"Influence of changes in information technologies on knowledge auditing and knowledge management"
Human resource is one of the most essential and valuable asset for an organization. Effective and efficient human resource enhances the overall performance of an organization. Having a well educated and a strong knowledge management system can be a key asset for an organization. Knowledge plays a vital role in the performance of an organization; this can be reflected through achievement of varies strategic objectives of an organization. Knowledge is an intangible yet a highly effective asset for an organization. Earlier, organizations did not understand the need of knowledge-based organization and the need of well- train employees but over the years it has been proven through many research's that knowledge play a vital role in long-term. With an effective knowledge management, the technical staff such as IT staff can easily communicate with the top management. It provides an organization with a competitive edge that is difficult to be followed by other organizations. Knowledge management if used appropriately can be a valuable asset for an organization. This technique focuses on organizations to have a powerful workforce that is highly effective and efficient.
"Knowledge management encompasses both the management of information and the management of people. Knowledge cannot be managed directly-only the in formation about the knowledge possessed by people in organizations can be managed" (Henczel, 2001). Knowledge is an intangible attribute that has no meaning if it's not managed effectively and with the help of human resources. In order to implement effective knowledge management system in an organization it is essential to manage people effectively. Human resources play a crucial role in developing a knowledge-based culture in an organization.
Knowledge management can be in varies forms, Information technology is not the only focus of knowledge management. Though in IT-based organizations knowledge management is important to overcome the jargons and eliminate communication gaps. The focus of knowledge management is to enhance information for an organization; Information technology organizes the information used in an organization. The IT managers and top managers should be able to use same level of vocabulary and jargons in an organization. This is because the knowledge management system of an organization should be such that it encourages everyone to learn with time. The information technology should provide systems such as database and other facilities to encourage learning in the organization. "Since knowledge management involves sharing information, IT can be the means of storing, updating and accessing that information" (Armbrecht, Chapas, Chappelow, & Farris, 2005).
Measuring knowledge and giving incentives for positive results of knowledge management is not an easy task. The intangible factor of this technique makes it difficult to analyze the results. The use of knowledge comes in different forms and at varies events. Most knowledge given to the employees are not exact to a specific task. However, it makes if difficult to evaluate the results and to provide incentives accordingly. Yet many organizations still try to provide some kind of incentives to motivate the employees and encourage them to focus on improving knowledge management. Some organizations link the results of knowledge management to a specific organizations objective. For instance, measure the sales result in terms of increasing and decreasing or the overall performance of the organization. (Armbrecht, Chapas, Chappelow, & Farris, 2005). If these indicate improvement than it is assumed that knowledge management in an organization is effective. Some also believe if knowledge management becomes part of an organizational culture than the need of incentive can be eliminated. Furthermore, it is also suggested to make a group activity, this encourages everyone to take part and outperform. Having a database with all the knowledge available that is required for an organization is also an effective way tool. Knowledge management can be measured through the clicks per employee on the database to access the information.
It serves multiple purposes for an organization to evaluate the capabilities of its human resources. These capabilities of an organization are intangible yet the most valued and important for the explicit performance of an organization. Knowledge audit is a technique used by organizations to evaluate its human resources. This tool serves many benefits for an organization. With the assistance of this technique organizations can perform an audit for its human resources. Through this audit they can identify the strengths and weakness of an organization according to which they can arrange corporate training sessions and many other activities to enhance the knowledge of its employees. Organizations should have a learning culture and encourage changes over time. This brings improvement in organizations system and gives a new boost of positive energy to the organization. The knowledge audit focuses on the loopholes organization posses so that strategies can be designed in accordance. It emphasizes on the knowledge gap an organization possesses and gives bases for the development of new strategies. (Chowdhury, 2011)
However, every organization is different from another and henceforth the knowledge needs of an organization vary form one organization to another. In order for an effective knowledge audit some steps that should be followed are Knowledge need analysis; knowledge inventory analysis; knowledge flow analysis; knowledge mapping. The process of knowledge audit begins with analyzing the needs of an organization. This stage requires a thorough analysis of the objective of an organization. It is vital to have a strong focus on objective and goals of an organization and to stay consistent with it. The need analysis focuses on exploring the needs of an organization. Evaluating those knowledge-based needs that will be required in future and the knowledge that the organizational team already possesses. Varies ways of finding out organizational needs are through conducting surveys and many other techniques can be used. In this stage it is highly important to forecast the future needs and to have a strong focus on the needs of the organization in the future. Needs of an organization could vary on a large spectrum from the importance of educating the members of an organization about the organizational goals to educating them regarding an upcoming project. (Chowdhury, 2011)
Next step for knowledge audit is regarding the use of inventory for the audit to take place. It is not necessary that the inventory would exist is physical form such as libraries and relevant books. The inventory could also be in the form of senior employees that have insides into the skills and tactics to efficiently perform a task. The knowledge that seniors have gained over time through varies experiences. Following the measurement of the inventory an organization possess, the organization needs to recognize the flow of knowledge being used in the organization. A person in the organization may have expertise of certain task that can be shared with others. The knowledge can flow from one department to another as well as from different hierarchy of the organization. The senior can educate the juniors where as the junior employees may share their knowledge with the top management of the organization. The last step of knowledge audit is knowledge mapping. Without the help of knowledge mapping the organization will not know the exact place knowledge is stored. Meaning, one of the departments in the organization or one individual might posses the information but no one is aware of it. Henceforth if this step is ignored chances of knowledge going to waste become high. This stage of the process also focuses on the right direction of the flow of information. (Hylton, 2002).
It was later discovered that the needs assessment was not quite good enough. It did not meet the requirements needed to determine a specialized library's value. The enterprise leadership was more concerned about the link between the services provided and organizational success. Moreover, the needs assessment was missing an evaluative function. Due to these negative points, it eventually became necessary to…