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Reflections on Knowledge Management

Autor:   •  March 29, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,127 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,700 Views

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Knowledge may be stored within a person in his mind or outside the person in books, manuscripts, pictures, and audio and videotapes or discs. However, while only the individual himself may retrieve knowledge stored within his mind, knowledge stored outside can be retrieved by anybody. In organizations, knowledge is often embedded not only in documents and presentations but also in organizational routines, processes, practices, and norms, and through person-to-person contacts. A business discipline called Knowledge Management emerged that identifies captures, organizes, and processes information to create knowledge.

Knowledge Management is a conscious effort to get the right knowledge to the right people at the right time so that people can share and put information into action in ways that improve an organization's performance. Knowledge is crucial to the operation of businesses, to predicting outcomes of events, to understanding how and why things function, and to appreciating things that are happening around us. With the rising importance of knowledge in our global economy, knowledge management has gained worldwide attention. Leaders must control and understand the importance of knowledge management or they will confront the threat of being held accountable for jeopardizing the future of their organization (DeLong, 2004).

Companies such as NASA, Delta Air Lines, BP, Shell Chemical and Northrop to name a few, have made use of knowledge management in order to more effectively manage and utilize the knowledge and expertise in their organizations; as well as gave examples of what can happen when knowledge management isn't thought about until it's too late. Ways of doing things or procedures are maintained and stored within routines that different people perform in the organization. Thus, organizational processes not only record knowledge, but also shape the way in which knowledge is retrieved for use in the future. Knowledge management is the process of creating, capturing, and using knowledge to enhance and sustain organizational performance (DeLong, 2004).

The importance of this knowledge management technique is something rarely considered by most organizations. According to Global Insight, Inc. by the year 2013 the number of workers from age 55 to 64 will increase by almost 40 percent (DeLong, 2004). Not only is the aging workplace an issue facing the workplace today, but so is the complexity of the knowledge needed in organizations and from their employees (DeLong, 2004). Not every organization is facing dramatic issues such as the loss of crucial knowledge and skill, but it is important to recognize how knowledge management is a vital piece in the current and future success of any organization.

Organizational learning is a tool that requires sharing of knowledge. It is important to any organization that senior workers share their experience-based knowledge with younger colleagues and, vice versa

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