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Managing Knowldege for Strategic Effective Ness

In: Business and Management

Submitted By MStephans
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|Assignment |
|VAK : |Managing Knowledge for Strategic Effectiveness |
|AANTAL BLADSYE | 11 pages including this one |
|DOSENT : | |
|KURSUS: | |
|COURSE: | |
|KEERDATUM: |04.10.2010 |
|DUE DATE : | |

Table of Contents

1 OUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES …………………………………………………..….……1

2. CURRENT MARKET ……………………………………………………..……………...……1




6. THEORETICAL APPROACH…………………………………………………………….…..3

7. HOW TO USE KNOWLEDGE …………………………………………………………….…3

8. DRIVERS OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT ………………………………………...…..4



11. LIST OF SOURCES ………………………………………………………………………….9

1. Back ground

1. Our products and services

A new era of community banking has emerged in South Africa and it is our belief that “Our Project” provides access to best banking practices for Co-operative Banks enabling our South African Co-operative banks to operate with the highest integrity and transparency that will further advance their members financial empowerment.

“Our Project” will enable safe and efficient banking transactions and empowers Cooperative Banks to activate members into their own stream of banking services.

The South African government has initiated a financial transformation process for these communities by enacting the Co-Operative Banks Act, the Financial Sector Charter and other laws are aimed at leveling the economic playing field.

2. Current Market

Our vision and aim is to focus mainly upon community banking in the form of Co-operative Banks and common bond entities, through strategic partnership and relationships.

3. Current Knowledge Management Practice

1. Brief summary

The project current management practice is informed by the strategic direction to use intellectual capital to build a capacity to add business value to the target market.

“Our Project” will use knowledge value chain model to transform intangible intellectual capital assets such as ideas and know-how into intangible products and services.

Using Information Technology Research and Development to develop and transform knowledge into value add products and services.

2. Theoretical Framework Analysis

1. Definition of Knowledge

It is information combined with experience (intuitive), context, interpretation and reflection (Jim W. Cortada and John A. Woods, 1999). In accordance to Jim and John it can be described as a high value form of information that decision can be taken and action exercised.

In organizations, it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organizational routines, processes, practices, and norms. (Davenport & Prusak, 1998: 5)

In normal conversation it is classified in two different kinds of knowledge, meaning:

• Knowing that (facts and information) • Knowing how (the ability to do something) In literature this knowledge is categorised into tacit and explicit knowledge.

2. Understanding Organizational Knowledge – Minefield

The concerned organization analysis will focus on the basic types of knowledge repositories (Jim W. Cortada and John A. Woods, 1999):

• External knowledge – for examples competitive intelligence;

• Structured internal knowledge – such as research reports, product or service oriented marketing material, techniques and materials;

• And, Informal internal knowledge – like know how – at time referred to as “lesson learned” for example customer technical support.

Any gap between theses knowledge types will be examined and explained through a model that interconnects knowledge management factors. This model includes the following enabler’s collaboration, trust, learning, centralization, formalization, and information technology support by Choi (2002).

In accordance to Lee and Choi the emphasis is on knowledge creation processes such as socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization (Lee, H and Choi, B. 2002). These will be applied as knowledge conversion tools for existing and potential knowledge.

3. Theoretical Approach

1. How to gather knowledge?

In a working environment knowledge could possibly be gathered through the following channels:

• Knowledge Database;

• Internet libraries – e.g. groupware

• Surveys;

• Group work forums;

• And, focus groups

Others means upon which emergent and context dependent knowledge could possibly be gathered include the following (Grey, D. 2004).

• Collect the insights that from work related conversations;

• Recording of the 'best' solutions to common problems and issues;

• Construct and identify gaps and seek expertise to fill them;

• Encourage collection, indexing and distribution of best practices and lessons learned;

• Apply knowledge harvesting techniques using relevant tools;

• Conduct formal After Action Reviews (AARs), encourage periodic reflections, craft patterns top collect solutions that work from experience;

• Construct 'profiles' and have a space where issues can be discussed and pushed to key decision makers.

• Mine electronic messages and construct dynamic profiles using products like Autonomy or Tacit to link people to people via content matching.

2. How to use knowledge

Its use originates both in the research communities and in each professional community.

In a professional environment this allows professional to both (Eraut, M. 2005):

• Reflect on their experience, make it more explicit through having to share it, interpret it and recognise it as a basis for future learning; • And, escape from their experience in the sense of challenging traditional assumptions and acquiring new perspectives. 4. What I make of knowledge management

Knowledge resides in human (tacit) and their actions (processing and storing). Hence its use is socially constructed and influenced by the following communication (shared language) & culture, and traditions & practices (strong personal relations).

A shared culture and communication facilitate the teaching, sharing and explanation of it to others and coaching in its implementation.

3. Organizational application of knowledge management

1. Drivers of knowledge management?

1. Collaboration (culture)

The creation of platforms, procedures and processes, and standards enables collaboration and knowledge sharing throughout the organization.

In a project like this people with a “know how” collaborative knowledge are very important for its success. Collaborative experiences through set rules (processes and procedures) about those subject area that a crucial to the project. As the required to be engaged upon operational activities require sharing of strategic and business information. Information sharing becomes critical when a project of this size reaches different stages to ensure clarity on changes of roles and project development.

The provision and sharing of documented processes and procedures with other team members would form a foundation for better collaboration. Clear direction and operational direction could have been communicated through these set processes and procedures.

In this kind of an environment communication through established processes and procedures becomes a key factor in facilitating and creating a shared understanding within group members.

In terms of shared understandings achieved in the process of socialization and acculturation; embedded in systemic routines that include relationships between technologies, roles, formal procedures and emergent routines and encoded in terms of information conveyed by signs and symbols in books, manuals, codes of practice and electronic media (Gholipour, R. Jandaghi, G and Hosseinzadeh, S. A. A. 2010)

Based on the collaborative (above) and trust (below) assessment I find socialization as a core knowledge management enabler in this kind of an environment.

2. Trust (culture)

The issue of trust is segmented between the lead team and other team members. You will find that the lead team has a high level of trust amongst each other in information sharing through closed or behind the door discussions. In their thinking these discussions consisting of sensitive and high level information about business related matters.

Whilst other ordinary team members have little strategic and business knowledge of the project. Although by default of their positioning they are all exposed to the same kind of information about the project. Interestingly in order for them to execute and implement project plans involvement of everyone and pulling together become critical for its success.

The possible reason why there is lack of trust could be the financial resources put in by the lead team and the resultant fear of losing these.

Upon close observation you would sense securing concerns and fears about the futures success and direction of the project. Withholding explicit knowledge (information) and implicit knowledge easy these security concerns by concealing the true project success.

The lack of activity collaboration could possibly be informed by this lack of trust. And, unwillingness to change due to risk of invested financial resource input by this lead team and project rewards.

This lead to an inquisitive mind by the other members which results in further lack of trust when there is lack of and/ or unconvincing responses.

This simple means lack of explicit knowledge (information) sharing leads to lack of knowledge flow to better execute the envisaged duties and responsibilities.

The organizational culture and the created environment will always set the tone for the establishment of trust.

3. Centralization (Structure)

Storing of explicit knowledge (information) and centralizing access to it will assist all team members to have shared view of the project progress and direction. The above mentioned creation of organizational platforms, procedures and processes should facilitate knowledge centralization.

The project has well developed IT people to set up supporting structure to facilitate storage creation and access to explicit knowledge (information).

Since proper organization structure set up is not yet established, centralization will be important for circulation and security of explicit knowledge (information) and implicit knowledge (documentation). Since the “know how” knowledge is dominant in this environment centralization will allow other members to have one point of contact for accessing knowledge.

In order to allow other team members to be participant in knowledge building process, centralization should be interpreted as a contact point. This centralization would have to be less authoritative but be a central point for knowledge storage and referral.

4. Formalization (structure)

Due to different backgrounds, qualifications, level of experience and knowledge ability different signals have been communicated to other members causing too much confusion.

It has been indicated above that information is of a high level and very sensitivity to the success of the project. To have a formal structure becomes a requirement to regulation information flow and use.

Noting the attitude and behavior of senior management the established of formal rules, standard policies, and procedures would have been a priority. This would have created a safe or controlled environment for knowledge building that does not threatened or instill fear in them.

5. Information technology support

This would have facilitated the structuring of information flow, classification and determination of mode of access each team member requires. This would be important for creation of information sharing communication tools that a monitored and controlled.

This would have allowed the conveyance information and knowledge in a consistent and transparent across all team members at once.

As indicated above formalization is structural problem or challenge that could have hindered the use, control and monitoring of IT information support system.

2. Core knowledge management enabler/s in place?

1. Socialization

It can be formal or informal organized way of sharing of experiences and knowledge. Team members will then engage using participation tools likes observation, imitation and practice. In a formalized structure it will take the form of workshops, team building, seminars, conferences and apprenticeships.

The members outside the lead team share information freely but by default they have selective and limited knowledge about the current affairs of the project. Since these members engaged at a personal level, trust builds up and loyalty is gain and established.

When members engaged upon a task/s that need to talk to each other the social gap between the lead and other team members becomes clear. This give arise unnecessary but preventable experiences due to misunderstanding and confusion created as a result of this social gap.

The strength of the working relationship gets affected severely and that leads to trust and honesty related issues. The sharing of work related experiences becomes limited, at times only to the task at hand, therefore sharing of knowledge in prevented by this social atmosphere.

2. Externalization

There is a need for information and knowledge externalization especially due to the dominance of tacit knowledge amongst senior management members. In the absence of a formalized structure and with dominant tacit knowledge availability the best way for sharing various opinions and ideas is externalization.

In contract, this is expected in an environment with lack of trust, collaboration, social gap, formal and IT system support structure.

3. Internalization

Organizations are concerned with how experience can be transferred more effectively and quickly and how to capture and document valuable insight so that it can be reused (Migdadi, M.M. 2005).

This would assist group members in knowing which information and knowledge is available, what sources to be used. With the bridging of the above mentioned social gap transfer of learned experience internalization would then be process channel it.

The bridging of social gap will create an opportunity and platform to share valuable insight and through internalization documentation and capturing will take place. This will prevent the duplication of knowledge activities therefore time saving and cost.

As the project reaches different stages, facing new challenges this would be an environment to convey the created new insights in the organization.

Maybe with a formal structure the internalization may narrow the social gap that exists between group members.

4. Combination

Combining a new created knowledge and information in a project where experience sharing is affected by lack of trust and fear by the senior management.

4. Recommendations

1. Formal and informal knowledge management practice improvement?

They argued that socialization is suitable for broad and process-oriented tasks, externalization for focused and content-oriented tasks, combination for broad and content-oriented tasks, and internalization for focused and process-oriented tasks (Lee, H. and Choi, B. 2005).

The mind hierarchy that exists in senior management has to be challenges and improved by themselves. This would then create a space for bridging the social gap that existed. As everyone engages with each other at all levels trust issues will then be dealt with. And, through interaction with other team members the suffered fears will now be well informed and better dealt with.

The project internal IT System developers would then build databases for knowledge, information maps and custom-made applications tailored to suit the envisaged knowledge creation and flow. Any IT developed formalities will be engaged upon by all involved to set and suit organizational culture.

List of source

Cortada, J.W. and Woods, J.A. 1999-2000. The knowledge Management Year Book 1999-2000. [Online] Available: 29 September 2010

Eraut, M. 2005. Knowledge creation and knowledge use in professional contexts. Studies in Higher Education, 1470-174X, Volume 10, Issue 2. Pages 117 – 133

Gholipour, R. Jandaghi, G and Hosseinzadeh, S. A. A. 2010, Explanation of knowledge management enabler as a latent variable: A case study of SMEs in Iran.

Grey, D. 2004. Knowledge-at-work. . [Online] Available: Accessed: 30 September 2010.

Lee, H. and Choi, B. 2002. Knowledge Management Enablers, Processes, and Organizational Performance: An Integrative View and Empirical Examination.

Migdadi, M.M. 2005. An Integrative View and Empirical Examination of Relationships Among Knowledge Management Enablers, Processes and Organizational Performance in Australian Enterprises.…...

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