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Knowledge managementKnowledge management is defined as a concept in which an enterprise collects, organizes, shares, and analyzes its knowledge in terms of resources, documents, and people skills. It involves data mining and some method of operation to push information to users. Knowledge management could also be a business process that formalizes management and leverage of a firm's intellectual assets. KM is an enterprise discipline that promotes a collaborative and integrative approach to the creation, capture, organization, access and use of information assets, including the tacit, un-captured knowledge of people.
For educational institutes, research labs, marketing places km is treated as backbone. Indeed in all organizations, the appropriate utilization of knowledge towards collective intelligence and wisdom plays a vital part in improving its own operations. These organizations seek to enforce a discipline that can be used to systematically leverage expertise and information to improve organizational efficiency, responsiveness, competency, and innovation. Systematically means that the discipline does not rely on informal water cooler conversations, but on planned processes, technology, measurement techniques, and behaviors. Knowledge management seeks to exploit all the key resources that an organization has in place and that can be put to use in a more effective way.
So the biggest challenge for any business these days is to provide the correct information that can lead to effective knowledge and can be further used to make better decisions. Certainly, the interest in knowledge management has grown during the last few years. Knowledge management solutions create a platform for extensive data mining. With sharing of information across the firm and getting the details or feedback from consumers and managers can further help in predicting the future trend and thus take a better decision.

A brief history of knowledge management

Many number of management theorists have contributed to the emergence of knowledge management, among them such notables as Peter Drucker, Paul Strassmann, and Peter Senge in the United States. Drucker and Strassmann have focused the growing importance of information and explicit knowledge as organizational resources, and Senge has focused on the "learning organization," a cultural dimension of managing knowledge Everett Rogers’ work at Stanford in the diffusion of innovation and Thomas Allen’s research at MIT in information and technology transfer, both of which date from the late 1970s, have also contributed to our understanding of how knowledge is produced, used, and diffused within organizations.
By the mid-1980s, the importance of knowledge as a competitive asset was clear, even though classical economic theory ignores knowledge as an asset and most organizations still lack strategies and methods for managing it.
Recognition of the growing importance of organizational knowledge was accompanied by worry over how to deal with exponential rise in the amount of available knowledge and increasingly complex products and processes. The computer technology that contributed so heavily to superabundance of information started to become part of the solution, in a variety of domains.
The 1980s also saw the development of systems for managing knowledge that relied on work done in artificial intelligence and expert systems, giving us such concepts as "knowledge acquisition," "knowledge engineering," "knowledge-base systems, and computer-based ontology.
By 1990, a number of management consulting firms had started in-house knowledge management programs, and many well known U.S., European, and Japanese firms had instituted focused knowledge management programs. Knowledge management was started in the popular press in 1991, when Tom Stewart published "Brainpower" in Fortune magazine
By the mid-1990s, knowledge management initiatives were flourishing, thanks in part to the Internet. The International Knowledge Management Network (IKMN), initiated in Europe in 1989, went online in 1994 and was soon joined by the U.S.-based Knowledge Management Forum and other KM-related groups and publications. The number of knowledge management conferences and seminars is growing as organizations focus on managing and leveraging explicit and tacit knowledge resources to achieve competitive advantage.
In 1994 the IKMN published the outcome of a knowledge management survey conducted among European firms, and the European Community began offering funding for KM-related projects through the ESPRIT program in 1995.
Knowledge management, which appears to offer a highly desirable alternative to failed TQM and business process re-engineering initiatives, has become big business for such major international consulting firms as Ernst & Young, Arthur Andersen, and Booz-Allen & Hamilton. In addition, a number of professional organizations interested in such related areas as benchmarking, best practices, risk management, and change management are exploring the relationship of knowledge management to their areas of special expertise.

Knowledge management (KM)

Knowledge is a tool to achieve strategic objectives of any organization. Knowledge management (KM) comprises a range of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice.
A short definition of knowledge management is the way that soft knowledge becomes hard knowledge and it can become sharable between people.

Soft knowledge

Soft knowledge is most of the time in the head of people and it's a kind of knowledge very difficult to explain on a present time. It is inside the culture of people.

Hard knowledge

Knowledge from people's head, routine work or inside the culture can be extract as hard knowledge. It formalizes knowledge of people in order to be understandable by other people and shareable

Knowledge is different from information

Both are totally different from each other as:


Information can be defined as related to description, definition, or perspective (what, who, when, where). It 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. Thus information has a tendency to be relatively static in time and linear in nature.
For example: if we 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, Rs100, in the savings account.
Interest rate, 5%, is the factor used by the bank to compute interest on the principal.
Information is data: hard numbers about a company's profits, losses or budgets; the phone number of someone at a competing company who can be coerced out of some secrets.


Knowledge can be defined as it comprises strategy, practice, method, or approach (how). When a pattern relation exists amidst the data and information i.e. when one can start forming relationships between data & information, then it has a potential to represent knowledge. It only becomes knowledge, however, when one is able to realize and understand the patterns and their implications.
For example: If we put Rs100 in a savings account, and the bank pays 5% interest yearly, then at the end of one year the bank will compute the interest of Rs 5 and add it to the principal and we will have Rs105 in the bank. This pattern represents knowledge, which, when one understands it, allows one to understand how the pattern will evolve over time and the results it will produce.

Types of knowledge helpful in Knowledge management

There are four kinds of knowledge helpful in knowledge management that is:

  • Personal knowledge
  • Collective knowledge
  • Continuous knowledge
  • Economies of knowledge

Personal Knowledge
Personal knowledge is originated through the experiential exposure to information.
The input /information can and does take many forms.
It can be of the form like conversational, reports, web sites, bogs, papers, etc. This input is then refined based on personal experiences, expertise, serendipity factor (Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.) Which has the effect of building upon or adding to ones existing knowledge that can then be used as new input to the cycle?

Personal Knowledge

Collective Knowledge
Collective knowledge can be defined in terms of information within the context of the organization.
It is originated by the application of context sensitive personal knowledge derived through the personal knowledge creation cycle, as well as the explicit information contained in systems (process and or technology-based).
Idealistically, information would be acquired, shared, and then acted upon. This actionable information is then in turn fed back into the collective knowledge creation cycle, and also used as input in the personal knowledge process.

Collective Knowledge

Continuous Knowledge
The personal and collective knowledge creation cycles form a semi-closed system that will be used repeatedly as context changes.
For ex. as external input changes our personal and collective information.

Continuous Knowledge

Economics of Knowledge
It is eventually helpful to view the process of Knowledge Management as a series of transactions or activities between entities (people and or organizations). These activities are Buying (buyers seeking knowledge), Brokering (connecting those buying with those selling), and Selling (holders of knowledge that are selling that knowledge). The currency of transactions between these activities is relevant knowledge. The interesting part of thinking in terms of an economic transaction is that each entity has the ability to decide whether to participate in a given transaction.
-The broker can decide if there is value in connecting a buyer to a seller.
-The seller can decide if there is value in “selling” knowledge to a buyer,
-And the buyer can decide to seek out a seller through a broker or some other means.


We can clearly understand the need of knowledge by understanding following questions:
1. What is the knowledge in the context of the organization?
2. What are the strategic objectives of the organization?
3. What is required to be done to facilitate learning, innovation and sharing to achieve the above objectives?

By discussing above questions we can determine need of km. following are some of examples from which we can clearly analyze that what is need of km in current scenario of Knowledge Management:

-Marketplaces are increasingly competitive and the rate of innovation is rising.
-Reductions in staffing create a need to replace informal knowledge with formal methods.
-Competitive pressures reduce the size of the work force that holds valuable business knowledge.
-The amount of time available to experience and acquire knowledge has diminished.
-Early retirements and increasing mobility of the work force lead to loss of knowledge.
-There is a need to manage increasing complexity as small operating companies are trans-national sourcing operations.
-Changes in strategic direction may result in the loss of knowledge in a specific area.

So we can precisely say that in today’s scenario most of our work in information and knowledge based so to manage knowledge is a tedious work. Most of our organizations compete on the basis of knowledge. The need for life-long learning is an inescapable reality. In brief, knowledge and information have become the medium in which business problems occur. Products and services are increasingly complex, endowing them with a significant information component. As a result, managing knowledge represents the primary opportunity for achieving substantial savings, significant improvements in human performance, and competitive advantage. Small companies need formal approaches to knowledge management even more, because they don’t have the market leverage, and resources that big companies do. They have to be much more flexible, more responsive, and more "right" (make better decisions) — because even small mistakes can be fatal to them.

Business strategies related to knowledge management

Various strategies related with knowledge management are:
-Change management
-Best practices
-Risk management

A business community also views knowledge management as a natural extension of "business process reengineering”, A recognition that information and knowledge are corporate assets, and that businesses need strategies, policies, and tools to manage those assets. The need to manage knowledge seems obvious, and discussions of intellectual capital have proliferated, but few businesses have acted on that understanding. Where companies have take action — and a growing number are doing so — implementations of "knowledge management" may range from technology-driven methods of accessing, controlling, and delivering information to massive efforts to change corporate culture

Implementing knowledge management

So knowledge management used gathering, organizing, refining and disseminating processes for its implementation.

Implementing knowledge management

The Approach to Knowledge Management

The basic competencies required can be enlisted as:

SOCIALISE: Simply put, it is an effort to bring people together, encourage collaborative behavior, and peer assistance and knowledge sharing.
ENERGISE: This refers to putting in zeal to explore new ideas, best practices and inspiring people to experiment.
COMBINE: This refers to the "BIG PICTURE" or the "VISION" part that is taking a holistic view of all the collaborative processes.
INTEGRATE: This is related to the combining role above and integrates all the messages in the form of values, performance management policies, etc.

Approach to Knowledge Management

Possible benefits of knowledge management for an enterprise:

There are wide range of benefits that knowledge management provides depending on needs and strategy of organization.

Knowledge Management helps in Increasing Revenue
It helps in Open New Markets
It Enable Sustainable, Organic Growth
Knowledge Management Improve Decision-Making
It Mitigate Risk
It Develop and implement New Business Models
Knowledge Management Build More Profound relationships and ongoing Mind-Share with Customers - penetrate the mind of the customer
It Lift Productivity and Efficiency
It Speed Innovation
Knowledge Management Unleash new Ideas and Creativity
It Help create a more Adaptive, responsive, dynamic, flexible, organization
It Help create a more Adaptive, responsive, dynamic, flexible, organization
It Facilitate the evolution of a more Intelligent Enterprise and produce smart engaging products
It Use knowledge management To Build Virtual Networked Businesses.
Knowledge Management Better prepares for and anticipates The Future.
Knowledge Management Improve and accelerate Learning.
Knowledge Management Gather superior Business and Competitive Intelligence.
It Enhance Team Collaboration & Coordination.
Knowledge Management Maximize the organization's use of available collective wisdom, experience, and the Brain-Power of human capital assets.

It improves the Service and Support of Customers.

Barriers for knowledge management:

Knowledge Management to apply is difficult concept because true knowledge is hidden and undervalued in the minds of individual employees
People feel reluctant to give up their knowledge:
It becomes vary difficult to get knowledge out of brains and into a central repository. it becomes more difficult when they have proprietary feelings about what they know after all knowledge is power ,and the impulse is hoard rather than share is strong .
How we can estimate that we are moving in right direction while collecting information for knowledge management.

Disadvantages of Knowledge Management Systems

Knowledge management is very beneficial for organization but it has many disadvantages like:
Inability to deliver the expected performance outcomes
Usability: Some users are not capable enough to use automated tools to get required information.


All in all we can conclude that knowledge management is going to become vital part in today’s business scenario , to manage knowledge is tedious job, so we analyze that socialize, energies, combine and integrate are its main approaches. Gathering, organizing, refining disseminating are its main components. So km is vary informative and important concept which is highly demanding and innovative. Km is strongly focusing its feet in today’s organizational scenario.





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