Research Paper on Knowledge Management Systems:
At the present epoch of a great technological progress and rapid development of IS, knowledge management is getting to be increasingly more important in the process of functioning of any organization or company. In fact, knowledge management is nowadays more important than it has ever been before because the present epoch is characterized by an unprecedented growth of technological and scientific knowledge, development of new technologies and, naturally, knowledge gradually becomes the main value of the modern world. In other words, knowledge is on of the key conditions of prosperity of organizations as well as individuals. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that knowedge is a unique notion since it highly depends on individual’s ability to acquire, produce and share knowledge. The latter is particularly important in knowledge management since sharing is one of the basic methods that contribute to the spread of certain knowledge in an organization and its effective implementation. In such a way, the development of an effective knowledge management system, it is extremely important to develop effective sharing methods since they provide an excellent opportunity to spread the information and knowledge between employees working in an organization.
Obviously, the development of the effective sharing methods of information system, it is necessary to find out its basic principles and the ways of realization. On analyzing the sharing methods of knowledge management, it is primarily necessary to clearly define the term. At first glance, the meaning is self-obvious and knowledge sharing implies that this method of knowledge management aims at the encouragement of the sharing of knowledge or information between members of staff within an organization.
However, when this concept is probed more deeply, knowledge management teams tend to start talking about ‘capturing tacit knowledge’ and other similar topics. In this respect, it should be said that there are a variety of ways of sharing knowledge and information and mind mapping may be named among the most popular. In fact, literally speaking mind map is a diagram used to words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. This technique may be quite effective since it can be used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas that are extremely important in knowledge management sharing. Moreover, it also helps better understand, clearly deliver and systemize the information that is supposed to be shared within an organization.
Obviously, in order to share knowledge and information effectively, it is necessary to produce a possibly larger influence on individual’s senses and, in this respect, mind map may be quite helpful.
It is also worthy of mention that Tony Buzan (1991) suggests the following foundation structures for mind mapping as one of the most effective methods of sharing information: 1) start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least three colors;2) use images, codes, symbols and dimensions throughout the mind map; 3) select key words and print using upper or lower case letters; 4) each word/image must be alone and sitting on its own line; 5) the lines must be connected, starting from the central image, the central lines are thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate out from the centre; 6)make the lines the same lengths as the word/image; 7) use colors throughout the mind map; 8) develop your own personal style of mind mapping; 9) use emphasis and show associations in your mind map; 10) keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.
Also, it is possible to suggest some other methods of sharing information which may be quite useful. For instance, not less effective than methods mentioned above are face to face conferences. As a rule, they help establish a strong and direct contact between the participants of the conference. Also it can contribute to the development of closer interpersonal contacts since participants of face to face conferences directly communicate with each other and, what is more important, they do not use any devices to communicate that makes it possible to fully realize the potential of the non-verbal communication that is extremely important for better understanding between people and their mutual work. The important characteristic of these conferences is the fact that they are really face to face that leads to the direct sharing of knowledge and information between the participants.
Meeting is another method of sharing knowledge and information. In fact, meeting is quite similar to face to face conference but it is necessary to emphasize that, unlike the latter, meeting has a number of drawbacks. For instance, meeting does not contribute to the higher interpersonal contact, instead of face to face communication, this method rather implies that sharing of knowledge occur on the mass scales. Practically, it means that some information or knowledge may be delivered to the mass audience. Naturally, such a mass perception is less effective because of the lack of direct contact with the ‘sharer’ and the audience as well as there may be a lot of distracting factors. On the other hand, meeting provides the opportunity to share knowledge and information with a substantially larger number of people in shorter terms compared to face to face conference.
In this respect, it is worthy of mention that video conferencing is a kind of alternative or rather a combination of both methods mentioned above, i.e. face to face conference and meeting, that may be also quiet effective in sharing knowledge and information. To put it more precisely, the video conferencing basically emerged due to the development of new telecommunication technologies and provides the opportunity to establish a direct contact with each participant of the conference and, at the same time, involve a large number of people in the conference since the physical presence of the ‘sharer’ is not essential and, in actuality, the ‘sharer’ communicates virtually. In such a way, due the use of the recent technological achievement the information may be shared virtually without physical presence of the participants in one and the same room.
However, there are more conventional methods of sharing of knowledge and information such as story telling which is traditionally defined as an art of conveying events in words, images and sounds (Novak 1993). At the present days, story telling became an effective tool of knowledge sharing that involves not only oral or written conveying of information of knowledge but also new sophisticated tools that can convey visual images, sounds, etc.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that nowadays knowledge management, being extremely important, should take into consideration the necessity to develop effective systems of sharing information. Obviously, the effective information system developed within an organization may use a variety of methods of knowledge and information sharing and the five mentioned above are only few of them but the most widely spread and popular. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that each method and technique has its own advantages and drawbacks. This is why, on using any of them, it is necessary to take into consideration the target audience, i.e. the receivers of the knowledge, technological level of the organization, essence of shared knowledge, skills and abilities of the ‘sharer’. Nevertheless, the most important thing about the knowledge management worth to remember is the fact that it is primarily necessary to make the staff conscious of the necessity to share knowledge and information between colleagues since often people resist to sharing their own knowledge with other members of the team and that will make the information system much more effective as the knowledge and information are effectively spread and perceived by all members of an organization.
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