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Knowledge Management; Case Study of Boeing

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Approach towards Knowledge Management; Case Study of Boeing Executive Summary In order to better understand the complexities involved in the concept of knowledge and knowledge management, this report discusses and analyzes: * Various definitions of knowledge * Different point of views about Knowledge management and knowledge management system * Different approaches and enablers of knowledge management including viewpoints about the role of people and technology * Case of study of Knowledge management at Boeing * And on the basis of these discussions and analyses, recommendations have been made at the end before concluding the entire report. Word count: 3725 Contents 1. Introduction 1 2. Literature Review 2 2.1 Definitions of Knowledge 2 2.2 Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom 3 2.2.1 Explicit knowledge 5 2.2.2Tacit knowledge 5 2.3 Knowledge Management (KM) 6 2.4 Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) 8 3. Case Study of Boeing 10 3.1 Need for knowledge Management 10 3.2 KM and Boeing 11 3.2.1 Vision 11 3.3 KM Model of Boeing 11 3.4 KM Wheel 12 3.5 Holistic Approach toward KM and KM enabling Technologies 12 3.5.1 People to People 12 3.5.2 People to Process 12 3.5.3 People to Content 12 3.6 Tools/Technology/Techniques to Transfer Knowledge 13 4. Benefits of KM: An analysis 13 5. Recommendations 15 6. Conclusion 16 References 17 1. 1. Introduction Knowledge, a multifaceted concept, rooted within individuals of an organization (Davenport & Prusak, 1998), conceptualized as an "authenticated information" (Foss, 2007), a "justified belief" that enhances an organization's ability for effective action (Nonaka 1994) or a capability with the potential to empower future decisions and actions (Carlesson et al. 1996), and categorized as explicit (easy to formalize and communicate) and implicit (highly personal, difficult to formalize and communicate) (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995), is claimed as a vital source of gaining and sustaining competitive advantage in many of the previous researches (Hsieh et al 2009) because of its tacitness, inimitability and immobility (Grant, 1996). ...read more.


Nevertheless, a variety of definitions can be found in the extant literature based on various assumptions about knowledge and its types, and a range of topics in diverse contexts with distinct perspectives have been studied under the concept ''knowledge management''. Gao et al., (2008) categorize them into hard and soft track perspectives. According to Gao et al., (2008), hard track approaches, methodologies, tools and theories relate to either hard technology such as application of science to commercial and industrial objectives or soft technology such as information, databases, software, and copyrights. In fact, the hard perspective seems to have an obvious objective criterion in relation to their professional communities. Knowledge management for these theorists is an sophisticated way or level to discuss product and services, development and innovation, R & D, technology, knowledge discovery using databases, data mining, groupwares, expert systems, knowledge repositories or decision support systems (Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Davenport, 1997, Gao., et al., 2008). Abstract, capture, store, organize, transform, transfer, reuse, diffuse, codify are the typical terms which this hard group have been using. For the hard theorists, KM seems equivalent to an IT-based management system with the fundamental assumption information and communication technologies accelerate the knowledge flow across the organization and offer an advanced tool to stockpile and share / transfer knowledge (explicit). On the other hand, soft group of theorists, emphasizing the importance of the tacit part of the knowledge, seems to be more focused on enabling and facilitating the 'good' space for knowledge creation such 'Ba', communities of practice and knowledge creating and sharing culture (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Wenger, 1998). For the soft theorists, ICTs can only facilitate explicit knowledge creation and transfer through their communication and coordination. This concept poles apart from the hard view that knowledge cannot be separated from ICTs (Holsapple, 2005). However, these both schools have different viewpoints because of the assumption that knowledge can be separated as tacit and explicit. ...read more.


However, selection of enablers of KM is important. * Balanced focused on people, processes and technologies is vital * And this selection should be in accordance with the vision and objectives of the organization intended to be achieved through KM 6. Conclusion During recent years, previous studies (Choi & Poon, 2008) suggest have found the central place in the hearts of the organizational activities at various level resulting in the evolution of the direction for the organizations to be knowledge intensive rather than being capital, labour, and/or information intensive. However, knowledge is a multifaceted concept and has no consensus even on its definition. In fact, many studies based on ontological debates in outlining theoretical definition of the concepts knowledge and KM, and that, arguably, how these concepts can be applied in an ideal business environment. Knowledge is believed object (McQueen 1998), it must have potential to empower the future action (Carlsson et al. 1996), it enhances this view that it must provide the ability to facilitating the choice of right information in decision making by using learning and experience capability (Watson, 1999), a "process" of knowing and acting all together (Zack 1999), a source of knowing (Schubert et al. 1998). In the same vein, difference of opinion exists on how knowledge should managed, what are the enables or sources of managing explicit and tacit knowledge, and how particularly technologies can help in managing knowledge (See Nonaka and Tackeuchi, 1995; Davenport and Prusak, 1998, Gao, et al., 2008) Nevertheless, review of the extant literature and discussion and analysis of the case study shows that managing knowledge is full of complexities and no standardized process or practice can ensure the management of knowledge. The purpose of managing knowledge, context and processes that can facilitate its management can be different and therefore can require different vision, resources, and distinct efforts and practices. However, it is important that balanced emphasis on people, technology and processes is required to match these enables of KM to the vision and objectives of the KM and of the organization (Gao, et al., 2008). ...read more.

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