Information Science and Knowledge Management Maturity: A Case Study in a Public Pharmaceutical Laboratory

Information Science and Knowledge Management Maturity: A Case Study in a Public Pharmaceutical Laboratory

Sandro Bastos dos Santos, Adelaide Maria de Souza Antunes, Jorge Lima de Magalhães
Copyright: © 2025 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7366-5.ch021
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The 21st century is known as the age of knowledge and informational data. This revolution in the way of managing knowledge required organizations to reinvent themselves in the search for competitive advantages. New models or strategic management tools have come to confer advantages for organizations. In this context, knowledge management (KM) is presented as a set of processes to govern the creation, storage, dissemination, and use of knowledge, aiming to improve organizational performance. This differential requires companies to carry out a previous diagnosis in order to know their strengths and weaknesses. Assessing the degree of maturity in KM supports the elaboration of a management plan, as well as improving the level of development and indicating points of improvement, evolution, and progress of organizations. This work uses information technology to diagnose the level of maturity in KM in a public pharmaceutical industry. Results showed a reasonable degree of maturity and that it is necessary to improve the implementation of equitable KM at all levels of the organization.
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Technological advances and the resulting increase in access to information have provoked intense transformations in social and organizational relationships. The organizational environments provided the density in the flow of information, so that the search for improvement of resources to deal with the volume of informational and technological data is always constant.

The need to manage information, as well as the knowledge acquired through them, leads to a constant search to better manage Knowledge Management (KM) in organizations. Alvarenga Neto (2002) defines KM as:

The set of activities aimed at promoting organizational knowledge, enabling organizations and their employees to always use the best information and knowledge available, with a view to achieving organizational goals and maximizing competitiveness (Alvarega Neto, 2002).

Starting from the premise that information science (IS) is dedicated to the problems of records of the effective communication of knowledge, there is a relationship between the application of KM and IS, in which, characterized by its interdisciplinarity, it demonstrates the need for knowledge and management of organizational information (Montanheiro, 2006).

However, when thinking about any initiative that involves the adoption or implementation of KM, there is a need to carry out a previous diagnosis, so that the strengths and weaknesses of the organization are known, and then direct more effective actions in relation to KM. In this sense, organizations are advised to assess their degree of maturity in KM, so that they can support the elaboration of a KM plan and justify the importance of KM practice. For this, they can make use of maturity models, which show the level of development and indicate points of improvement and assess the evolution and progress of organizations in relation to KM (Oliveira et al., 2011; Batista, 2012; Souza, n.d.; Helou, n.d.; Sonh, 2018).

In this sense, this work used Information Technology to diagnose the level of maturity in KM in a Public Pharmaceutical Laboratory (PPL) that covers the activities of drug production, scientific research, technological development and education. A qualitative and quantitative approach was used, and the work is exploratory-descriptive and applied through a case study. Data were collected through interviews applied from senior management to the operational level of the institution. The results achieved demonstrate the degree of maturity of the PPL.

Considering the research universe to be a public organization, the model adopted as a reference was the Knowledge Management Model for the Brazilian Public Administration (MGCAPB - Brazilian term) (Batista, 2012). The model was adapted to the reality of the Brazilian public sector, which has its own instrument to assess the maturity of the KM.

This instrument makes it possible to identify the level of maturity in KM that the organization is and to assess the maturity in KM based on seven dimensions, namely: leadership in KM, processes, people, technology, knowledge processes, learning and innovation, and results of the KM, which are scored on a scale from 1 to 5, according to the real evidence of the actions described in the instrument itself. The model has five maturity levels, related to the score obtained, ranging from the “reaction” level (lowest) to the “maturity” level (highest), which show the result of the evaluation (Batista, 2012):

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