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In todays economy, knowledge is becoming more and more important in organizations and as a key differentiating factor in business. Knowledge Management (KM) is nothing new. The root of KM concept has been found in the management theories in the 1950s. Professor Drucker [Drucker] has believed the growing importance of knowledge especially explicit knowledge as a valuable asset of organizations.
What are knowledge management?
Over several decades, Knowledge Management has increasingly been a topic of interest among professionals in business and academic areas. (Grant, K. And Grant, C.) Theorists and experts have attempted to define the term in various ways, focusing on specific aspects of the topic including collaborative works, information technology, economics, sociology and management, for instance. (Almashari, Venters) However, it could be problematic to have precise, clear definitions of this term. A great number of meanings of knowledge management have been widely debated. They, for example, deal with the difference in terms of 'information' and 'knowledge' in management context. A number of academics and theorists continue to reflect on the subject, information management that has influenced to develop into knowledge management. (Uriarte) In short, it has no particular definitions universally accepted, depending on individual purposes. This systematic review has summarized knowledge management definitions sorted by authors and years together with adding constructive comments for analysis which have been showed in Table 1.
Table 1 Definitions of Knowledge Management
KM is the way to transfer individual's personal knowledge into organization knowledge and drive innovation through organizational learning.
The author recommends that leveraging implicit knowledge from expertise's experience and putting it together into explicit knowledge could play important role for creating new knowledge.
KM is capable of transforming, organizing, deploying and using knowledge assets effectively to make the firms act as intelligently and realize the best value of its knowledge resources.
The definition mainly focuses on the goal of organization to maximize the enterprise's knowledge effectively by using the effective knowledge process.
KM is a set of process and system (technical or human) that help creating value for organizations by shared, distributed and maintained the knowledge.
Both information technology and organizational activities are used to manage knowledge asset for performance improvement and value creation at various point within the firms.
KM is an essential part of business activities for specific purposes to improve the performance of organization and also considered as technology for creating competitive advantages.
The author considers the business activities including using technique for capturing, storing and disseminating the knowledge assets of organization to get organization performance.
KPMG Management Consulting
KM is a systematic and organized attempt to store and apply knowledge in an organization to improve its performance.
The definition emphasizes an effective approach of knowledge that can provide knowledge repository and application to achieve business performance.
Alavi and Leidner (1999)
KM refers to specific methodologies to disseminate both implicit and explicit knowledge of employees to others in order to improve effectiveness and productivity in their firms.
Clearly, a series of knowledge process such as creation, storage, retrieval, transfer, and application are defined to help organization transmit knowledge from one person to others.
KM relates to organizational activities that help organization create the knowledge repositories, improve the knowledge acquisition, enhance the knowledge environment, and manage the knowledge assets for the purpose of adding value and benefiting all stakeholders.
The author promotes an integrated and collaborative approach to manage the organization's knowledge assets in order to recognize the value of knowledge and return benefits to all involved people in organization.
Gupta, et al. (2000)
KM is a series of process to manage information and expertise within a company to support and improve its business performance.
The definition highlights all processes required for KM. In addition, organizations have paid attention to developing of KM that can provide the basis for future sustainability and competence.
KM is considered to be product and process innovation and achievement to be better decision-making and organizational adaptation and renewal.
The author believes that KM has emerged as a potential power for effective decision making where supports the core tasks of business management.
KM can clearly act for firms which provide information that is more consistent, accurate and timely including fast and easier access in ways that will improve the performance and concrete benefits of the companies and its partners.
This diï¬€ering emerging points of view is inï¬‚uenced by the right way to incorporate among information, time and people. It aims to improve the organization's processes, perceptions and profits
KM is the way to manage information for finding, selecting, organizing, disseminating, and applying information in a ways that improve an employee's effectiveness in their works.
The author promotes the development of processes to manage the organization's know-how. This KM will help employees to improve their performance and make more intelligent decisions in their works.
Gartner Group (2005)
KM is an integrated method to identifying, developing, managing, maintaining and sharing of all of an organization's information assets including experience individual worker, policies procedures and database documents.
KM has involved an integrated and collaborative method in the process of knowledge that resides within organizations and within the minds of knowledge workers.
The definitions as mentioned above, they have been a consensus point of view within three different aspects. In the first one, authors illustrate in multi-functions of method, process, system or some kinds of activities - including finding, identifying, creating, selecting, organizing, sharing, disseminating, maintaining, or applying - to manage knowledge. Further to the second, both tacit and explicit knowledge mentioned in definitions are not limited only individual and group inside organizations but external knowledge such as customers, suppliers and competitors also have cited in their definitions. As regards the last aspect, most of definitions have been attempt to present the goal of organization or business in the way of organizational performance, return of investment, competitive advantage and effectiveness in works. There is no universal definition of knowledge management. It is very important to agree on one definition. In this survey paper, we put very simply, knowledge management is a collection of activities regarding business, cultural and technological approaches, which enable organizations to apply knowledge assets to improve innovation, performance optimization and competitive advantage. This definition is simple and precise. It implies that KM is more than a system or a tool to help organization interact with personal knowledge and corporate knowledge both inside and outside organizations in order to gain benefits through employees and organizations performance.
The role of Knowledge Management in Business Intelligence
In this section, we have introduced the benefits of knowledge management in the views of business intelligence. Successful organizations are basically required making better decisions to achieve in competitive advantage and hence business performance. Enterprises have been searching for solutions in a great effort to manage information. In fact, business intelligence (BI) seems as an umbrella term for the applications, infrastructure, platforms, tools and best practices that gather and analyze data to improve decision-making . Likewise, KM uses knowledge to improve decision-making . There have been some relationships between BI and KM. Both of them are considered as important in achieving firms' strategic goals and have become a top priority concern among business and organizations in the coming years . Many researchers argue that KM is helping hand of BI and sharing the intelligence among employees about how effectively to perform the variety of functions requires making the organization go [8, 12, 15, 16]. Moreover, KM techniques can enhance BI. As organizations continue to develop their enterprise-wide BI strategies, KM should be an integral part of their plans. In this systematic survey, the benefits of KM that has impacted on BI can be categorized into four perspectives including technologies, processes, people/teamwork and organizations/cultures. Those advantages are summarized in Table 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Table 2 KM benefits in Technologies Perspective
Knowledge discovery process
Knowledge discovery process in Business Intelligence systems aids the business analysis process and put in place a scientific foundation for using historical data to improve future decision making.
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Intelligent text analysis
Text mining (seem as KM Technology) referred to the process of extracting interesting knowledge from unstructured text adds a valuable component to existing BI technology.
Search and retrieval capabilities are the strongest component of any knowledge management system. By providing structured searches that can easily determine related data requirements, BI application can help an enterprise increase its business agility, decrease operating costs, and improve its customer loyalty and acquisition.
Effective creating reports and capturing information accuracy
The best BI application will be worthless if driven by dirty data and created inaccuracies in reports. By providing KM create reports with clean data, BI will serve the business most effectively.
Table 3 KM benefits in Processes Perspective
New Knowledge Creation
Knowledge creation seems as involving a continual interplay between the tacit and explicit dimensions of knowledge and a growing spiral flow as knowledge moves through individual, group, organization levels. By deploying this benefit, BI could get high quality data and quantitative expertise to make better decisions.
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Knowledge transfer process is motivated by the desire to acquire, exploit, and maintain intellectual capital via moving knowledge among different individuals or groups to organizations. By so doing, BI tools could be processed quickly and easy to analysis, reporting and visualization.
Knowledge Storage and Retrieval
The storage and retrieval of organization knowledge refer to organizational memory such as learning histories, best practices, records of experiences, documented organizational procedures and processes. It is also a potential aspect to be used in a modified format within BI's data warehouse.
Table 4 KM benefits in People/Teamwork Perspective
KM support teams which can work across multiple organizations. Moreover, KM provides a collaborative environment for internal and external participants to work together. To succeed at BI, a cross-organizational collaborative culture is an important role.
Leveraging tacit knowledge and providing knowledge worker
Ability of employees to make better decisions
To make better decisions on BI projects, it is more likely to have both tacit and explicit knowledge. KM will help people capture and share the knowledge which is not only hidden in people's brain but also shown in reports or structure data.
Teams strengthen relationships and communication
Many BI projects were failed because of lack of communication and good relationship between developers and users. KM is able to help teams' strength relationship throughout the relationship-building process.
Table 5 KM benefits in Organizations/Cultures Perspective