A critical review of knowledge anagement as a management tool

Over the past several years there have been intensive discussions about the importance of knowledge management within our society. The management of knowledge is promoted as an important and necessary factor for organisational survival and maintenance of competitive strength. To remain at the forefront organisations need a good capacity to retain, develop, organise, and utilise their employees’ capabilities.Knowledge and the management of knowledge appear to be regarded as increasingly important features for organisational survival. Explores knowledge management with respect to its content, its definition and domain in theory and practice, its use and implications, and to point out some problems inherent in the concept. The main contribution of this paper is an extensive literature survey on knowledge management.
Keywords: Knowledge management, Knowledge, Strategy

Introduction

Over the past several years there have beenintensive discussions about the importance ofknowledge management (KM) within our society. Scholars and observers from disciplines as disparate as sociology, economics, and management science agree that a transformation has occurred ± “knowledge” is at centre stage (Davenport et al., 1998).

KM and related strategy concepts are promoted as important and necessary comp nents for organisations to survive and maintain their competitive keenness. It has become necessary for managers and executives to address “KM” (Goodman and Chinowsky, 1997). KM is considered a prerequisite for higher productivity andflexibility in both the private and the public sectors. McKern (1996) argues that powerful forces are reshaping the economic and business world and many call for a fundamental shift in organisation processes and human resources strategy.

The prime forces of change include globalisation, higher degrees of complexity, new technology, increased competition, changing client demands, and changing economic and political structures. Organisations are beginning to recognise that technology-based competitive advantages are transient and that the only sustainable competitive advantages they have are their employees (Black and Synan, 1997). This development has forced steep learning curves as organisations struggle to adapt quickly, respond faster, and proactively shape their industries (Allee, 1996).

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