KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT – AN IMPACT ON THE RECENT HRM PRACTICES
Ms. SATARUPA BANERJEE
“Knowledge Management is the discipline of enabling individuals, teams and entire organizations to collectively and systematically create, share and apply knowledge, to better achieve their objectives”
Ron Young, CEO/CKO Knowledge Associates International
“Knowledge management will deliver outstanding collaboration and partnership working. It will ensure the region maximizes the value of its information and knowledge assets and it will help its citizens to use their creativity and skills better, leading to improved effectiveness and greater innovation”.
West Midlands Regional Observatory, UK
Knowledge management caters to the critical issues of organizational adaptation, survival and competence in face of increasingly discontinuation of environmental change. Essentially it embodies organizational process that seeks synergistic combinations of data and information processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative technique of human beings.
Knowledge management refers to the process of data collection, converting it into information, and then weeding out the inessential and storing the required and storing the required information for retrieval and use.
High levels of uncertainty and inability to predict the future characterize the “new world of businesses”. Use of the information and the control system and compliance with predefined goals, objectives and best practices may not necessarily achieve long term organizational competence. This is the world of “re- everything”, which challenges the assumptions underlying the “accepted way of doing things”. This world needs the capability to understand the problems afresh given the changing environmental conditions. The focus is not only on flinging the right answers but also on finding the right question. This world is contrasted from the “old world” by it emphasize on “doing the right things” rather than “doing things right”. This concept embodies a transition from the recently popular concept of “information value chain” to a “knowledge value chain”. What is the difference? The information value chain considers technological systems as key components guiding the organization’s business process, while treating humans as relatively passive processors that implement “best practices” archived in information databases. In contrast, the knowledge value chain treats human systems as key components that engage in continuous assessments of information archived in the technological systems. In this view, the human actors do not implement “best practices” without active enquiry. Human actors engage in an active process of sense making to continuously assess the effectiveness of “best practices”. The underlying premise is that “best practices” of yesterday may not be taken for granted as “best practices” of today or tomorrow. Hence, double loop learning, unlearning and relearning process need to be designed into the organizational business process.
In contrast, knowledge management facilitates continuous and ongoing processes of learning and unlearning thus ensuring that need for imposing top down “radical change” may be minimized.
CHARACTERISTIC OF WORKERS IN THE KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY:
- Understand changing business context quickly
- Apply new technologies to their business contexts
- Judge if the organization’s “best practices” are aligned with the dynamics of the business environment
- Delegate ‘programmable’ tasks to technologies so that they can focus on creative, innovative and value additive tasks.
Given the need for autonomy in learning and decision making, such knowledge workers would also need to be comfortable with self control and self learning. In other words they would need to act in an entrepreneurial that involves a higher degree of responsibility and authority as well as capability and intelligence for handling both.
Knowledge is one of the key resources for growth in the global economy. Knowledge together with the information and the communications technology (ICT) provides many opportunities for promoting sustainable economic growth in many countries, as the generation of technical knowledge has positive impact on productivity growth. The rapid development of ICT and transformation to a knowledge based economy have created robust demand for workers highly skilled in the development and use of ICT.A well – trained workforce is essential to the efficient acquisition ,utilization , creation and dissemination of relevant knowledge and skills that tend to increase productivity and economic growth. Since education is a fundamental key to wealth creation and competitiveness in the global knowledge economy, education and training providers are playing a pivotal role in supporting all members of our society to adjust to the new environment and thereby contribute to the development of a vibrant knowledge based economy.
Companies like IBM are “knowledge creating companies”. They did not create knowledge for its own sake, but rather to develop new products or improve existing ones. Their crucibles were large scale industrial research laboratories.
In conclusion it can be stated that knowledge workers are not subordinates; they are “associates”, is the crux of this new knowledge era. Today internationally learning one’s way up rather than earning one’s way up is the crucial way of remaining employed for lifelong.
“The capabilities by which communities within an organization capture the knowledge that is critical to them, constantly improve it and make it available in the most effective manner to those who need it, so that they can exploit it creatively to add value as a normal part of their work”