Knowledge Management Systems

Knowledge Management Systems

Petter Gottschalk (Norwegian School of Management, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-933-5.ch205
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Abstract

As we trace the evolution of computing technologies in business, we can observe their changing level of organizational impact. The first level of impact was at the point work got done and transactions (e.g., orders, deposits, reservations) took place. The inflexible, centralized mainframe allowed for little more than massive number crunching, commonly known as electronic data processing. Organizations became data heavy at the bottom and data management systems were used to keep the data in check. Later, the management information systems were used to aggregate data into useful information reports, often prescheduled, for the control level of the organization – people who were making sure that organizational resources like personnel, money, and physical goods were being deployed efficiently. As information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) started to facilitate data and information overflow, and corporate attention became a scarce resource, the concept of knowledge emerged as a particularly high-value form of information (Grover & Davenport, 2001). Information technology can play an important role in successful knowledge management initiatives. However, the concept of coding and transmitting knowledge in organizations is not new: training and employee development programs, organizational policies, routines, procedures, reports, and manuals have served this function for many years. What is new and exciting in the knowledge management area is the potential for using modern information technology (e.g., the Internet, intranets, extranets, browsers, data warehouses, data filters, software agents, expert systems) to support knowledge creation, sharing and exchange in an organization and between organizations. Modern information technology can collect, systematize, structure, store, combine, distribute and present information of value to knowledge workers (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998).

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