Where does KM fit in?

Open Knowledge
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At the end of the 90’s, KM challenges were addressed through technology-based solutions. When you told someone about KM, they would reply with a tool or a software-driven initiative; usually a corporate-wide one. It took a few years to find out that an IT project would not solve the need of knowledge and would not necessarily improve knowledge sharing culture within company.

Later on, KM was perceived not along with IT but rather with HR. To comply with both, a key message soon became that organizations have to acknowledge people over technology as the active protagonists in knowledge-sharing. And now we come to the next step: processes. KM later was associated to managing processes and understanding the knowledge flow. So, where does KM fit in at the end? Does it need a separate entity? Should it be part of something else?

After reviewing a large number of situations, reports and statistics, I see that there are two situations:

  1. KM is perceived as a response to a strategic need (especially after the downturn) that often even remains unidentified. They call it somehow else but they are trying to manage knowledge flows, have a knowledge-sharing culture and even build some IT if necessary. As KM is not defined, it’s not even called that way.

or

  1. Top management perceives KM as something they “must do” to be ahead of competition. They say they are engaged to harmonizing knowledge-sharing processes across the organization but the exact reasons why they are strategically implementing KM is still not very clear. As KM is defined, it is established as an individual separate entity from other organisational structures.

So, again, where does KM fit in? Any experience is different but here might be similarities we can work on to better understand how this is developing.

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6 thoughts on “Where does KM fit in?”

  1. Interesting topic. I don’t have any opinions on KM as I work on Marketing but I subscribed to the comments to look for some more insight. I have the feeling this may be also related to my field.

  2. KM FIT IN HUMAN SYSTEM BIO-BASED KM (HSBKM) MODEL FRAMEWORK

    Supported by postulate stating “We are KM – regulated by Nature and by Nature we are KM model” and by giving Human Knowledge a widened meaning as the integral part of broad Nature Knowledge continuum, we developed a rationale Human System Biology-based KM (HSBKM) model framework. We’re convinced that KM fit within HSBKM model framework. Regarding the HSBKM as well as your inquiries, we suggest you to visit our URL link http://bit.ly/rxkHqu

    1. KM FIT IN WITHIN ORGANIZATION AND/OR WITHIN MODEL FRAMEWORK

      If you mean with the word “fit in” applied to the organization, then I’d like to suggest you visit our URL http://bit.ly/s28Sxb Here, KM represented and fit within “Group Category : Manage Knowledge, Improvement and Change” under Management and Support Services group”

      But, if you mean “fit in” applied to a certain model framework, I’d like to suggest our Human System Biology-based KM (HSBKM) model framework. Supported by postulate stating “We are KM – regulated by Nature and by Nature we are KM model” and by giving Human Knowledge a widened meaning as the integral part of broad Nature Knowledge continuum, we developed a rationale Human System Biology-based KM (HSBKM) model framework. We’re convinced that KM fit within HSBKM model framework. Regarding the HSBKM as well as your inquiries, we suggest you to visit our URL link http://bit.ly/rxkHqu Thank you

  3. Many thanks, Santo, for sharing. My question was regarding organisational functions. I’ve seen KM as a separate entity as well as filled in within other functions’ agenda. I would be interested in some case studies, where did it work in a certain way and why?

  4. Liviu to an extent you are right about how KM developed. Though I feel it was not in response to a strategic need in its inception stages. KM was recognized as a valuable arm of business (so to speak) either by learnings or by accident. It was this idea that capturing the learnings gained through experience and sharing and harnessing this experience would prove to be of immeasurable significance for the business, the organization and ultimately for the field, in which it was applied.

    With regards to your question I would urge you read Knowledge Management Tools & Techniques, a Butterworth-Heinemann publication by Madan Mohan Rao. Though not a recent publication, it certainly encapsulates through case -studies how KM practices helped companies. In my view and experience It does help to give one a very simple and practical view and understanding that thousands of debates about KM -and what it is or not – would not provide. Another title I would recommend is Knowledge Management – A state of the Art Guide by Paul Gamble and John Blackwell.

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