Table of Contents
Knowledge Management Systems
Deutsche Telekom’s Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques
Knowledge management is all about giving the right knowledge to the right persons for a targeted goal. Therefore, it follows that knowledge management encompasses strong ties to corporate strategy where processes are created to span organizational functions. The management of knowledge also ensures that initiatives are embraced and supported by the relevant stakeholders. As an organizational function, knowledge management is dependent on the organizational culture in that the flexibility of the stakeholders determines the implementation and the outcomes of the knowledge management tools. This paper gives a critical discussion on the knowledge management tools and outcomes in Deutsche Telkom. More so, the paper discusses the outcomes of the implementation of these tools as compared against Choo’s KM Model.
Knowledge is perhaps the greatest asset that any organizational employees have. Nevertheless, the management of this knowledge by the administration is the most significant factor in realizing the goals and objectives of the institution. The employment of knowledge management techniques and tools in an organizational set up cannot be underestimated as it results in a number of benefits. First, knowledge management plays an important role for an organization to learn from past mistakes and successes. Exploiting knowledge in various departments allows for an improvement of production as it creates new solutions. In the contemporary society, business activity is focused on not only creating and sharing knowledge, but also deploying the knowledge to realize the organizational goals. The rapidly changing business environment requires entities to make sense of the dynamism. Corporate amnesia and globalization are some of the significant factors that determine market dynamics. To remain relevant in the business market, corporate managers need to employ a number of techniques, tools, and models to manage the pool of knowledge in their employees. Through knowledge management, a company identifies the consequences of information from the external business environment. Knowledge management enables the business set priorities through the known management practices. The management of knowledge consists of identifying needs and knowledge resources, acquisition, elimination, retrieval, and storage of knowledge. There are various knowledge management tools that are employed by the different sectors of the economy.
Despite being a developing subject, many studies have been conducted on knowledge management systems. Lee and Choi (2000) state that the ultimate objective of knowledge management us to create value and improve an organization’s competency and assets of knowledge to meet the targeted goals. In their study, they identified various dimensions in implementing knowledge management. Knowledge management strategy depends on corporate strategy. The essence of corporate strategy in knowledge management is to share and create knowledge assets that will assist the organization to fulfill strategic and tactical requirements. Knowledge management requires experienced leadership at all levels as the roles of the systems in an organization are varied (Lee & Choi, 2000). Technology is another dimension taken in implementing knowledge management systems. It is necessary that the organization’s management ensures all the required tools and techniques are properly designed to implement the systems.
In a different study, Fontain and Lesser (2002) investigated the challenges associated with managing organizational knowledge. The study is found out that there are two categories of factors that inhibit the implementation of knowledge management systems; casual and resultant factors. Fontain and Lesser (2002) define casual factors as the managerial functions that ensure the successful implementation of knowledge management systems. Consequently, the study notes that the casual factors yield the resultant ones. The complex relationship between the two categories of factors is based on the fact that, for example, poor leadership may result in reduced budgetary allocations thus affecting technological requirements. The absence of performance indicators, inadequate support from the management, weak organizational structure are some of the casual failure factors. The compounded resultant failure factors include lack of teamwork, poor quality production and loss of knowledge from staff retirement among others. From these sampled studies, it is concluded that a lot has been done on the challenges of implementing knowledge management systems. Nevertheless, the outcomes of the implementation are yet to be compared to the known knowledge management systems.
Knowledge Management Systems
According to Dalkir (2011), knowledge management systems comprises an array of practices employed in an organizational set-up to identify, create, represent, share, and allow the adoption to experience and insight. The ideas, in this case, include knowledge as embedded either in an individual or the organizational processes. As mentioned elsewhere in this paper, the purpose of knowledge management system is to ensure improved performance, raise competitive advantage, allow for innovation, and share knowledge among other functions.
In appreciating knowledge management systems, Lee and Choi (2000) emphasize the need to understand the system’s characteristics components. First, knowledge management systems have goals; the systems aim at bringing knowledge from the past to benefit the present activities. The technological level of knowledge management comprises of organizational and person-oriented instruments aimed at improving knowledge productivity at the workplace. Secondly, knowledge management systems are composed of processes. The systems are developed to enhance and support knowledge intensive tasks and projects. According to Fontaine and Lesser (2002), the processes of knowledge management systems include knowledge creation, organization, storage, knowledge retrieval, and transfer. Knowledge life cycle is another process in knowledge management and is composed of revisions and feedbacks. Thirdly, knowledge management systems are characterized by a comprehensive platform. Fontaine and Lesser (2002) state that knowledge management systems are not an application aimed at a single knowledge management initiative. Rather, knowledge management systems target a platform that is used either as an integrating base system or Information Technology in which knowledge management application systems are built. Knowledge management systems are information communication technology platforms consisting of a number of services as the fifth characteristic. Knowledge management systems have fundamental services such as workflow management, collaboration, and content management. From the relevant literature review, it is observed that knowledge is the only asset that could contribute to sustainable yet competitive advantage for a business entity. It is against this backdrop that Deutsche Telekom employs a number of knowledge management tools and techniques in its organizational setup.