Ethical and Legal Issues in Knowledge Management Life-Cycle in Business

Ethical and Legal Issues in Knowledge Management Life-Cycle in Business

Priti Jain (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1965-2.ch006
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In this Knowledge-based economy knowledge is the driver of economic growth and knowledge management (KM) is seen as a strategic tool by most successful organizations. ICTs have transformed the way information and knowledge are acquired, created, stored and shared. These days, social media has become a mainstream for internal and external communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing. As the importance of KM is increasing, the numbers of ethical and legal issues also are escalating through-out the KM life-cycle from knowledge creation to knowledge maintenance, such as, issues related to privacy, confidentiality, plagiarism, ownership and intellectual property. Advanced technologies have raised new concerns and issues regarding KM and business at large in the form of ethical challenges. This chapter discusses the ethical and legal issues in Knowledge Management Life-Cycle in Business. In its conclusion, the chapter presents recommendations to overcome some of the ethical and legal challenges of KM in business.
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Concept Of Knowledge Management And Ethics

Knowledge management is defined in different ways by academics, practitioners and KM proponents. It is defined as “a mix of fluid experiences, values, contextual information and intuition” (Davenport and Prusak, 1998, p. 5). According to O'dell, Grayson and Essaides (1998), KM is a “conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time and helping people share and put information into action in ways that strive to improve organizational performance” (p. 6). David Skyrme associates (2011) defines KM as “a process or practice of creating, acquiring, capturing, sharing, and using knowledge, wherever it resides, to enhance learning and performance in organizations”. Thus, KM is a purposeful strategy of managing and providing the right knowledge to the right people at the right time in order to improve employees learning and overall organizational performance and productivity. It is a complex activity comprising of various processes such as, knowledge identification, acquisition, creation, storage, organization, sharing and utilization. Knowledge is based on the experience, action-oriented and visionary, which refers to both tacit and explicit knowledge.

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