What is Knowledge Management and Why is it Important?

In today’s world, saying knowledge is power does not seem too far off. Indeed, everything operates on the basis of some type of knowledge. To ensure that your team or company succeeds, operating the best it can, it is necessary to have knowledge management integrated in its system. 

74 percent of organizations estimate that effective knowledge management disciplines increase company productivity by 10-40 percent.

Knowledge management is a process that deals with understanding, collecting and sharing knowledge, tangible and intangible, within a team or organization. Also, it relies on how well a person understands knowledge and what knowledge they possess. A company is reliant on the knowledge that their employees have. This does not mean that the company should solely focus on hiring skilled and experienced people but it should also work on enhancing the organizational knowledge processing. As a result, the more information and knowledge that a company possesses, the better it will perform. 

Types of Knowledge Management

There are two types of Knowledge Management, each one fitting different organizational requirements. Determine which one is better for you based on their main purposes.

To begin with, knowledge management has different forms. One form of knowledge management is First-Generation KM. It focuses on enhancing and improving the integration of existing organizational knowledge through proper strategies and ways. The other form of knowledge management is Second-generation KM. In its turn, it deals with not only integrating already existing knowledge but also focuses on knowledge production. The way that a person or organization will approach knowledge integration and production may differ from one another because of the variances in knowledge and skills in people of each organization. However, not all methods and strategies will work the same or bring about successful results in different companies and teams. It is important for knowledge management to effectively take place when the organization makes strategies and designs training or sessions according to the requirements and necessities of the employees individually and the organization as a whole. 

Objectives of Knowledge Management

An organization partakes in knowledge management for some basic objectives and benefits that they experience through it. When we break down knowledge management, why it is done, we find that there are basic 4 objectives behind it. These objectives are:

  • Knowledge capturing
  • Increasing knowledge access
  • Managing knowledge as an asset, and
  • Enhancing the knowledge environment

Also, organizations have the responsibility to ensure that the employees have opportunities in the form of training sessions, discussions, seminars or programs to build their knowledge base and enhance it.

Knowledge management is done by the authorities or higher ups in an organization for the purpose of getting new knowledge, increasing the access to knowledge for the organization’s employees, managing the existing and newly found knowledge as an asset, and working on building a knowledge environment.

In other words, this act by the organization or authorities will be beneficial in encouraging the workers to continuously put effort in getting more knowledge to diversify their knowledge base.

Types of Knowledge

Organizations realize that there are different types of knowledge that exist, whether it be factual, conceptual, methodological, or expectational. All these types of knowledge are important in enabling the organization to broaden its horizons, acquire new skills and learn new knowledge, implementing it in their work. Each type of knowledge plays a certain role in providing the learners with specific and concentrated skills. 

  • Factual knowledge allows for a person to deal with data that is measurable, verifiable and observable.
  • Conceptual knowledge is based on the functioning of systems and the different perspectives that led to their creation. 
  • Methodological knowledge teaches a person to learn how to excel at decision-making and problem-solving. 
  • Expectational knowledge, as the name suggests, is rooted in expectations, judgments, or hypotheses and how to go about dealing with them.

As we have mentioned before, organizations should not only hone the special skills of the talented personnel but also work on creating a management system where it advocates learning and sharing knowledge with others, to disperse the knowledge throughout the workforce. 

Effects of Knowledge Management on an Organization

Managers of an organization or company are bombarded with a ton of information and data on a daily basis. This overload of data can make it hard for managers to manage their teams properly, hindering their productivity. At this moment the importance and necessity of knowledge management is felt. Through learning the skill of knowledge management, employees can acquire certain skills which can help them in daily work life. 

So, you may be wondering how knowledge management can play a role in the success of your organization or company, is it really that important? Well, we are here to tell you that, YES! Knowledge management can guide how well your employees perform. As a result, you will know how your company as a whole will benefit from their productivity and improved performance. 

Knowledge management can aid in the success of a company by:

  • Facilitating decision making capabilities
  • Stimulating innovation and cultural change, and
  • Building learning organizations by making leaning part of the routine

Why Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management should be a priority for any business or organization if they want to succeed and not fall behind their competition. It enables organization learning which promotes understanding the knowledge of the functioning and production of services they create. Also, it helps to analyze and gain knowledge about the underlying production processes. Through knowledge management an organization can instil innovation and the drive to find new ways to solve issues.

Knowledge management in an organization seeks to connect people, those who have knowledge with those who are seeking knowledge. This allows people to share and collect knowledge within an organization, building upon its knowledge base.

The way to implement and adopt knowledge management includes different strategies and processes. They vary according to the business, the company-size, the areas that they are lacking in, and other factors. 

Any business or company that adopts knowledge management in its operations gains an edge against the competition. Thus, they are incorporating it as early on as possible. Additionally, accumulating the internal knowledge from the beginning will allow to be more prepared to deal with unexpected situation. Thus, organization should treat Knowledge Management as an asset that allows them to have reliable systems and skilled/knowledgeable personnel, adding to their value and success.

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