Knowledge Management has no definite meaning as it has been defined in various ways by different authors. However, in order to get a glimpse on what the term exactly means, it can be defined as managing the available knowledge. How can we manage the knowledge in the first place? Managing the knowledge does not mean that we have to have huge resources to store the data and information. It means that we need to take advantage of the available knowledge so that it can benefit the organisation. According to Ichijo and Nonaka (2007), managing the knowledge has become a crucial factor as it can provide a competitive advantage to the organisation over the competitors. The best example that suits this is the case of the retail giant WalMart. The founder Sam Walton in order to stay ahead in this competitive market, visited various stores and gathered information as such how they are performing and what lacks in them so that he can rectify them and become a leader. He gathered all the information and gained knowledge from that and implemented a highly successful strategy that made WalMart the largest retail giant.
The concept of Knowledge Management started in the 1990s when the CEO's understood the importance of knowledge sharing and many organisations began evaluating the knowledge present so that they can take advantage of it (Hansen et al., 1999).
According to Karl Wiig (1997), the main purpose of KM is to renew the knowledge in an organisation constantly by increasing the returns and the effectiveness from an organisation's knowledge assets. Taking in to consideration the above two definitions, KM can be understood as creating, using, sharing, and refining the knowledge if necessary. According to Davenport and Prusak (1998), Knowledge Management may make use of IT in order to aid the exchange of knowledge. This should not be misunderstood as IT being a substitute of KM (Bahra, 2001) (http://srujanmiddlesex.blogspot.com/).
Purpose of KM
Though the ultimate use of Knowledge Management cannot be precise i.e. though it cannot be stated that in the long run a particular goal can be achieved with KM, KM can aid the process of achieving an organisation's goal. According to Young (2010), the main purpose of KM is that the re-invention of the wheel does not take place i.e. the same things or information does not keep wandering around the organisation again and again, common mistakes are not repeated, and in case repeated the performance this time should be much better than the previous time.
The above stated problems are a few common problems occurring in an organisation. These can be overcome by the effective management of the available knowledge.
In the Perspective of the Organisation taken in to Consideration
The Organisation we took in to consideration is "Safal Solutions (Systems Automation in Finance and livelihood)". Safal Solution aims at "providing system solutions or small /medium enterprises and institutions, including that operate in rural areas, enabling them in addressing livelihood enhancement programs effectively". Available fromhttp://www.safalsolutions.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=45&Itemid=53
In our project we will be looking at implementing the various KM problems being faced by "Safal Solutions" and help solve these problems by the use of Web 2.0 technologies. Many KM problems are being faced by the organisation which has proved to be a tedious job for the Head office. Hence we will provide solutions to manage the available knowledge so that this burden can be reduced and the concept of re-inventing the wheel does not take place so that the time and the resources can be used to the maximum.
- Bahra, N., 2001, Competitive Knowledge Management, Palgrave, Basingstoke
- Davenport, T. H., and Prusak, L., 2000, Working Knowledge: How Organisations Manage What They Know
- Hansen, M. T., Nohria, N., Tierney, T., 1999, What's your strategy for Managing Knowledge? Harvard Business Review, Vol. 77, No. 2, pp. 106-116
- Ichijo, K., and Nonaka, I., 2007, Knowledge Creation and Management: New Challenges for for Managers
- Wiig, K., 1997, Knowledge Management: An Introduction and Perspective, journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 6-14