if the organization links some rewards to those who are sharing knowledge, then employees are more likely to share knowledge. (Woods, 1999)
Then there is the issue of the kind of work practice that prevails in the organization. Does the company support team work or individual effort Does it encourage socialization among its employees If factors like team work and socialization is supported, effective communication of knowledge will take place. In addition to that, the physical environment of the office can also make or break knowledge management efforts. If the seats of employees are set in a way which gives them more chances of socialization, then communication is effective and fast. The last issue is that of whether the staff which is initially recruited is fit for knowledge management practices or not. While recruitment and selection is going on, the hiring managers need to take note of who has better communication skills and who has a vast knowledge base to share. (Armstrong, 2006)
In conclusion it can be said that knowledge is one of the most valuable assets of a company, and thus, a company should make maximum efforts for its widespread among its employees so that the human resource can learn from its past and not repeat the mistakes that were previously made. With time, the company will be equipped with a strong knowledge base to enable them to gain competitive edges.


1. Armstrong, Michael (2006) a Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. Kogan Page
2. Jackson, John (2006) Human Resource Management. Thomson South-Western
3. Woods, John (1999) the Knowledge Management Yearbook. Butterworth - Heinemann
4. Bergeron, Bryan (2003) the Essentials of Knowledge Management. J. Wiley
5. Carter, Chris (2000) Investigating Knowledge Management. CIPD Publishing Read More
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