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23/04/2014 16:58:53
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The motivation for adopting Knowledge Management

Explotation of Knowledge assets
Knowledge Management (KM) involves business, cultural and
technological approaches that support the development and exploitation of knowledge assets. 

 

Research on the economics of knowledge has changed our views from that of the 1960’s. We no longer think of knowledge as public good but a key national or company asset which is however difficult to measure,  reproduce, diffuse, develop and use efficiently. The knowledge economy differs from the traditional economy in several key aspects:

·   The knowledge economy is not characterised by scarcity, but rather by abundance. Unlike most resources that deplete when used, knowledge actually grows through application;

·   The impact of location is diminished. Virtual marketplaces and virtual organizations can be created offering global reach and benefits associated with speed, agility and round the clock operation;

·   Knowledge enhanced products or services can command price premiums over comparable products with low embedded knowledge or knowledge intensity;

·   Knowledge assets remain difficult to account for in balance sheets.

 

Many innovative companies have long appreciated the value for knowledge to enhance their products and customer service and to provide business intelligence. The level of interest has grown dramatically during recent years as enterprises recognise that they operate in a knowledge economy and that knowledge is their most valuable asset.
The key motivating forces for KM adoption are listed next.

Competitive advantage

Many organisations rely on knowledge to create their strategic advantage through creating the capacity to excel in carefully selected areas and/or by creating innovation capabilities.

KM enables organisations to optimise the exploitation of intellectual capital that is frequently dispersed, fragmented, and can be easily lost. Companies applying knowledge management methods have found that through knowledge management they can create better conditions for innovative work leading to the development of new products and services faster and better.  Successful process or product innovation is the primary means of delivering customer value determined by:

·   improved product quality

·   improved customer service

·   reduced cycle time

·   reduced cost to the customer.

 

Performance Optimisation and Risk Minimisation

In today’s fast moving and highly competitive environment a business’s agility and adaptability are appearing high on most agendas. To achieve this business flexibility firstly one has to clearly and accurately understand what key processes and tasks affect the current business performance before improvements actions can be identified and optimised given the prevailing investment and other constraints. Performance optimisation should ideally also provide risk minmimisation.

 

Knowledge can command a premium price in the market

Applied know-how can enhance the value (and hence the price) of products and services. Improved customer services can be delivered through personalisation and faster customer response if customer related knowledge is effectively managed. Additionally approaching real time customer problem solving is always specially rewarded.  


Operational effectiveness and efficiency

Knowledge management platforms enable companies to quickly and effectively leverage the intellectual capital and digital assets throughout their organisation enabling them to make better decisions and to shorten response times.

Companies can increase their sales and revenues and reduce drastically their operational costs by taking the knowledge from their best performers and applying it in similar situations elsewhere. They can also create value by measuring and improving key processes and reducing costs by identifying low value, non-strategic, redundant, or poorly performing processes, projects or products.

The productivity of individual users can be increased in the following knowledge-oriented tasks: information search and retrieval, location and communication with experts, avoidance of work duplication, reduction in face-to-face meetings.


Facilitating business change

What makes business performance problematic is management failure in one of the following:

·         Failure in managing internal processes

·         Failure to adjust interaction in the face of change in the external environment

Organisations often deal with change spasmodically and often far too late. Without effective mechanisms in place to capture knowledge of experienced employees, organisations are either reluctant to make necessary change  or have to pay again for knowledge they once had on tap after restructuring or downsizing.  In contrast with a knowledge management system, the change process can become part of knowledge development that  leads to gradual and evolutionary changes as part of normal operation.




   
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