Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management, also known as KM, is defined by Baltzin and Phillips as "capturing, classifying, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing information assets in a way that provides context for effective decisions and actions".  They also say knowledge management is basically taking what employees, partners, and customers know, and sharing the information with employees, departments, and other companies for best practices.  

Knowledge management has been studied and taught since 1991 in fields such as business and management and more recently in fields such as computer science and even public health.  Click here for more history of knowledge management.

Knowledge Management in Business
The primary objective of knowledge management is to make sure that all of a company's knowledge is readily available for an employee when they need it.  Organizations not only keep spreadsheets and documents but they also use knowledge management systems.  These systems support the knowledge, or know-how, in an organization. 

Two Types of Knowledge
Explicit - knowledge that can be documented.
Tacit - knowledge that is only in an individual's head.

Knowledge Management Perspectives
Knowledge Management is viewed in many different ways by many different people.  Because of this, many debates have happened in regards to knowledge management theories and practices.  The following are the three perspectives used to view knowledge management today.

1. Techno-centric 
2. Organizational
2. Ecological

Knowledge Management and Social Networking
Not all companies have successfully used the traditional method of knowledge management.  Recently, companies have look more towards social networking analysis to become successful with knowledge throughout their businesses.  

Successful Companies
Below are three successful companies that have used knowledge management.
    - BP
    - Texas Instruments
    - Hewlett-Packard

To see what these companies did to successfully use knowledge management click here.