Knowledge Management

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A SEMINAR REPORT ON CONTEMPORARY MANAGEMENT ISSUEON ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN BUILDING TALENT IN ORGANIZATION Submitted in partial fulfilment for the award of requirement of Master of Business Administration


Submitted To:Rajasthan Tech. University, Kota

Submitted By:Neel Mishra M.B.A. 2nd Sem.



Declaration by candidate

I hereby declare that this report is my original work and I have not copied it from anywhere or earlier, such report prepared by my own efforts. I further declare that I have not submitted this report anywhere else except to RTU, Kota in partial fulfilment of my MBA course. Date:11-5-2011

Neel Mishra MBA 2nd Sem.


Declaration by Guide

This is to certify that Mr. Neel Mishra the student, course of MBA of SHEKHAWATI INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT has completed the project study titled ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN BUILDING TALENT IN ORGANIZATION under my guidance. It is his own work to the best of my wish his all future ventures.

Mr. Mukesh Sharma ( Asst. Prof. ) SIM



The underlying aim of project report on contemporary issue is to undergo a deep study on given current issue or relevant topic as fulfilment for MBA programme. The topic of my project report ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN BUIDIND TALENT IN ORGANIZATION. It constrains all the basic knowledge relating ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN BUIDIND TALENT IN ORGANIZATION its usage an application in the various fields of work, its positive and negative consequences on the organization as well as on the economy.



I express my sincere thanks to my project guide, Mr. Mukesh Sharma Asst. Professor, SIM for guiding me right from the inception till the successful completion of the project. I sincerely acknowledge him for extending his valuable guidance to support per literature critical reviews of project throughout my project & all the moral support he had provided to me in all stages of this project. I am also thankful to SIM staff for their co-operation in completing my project.

Neel Mishra




PAGE NO. i iii iv 1 5 8 21 27 39 42 44






Knowledge is an essential business assets people are human assets in an organization because they possess abilities, skills, competences, experience and wisdom. Intellectual capital has become more important than physical assets. Gary Hamel put it, We have moved from an economy of hands to an economy of heads. We are living in a knowledge society in which we have knowledge workers and knowledge managers. This requires Working smarter, not harder. Lotus says, Knowing ignorance is strength and ignoring knowledge is sickness. Knowledge workers are the backbone of every successful business. In fact, knowledge has become the most critical and crucial factor of surviving in todays cut-throat competitive environment. Knowledge is a big percentage of the value of all goods & services produce in every industry. Business firms are wealth creating units as they generate economy value. But their abilities to perform depend on their expertise, skills, knowledge and information they have. According to Hamel and Prahalad, An organizations capacity to improve existing skills and learn new ones offers the most defensible competitive advantage of all. It reflects the rational of knowledge management in organization. Today, brain has replaced brawn as the primary source of corporate wealth creation. According to some estimates, nearly 80% of jobs in advanced countries involve knowledge work rather than manual labour.

Historical overview of KMKnowledge has been the staple source of competitive advantage for many companies for 100 of years. For example, the idea of passing knowledge to an apprentice from a master was used essentially during medieval. Passing the family resides that makes a certain product unique from one generation to other also a test to the notion of knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing. 8

Medieval merchants and sea captain closely guarded navigational lore. Invention and patent were vital to the growth of the American industrial economy in the 19th century. The recorded history of knowledge dates back to Plato and Aristotle, but its modern day understanding is credited to scholars like Daniel bell (1973), Michael Polanyi (1958, 1974), Alvin Toffler (1980), and the Japanese group, Ikujiro Nonaka (1995) other writers like Sveiby (1997) and Stewart (2000) promoted the concept knowledge as the core assets of the organization. 1960s Drucker coined the terms knowledge work and knowledge workers when he was descising the role of knowledge in organization. In the early 1970s, researcher at MIT and Stenford were analyzing ways in which companies produced, used, and diffused knowledge the idea of knowledge being a corporate assets had not yet caught on, and it was not until the 1980s that company truly began to value knowledge. During the 1990s the beginning of the internet allowed KM to take of it provided the information super highway. With the help of the internet KM become a feasible concept for many companies.

Current casesCase 1: Acquiring knowledge assets When ford motor company bought the automotive division of Volvo, ford acquired more than assembly plans, office building, inventory, and other tangible assets a highly respected tradition of automotive know how, embodied in the design, work processes and employee skills that may valvo cars, became an assets for ford. Ford could choose to cultivate and preserve the tradition within the Volvo division, develop base to transfer Volvo knowledge to other ford division, or make other business issues the priority and thereby diminish or even loose Volvos assets.



The most critical word in the KM area is knowledge. It is the heart of an organizations productivity and growth. Elias Awad and Ghaziri define knowledge as understanding gained through experience and study. A distinction was made by Ryle ( 1949) between knowledge how and knowledge that. Knowing how is the ability of a person to performed task, and knowing that holding pieces of knowledge in ones mind. According to Websters dictionary, knowledge is the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association. Knowledge has been classified as explicit or tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge can be codified it is recorded and available, and is held in databases, in corporate intranets and intellectual portfolios. It is digitised in books, documents, reports, white papers, lights tacit knowledge exists in peoples minds. It is difficult to articulate in writing and is acquired personal experience.





Knowledge is neither data not information although is

related to both.

Knowledge may be information combined with personal know-how. Technology cannot replace human knowledge it not a vehicle for knowledge transfer. Knowledge is dynamic, fluid and ever changing. It can compensate for search time. It travels even more effortlessly than money. It has borderlessness. Itis non-hierarchical.

Elements of KM


Knowledge management is accumulating knowledge assets using them effectively to gain a competitive advantage. It is a process of gatherings, organising and sharing a companys information and knowledge assets. It involves cultivating a learning culture in which organisational members gather knowledge and share with it to achieve better performance. It is a process of organising and distributing and organisations collective wisdom so the right information gets otot the right people at the right time. Knowledge management is a newly emerging, in interdisciplinary business model. It is a systematic and organised attempt to use knowledge within an organization to improve performance. It promotes learning and information. A few important definitions of KM are quoted below:According to Hibbard, 1997, Knowledge management is the process of gathering a firms collective expertise wherever it resides- in database, on paper, or in peoples heads-and distributing it to where it can help produce the bigger payoff. In the words of Bair (2001), Knowledge management is a disciple of identifying, capturing, retrieving, sharing, and evaluating an enterprises information assets. According to David Delong and Patrica seemann, KM is the development of tools, processes, system, structures and cultures explicitly to improve the creation, sharing and use of knowledge critical for decision making. According to Scarborough et al, KM is, any process or practice of creating, acquiring, capturing, sharing and using knowledge, wherever it resides, to enhance learning and performance organization. Knowledge management has also been defined by Tan (2000) as: The process of systematically and actively managing and leveraging the store of knowledge in an organization. According to Michael Armstrong, knowledge management involves transforming knowledge resources by identifying relevant information and then disseminating it so that learning can take place. Knowledge management


strategies promote the sharing of knowledge by linking people with people, and by linking them to information so that they learn from documented experiences. According to Andrew Mayo, knowledge management refers to the efforts to systematically find, organize, and make available a companys intellectual capital and to foster a culture of continuous learning and knowledge sharing so that a companys activities build on what is already known.





Knowledge management has been described as a set of process or elements is management in an organisation. It is a process of developing an organisations capacity to acquire share and utilize knowledge so that it can survive and succeed. To develop this capacity companies establish system, structures, and organizational values that support the knowledge management process. The steps and elements of KM are as follows 1. Identification of knowledge 2. Knowledge creation and acquisitions 3. Knowledge architecture 4. Knowledge storage or preservation 5. Knowledge sharing or distribution 6. Knowledge utilisation 7. Unlearning

These are discussed below: 1. Identification of knowledge The first step in the process of knowledge management is the identification of the nature, kinds and modes of knowledge required for an effective implementation of business strategy. Organization need to identify what are their knowledge assets. This knowledge may be about market products, processes, and technologies. To acquire knowledge about these assets contributes towards the successful functioning of an organization. In this phase,


It is also important to understand these kinds of knowledge (i.e. tacit or explicit) that it uses. The managers should also analyse how much of the current knowledge it has is tacit and how much is explicit. Tacit knowledge is experimental and localized in people heads. Explicit knowledge is available in some documented form. Organization also needs to take into account future knowledge needs.

2. Knowledge creation and acquisition

Knowledge has to exist before it can be used Elias and Ghaziri comments:this means updating our knowledge will mot tomorrows problem. This means updating our knowledge on a regular basis is essential, knowledge acquisition includes the organizations ability to extract information and ideas from its environment as well as through insight there are several methods for creating and acquiring knowledge:(i)

R&D groups: Knowledge can be created internally through dedicated resources or by fostering an overall climate that supports and sustains emergent Knowledge wherever it arises. For example, many companies have well resourced R & D groups. Today, Nokia is the worlds leading maker of mobile telephones. Of the 165 million phones sold in 1998, 41 million were Nokia phones. Nokia has achieved its current success by redesigning its innovation process. Nokias R&D engineering work in closely knit teams with suppliers, productions staff, and marketing people. In some instances, nokia has brought a new product to market in as little as six weeks.


Buying Knowledge: Knowledge can also be the acquired or brought. The rate at which companies are acquiring other companies or merging with their


past competitors is dazzling. IBM was purchasing lotus expertise in the notes software domain to fold these missing ingredients into its own portfolio of offerings. Hewlett Packard bought a consulting firm to augment its own knowledge and expertise for providing complex IT and solution to business. Many companies also use the services of consultants to add to their expertise base or to fill in holes in their internal competencies.


Teamwork: A team translates experience into knowledge.


Individual Learning: Knowledge flows through individuals, so organisation use innovative ways to help employees acquiring knowledge through individual learning. People can learn through reinforcement, feedback, observation and experience. The quality management practices of benchmarking and continuous improvement also individual learning.


Environment scanning: It involves receiving information from the external and internal environment so that effective strategic decision can be made. It helps build new perceptual model of the world.


Grafting: The process of acquiring Knowledge by hiring individual or buying entire companies is called grafting. Many companies acquire information through grafting. Every company hires new employees, who bring fresh ideas as well as technical Knowledge with them. Merger & acquisition are classic examples of grafting,


particularly in softwares and other Knowledge based industries where intellectual capital is the only recourse worth acquiring.


Insight: Knowledge acquisition also comes from within the person through insight. This insight this result of experimentation and creative processes. Corporate leaders need to establish are learning capability. This means that they must created infrastructures that help employees gain insight from their own experiences as well as the experiences of others; they generalize these ideas beyond their own confined boundaries. Example organization must welcome critical inquiry and allow employees to make reasonable mistakes.

(viii) Social networks:

Knowledge can also be generated through social networks. When knowledgeable people connect with other knowledgeable people, new ideas emerge. These networks can exists within the boundaries of the organization or can extend beyond to link companies to companies, to customer, to research institutions, to analyst groups. Conferences colloquia, round tables, seminars, other professional meetings are formal opportunities to gather and exchange Knowledge.

3. Knowledge architecture Knowledge architecture is a pre requisite to Knowledge sharing. We view the infrastructure as a combination of people, content, and technology. These components are interred depended and inseparable. People with Knowledge provide content, relying on technology to transfer and share


Knowledge. This combination provides the efficiency and performance to managing the Knowledge core of the company.

a. People core:

Knowledge management is about people and the way they creatively perform in an environment contusive to Knowledge sharing. By people, we mean Knowledge workers, managers, customers, and suppliers. The first step is Knowledge architecture is to evaluate the current information and documents people use, the application they need, the people they contact for solutions, the associate, they collaborate with, the e-mail they send and receive, and the database they access.

b. Content core:

Once we have determine the Knowledge that people need the next step is to identify where Knowledge resides and how to capture it. By Knowledge or content core, we mean areas in the organization where knowledge is available for Knowledge capture. Knowledge centres may belong to human resources, marketing customer services, sales or many other areas. Knowledge centre serve to identify individual experts or expert team in each centre who could be 20

candidates for the Knowledge capture process expert must be assign to each Knowledge area to ensure integrity of information content access and update.

c. Technology:

His gaol of the technical core is to enhance communication and ensure effective Knowledge sharing.

4. Knowledge storage or preservation

It should be noted that intellectual capital can be lost as quickly as it is acquire. Knowledge once acquired needs to be preserved. The term storage includes preserving existing, acquires and created Knowledge in properly indexed and interlinked Knowledge repositories. Corporate leaders need to recognize that they are the keepers of organization memories. It includes information that employees possess as well as Knowledge embedded in the organizations system and structures. It includes documents, objects, any things else that provide meaningful information about how the organization should operate. In other words, organization is the stock of Knowledge an organization possess at any given time. This phase includes the following activities:

Determining the Knowledge topology relevant to the organization. Capturing Knowledge. Maintain the Knowledge bases. Creating Knowledge maps bringing out hidden Knowledge, organizing it, putting it in a form that it can be available to other.

Keeping Knowledge employees. Transferring Knowledge into structured capital.


5. Sharing or distributing knowledge Many organizations are reasonably good at acquiring knowledge but waste this resource by not effectively disseminating it recent studies report that knowledge sharing is usually weakest link in knowledge management. Valuable ideas sit idly rather like unused inventory as hidden pockets through organization. Distribution of knowledge required three steps:A. Locating knowledge:

Distribution process is concerned with finding packaging, and delivering the right set of data, information and knowledge to the right people at the right time. The first step is locating the material, either inside or outside the company. It is important to remember that knowledge can reside in many places and take many forms. To take what you want, you must find out where it lives. Knowledge can be kept in: Place- recorded in an existing documents or databases Processes- embedded in a known work process

People- known to an identified individual Pieces- distributed in parts among several people or processes

B. Organising knowledge:

Once you find useful data, information, or knowledge, you need to be sure it is in the right form to be transferred to new context.

C. Delivering knowledge:

Once knowledge has been found and packaged, it must be delivered. The delivery mechanism can either push knowledge to user or let them put it in. push technologies send information to you, such as daily news feeds and email. Pull technologies are those in which initiate request or


a search. And effective knowledge distribution system uses both push and pulls technologies How do companies share knowledge? It can use the following ways: TRAINING: Formal training is useful to share the knowledge.

COMMUNICATION: Through communication processes a company can quickly and fluently share meaning information across organisation boundaries.

TEAMS: Teams also play vital role in knowledge sharing. Organisation disseminates knowledge by seeding team with new members who bring valuable experience from successful teams in the past.

COMMUNITIES OF PRACTIES: These informal groups of people who live, breathe, and love a particular field of knowledge. Dozens of communities of practise gropes issue. have sprung up around customer satisfaction measurement, training, safety, quality, and a variety of technical

REWARD SYSTEM: Many employees are reluctant to share knowledge, fearing that they lose power. Reward system reduces system.

6. Applying or Utilizing knowledge:

Accruing and sharing knowledge are wasted exercise unless knowledge is effectively put to use. This involves making sense of information received and applying it to employee behaviour either directly or through organizational system and structured.


For applying knowledge, the following condition needs to exit: (i) Employees should realize that day possess that day to potential improve performance.(ii)

They must be able to make sense of the information they receive. Bipin Junnakar says we are not constrained by ideas but why what to do with them.

(iii) They need it have freedom to apply their knowledge. (iv) They must be empowered and motivated to produce and perform in the right direction.(v)

Knowledge must be applied in the service of company goal and objectives. For this occur, first and for most, employees need to understand these goals and objectives, at the corporate level and at the level of their own work unit.

(vi) Employees need to be able to puts that knowledge to use in a work

environment that suits the units work needs. In some ways, knowledge isnt really knowledge until the user makes it so. The usermust be able to understand the knowledge, in a meaningful context,

and be able to put it to use.

7. Unlearning Successful company also learn. Sometimes it is appropriate for

organizations to selectively forget certain knowledge. These that they should cast of the routines and pattern of behaviour that are know longer appropriate. Employees need to think their perception, such as how they should interact with customer which is the best way to perform a task.

Nonakas model of knowledge creation:Another way of looking at knowledge creation in knowledge transformation is to use nonakas model. Ninaka (1995) coined the terms tacit knowledge and 24

explicit knowledge as the two types of human knowledge. Tacit knowledge is considered the most valuable knowledge the key to knowledge creation lies in the way it is mobilized and converted to technology. Conversation of knowledge between tacit and explicit knowledge.

(i) Tacit to tacit communication, refer to as socialization, takes

place between people in meetings or in team discussion. Such a knowledge sharing, transfer, or colorations often produces no explicit. (ii) Tacit to explicit communication, or externalization, if

essentially articulation among people through dialogue.(iii) Explicit








communication) is one transformation phase that is best supported by technology. Explicit knowledge can be easily captured and transmitted to a worldwide audience.(iv)Explicit








internalization) is taking explicit knowledge such as a report and deducing new ideas or taking constructive actions.


Nonakas model divide knowledge creation process into four categories it focuses on tacit knowledge and the use of technology in generating and transmitting such knowledge to other uman knowledge continues to be a valuable resource and technology is expected to trickle slowly into a human domain where knowledge creation and knowledge transfer can be expended of r human decision making.

Approaches to knowledge management::Various scholars have pointed out some approaches to KM. the following two approaches have been identified by Hansen et al (1999):(i) Codification approach

Knowledge is carefully codified and stored in database where it can be accessed and used easily by anyone in the organization. Knowledge is explicit and is codified. It is a people to document approach. It is document driven. Knowledge is extracted from the person who developed it, made independent of that person and reused various purposes. It will be stored in some form of electronic depository for people to use. This allows may people who search for and retrieve codified knowledge without having through contact the person who originally developed it. This strategies realieslsrgrly on information technology to manage databases and also on the use of the intranet.

(ii) Personalization approach:

This approach tells that knowledge is closely tied to the person who has developed it and it shared mainly through direct person to person contacts. This is the person to person approach which involves sharing tacit knowledge. The exchange is achieved by creating networks and face to face communication between individuals and teams by means of formal conferences, workshops, brain storming and one to one sessions. 26

(iii) Knowledge creating approaches: This approach has been put forward by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995). In their opinion, a core competitive activity of organization is knowledge creation. It is an organic fluid and socially constructed process in which different knowledges are blended to produce innovative outcomes that are predicted or predictable. They pointed out that fundamental to knowledge creation is the blending of tacit and explicit knowledge through processes of socialization (tacit to tacit) externalization (tacit to explicit), internalization (explicit to tacit) and combination (explicit to explicit). (iv) Resource based approach: Scarborough and Carter (2000) described knowledge management as the attempt by management to actively create, communicate and exploit knowledge as a resource for the organization. They suggest that this attempt has technical, social and economic components:

In technical terms knowledge management

involves centralising knowledge that is currently scattered across the organization and codifying tacit form of knowledge. In social and political terms, knowledge

management involves collectivizing knowledge so that it is no longer the exclusive property of individuals or groups. In economic terms knowledge management is

the response by organizations to the need to intensify their creation and exploitation of knowledge.

(v) Mechanistic approach:

This approach that managers can have better accessibility to information by applying the technology. For them, information is a key. By creating an intranet, data warehouses, large physical databases, and networks, 27

managers can have key solution for the decision problems hence, they should use groupware and information communication technologies to encourage collaborations between people and to share knowledge. This approach emphasis that in general, technology and sheer volume of information will bring better results.

(vi)Behaviouristic approach:

This approach has its root in process re-engineering an change management. It tends to view knowledge problem as an important management issue. It assumes that technology can not be a solution for many management problems. This approach tends to focus more on innovation, creativity and learning organization. It assumes that::

It is the behaviour processes that matter, not the

technology. be changed.

Organizational culture and behaviour needs to

A holistic view is required. Cultural factors affect organizational change.

This approach lacks the cause and effect relationship between cultural strategies and business benefits. Also, positive result by cultural and behavioural strategies may not be sustainable. Cultural factor cannot be evaluated systematically.





Certain challenge sand problems in knowledge management are discussed below:


Abstract idea:

Elias awad and Ghaziri have explained it: the idea of managing knowledge is abstract. Knowledge is not something is typically think of as being managed, but rather something that is individually controlled, personal, and autonomous. O is able to manage knowledge, one must first be able to elicit and individuals knowledge from that individual the human expect of both knowledge and managing are integral this is also the issue of measuring knowledge: if you cant measure it, you cant manage it. The further comment that the biggest challenge that KM Vendors face is explain what KM is and how it can benefit a corporate environment. To get their foot in the door, vendors must integrate KM into the corporate culture- a shift in both organizational and individual philosophy. The culture comes from the top of the organization.

2. Pace of change:

One of the main issues in knowledge management is home to keep up with the pace of change and identify what knowledge needs to be captured and shared.


Difficult evaluation:


It is very difficult to assess the firms core knowledge and its return, by employee, by department, and by division.


Difficult turning knowledge into action:

A next challenge is learning how knowledge can be captured, possess, and acted on. KM must allow and organization not only to stockpile and access information, but to get at the history of how decisions were reached as well. Turning knowledge into action requires gleaning the information that has meaning and relevance for a particular organization.


Relating KM to business strategies:

As Hansen et al show, it is not knowledge per se but the way it is applied strategic objectives that is the critical ingredient in competitiveness. They point out that competitive strategy must drive knowledge management strategies. Mecklenburg argues that organization should start with business value of what they gather. If it doesnt value, drop it.


Technology & people:

Scarborough et al suggest that technology should be viewed more as a means of communication and less as a means of storing knowledge. Knowledge management is more about people than technology.

7. Culture inhabits knowledge sharing:

The culture of the company may inhabit knowledge sharing. The norms for the people to keep knowledge to themselves as much as they can because knowledge is power.

8. Difficult to deal with tacit knowledge:


One more challenge is how to deal with tacit challenge it is difficult to express and, therefore, difficult to codify, transfer, or share.

9. Continuous research required:

It is a problem to continue researching KM to be improving and expand its current capabilities. The research should discover ways of gathering, storing, processing, and distributing knowledge customised to the unique structured and corporation of the firm.

10. KM is regarded the still neglected area of collaborations.

Importance and justification of knowledge managementThe new world economy will rely heavily on knowledge workers. Knowledge is a high greed resource. Knowledge workers are a key to high productivity. Hence, knowledge management is growing readily. More and more companies have build knowledge depositories, supporting such knowledge varieties as customer knowledge, product development knowledge, customer service knowledge; human resource management knowledge, a and the like! Even new job title has appeared- from knowledge developer, to knowledge facilitator, to corporate knowledge officer. 1) Key managemt challenge: Knowledge as also been important for business success. Today knowledge has moved ahead of land, capital, raw material and technology as the key to competitive advantage. Peter drucker rights: the next society will be a knowledge society.


2) Key to change and growth: Eliaz and Ghaziri: we live in a world those changes by the minute. Change often moves organizations and advances peoples intellect. For change to be effective, organization as well as people must change.

3) Build competitive strength: Organization gain putative advantage in the external environment through Knowledge management; that is by effectively acquiring, sharing, and utilizing Knowledge. Knowledge can become the value added competitive advantage of organizations.

4) Knowledge demands constant renewal: We live in a technology-driven world which is rich with information. It has uncertainty of exchange. In this setting, Knowledge workers with intellectual capital have become the most critical assets of organization. 5) Improves learning capability: KM provides a foundation for a stronger learning capability-generating a large number of learning opportunities, generalising the learning beyond the individual to others across the organisation, and building a motivation and opportunities from others.

6) Turns the brainpower into profitable products: Intellectual capital is the collective brainpower of the organisation. Today manager must create a work environment that attracts good people, make them want to stay, and inspires creative ideas from everyone.

7) Strategic and integrating force:


The significance of knowledge management as a strategic and integration force in organisation is represented by the emergence of a new executive job tide- chief knowledge officer (CKO).

8) Knowledge explosion Knowledge is doubling about every seven years. In technical field, half of what students learn their first year of college is obsolete by the time they graduate. Organisation has to find ways to manage and prioritize information flow to remain competitive.

9) Improvement in decision making Knowledge management develops many tools, processes, systems, structures, and cultures explicitly to improve the creation, sharing and use of knowledge critical for decision making. In contrast, ineffective use of knowledge management can be very costly.

10)Strengthening core competencies Knowledge management is the conscious management of a key corporate asset-knowledge-for the purpose of advancing organizational learning, strengthening the organizations ability to sustain and expand its core competencies, and securing competitive advantage. 11)Important areas for HR practitioners Knowledge management deals as much as with people and how they acquire, exchange and disseminate knowledge as with information technology. That is why it has become an important area for HR practitioners, who are in a strong position to exert influence in this aspect of people management.


Other points of justification 34

KM develops the capacity to survive in a new business world- a world of competition that increases in complexity and uncertainty each day.

It is the fuel or raw material for innovation. It creates value from an organization in intangible assets. It has positive impact on business process. It builds better sensitivity to brain drain. It ensures successful patterning and core competence with suppliers, vendors, customers, and other constituents.

It short terms the learning curve and facilitates sharing of knowledge to achieve higher performance levels.

It enhances employee problem solving capacity.



KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT TALENT AN EMERGING PERSPECTIVESYes, knowledge management is the hottest subject of the day. The question is: what is this activity called knowledge management, and why is it so important to each and every one of us? The following writings, articles, and links offer some emerging perspectives in response to these questions. As you read on, you can determine whether it all makes any sense or not.

Content1. Developing a Context 2. A Continuum 3. An Example 4. Extending the Concept 5. Knowledge Management: Bah Humbug! 6. The Value of Knowledge Management 7. References

1. Developing a ContextLike water, this rising tide of data can be viewed as an abundant, vital and necessary resource. With enough preparation, we should be able to tap into that reservoir -- and ride the wave -- by utilizing new ways to channel raw data into meaningful information. That information, in turn, can then become the knowledge that leads to wisdom. Les Alberthal.Before attempting to address the question of knowledge management, it's probably appropriate to develop some perspective regarding this stuff called knowledge, which there seems to


be such a desire to manage, really is. Consider this observation made by Neil Fleming as a basis for thought relating to the following diagram.

A collection of data is not information. A collection of information is not knowledge. A collection of knowledge is not wisdom. A collection of wisdom is not truth.

Understanding patterns

Understanding principles

Understanding relation

The idea is that information, knowledge, and wisdom are more than simply collections. Rather, the whole represents more than the sum of its parts and has a synergy of its own. We begin with data, which is just a meaningless point in space and time, without reference to either space or time. It is like an event out of context, a letter out of context, a word out of context. The key concept here being "out of context." And, since it is out of context, it is without a meaningful relation to 38

anything else. When we encounter a piece of data, if it gets our attention at all, our first action is usually to attempt to find a way to attribute meaning to it. We do this by associating it with other things. If I see the number 5, I can immediately associate it with cardinal numbers and relate it to being greater than 4 and less than 6, whether this was implied by this particular instance or not. If I see a single word, such as "time," there is a tendency to immediately form associations with previous contexts within which I have found "time" to be meaningful. This might be, "being on time," "a stitch in time saves nine," "time never stops," etc. The implication here is that when there is no context, there is little or no meaning. So, we create context but, more often than not, that context is somewhat akin to conjecture, yet it fabricates meaning. That a collection of data is not information, as Neil indicated, implies that a collection of data for which there is no relation between the pieces of data is not information. The pieces of data may represent information, yet whether or not it is information depends on the understanding of the one perceiving the data. I would also tend to say that it depends on the knowledge of the interpreter, but I'm probably getting ahead of myself, since I haven't defined knowledge. What I will say at this point is that the extent of my understanding of the collection of data is dependent on the associations I am able to discern within the collection. And, the associations I am able to discern are dependent on all the associations I have ever been able to realize in the past. Information is quite simply an understanding of the relationships between pieces of data, or between pieces of data and other information. While information entails an understanding of the relations between data, it generally does not provide a foundation for why the data is what it is, nor an indication as to how the data is likely to change over time. Information has a tendency to be relatively static in time and linear in nature. Information is a relationship between data and, quite simply, is what it is, with great dependence on context for its meaning and with little implication for the future. Beyond relation there is pattern, where pattern is more than simply a relation of relations. Pattern embodies both a consistency and completeness of relations which, to an extent, creates its own context.


Pattern also serves as an Archetype with both an implied repeatability and predictability. When a pattern relation exists amidst the data and information, the pattern has the potential to represent knowledge. It only becomes knowledge, however, when one is able to realize and understand the patterns and their implications. The patterns representing knowledge have a tendency to be more selfcontextualizing. That is, the pattern tends, to a great extent, to create its own context rather than being context dependent to the same extent that information is. A pattern which represents knowledge also provides, when the pattern is understood, a high level of reliability or predictability as to how the pattern will evolve over time, for patterns are seldom static. Patterns which represent knowledge have a completeness to them that information simply does not contain. Wisdom arises when one understands the foundational principles responsible for the patterns representing knowledge being what they are. And wisdom, even more so than knowledge, tends to create its own context. I have a preference for referring to these foundational principles as eternal truths, yet I find people have a tendency to be somewhat uncomfortable with this labelling . These foundational principles are universal and completely context independent. Of course, this last statement is sort of a redundant word game, for if the principle was context dependent, then it couldn't be universally true now could it. So, in summary the following associations can reasonably be made:

Information relates to description, definition, or perspective (what, who,

when, where).

Knowledge comprises strategy, practice, method, or approach (how). Wisdom embodies principle, insight, moral, orarche type (why). Now

that I have categories I can get hold of, maybe I can figure out what can be managed.


An ExampleThis example uses a bank savings account to show how data, information, knowledge, and wisdom relate to principal, interest rate, and interest.

Data:The numbers 100 or 5%, completely outof context, are just pieces of data. Interest, principal, and interest rate, out of context, are not much more than data as each has multiple meanings which are context dependent.

Information:If I establish a bank savings account as the basis for context, then interest, principal, and interest rate become meaningful in that context with specific interpretations.

Principal is the amount of money, $100, in the savings account. Interest rate, 5%, is the factor used by the bank to compute interest on the principal.

Knowledge:If put $100 in my savings account, and the bank pays 5% interest yearly, then at the end of one year the bank will compute the interest of $5 and add it to my principal and I will have $105 in the bank. This pattern represents knowledge, which, when I understand it, allows me to understand how the pattern will evolve over time and the results it will produce. In understanding the pattern, I know, and what I know is knowledge. If I depositmore money in my account, I


will earn more interest, while if I withdraw money from my account, I will earn less interest.

Wisdom:Getting wisdom out of this is a bittricky, and is, in fact, founded in systems principles. The principle is that any action which produces a result which encourages more of the same action produces an emergent characteristic called growth. And, nothing grows forever for sooner or later growth runs into limits. If one studied all the individual components of this pattern, which represents knowledge, they would never discover the emergent characteristic of growth. Only when the pattern connects, interacts, and evolves overtime, does the principle exhibit the characteristic of growth. If the mechanics of this diagram are unfamiliar, you can find the basis in Systems Thinking Introduction.

Interest payment

Princip al



Now, if this knowledge is valid, why doesn't everyone simply become rich by putting money in a savings account and letting it grow? The answer has to do with the fact that the pattern described above is only a small part of amore elaborate pattern which operates over time. People don't get rich because they either don't put money in a savings account in the first place, or when they do, in time, they find things they need or want more than being rich, so they withdraw money. Withdrawing money depletes the principal and subsequently the interest they earn on that principal. Getting into this any deeper is more of a systems thinking exercise than is appropriate to pursue here.

2. A ContinuumNote that the sequence data -> information-> knowledge -> wisdom represents an emergent continuum. That is, although data is a discrete entity, the progression to information, to knowledge, and finally to wisdom does not occur in discrete stages of development. One progresses along the continuum as one's understanding develops. Everything is relative, and one can have partial understanding of the relations that represent information, partial understanding of the patterns that represent knowledge, and partial understanding of the principles which are the foundation of wisdom. As the partial understanding stage.

3. Extending the ConceptWe learn by connecting new information to patterns that we already understand. In doing so, we extend the patterns. So, in my effort to make sense of this continuum, I searched for something to connect it to that already made sense. And, I related it to Csikszentmihalyi's interpretation of complexity. Csikszentmihalyi provides a definition of complexity based on the degree to which something is simultaneously differentiated and integrated. His point is that complexity evolves along a corridor and he provides some very interesting examples as to why complexity evolves. The diagram below indicates that what 43

is more highly differentiated and integrated is more complex. While high levels of differentiation without integration promote the complicated, that which is highly integrated, without differentiation, produces mundane. And, it should be rather obvious from personal experience that we tend to avoid the complicated and are uninterested in the mundane. The complexity that exists between these two alternatives is the path we generally find most attractive. On 4/27/05 Robert Lamb commented that Csikszentmihalyi'slabeling could be is bit clearer if "Differentiation" was replaced by "Many Components" and "Integration" was replaced by Highly Interconnected." Robert also commented that "Common Sense" might be another label for "Mundane." If the mundane is something we seem to avoid paying attention to then "Common Sense" might often be a very appropriate label. Thanks Robert.

What I found really interesting was the view that resulted when I dropped this diagram on top of the one at the beginning of this article. It seemed that "Integrated" and "Understanding" immediately correlated to each other. There was also a real awareness that "Context Independence" related to "Differentiated." Overall, the continuum of data to wisdom seemed to correlate


exactly to Csikszentmihalyi's model of evolving complexity. I now end up with a perception that wisdom is sort of simplified complexity.

4. Knowledge Management: BahHumbugWhen I first became interested in knowledge as a concept, and then knowledge management, it was because of the connections I made between my system studies and the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom descriptions already stated. Saying that I became interested is a bit of an understatement as I'm generally either not interested or obsessed, and seldom anywhere in between. Then, after a couple months I managed to catch myself, with the help of Mike Davidson, as to the indirection I was pursuing. I managed to survive the Formula Fifties, the Sensitive Sixties, the Strategic Seventies, and the Excellent Eighties to exist in the Nanosecond Nineties, and for a time I thought I was headed for the Learning Organizational Oh's of the next decade. The misdirection I was caught up in was a focus on Knowledge Management not as a means, but as an end in itself. Yes, knowledge management is important, and I'll address reasons why shortly. But knowledge management should simply be one of many cooperating means to an end, not the end in itself, unless your job turns out to be corporate knowledge management director or chief knowledge officer. I'm quite sure it will come to this, for in some ways we are predictably consistent. I associate the cause of my indirection with the many companies I have been associated with in the past. These companies had pursued TQM or reengineering, not in support of what they were trying to accomplish, but as ends in themselves because they simply didn't know what they were really trying to accomplish. And, since they didn't know what they were really trying to accomplish, the misdirection was actually a relief, and pursued with a passion ­ it just didn't get them anywhere in particular. According to Mike Davidson, and I agree with him, what's really important is:

Mission: What are we trying to accomplish?


Competition: How do we gain a competitive edge? Performance: How do we deliver the results? Change: How do we cope with change?

As such, knowledge management, and everything else for that matter, is important only to the extent that it enhances an organization's ability and capacity to deal with, and develop in, these four dimensions.

5. The Value of Knowledge ManagementIn an organizational context, data represents facts or values of results, and relations between data and other relations have the capacity to represent information. Patterns of relations of data and information and other patterns have the capacity to represent knowledge. For the representation to be of any utility it must be understood, and when understood the representation is information or knowledge to the one that understands. Yet, what is the real value of information and knowledge, and what does it mean to manage it? Without associations we have little chance of understanding anything. We understand things based on the associations we are able to discern. If someone says that sales started at $100,000 per quarter and have been rising 20% per quarter for the last four quarters, I am somewhat confident that sales are now about $207,000 per quarter. I am confident because I know what "rising 20% per quarter" means and I can do the math. Yet, if someone asks what sales are apt to be next quarter, I would have to say, "It depends!" I would have to say this because although I have data and information, I have no knowledge. This is a trap that many fall into, because they don't understand that data doesn't predict trends of data. What predicts trends of data is the activity that is responsible for the data. To be able to estimate the sales for next quarter, I would need information about the competition, market size, extent of market saturation, current backlog, customer satisfaction levels associated with current product delivery, current


production capacity, the extent of capacity utilization, and a whole host of other things. When I was able to amass sufficient data and information to form a complete pattern that I understood, I would have knowledge, and would then be somewhat comfortable estimating the sales for next quarter. Anything less would be just fantasy! In this example what needs to be managed to create value is the data that defines past results, the data and information associated with the organization, it's market, it's customers, and it's competition, and the patterns which relate all these items to enable a reliable level of predictability of the future.What I would refer to as knowledge management would be the capture, retention, and reuse of the foundation for imparting an understanding of how all these pieces fit together and how to convey them meaningfully to some other person. 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. Without on-demand access to managed knowledge, every situation is addressed based on what the individual or group brings to the situation with them. With on-demand access to managed knowledge, every situation is addressed with the sum total of everything anyone in the organization has ever learned about a situation of a similar nature. Which approach would you perceive would make a more effective organization.





This analysis is very helpful in determining not. What are its talent.

the strength, weakness,

opportunities and threats of knowledge management. Is this topic is feasible or pros and cons. In the present environment in building

STRENGTH:Knowledge management is a very important technique which strengthens the organisation in building talents. Knowledge is an essential business asset . knowledge has become the most critical and crucial factor of surviving in todays cut throat competitive environment .Knowledge is a big percentage of the value of all goods and services produced in every industry.

WEAKNESS:The idea of managing knowledge is abstract. Its very complex and difficult for every organization to focus it. There is also the issue of measuring it : if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. Its very difficult to assess the firms core knowledge and its return by employee, by department, and by division.KM regarded the still neglected area of collaboration

OPPORTUNITIES:With these challenges, several key KM drivers are worth noting. Like as KM implies quality maximization and cost minimization. Its essential to improve work progress and processes. Marketplaces are increasingly competitive and the rate of innovation is rising. Today, most of our work is information based. Organisation compete on the basis of knowledge. It can improve the way


companies react to market changes. KM allows companies to apply unique knowledge that makes them more responsive .to market changes by the hour.

THTREATS:Due to changes in this competitive environment and full fledged globalisations Technique need to be improvised ,otherwise the various hurdles hampers an organizations position and competitors gets an opportunities to threatened the market value. so its very necessary to create a shield of knowledge management in building an effective and efficient talents. Which can force out the chances of threatening organization structures.





Now, this has been concluded, that knowledge management plays a very vital role in building talent in organisation and it is a disciple of identifying, capturing, retrieving, sharing and evaluating an enterprises information assets. It reflects the rationale of knowledge management in organisations. its the heart of organizations productivity and growth. if it is utilised properly it can breakthrough all the desired aims. There is only a need required to indulge its perks. It is a harbinger of economic growth and bridges the gap between present situation and future planning. At last, it provides an ideology in building talent in organization.




Alberthal, Les. Remarks to the Financial Executives Institute, October 23, 1995, Dallas, TX

Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, Bantam, 1988 Bellinger, Gene. Systems Thinking: An Operational Perspective of the Universe

Bellinger, Gene. The Effective Organization Bellinger, Gene. The Knowledge Centered Organization Csikszentmihalyi, Miahly. The Evolving-Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium, Harperperennial Library, 1994.

Davidson, Mike. The Transformation of Management, ButterworthHeinemann, 1996.

Robbins and Sanghi, Organizational Behaviour. Chandra Prasanna, Human Resource Mnagement, 6th edition. Luthans, Organizational Behaviour. India today The Hindustan Times Business world The Times of India