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Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice

Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice

Kimiz Dalkir
foreword by Jay Liebowitz
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 504
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  • Book Info
    Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice
    Book Description:

    The ability to manage knowledge has become increasingly important in today's knowledge economy. Knowledge is considered a valuable commodity, embedded in products and in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile individual employees. Knowledge management (KM) represents a deliberate and systematic approach to cultivating and sharing an organization's knowledge base. It is a highly multidisciplinary field that encompasses both information technology and intellectual capital. This textbook and professional reference offers a comprehensive overview of the field of KM, providing both a substantive theoretical grounding and a pragmatic approach to applying key concepts. Drawing on ideas, tools, and techniques from such disciplines as sociology, cognitive science, organizational behavior, and information science, the text describes KM theory and practice at the individual, community, and organizational levels. It offers illuminating case studies and vignettes from companies including IBM, Xerox, British Telecommunications, JP Morgan Chase, and Nokia. This second edition has been updated and revised throughout. New material has been added on the information and library science perspectives, taxonomies and knowledge classification, the media richness of the knowledge-sharing channel, e-learning, social networking in KM contexts, strategy tools, results-based outcome assessments, knowledge continuity and organizational learning models, KM job descriptions, copyleft and Creative Commons, and other topics. New case studies and vignettes have been added; and the references and glossary have been updated and expanded.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-29538-3
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  3. Foreword: Can Knowledge Management Survive?
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Jay Liebowitz

    The title of this foreword, “Can Knowledge Management Survive?” is perhaps rather strange for this second edition of this leading textbook on knowledge management (KM). However, as the KM field has taught us to be “reflective practitioners,” this question is worth pondering.

    Knowledge management has been around for twenty years or more, in terms of its growth as a discipline. Even though the roots of knowledge management go back far beyond that, is knowledge management generally accepted within organizations, and is KM a lasting field or discipline?

    To answer the first question, we can review some anecdotal evidence that suggests...

  4. 1 Introduction to Knowledge Management
    (pp. 1-30)

    This chapter provides an introduction to the study of knowledge management (KM). A brief history of knowledge management concepts is outlined, noting that much of KM existed before the actual term came into popular use. The lack of consensus over what constitutes a good definition of KM is addressed and the concept analysis technique is described as a means of clarifying the conceptual confusion that still persists over what KM is or is not. The multidisciplinary roots of KM are enumerated together with their contributions to the discipline. The two major forms of knowledge, tacit and explicit, are compared and...

  5. 2 The Knowledge Management Cycle
    (pp. 31-58)

    This chapter provides a description of the major phases involved in the knowledge management cycle, encompassing the capture, creation, codification, sharing, accessing, applying, and reuse of knowledge within and between organizations. Four major approaches to KM cycles are presented from Meyer and Zack (1996), Bukowitz and Williams (2000), McElroy (1993, 2003), and Wiig (1993). A synthesis of these approaches is then developed as a framework for following the path that information takes to become a valuable knowledge asset for a given organization. This chapter concludes with a discussion of the strategic and practical implications of managing knowledge throughout the KM...

  6. 3 Knowledge Management Models
    (pp. 59-96)

    A robust theoretical foundation is required as the basis of any knowledge management initiative that is to succeed. The major KM activities described in the KM cycle in the previous chapter must have a conceptual framework to operate within, otherwise the activities will not be coordinated and will not produce the expected KM benefits. Eight different knowledge management models are described in this chapter. The models all present distinct perspectives on the key conceptual elements that form the infrastructure of knowledge management. This chapter describes, compares, and contrasts each in order to provide a sound understanding of the discipline of...

  7. 4 Knowledge Capture and Codification
    (pp. 97-140)

    This chapter addresses the first phase of the knowledge management cycle, knowledge capture and/or creation. The major approaches, techniques, and tools used to elicit tacit knowledge, to trigger the creation of new knowledge, and to subsequently organize this content in a systematic manner (codification) are presented. These approaches represent a multidisciplinary methodology that integrates what we have found to be successful in a variety of other fields such as knowledge acquisition for the development of expert systems, instructional design techniques for course content creation and organization, task analysis techniques used in the development of performance support systems, and taxonomic approaches...

  8. 5 Knowledge Sharing and Communities of Practice
    (pp. 141-182)

    This chapter addresses the social nature of knowledge, knowledge sharing, and communities of practice (CoP). A number of important conceptual frameworks are presented to study the social construction of meaning. Knowledge-sharing groups such as communities of practice are situated in a historical context and their evolution in organizations is described with particular emphasis on the development of social capital. Techniques and technologies such as social networks are presented as means of visualizing and analyzing knowledge flows during knowledge-sharing activities and some common barriers to knowledge sharing are described. The dimensions of social presence and media richness are introduced as a...

  9. 6 Knowledge Application
    (pp. 183-222)

    This chapter brings us to the final step in the knowledge management cycle when the knowledge that has been captured, coded, shared, and otherwise made available is put to actual use. Unless this step is accomplished successfully, all of the KM efforts have been in vain, for KM can only succeed if the knowledge is used. However, it now becomes imperative to understand which knowledge is of use to which set of people and how best to make it available to them so that they not only understand how to use it, but believe that using this knowledge will lead...

  10. 7 The Role of Organizational Culture
    (pp. 223-266)

    This chapter examines the role played by organizational culture in more detail. Different types of organizational cultures are described with a view to better understanding the key dimensions of the different microcultures that thrive in organizations. Cultural enablers and obstacles to knowledge sharing are presented together with a discussion on how to institute desired organizational changes to better accommodate knowledge management. Finally, the long-term nature of organizational culture dimensions is addressed by presenting major organizational and KM maturity models.

    1. Define what organizational culture is.

    2. Understand the relation between organizational culture and the business context. How does culture contribute to organizational...

  11. 8 Knowledge Management Tools
    (pp. 267-310)

    This chapter provides an overview of knowledge management (KM) tools, which are all too often treated as black boxes (data goes in and knowledge magically comes out the other end) by the majority of users. The new generation of millennials however appear to have developed different technology skills and have differing expectations of these new tools. New technologies are continually emerging, and many will have some intersection with KM. Knowledge management implementations require a wide range of quite diverse tools that come into play throughout the KM cycle. Technology is used to facilitate primarily communication, collaboration, and content management for...

  12. 9 Knowledge Management Strategy
    (pp. 311-338)

    This chapter addresses the common building blocks that are developed in order to apply and gain benefit from knowledge management (KM) applications. The major steps involved in developing a KM strategy are presented: the knowledge audit, the gap analysis, the elicitation of KM objectives, the short-term road map, and the long-term KM strategy. The general KM objectives of innovation and reuse will be discussed in terms of how best to balance creativity with organizational structure.

    1. Provide examples of major KM objectives and how specific KM initiatives can be implemented to address them.

    2. Illustrate the major elements of a KM strategy...

  13. 10 The Value of Knowledge Management
    (pp. 339-364)

    This chapter addresses the major ways in which the value of knowledge management (KM) is assessed. The major types of KM measurement frameworks are introduced: benchmarking, the balanced scorecard method, the house of quality, and the results-based assessment metric. In addition, the various ways in which value is produced by communities of practice (CoPs) are discussed.

    1. Understand the major advantages and shortcomings of the three KM metrics.

    2. Apply the benchmarking, house of quality metric, balanced scorecard method, and results-based metric to knowledge management performance measurement systems.

    This chapter discusses different metrics framework to monitor progress toward those organizational goals. An...

  14. 11 Organizational Learning and Organizational Memory
    (pp. 365-396)

    This chapter addresses the processes involved in organizational learning, or how an organization can continually improve over time by learning from its successes (best practices and innovations) and its failures (lessons learned). In order to be able to learn, the organization must be able to document milestone events and “remember” them through access to an organizational memory. The major processes involved in organizational learning are outlined and a review of organizational memory models is undertaken.

    1. List the major benefits of documenting experiential organizational learning in the form of an organizational memory.

    2. Outline the major barriers to good organizational memory management....

  15. 12 The KM Team
    (pp. 397-422)

    This chapter provides an overview of the professionals who form part of the knowledge management (KM) team. The key skill set required to carry out KM responsibilities is described using a variety of frameworks. The roles of CKO (chief knowledge officer) and CLO (chief learning officer) are introduced and their evolution from the more traditional CIO (chief information officer) is discussed. The new role of chief human capital officer is discussed. The different types of KM jobs that exist and potential KM employers are outlined and the chapter concludes with a discussion of the emerging KM profession and some of...

  16. 13 Future Challenges for KM
    (pp. 423-452)

    Knowledge management objectives are ambitious and almost always involve change—change at the level of the individual, the group, and the organization as a whole. As a result, they are almost never easy or straightforward. A number of critical challenges must be successfully addressed in order to obtain the maximum value for KM investments—both in terms of budget but also in terms of time and human resources. This chapter explores some issues facing knowledge management such as political issues regarding Internet search engines, the shift to knowledge-based assets, intellectual property, and how to provide incentives for knowledge sharing to...

  17. 14 KM Resources
    (pp. 453-460)
  18. Glossary
    (pp. 461-476)
  19. Index
    (pp. 477-486)