SharePoint Knowledge Management – A Simplified Academic View – Part 4

However, March and Simon take the approach that there is more involved here than just the economic motivators. They believe that the members of a business can be restructured in growth due to their own individual cognitive abilities. As a result it can hinder their efforts to successfully be able to solve a variety of different problems.

So how are these limitations dealt with? It can be done by breaking down various types of tasks into smaller parts. That way there are those with the right skills assigned to different areas of it instead of all of it. This is the same type of concept that is used for assembly line work. Each employee has the right knowledge for their portion of the work. They don’t get the information to help them with something others are responsible for. This type of sharing is often referred to as a means to and end.

This type of organized structure within a business helps to deal with the issue of limited cognitive capacity. It doesn’t give employees much room to be creative though or to offer new information. In fact, it can create a huge barrier between employees as well as getting them to take a sound interest in the success of the business. Their job can become too predictable and too repetitive for them take it seriously.

There are plenty if informal types of structure that can exist within a business. This type of communication often allows employees to share as they choose. This helps them to overcome some of the pitfalls involved with a more structured type of information distribution. Many experts including Cohen and Leviathan believe that the more diverse your employees are the more expertise you can get from them in the way of knowledge.

As a result of this type of diversity, a business can see remarkable additions coming their way. The fact that the business will get better from the inside out means that you have employees that value their role within that organization. They are more likely to continue coming to work and to use the knowledge that is derived in positive ways.

What is interesting is that the formal structure of many organizations can end up getting individuals to keep their knowledge to themselves. They don’t feel obligated or encouraged to share it with others. They end up relying upon the resources that are offered out there by the business in order to get their work done. This can end up being a challenging force that the business faces without even realizing it!

From this point of view, the organization has put up walls and barriers. They may be invisible but they are in place nonetheless. They aren’t allowing the knowledge that employees have to really benefit their business. Instead of relying on knowledge as a valuable resource they end up focusing on the processing of how things take shape within their business.

Having groups of small networks in place that develop into good relationships will help each of the groups see that that need the help and support of the others. There is plenty of research out there to suggest that the economic behaviors of a business are directly tied into the different social relationships that happen within it.

As you can see from all of this information, knowledge can be either from a single person or from a group of people that bring their expertise to the group collectively. Developing these types of knowledge networks allows those with a common need or a common skill to bond together. Even so, you have to remember that each person will have different cognitive abilities. As a result, how they perceive the situation is going to become very significant to the outcome that they take.

Let’s take a look at the Transactive Memory Systems that was introduced by Wegner in 1987. This takes into consideration the idea of distributed knowledge and how it is distributed within a company. This type of research is used to help predict the types of behavior that people within a given knowledge network will bring to the overall information structure.

The goal is to find out how each is going to perceive the overall information and knowledge. The more on target this ends up to be, they better the outcomes in regards to the overall decisions for the group is going to end up being. A Transactive Memory System is believed to actually improve the perform of a given group when they are working together on various tasks.

It is also believed this type of training is going to encourage each of the members of the group to articulate their thoughts rather than holding them back. This is why codified knowledge is preferred in regards to such a method versus tacit knowledge. However, this can also be a limiting factor in place when it comes to the approach taken for research. On the other hand though this type of approach does make the priority about the individuals involved instead of just about finding a way to manage this type of asset within a business.


SharePoint Knowledge Management – A Simplified Academic View – Part 3

Tacit knowledge is what gives a business the edge out there in the market. Therefore it has to be evaluated with some type of criteria. Otherwise it would be impossible to measure how strong it really is for any given business. However, tacit knowledge is extremely difficult if not impossible to determine a good definition for what falls into that given category.

Some will argue that there is just no way for any business to be able to accurately measure this as part of the success involved with it. As new knowledge is introduced into the business, there should be an increase on the overall value of the business right? Trying to determine if the knowledge available is being managed properly is another question that comes up.

Many businesses calculate both management and knowledge together. They do so through the use of information technology. That is because it has a way of being able to detail the level of assets that are offered on an intellectual level.

Through such information technology is it s possible to make sure that knowledge within a business is properly managed. This is one debate though that not everyone is fully convinced of. In order for it to be true, then a business has to use knowledge management technology so that it can get the most return on its investment of time and money.

However, you do have to be careful with this particular concept. The fact that you will be using such technology to measure knowledge management lacks in one very important area. It fails to tell you if you are able to adequately access the full potential of the software and therefore if the knowledge offered is at the maximum level that it could be for that given business.

With that in mind you want to realize that knowledge management technology can offer a way to be more competitive in the business world. Yet there are other types of variables that you need to consider as well. Otherwise the data you rely on may be giving you inaccurate interpretations. Make sure you are able to fully utilize the technology so that your business can make huge gains from it.

How is knowledge created? It comes from a collective format as well as what individuals are able to introduce. There are plenty of scholars that feel only one aspect of that is true. Yet most agree that both of these elements are part of how knowledge can be created and shared within an organization. However, most scholars have the stand that before any knowledge can be collective in nature it starts out on an individual level as well.

This is often referred to as a cognitive process. It involves the individual is able to articulate information and then apply it. By sharing it, that knowledge is then interpreted by the minds of others. Yet other people believe that knowledge is derived through the social interactions of those in a given community which is what would make it more collective in nature.

There are many different types of groups out there of people that have a commonality when it comes to a given topic. In a business setting they may trying to assess what can be done to resolve particular concerns. As they explore the problem as a group they are able to bring to light knowledge that they didn’t have before. It can appear as though each of them has a few pieces. Collectively though they can see the entire picture.

As a result they can develop solutions that are more concrete in nature. They will also continue to evaluate the business practices, implementing better ideas as the go. This is why no business is ever fully complete where it is. Knowledge allows for positive change to take place. Through the network of these groups it is accomplished though rather than done individually. This does apply to both formal and informal organizations.

With a formal structure in place there is a type of hierarchy that has already been implemented. There are leaders, supervisors, their employees, and many diverse groups. They all fit into one entity though overall. A great organizational chart will help the higher levels of management be able to bring the different segments together.

The logic of such networks relies on the fact that the more complex dynamics of it are brought together. Information has to be exchanged and shared among the different groups. The knowledge that is created can then be taken back to the leaders for all to benefit from. This is a widely accepted practice out there that can be repeated over and over again.

With this type of idea, the knowledge base is set up to rely upon the exchange of information which isn’t tangible. This type of network is going to allow for the knowledge to work within any organization. As they share it with other organizations it is also able to expand externally as well.


SharePoint Knowledge Management – A Simplified Academic View – Part 2

In 1995 Nonaka and Takeuchi completed a model called SECI, short for socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization.

This model discusses organizational knowledge and how it can be structured and influenced by the social nature of the organization. It also discusses that tacit and explicit forms of knowledge are intertwined on many levels. Then you have Cook and Brown who don’t agree with the SECI model. Instead they use a metaphor about generative dance that was introduced in 1999.

This discussed how there is dialect that affects the relationship between the knowledge that we know and it as an object. This explores the concept that you do need both of them in place for an organization rather than just promoting the use of one over the other. Alavi and Leidner have their own idea about it that they offered in 2001.

They explain that tacit and explicit states of knowledge are dependent upon each other. They are also used to reinforce the overall qualities of knowledge that are part of a business. They believe that the background for structuring the business comes from the tacit knowledge that is in place. This has to be there in order for the rest of it to all be successfully interpreted.

When you take a look at them, you will find that both knowledge and information are concepts that must be in place. However, it is the experience, the way that it is interpreted, and also the way that it is reflected upon that allow certain types of knowledge to be created. So even though data and other information can add more value, that initial knowledge must be in place for it to be valuable.

Knowledge must be in place in order for information to be translated. As Starbuck acknowledges, there are many experts out there in the field of information that know how to enhance their value through tacit knowledge. They do this by applying the concepts from explicit knowledge. These professionals take information that they get from interviews and from reading materials.
They take that information and interpret it as well as analyze it. This allows them to create reports and to give presentations of such information. It is important to note that many experts in various fields out there learn through their own experiences but also be learning about experiences of others.

Knowledge allows us to continue to grow and to move forward because by reviewing such information something is added to it. However, tacit knowledge has to be properly utilized in order for explicit forms to give the best value. That is why we are going to discuss both knowledge and information. We are going to cover tacit and explicit knowledge. These are resources for any type of business out there. Hopefully you will come to see the reason why they have to be reinforced by the other in order to offer the best benefits.

Any organizations out there can be considered some type of formal structure. This is because they have a goal that they are trying to achieve. Generally that main goal is one which is driven by making money. A business has to make money in order to get a return on what has been invested both in the way of time and money.

Knowledge should always be considered an asset that a business has access to. Part of the overall goal should be to get all they can from the types of knowledge that are within it. The overall value here often is calculated by taking the information that easy of the employees have. When they have the right knowledge it is going to give the entity as a whole a huge benefit over the competition.

In 1984 Wernerfelt developed a similar idea in his resource based ideals. The thoughts he was trying to convey covered the need to provide a rational way to explain why some businesses have the ability to continually stay on top. What advantages did they have over the others in that same niche? Why were they are able make more money time and time again? It comes down to being able to maximize the types of knowledge that are internal for that business.

You may not realize it but knowledge is actually a type of resource that any business has a great deal of control over. It can be considered an extension of what they already have in place. For a business to realize the value of knowledge is where the situation can improve. Once offering ongoing information and knowledge is made a priority it will enhance what that business already has to offer.

There are plenty of ways to make that happen for any type of business. Being able to effectively manage what is going on means that knowledge can be presented, transferred to employees, applied on the job, and stored for access whenever they may need it. The fact that knowledge allows the development of better processes within an organization means it can become more efficient. Of course these leads us into a great question that deserves some attention. How can a business measure the knowledge that it has to offer employees?