What future knowledge management users may expect

نویسنده

  • Karl M. Wiig
چکیده

Globalization has placed businesses everywhere in new and different competitive situations where knowledgeable, effective behavior has come to provide the competitive edge. Enterprises have turned to explicit and systematic knowledge management (KM) to develop the intellectual capital needed to succeed. Further developments are expected to provide considerable benefits resulting from changes in the workplace and in management and operational practices. Changes will partly come from information technology and artificial intelligence developments. However, more important changes are expected in people-centric practices to build, apply, and deploy knowledge and understanding for support of innovative and effective knowledge-intensive work. Much remains to be done. Next generation KM methods will still be crude. Our understanding of knowledge and how people use it to work has a long way to go. We need a "theory of knowledge" and perhaps a new theory of the firm to create a solid foundation for future KM. Still, users can expect significant benefits from KM as it develops over the next decades. 155 Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 3 . Number 2 . 1999 . pp. 155±165 # MCB University Press . ISSN 1367-3270 labor have started to compete with Europe, Japan, and North America by offering competent intellectually-based work. Thanks to the Internet, we find that knowledge workers everywhere can access the latest information on advanced concepts and methodologies, business issues, and technology. Granted, access is still far from uniform and most people in Africa, Asia, and South America may have to wait a long time. Even so, to maintain their viability, institutions and nations that have been accustomed to be intellectual leaders will need to build and apply intellectual capital much better ± they increasingly must manage knowledge systematically. Expectations are that we will see further changes with considerable impacts. Other developments also are causing changes in business and work. Among these, we find new cognitive science understandings of how people make decisions and work with their minds (Klein, 1998; Cannon-Bowers and Salas, 1999; Wiig and Wiig, 1999); advances in, and experiences with, new management and operational practices; improvements in information technology (IT); and the creation of powerful and practical artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. We are learning what motivates individuals and how to integrate individual goals with those of the enterprise. We are discovering the value of new ways to organize work and interpersonal networking to maximize opportunities for people to deliver their best. In addition, we obtain practical experiences with how to manage knowledge in different KM arenas[1]. With all these forces pressuring business, we have learned to prepare our workforce better, automate many routine functions, and organize work in ways that allow us to deliver higher quality products and services more effectively. We observe that the nature of work is changing. There is a shift towards more complex work as shown in Figure 1 with identifiable targets for intelligent automation in routine areas and potentials for application of greater understanding and expertise in more demanding work. We will always wish that all work tasks should be handled competently and with outcomes that fulfill quality requirements. This requires that organization and systematization of work and individuals apply all required resources effectively. Hence, among proactive enterprises, there are increased efforts to make individuals and therefore, the enterprise itself, act as effectively as possible. Management teams are unwilling and unable to devote attention and allocate resources to directions unless they promise to deliver clear and important benefits. Hence, they now ± and will continue to ± ask specific questions such as: `̀ Will active KM allow us to deliver a more competitive service paradigm?'' ± `̀ Will active KM make it possible to create more competitive products?'' ± `̀ Will active KM improve the effectiveness of work and thereby reduce operating costs, allow us to be more responsive, improve our market image, and otherwise become more successful?'' Enterprise success rests upon effective and knowledgeable behavior Effective behavior is vital. Sustained success and viability require effective execution of internal functions and interactions with environment ± i.e. effective behavior. When individuals act effectively within an effective framework, the enterprise can act effectively ± operationally, tactically, strategically, and in support of markets. In practice, effective behavior means for both people and the organization's response to adjust actions to the context by improvising around given strategy, tactics, and policies. It also means to act creatively and responsibly in everybody's interest to achieve the best results possible. Often that requires collaboration ± in a collegial culture bypassing politics and bureaucracy. A major operational objective is to make the customer successful by customizing products and services to satisfy individual needs while at the same time implementing the enterprise goals. The success of an enterprise depends on the interplay of many factors. Some are beyond influence or control by the enterprise while others are associated with the strategic moves that the leaders pursue. Still others ± and these we consider here ± are associated with how the enterprise arranges its internal affairs. Among these factors we find: . The ability to deliver desired service paradigms by individuals, departments and business units, and by the overall enterprise[2]. . The ability to act in a timely fashion. 156 What future knowledge management users may expect Karl M. Wiig Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 3 . Number 2 . 1999 . 155±165

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عنوان ژورنال:
  • J. Knowledge Management

دوره 3  شماره 

صفحات  -

تاریخ انتشار 1999