Tools for Supporting Knowledge Management: Knowledge Internalization Through E-Learning

Tools for Supporting Knowledge Management: Knowledge Internalization Through E-Learning

Raquel Sanchis (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-070-7.ch008
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Abstract

This chapter presents a general overview of the relationships between information and communications technologies (ITCs) and the process of Knowledge Management (KM). ITCs through KM tools support the processes to obtain, use and exploit, create and discover, capture, organize and classify, and share and disseminate knowledge. In literature, many classifications of KM tools are defined but problems like bad structures and lacks of understanding have caused the definition of a structured and integrated classification of KM tools. The importance of obtaining knowledge is the reason to analyze KM tools classification in order to obtain profitable information to select the most appropriate one. E-learning techniques have been chosen as the most excellent method to turn explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge (internalization process), therefore a description of this technique will be developed. But the process of selecting the most suitable e-learning platform is difficult; hence a classification of the most relevant characteristics that will guide users will be defined.
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Introduction

The increasing importance of knowledge is modifying the ways to manage organizations to obtain optimal results. Knowledge is a very important resource for any organization in order to preserve its cultural patrimony, to learn new things and to create new methods to solve new problems. It is a fundamental resource for organizations, and human resources are important players because they are the owners of the individual knowledge. Knowledge is an intangible asset, and its nature makes it difficult to manage. One of the most important challenges of organizations is to develop techniques, tools and oriented methods to create, obtain, assimilate, manage and apply the knowledge.

Currently, a great amount of organizations have understood that one of its strategic objectives, is to manage the knowledge with the creation and development of Knowledge Management (KM) technologies and tools to support this process. But the main problem is that Knowledge Management is a trendy concept, but its understanding is poorly applied in real cases. Knowledge has meant and means a challenge of great dimensions for organizations.

Organizations need a new approach of their organizational culture, and information and communication technologies (ICTs), support the activities associated to KM process in order to promote the generation of new competitive advantages. The applications of ICTs to KM process, cause the creation of KM tools. A great amount of tools classified as KM tools exist, but this rich variety and volume of tools have caused that several authors have performed numerous classifications of them. These categorizations try to describe and organize KM tools and their associated technologies. But problems like, bad structures and lack of understanding, appear within these frameworks. Tools, those are very different due to its conceptualization and functionality, are included in the same group. This fact produces serious incoherencies. Moreover, many of these classifications are presented as a simple list of KM tools without any type of connection. KM tools are in continuous evolution, but the classifications found in literature, do not allow integrating new tools that will be developed in the future.

Therefore, it is necessary to define a classification that resolves these problems. Within the project titled ‘Integration of Business Processes, Knowledge Management and Decision Support Tools in Supply Chain of Industrial SMEs (GNOSIS)’, research project financed by the InterMinisterial Commission of Science and Technology (CICYT) with reference number DP2002-01755, a study about KM tools has been developed. The results generated in the framework of this project are a classification of KM tools, within a well defined framework, the knowledge creation cycle adapted from Skyrme (1999) and the well-known cycle of Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), in order to provide an integrated and structured view.

The development of this framework has enabled to establish an organized structure of KM tools. And one of our main objectives is focused on the internalization as a process to turn explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge, in order to apply their tacit knowledge to achieve their goals. If knowledge is explicit but it is not internalized, will not be incorporated into one’s self’, and this process is indispensable to make an optimal use of it. Therefore, taking this hypothesis as a starting point, we will focus on the obtaining stage through e-learning techniques as a KM tool that has the power of communication, organization, management and training.

Firstly, our intention is to make readers, familiarize with the basic concepts of e-learning. A brief state-of-the-art on e-learning will be exposed, which will treat from the pedagogical and technological perspective.

After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning, a classification of the most relevant characteristics to select the optimal configuration of the e-learning platform will be explained. In this section, e-learning characteristics have been integrated within an adapted e-learning cube (Garlasu et al., 2005) in which three dimensions are included. E-learning characteristics have been classified according to the content, infrastructure and e-services dimensions as a guide to make the selection easier.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Knowledge Management and Virtual Organizations
Chapter 1
Fernando Garrigos
This chapter presents the interrelationships between professional virtual communities and social networks, and analyzes how, and in what ways, these... Sample PDF
Interrelationships Between Professional Virtual Communities and Social Networks, and the Importance of Virtual Communities in Creating and Sharing Knowledge
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Chapter 2
Luis V. Casaló
The rapid growth of virtual communities has created a new interest in researchers. Indeed, understanding these communities is especially relevant... Sample PDF
The Role of Trust, Satisfaction, and Communication in the Development of Participation in Virtual Communities
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Chapter 3
Cesar Camison
Organisations are finding it more difficult to keep abreast with the pace of change. The continuous rise of business opportunities and the increase... Sample PDF
Can Virtual Networks Encourage Knowledge Absorptive Capacity?
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Chapter 4
Montserrat Boronat Navarro
In this study we adopt an inter-organizational view to examine virtual organizations. Thus, we understand this phenomenon as a strategic agreement... Sample PDF
Knowledge Integration Through Inter-Organizational Virtual Organizations
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Chapter 5
Mark E. Nissen
In today’s increasingly networked world of organizational practice, information and computer technologies are enabling people and organizations to... Sample PDF
Visualizing Knowledge Networks and Flows to Enhance Organizational Metacognition in Virtual Organizations
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Chapter 6
Eduardo Bueno Campos
The aim of this chapter is to deepen the concept of ‘Communities of Practice’ (CoPs) from the understanding of a reference framework for knowledge... Sample PDF
Model on Knowledge-Governance: Collaboration Focus and Communities of Practice
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Chapter 7
Josep Capó-Vicedo
This chapter highlights the necessity of establishing relationships with other companies and external agents in order to empower the creation and... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management in SMEs Clusters
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Chapter 8
Raquel Sanchis
This chapter presents a general overview of the relationships between information and communications technologies (ITCs) and the process of... Sample PDF
Tools for Supporting Knowledge Management: Knowledge Internalization Through E-Learning
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Chapter 9
Cesar Camison, Carlos Devece, Daniel Palacios, Carles Camisón-Haba
In this chapter we describe a practical tool useful to managing knowledge in the firm. It has already been introduced and tested in several firms... Sample PDF
The Value of Virtual Networks for Knowledge Management: A Tool for Practical Development
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Chapter 10
M. Eugenia Fabra, Cesar Camison
Companies are increasingly conscious of the fact that the achieving of their objectives, together with the improvement of their competitive... Sample PDF
Human Capital and E-Learning: Developing Knowledge Through Virtual Networks
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Chapter 11
Júlio Da Costa Mendes
This chapter looks to analyse new paradigms in the relationship between public and private organisations towards tourism destinations. It proposes... Sample PDF
The Development of Knowledge and Information Networks in Tourism Destinations
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Chapter 12
E. Claver-Cortés
Government agencies are being pressed to become more efficient. For this reason, e-government strategies result from the expectations from society... Sample PDF
E-Government Challenges: Barriers and Facilitators in Spanish City Councils
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Chapter 13
Hindupur Ramakrishna
The chapter presents a conceptual framework that identifies technological and organizational factors that impact the success of business analytics... Sample PDF
Business Analytics Success: A Conceptual Framework and an Application to Virtual Organizing
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Chapter 14
Andrew Targowski
This chapter provides theoretical analysis and synthesis of how computer applications are applied in problem-solving and decision-making in practice... Sample PDF
The Evolution from Data to Wisdom in Decision-Making at the Level of Real and Virtual Networks
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Chapter 15
Editor Conclusions  (pages 278-279)
Cesar Camison
The study of virtual organizations encompasses several research fields, and the variables involved in each of them are sometimes closely related.... Sample PDF
Editor Conclusions
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Chapter 16
Andrew P. Sage, Cynthia T. Small
This chapter describes a complex adaptive systems (CAS)-based enterprise knowledge-sharing (KnS) model. The CAS-based enterprise KnS model consists... Sample PDF
A Complex Adaptive Systems-Based Enterprise Knowledge Sharing Model
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Chapter 17
James G. Williams, Kai A. Olsen
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened competition in the telecommunications market in the U.S. and forced the incumbent telecommunications... Sample PDF
Developing a Telecommunication Operation Support Systems (OSS): The Impact of a Change in Network Technology
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Chapter 18
Tor Guimaraes
Emerging agent-based systems offer new means of effectively addressing complex decision processes and enabling solutions to business requirements... Sample PDF
Enabling the Virtual Organization with Agent Technology
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Chapter 19
Jens Gammelgaard
In geographically dispersed organizations, like multinational corporations (MNCs), contextual gaps exist between senders and receivers of knowledge.... Sample PDF
Virtual Communities of Practice: A Mechanism for Efficient Knowledge Retrieval in MNCs
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About the Contributors