KM- refers to the union of organizations internal and external information to translate it into actionable knowledge. KM benefits include organizational efficiency, maximizing organization’s potential, competitive advantage, building a learning organization, and managing intellectual capital.
Knowledge management techniques can be traced to the works of documentalists in the 20th century. They had a dream of collecting, codifying, and organizing the world’s knowledge for the purpose of world peace. The linked social totality to technological and professional developments in information and communication expressing a sense of knowledge management and production that was jointly technically and socially complete. A good example is Paul Otlet in whose leadership Europeans collected and codified documents. In addition, developed networks and worked to exchange knowledge among people. In addition, wanted libraries to cease being depositories and turn into more dynamic information transfer. The second documentalist was Briet who believed knowledge is not only enclosed in documents, but knowledge could be organized into dynamic systems, based on standardization and documentary organization. Thus, according to Briet’s, Otlets view of knowledge as a resource for social utopia lead to knowledge as a resource for industrial, and scientific production (Ronald, p. 724‐735).
In terms of technology an organization’s knowledge management system is the compilation of information technologies used to facilitate the collection, organization, transfer, and distribution of knowledge between employees. Technology facilitates the process of transmitting and exchanging information. It also plays a role of managing uncertainty and complexity, where information is more factual. One of the key technologies, which have influenced knowledge management, is collaborative technologies, which enable a company’s professionals to work together and work virtually regardless of the geographical location. Web technology allows organizations to build Web and knowledge portals that can handle substantial amount of information and made it easily accessible. Information management is a subset of knowledge management and consequently, technology should be regarded as an enabler and part of the infrastructure (Ford, Pp 299-304).
According to Nonaka’s spiral theory of knowledge conversion, there are two types of knowledge tacit and explicit. Tacit knowledge is subjective and experience based knowledge that can be expressed in cognitive skills such as images, intuition, beliefs mental models and technical skills because it is context definite. Explicit knowledge is objective and lucid knowledge that can be expressed in formulas, sentences, words, or numbers and consists of problem solving theoretical approaches, and manuals (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995).
Socialization is the exchange of tacit knowledge among members with the objective of creating a common mental models and abilities. It transfers tacit knowledge often through the means of shared experience. Organizations achieve this knowledge conversion by ensuring employees that are more experienced come into contact with junior, intern employees to promote shared experiences and learning by observation, imitation It is through socialization that apprentices in institutions learn by observation and imitation of the expert’s behavior. It has resulted to cost saving in human resource development costs in the organizations and smooth transfer of expatriate (Herwig, pp. 44-46).
Externalization is the process of articulating tacit knowledge and converting it into metaphors, stories, analogies, concepts and models that can be communicated by language. Externalization is considered to be a key phase in the formation of the latest knowledge and is stimulated by dialog, collective reflection, writing. Organizations management achieves this knowledge conversion by the creation of an organization culture that seeks to induce performing tasks by dialog and collective reflection through discussion groups and chatting. On the other hand, Internalization refers to the process of accumulation to explicit knowledge tacit knowledge in the form of sensations, memories, images through experimenting in various ways, as through real life experience, simulation of limit situations, or simulation. This has been the main contributive factor in recent innovations in the world of business (McElroy, pp. 86-88).
Ronald, Day. Totality and Representation: A History of Knowledge Management Through European Documentation, Critical Modernity, and Post Fordism. 2001, p. 724‐735.
Nonaka. D and Takeuchi, H. The Knowledge Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Created the Dynamics of Innovation. New York: Oxford University. 1995
Ford, N. From Information-to Knowledge-Management: Journal of information Science Principles & practice. 1989. Pp 299-304
McElroy, M.. The Second Generation of KM,” Knowledge Management. 1999, pp. 86-88.
Herwig, R. Knowledge management: processes and technologies Springer. 2003, pp. 44-46