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KM Terminology. confusion - data, information and knowledge firms do not distinguish clear definition is important for information and knowledge strategy differences in the way how we we manage data, information and knowledge. Data. - everything we can monitor by our senses

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KM Terminology

confusion - data, information and knowledge

firms do not distinguish

clear definition is important for information and knowledge strategy

differences in the way how we we manage data, information

and knowledge


- everything we can monitor by our senses

- everything we can feel, smell, taste, and hear

- a set of discrete, objective facts about events

Data can be evaluated by quantitative means:

Costs - how much we have to pay to get them

Speed - how quickly we can get them

Capacity - how much data is available at the moment

and by qualitative means:

Do we have an access to data when we need it

Do data meet our requirements, do they give us what we need

Can we understand the message they bring


Information is a building material of knowledge.

Information is data with context.

Context is given to data during the process of their interpretationby

the user.

data related to his or hertheir needs and requirements

relevance and purpose, some type of message or story

receiver (user) makes the decision if the message is information or no

Information moves through both hard (technology) and soft (human)


Quantitative measures:

connectivity and transactions ( how many letters and e-mails come today)

Qualitative measures - usefulness = relevance


value of information depends on

the price and the personal relation

too much information

success relies on our ability to choose

implementation of various, more or less convenient, information systems.

value creating activities

Contextualisation - the user knows for what purpose it was gathered

Classification – the user knows to which categories the data belong

Calculation - data are analysed by mathematical and statistical methods

Correction - data are corrected and errors are removed

Condensation – the user summarises data


a changing system with interactions among experience, skills, facts,

relations, values, thinking processes and meanings


Knowledge = Information + x

x is represented by our experience, mental models, relations,

values, principles we live by, believes, commitments, etc.

related to human action and emotion

in human minds

in routines, processes, practices and norms in organisations


Knowledge is created from information through:

Comparison - we compare the new information with what we know

about similar or other situations

Consequences - we evaluate what implications the information

has for decisions and actions

Connections - we search for relations to knowledge we or other

people already have

Conversation - we find out what other people think about

the information


- in human minds

- it’s value is validated in an action

- difficult to trace the relation between it and the action

- too subtle and fluid to be stored, transported and created by

technology – damage

- knowledge management no IS/IT solutions but

work with knowledge bearers and owners - people


knowledge = information + experience, mental models, relations,

values, principles we live by, believes, commitment related

to human action and emotion; it is created in our heads.

two dimensions:

explicit and tacit

Explicit Knowledge

can be expressed in formal and systematic language

shared in the form of data, scientific formulae, specifications,

manuals, specifications, and so on

easily processed, transmitted and stored

Some authors think that explicit knowledge is equal to information.

Tacit Knowledge

highly personal and hard to discover and formalise

created from explicit knowledge and intuition, mental models,

experience, crafts, skills etc., create it

rooted in action, procedures, routines, commitment, ideas, value

and emotions

difficult to communicate and share

can be turned to explicit (Nonaka and Takeuchi),

cannot be turned to explicit (Polanski)

if we try to formalise it we damage it

Knowledge and Cultures

Western nations tend to view knowledge as explicit

require ‘truthfulness’ of knowledge

Japanese as primarily tacit

Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

  • these two types of knowledge are complementary and they are

  • crucial for knowledge creation

  • too much focus on explicit knowledge - ‘paralysis by analysis’

  • too much focus on tacit knowledge - over reliance on past

  • success and the elimination of new information,

  • ideas and viewpoints

Interaction of Explicit and

Tacit Knowledge

explicit and tacit knowledge interact with each other in people’s

creative activities

Example: pianist

concentrating on how but fully concentrating on what

The same happens if we learn something new

- riding a bike, skating, walking, etc.

Interaction of Explicit and

Tacit Knowledge

is called ‘knowledge conversion’

within the individual - without the help of others

through interactions between individuals who own different types and

contents of knowledge.


process of connecting discrete elements of explicit knowledge

into set of explicit knowledge that is more complex and systematic

than any of its parts

combined through documents, meetings, phone calls

also includes the break down of concepts - corporate objectives

through three processes

knowledge is collected and combined

the new explicit knowledge is spread around

explicit knowledge is edited and again spreadaround


Internalisation is the process of embodying explicit knowledge as

tacit knowledge


internalised knowledge is used to broaden, extend and change

people’s tacit knowledge

base for shared mental models or various types of know-how

puts together two dimensions:

- explicit knowledge is embodied in action and practice

- explicit knowledge can be embodied by simulation and



process of articulating tacit knowledge as explicit knowledge

explicit concepts from tacit knowledge

can be shared and becomes the basis for the creation of new


success depends on metaphors, analogies and models


  • process of sharing tacit knowledge through shared experience

  • people have to share the same experience through joint activities

  • traditional apprenticeship, communities, storytelling

  • difficult to manage

  • personal experience with some activity or situation

  • trust, love and care cultivated between members of the company

  • or the community.

Work with Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge can be shared

By sharing we leave it in the tacit form.

can be shared between two people or by the group

Whole nations share their knowledge based on the a common history

and experience.

There are three ways of how to share knowledge:



communities of practices.


old and very efficient tool of knowledge sharing.

Success depends on:

The content of the story - e.g.. the tacit knowledge we are transferring

Storyteller - his personality, language skills and his ability to transform

the knowledge to the story

The audience - their activity and relation to the story and the storyteller,

their previous knowledge, experience, mental models, etc.

The story telling also depends on the ability of the audience to open

their minds to the story

requires a closer relationship between the storyteller and the audience


traditional model of tacit knowledge exchange

relationship between the master and the apprentice

1. master tries to articulate (make explicit) and demonstrate his knowledgeto the apprentice

2. sharing through the non-verbal personal practical experience

of the apprentice, carefully monitored by the master.

The apprentice is reshaping the master’s knowledge to his/her own knowledge.

process is slow and it is based on social contract - co-operation

important in later phases of the apprenticeship when master

may feel threaten by a bright apprentice

Disadvantages of Apprenticeship

  • The relationship must not be interrupted

  • The master must be patient and be a good teacher

  • It takes time

  • The master must be rewarded for his effort

Communities of Practices

groups of people who have some common interest (domain),

strong relationship, share knowledge

or need to share knowledge, experiences, tools and, best practices

to solve some problem

depend on each others’ knowledge, skills and expertise

created purposefully or emerge naturally from volunteers

can be efficient only when there is a good connection and

communication between people

People join communities to fulfil their emotional, intellectual

and other needs.

Communities of Practices

  • Intellectual needs:

  • Develop own expertise

  • Awareness of opportunities

  • New perspectives

  • High return on the effort

  • Improve status

  • Increase of influence

  • Improve skills, knowledge and abilities

  • Contact with people with similar interests

Communities of Practices

  • Emotional needs:

  • Satisfaction from helping others

  • Recognition and kudos

  • Increased confidence

  • New relationships/network

  • Sense of belonging

  • Other needs:

  • Improved performance

  • Better salary

Communities of Practices

The purpose of the community should be clear

The community may create the shared vision and strategy and

define objectives

Community members do not have to necessarily work in the same field

The community always needs the support of the organisation

Communities of Practices

  • Companies benefit from communities of practices in following areas:

  • Human Resources:

  • Community develops employees

  • Community improves competence

  • Improves the quality of thinking

  • Building of cross-organisational alliances

  • Increasing employee satisfaction and retention

  • Improving informal communication

  • Identifying skilled employees

Communities of Practices

  • Structural Capital

  • Reduces costs by sharing best practices

  • Reduces duplication of effort

  • Reduces cycle times

  • Improves quality

  • Develops and share new intellectual capital

  • Increases capacity for innovation

  • Connections are built across organisational boundaries and

  • the knowledge flow improves

Motivating factors:

the trust and opened corporate culture

Knowledge Market

exchange of knowledge between KWs

physical and virtual

in every organization

  • Advantages of healthy knowledge market:

  • enables knowledge exchange

  • improves quality of intellectual work

  • improves informal communication

  • improves quality of work

  • eliminates duplicities

  • cuts down costs

  • improves innovation capacity

Knowledge Market

  • Knowledge market participants:

  • sellers – have knowledge

  • buyers – search for knowledge

  • agents – help sellers and buyers meet

  • Currency:

  • reciprocity

  • reputation

  • altruism

  • Money? usually no!

Knowledge Market


Feeling that other person will not jeopardize your interests. At least.

based on: power, knowledge, friendship, institution, etc.

Consistent behavior!

Knowledge Market

Knowledge market signals:

Formal – education and position

Informal – knowledge network, gossips


Market place:

physical – explicit and tacit knowledge

virtual – only explicit knowledge

Knowledge Market

  • Dysfunctions of knowledge market:

  • buyer and seller have problem to find each other

  • for of payment for knowledge shared is clear, payment unsure

  • difficult to evaluate a quality of knowledge

  • Knowledge market dysfunctions are caused by:

  • managers do not know which knowledge is in their organization and

  • who owns it

  • asymmetry of knowledge market – knowledge is concentrated in one

  • part of organization, other parts do not have access to it

  • (marketing department and strategy)

  • localization of knowledge – people share knowledge and ask for new

  • knowledge only when they know each other

Knowledge Market

  • Pathologies:

  • monopolies – sb. has knowledge and does not share it with others

  • artificial deficiency – monopoly, organization looses KWs

  • barriers – organization or its part refuses to use new knowledge or

  • participate in knowledge market

Knowledge Market

  • Knowledge market enablers and inhibitors:

  • environment of trust

  • KWs know corporate strategy

  • proper organizational structure

  • integration of systems

  • close relation to customers

  • KWs understand what tacit knowledge is and know how to work with

  • it

  • managers are visible and involved

  • proper system of rewarding