4.2 Definition of Knowledge Management

4.2 Definition of Knowledge Management

         The knowledge management focuses on merging people, processes, and technology together. It centralizes the multi-disciplined behavior for achieving organizational objectives by using the best processes involve in acquisition, creation, sharing and applying knowledge. It is considered to be organizational innovation that shifts the overall business strategy and is transmitted in management practices (Bano,  Kashif-ur-Rehman & Khan, 2010).

In literature various definitions of knowledge management are reported. Some of them are reported below:

  • Capturing, organizing, and storing knowledge and experiences of individual workers and groups within an organization and making this information available to others in the organization .
  • Knowledge management is the name of a concept in which a company or organization consciously and comprehensively gathers, organizes, shares, and analyzes its knowledge in terms of resources, documents, and people skills .
  • A method for gathering information and making it available to others .
  • The way a company stores, organizes and accesses internal and external information. Narrower terms are: "Organizational Memory" and "Knowledge Transfer" (Process) .
  • The collection, organization, analysis, and sharing of information held by workers and groups within an organization
  • The process of systematically and actively managing and leveraging the stores of knowledge in an organization is called knowledge management. It is the process of transforming information and intellectual assets into enduring value .
  • A system or framework for managing the organizational processes that create, store and distribute knowledge, as defined by its collective data, information and body of experience .
  • A business process that formalizes management and leverage of a firm's intellectual assets. KM is an enterprise discipline that promotes a collaborative and integrative approach to the creation, capture, organization, access and use of information assets, including the tacit, uncaptured knowledge of people .
  • A multi-disciplined approach to achieving organizational objectives by making best use of knowledge. It involves the design, review and implementation of both social and technological processes to improve the application of knowledge, in the collective interest of stakeholders.
  • KM is a process for optimizing the effective application of intellectual capital to achieve objectives. In an organizational setting, this would mean a systematic approach to getting an organization to make the best possible use of knowledge in implementing its mission, broadly viewed as either sustainable competitive advantage or long-term high performance.
  • Knowledge Management is eliciting and sharing the experience and intelligence of everyone working in a particular process .
  • Strategic policy setting and information principles for Digital Asset Management (DAM), Document Management (DM), Content Management (CM), Web Content Management (WCM) and Records Management (RM) .
  • Discipline within an organization that ensures that the intellectual capabilities of an organization are shared, maintained and institutionalized .
  • This still-evolving concept involves harnessing enterprise wide data, proprietary or otherwise, for comparative decision-making, workflow automation, supply chain management, and/or competitive advantage. Far more than information-aggregation, knowledge management seeks to enhance business value and help employees work more productively .
  • The strategic use of information and knowledge resources to an organization’s best advantage .
  • KM is the industry buzzword used to describe a set of tools for capturing and reuse of knowledge .
  • The process of creating, capturing, and using knowledge to enhance organizational performance. Knowledge management is most frequently associated with two types of activities. One is to document and appropriate individuals' knowledge and then disseminates it through such venues as a companywide database. Knowledge management also includes activities that facilitate human exchanges using such tools as groupware, email, and the Internet .
  • Knowledge management (KM) is the organization, creation, sharing and flow of knowledge within organizations .

          Most of the definitions presented here agree that the knowledge management involves the capturing, organization, classification and dissemination of knowledge, and see this as a result of the way knowledge is treated and the way a group of people interested in that knowledge. It may involves the understanding of: where and in what forms knowledge exists; how to make the right knowledge available to the right people; what the organization needs to know; how to best generate or acquire new relevant knowledge; how to promote a culture conducive to learning, sharing, and knowledge creation; how to manage all of these factors so as to enhance performance in light of the organization's strategic goals and short term opportunities and threats.

         Based on above discussion, knowledge management can be defined as: “Knowledge management consists of people, processes, strategies, and systems that create a sustain environment to support the storage, dissemination, assessment, application, refinement, and creation of relevant knowledge to help individuals/groups/organizations to achieve relevant objectives/goals/targets”. It means that KM depends upon the management of the organization's knowledge creation and conversion mechanisms; organizational memory and retrieval facilities; organizational learning; and organizational culture.

         This definition of knowledge management is adequate, but it relies on an understanding of the word "relevant". In this case it implies a strong tie to organizational goals and strategy, and it refers to knowledge that is considered useful for some purpose.

         In the light of above discussion we can draw a working definition: “Knowledge management:

  • creates/provides the right tools, people, knowledge, structures (teams, etc.), culture, etc. so as to enhance learning;
  • understands the value and applications of the new knowledge created;
  • stores this knowledge and makes it readily available for the right people at the right time; and
  • continuously assesses, applies, refines, and removes organizational knowledge in conjunction with concrete long and short term factors.”