Nowadays, it’s much easier for human beings to access to knowledge and the latest news. Not only by books, we can update and widen our knowledge through modern technology and multi media .More importantly, in the globalization and integrated environment, capturing and understanding the knowledge clearly and quickly is very important, which can help the managers to manage the knowledge in the company to support the final decision -making. They can offer to satisfy their customers and expand the market shares due to the more valuable and effective knowledge about the market, the understanding of customers’ needs, the better strategies. Moreover, it could also create the competitive advantage for the business comparing to the others. However, taking the advantage of this efficient and effectively system to maximize the use of knowledge is still the big question.
II.1 Summary of textbook
Knowledge and knowledge management
Knowledge is the understanding or skills of people about something, or justified the true beliefs about relationships among concepts relevant to particular area (Nonaka and Takeuchi). A person can get the knowledge throughout studying, the experiences as well as practices.
Knowledge exists in two kinds: The tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge.
Tacit knowledge is the knowledge that already exists in human’s brains through their experiences, studying or understanding about the situation. It is in tacit form and hard to express by words, data or explanation. Moreover, it belongs to the individuals and hard to share with the others. For example, a good soccer player with many experiences can play very well in the team. But it is hard to express exactly how he can do.
In contrast, explicit knowledge is knowledge that can be expressed by words or numbers or the other types of data and information such as: video, images, etcâ€¦. It is a deep and transparent understanding about the particular situation. After the long time of experiences or practices, they can transfer them to explicit form.
For example, take the case of a graduated student in Banking; he has enough knowledge about what he has learned at school. However, it is just only in tacit form. After a period of practical training and experience in the working environment, he can understand clearly and deeply about how the process really works and how to deal with a problem, according to the knowledge that he have learned as school as well as his experiences. At this time, he also got the explicit knowledge.
According to the businessdictionary.com, “Knowledge management is the strategies and processes designed to identify, capture, structure, value, leverage, and share an organizationHYPERLINK “http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organization.html”‘HYPERLINK “http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organization.html”s intellectual assets to enhance its performance and competitiveness”. There are many theories about the Product Life Cycle in the company such as: Nickols Knowledge Management Cycle (1999), McElroy Knowledge Management Cycle (1999); Wiig Knowledge Management Cycle (1993), etcâ€¦
In this part, we will analyze about the Wiig Knowledge Management Cycle, which shows the key steps about how the knowledge management works in a company or organization.
In the first step, building knowledge is known as the starting of the process. In this process, there are many different ways and methods to create knowledge. Everyone in a company have their own knowledge about different aspects of the situation. In this step, knowledge could be the new ideas, the result of the research and development project or experiences. At this time, the knowledge just only exists in tacit form and it is hard to share with the others.
In the second step, the company tries to hold knowledge through remembering, embedding, accumulating, and archiving them. In this process, the people in the organization could be working in a team or a group to find the way as analyzing, reconstructing, codifying and organizing the tacit knowledge that already created in the first step into the explicit form. After that, they tried to remember, accumulate, and embed the important elements of that knowledge. Then, the IT system has the roles to archive them in the documents or databases as the company’s intellectual assets.
Pooling knowledge is the task of third stage. In this step the knowledge is easily for the people in the company to access, coordinate, assemble and retrieving. In the final stage, knowledge can be use for different purposes as: applying them to make the new product.
I.2 Competitive advantage
Knowledge Management creates competitive advantages for small companies and multinationals alike based on different intrinsic properties of good KM practices. For instance, strong corporate culture is one of the advantages.
For doing business well, especially with the multinational corporations, they should have a clear knowledge about the countries’ culture in the market they access. Furthermore, in some cases, they can avoid the unnecessary faults when introducing products or services that are inconsistent with the culture of that country. In addition, understanding clearly the behaviors and responding the customers’ feedback in time is one of the important factors that can create the company’s brand as well as their advantages with the others.
Research and development process are important parts of the KM system, and the often cost of a lot of money or take a lot of time in these stages. In the integrated and innovation society, thanks to the IT systems, the businesses, especially the multinational firms, they can share the result from the R&D process to their branches in global. Based on that, the other branches can makes mass production in different markets in the world with the same quality and process.
For example, Samsung is a multinational company, in the mobile phone industry sector; they have many factories in Vietnam. But, when the new mobile launched, the knowledge management could be share the knowledge to the others via the entire corporate’s network system. It also creates the competitive advantages to the Samsung Mobile VN with the competitive cost of production. Moreover, the factory can supply more products to the world market and make more profitable to the Vietnam’s economy in general as well as the whole Corporation in particular.
In a multinational and multicultural working environment, the achieved data of knowledge is very large and not easily to find. Besides, the differences in culture might be the barriers, which can harm the development of the corporate. If the knowledge management system is clear and informative, the leader can find the solution to minimize the tensions between staffs and employees have in the corporation could find common ground. Furthermore, the knowledge management system should be straightforward and friendly to the users to access easier and quicker. They can find the exact knowledge they need, which can help them to work better, improve their skills and productivity in their work. In additional, after accessing the document, they can learn some experiences and solve some drawbacks and weak points. So, they can contribute more valuable knowledge to the company, which also helps the company to be more innovative and avoid lagging behind the other competitors.
The other factor that also has equal importance is the corporate assets and human capital which is regard to intellectual properties and the copyrights of the company. According to the law” The Copyright Act’s exclusive rights provision gives developers and publishers the right to control unauthorized exploitation of their works.”, which means that if a firm finds that the other firms or competitors that try to copy or make the other products without the allowance or paid the copyrights fee to it, the company can sue the others for making payments or compensate because the consequences that affected to the company’s brand and confidence. The big lawsuits appear more and more because in the innovated and competitive market, if you have better technology in hand, the more customers you can get. But when using the others’ technology, you have to pay for copyright because they have spent a lot of their intellectuals to the product.
Recently, Apple has sued Samsung because they claimed that instead of developing its own products in mobile technology. According to the engaged website, they said: “Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products”.
II.3 How KM help manager
As mention above, the KM system plays a critical role in an organization, also known as “the heart of the company”. Thanks to the development of the IT system, the manager can easier to perform and maintain their work more efficiency and effectively. Knowledge management is the company is very huge and in many sectors. How to maximize the effective of the knowledge and use them for different purposes is very important.
First, the knowledge management system can help the manager to implement and analyze the strengths and weakness of the company. After that, based on his experiences, through the discussion or meeting, he can find the direction to solve them.
The next thing is KM help the company to evaluate the employees. Throughout the KM system, the manager can evaluate the productivity of his employees. The more clearer and transparent policies that company provided, the better satisfaction among the employees. The staffs feel they are members of an organization held up in the highest of morale and their works are evaluated and compensated accordingly. Each task completion is monitored with due process and diligence.
The decision – making is the most important role with manager. Based on the various knowledge of the processing system, it can support to the manager make the good decision making as well as future strategies or plans. This it the final stage that delivering the new product to the market and it would be bring a lot of profitable to the firm.
II.4. Manager’s roles and skills in managing knowledge
The manager’s roles
Managers have important positions in the firm. They also have known as the ones who are knowledgeable, and have many important tasks in the company.
Manager must be the one who have the good interaction and coordination with the employees.
According to McGregor Theory Y, managers should create environment of support and encouragement where knowledge workers are validated to contribute and insinuated from authoritative discouragement and negative response. The good manager has the ability to inspire
His employees to create new knowledge and the capturing of the aforementioned knowledge in understandable format to be shared among co-workers, based on level of validation of the workers with specific requirement of access to corporate database. In addition, providing the special treatment regimes with the people who have contribute better to the system. As the result, the employees’ moral would be increase.
The manager’s skills
The manager’s skills are more important as well as their roles in the company. To be a good manager, they should have many important skills. Some of them include: the decision making skill, technical skill, interaction skill, etcâ€¦
The technology skill is one of the most important skills with the manager. With the innovated and development society, the manager should have the clearly IT skill, which can help them to manage the knowledge management system well as well as implementing the others.
Knowledge is a very huge and important asset with each individual, especially with the big businesses as well as the small and medium enterprises. With the strong and clearly knowledge management system, it also help the firm to minimize the unnecessary faults as well as make lead to the better performance. Manager is the one who have the importance task in the company. Based on the existing data of knowledge, he/she have to use his/her skills to analyzing, understanding and leading the others to the best way. Furthermore, the manager should have the influence with the employees and staffs in the company. On the other hand, the manager has to make the friendly and comfortable environment to help them work in the good condition. Moreover, the company must have the suitable compensation policies that commensurate with their contributions in company. When doing so, it will boost the motivation of employees in the firm to update their knowledge and learn the new things everyday to have the better contribution in the future.
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