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What is knowledge management?

Awad (2004, p 26) described that knowledge management is a newly interdisciplinary and emerging business model that has knowledge within the structure of an organization as it focus. It is denoted in several disciplines including psychology, business, information management and economics. For nowadays organization it is the ultimate competitive benefit. Knowledge management involved technology, people and processes in overlapping sections. Knowledge management is the art of creating value from intangible assets of an organization. Knowledge management is the dissemination, classification and categorization of people and information throughout an organization. Craig (2000) defines that knowledge management is a combination of business practices and software products that helps organizations analyze, capture and distill information. Hersey (2000) defines that knowledge management can automate the documents classification while using machine logic that comes as close as possible to human logic. The below figure shows the Knowledge management:

Figure 2: Technological factors of knowledge management

Figure 2: Technological factors of knowledge management. Source: Awad E M and Ghaziri H M (2004), Knowledge Management, Pearson Education, New Delhi, p 26-28

Bergeron (2003, p 6) defines knowledge management as the capability to selectively archive, capture and access the best practices of work related decision making and knowledge from managers and employees for both group and individual behaviors. Knowledge management is used by vendors who delivers products that have very small to do with the ideal and more to do with relabeling products initially directed to other markets. There is also confusion based on the use of knowledge in research of artificial intelligence much of which does not apply to knowledge management. From a practical business perspective knowledge management is a systematic and deliberate business optimization strategy that chooses, stores, packages, distills, communicates and organizes essential information to the company’s business in a manner that develops corporate competitiveness and employee performance. From this definition it is clear that knowledge management is fundamentally about a systematic approach to handle other information and intellectual assets in a way that offers the company with a competitive benefit. Knowledge management is a business optimization strategy and not limited to a specific source or technology of information. Knowledge management is agnostic when it comes to the source and type of information which can range from the mathematical description of the inner workings of a machine to a document that explains the process used by a representative of customer support to escalate customer complaints within the business organization.

Knowledge is the process of transforming past experience and information into a meaningful set of relationships which are applied and understood by an individual. As the organizational data and value of employees have become more difficult to the organization’s competitiveness and outcomes the knowledge management concept has emerged. Knowledge management is the process of capturing, identifying, disseminating the intellectual assets that are difficult to the long term performance of organization. Knowledge management has flourished as the technological systems have increased in reliability, cost effectiveness and robustness (Debowski, 2007, p 16).

Lehaney (2004, p 30) defines that knowledge management refers to the systematic organization, scheduling, planning, deployment and monitoring of people, technology, environment and processes with proper feedback mechanisms and targets under the control of a private or a public sector concern and undertaken by such a concern to facilitate explicitly and particularly the retention, creation, identification, utilization, sharing, measurement and acquisition of new ideas and information in order to gain strategic goals such as improved performance or improved competitiveness subject to legal, financial, political, cultural, resource, societal and technical constraints.


  • Awad E M and Ghaziri H M (2004), Knowledge Management, Pearson Education, New Delhi, p 26-28.
  • Bergeron B P (2003), Essentials of knowledge management, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey.
  • Debowski S (2007), Knowledge Management, John Wiley & Sons, New Delhi, p 16.
  • Lehaney (2004), Beyond knowledge management, Idea Group Publishing, UK, p 30.

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