PSC Notes on Knowledge Management Element Concept
Knowledge Management Element Concept has been evolving as one of the prominent managements concepts in recent years. Business and multilateral organizations are developing its processes, tools and techniques. It was born of the need to achieve better productivity and effectiveness from the intangible assets or intellectual capital of the organizations.
PSC knowledge management concept Governments are also moving ahead to manage knowledge as a part of the development of public administration and an initiative to improve governance. Managing knowledge is not a new idea to an organization or a government. But the concept of KM as it is evolving focuses on the reinforcement of the established tools from the perspective of improving the management of knowledge resources (creating, storing, sharing, and transferring ) within an organization and outside world. Efficient and effective management of knowledge is critical to secure benefits from the knowledge resources (data, information and knowledge) developed and obtained over a period of time.
This article attempts to discuss the concept of knowledge management, its elements, processes, issues and prospects.
Concept of Knowledge and Knowledge Management
Knowledge is basic to human being. We all possess some knowledge. Being a subject of everyone’s interest, knowledge is susceptible to multiple interpretations. The following definitions might help to gain the perspectives of knowledge:
1. Awareness, consciousness or familiarity gained by experience or learning.
2. Information and skills acquired through experience and education.
The function of knowledge is to make a sense of things. Knowledge is high-value form of information that is ready to apply to making decisions and taking actions. It includes information, ideas, experience, insights and awareness. It is the synthesis of information or what we know or the state of knowing in-depth. Knowledge is often referred as the culmination of information about the context and the consequence of events. Information that has a purpose or use is knowledge. Data leads to information and information leads to knowledge which confers a capacity for effective action. Its main features are as follows:
1. Knowledge is the core of human competence. The skill to identify critical knowledge resources and use them in an objective manner enhance competence, develops self-confidence and leads to effectiveness.
2. Knowledge is built and enhanced through education, training, work experience, dialogue, participation and social interactions.
3. Knowledge is used to improve performance and to solve problems and contributes to career and personality development.
4. Knowledge should be constantly reviewed and updated to make it relevant and effective.
The notion of knowledge may be different in the context of an institution and an individual. Institutional knowledge is the collective knowledge of all members of an institution. It is the combination of ideas, understanding and lessons learned over a period of time and accessible to the future members of the institutions. It encompasses information that has practical value in making decisions, performing tasks and evaluating the results of performance. An individual gains and enhances knowledge through multiple processes including constant and meaningful application of skill and intelligence in performing specific tasks, continuous learning, social interaction and analyzing performance results. It is an aggregate of capabilities built through experience, applying skills and accessing knowledge resources. It is applied to accomplish tasks, to make decisions, to advance career and to achieve higher productivity.
Types of Knowledge
1. Specific Knowledge:
Implies the knowledge created and advanced through study, training and working in a specific institution and work environment over a period of time. This knowledge contributes in achieving specialization.
2. General Knowledge:
Means the knowledge gained through the process of socialization, education, self-study, and observation. It helps to widening the vision of an individual but does not focus on specialization.
3. Explicit Knowledge:
Refers to knowledge that can be expressed, captured, documented and maintained in the forms of records and publications. Knowledge that is more or less explicit can be embedded in procedures or represented in documents and databases and transferred with reasonable accuracy.
4. Tacit Knowledge :
Means to a hidden type of knowledge that is gained through socialization, observation, on-the-job training, and mentoring and joint activities such as meetings and teaming up for a project and interaction with environment. It is highly personal and hard to formalize. It deals mainly with communication and collaboration between people.