96 Chapter 4 KnowledgeManageMent
form to support further operations on it. During management activities,
processes such as identification, acquisition, organization, representation, use,
sharing, and conversion (innovation) are incorporated to get optimum usage
of this vital knowledge for the organization.
With the help of such knowledge management, the organization gains
better understanding, sharing, and utilization of existing knowledge. All
of the knowledge management activities result in documentation of this
knowledge in the form of a centrally available repository. This repository
contains knowledge assets such as business processes, customers, key people
of the business, organizational memory, and relationships. For example, in
a typical manufacturing factory, information held by key people who are
responsible for carrying out transactions such as new product design, inven-
tory control, contract renewals, and other related information is stored in a
centralized repository. The remedies and solution strategies are also stored
there. This will be helpful to the organization when training personnel and
making decisions in the absence of key people. Such repositories can be used
to obtain competitive advantages and offers a new platform and an opportu-
nity to create innovative knowledge to satisfy customers’ needs.
Organizations that have been thwarted by usual KM practices are pay-
ing more attention to how knowledge flows through their business. Social
network analysis plays an important role in this respect. It is a process of map-
ping a group’s contacts (whether personal or professional) to pinpoint who
knows whom and who works with whom. A social network analysis is not
a substitute for conventional KM tools such as knowledge databases or por-
tals, but it can offer organizations a basis for how best to progress with KM
initiatives. As part of a larger KM strategy, social network analysis can help
organizations identify key leaders and then set up mechanisms so that those
leaders can pass on their knowledge to the group.
Knowledge management is an interdisciplinary area requiring technical,
organizational, and interpersonal skills. The following sections describe the
broad perspectives of knowledge management.
4.2.1 Technocentric
According to the technocentric perspective, as the name denotes, the main
emphasis is on the technological aspects of knowledge management. The
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