Knowledge Management Systems: Conditions for Success

Certain factors or concerns also need to be considered in order to make this firm’s investment in Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) worthwhile. There is need for a major transformation in organisational culture to create desire to share, (give and receive). When there is organisational culture barrier, people tend to hoard their knowledge. One of the reasons why employees don’t share knowledge is the belief that knowledge is power and that hoarding it guarantees job security. Employees also tend to believe that there is no credit for knowledge sharing or won’t be able to own it anymore if they share. There might also not be time for knowledge sharing or afraid of making mistakes or being reprimanded. Some employees also do not know how to share knowledge or do not realise that their knowledge is valuable to the organisation.

In order to solve these problems, employees need to be educated on the value of knowledge and how they can be shared and used. Also, reward and recognition systems should be revamped and make knowledge sharing a requirement of the job. Employees should be made aware that making mistakes is not a crime, but an opportunity to learn and know more.

Other concerns are the development of methods that ensure that knowledge bases are kept current and relevant, and a commitment at all levels of a firm for it to succeed. It is important that all employees work together by pursuing the same aim or goal for the firm to progress. When employees are willing to work for the firm with commitment, then an investment in knowledge management systems will yield results. According to Davenport et al., knowledge management success factor could be links to ‘economic performance or industry value; a technical and organisational infrastructure; a standard, flexible knowledge structure; a knowledge-friendly culture; a clear purpose and language; a change in motivational practices; multiple channels for knowledge transfer; and senior management support’.

In conclusion, Knowledge management system is surely most suitable information system for this organisation. This is because it is a new strategic initiative that is changing the paradigm of information systems from the one of processing data and providing information to one of harvesting and capitalising on the knowledge of an entire organisation, ranging from expertise in individual’s heads to documented material. In today’s global business climate, companies must be able to retain and transfer internal information quickly from one party to another. The internet has not changed the need for information sharing; it has only lowered the barriers inhibiting such transfer of knowledge. The introduction of knowledge management system will empower employees in this firm to perform better due to the opportunity to contribute and receive knowledge during their time with the organisation. This will guarantee a competitive advantage over other firms who do not have this information system.

However, it is important to note that a robust knowledge management system alone without considering the factors that affect it, will not guarantee success for the firm, but a lack of a KMS will also put the firm at a great disadvantage in comparison to the Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) initiatives by competitors.

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