What is knowledge management?
Knowledge management is not a solution in itself, but rather it complements and enhances other organisational initiatives in total quality management and business process re-engineering, in order to make better use of the know how and expertise available within the company.
It is a two-fold process:
* management of knowledge assets; and
* management of processes for creating, organising, transferring and sharing knowledge throughout the organisation.
Knowledge Management is the development of processes to link knowledge requirements to business strategies, as well as to plan for, generate, represent and provide access to individual and organisational knowledge.
Explicit, tacit and cultural knowledge
Explicit knowledge is that which has been recorded and often consists of written text, reports, documents, databases and websites. Explicit knowledge has been 'codified' and can be classified through a database, website listing or other means of access. Explicit knowledge could be the sales database for a company; the procedures manual or the induction manual.
Tacit knowledge is that which resides in individual's memories. It reflects our personal experience and the 'know how' that we have developed because of this experience. The sales person may have the factual sales / order information about a customer (that is the explicit knowledge), but may also know that a particular customer needs to be treated as 'special' because of the customer's personality traits.
Cultural knowledge is an awareness of the organisational culture that exists within a company. "An organisation's cultural knowledge consists of the beliefs it holds to be true based on experience, observation, and reflection about itself and its environment." (Choo 2002).