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Knowledge Management (KM) Definition Essay

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Updated: Dec 17th, 2018

1. Karl Wiig is a very important figure in the terrain of knowledge management (KM) as he developed one of the central KM cycles and models. This researcher claimed that knowledge is essential in making thoughtful and intellectual decisions. Moreover, Wiig noted that knowledge management is important in all spheres of human life.

Wiig’s KM cycle is precise and can be easily applicable in business. Thus, the researcher identifies four major stages: building, holding, pooling and applying knowledge. Compared to other cycles WIig’s cycle is very laconic, which makes it clear and easy-to-use. Wiig also claimed that the use of knowledge should be organized. Moreover, the researcher stressed that knowledge should be organized in accordance with the use of knowledge.

Wiig also developed a detailed KM matrix that helps understand the very nature of knowledge, which, in its turn, is essential to be able to manage knowledge. Moreover, the researcher developed degrees of internalization which is a step forward to understanding the exact ways to manage knowledge. Basically, Wiig described KM from different perspectives and revealed possible ways to use it effectively in business. Therefore, the researcher contributed greatly to KM.

2. There is no generally accepted definition of what knowledge management is. Practitioners tend to provide a variety of definitions. However, it is possible to note that all these definitions have some key points in common.

Thus, knowledge management focuses on tacit and explicit forms of knowledge and has an aim to add value to an organization. Thus, researchers admit that there are two type of knowledge, i.e. tacit and explicit. It is also accepted that knowledge should be used in order to help organizations develop. This can be regarded as key points in defining knowledge management.

3. There are quite different perspectives on the origins of KM. Many researchers claim that knowledge management has been in human societies from time immemorial. Thus, researchers stress that major KM techniques were used in pre-historic times when people accumulated and distributed (or passed) knowledge to help community develop. Some researchers claim that KM evolved in times of the Industrial Revolution.

Thus, invention of printing and invention of a variety of tools to spread knowledge are seen as first steps of KM. Some note that KM is associated with the end of the twentieth century when people advanced in computing. All these ideas are quite plausible. However, to be more exact, it is necessary to state that KM developed within the area of management. The term appeared in the 1990s and became widespread at once.

4. Researchers identify three generations of KM. The first generation focused on storing information. People had a dilemma which is illustrated with the quote “if only we knew what we know” (as cited in Dalkir, 2005, p. 19). People wanted to understand what exactly they know and how to store information available. When people learned how to accumulate and store information, they faced another dilemma.

There was a lot of information and it became unclear who had information. Thus, the second generation of KM focused on people. It was important to understand who needed information and who had it. Thus, the third generation is preoccupied with development of effective ways to distribute information. Now people focus on the ways to use information so that organizations and communities can benefit from it.

Reference List

Dalkir, K. (2005). Knowledge management in theory and practice. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.

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