Information and knowledge management is the understanding of the value of data, ways of finding and maintaining it and its strategic benefits. Organizational knowledge is intuitive and effective. Knowledge is fundamental and it explicates our organization’s internal productivity. Knowledge is an outcome of a consolidation of collective thinking that occurs in best of practices, process management and knowledge control and management. Knowledge is found in minds of experts and ordinary people. In our organization, collective knowledge is shown in its behavior and attitude. Our organization’s behavior is shown through its daily routines, business operations, information generation, and its business culture (Davenport & Prusak 1997).
Information management, innovation, human capital and business analysis and methods contribute to knowledge management. Thus, information management involves control and access of data and documents. Not all data and information is created evenly or the same and that these data have different meanings and values thus, they should have different management methods. Knowledge management has the objective of availing knowledge and making it visible and develops the knowledge control structures and processes. Educating and training the employees is essential in that investing in people is a financial advantage, which is human capital (Schwartz 2006).
- What is understood by the term ‘intellectual capital’, and how does it relate to IKM?
Intellectual capital refers to intangible assets of our organization, the difference between market value and tangible assets value. It is essential for our organization to measure the value and performance of its intellectual capital. This allows the executive management to know how to survive in this information and knowledge era. Intellectual capital is divided into the following,
The employees of our organization, through their skills and expertise comprise human capital. It is also shown by the employee’s capability to solve business issues and problems. Human capital cannot essentially be owned by our organization as it lies solely on the employee power. This means that if our organization loses its employees it also loses its human capital. How our organization uses its employees, for example through innovation and creativity is considered as human capital. Thus, our organization should invest in its employees (Davenport & Prusak 1997).
These elements enable the human capital to work and function. These include buildings, software, hardware, systems, processes, and the databases of our organization. Trademarks and patents are also includes. As there are so many widespread components, it can be further classified into organizational capital, process capital that involves procedures, techniques and programs, and finally innovational capital, which includes intellectual properties. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents protect such intellectual and intangible assets (Davenport & Prusak 1997).
Consists of items that are not identifiable such as licenses, franchises, customer relations and interactions. Our organization’s worth is measured by the customers’ relationships and capital thus, is a very important part.
How intellectual capital is relates to knowledge management is shown through how our organization use its human and structural capital in the active processes of our organization such as measuring, capturing, auditing and valuing issues. Knowledge management can be described as the art of creating and retaining value from its intangible assets (Davenport & Prusak 1997).
- Giving relevant examples, what kinds of problems is IKM intended to prevent/address.
Information and knowledge management is intended to address issues that confronts our organization. Problems such as little or no coordination and integration between information systems, poor quality of data and information, lack of consistency, redundancy and duplication, limited resources, diverse and many business issues and needs, and lack of clear strategies continue to affect our organization. Moreover, politics within our organization, which affects the ability to coordinate and organize activities and difficulty in introducing changes of processes and practices, continue to affect many organizations too (Davenport & Marchand 2000).
Other challenges faced are creating customer value and customer service improvement, adaptation to the changing business rules and shortened development times. These problems vary with departments and organizations. Customer’s needs and preferences are rapidly changing and evolving along with the innovations of new products. Thus, our organization should be informed and up to date the innovations. Information and knowledge management is able to deliver solutions that would work and prevent such issues and problems (Davenport & Marchand 2000).
- In addition, what kinds of benefits might IKM bring?
The benefits that information and knowledge management brings forth among others include a means of feedback from their customers. For example, a supply chain requires feedback and knowledge from areas such as planning, warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution. Today’s business environment requires an adaptive, forward, and anticipatory-based way of thinking. Knowledge management tries to secure and create more learning experience opportunities to the employees who are part of our organization (Hamel & Breen 2007).
Knowledge management initiatives that are there to minimize risks, improve efficiency, and bring forth innovation add value to our organization. The benefits include; better and more informed decision making, improves the intellectual capital, encourages creativity and innovation, aids in elimination of redundant practices and processes, enhances retention rate of its employees and streamlines our organizations operations. It also improves the quality and efficiency of customer services and productivity (Davenport & Prusak 1997).
IKM will also benefit our company to compare activities that took place in the previous months, with what is happening currently. For instance, we can take the data of last month, and make comparisons with the sales of the previous months. Information such as the demographic of a product, and sales method could help on reaching some conclusions concerning the product. This will assist our company to establish better ways of advertising in the slow seasons and help maximize sales. Through IKM, it will be easier for our company to gain quick access to shared knowledge, and share it with others. Considering that knowledge is put in categories and all workers know its importance, the workers are aware the information that is important and of value (Drucker & Maciariello 2008).
Why organizations need information and knowledge management?
As the world is hanging, there is immense pressure to come up with new products and ideas rapidly. These ways require an accelerated use of information and knowledge. In a knowledge driven economy, information and knowledge is a vital commodity that offers the competitive edge. Organizations both small and large have realized that they require more than just having technology and quality management to stay competitive. Knowledge is an important factor in the success of our organization. Our organization should learn how to make use and manage their knowledge assets to bring maximum profits. Organizations should have customer-centered businesses, which would increase their customer value. The management team should work towards replacing informal with formal methods of knowledge management. Members of the organization should know and understand that knowledge is volatile or perishable (Hamel & Breen 2007).
This is due to the ever growing and innovations of new and better technologies, services, and products. Thus, our organization should constantly come up with innovations and more creative products and services. It is also important to keep track and record of its knowledge as the different departments and employees use various places, which include filing systems, computer databases and many other areas (Srikantaiah & Koenig 2000).
As the Information and Knowledge Officer and in a bid to address these issues, I would suggest an adaptive, forward, and anticipatory way of thinking. In order to exploit fully the intellectual capital it would be advisable to secure and create more learning experience opportunities to the employees who are part of our organization. The senior management team should come up with such initiatives that are there to minimize risks, improve efficiency and bring forth innovation add value to our organization. Information systems are as successful as they are used. Thus, the management team should invest in training and educating its employees on the practices and processes of the organization. Successful management can only achieved via leadership that is strong, with a clear vision and focused.
The information and knowledge management is vital to our organizations efficiency and productivity. It allows the management team to utilize fully their intellectual capital. It also brings about better and more informed decision-making processes and improves the intellectual capital. Knowledge management encourages creativity and innovation and aids in elimination of redundant practices and processes. Knowledge management enhances retention rate of its employees and streamlines our organizations operations. It also improves the quality and efficiency of customer services and productivity. In order to sustain knowledge management, we should focus on harnessing the capabilities for innovations. The workforce should then be encouraged to enhance business results by improving personal results.
For the information and knowledge management effort to succeed, everyone involved should understand how their attitudes and views contribute to the innovations thus bring sustainability. Changing perceptions and attitudes would reduce that which causes the system pushback. To enhance personal output, we should reinforce commitment in the workforce. Empowering the intellectual capital, which is human capital, means providing an exciting, persevering, innovative, and committed working environment? The employees come to understand and appreciate how much they are worth and what they can offer our organization. This causes excitement, stimulation, and energy at the work place.