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Knowledge Management - Essay Example

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The basic understanding of KM is associated with the recognition of knowledge as the defining element of the postindustrial era. In terms of managing people, knowledge organizations face two important challenges: (a) to realize that knowledge is entirely human; and (b) to motivate individuals share their knowledge with others…
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Download file to see previous pages Keywords: knowledge management, organizations, Siemens, organizational culture. Knowledge Management Knowledge management is one of the most popular objects of scholarly and empirical analysis. Much has been written and said about the principles of effective knowledge management in organizations and factors affecting it. Despite the growing body of literature, many organizations fail to implement KM practices properly. “The major problems that occur in KM usually result because companies ignore people and cultural issues” (Geisler & Wickramasinghe, 2009, p.12). For organizations that seek to establish themselves as repositories of knowledge, creating a culture that rewards individuals for knowledge sharing and recognized the value of tacit knowledge is crucial (Geisler & Wickramasnighe, 2009). This paper presents an analysis of the human and cultural issues involved in knowledge management in Siemens and, actually, many other organizations. In this paper, the examples of Texaco, Semantech, Xerox, Hewlett Packard, General Motors, BP Amoco and others are used to substantiate the argument. Knowledge Management as Human Resource Management Randall Sellers stated that “the challenge is managing the people who manage the knowledge”. In other words, the human dimension is believed to be an essential ingredient of knowledge management practices in organizations. ...
ity is logical and reflects an ongoing tension between the growing role of knowledge and increasingly distributed structure of modern organizations (Swan et al., 1999). KM had to reduce this tension and enhance organizations’ capacity to generate and share knowledge. Unfortunately, failure to understand the basics of KM creates a situation, when organizations hide behind technologies and do not notice human resources which, in the meantime, are primarily responsible for creating this knowledge. Many organizations rely on the systems and tools that codify and commodify knowledge (Swan et al., 1999). Managers in these firms adopt an information-based perspective on KM, which interprets knowledge management in terms of information, not people, and emphasizes the importance of accessibility, availability, and real-time changes of information (Alavi & Leidner, 1999). In reality, the main challenge of knowledge management is in managing people who produce this knowledge, and there are several reasons for this. First, knowledge is a human act (McDermott, 1999). Therefore, no knowledge management is possible without people. The essence of knowledge management is in generating knowledge, piecing information together, reflecting on individual and collective experiences, generating insights, and using the results to solve acute organizational problems (McDermott, 1999). “From the point of view of the person who knows, knowledge is a kind of sticky residue of insight about using information and experience to think” (McDermott, 1999, p.106). Yet, many organizations make one and the same mistake, when they limit their knowledge management solutions to IT systems and networks. The real challenge of KM is to manage people, who generate and possess this knowledge. Well-known is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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