Knowledge Management Cases in a University in Asia/Knowledge Management Cases in a University General Education Department
Abstract[edit | edit source]
This case study aims to investigate the knowledge management (KM) practices in a department of a university in Asia, which offers general education to students, and provide advices for improvement. According to the literature, KM is has been implementing in business world, however, the success of KM in higher education field is still under determined. To investigate the effectiveness of KM in the department, the integrated knowledge management cycle is used to construct the current view of KM. Furthermore, KM metric and G-KMMM are applied to address the Key Process Areas, namely people, process and technology that can be improved. The finding also implicates those Key Process Areas are co-related with each other. What’s more, the maturity assessment shows the department was at initial stage and the infrastructures and strategies were not be able to facilitate the capturing and sharing of knowledge in the department. In the recommendation session, room for improvement is identified. Recommendation, including the application of KM strategies, KM technologies, and culture, are given based on the process, technology and people aspect of KM development in the department respectively. However, this study only focuses on how KM can be implemented by different tools in a higher education environment but does not cover the long term KM performance in the department. It is recommended more studies should be conducted to investigate how KM can affect the organization’s long term performance.
Introduction[edit | edit source]
With increasing amount of organizations notice the significance of their labor force’s knowledge, as assets leveraging competitive advantage (Drucker, 1999), this gives rise to the emergence of Knowledge Management (KM). While Knowledge Management aims to develop strategies for organizations to manage the knowledge creation, sharing and application, it enables them to reach their organizational goals more efficiently and effectively (Dalkir, 2005). A literature research reveals a number of publications targeting knowledge management in higher education institutions which is for educational purposes (Metcalfe, 2006; McCarthy, 2006). However, there is a lack of research focusing on the possibility of implementing KM within higher education institutions in a department scale, and how KM implementation could help these departments to share and disseminate knowledge, not only to its external customers, but also its internal staffs. There is where this research joins in. This particular field of KM is explored by conducting interviews and surveys in a department which is responsible for providing general education to students in a university in Asia. This research would like to shed light on the following research questions: How knowledge management can help sustaining knowledge within a small size department with minimum resources? What knowledge management approaches can facilitate maximum efficiency and effectiveness in knowledge sharing, so knowledge can reach as much audience with a limited resource? The investigated department is very small. It serves the whole university by limited resource. Knowledge management thus becomes a significant and useful tool in enabling effective knowledge sharing. While in this research, questions above are addressed by two steps: 1) Evaluate its current KM implementation level; 2) Spot out the problems and give constructive suggestions.
Background of the department[edit | edit source]
In 1995, a university in Asia established a department that aims to provide whole-person education to students. It is a small department with a high turnover rate. In 2012, there are only 8 staff in total. The department operates in Person-In-Charge (PIC) approach and staff work as project-based. The job role can be summarized into three categories: Director, PIC and Organizing Committee (OC).
- Monitoring the progress of different events
- Setting the directions and objectives of the upcoming academic year
- Promoting sharing culture within the organization
- Making decisions for in-charged event
- Planning workflow and distributing workload
- Keeping track of progress of event in charged
- Performing administrative task for the events
Each year, the department provides more than 40 programmes on a variety of topics. The programmes are in different formats such as seminars, workshops and field trips in order to stimulate students’ critical thinking.
Literature Review[edit | edit source]
Introduction[edit | edit source]
There has been arousing concerns about knowledge management in organizations. University, the place where knowledge is created, shared and used, put emphasis on this field. To investigate the knowledge management practice in the department that we concern, it is good that we understand knowledge management well beforehand. In this literature review, knowledge management is introduced with knowledge management cycle followed by the way of measuring knowledge management practice as well as the criteria for improvement. A knowledge collaboration platform for educational institutions, Integrated Knowledge Space (IKS), will also be introduced.
Knowledge management and KM cycle[edit | edit source]
Knowledge management, as defined by Teruya (2003), is the systematic process of identifying, capturing, and transferring information and knowledge held by an organization and its employees, and by doing so, the intrinsic value of knowledge can be leveraged and shared within the organization, and eventually, these value could foster competitiveness and innovation, and in turn, generate revenue (Curley, 2001; Dash, 1998; Hibbard, 1997).
To illustrate the process of knowledge management, a number of knowledge management cycles, which were built by different specialists, like Meyer & Zack, Bukowitz & Williams, McElroy and Wiig, have been introduced. To make it easier to understand, the integrated knowledge management cycle summarizes those cycles. There are 3 components in the integrated knowledge management cycle, namely knowledge capture and creation, knowledge sharing and dissemination, as well as knowledge acquisition and application (Gibran, 2005). For knowledge capture and creation, it is the process of recording and generating of new knowledge. For knowledge sharing and dissemination, it is the exchange of knowledge among people. Knowledge is personalized and distributed to the right persons. For knowledge acquisition and application, it is the process of identifying the relevant knowledge and developing systems to extract the knowledge followed by applying knowledge to suitable case and evaluating the outcome as well as learning from it (Pakirh, 2001).
There are four factors which facilitate the operation of KM cycle, namely KM strategy, KM metrics, technologies and KM team. First, developing a KM strategy is the first step to lead to information management success in an organization. The strategy should find out the problems that the organization is facing and come up with solutions to those problems (Robertson, 2004). The KM approach and prioritization of the alternatives which benefit the organization most should be identified (Dalkir, 2005). Second, since it is difficult to measure the performance of knowledge management, standardize metrics is needed to quantify the measure (Bose, 2004). Brown proposed KM metrics as the measurement for KM success. KM metrics are comprised of four measures which are awareness, behavior, outputs and outcomes (Brown, n.d.). Awareness refers to the organization’s knowledge of what and how to do concerning knowledge management. Behavior is people’s participation to the knowledge management activities. Outputs are the products of knowledge management practices. Outcomes bring impacts to the organization’s performance. Third, technologies help manage knowledge in the organization by acting as the medium for the flow of knowledge (Borghoff & Pareschi, 1997). Fourth, KM team is a group of professionals with different skills, attributes and backgrounds who work together to enhance the knowledge management practice in an organization. A good KM team should have sound communication, leadership, KM tools, strategic planning, knowledge of the organization, connection with the top, systems view and risk taking preparation (Dalkir, 2005). The Integrated KM Cycle is operated in the culture, which is the external factor that affects its performance.
Application of Knowledge management maturity model[edit | edit source]
Pee and Kankanhalli proposed the General Knowledge Management Maturity Models (G-KMMM) based on the review of different Knowledge Management Maturity Models to guide and assess the progress of knowledge management in an organization (2009). Their investigation emphasized the importance of people, process and technology factors to knowledge management development. Their proposed model put KM maturity level of an organization into 5 categories, namely initial, aware, defined, managed and optimizing. Their KM maturity assessment instrument had been tested in a big university. Their empirical study demonstrated G-KMMM was a good assessment tools for KM development.
Criteria for improvement of knowledge management practice[edit | edit source]
KM enablers are the stimulate elements of KM. It refers to the building of an infrastructure that facilitates KM. It helps to maintain a sustainable and systematic development of organizational knowledge. Lee and Choi pointed out that the KM enablers could be classified according to the socio-technical theory (2000). They assumed that there were two types of interacting system in an organization, namely social system and technical system. Social system referred to people, organization structure and organization culture. Technical system included processes and technology. They believed that KM enablers were the significant predictors for non-financial performance of an organization. Further, Ho also introduced an explanation of the relationship between KM process indices and KM enablers in addition to the previous researches (2009). He brought up five types of enablers in KM, namely culture, information technology, evaluation, strategy and leadership, which is more comprehensive when compared with Lee and Choi’s study. In his finding, he discovered that KM enablers had positive relationship with KM process indices. However, there was no significant positive correlation between the number of employees and KM process performance indices. Those researches showed that KM enablers were important control keys in the planning stage of KM.
Further KM development in Education – Integrated Knowledge Space (IKS)[edit | edit source]
Knowledge management in educational institution is different from that in business organization. As mentioned by Chavez, knowledge management is not only about capturing, storing and sharing of knowledge, it should include the effectiveness of collaboration and the way to improve the entire knowledge sharing system (2011). Schrage defined collaboration as the process of interacting and sharing of understandings of the same objects among individuals (1990). This can be applied to the university. Some studies suggested that interdisciplinary and cross-department collaborations should be adopted in the platform in order to fully utilize the knowledge resource (Tikhomirov et al., 2009). In addition to above studies, Tikhomirov, Tikhomirova, Maksimova and Telnov suggested that this kind of collaboration activities could be extended to all educational institution and formed the Integrated Knowledge Space (IKS) (2009). IKS is a platform which integrates the faculties, scholars and business people within the framework of distributed departments. (Tikhomirov et al., 2009). It can help higher educational institutions to achieve student’s self-learning as well as synergetic integration of educational and innovative process.
Methodology[edit | edit source]
This research aims at investigating knowledge management practices in a department of a university in Asia that offers general education to students. Two interviews were conducted with Dr. A, the Assistant Director and Mr. B, the Senior Executive Assistant of the department on 6th and 7th March 2012. Both interviews lasted for an hour and were taped with prior permission. The information that they provided were the main sources for this research.
A survey was also conducted for the staff of the department. There were 8 questions in the questionnaire which were classified into three categories. The first part gathered the respondents’ background information, the second part focused on their proficiencies in computer literacy and the third part collected their perceptions on knowledge sharing. 7 copies of questionnaire were distributed, but only 4 were returned. Due to the low response rate, the data collected were not comprehensive enough that it will only be considered as additional reference for the this study.
Applications of KM and Finding analysis[edit | edit source]
After interviewing the Assistant Director and the Senior Executive Assistant of the department, certain level of KM practices are identified within the department. In this part, applications of KM are categorized and analyzed using the framework of Integrated KM Cycle (Dalkir, 2005) (Noted that "KM Teams" is intentionally omitted, the reason will be explained in the limitation part of the report) and we aim to: See Figure 1
- Identify the current application of KM in the department by knowledge processing phrases
- Measure the level of KM implementation in the department by KM Metrics
- Analyze the KM Maturity level of the department by Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMMM)
Application of Knowledge Management[edit | edit source]
In order to identity and better understand the current KM practices in the department, the integrated KM cycle is used as a framework in our study. The three processing phrases in the KM cycle, namely "knowledge capture and creation", "knowledge sharing and disseminating" and "knowledge acquisition and application", are used to categorize the current KM activities within the department and the identified KM practices are as follows:
|Knowledge processing phrases||Existing representative KM Practices|
|Knowledge Capture and Creation|
|Knowledge Sharing and Disseminating|
|Knowledge Acquisition and Application|
Knowledge capture and creation[edit | edit source]
- Workplace Retreat (靜修)
- A “workplace retreat” programme was introduced to the department by the Assistant Director in last semester. Workplace retreat is an innovative programme which prompts not only knowledge creation but also knowledge sharing within the organization. As De La Mothe & Foray (2001) suggests, informal social activities outside workplace like retreat can serve as an appropriate instruments for a firm’s learning strategy. While staffs are invited to travel out of office, the peaceful surrounding could help stimulating reflections and brainstorms. It was aimed, by such platform, to create a strategic direction for the department and set themes for projects of next academic year.
- With specific activities held during the retreat, knowledge sharing culture can also be established in retreats. Hughes (1999) suggests that holding retreats can be a good opportunity for organizations to identify barriers to collaboration and to build bridges to improve communication, trust, and cohesiveness among staffs. Thus, it can encourage staffs to share their ideas. After all, a year plan will be constructed base on the ideas generated during the retreat.
- Knowledge Capture and Codification
- Structured method of capturing and codifying, no matter tacit or explicit knowledge, was not commonly found within the department. It might due to the lack of awareness that the organization’s knowledge has to be captured, organized and managed in a systematic way, so it can be retained can converted into organization’s asset. In the interview, we could only identify unstructured, elementary level of knowledge capture and codification. In summary, there is only one key practice for this category: Learn from others.
- By participating in different conference, exhibits or events held by similar educational organization, the department was able to learn from the experience of others. Indeed, community of such is an emerging form of tacit knowledge development where people can learn from each other (Binney, 2001). However, since the department did not intend to do any knowledge capture or codification, it limited the actual outcome for participating in these events.
Knowledge sharing and disseminating[edit | edit source]
- Community of Practice (CoP)
- Community of Practice, according to Lave & Wenger (1991), is a group of people who share a profession. It is hoped that by communication and sharing among the members, they can learn from each other and develop themselves personally and professionally (Lave & Wenger, 1991). CoP is, again, not intentionally held in the department. Yet, we found that an elementary level of CoP exist and run quite smoothly in the department. By holding weekly meetings and project evaluation meetings, staffs are asked to gathered and share their knowledge on event hosting and project management. As claimed by the Senior Executive Assistant in the interview, it had been proof an effective way for staffs to learn experience form history and from each other. However, as the CoP was not well-organized, given that no CoP roles (e.g. Facilitator, Champions) are defined, it was not well structured for sharing knowledge. To conclude, there is still a long way for CoP fully developed its potential benefit towards the department.
Knowledge acquisition and application[edit | edit source]
- Knowledge Reuse
- To make knowledge reusable, there are there main roles during the process (Markus, 2001):
- Knowledge producer: The original creator of the knowledge
- Knowledge intermediary: The one who packages and prepares the knowledge so that it can be stored, retrieved, and shared. This may involve any number of functions such as indexing, categorization, standardizing, publishing, mapping, etc.
- Knowledge consumer: The recipient and user of the knowledge in question.
- The knowledge intermediary plays a crucial role in building up objects library, to make knowledge objects available, so knowledge consumer can reuse the knowledge and avoid time wastage in reinventing the whole object.
- The department has long established a physical document library for the storage of past projects materials, including proposals, forms, letters, etc. These materials are used as reference for future project development. These documents are categorized according to timeframe, and placed in several corners in the office. As these materials are in paper form and they are not placed in order, staffs claimed that it is hard for them to retrieve the resources. In most cases, instead of searching for the old documents, they would tend to seek help directly from the former PIC of the particular event. It shows that knowledge reuse is not well developed in the department.
- In contrast, the department did a great job in performing a knowledge intermediary job externally. The department organized numerous events and seminars in the past years, and it accumulates a rich level of knowledge objects and resources. To make the knowledge objects available for reuse, the department has set up an external archive for storing and disseminating the video clips and event materials of workshops and seminar. Though it was reported that the usage rate was not very high due to the material content and promotion of the archive, it is a good direction for the department to make these knowledge objects available on the web and reusable in the future.
- Knowledge Repositories
- An internal document archive was set up to serve as a digital central storage tool. It presented as a share folder, which every staffs have to right to access, put files and share with each other. The internal archive aimed to centralize all the event documents for future reference. Especially when there is a high turnover rate in the past few years, new comers often found that they can barely catch up the administration work. Therefore, the internal archive was established with guidelines written from the staffs, so to ensure new comers can take up their job quickly and efficiently. However, as no one was assigned to manage of the internal archive, the archive is not well organized and maintained. Furthermore, as not all project documents were being collected, so some information was missing.
KM Metrics[edit | edit source]
According to Dalkir (2005), KM metrics include quantitative, qualitative, and anecdotal methods to measures how well KM is implemented within the organization. There are 4 KM metrics, namely awareness, behavior, output and outcome (Brown, n.d.).
Awareness[edit | edit source]
Awareness refers to knowledge of what to document, how to document it, how to access KM data base, etc (Brown, n.d.).
In the interview, they were asked what type of knowledge they would be documented. They said lots of documents were documented in share drive including temporary files and draft, but some of them are not co-relate to any meaningful outcome. There is no staff organizes the share drive and classifies what type of knowledge should or should not be documented. In addition, there are lots of informal meetings within the department. However, no records or minutes were taken in the meetings.
Besides, they said they would seek helps from different people when they have troubles rather than find the solution from the share drive. It shows that staffs in the department do not have the concept of knowledge management. They watch for knowledge everywhere when they require and depose it when they do not need it. The knowledge were lost instead of retaining in the department as their asset. So the staffs have use long time to find for the solution when they face the same problem.
Behavior[edit | edit source]
Behavior refers to participation in KM activities such as committees/teams, making presentation, etc. (Brown, n.d.).
When communication practice was concerned, both the Senior Executive Assistant and the Assistant Director said they communicated with other very frequently. All the staffs would participate in weekly meeting. The meeting was causal and aims to report the progress of the event that they were organizing. However, other KM related activities like mentorship programme were not well-participated within the department. For example, the mentorship programme should be a senior staff as a mentor and a junior staff as a mentee to form a pair or group in order to share their knowledge and skills, but not all the staffs were joined the programme and the programme was not smoothly run during a period of times.
Output[edit | edit source]
Output refers creation of data bases, white papers, lessons learned reports, best practice documentation, etc. (Brown, n.d.).
In the interview, two interviewees were asked whether there is any guideline for their work and they responded that there is no such thing in their department. They were also questioned about “do you have policies or guidelines for your work? If so, how do you access these kinds of documents or materials?” and “What sort of orientation or refresher training have you received?” The two dedicated interviewees presented there did not have any official guidelines or training materials for their reference.
Apart from these, there is a few lecture materials were provided by the department to public including student. The lecture materials such as lecture notes and videos were uploaded to the department archive randomly, not all the related materials were provided and accessed by all students.
Outcome[edit | edit source]
Outcome is the impact of new knowledge on key measures of organizational performance such as new product sales, productivity, cost reduction, or quality improvement (Brown, n.d.).
The interviewees were asked questions like “how do you add value to the department?” The assistant director responded how his past working experience can streamline the working process in this department now. The senior administrative assistant of the department responded the experience how he taught his colleagues use mail merge function to send mass email to the students and made some tutorials and white papers for how to use some specific functions in the software. After this practice, no staff needs to send thousands of similar emails one by one and hence the productivity of the department is higher than before.
It can be seemed that the interviewees experienced the advantage gained from knowledge management. However, since their KM just start from the initial stage, the level of outcome that created by KM was not apparent. Nevertheless, from the above four KM metrics, it can find that the practice of knowledge retaining and sharing within the department is at the low level.
General Knowledge Management Maturity Model (G-KMMM)[edit | edit source]
As proposed by Pee and Kankanhalli (2009), the general-KM maturity model (G-KMMM) integrated the existing KM maturity models and illustrated the life cycle of KM in an organization. G-KMMM composed 5 stages (see Appendix).
- Initial – No or little recognition of manage organization knowledge asset
- Aware – Organization starts to recognize knowledge management, but it does not have guidance on what to do
- Defined – Organization has assigned resources or infrastructures to support KM
- Managed – KM initiatives are well recognized
- Optimizing – KM is profoundly integrated with organization strategies and demonstrated improvements to the organization
To further investigate the KM development in an organization, Pee and Kankanhalli (2009) characterize each maturity level in context of Key Process Area (KPA) which included people, process and technology perspectives.
Their model is structured into assessment instrument for both academic and practice of KM development. In the following part, the G-KMMM assessment questions proposed by Pee and Kankanhalli (2009) are used for investigating the KM maturity level of the department.
People, as a KPA, include perspectives on organization culture, strategies and polices (Pee & Kankanhalli, 2009). Through the interview, we could conclude that the department was able to recognize knowledge as an important element for the department to grow in long term. The assistant director realized and kept emphasizing the problems on knowledge transitions (e.g. lack of job training for new staff). Both of the two interviewees understood and agreed knowledge management can help providing better working environment and sustain the development of the department. Every week, sessions were held for the staff to share the experience or issues encountered in the week. The face-to-face discussions were intensive in the department. The senior staffs were willing to sharing the knowledge and willing to answer questions from juniors. The top management (e.g. assistant director) was active to participate in staff discussion. However, it can be seen that they did not have a clear vision and planning for KM, it can be concluded they had not implement all the key practices at maturity level 3. To summarize, the department was at level 2 in maturity for people KPA.
As described by Pee and Kankanhalli (2009), the process KPA refers to the KM activities in the organization. With regard to the process KPA, the department used shared drive to store routine documents. However, there was no formal guideline or process to indicate what document should be store, how to update the content and who shall be the one to update. Since there was no responsible person to manage the share drive, the staffs just asked their colleagues, leaving the share drive idle. To conclude, the department only able to achieve at level 1 maturity in process KPA. For technology, it can be considered as internal and external infrastructures that support KM. Internally, the department did not have any pilot project about KM. The staff relied heavily on local document storage (e.g. the files on their own computer) and the share network drive only worked as an external storage place for the staffs.
For external, the department serviced as central hubs for students to learn about general issues other than their own disciplines. The department organized plenty of seminars and workshops throughout the year. Some of the seminars will be video captured and uploaded on the web archive. However, the online archive only offered simple playback function for the video. The access rate of the online archive was low. It can be summarized that the technology KPA was at level 1.
After the KM maturity evaluation, the comprehensive overview of KM can be structured. It can be seem that the department demonstrated a good atmosphere for KM to grow in terms of organization culture and the initiative of the top management. However, the management seemed did not have a clear KM planning and strategies. And the technology could not support staff capture and share the knowledge in the department. It can be considered that the KM maturity level was at level 1, more effort should be put on process and technology KPA.
Recommendation[edit | edit source]
As mentioned in the previous section, G-KMMM suggested that process, technology and people are Key Process Areas that should pay attention to for improvement. They are closely related to each other that the failure of either one will affect the whole KM implementation. Therefore, KM strategies(for process), KM technologies(for technology) and culture(for people) are emphasized to bring out a better KM practice in the department, With these strategies objectives and technical issue implemented the maturity level will be raised from initial stage of 1 to defined stage of 3 respectively.
There are many ways to improve KM practice, after considering various constraints like manpower, budget, and technical support level within the department, some recommendations are made.
KM strategies[edit | edit source]
The department relies on face to face conversation, which belongs to tacit to tacit knowledge transfer, heavily. However, tacit knowledge is difficult to formalize and communicate, and even many of them were being reinvented or lost in the transition. Besides, the department was facing ineffective knowledge sharing to the external (e.g. students). The objectives of the recommended strategy should be:
- Balancing the focus on more tacit to explicit knowledge transfer
- Minimizing the overhead on tacit knowledge transfer
- Establishing project cases and best practices for future reference (by After Action Reviews)
- Implementing coaching and mentoring programmes
- Establishing knowledge mapping and Communities of practice (CoP) for external events archive
KM Technologies[edit | edit source]
- Project team site
- For objective I, II, III and IV the department may consider use project team site (e.g. Google Site, MediaWiki) as a tool to formalize the KM activities (e.g. knowledge creation, capture) in the department. As Skyrme suggested people tend to recall knowledge better when it is received in the form of storytelling (2001), a project case is suggested as a learning tool for new staff. In order to capture the entire picture of the project, all the three type of projects (Seminars, Field Trips, Workshops) should be included. As the program natures are different, each of them should have an individual team site for future reference. Each project team site should consist of some formalized components: project announcements, project calendar, project details (project proposal, milestone, checklist, etc.), best practice, after action review and updates. The PIC (person-in-charge) is responsible for updating the team site for their projects.
- The project team sites offer standard structures of how to record the knowledge in a project. All the project details should be captured on the project site to ensure the accuracy of knowledge shared and avoid duplication of records. The project team site will act as a storytelling object and the reference for After Action Reviews, which is a learning process for participant to discover the problems in the project and discuss the related solution. The solutions generated can be displayed in the form of Frequently Asked Question(FAQ), which can refine the best practice for future reference (Skyrme, 2001). After the reviews, the best practice will be updated according to needs, so new staffs can learn the procedures through best practice and can look for the details in project cases. Best practices make use of roles and responsibilities to clearly identify the knowledge that need to be obtained when it is in certain role and training. Information should be limited to the maximum efficiency of accessing and learning the knowledge.
- Knowledge mapping and Community of Practice
- For the external knowledge dissemination, the department may consider using knowledge mapping and conducting virtual Community of Practice (CoP) for enhance the integrated knowledge space in the university. Wexler (2001) describes knowledge mapping is a new communication channel using graphical presentation of ideas, topics and stories between map creators and map users. What’s more, knowledge maps collect and organize explicit knowledge and present the relationship between different knowledge. In order to facilitate the knowledge dissemination to students, the department is suggested to apply knowledge mapping for students to study according to topics and relations. Students can choose their favorite topic and follow the study path in the knowledge map.
Culture[edit | edit source]
The experience of the department is relatively young that it is good for implementing KM, because people are more willing to share their knowledge when everyone is new and still in the learning stage. It is suggested that the department should provide more guides of the technologies adapted to the staff, as they will be more willing to practice knowledge management when they are more familiar with the technologies (Tikhomirov, Tikhomirova, Maksimova & Telnov, 2009).
Limitations and Conclusion[edit | edit source]
The department has long been developed a sharing culture, and it provided a strong foundation for KM development in the future. The staff recognized KM is an important element for long term success. However, it can be discovered that the department has no idea on what should be captured and how the captured knowledge can be disseminated more effectively. In the case study, the integrated KM cycle was applied to investigate the KM development of the department. See Figure 2
Together with the G-KMMM assessment, we structured a comprehensive view of the department’s KM implementation level. The integrated KM cycle, KM metrics and G-KMMM, as a framework of investigation, help us identify the key areas that need to be improved in different aspects of view.
The case study also implicated the KPAs (People, Process and Technology) worked as the principle of KM practices. All of the KPAs are co-related with each other and facilitate the KM activities to run smoother. Refer to Collison and Parcell suggestion (2004); knowledge management should be embedded in core processes. As demonstrated in the finding, the department seemed to neglect the importance of integrating their KM practices into their core routine tasks.
In the case study, we used interview for our primary research reference. There are times that interviewees might get out of track to our discussion and additional guidance had to be made in order to help the interviewees grasp the idea of the questions. In addition, more quantitative data should be collected by other survey methods (e.g. questionnaire) for double validation of the result.
"KM Teams" in the Integrated KM Cycle is intentionally omitted in our analysis. KM Teams refers to the KM professionals who work on a team and perform knowledge management in a firm. As quoted by A. A. Hodg (1823 -1886), these professionals should be the one “who knows the sources of knowledge—where it is written and where it is to be found.” However, due to the size of the department, it is not feasible for it to recruit any specialist in KM to implement KM and so KM Teams is not in our scope of study. Yet, as the department grows in size, there may be needs for setting up KM Team in the future and it leaves further investigation in the future.
For the future challenges in KM for the development, it can be foreseen that the KM practices were easily be isolated from organization goals. The new KM practices should put effort to enhance the organization competence by improving the organization creativity in organizing events.
Despite the current limitation, the case study demonstrated how the department was investigated by different diagnostic tools and what could be improved for the department in order to reach higher KM maturity level. However, the actual performance of KM could not be evaluated. As stated by Dalkir (2005), organization should quantify and qualify the result of KM performance (e.g. creativity). To recommend further study, we suggest more focus should be put on how KM can actually improve the organization performance.
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Please post your comments here
Tang Chi Yung: For reference, "Bose, Ranjit" should be sorted before "Brown, Mark".
Tung Chui Chui: In the "Knowledge Sharing" part, the sub-title should be more clarified.
Chau Cho Lin: For the literature review, the implementation of KM in higher education can be more elaborated.