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There are three types is enterprises, public, private and non-profit organisation. Since Hewlett-Packard (HP) is run by a private group it comes under a private sector category, which generally means that HP is an organisation that seeks for profits for its stakeholders. Since the main funds come from their stakeholders, it is necessary to keep them happy by improving the growth and production of the organisation. The main objective for the firms like HP is to take hold of the opportunities which result in huge profits as it is their most essential outcome. Moreover, the key goal is maintain those long term profits in the commercial market. In order to attain such goals, CEO (Chief executive officer) is responsible, who will be a more qualified and experienced in the industry. Maintaining profits for stakeholders, sustaining long term profits and strengthening firm's position in the global market, falls under the list of responsibilities of a company's CEO.
HP's main purpose is to attain customer loyalty, profits, growth, and market leadership, commitment to its staff members, leadership capability and global citizenship. Below is their mission statement
They earn customer loyalty and respect by continuously offering their service and value.
Since they believe that through customer satisfaction, one can achieve sufficient profits to finance growth, create value for stakeholders.
From profits they can grow which builds their strengths and competencies.
They lead in the marketplace by developing and providing helpful and resourceful solutions, products and services. They develop
At all levels, they develop leaders who attain business objectives, demonstrate their principles and guide them to grow and win
The knowledge environment in which the organisation exists - external context
Since HP branches is located more than 600 locations around the world and moreover it competes with many markets, including computers and other peripheral equipments. It is bound expose to many external environments. External factors can be anything, like changes in technology and globalisation; these factors may lead to profits or loss depending on the opportunities. For a company like HP, globalization brought several prospects in the field of business for instance HP has 600 branches all over the world this is due to globalisation. However, globalisation doesn't imply to only HP, it brings other organisations too which means competition. Factors like globalisation helps consumers by offering a lot of options, for instance HP is not the only one in the market with computer products, there is Sony, Dell, Apple and many more. Therefore, customers will have an opportunity to verify prices and services based on the product's reviews. So brand loyalty is difficult to attain unless a company comes up with an innovative ideas and services.
Stakeholder's pressure is another external factor, due to globalisation; if a company's profits are decreasing then pressure from stakeholders will increase. This could cause more stress on the organisation's employees. Apart from stakeholder's pressure, technological change could also effect in company's production. If a company like HP is exposed to international markets then it is common to come across new technologies which are being used by its competitors. In order to strengthen its position in the international market, companies like HP should constantly update its technology. 'Globalisation pulls more and more into its magnetic orbit and communication overcomes distance' (Harris 2005), however globalisation can be a boon and threat at the same time.
The organisational structure including the internal knowledge culture
Knowledge culture is where the organisation allows and encourages sharing and utilising 'the information, expertise and human assets across the borders, across oceans, whether in person or electronically' (Harris 2005). However, in the case study it is observed differently, In HP there is a little sharing of knowledge, resources, information and its employees across the organisation. Since HP is well-known for its decentralised organisation structure and style of operation. And it is also understood that due to decentralisation, there are strong increase in specific to firm's success. However, it is a known fact that due to decentralisation, knowledge management efforts have increased. In Mid 1995, 3 important knowledge management systems have been implemented, Trainers Trading post, Connex and HP Network News. All these three have been helped the company in enhancing their production and also helped them to bring to a conclusion that in order to gain success in globalisation a company need not require a centralised system but should create an awareness of sharing knowledge through various projects underway.
Organisational structure plays key role in building and developing of productive knowledge culture. It dictates how the responsibility and power should be utilised in a company, moreover it helps to share knowledge across the organisation so that it can be utilised by the employees. As discussed above, HP operated in decentralised organisational structure.
'The term knowledge workers have been coined to describe those workers who are participating more effectively in the knowledge-based economy' (Oecd 2001). And if the knowledge economy's definition is challenging, then the knowledge workers work will be challenging too. Basically who have good level of literacy or high levels of education are knowledge workers. These workers mostly will be working in knowledge management systems or employees who have particular expertises and skills, these workers will be taking part in the creation and utilization of knowledge. Knowledge workers main objective is identifying problems, solving problems and calculated brokering competencies. A main feature of these workers apart from high education and proclaiming solving skills is that facts are no important to their skills profiles because if any data they need will be accessible at one click of a computer key. They key skills they bring to their job are 'an ability to conceptualise problems and solutions' (Oecd 2001).
In the case study we see some knowledge workers as discussed above like Bob Walker, HP's CIO and Vice President and Chuck Sieloff, Manger of Information Systems Services and Technology (ISST) who recruited people to build knowledge management system. These people made up their mind to implement knowledge management system by starting workshops on those topics. During that workshop, Joe Schneider, the trainer came up with three knowledge management system; Trainers Trading post, Connex and HP Network News which proved very successful for the company.
In HP, Vice president and manager of ISST are the knowledge leaders who effectively guided the future knowledge employees and have become significant success of organisation, these people made use of knowledge that is available and gathered them at their disposal. They have managed the knowledge of their employees and created a thinking organisation. Knowledge Leaders are driven by the future opportunities. A Knowledge Leaders should have a proper combination of attitude, vision and practical exposure.
According to Bahra (2001, p.52) there are three L's in knowledge leaders which plays critical role in company's success: the knowledge leader as listener, learner and linker.
Knowledge leader as listener: A leader should always listen to their employees and clients. Many people will listen to their clients but very few will know 'how to listen to hear clearly about what others are saying and particularly when it is negative' (Bahra 2001). Listening skills is very important for a leader because a company will continuously dealing with negative feedback and by hearing will help in resolving it.
Leader as learner: Bahra (2001, p.53) insists that today's firms are more concentrating on building learning leaders than knowing leaders. A company is more focusing on leaders who learn how to work in new environment rather than leaders who implement old rules for the new environment.
Leaders as linkers: Leader should build a community of network where employees can share the knowledge. Like in the case study, Bob Walker and Chuck Sieloff implemented knowledge management system; Trainers Trading post, Connex and HP Network News which proved very successful for the company.
To achieve a successful concept of knowledge management, HP and many other firms has made use of knowledge oriented technologies (Davenport & Prusak 2000). The most critical role of technology in knowledge management is extending the reach and enhancing the speed of knowledge transfer (Davenport & Prusak 2000). Technology helps an individual knowledge to be extracted, structured and stored in the repositories so that other employees in the company can utilise it. Codification of knowledge and its generation is also done with the help of technology. According to Davenport & Prusak (2000, p.125), technology mangers of HP are now exploring a new tool cared Grape Vine, this tool basically allows sharing of knowledge which is targeted on the content categories that are mentioned by knowledge users. In addition to that, HP also used Lotus Notes as the technology vehicle with the help of Bruce Karney, a member of the infrastructure team of Corporate Education organisation, part of HP's personnel function. This technology helped to share ideas, knowledge, information based materials and techniques for thousands of HP's employees.
The knowledge management system (KMS) which was implemented by Bob Walker and Chuck Sieloff where of three types as discussed Trainers Trading post, Connex and HP Network News. A cohesive and well-designed KMS platform was built in HP organisation with the help of knowledge workers and leaders. Due to KMS knowledge has become a dominant use for educators and Karney believes it will become a key factor for future prospects too.
Knowledge resources and knowledge-sharing practices
According to Breitenöder (2009, p.02) 'knowledge means truthfulness, which points to the absolute, static and non-human view of knowledge'. Such type of knowledge should be documented and stored so that others can access it. This documenting of knowledge and storing is done in Knowledge Repositories (KR) which is a core practice of KMS. KR is a web-based layout where employees can connect to it with the corporate intranet. Repositories act as a link between core knowledge and employees, where employees can search for the necessary info or add new data. Due to this KR, knowledge sharing is easy to put into practice as it delivers a positive value.
In HP, a new KMS Connex was developed and was scheduled go pilot phase. It uses a web based browser which extracts data from the database of shared knowledge. The primary content of the database contains expert profiles or manuals on specific topics. By browsing Connex one can search these guides easily.
According to Wielinga (2008, p.181) Knowledge Needs (KN) defines the information required to supplement the problem solving of a particular work. KN main goal is to identify precisely regarding the need of knowledge in a particular team of people. Due to KN analysis, a company's future strategy will improve the performance of an organisation. HP addressed its knowledge needs and developed KMS like Trainers Trading post, Connex and HP Network News which proved very successful.
As discussed in Knowledge culture HP is well known for its decentralisation organisation structure for that reason knowledge management efforts has enhanced. In order to address these KN, Bob and Chuck has developed KMS which been helped the company in enhancing their production.
Knowledge gaps in central part of processes signify incomplete knowledge asset portfolios (Housel & Hom 1999). These gaps in the central part of process will cause failures will effect company production. There are two types of gaps in knowledge, current and future gap. Current gaps basically signify everyday failures in process like slow cycle times and errors etc. Future gaps signify a failure in management's capability to find out what types of 'knowledge assets must be added or deleted to respond to a constantly changing marketplace and to ensure that these assets are deployed as required' (Housel & Hom 1999). Once these gaps are identified with a solution to close these gaps then the result will improve decision making skills, retention of employees, enhancement of innovation and encouragement of transforming information into knowledge.
In the HP, when first workshop held in October 1995 from the discussion Joe Schneider gathered a list of twenty HP sites which had some form of positive knowledge management. Once reviewing the current existing knowledge gaps, Joe got answers for these questions like from which source this knowledge is taken, who has this knowledge and when this knowledge is being used. After learning these gaps KMS was implemented which proved very successful for the company. Therefore, finding these gaps in knowledge will improve decision making skills on current gaps and also help to identify future gaps.
Proposed questions to be asked for the staff
If there is a KMS in your organisation, then what type of knowledge is being used?
In what way that knowledge is utilised by your company?
From which source that knowledge is obtained?
Are there others using this knowledge, apart from your company?
Is there any restriction of knowledge for some employees?
It is vital to understand about how knowledge is separated in an organisation and how many types of knowledge are available for staff members.
When a company is using KMS, it is important to understand if there is any restriction to that knowledge like username and password facility before gaining access of that knowledge.
Knowledge can be extracted from employees i.e. employees or externally like consultancies and other factors.
It is natural to understand that a company will encourage to share the knowledge among its employees but it is also possible provide that knowledge to it suppliers too
Is the knowledge repository is accessible to all the employees of the company if not then why is restricted.
Knowledge Audit Tools
According to Gourova, Popov & Todorova (2009, p.1) for KMS implementation plan, Knowledge Audit (KA) plays a very important role since it checks the 'state-of-art of knowledge assets, their usage and flows in the organisation , as well as consider the knowledge needs for gaining advantage against competitors and achieving corporate strategic goals' (Gourova, Popov & Todorova 2009). Plus, during the KMS implementation, Knowledge audit tools help in monitoring and controlling by giving appropriate feedback from the results achieved.
When employee is leaving the organisation, then they are taking some type of knowledge inside their head. This tool will help to document some of that knowledge so that it can help the company and its employees. Some of the suggestions to capture that knowledge are: in a month or before if a staff is leaving HP company, work out a plan to capture their knowledge which are of two type explicit knowledge - like their private folders and emails and for tacit knowledge, by observing their successors.
If a company like HP, needs to know its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in their projects or in a business process then SWOT analysis is a best tool.
Strengths: achieving Company's objective with the help of internal strengths of organisations or staff members.
Weaknesses: Obstructs in achieving company's objective due to internal attributes of organisations or staff members
Opportunities: attributes which are external that are helpful in achieving company's objective
Threats: damages company's objective due to external attributes of organisations.
The gap among the desired knowledge or ideal knowledge and existing knowledge environment is called as Gap Analysis. These gaps basically slowdown the production, obstruct opportunities that could enhance the growth of the company or damage the implementation of the technology. It is very important tool which helps marketing mangers of HP to decide upon various marketing strategies and techniques. This tool is very effectual since it is very easy and straightforward. The first step of this tool is to understand the existing knowledge of the, where it is, who has it, for which tasks that knowledge is utilised. Finding these gaps in knowledge will improve decision making skills and improve the performance of the company.