Knowledge Management Still Remains a Victim of Technology

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Knowledge and Intangibles Management > Best Practices > Knowledge Management Still Remains a Victim of Technology

Knowledge Management Still Remains a Victim of Technology
J.Jeyaseelan, ICT Consultant, India, Member
I believe current knowledge management concepts still remain a victim of technologies particularly data and document management technologies. The rich reservoir of knowledge that is now accessible over the Internet still remains out of reach, because of the limitations of the html framework that handles only text and the limitations of search engines that somehow manage to find something that is of use. My experience of using the www the last 13 years almost on a daily basis is that one comes across information that is often not related to what you are searching for. This is the reason why some kind of bookmarking that one accumulates over time becomes the main source of knowledge.
In order to effectively manage knowledge, we should be able to uniquely classify, identify and relate almost everything on earth. Only that framework would help us spend our time more productively in the area of knowledge creation, communication, application and regeneration.

Semantic Web and Knowledge Domains
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
You are right that generic search engine results are not so good as many people believe.
The semantic web is a technical concept that is supposed to allow more relevant search results in the future. However there are many issues still to be solved around it, such as practical feasibility, technical specifications, censorship, privacy and dealing with spam.
However bookmarking and the sematic web are not the only nor in fact the best solution!
I believe domain know-how portals and domain know-how networks are. Such web sites specialize in one knowledge domain (such as "management" in the case of By doing so they can offer people the fastest access to the most relevant information and know-how for them. Faster and more relevant than generic search engines are able to.
You can test this yourself by entering the word "change" or "strategy" both in the 12manage search engine (at the top right of this page) and in the generic search engine Google and compare the relevance of both search results.
Another example is our business dictionary. Communities of interest for core domain issues such as on 12manage (for example the knowledge management community) are a further way to facilitate the exchange of relevant know-how amongst experts and interested people.

Knowledge MANAGEMENT is an Old Idea
Ennio Martignago, Management Consultant, Italy, Member
Before the document management systems, the main damage was made by ERP systems such as SAP that have forced a return to a departmental organizational model dated '70s. The main culprits remain, however, consultants who have always tried to sell out a method as a technology to induce companies to buy auto knowledge, but could pocket as much money as possible. Unfortunately, there will always be some consultant who, while of pocketing easy money, will transform everything into automation. Anyway, it is the very term management in knowledge management that has to be exceeded. Today the business model based on automation is in crisis but lacks a credible and acceptable alternative model.

Management & Technology
Dear all, in my opinion technology is an opportunity, it depends on how we use it and we allow it to enter into the organisation.
Anyway I agree with Ennio regarding SAP which is deeply inside the main companies conditioning the way to do business.

Semantic Web and Knowledge Domains
PRASAD SN, Professor, India, Member
All language elements including semantics act as mediums of transfer of information in addition to pictures, videos, music, expressions, art forms, audio inputs etc. Searching by semantic web forms covers only one aspect of the search. The original idea by the inventor/discoverer/initiator can be best understood in its initial form.

Knowledge is Tacit
Mike Foy, United Kingdom, Member
If we agree with Polanyi's assertion that all knowledge is tacit and therefore needs a knower i.e. a map cannot read itself then the Internet is a medium only for communicating information.
This misunderstanding of his original idea, and western cultural norms, have led to the presumption that knowledge can be made explicit i.e. written down or codified in some way when in fact this does not apply. Only knowers have knowledge i.e. inside their hands and heads, which cannot be moved around as a commodity.

Knowledge Management Still Remains a Victim of Technology
M Schuller, Australia, Member
I agree regarding the difference between knowledge and information. Quoting Polanyi "We can know more than we can tell". He states that tacit knowledge can be passed on only by experience and communicated indirectly, through metaphor and analogy. Schuppel calls it human oriented knowledge and technology oriented knowledge. Human knowledge, the "know-how" requires the transfer to other members in the organisation; on the other hand technology knowledge requires conditions under which information can be stored, collated, prepared, disseminated, used and updated. While most people have a desire to learn and to share what they know, it has been proven that in practise it is far more difficult to transfer knowledge than to gather information.

Knowledge Management Still Remains a Victim of Technology
Remy, Seychelles, Member
Automation, the replacement of machines of the machines age. Just take the example of an accountant, learning all the accounting terms, concepts and formulas to become an accountant. The computer systems are set to do all calculations and even the reports. IT systems can also do the auditing works, quicker and even better than normal auditors will do. So ain't knowledge a victim of technology?

Knowledge Management and Technology are Complementary
Robin Stewart, Accountant, Canada, Member
No, I believe that knowledge management and technology are complementary. Within any profession there are specialists and generalists. Knowledge management runs across these professions, and while general knowledge can more easily be transferred and taught to others; it is the specific detail than alludes others. What is important is the delivery model within which knowledge is transferred and taught to others.
Why rely solely on technology to transfer knowledge? Knowledge transfer occurs in many forms. With the use of the web, search engines, bookmarking, ERP systems, etc., we are only trying to simplify and transfer data into information for decision-making and other purposes. I agree with a previous writer that technology is an opportunity, and it has its strengths and weaknesses. People across the world have many good ideas and share information, but how does one make sense of it within their own context? Perhaps web 2.0 will address this?

Not Just IT, but also Creativity and Innovation
Margret Schuller, Australia, Member
But who developed the software for the accountant? Technology like the accountancy software or other technologies allow companies to increase their innovation capabilities. They increase their efficiency by taking advantage of more efficient sources. Traditionally most measures of a firm's success was linked to tangible assets, e.g. factories, inventory etc. We now recognise that the nature of competition has changed and there is much more focus on the value creation of intangible assets such as knowledge resources, which rival companies cannot easily comprehend, evaluate, and imitate. To survive and thrive in the face of increasingly radical discontinuous change, businesses need to rely not only on the data processing capacity of it, but also on the creativity and innovation of people inside and outside the organisation.

Strategic and Tactical Knowledge Management
santhosh, Management Consultant, United Arab Emirates, Member
Most of the times Knowledge Management initiatives are considered a support function or a supplementary initiative, on the contrary KM should be considered a major mile stone in business performance augmentation and core to business. A KM initiative is beyond presenting the right information to the right people at the right time as this just addresses the operational challenges and fails to address the tactical and more importantly the strategic road map of the organisation. In my view Knowledge Management is all about information augmentation that ultimately improves organisational performance by the virtue of human capital augmentation".

KM Remains a Victim of Technology
Sudheendra G. Mudikeri, Management Consultant, India, Member
The issue here is we tend to pick and pack whatever the search engines spew out. The tacit and explicit are not segregated. Moreover my need for tacit might be another's explicit or vice versa. Technology as an enabler has its limitations. It is on the individual seeking knowledge to use the right tags, keywords, searches with +, etc (whatever we call them). I have faced issues to get the right information (forget knowledge) using search engines. Moreover the ERP issue is another hurdle which still professses the functional or departmental approach which is outdated as compared to the process approach. It's time ERP bigwigs look into this approach and possibly rewrite their hot sellers. Maybe it's again time for the programmers/experts to earn more from this opportunity.

Knowledge Management and Technology
george amissah, Consultant, Nigeria, Member
There has always been a relationship between knowledge management and technology. Improved technology helps in the area of knowledge creation, communication, application and exchange of ideas.

Technology and Knowledge
Sanjay Verma, Business, Kenya, Member
Any technology is a result of knowledge. So, technology created by using knowledge can only be a tool/means/facilitator but always limited to that function.
As mentioned above by Polanyi and Foy, and very succinctly so, that knowledge needs a knower to become relevant.
Technology has been around for as long as we existed. Stone-age humans used twigs to count cattle, later on the same data was recorded or acted upon using pencils and paper. Twigs, pencils, paper are all examples of technology and so is the net but nothing more.
Every individual is knowledgeable. The difference emerges from the use and application of that knowledge, the relevance of the application, the data and information used to apply that knowledge and finally the effectiveness of the entire process. There are only two necessary conditions here ie an individual and his/her knowledge and rest all are variables. The importance given to technology should be limited and linked to its effectiveness otherwise it is just an irritant.

Knowledge Management > Technology > Knowledge Management > ...
Knowledge, at whatever level, is intrinsic to any holder of it. Out of knowledge comes, amongst other things, the innovation of technology. This technology then enhances the betterment of knowledge management. To manage 'knowledge management' we therefore use the different tools that include technology - a tool which is perhaps significant in this aspect.

Learn from the Neanderthals
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Last weekend I visited the Neanderthal Museum (near Dusseldorf, Germany). Very educating! The Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis developed around 120.000 years ago. Anyway, because of this visit I now understand more clearly that over the last 4 million years "humanity" (and organizations) progressed in sudden shifts (jumps) that are typically caused by the arrival of (the know-how of) new key technological capabilities:
- bigger brains > ability to speak > share knowledge, no need to experience everything yourself > small social groups of people
- arrival of simple tools (twigs, spears, fist axes) > improve hunting, enable agriculture > frees up time for better living standards and personal development > small villages
- perkament, paper > cheap writing > share knowledge on larger scale
- printing, press (books) > share knowledge on an even larger scale
- machines, industrial revolution > large, static organizations, bureaucracy
- internet / IT > improve access time to information, share information instantly globally (2-way) > adaptive, network organizations
So one could argue - contrary to Polanyi and Foy - that from an evolutionary point of view, increasingly knowledge does not have to be in a knower anymore! Without being techies, we should not underestimate the massive impact the internet is going to have on humanity and business organizations.
We are lucky to witness the beginning of a whole new era for mankind and it's caused by information technology and knowledge management. Let's hope we learn to use our new found knowledge and tools wisely.

Knowledge is All Around
Jaime Gonzalez, Accountant, Mexico, Member
Technology is just a tool, management should always use its technical basis and experience to meet the objectives. Systems are cold, insensible without the capability to change according with the dynamics of business.

Knowledge of Information Management
M. Pradet
Knowledge is how we use the information we have at our disposal for our survival, our growth etc. I believe that all business information structures should be managed properly in only one macro structure of contents, whatever its size. (I did it for a bank). This information structure should also be an exact reflection of the core business organization and the different domains of terminology.
I understand also that knowledge and ideas are "Siamese brothers" so that when ideas evolve so does knowledge. You can refer to Charles Sander Pierce General Theory of Signs. (Do not get excited, it is very difficult to understand.) Yet, I noticed that ideas evolve like language (Pierce Theory) in triadic patterns. (For example: the quality triangle of "Juran" shows 3 levels of language in a company: management, supervision, operation.)
Having said that, if you know how ideas evolve, you are better equipped to draft & adapt you knowledge system.

Ideas, Inventions and Technology
PRASAD SN, Professor, India, Member
Technology enables shaping the idea into purposeful product or service. Evolution essentially means each generation is progressively normalising with what they grew up with in terms of technology. That is, every generation starts from a new datum line of technology to begin with and brighter individuals amongst them either develop it further and/or start something new which becomes the datum line for the next generation.
Limitations of the internet framework are but a temporary obstacle and these will be overcome. Someday maybe by integrating our body itself with an extended brain with the capacity to ideate and transmit instantly.

Impact of the Semantic Web
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
With the advent of semantic web the software agents can compile, compare, negotiate and do all necessary activities that the rational decision making system is capable of. It is here I suppose the consciousness makes an important difference in decision making.

Limitation of Information from Networks and Know-how Portals
Sokolova Tatiana, Analyst, Russian Federation, Member
I think that the problem with limitation of information obtained from networks and know-how portals is getting more serious with regard to perspetive limits of minds of those who work on creation of content... Even education programs of some universities and institutes are based on that limited internet resources...
I belong to the former generation of people who worked with books and manuscripts at libriaries just to write a compitent article for the scientific journal... Today it has become a waste of time or even a nonsense... Profound good quality knowledge is substituted by diversity of technological devices and tools with nearly "zero" intellectual capacity...
Something has to be done to offer people more options no matter what form they may have, virtual or material... Here again we're facing the problem of a deficit of competent specialists who's aim is to form information resources, whose choices and decisions made today will feed future knowledge demands.

Technological Progress does not Directly Impact Humanity
Sokolova Tatiana, Analyst, Russian Federation, Member
@Jaap de Jonge (Editor): It is a well-known fact that humanity has not improved much, even today we can see very primitive way of consciousness, nearly representatives of the wild period of civilization, many neanderthalian people work in organizations. And to the contrary technologies are changing with offering humanity different new types of communication... Thus, we may conclude that technological progress does not directly impact humanity in the way to evolutionize consciousness and relationships Today scientists cast doubt on the theory of fast progress affected by techno changes.

Technology Matters in Evolution
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Sokolova Tatiana: Thanks for your critical reaction. Definitely new technologies have caused sudden and major jumps in the evolution of humanity in the last millions of years as I described above and as you can witness for yourself if you visit the museum I mentioned. For me it is clear that the arrival of the internet (incl everything that goes with it) is one of those very rare changes. So for me there is no doubt.

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