The New Generation of Knowledge Management for the Web 2.0 Age: KM 2.0

The New Generation of Knowledge Management for the Web 2.0 Age: KM 2.0

Imed Boughzala (TELECOM Business School, France) and Moez Limayem (University of Arkansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch805

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Traditional Knowledge Management

The interest in KM dates back to the early 90s when companies realized the strategic value of knowledge as a competitive resource and a factor of stability for their survival (Spender, 1996). There is more than one definition of KM. Mentzas (2004 p.116) defines KM as the “discipline of enabling individuals, teams and entire organizations to collectively and systematically create, share and apply knowledge, to better achieve the business objectives”. “KM efforts can help individuals and groups to share valuable organizational insights, to reduce redundant work, to avoid reinventing the wheel per se, to reduce training time for new employees, to retain intellectual capital as employees turnover in an organization, and to adapt to changing environments and markets” (McAdam and McCreedy, 2000 (as sited in Wikipedia).

According to Ikyjiro Nonaka (1994), Knowledge Creation is a spiralling and continuous process of interactions between explicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge which is codified and transmitted as information in formal and systematic language (e.g. rules, procedures) and tacit knowledge which is personal and deeply internalized, embodied in practice and action and so hard to be formalized and communicated (e.g. talent, hand-turn) (Polanyi, 1966). Spender (1996) has qualified a part of this tacit knowledge as implicit which is the only part that could be codified. The interactions between the explicit and tacit knowledge lead to the creation of new knowledge. The combination of the two categories makes it possible to conceptualize four conversion patterns: Socialization, Externalization, Combination and Internalization (Nonaka, 1994).

The Japanese culture inspired Ikyjiro Nonaka and and Noburo Konno to introduce the concept of ba in 1996 to represent a shared space for emerging relationships that serves as a foundation for Knowledge Creation (Nonaka, 1998). This space can be physical (e.g. office, dispersed business space), mental (e.g. shared experiences, ideas and ideals) or any combination of them. This concept which is difficult to be translated in Western languages, could be defined as the pooling context in which knowledge is shared, created and used through interaction.

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