Literature Review on Knowledge Management and Discussion on Its Application

• Contents
 Introduction 2
 Literature review 2
 Methodology 3
 In-depth interviews 4
 Results 4
 Discussion 7
 Application of KM: 7
 Capturing of data for knowledge 7
 Knowledge culture 7
 Suggestions 7
 Conclusion 8
 References 8

With the advancement in technology and increasing awareness among the customers, the demands and expectations of the customers are increasing continuously. In order to sustain in the cut throat competition in the market, organizations need to have a complete knowledge and in depth understanding of the needs and requirements of the customers. It is this time when Knowledge management (KM) comes into the scenario. Knowledge management refers to the understanding of the trends and needs that would be featuring in the market (Alavi & Leidner, 2001). The accurate implementation of the Knowledge Management phenomenon will help the organization to create a niche for themselves in the market and sustain themselves with a profitable margin in the market. There is a large amount of data which is to be collected regarding different aspects like behaviour, nature and expectation of the customers while executing the process of KM in the company (Tiwana, 2000).
Understanding the concept as well as execution of KM in 3 organizations of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These are organizations belonging to different businesses under the management sector. It also aims at finding the implication of KM in these organizations and its impact on the functions of the organizations.
Literature review
One of the most re-known researcher on Knowledge Management (KM), Kamara stated that “KM is a developing body of methods, tools, techniques and values through which organizations can acquire, develop, measure, distribute and provide a return on their intellectual assets” (Kamara, Anumba, & Carrillo, 2002) . The organizations need to integrate the concept of Knowledge Management (KM) in their structure which will provide with increased coordination and extra-ordinary relations with their customers and clients. There are organizations which have multiple branches and in such cases it becomes really complex for the organization to execute an accurate Knowledge Management (KM) within the different departments. The actual success of the structure depends on how accurately the organization implements the concept of Knowledge Management (KM) into their different departments (Rubenstein-Montano, Buchwalter, McCaw, Newman, & Rebeck, 2001).
Knowledge Management (KM) can be executed on the basis of the information system, computing and technological modifications that are being updated. It is actually a process which involves collection of data which can be termed as knowledge capture, sharing this knowledge among the employees and then utilizing it to achieve the best possible result for the organization. The impact of implementation of Knowledge Management (KM) in an organization can be estimated from the amount of interaction that the company has with the customers as well as their shareholders which is significant in determining future strategies as well as policies of an organization (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).
For the three organizations that we are going to take under consideration, there has to be a standard set of questionnaire which will help in determining the implementation of Knowledge Management (KM) in these organizations.
There are various research questions which were developed after carrying an extensive literature review on Knowledge Management (KM).
This questionnaire was used during all the three interviews with the senior managers of the organizations.
RQ1. Are KM systems in place?
RQ2. Do you have the post of Knowledge management officer in the organization?
RQ 3. How is knowledge captured in your organization?
RQ 4. How is knowledge transferred in your organization?
RQ 5. Is there any kind of knowledge which is shared in the organization?
RQ 6. Is there any culture pertaining to knowledge within the organization?
RQ 7. Are there any kind of knowledge associations within the organization?
RQ 8. Do you follow marketing practices which depend on the collection of data and information?
In-depth interviews
There was a simple one on one interview carried out with the managers of three organizations. The interviewees were the senior managers of the respective organization and they were selected for the interview owing to the huge experience and exposure that they have towards their field. The person who were interviewed included one senior manager of a construction company, senior executive of a financial company and General Manager of one prestigious Insurance company.
The organizations have been kept confidential and for that they have been referred with the names as A1, A2 and A3. The organizations are not actually connected within themselves and they do not have any idea about the other organizations which are going to be included in these research.
The result of the interviews carried across the 3 organizations can be summarized with respect to the set of questionnaire that was developed for these organizations and the result along with its analysis is shown under:
RQ1. Are KM systems in place?
(KM) was observed in two organizations A1 as well as A3 where they had separate provisions for the implementation and execution of KM; whereas in A2 organization, there was no such separate provision for the execution of Knowledge Management (KM). The level of intensity of execution of Knowledge Management (KM) was varying in A1 and A3 with different structure and pattern followed by each of them. A1 and A3 considered the collection of data and maintaining resources for Knowledge Management (KM) and execution of strategies and policies of the organization. In A2 organization, the concept of Knowledge Management (KM) was not yet introduced. However, they had a term called as market research which somewhat performs the function of a Knowledge Management (KM) system but it does provide all the advantages obtained from a full-fledged Knowledge Management (KM).

RQ2. Do you have the post of Knowledge management officer in the organization?
The appointment of a KM officer depends on the allocation of funds and finance in the organizations regarding the setting up of Knowledge Management system (KMS). There was a separate KM officer in A1 organization, apart from it, there were no KM officers in any other organizations. In the other two organizations, the functions of KM were shared between different personnel ranging from the training and recruitment department to the customer service executives. The appointment of a KM officer was possible in A1 organization due to the allocation of funds for the Knowledge Management system (KMS) in the organization.
RQ 3. How is knowledge captured in your organization?
The process of capturing knowledge in the form of data, resources and information was carried through different means in these organizations. In A1 organization, there was a specific data storage system which was designated to capturing knowledge, whereas in A2 there was no special effort carried out for Knowledge Management system (KMS) and it was carried within the designation of training and HR department personnel; and in A3 organization the function of Knowledge Management system (KMS) were divided between few employees ranging from the separate departments which were totally developed for the execution of the Knowledge Management system (KMS).
RQ 4. How is knowledge transferred in your organization?
The transfer of knowledge was different for different organizations as per the requirement and allocation of resources in the organization for any the process of Knowledge Management system (KMS). In A1 the knowledge was shared through discussion boards, training, and meetings as they had a special provision for Knowledge Management system (KMS), whereas in A2, the knowledge was passed on a lower level through employees and in A3 it was transferred by the executives which were involved in Knowledge Management system (KMS).
RQ 5. Is there any kind of knowledge which is shared in the organization?
In A1 organization, there was mutual sharing of information owing to the separate allocation of funds and resources for Knowledge Management in this organization. For A2, knowledge sharing was carried mutually between the employees and it was specially taken care of by the senior executives which were involved in the process of Knowledge Management in A3 organization.
RQ 6. Is there any culture pertaining to knowledge within the organization?
Any organization with a developed knowledge culture is hard to find owing to the complexity and time consuming nature of the process. However, it was observed with low intensity in A1 organization where they had priority and emphasis laid on the process of Knowledge Management across the organization. In A2 and A3, there was no such separate individual culture which evolved in them.
RQ 7. Are there any kind of knowledge associations within the organization?
There were internal knowledge communities in A1 and partially in A3, whereas there were no such separate communities in A3 organization. The concept of Knowledge Management may be carried with individual internal knowledge communities across an organization depending upon the level of implementation or intensity of Knowledge Management system followed by an organization.
RQ 8. Do you follow marketing practices which depend on the collection of data and information?
The process involving knowledge-based marketing was practiced in A1 and A3 where the marketing strategies were actually knowledge based. Such type of marketing was not followed in A2 and it had other factors which were responsible for deciding the marketing plans.

There has to be a discussion of the general points that came into light after the interviews.
Application of KM:
Although KM was practised by organizations, its level of implication differed from one organization to another. The Knowledge Management practice depended on the allocation of funds by the organization for the KM system.
Capturing of data for knowledge
The purpose of knowledge management was followed by organizations which were interviewed and the process of knowledge sharing was seen in all the organizations. Knowledge was carried out in all the three organizations through different mediums.
Knowledge culture
There were different cultures owing to the Knowledge management system (KMS) observed in these organizations and they were very much customized in terms of developing the Knowledge culture within their organization.
After the research and interview, we have following recommendations for these organizations:
• Hire a KM champion in their organization,
• Develop internal and external knowledge communities,
• Stress on implementing knowledge-based marketing systems,
• Establish a knowledge culture across the organization
• Offer professional training on Knowledge Management topics and principles by specialized workshops.

Through our study, it was observed that Knowledge Management was actually practised in 2 organizations with different levels of intensity. The concept of KM is still found to be weakly executed in two organizations. Marketing practises were also not much influenced by the KMS. There was knowledge officer or knowledge champion in only one organization.
However, this can be changed by providing special training and workshops for Knowledge Management in these organizations which would actually help them to sustain in the market and develop a long lasting relation along with their customers.

Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2001). Review: Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. . MIS quarterly, , 107-136.
Kamara, J. M., A. C., & Carrillo, P. M. (2002). A CLEVER approach to selecting a knowledge management strategy. . International journal of project management, 205-211.
Rubenstein-Montano, B., Buchwalter, J., McCaw, D., Newman, B., & Rebeck, K. (2001). A systems thinking framework for knowledge management. Decision support systems,, 5-16.
Tiwana, A. (2000). The knowledge management toolkit: practical techniques for building a knowledge management system. . Prentice Hall PTR.


Posted on

March 9, 2018

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