Designing OMIS-Based Collaboration for Learning Organizations

Designing OMIS-Based Collaboration for Learning Organizations

Kam Hou Vat
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch144
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Today, the view that knowledge is a valuable organizational resource has become widely recognized and accepted in the business community. This is largely due to the emergence of the knowledge-based economy (OECD, 1996), characterized by a highly competitive and turbulent business environment. One consequence is the increase in organizations’ efforts to deliberately manage knowledge. Organizations are realizing that their competitive edge is mostly the intellectual capital (brainpower) (Stewart, 1997) of their employees, and they are particularly interested in harnessing their human resources in order to stay ahead of the pack, through their soaring attention on specific aspects of knowledge management (De Hoog, van Heijst, van der Spek et al., 1999), which deals with the conceptualization, review, consolidation, and action phrases of creating, securing, combining, coordinating, and retrieving knowledge. Undeniably, with Web-based and intranet technologies (Dunn & Varano, 1999), the connectivity and possible sharing of organizational knowledge (bits and pieces of individual know-how scattered throughout the organization) are greatly enabled to cultivate the knowledge culture of the organization. In a knowledge-creating organization (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995), employees are expected to continually improvise and invent new methods to deal with unexpected difficulties, and to solve immediate problems and share these innovations with other employees through some effective communication channels or knowledge-transfer mechanisms. In fact, complete organizational knowledge is created only when individuals keep modifying their knowledge through interactions with other organizational members. The challenge that organizations now face is how to devise suitable information system (IS) support (Vat, 2000, 2002a, 2002b) to turn the scattered, diverse knowledge of their people into well-documented knowledge assets ready for deposit and reuse to benefit the whole organization. This article presents some learning organization perspectives of employee-based collaboration through the design of a specific IS support called the organizational memory information system—hence, the term OMIS.

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