The Various Knowledge Management Models And Frameworks Commerce

Essay add: 29-10-2015, 11:29   /   Views: 202

The purpose of this paper is to critically review the various knowledge management models and frameworks. The review found that various knowledge management models and frameworks varies in perspectives ranging from the basic assumption of the articulation and transfer of tacit and explicit knowledge to the more complex and complicated assumption that knowledge is intellectual capital and it is mechanistic in perspective as well as an important asset that has to be managed efficiently for firm's success. In this paper, knowledge management models are divided into three categories: knowledge category models, intellectual capital models, and socially constructed models. Besides, two knowledge management frameworks will be discussed in this paper. Finally, a KM model and framework is tentatively suggested to act as a useful guide for further research and organizational application.

Nowadays, the world is fully experiencing an era, namely: "knowledge age" or the "knowledge economy". In knowledge economy, knowledge is the crucial commodity due to the rapidly technological advancement. The technological innovations are eliminating the gap between competing companies and the collective knowledge of the employees become the key factor in producing innovative and competitive products or services (Sunassee and Sewry, 2002). Since previously managers did not encourage diffusion and sharing of knowledge among employees, changing in mindset is required for managing the knowledge effectively. The knowledge-driven activities in organizations and of the broader economic and social life lead to the management of knowledge become very important (Sunassee and Sewry, 2002). In general, this managerial activity has been known as Knowledge Management (KM).

Previous research on knowledge management indicates the existence of various definitions of knowledge management. According to Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), knowledge management is "the capability of a company to create new knowledge, disseminate it throughout the organization and embody it in products, services, and systems." Duffy (1999) defines knowledge management as "the identification, growth and effective application of an organisation's critical knowledge." Knowledge management has been defined in another term, which is an organized and explicit process to generate, renew, and apply knowledge to maximize an organization's knowledge-related effectiveness and returns from its knowledge assets (Wiig, 1997). Alavi and Leidner (1999) define knowledge management as "a systemic and organizationally specified process for acquiring, organizing, and communicating both tacit and explicit knowledge of employees so that other employees may make use of it to be more effective and productive in their work". Besides, O'Dell et al., (1998) define knowledge management as "a conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time and helping people share and put information into action in ways that strive to improve organizational performance". For instance, Beckman (1999) define knowledge management as "the formalization of and access to experience, knowledge and expertise that create new capabilities, enable superior performance, encourage innovation and enhance customer value". In general, KM is the process of creating, storing, distributing, and applying knowledge.

By reviewing the significance of knowledge management and the complexity of its nature, it is timely to try to understand the latest theories underlying knowledge and knowledge management. Hence, this paper will critically study the latest models and frameworks of knowledge management and discuss on the assumptions and views of each model and framework. The aim of this paper is to examine the current understanding of the theory and practice of the emerging field of knowledge management by critically evaluating existing knowledge management models and frameworks. Therefore, employers or practitioners in organizations can understand their concepts and improved approaches can be developed and applied to organization and to those who need to work and implement knowledge management.

This paper will begin by presenting the aims and objectives and followed with a short discussion on the types of knowledge. This is followed with the discussion on some of the existing knowledge management models and frameworks.

Types of Knowledge

In today's competitive business environment, only the knowledge of an organization can provide the basis for organizational renewal and sustainable competitive advantages. Organizational knowledge can be classified into two distinctive types of knowledge: explicit and tacit. According to Polanyi (1967), explicit knowledge is the knowledge which is easily to formalize, transfer, and store; documented, articulated into formal language, formally expressible and easily to communicate; tacit knowledge is pertaining to ideas, feelings, and individual experience, which is more complicated and difficult to share with each others.

Explicit knowledge is the fact and can be codified and transmitted in a systematic and formal language. It is usually data, which is internal to an organization and can be easily collected. Tacit knowledge is the personal experiences, context-specific knowledge that is difficult to formalize record or articulate. It actually resides in the heads of the people, behavior and perception (Frid, 2000). Examples are intuitions, hunches, insights, beliefs and values. Both tacit and explicit knowledge are needed for an organization to achieve greater performance (Sanchez et. al. 1996).

Knowledge Management Models and FrameworksKnowledge Category Models

These types of model categorize knowledge into discrete elements. One of the most renowned KM models fits into this category, the Knowledge Spiral model by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995). This model presents a high level conceptual representation of the knowledge dimensions, namely tacit and explicit knowledge. The model makes a number of assumptions, namely:


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