Knowledge management encompasses the acquisition, transfer, use, development and storage of knowledge. Knowledge management is becoming increasingly important due to changes in organizational and corporate structures as a result of the development of a knowledge society. Systematic handling of knowledge is essential for the success of companies and public institutions.
Components of Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management is influenced by different streams from engineering, business administration, sociology and psychology. The four components of knowledge management can be derived from these streams. The information technology component from the field of engineering comprises data and information management. Components from artificial intelligence and social software are also linked to knowledge management. The business component includes quality and process management as well as human resource management for systematic handling of knowledge. The component from the field of sociology includes, among other things, change within an organization, which poses a special task for knowledge management. Individual learning, the development of knowledge, the motivation of organizational members and communication within the organization as components of the personal component round off knowledge management.
Models of Knowledge Management
The systematic handling of knowledge within an organization requires the application of knowledge management models. There are a large number of models, most of which were developed and published in the 1990s. Of particular importance are the following models, which are widely used in the literature and in practice: In the building block model, knowledge management is intended to influence the process of change in the organization’s knowledge base. The individual building blocks are the identification, acquisition, development, utilization, distribution and storage of knowledge. Whereby between these building blocks a constant interaction takes place. The knowledge spiral model assumes different patterns of interaction between the explicit and tacit knowledge. Here, the organization can only expand its knowledge base if the tacit knowledge can be successfully communicated. Another model is the knowledge market model, which views knowledge as a resource and an associated market value. This results in a so-called knowledge market with supply and demand, which can be shaped with the help of knowledge management. The learning phase model focuses on the concepts of organizational learning and develops knowledge management on this basis.
Methods of Knowledge Management
In addition to the application of the models, the knowledge goals must be implemented concretely. Various knowledge management methods are used for this purpose. Among them, a knowledge asset road map is a widely used planning method. Business process modeling, for example, is a representation method. Best practice sharing is one of the methods used to promote knowledge. As dialogic methods a knowledge workshop or a knowledge circle can be used. Benchmarking is also a well-known method for evaluation.
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