Knowledge Management unlike what its name might have suggested is not about “managing knowledge”. KM can be described as an integrated approach to achieve organizational goals by placing strong focus on the management of the knowledge base inside the organization.
The purpose of Knowledge Management is about how the organization can inspire, cultivate, and empower people to improve and share their “Capacity to Act”. In so doing, KM should be viewed as a strategic issue for the whole organization as KM will help to steer it to become a knowledge-creating organization. A knowledge-creating organization will have the ability to innovate, develop new products, create new markets and respond quickly to competitions.
By better managing a company’s knowledge base, some of the potential benefits are:
- Overcoming internal barriers to communicate and sharing;
- Enabling an innovative culture;
- Enhancing customer relationships;
- Increasing production outputs; and
- Developing more valuable IPR
KM must have a strong strategic and operational focus in order to succeed in achieving its business purpose. KM will require significant changes to “the way things are” in the organization in order to create a new environment for people to create, share and leverage knowledge.
Without top management involvement and support, KM will unlikely produce the intended results as fundamental shifts in strategic directions that are required might not be able to be implemented. Last but not least, KM is not about data and information management and exchange. So it will not help to invest heavily in IT software and support.·