As discussed in the Knowledge page I was interested in on how knowledge management techniques could be leveraged within a company to develop competitive advantages. The crucial trap not to fall in to is to think that knowledge can be captured within the confines of IT Systems and be extracted at will. A so called "Knowledge Database" At best, IT system can take massive volumes of unstructured data and categorize and transform it in to a format that the organization can make sense of. They key to making this data useful resides in the collective minds of the organization who have a shared sense of purpose and shared values and ideally collaborate, synthesize and transform the information in to new constructs and combinations that can evolve in to tangible competitive advantages.
The project abtract was thus:
Knowledge Management is an imprecise term that covers a diverse and often conflicting set of knowledge taxonomies; the root of which is trying to understand the meaning of truth and knowing. Unfortunately it is term that most practitioners and theorists use as an umbrella term but many organizations have misconstrued the meaning and have implemented knowledge management initiatives that seek to ‘capture’ knowledge as an asset on IT systems then distribute and apply across the organization.
This dissertation will seek to highlight the many different knowledge types and the diverse approaches that can be deployed to create, store, transfer and apply knowledge within an organizational environment. To do this I will introduce a unified ‘knowledge cycle’ model that draws and blends many concepts of traditional knowledge models and apply it to a single organization that is the subject of the case study below.
The dissertation will conclude that the ‘Socially Constructed’ knowledge taxonomy that seeks to exploit people’s tacit knowledge is increasingly the approach that organizations should adopt in the post-industrial era of Social Capital. The lesson for IT practitioners is that they should act as orchestrators and stewards of knowledge and not as captors
A full copy of the disertation can be downloaded below: