Knowledge Management, Types, Stages

Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences. In other words, Knowledge Management is a process that, continuously and systematically, transfers knowledge from individuals and teams, who generate them, to the brain of the organization for the benefit of the entire organization.

KM efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, and continuous improvement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with Organizational Learning, and may be distinguished from by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the exchange of knowledge.

Few KM Definitions

Prof. Gopinath defines the Knowledge Management in three different views:
• Knowledge Management is a right principle for right application and right use.
• Knowledge Management is a field of handling knowledge in different stages. It focuses around creation, capturing, nurturing, documenting, disseminating, absorbing and conserving for development of human resources.
• Knowledge Management is a process of enriching human resource, material resource and environment (organization’s environment, work environment) preservation.

R. Gregory Wenig (1998) defines KM from organizational perspective. According to his definition, Knowledge Management for the organization consists of activities focused on the organization gaining knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of others, and on the judicious application of that knowledge to fulfill the mission of the organization.

Tom Davenport (1998, brint.com) says KM is: “Process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge.

Ellen Knapp (1998 brint.com) defines KM as the art of transforming information and intellectual assets into enduring value for an organization’s clients and its people.

Types of Knowledge From Knowledge Management point

Skills: These are personalized skills possessed by individuals. Many times experts explicit their skills so that their knowledge can be used more effectively by users.

Cases are stories of real time events that give practical knowledge to the users. Thus we learn how the world works in real life. This is the best way to learn from previous mistakes and achieve from previous successes.

Processes are supposed to be high-level skills that are systematized to provide most abstract form of knowledge. Out of many skills required for a work, few are worked out into processes to make them standards.

Stages of Knowledge Management

Michael Koenig explained three stages of Knowledge Management:
1.) The first stage of KM all about use of IT (intranets) for knowledge sharing and coordination across the enterprise.
2.) The second stage added focus on human and cultural factors as essential in getting humans to implement KM.
3.) The third stage is the awareness of the importance of content- and, in particular, an awareness of the importance of the retrievability and therefore of the arrangement, description, and structure of that content.

Knowledge Management, Types, Stages