The knowledge management system is a kind of IT system that helps in storing and retrieving knowledge, locating knowledge sources and improves collaboration to enhance the KM process. Universal Consultancy benefits will be limited if full advantage of Knowledge Management system is not taken. A knowledge management system comprises of various software modules served through a central user interface (Boardman and Ponomariov 2014). In Universal Consultancy, the knowledge management system allows data mining on customer’s histories and inputs besides sharing the electronic documents. If a KMS is well- organized it would increase the quality of services in the business, improving staff performance and raising client satisfaction. Furthermore, the current knowledge system is needed to be analyzed as knowledge is the key element of innovation and operation that help in delivering efficient accountability (Westwood et al. 2014). In this context, knowledge includes both the understanding of the people in the company as well as information artifacts, like report and documents.
Current Knowledge Management System:
Knowledge management system is one of the vital parts of knowledge management. There are generally two types of knowledge, explicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit Knowledge are the codified knowledge found usually in documents while tacit knowledge is the non codified and experience based knowledge (Nonaka et al. 2014). The current Knowledge management system used by Universal Consultancy is the Decision Support System (DSS). The organization has an integrated DSS software application for their day to day business operations to analyze the huge and various data like budget sheet, forecasts and sales figure. DSS is used by the organization to improve the effectiveness and performance of the user and allows faster decision-making. Universal Consultancy using the current knowledge management system has reduced the training times as the programs algorithm already provides the experiences of expert (Ngah, Tai and Bontis 2016). Using DSS has further improved the communication and collaboration within the group.
The Knowledge Management Model of Gamble and Blackwell:
This KM model provides a general framework besides specific guidelines for the implementation of knowledge management system. The KM process in this model is divided into four stages. Initially, the organization should locate the source of knowledge. Secondly, the accessed knowledge should be organized so that the organization, Universal Consultancy’s strength and weaknesses can be determined to know its reusability and relevance. Thirdly, socialization is done, where different techniques are used to share and further disseminate to the required workers in the organization (Low and Ho 2016). Lastly the knowledge is used by the internal organization.
Figure I: KM Matrix by Gamble and Blackwell
Source: (Bird and Schjoedt 2017)
This KM model main focus is on the managerial initiative, it shows the process, which highlights the managerial strategies to divest, build and enhance the knowledge assets. Knowledge management is responsible for the maintenance of relevant knowledge assets (Boardman and Ponomariov 2014). All the process is supported by an adequate information system. The initiatives are the outcome to the response for strategical and tactical needs and changes. Strategic initiatives generally involve the creation of knowledge sharing culture, establishing beneficial partnership, restructuring the firm or implementation of a new IT system. The Gamble and Blackwell Model presents a theoretical framework in a general manner as well as the required guidelines that are needed for the efficient management of Universal Consultancy.
The Gamble and Blackwell model promotes the KM system in the organization by starting with the internal analysis of the firm. The knowledge flows and needs as well as the lines of communication and communities of practice are evaluated. Furthermore, cost-benefit analysis is done to determine the complexity of the KM system structure and improvements in performances. The knowledge asset is required to be organized for an efficient management. It involves activities like classify, index, map and categorize the knowledge for storage, navigation and retrieval (Hislop 2013). The embedded knowledge is used to organize and assess the workflow analyses, job design and performance measure. The most important aspect in the process is knowledge sharing as this KM model is completely all about gathering, organizing and socializing the right knowledge or the sources of knowledge available to right person at the right time (Nonaka et al. 2014). Therefore, the KM model fulfills the requirements of the users, like complexities while managing knowledge and its sources by implementing right framework, processes and system, which enables knowledge sharing.
Gaps due to Insufficient Infrastructure:
The process of Knowledge Management system in Universal Consultancy is only limited to the retrieval and sharing of current knowledge and the processes of knowledge creation or acquisition is not given importance. Some of the mangers of Universal consultancy are not more objective while decision making as the managers is using decision support system to rationalize their action. Using the DSS approach by the company has also reduced the employee performance as too much emphasis is given to the appliances (Meihami and Meihami 2014). There is a huge reduction in productivity and efficiency due to the information overload. The staff skills have been reduced as they are dependent too much on computers. System design failure is another major issue caused within the company as the employees are unaware of the core areas that a DSS has considered while analyzing the data for a problem, which would lead to the failure in design as it becomes difficult for them to design
Available Knowledge Management System
Knowledge Management System is enhanced by technology that focuses on determining the reliability and function ability of the IT system used in the organization. In the current scenario, the available KM system is as follows:
- Groupware systems
- The intranet and extranet
- Data mining, data warehousing and OLAP
- Decision Support System
- Content Management System
- Document management system
- Artificial intelligence tool
- Simulation tools, and
- Semantic networks.
Through applying information and expansion technologies such as ontologies, KMS adapts to user’s questioning style (Holsapple 2013). An efficient KM system allows the business analyst to generate meaningful reports by extracting relevant data and sources based on keywords and relationship information from the stored data (Hislop 2013). Successful knowledge management is focused on outcomes that help in meeting the critical business objectives. This further helps the organization to be more focused on information management methods; work processes and knowledge capture procedures, which drive those outcomes.
Issues or Challenges:
As the technology used in the organization is rarely designed by the employees using it. Therefore, it creates a big problem for the firm with the evolving issue of fit between organizational practices and IT systems besides acceptance in the organizational culture (Sh and Dashti 2015). The additional factors that is a challenge for the organization includes absence of higher management support, resistance to change, organizational culture and absence of separate budget in the Universal Consultancy. The current issues or failure factors of KMS are as:
- Inadequate managerial and technical support during implementation as well as while using the system.
- Failure to identify and understand the critical area of the organization that has problem.
- Not getting a clear idea of the specified function and limitation in each individual system (Holsapple 2013).
- Absence of organizational culture, which leads to lack of acceptance.
- The quality measures of Universal Consultancy are inadequate due to absence of content management.
- If the system is not appropriate for the organization, it can further disrupt the existing processes.
- If the workers in the organization fail to understand the knowledge dynamics and face difficulty while transferring the tacit knowledge within the IT based system, it can be a matter of great concern for the organization (Bird and Schjoedt 2017).
- Lack or absence of separate budget is also a big challenge for the organization
- A DSS mainly relies on quantifiable data the final judgment is made by the decision maker to analyze the indefinable data.
- Information overload is a major concern caused due to the computerized decision making systems.
In the current scenario, mastery of vital and recent knowledge for continuous improvement in organization is the primary emphasis of Knowledge Management system. Universal Consultancy knowledge management system should align with the organizational policy, culture, strategies and structure. Before selecting an approach the exact solution should be found to know the basic problem the process should be selected by the company. The working environment should also be value added relevant knowledge, well disciplined to introduce challenging and innovative ideas.
Universal Consultancy Company’s can maximize its profit by using efficient Knowledge management system. A content management system should be used by the company to review and update the documents frequently for example, utilizing the knowledge assets, leveraging the intellectual capital and sustaining the cutting edge performances. The net worth incensement of GE, Intel and Microsoft can be attributed to Knowledge Management up to 82%, 85% and 97% respectively. The organization also should have an adequate management skills and ability to adapt to new processes and behavior to successfully manage the external part of the business.
Hence it is recommended for Universal Consultancy to promote KMS adoption, an internal analysis of the firm should be made and the information should be properly evaluated based on the needs and requirement and should be further complement. A thorough cost- benefit analysis should be made considering the various factors like size of the firm, complexity of the structure in the system, updating cost and security issues. Furthermore, the existing work practices should be evaluated and the improvements in system should be made.
Thus from the report it can be conclude that the organizational beliefs to make certain decisions is depended on the knowledge management system they use. The KM system manages knowledge and the users use the required knowledge to perform efficiently the tasks within the organization. The practice of effective knowledge management requires an appropriate combination of all the organizational, social, managerial initiatives besides appropriate technology. Knowledge management includes both implicit and explicit knowledge. It is up to the top level management to use the system that is appropriate for the Universal Consultancy Company. Tacit Knowledge should be used while planning the outsourcing strategy as it has a profound effect on overall business quality and strategy. People make a better decision when relevant and timely information is used. The users should be involved in the design, evaluation and implementing process to promote KMS acceptance. The KMS should be made user friendly and intuitive as possible. It should support the KM processes like application or dissemination of knowledge. A KM support offer intelligent search and display technology that further facilitates understands patterns. Applying a comprehensive KM strategy would result in optimized technology investments. In an efficient system, technology resources are configured as a tool that enables the company to meet the specified set of outcomes.
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