Knowledge for the future

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Introduction

Knowledge can be defined from narrow scope, as simple as organized information for future use, to broader ones. Van der Spek and Speijkervet, in article quoted by Leibowitz (1999 p. 6), defined knowledge as the whole set of insights, experiences, and procedures that are considered correct and true and that therefore guide the thoughts, behaviours, and communication of people. Knowledge can reside in several media like human mind, organization, document, and computer. Without doubt, knowledge in the human mind is often difficult to access; document knowledge can be e.g. simple free text, charts, well-structured tables; computer knowledge is formalized, often very well-structured, well-organized, and most importantly, thank to the non-stopping technology evolution easy to share and manageable.

Organizational knowledge as the collective sum of human-centred, intellectual property, infrastructure and market assets (Brooking 1996), covers how well one knows the workings of the company, to knowing how well competitors are performing, to knowing the market in general, and in regards to knowing the wishes of your target audience depending on the location that you are performing business in.

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Modern technology brought together with knowledge (or organizational knowledge) creates an Information System that has been defined as an organized collection, storage, and presentation system of data and other knowledge for decision making, progress reporting, and for planning and evaluation. It can be either manual, computerized, or a combination of both (Bureau of justice assistance 2009).

Analysis

Knowledge makes up the most valuable active of any organization of the information society. It is essential to discuss differences between data, information and knowledge. Data can be described as a text that does not answer questions to a particular problem, information as a text that answers the questions who, when, what, or where and knowledge as a text that answers the questions why and how (Quigley & Debons 1999). As notion of knowledge is complex, Polanyi (1958, 1998) goes into different detail and distinguishes tacit knowledge which is based in individual's mind, respectively a skill that one might have however it is hard to share or capture. Another type he defines is explicit knowledge which can be defined as tacit knowledge that has been decoded and recorded. Cocktail recipe works as a perfect example. Cocktail mixing is a skill, lies in an individual's mind. However recipe is a set of instructions extracted from tacit knowledge that has been decoded and passed to one another on purpose to share information. When it comes to analysing the relationship between data, information and knowledge, it is more than obvious that computers are very good at handling and processing data. Computers as a part of information system made smooth transformation of data management into information management; however transformation to knowledge management is much more complicated, corresponding to commodity view of knowledge claiming knowledge can never be separated from individuals and exist outside humans, thus never stored digitally(Galliers and Newell 2001).

Speaking about knowledge economy and knowledge society, competitiveness on the market, its survival, depends on this knowledge could be preserved and used in an efficient way. Furthermore, information and knowledge are the essential aspects; they are often seen as the major keys to success; De Geus, quoted in article by Senge (1992), claims that the most successful companies will be those which are best at learning. There are three sides to managing knowledge: acquiring it, using it, and sharing it. Often, once acquired, knowledge has to be stored for later retrieval; for an organisation, simply committing it totally to human memory is a very dangerous and unreliable approach, as extensive knowledge is easily forgotten or misinterpreted, and when passed on, the process can repeat until the result is vastly different from the original source (Senge 1992). now we will concentrate on how the use of Information technology can greatly enhance a company's capability in the management of knowledge in those three fields. Information technology includes matters concerned with the furtherance of computer science and technology, design, development, installation and implementation of information systems and applications (San Diego state University 2009). In first era (so called computer), information technology was understood as a compensation or like a support for human activities. However in second era (so called informative) it is important to see information technology in its transformative and innovative role above all in which it inspires the changes in organization and company management. Well-ran organizations comprehended that it is necessary to change the organizational structure and the way how organization works; that way to reach higher flexibility in response on market requirements, higher level of coordination and better communication amongst individual employees and also the whole working team (Chew and Gottschalk 2009).

References

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BROOKING, A., 1996. “Introduction to Intellectual Capital”. Cambridge: The Knowledge Broker Ltd.

BUREAU OF JUSTICE ASSISTANCE, 2009. Center For Program Evaluation And Performance Meassurement.[online]. Washington DC: Bureau of justice assistance. Available from: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/evaluation/glossary/glossary_i.htm [Accessed 25 November 2009]

GALLIERS, R. D. and NEWEL, S., 2001. Back to the Future: From Knowledge Management to Data Management, in Proceedings of ECIS 2001. Bled,Slovenia, pp. 609-615

LEIBOWITZ, J., ed., 1999. Knowledge Management. Florida: CRC Press LLC

POLANYI, M., 1958, 1998. Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. London: Rouledge

QUIGLEY, E. J. and DEBONS, A., 1999 . “Interrogative Theory of Information and Knowledge”, in Proceedings of SIGCPR '99. New Orleans, LA: ACM Press pp. 4-10

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY, 2009. Glossary of Academic Information Technology Terms.[online]. San Diego:San Diego State University. Available from: http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/glossary2.shtml#I [Accessed 26 November 2009]

Bibliography

CHEV, E. K. and GOTTSCHALK, P., 2009. Information Technology Strategy and Management: Best Practices. New York: Idea Group Inc

SENGE, P., 1992. The Fifth Discipline: the art and practice of the learning organisation. London: Century Business