Knowledge Management (KM): There is no universal definition for knowledge management. At its broadest, KM is the “process through which organizations generate value from intellectual and knowledge based assets”.
Information management tries to make the right information available to the right person at the right time though a variety of database driven information applications. Information management tools try to capture the human experience of knowledge through collecting, classifying, disseminating, searching, indexing, and archival power of technology. Information management may well be considered the first wave of KM (and is still often considered synonymous with KM).
a) Knowledge Assets: Knowledge assets are often described as the intellectual capital of an organization. There are two types of knowledge assets –
i) Explicit or formal assets like copyrights, patents, templates, publications, reports, archives, etc.
b) Tacit or informal assets that are rooted in human experience and include personal belief, perspective, and values.
b) The Value of KM: Knowledge began to be viewed as a competitive asset in the 1980s, around the same time that information explosion started becoming an issue. The trend was fueled by the development of IT systems which made it simple to store, display, and archive classified, indexed information. It is important to manage knowledge assets because –
i) Organizations compete increasingly on the base of knowledge (the only sustainable competitive advantage, according to some)
ii) Most of our work is information based (and often immersed in a computing environment)
iii) Workforces are increasingly unstable leading to escalating demands for knowledge replacement / acquisition.