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Knowledge Management Approaches and Knowledge g aps in Organizations

Knowledge Management Approaches and Knowledge g aps in Organizations
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Author(s): Nastaran Simar Asl (Allame Tabatabaee University, Iran) and Hossein Rahmanseresht (Allame Tabatabaee University, Iran)
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 5
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch375
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378

Abstract

Nowadays, knowledge has been recognized as an indispensable strategic resource in organizations. Therefore organization`s capability in acquiring, developing, sharing and applying knowledge is expected to lead to their sustainable competitive advantage. It is obvious that with product life-cycles shortening and technologies becoming increasingly imitable and with competitors, regulations and even societies changing rapidly, organizational knowledge has emerged as a major source of competitive advantage. It seems that the first step to be taken in order to enter the world of knowledge management is to analyze different approaches that exist in the field. Then it would be essential to identify knowledge management gaps. Organization`s inability to identify and fill these gaps before implementing knowledge management programs will obviously have unwanted effects on implementation stage. This paper is aimed firstly at a review of knowledge management history from 1700 A.D till now. Then its approaches (Mechanistic, systematic, core competencies and behavioral-cultural) are reviewed and two models of knowledge management gaps are studied. The inefficiencies due to the implementation of knowledge management systems and also an investigation into the context of knowledge growth in Iran are correspondingly represented. It also encompasses a contrast between some developed and developing countries including United States of America, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, France, India, Turkey and Pakistan denoting the criteria of their economic status and knowledge growth. In this comparison, “Growth Competitive Index “ has also been applied . In conclusion, the priority to adopt systematic, behavioral/cultural and core competencies approaches in contrast to traditional mechanistic approach will be emphasized. Mechanistic approaches are characterized by the application of technology and resources to do more of the same better whereas systematic approaches involve representation, organization, acquisition, creation, usage and evaluation of knowledge in its many forms and the modeling, analysis and design of technical systems for supporting all facets of knowledge management. Core competencies approaches focus on developing human capital. Core performance capabilities and core knowledge competencies which are complementary concepts and ensemble constitute organization`s identity, will also be discussed. The focal point in cultural/behavioral approach is that although technology is essential for managing explicit knowledge resources, it is not the only appropriate solution in managing knowledge. Moreover, this approach emphasizes on innovation and learning organization rather than on applying explicit knowledge resources or creating explicit knowledge.The first model of knowledge gaps which will be presented in this paper is based on individuals` socio-economic status and situation- specific factors. Literature on distribution of public knowledge among citizens identifies a knowledge gap separating individuals of higher and lower socio-economic status. In contrast to socio-economic status, some scholars advance a “ situation-specific “ theory in which knowledge gaps widen in circumstances where the lower socio-economic individuals are less motivated to acquire the information or, in circumstances where information is less functional for them . In the second model of knowledge management gaps, six gaps have been recognized due to perception, strategic, planning and implementation aspects. It will also be mentioned that the first model is appropriate to be applied at macro level whereas it will be appropriate to apply the second model at micro level.

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