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Knowledge Management as a System

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Knowledge Management as a System

Apr 08, 2021   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Emily Harrinson

Knowledge Management as the System That Helps People in an Organization to Share, Access, and Update Business Knowledge or Information    

Knowledge management is a system that enables people to access, share, and update information and any business knowledge in an organization. It includes subjects in information systems, management, business administration, information science, and library. KM promotes the integrated approach to capturing, evaluating, and sharing information. 

Many organizations, including non-profit organizations, have set aside resources for supporting internal knowledge management efforts. This post describes knowledge management in terms of its principles, benefits, key examples, and key types.

Principles of knowledge management

One of the best ways through which a message travels is through language. An organization must choose the best knowledge management strategy to ensure that information is gathered and communicated well. The message needs to be disseminated in a language that all the parties understand and appreciate. 

Without language, people cannot communicate what they know. For people to expand organizational knowledge, they must develop languages to describe their work experience. 

Just like life happens, knowledge must happen too. Knowledge seeks community and this explains why the internet is relevant as a rich source of information. It is difficult to isolate the aspect of knowledge neatly. In the world of knowledge, people can hardly pay attention to one factor when seeking and sharing knowledge.

Knowledge is dynamic and constantly changing and as such, it does not present a single solution. People in an organization may design the best knowledge management approach today, but that approach may be rendered irrelevant or obsolete in the future. 

Knowledge fades away with time and therefore, people should let go of old ways and embrace new ways of doing things. They must contribute to the evolution and vitality of knowledge. The knowledge definition determines its management.

Benefits of knowledge management

Knowledge is an important asset in any organization. Therefore, it should be well documented, accurate, and easily accessible to all. Effective knowledge management enables organizations to save time in recreating the existing knowledge. 

When information is easily accessible, reliable and free from errors, it minimizes the need for employees to interrupt each other with chats and emails. The support employees spend less time addressing common and repetitive questions. Thus, they can get more time to deal with other important work-related matters.

Through knowledge management, people can quickly and efficiently get the information they need. Additionally, when employees gather and share information, they can avoid making mistakes from time to time. Common mistakes can be avoided when people learn from previous mistakes and failures.

Information is used in making decisions in organizations. Quality decisions require access to reliable, timely, and accurate information. Effective knowledge management enables people to make informed decisions. When employees share lessons learned, experiences, and their research outcomes, the details can be critically evaluated and information used to facilitate proper decision-making.

Knowledge management overcomes the limitations associated with passing information through word of mouth. Information can be shared between various parties without distortion. 

Shared and documented processes ensure that everyone agrees with the information being shared and they follow approved procedures. Knowledge management improves communication within an organization because everyone is required to participate in information gathering and sharing. 

Examples of knowledge management systems

Knowledge sharing in an organization is easier with a reliable platform that can meet various needs at the organizational and departmental levels. Examples of knowledge management include:

  • Social networking. Social networking enables people to join groups, connect and discuss common issues of interest. It influences organizational knowledge and the way it is generated and shared. Social networking can support knowledge management systems to identify and transfer knowledge.
  • Content management. Content management systems store video, audio, and other types of media in addition to documents. The content management process entails organization, creation, storage, workflow, editing, publishing, and archiving of the content.
  • Intranets. Intranets are private computer networks aimed at providing access to information and enhancing social networking and collaborations within an organization. Intranets provide a user interface including standard look, navigation, web pages, and search. They can help to standardize the KM environment by allowing for consistent navigation and search.
  • Databases. A database enables people to gather, analyze, store and interact with data. Databases enhance the ease of access to information and maintain data security. However, they are costly to design and can sometimes be volatile and prone to security threats.
  • Data warehouses. Data warehouses pull data from various parts of an organization and are useful for data reporting and analysis. They store current and historic data and transform it into valuable information. Data warehouses require a high level of maintenance and are complex to manage. 

Types of knowledge management 

One of the common types of knowledge management is explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is reduced and presented physically in writing. It is documented and codified in a physical format and therefore rigid in presentation. Explicit knowledge is easier to share and is regarded as contemporary to tacit knowledge. Examples include reports, graphs, charts, tables, slides, worksheets, and more.

Another knowledge management is implicit knowledge. This is the knowledge that is applicable in real-life situations. Implicit knowledge is gathered and used to solve problems. For example, when the information presented in a graphical format is used for planning and forecasting, it can be classified as implicit knowledge. 

Tacit knowledge is mutually understood and does not require disclosure before it is understood. It is not applicable in a specific situation, neither is it structured. Tacit knowledge has cultural affiliations and is informal. 

Features of tacit knowledge relate to the things employees learn but cannot be easily incorporated in an orientation or training program. When a customer service staff learns how to deal with stubborn customers through experience, this can be termed as tacit knowledge. 


Knowledge management is the basis of information access and sharing. The information gathered must be timely, reliable, and accurate to facilitate effective decision-making. Knowledge management should be a responsibility of all people in an organization and it must influence the organization positively. It should support an organization to realize goals and enable it to be competitive in the industry. 


Author Bio: 

Emily Harrinson works as the lead writer and editor for an online assignment help service in London since 2006. It’s her passion for writing and natural talent which has helped her to be successful as a writer for various professional writing services. Besides her work, Emily is fond of sports, reading books and music. She is ambitious and keeps herself with the latest tools and training to grow in her career.



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