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Managing Knowledge Management. Joanne Jacobs Brisbane Graduate School of Business Queensland University of Technology. Scope of the Presentation. Rise of KM Issues for managing KM Key tenets of KM Measuring KM Risks and Trade-offs Litigation and KM Drivers for KM

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Managing knowledge management l.jpg

Managing Knowledge Management

Joanne Jacobs

Brisbane Graduate School of Business

Queensland University of Technology

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Scope of the Presentation

  • Rise of KM

  • Issues for managing KM

  • Key tenets of KM

  • Measuring KM

  • Risks and Trade-offs

  • Litigation and KM

  • Drivers for KM

  • Futures for managers and KM

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Rise of Knowledge Management (KM)

  • Buzz word of business management

  • Wide range of ideas regarding definition

  • Range of ideas about which sectors within an organisation are involved in KM

  • Sense in the software market that KM is the domain of technology division and can be contained by software applications

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Definitions (I)

  • “KM is the process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets”SOURCE: Santosus & Surmacz (2001) The ABCs of Knowledge Management

  • “Knowledge management is the management of the organization towards the continuous renewal of the organizational knowledge base - this means e.g. creation of supportive organizational structures, facilitation of organizational members, putting IT-instruments with emphasis on teamwork and diffusion of knowledge (as e.g. groupware) into place.”SOURCE: Thomas Bertels (1996) Knowledge Management Forum

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Definitions (II)

  • “Knowledge Management is the collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge. In one form or another, knowledge management has been around for a very long time. Practitioners have included philosophers, priests, teachers, politicians, scribes, Librarians, etc. …. Knowledge management is not a, "a technology thing" or a, "computer thing“. If we accept the premise that knowledge management is concerned with the entire process of discovery and creation of knowledge, dissemination of knowledge, and the utilization of knowledge then we are strongly driven to accept that knowledge management is much more than a "technology thing" and that elements of it exist in each of our jobs.”SOURCE: Newman, B (1991) An Open Discussion of Knowledge Management

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Definitions (III)

  • Definitions range from:

    • Economical/capital based evaluation of information investment

    • Technology oriented mechanisms for storage and retrieval of information

    • Creative, content-oriented concerns over information gathering as well as efficiency and legal implications of information utilisation

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SOURCE: Sveiby, K (1996-2001) What is Knowledge Management?

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  • Human Resources (HR)

  • Organisational Communication specialists

  • Marketing

  • Information Technology Systems Analysts

  • Technical Services (Helpdesk)

  • Finance

  • Content creation divisions

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Technology and KM

  • Often associated with accountancy and database systems

  • KM is NOT limited to accountancy and database applications

  • Technology networks (hardware) is a facilitator of KM

  • Bandwidth limits KM and e-business information exchanges

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Technology costs and KM gathering)

  • As new investment, technology (equipment and personnel) represents the most significant investment for an organisation

  • However, digitisation of existing information collection/storage processes does not necessarily represent new investment

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Managing KM gathering)

  • Involves identification of KM needs for an organisation

  • Involves appointment of specific personnel charged with KM coordination

  • Involves rolling process of evaluation of KM needs and KPIs

  • Involves liability for inadequate KM

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Rise of the CKO gathering)

  • In the US, CKOs and CIOs rising 21% per yearSOURCE: Association of Executive Search Consultants, 2000-02

  • Rise in service industries and overall productivity based on information coordination, thus rise in CKO job positions is a natural result

    • 552 positions on on 22 July 2002

  • Role of the CKO in an organisation

    • Follow six key tenets (see over)

  • To whom does the CKO report?

    • The CKO v the CIO

    • The CEO and the CKO

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Six key tenets of KM (I) gathering)

  • Understand who needs to know and what they need to know.

  • Pure automation of data processing should occur only where no human intervention is ever required.

  • As an organisation’s knowledge-based assets increase, they need to be categorised in portals and annotated for ready reference.

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Six key tenets of KM (I) gathering)

4.Archive only personal, contractual and any other information that may need to be used for legal purposes at a future date. And backup to hard media where appropriate.

5. Best Practice lasts a season. Revise terms for market leadership.

6. Avoid locking in to software and IT system infrastructure. Planning for IT systems for knowledge management should acknowledge a life span of no more than three years.

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Measuring KM gathering)

  • Metrics

    • Progress, Gap between objectives and positioning, cultural readiness, e-readiness, effectiveness, cost-benefits

    • Available surveys often based on extant conditions of an organisation/location

  • Evaluation of digital capital

    • Evaluation of human capital

    • Evaluation of technology capital

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Evaluating Digital Capital gathering)

Internetworked human capital Traditionally, human capital was viewed as the sum of the individuals' capabilities in the enterprise — skills, knowledge, intellect, creativity, and know-how. It has replaced physical and financial assets in determining corporate success. In the digital economy, this capital can extend well beyond the traditional corporate walls — companies can have it without having to own it. Cisco's human capital includes the intelligence and know how of thousands of employees belonging to its business Web members.

Relationship capital Traditionally, customer capital was viewed as the wealth contained in an organization's brand, customer penetration, and reputation. When internetworked in a B-Web, customer capital becomes relationship capital, and intensifies into profoundly reciprocal linkages. Dynamic two-way relationships replace the old concept of the brand as a one-way image that the vendor establishes through print and broadcast media. has deep relationship capital with millions of customers, who have invested their time and effort to personalize their relationship with Amazon.

The capital in new business models As business-model innovation determines competitiveness and wealth, industry by industry, business Webs are destroying the old model of the firm. The lack of interest among VCs in funding B-to-C startups today reflects the lack of business-model innovation in most of these fledgling companies. Most are simply putting the next great thing on the Web, and hoping massive traditional advertising will attract customers. The action has shifted to B-to-B where new business models are exploding daily.

SOURCE: Tapscott, D (2000) ‘Do Profits Matter’, Business 2.0,,1661,4,FF.html?volID=282

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Risks and Trade-offs gathering)

  • Industry leadership v litigation avoidance

    • Benchmarks do not make industry leaders

    • High risk market leadership can involve financial, procedural and social implications which can result in litigation

  • Benchmarking issues

    • If based on technology rollout, the standard s-curve of adoption-diffusion will appear to demonstrate plateauing of knowledge management growth

    • If based on software standards or personnel trends, the benchmark risks being obsolete by the time of implementation

  • Rise of e-security

  • High risk, high returns

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Litigation and KM gathering)

  • Accountability

    • Shareholders

    • Public, governments

  • Privacy

    • Of employees in the workplace

    • Of information provided by clients/consumers

  • Access & equity

    • Knowledge management applications based on technology must recognise consumer access to relevant equipment, as well as disability access within the workplace

  • Security

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E-Security gathering)

  • Not just a financial/e-commerce issue

  • In-confidence communication (Kernot’s emails)

  • Tools

    • Systems Administration and Networked Security

  • Servers

    • Reliability

    • Carrier Service Providers and Service Providers (see definition provided under the Telecommunications Act)

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Carriers? gathering)


A carrier isthe holder of a carrier licence granted under the Act. There are no restrictions on the number of carrier licences which may be issued. Any corporation, partnership corporation or public body may apply for a licence.

The owner of certain telecommunications facilities … whichare used to supply carriage services (services for carrying communications) to the public must either:

·hold a carrier licence; or

·make arrangements to ensure that another licensed carrier accepts carrier-related responsibilities for those network units.

Service providers

There are two types of service providers - carriage service providers and content service providers.

A carriage service provider, in general, uses a carriage service to supply, or proposes to use a carriage service to supply, carriage services to the public using network units owned by a carrier (for example phone or Internet access services).

A content service provider is a person who supplies, or proposes to supply, content services to the public (for example a pay TV service).

Where a carrier is engaged in these activities, they are also considered to be a service provider.

SOURCE: DCITA (1999) ‘Carriers and Service Providers’,

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Teleworking/telecommuting and KM gathering)

  • KM drives teleworking; teleworking drives KM

    • General rise in teleworking (see over)

  • Heightened role for managers

    • Monitoring (privacy implications)

    • Workforce coordination (CKO)

  • Cost cutting and KM

    • Outsourcing and teleworking designed to reduce overall information collection and dissemination costs

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Rise in teleworking gathering)

SOURCE: ‘Current State of Play June 2001’, National Office for the Information Economy, June 2001.

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Present Implications of KM gathering)

  • Managers are developing more transparent codes of practice/conduct for information collection and storage

    • Privacy

    • Teleworking

  • Important to note that CKO delegation of responsibility does not absolve managers from legal liability

  • Rise of outsourcing for knowledge gathering functions

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Futures for Managing KM (I) gathering)

  • Increasing telecommuting workforce, or increasing outsourcing for information collection

  • Increased importance of Codes of Practice

  • Increased industry regulation

  • Rise in insurance and litigation derived from inadequate KM procedures

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Futures for Managing KM (II) gathering)

  • Wide-scale appointment of CKOs in medium to large enterprises

    • Do not replace marketing and organisational communication departments

    • Tend to free up managers for the more strategic development and entrepreneurial responsibilities of an organisation

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Contact details gathering)

Joanne Jacobs

Brisbane Graduate School of Business

Queensland University of Technology

Ph: (07) 3864 2065

Fax: (07) 3864 1299