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Organizational Knowledge Essay

1967 words - 8 pages

IT managers concerned with implementing knowledge management in their organizations today face a number of challenges in developing sound methods for this area of management practice. If they are to understand how to manage knowledge in organizations, managers must understand that knowledge management is the attempt to maximize the use of knowledge which exists in an organization. One way of understanding is to think of it as being ‘information-plus’ or information combined with experience, context, interpretation, reflection and is highly contextual (Barnes, 2001). Knowledge in organizations evolves from different origins and is engaged in different ways. Implicit in ...view middle of the document...

Further, this view believes that learning in an organization occurs when individuals come together under circumstances that encourage them to share their ideas and to develop new insights together that will lead to the creation of new knowledge (Sanchez, 2004). To make wider use of the tacit knowledge of individuals, managers are urged to identify the knowledge possessed by various individuals in an organization and then to arrange the kinds of interactions between knowledgeable individuals that will help the organization perform its current tasks, transfer knowledge from one part of the organization to another, and/or create new knowledge that may be useful to the organization.

The Explicit Knowledge Approach
In contrast to the views held by the tacit knowledge approach, the explicit knowledge approach holds that knowledge is something that can be explained by individuals. As a result, this approach assumes that the useful knowledge of individuals in an organization can be articulated and made clear. The explicit knowledge approach also believes that formal organizational processes can be used to help individuals articulate the knowledge they have to create "knowledge assets" (Sanchez, 2004). Furthermore this approach believes that explicit knowledge assets can then be disseminated within an organization through documents, drawings, standard operating procedures, manuals of best practice, and the like. Information systems are usually seen as playing a central role in facilitating the dissemination of explicit knowledge assets over company intranets or between organizations via the internet.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Tacit Knowledge Approach
One of the main advantages of the tacit knowledge approach is that it is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to begin managing knowledge. A tacit knowledge approach may also lead to improvements in employee satisfaction and motivation when an organization recognizes and makes visible in the organization the kinds of knowledge that individual workers claim to have. In addition, the tacit knowledge approach is likely to avoid some of the practical and motivational difficulties that may be encountered in trying to secure the cooperation of individuals in making their knowledge explicit. A further advantage often claimed for tacit knowledge management approaches derives from the view that making knowledge explicit increases the risk that knowledge will be “leaked” from an organization, so that leaving knowledge in tacit form also helps to protect a firm’s proprietary knowledge from diffusing to competing organizations.
The tacit knowledge approach also has some important long-term limitations and disadvantages. One disadvantage in the tacit knowledge approach is that individuals in an organization may claim to have knowledge that they do not actually have or may claim to be more knowledgeable than they really are. The knowledge that various individuals have is likely to evolve over...

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