Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary. 3

1. Introduction. 4

2. Discussion. 5

2.1. Organizational Culture. 5

a) External factors.5

b) Internal factors.6

2.2. Organisational Learning. 8

2.3. Knowledge Based Culture. 8

2.4. The Concept of Knowledge Management9

2.5. Knowledge Management Model proposed by Prieto. 10

2.5.1. The learning capacity of the organization.10

2.5.2. Elements of knowledge management.11

2.6. Impact of organizational learning capacity.11

2.7. The impact of KM in the learning capacity of organization:12

2.7.1. With respect to the impact of KM on the results of the organization:. 12

2.7.2. On the impact of learning ability in organizational outcomes:. 12

2.8. Primary Knowledge Management Strategies to Enhance Learning. 13

2.8.1. Personalized/Tacit knowledge based management13

2.8.2. Codified/Explicit knowledge Based Management14

3. Conclusion. 15

References. 17



Executive Summary

Knowledge management should be seen as an inclusive process where information converge, because (as the body of knowledge), and technology resources human (experience) as a function of leverage and enhance the capacity of knowledge to improve the core processes of the organization. The efficient functioning of any organization requires planning, development and evaluation. Efficiency means competence, i.e. meet certain objectives and do so with the minimum resources. To achieve this requires integrated actions and reflections with knowledge, skills, attitudes and resources. The recent conference on Globalization and the Knowledge Economy mainly focused on knowledge management and organizational learning. This report is formulated with an objective of providing an understanding on how can organizations develop a culture that supports knowledge sharing/creation and organizational learning. This report was written on the basis of the knowledge provided in the conference as well as the literature that is presented by various researchers in this regard. After analysing the information gained from the conference and the literature reviewed for the completion of this report, it was concluded that each organization learns according to their internal characteristics and its environment, the main challenge that is addressed in the development of learning ability is to enhance the state of balance between the two fundamental aspects of knowledge: the existence of a portfolio of stocks of knowledge and development of knowledge flows for renewal, transformation and application of these stocks.




1. Introduction

This report aims to provide a detailed overview on how can organizations develop a culture that supports knowledge sharing/creation and organizational learning. There are a number of strategies that are used by the organisations to develop knowledge management and enhance learning in today’s business environment (Mayo and Lank, 1994). Knowledge can be easily broken down two categories: tacit and explicit.  This paper first explains the concept of knowledge management and organisational learning along with the disciplines that support the organisational learning. Later it explains one of the most famous models of knowledge by Prieto, which is adopted by a number of firms as this model distinguishes three interrelated parts. The report also presents a brief overview of how knowledge management (KM) impacts the learning capacity of organization. And finally explains the two knowledge management strategies that can be used to enhance organisational learning.



2. Discussion

2.1. Organizational Culture

Organizational culture has been defined as “a sum of values ​​and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and their environment with the organization. Organizational values ​​are beliefs and ideas on the kind of targets and the appropriate way in which they should get. Values ​​develop organizational norms, guidelines and expectations that determine appropriate behaviour of employees in particular situations and control the behaviour of members of the organization each other” (Seeman et al., 2000).

Organizational culture is the backbone of the organization, is the invisible source where vision acquires its guide to action. Successful transformation projects depend on the talent and the attitude of the management to change the culture of the organization in accordance with the requirements of the environment (Ringer, 2007). This is a subject so vast and complex that it is difficult to draw up a complete list of its components. In general, the talk of the entire set of rules, structures, beliefs, values, symbols, customs, etc., that form, and it is internal or external factors distinguished (Bontis, Crossan, and Hulland, 2002):

a) External factors.

No part of the organization, but from their environment, including customers, suppliers, competitors, associations, citizens, government, society at large and shareholders.

b) Internal factors.

Among these may be mentioned the following:

  • Founders, the first or the first people I had the idea to create the company, they lay the foundation of the culture of your organization as it should be they set their personal and cultural paradigms and provide the basic principles and objectives of the organization, experience, etc.
  • Values ​​are the beliefs of the organization, are based on a moral basis, are the pillars of the corporate culture, and are the assumptions that are behind the set of standards and rules of conduct of the company.
  • Beliefs, is an ideological element that can be contrasted with reality and lacks an empirical basis, but reality has value for the customer, for example: basic approaches and indisputable that share a large majority of its members.
  • Taboos cannotcontrastempirically; it is also an ideological element, embodied in a series of prohibitions, for example, smoking, not wearing a tie, and so on.
  • Cognitive elements, is the body of knowledge shared by the members of the organization with respect to the world around him and his own labour and management. These are ideas that can be confirmed.
  • Standards can be considered as the practical application of values ​​and define what should be. It is difficult to distinguish between rules, customs, habits and rules or laws:
    • Use: popular practice in any behaviour considered appropriate but not mandatory.
    • The usual: cove in society, disapproval and even carries a sanction action on the person who fails to comply.
    • Habits: informal, established by the passage of time and tradition.
    • Laws and rules: emanate from formal bodies.
  • Signs and Symbols: Symbols are composed of a material element and another ideal, it’s essential feature, the effective charge and the multitude of meanings that can be enclosed.
  • The rites, rituals and ceremonies:
    • Rites: behaviour and actions developed in the company routinely. For example: food by the end of the year, breakfast, etc. The set of rites is called rituals.
    • Ceremonies: Son shows and celebrations to celebrate the successes of the company or simply to unite employees.
  • Myths, sagas, legends and stories. Forman popular wisdom of the organization, reveal its basic principles:
    • Myths: imaginary narratives that describe the beginnings and organizational transformations.
    • The sagas: stories that highlight the exploits of the heroes of the organization.
    • Legend: narrative of a series of events transmitted from generation to generation, but adorned with some fantastic details.
    • The story: narrative based on true events that have taken place in the company.
  • Human elements: They contribute to the formation of culture and its transmission among the members that make up the company. These include the following: heroes, leaders, storytellers, spies.

2.2. Organisational Learning

Learning to learn in these circumstances is vital in society knowledge, as are the current demands and above all, future forecasts. Organizational learning involves processes that increase the capacity and improve performance organizations. According to Hacket (2000) the term management means “the process of obtaining, distributing and using a variety of resources that are essential to support the achievement of the objectives of an organization.

2.3. Knowledge Based Culture

The essence of management decision-makers at the highest level is to clearly understand where to direct the efforts of an organization and move to lower cost. However, doing this is not easy, because they are unexpected and each possibility has its limitations, which is complex to deal with rigid schemes implement new approaches change, the change, in a way, is a phenomenon that presents a challenge unprecedented. A company with a knowledge-based culture is characterized by (Haldin-Herrgard, 2000):

  • Teamwork.
  • Shared leadership.
  • Effective communication.
  • The development of learning skills and abilities.
  • Encouraging the creation of new knowledge.
  • Investment in training, technology and infrastructure.
  • Increased competitiveness and future.
  • Achieving greater positioning by business line.
  • The constant search for human talent.
  • Organizations promoting flexible and adaptable to changes.
  • The implementation of incentive and reward systems based on the contributions made to the organization.

2.4. The Concept of Knowledge Management

Good (2002) defines knowledge management as “the function that plans, coordinates and controls the flow of knowledge produced by the company in relation to their activities and their environment in order to create a core competencies. Organizations (groups of people with a common purpose) respond significantly to this challenge. The organizational learning activity addresses lead to organizations (private, government), and groups of any level, so that they can fulfil their role effectively, to encourage people to achieve the maximum development and contribute to the world a better place (Livingstone, 2001). This sector is built on principles and major disciplines: a learning organization can achieve the future when it has set. In the business world, learning is much more than creating us achieve the future we want, in this highly competitive society, learning can give the organization the margin it needs to survive and stay competitive. Some important disciplines that support organizational learning (Chiva and Alegre, 2005):

  • Systems approach refers to achieving a deep understanding of the entire system through the understanding of the relationships between the elements of “the system.” All organizational systems (organizational) are open systems, affected by the environment and therefore highly complex.
  • Comprising corporate culture values and norms shared by people and groups in an organization and identifying the nature of group interaction and relationships outside the organization.
  • Shared vision is the result of understanding each about what the organization is trying to achieve in the effort pawning, aware of their contribution. Group conscience.
  • Mental models. The mental model is the concept that an individual has about himself, others, their environment and the things with which it interacts, is an individual interpretation, rather than objective and built on analogies.
  • Personal mastery refers to the creation of what you want to achieve in life and at work. This attitude continued sustained mode becomes a discipline.
  • Cooperative learning (yes, also in the company). As a result, the rare feeling of synergy and production group working on the same goal, something like “is something”.

2.5. Knowledge Management Model proposed by Prieto

In the literature there are many models as authors have studied the subject; all common elements and differentiating from its own contributions. The particular significance of each model is precisely the concepts that each is supported, new ideas suggested, money and business organizational pose. This model distinguishes three interrelated parts (Gray & Williams, 2011):

2.5.1. The learning capacity of the organization.

It constitutes the main dependent variable model. This capability can allow continuous adaptation between the organization and the environment through a set of interactions in which it is created or transformed knowledge. To define and evaluate the complexity of learning ability organizational system, it is understood that the preliminary step is required from knowledge dissociation into its two components, stocks and flows of organizational knowledge, representative, respectively of the static and dynamic aspects of systems learning.

2.5.2. Elements of knowledge management.

The causal models that this part provides fall into three building blocks. First, there are those instruments and procedures systematized, structured or formalized that are geared to process and manage information needed to make decisions involving the development of work in the organization. Second it appreciates that learning is something that emerges from a particular behaviour which in turn, is influenced by the practices, rules, values ​​and, ultimately, by the socio-cultural context which governs actions and processes aimed at understanding shared interpretation environmental signals. Third, consider the existence effect of a correspondence between aspects and consolidation structural and social, so that the interaction between the two management item types reinforces the acquiring and development of knowledge within the organization.

2.6. Impact of organizational learning capacity.

Determined the effect of the management elements in learning ability is which are necessary to determine the actual impact on the competitiveness of the organization. Several authors as Fiol and Lyles and Senge, argue that learning and knowledge are, usually decisive preceding better results, especially if the GC acts as moderator and strategy perspective has organizations competitive. One of the key conclusions to be drawn from the research Prieto developed is that while each organization learns according to their internal characteristics and its environment, the main challenge that is addressed in the development of learning ability is to enhance the state of balance between the two fundamental aspects of knowledge: the existence of a portfolio of stocks of knowledge and development of knowledge flows for renewal, transformation and application of these stocks  (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995).

2.7. The impact of KM in the learning capacity of organization:

An important contribution is to observe the existence of different ways of channelling the leaning in organizations and, especially, checking that they are not all equally effective for improving learning capacity. The conference presented the ideas that the learning capacity either in stock and flows are significantly higher in active management compared to passive management (Crossan, Lane and White, 1999).

2.7.1. With respect to the impact of KM on the results of the organization:

Verifies the existence of financial and non- are different for different financial styles, obtaining the top-performing companies are those that perform management active knowledge integrating structural and technical elements socio-cultural.

 2.7.2. On the impact of learning ability in organizational outcomes:

The conference concluded that those organizations with a high volume of stock and flows knowledge, which were called “comprehensive learning capacity” perform best financial and nonfinancial. Finally, considering the size of the organizations, in those smaller, knowledge flows is the main determining learning ability while larger organizations have more potential to collect a large portfolio of stocks of knowledge.

2.8. Primary Knowledge Management Strategies to Enhance Learning

As mentioned earlier, knowledge can be broken into two categories: tacit and explicit. Explicit knowledge is something that can represented in the form of books and archives, something that you can keep a track of refer to it later like databases or libraries (Lahti & Beyerlein, 2000). On the other hand, tacit knowledge is related to an individual and is considered as more of personal knowledge then the knowledge in books. It is the viewpoint and the values that individuals develop though their personal experience. Organisations have to choose between the balance of both categories i.e. personal tacit knowledge management strategy and explicit codified knowledge management strategy (Mc Dermott, 1999).

2.8.1. Personalized/Tacit knowledge based management

A significant amount of information resides among individuals in organisations (Cross & Braid, 2000). The company’s are in constant risk to lose that knowledge that resides inside the individuals as tacit knowledge is the knowledge that employees carry with them in their minds for the organisation. This strategy of personalisation has heavy dependency on dialogue between individuals and not much knowledge present in the databases. Customer service based centres can be highly benefited from tacit knowledge as their employees directly deal with their customers. In such organisations, work force culture should be highly implemented and group projects are to be encouraged to discuss the work place initiatives (Anand, Manz, & Glick, 1998).  Large networks of people can be built to transfer information from one person to another.  Companies which are able to use personalisation strategy effectively can create a culture in the work force with no boundaries and constant improvement in the norm (Bozeman, 1993).

2.8.2. Codified/Explicit knowledge Based Management

Many organisations are using the codified knowledge strategy to enhance organisational learning. It can be captured in a multitude of ways either electronically or on paper to store the knowledge for re use or later reference (Hensen & Nohria, 1999). Increased economies of scale are gained by organisation as they are able to reuse codified knowledge. It is a systematic way to be able to deal with problems by applying the knowledge of the entire organisation that has been stored on paper r on database before (Aucoin, 1990).

3. Conclusion

The conference on Globalization and the Knowledge Economy was able to enable an understanding that organisations which choose a personalised knowledge management program as well as use the codified strategy to back up their knowledge learned, are more successful. The organisations that are working hard to enhance the organisational learning through knowledge management focus on five drivers including, senior management support: a principal aspects for an effective knowledge management strategy to be effective, shared values: these values drive the knowledge management strategies to enhance organisational learning, communities of practice: set up within the organization to share tacit knowledge, quality management: knowledge management strategy to go out and transform tacit knowledge into codified knowledge and innovation: knowledge management strategy that can bridge shared values, communities of practice, quality management and continuous process improvement all together.

Given this situation it is necessary to develop a conceptual framework for the joint study stocks and flows of organizational knowledge. For this, knowledge organizational can be analyzed by distinguishing two dimensions of knowledge: level and shape (Nonaka, 1994). On the one hand, knowledge resides primarily in four levels: individual, group, organizational and inter-organizational. Furthermore, this knowledge can be in the form of stock (static perspective) or stream (outlook dynamics). In the current highly competitive environment, globalization, technological development, reduced product life and worldwide crisis are key knowledge management to achieve sustainable success of the company (Bueno, 1998). In this context, it is really critical to develop the skills of the company to acquire information, transform it into knowledge, incorporate the company as learning, share it quickly and implement it. This is very important because there is a correlation between knowledge management and business success, between knowledge management and enterprise adaptability to changing and challenging environment, where threats can be turned into opportunities (Garvin, 1993).




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