We live in a post-industrial society where knowledge is being increasingly recognized as a primary source of wealth. Today, economies that can efficiently exploit its knowledge resources are increasingly doing better than those that have abundant natural resources but lack in such skills. But in broad terms, it is a complex task to compare it with conventionally better understood physical sources of wealth.
The immense changes in the social and economic environment caused by technology and globalization have enforced organizations worldwide to make overwhelming changes relative to thei9r purpose, strategies, even structures in order to adapt, survive and succeed in the 21st century. Organizations need to become ot only wired, retooled and networked; they also need to change both the extrinsic elements of the company-products activities or structures-and their basic intrinsic way of operating-values, mindset, even their purpose.
Organization must learn very fast in order to adapt to rapid environmental changes or they simply will die. Today’s organizations have little choice but to become ‘learning’ institutions since one of their principal purposes will have to be expansion of knowledge that comes to reside at the core of what it means to be productive. In the words of Zuboff, learning is the new form of labor. Learning must take place as an ongoing by product of people doing their work.
An organization should have the powerful capacity to collect, store and transfer knowledge and thus continuously transform itself for corporate success. Technology can be well utilized to optimize both learning and productivity. The knowledge subsystem involves the acquisition, creation, storage, transfer and utilization of knowledge. These components are briefly described as follows.
Acquisition involves collection of existing data and information from within and outside the organization via environmental scans, use of Internet, staff suggestions, etc. Creation is the new knowledge that is created through problem solving, innovative programs and conversion of implicit knowledge to explicit knowledge. Storing is the coding and preserving of valued knowledge for easy access by any staff member.
Transfer and utilization refer to the mechanical, electronic and interpersonal movement of information and knowledge throughout the organization as well as its application and use by members of the organization. These element are ongoing and interactive instead of sequential and independent.In developing the knowledge based system, it is important to recognize the different distinctions and values of these types of knowledge and where they fit in the hierarchy and needs of the organization.
We have already discussed the various elements of a well-organized the different distinctions and values of these types of knowledge and where they fit in the hierarchy and needs of the organization. We have already discussed the various elements of a well-organised knowledge system. We now consider a comprehensive systems approach involving these elements viz. acquisition, storage, analysis, sharing and application of knowledge, for the management of corporate knowledge through technological support. For organization to manage their knowledge effectively and efficiently, each of these five components must be ongoing and interactive. The management of knowledge must be continually subjected to perceptual filters and proactive and reactive activities. A model of a knowledge system with an emphasis on technological aspect is considered here.
A typical organization today requires huge amount of information to be able to carry out its day-to-day tasks. Only through careful application of suitable technology can the needed knowledge be gathered. The technology selected depends upon how the data or information would later be retrieved by people using it. Knowledge storage systems may be classified according to the following factors: