School of Information Systems

What you can learn from Knowledge Management?

“Knowledge management” is a concept from the 1990s when scientists (mainly Nonaka, Takeuchi and Davenport) developed the idea of this new discipline. One of the main goals of knowledge management is to leverage corporate practices and technologies to leverage corporate knowledge. Conventional knowledge management systems focus on the ability to capture knowledge in centralized systems and make it available at a later point in time. However, this first step was so unsuccessful that knowledge management was believed dead at the beginning of the new millennium. The advent of Enterprise 2.0 (2006) breathed new life into knowledge management as the focus shifted from “knowledge” itself to the people who own, share and use it. In some ways, the new practices and technologies introduced by corporate social collaboration have skewed the perspective of how a new model of knowledge creation, sharing and use can leverage employee knowledge. This “network effect” has made it possible for us to connect people with the aim of exchanging knowledge and to make this knowledge more easily accessible.

This opened up a new era for knowledge management through the “knowledge exchange” and “collaboration” movements. As highlighted by Emanuele Quintarelli in his post:

“By participating in a collaborative knowledge ecosystem, organizations can, for the first time, accelerate not only their learning skills, but also their efficiency, innovation and agility with a single gesture.” But let’s get to the point. What are the reasons why knowledge management is necessary? Below I list the top 5 reasons I believe knowledge management is necessary within an organization:

1. Accelerate access to information and knowledge

Lew Platt, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, once said in his famous quote: “If HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” In other words, knowledge management makes it easier to find the information or the people who have the The information you need. It increases efficiency and productivity, and allows you to work better, reducing the tendency to reinvent the wheel.

2. Improve decision-making processes

Employees can improve the quality and speed of decision-making by accessing the knowledge of the entire company when needed. In decision-making, corporate collaboration tools make it easier to access the opinions and experiences of different people, which can provide additional perspectives for decisions made.

3. Promotion of innovation and cultural change

Enable and encourage the exchange of ideas, collaboration and access to the latest information. Knowledge management enables individuals to stimulate innovation and the cultural changes required to evolve the organization and meet changing business needs.

4. Improve the efficiency of a company’s operating units and business processes

With faster access to information and resources across the enterprise, knowledge workers can act quickly. A study conducted by McKinsey & Co. in November 2011, surveying more than 4,200 executives worldwide, found that the use of social collaboration technology has improved business processes and overall company performance.

5. Increase customer satisfaction

The exchange of knowledge and cooperation help to increase added value for customers. The company can provide faster responses or reduce the time it takes to improve a product or service.