The present report is targeted at the information consulting companies, which offer enterprise resource planning services to the organization. These companies offer resource management services to the customers, as the customer face several issues related to the enterprise management, business, situations, and problems. Different customers faces different issues related to the information consulting; therefore, it is important to identify an effective method to address the requirements of the organization (Tsai, Chang & Chen, 2006). The present problem is identified with CATWOE analysis and RCA method. The CATWOE analysis is a simple method, which can stimulate thinking to identify the solutions to different problems. It analyzes the interaction between the system and the processes. It stands for Client, Actors, World view, owners, and environment.
Clients: The clients of the current system are the stakeholders, who are affected by the system. In the present, it includes the customers, information service provider organization, and the employee in the information service provider organization.
Actors: The actors in the present situation include the people, who implement the changes. It includes the employee and management of the service-provider organization.
Transformation: The Company requires a knowledge management system, which can be used for storing the information in the system.
World view: The world view refers is the process in which, a justification is provided for the overall system. A knowledge management system will ease the process for the entire organization, the employees can easily find the solution to the problems. They will not have to conduct through research for each and every problem. However, it will increase the convenience for each of the problem.
Owner: The owner of the present problem is information intensive organization.
Environmental Constraints: It includes the constraints, under which the system works, it includes the ethical limits, financial constraints, and the project scope. There are several issues, such as financial issues, and resource limitations, which can impact on the implementation of the system (Belton & Stewart, 2002).
The root cause analysis is used to identify the underlying causes in a particular problem. The 5 Whys technique is used to explore the cause and effect relationship in a particular problem.
- Why: the employees take lot of time in offering solutions to the clients
- Why: The employees have to thoroughly research for each and every problem
- Why: Individual research takes tome
- Why: There is no system to store previous information
- Why: The management has not developed an individual system for managing the knowledge in the organization (Castaneda-Mendez, 2012).
The research question of the proposed study is, “the importance of knowledge management in information consulting companies?”
Kwong (2016) has discussed that the present is the era of information technology, in which the information is considered as an important asset to increase the competitive advantage of the organizations. Due to the confrontation of this challenge, the companies are seeking new ways to increase their competitive advantage. In the past, different departments of an organization work in an isolated manner, without coordinating with each other. In the past, the computer systems were not that advanced; therefore, they cannot be linked and developed into an integrated structure. Recently, knowledge management systems have been developed which can be effectively used to address the market demand, reduce delivery time, and results in effective use of the organization resources.
In the views of Dalkir & Beaulieu (2017), the knowledge management system implementation includes planning, communication, and system establishment. The EROP system implementation initiates with the planning, communication, system implementation, and the system diagnosis. It has strong knowledge management implications for the organization. There are three levels of knowledge, the first level is that of data, the second level is information, which includes the sender, receiver and the information. The information includes the value, judgment, vision, intuition, and other values.
According to Grover & Froese (2016), the knowledge which exists in an organization can be divided in two categories. It includes explicit and tacit nature of information. The explicit knowledge is present in more objective or concrete form. This knowledge can be expressed by specific language, and it can easily propagate to other parts of the organization. The tacit knowledge is present within the personnel of the organization. It includes the information, which is developed by the personal emotions and experience of the people. It is subjective and unique information and cannot be solidified in the organization. It is a shapeless form of knowledge, and cannot be shared easily, with other parts of knowledge. There are different transformation models, such as, unification, externalization, combination, and internalization, which can provide suggestion for the knowledge management. The unification is the process, in which the information is converted by sharing the experience of every individual of the organization. People exchange information with each other, which can be used to establish a mutual agreement. The externalization is the process, in which explicit information is developed through implication, analogy, assumption, and models. By effective and systematic management, explicit information is combined to form a methodical system of information sharing.
In the perspective of Power, Sharda, & Burstein (2015), the explicit information can be converted into tacit knowledge. The experience is internalized into the tacit knowledge by these processes. The knowledge management is the systematic approach to utilize the information so that the innovation, responsiveness, productivity, and capability of the organization. The knowledge management is used to transfer the information, experience, and operational procedure to develop the competitive advantage of the organization. The tools of the knowledge management can be used to convert the tacit knowledge of the organization into explicit knowledge. However, it requires intensive coordination process. The knowledge management is the process in which the innovation, responsiveness, productivity, and capability of the organization is developed.
In the views of Donate & de Pablo (2015), the purpose of the knowledge management is to create an integrated environment in which there is easy information exchange, and the knowledge is created for each employee. Two different strategies can be used in the knowledge management of the organization. The systematic strategy is the approach in which the knowledge is specifically classified and encoded. The encoded knowledge is stored in the database. This information can easily be accessed by every member in the organization. Another one is personalized strategy in which every employee of the organization has developed a personal strategy for the management of the knowledge in the organization. In this strategy, sharing and the exchange of the information is conducted through interpersonal contact. An organization can also use performance evaluation methods to assure that there is adequate provision for information sharing and flow in the organization. It can be critiqued that by proper matching with information technology, the companies can save the knowledge, present at the organization. It will assist the retrieval of the information from other people in the organization. It is a systematic strategy for the knowledge management.
According to Gold, Malhotra, & Segars (2001) establishing learning-type organizations can reform the system, and it can also change the information technology infrastructure, so that a unique structure can be created in the organization. A knowledge sharing infrastructure can also be created in the organization. The knowledge sharing can be divided into individual and groups. Teamwork is also an essential component of the knowledge sharing, which can be further divided into high and low interaction. The knowledge management can provide different models, namely, innovation, competency, responsiveness, and productivity. The personal competency begins with the personal knowledge. With the help of knowledge sharing, the organization’s productivity can be enhanced.
According to Gibbert, Leibold, & Probst (2002), the combination of the personal competency and the teamwork can enhance the interaction between the users. The teamwork and personal competency can enhance the overall knowledge of the organization. The sharing of innovation with groups can enhance the probability of innovation. The organization can also receive advanced knowledge, which can enhance the responsiveness capabilities of the organization.
In the views of Du Plessis (2007), the objective of knowledge management is to utilize the knowledge, and enhance the knowledge sharing so that the overall competiveness and the innovation capabilities of the organization. The learning organizations are those organizations, in which every employee makes continuous efforts for the learning and development. The knowledge development and the learning organizations are interlinked terms. The process in the knowledge management must be focused on the human resources, training and development and information technology of the organization. The human resource planning refers to the holistic development of the employees working in the organization. The personal training of the employees refers to the classification, accumulation, sharing, and propagation of the information so that knowledge management can be achieved. Several organizations are focused on developing as learning type of organizations; however, it requires radical change in the culture of the organization.
In the perception of Esper, Ellinger, Stank, Flint & Moon (2010), the organization is willing to develop and share knowledge continuously, it can transform the valuable intelligence into information which can provide continuous competitive edge to the organization. There are several factors of the foundation of the learning organizations, which includes knowledge, experience and other data, which can transform the organization. With knowledge management, information can be classified, stored, shared, and recycled.
According to Taylor & Joudrey (2017), the knowledge management can be very beneficial to the consulting companies. The consultants provide several services, such as managing, analyzing, diagnosis, and giving advices to the business management. The business consultancy services can also be provided if there is proficiency in a specific skill. It is important that the consulting firm has the professional knowledge for providing services or the firm has the ability to pursue investigation and analysis of the organization status. It should be capable of proposing corrective actions and suggestions to the organization, and have recommendations to improve the productivity of the organization.
In the views of Taylor & Joudrey (2017), knowledge organization must possess the professional knowledge and the capability. They should also possess the intent and the ambition to enhance their professional knowledge. The management consultant enterprises should possess the knowledge and the capability, so that the overall capability of the organization can be enhanced. It can be critiqued, that the consultants should possess significant amount of knowledge for developing the professional services.
The interview method is chosen for the present research. It is a qualitative research method, in which, the people the information collected, is qualitative in nature. The sample size of the research is 3, which means that the interview will be collected from three people. A semi-structured interview will be conducted with the research participants. The research participants will be senior managers in the consulting companies. It means that the interview questions will not be formed beforehand; however, the direction of the research study will be fixed previously. The qualitative type of information defines the category, in which the information cannot be analyzed through the statistical methods. It is also a primary method of data collection. It means that the data collected cannot be analyzed through statistical methods. Therefore, the thematic analysis method will be used for analyzing the data. In this method, different themes are developed and data is analyzed under each theme. The data collected from the respondents is analyzed for the similarity and the data with similar themes are kept under theme.
The knowledge management can offer core competency and increased efficiency to the people. In the present section, the thematic analysis method is used for the analysis if the research subject.
Importance of Consulting Companies for business Solutions
The consulting services are provided to the customers to provide knowledge, and solutions to the issues of the customers. The task assigned to the organization is to source the knowledge and experience of the consulting companies. The consultant performs his service, use the related knowledge, and the experience to address the issues of their organization. The consultants analyze the problem; accumulate all the relevant information pertaining to the problem. Therefore, the consultant companies put emphasis on the necessity of the knowledge that a consultant must have.
Types of services provided by the Consultant Companies
Most of the respondents have cited that there is a specific service set, which a consultant must provide. The consultants must have specific professional knowledge; have the ability to identify the issues in the professional and the functional dimension. The consultants should be provided with adequate information regarding the solutions to the problems.
Other than that, there are two different aspects, namely, professional dimension and the functional dimension of the organization. The professional dimension refers to the scope of services related to the broadness, familiarity, and the specialty of the employee regarding a specific skill. In the above definition, broadness refers to the range of services provided to the customers. The familiarity refers to the certain functional diagnosis services (Galliers, & Leidner, 2014). Other than that, the specialty indicates that the competence of the organization for a specific enterprise. The functional dimension refers to all the services provided by the management consultant companies.
The above views can also be supported by the literature, which states that the focus of the management consulting is to offer value-added elements to the customers. The management consulting companies should provide the solutions to the customer’s requirements. The services provided to the customers include the collection of the information, converting the information and applying it to create valuable information, which can be used for solving the problem of the organization (Okike & Mbero, 2015). It can be critiqued that the purpose of the knowledge management is to provide efficient services to the customers by creating valuable intelligence for the organization.
As per the views of Dalkir & Beaulieu (2017), the organizations use all the available information, and use it to provide the customers with suggestions. The creation of valuable information can be achieved by the knowledge management.
Importance of Knowledge Management for the Consultancy Service Providers Companies
Interview findings state that the knowledge management is a significant aspect of the knowledge management companies. The consulting business enterprises should provide the customer’s with the experiences, knowledge, and the solution so that the problems of the customers can be addressed. The customers identify a problem within his organization, and the consulting companies address it. However, solving the issues requires adequate source of knowledge and providing the customers with adequate experience. The respondents have cited that when the consultants are offering his services, he can use the accumulated knowledge and experience through the accumulation of the knowledge.
Another respondent has stated that the consulting companies play a significant role in offering services to the customers. Therefore, it is important that the professional service providers must collect and compile all the relevant information required for providing professional services. However, it is important that the information necessary for the organization must be synthesized, so that the valuable information can be extracted from the bulk amount of information.
In the same essence, Alavi & Leidner (2001) has discussed that the substantial and the beneficial information can be extracted through the review and the refinement process. The most valuable services can be provided to the customers, only when important information is compiled in the organization. It is one of the most important factors for the knowledge-intensive organizations. The service provider companies actually provide knowledge for addressing the problems in the business enterprises. Therefore, they are the knowledge-intensive enterprises and require efficient use of knowledge management for dealing with the organization.
As per the views of the respondents, the success of the knowledge intensive enterprises is dependent upon the knowledge management, business operations and the efficient use of digital mediums. Today is the information age, and the knowledge is going to replace the machine, equipment, raw material, and labor. It is an intangible property, and the knowledge management can replace the enterprise resource planning.
Knowledge Management in Information Consulting Companies
With the advent of service-based and information consulting companies, a knowledge economy has developed in which knowledge will be the key factor in the economy. In the information consultancy companies, the knowledge and the experience is shared with the customers. There are several sources of information for the knowledge management companies. The information is not only collected from the outside sources; however, it can also be collected through the interactions of the organization’s members. One of the respondents has discussed that the information can be propagated and accumulated through wisdom. This wisdom can be constructed by the use of the professional knowledge. It is the foundation of the information consulting companies. In the views of Wang, Noe & Wang (2014), knowledge and the wisdom are essential in developing the competitiveness of the enterprises.
The knowledge management is essential in information consulting companies. These organizations provide consultancy services to the customers. Most of the customers are business enterprises, which are facing some kind of business issues. These information consulting companies are facing issues related to the efficient use of knowledge for addressing the business issues of the organization. The research has discussed the importance of knowledge management for the business organizations. The past knowledge is important for the organizations, as the different businesses face the same business issues. The interview method has been used to collect the information related to the importance of knowledge management in information consulting firms. It has been identified that the knowledge management is important in increasing the efficiency and the productivity
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