April 01, 2011

An anti–knowledge base view!

Something just flashed my mind (Think am being to critical these days!)

We are all in the view, and so does the literature suggests that knowledge is a valuable asset. Right knowledge available at the right time is what must be aimed through IT knowledge bases as well.

On the contrary, can we say that there could be cases, where extensive and elaborate knowledge bases (not only IT based) may be used as readymade solutions and could halt creative thinking!? Say,an organizationa has an excellent knowledge base, with effective collection, storage and dissemination, in such a case, could it be that a decision that'd be available from a previous experience cause a bias in the mind of the decision maker (even though no two problems would generally be exactly the same), and hence lead to ineffective decision making?

Maybe this is a part of knowledge 'Management'! But how can a trade-off be achieved!?

Eager to listen to your views..


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  1. Sue

    Yes, I think bad decisions are being made all the time because of bias but I can’t see any way of eradicating it as it’s part of the human condition.

    01 Apr 2011, 08:53

  2. What about if the bias is embedded in the decisions of the company? Probably there will be anchoring heuristics, but is this bad? If knowledge has to be transfered from one branch, for instance, to the other why not use the previous experience? As long as there is the appropriate culture in the organisation to recognise the biases, then they can try to deal with them…. because they can never eliminate them..

    02 Apr 2011, 21:07

  3. Fani, am not sure if organizations and the organizationa have the ability and time to recognize biases.
    Besides, my major concern is, that in many cases it may kill creativity and ‘thinking out of the box’.
    I totally am in the view that knowledge is an absolutely valuable resource, but am not sure if organizations can effectively ‘manage’ it, in the sense knowing when and when not to use it.

    03 Apr 2011, 14:04

  4. Beverly

    Awal i do buy your thought on KM halting creative thinking.
    But if you look at it from a different perspective, it may not be that bad. For instance if an advertising company creates a solution for a clients problem and it is not CAPTURED in KM processes, it is KNOWLEDGE lost. In cases where these employees resign or they forget what they did, creative thinking did happen but it was not well managed. However if this is captured, i believe creativity can still go on to improve the existing ones. So yea to your thoughts and looking at it positively i guess it can stimulates creativity instead of halting it.

    05 Apr 2011, 23:54

  5. Awal i do buy your thought on KM halting creative thinking.
    But if you look at it from a different perspective it might nit be that bad. For instance if an advertising company creates a solution for a clients problem and it is not CAPTURED in KM processes, it is KNOWLEDGE lost. In cases where these employees resign or they forget what they did, creative thinking did happen but it was not well managed. However if this is captured, i believe creativity can still go on to improve the existing ones. So yea to your thoughts and looking at it positively i guess it can stimulates creativity instead of halting it.

    05 Apr 2011, 23:58

  6. Guys,
    What I wanted to say when I wrote this blog was, that though I am totally convinced with the need for an organization to trap its knowledge and use when need be, but, the only thing that may be negative here is that people may just get stuck there.
    Let me put it with a very simple example. For example, say we have a probem, where we are supposed to think ways to improve quality or reduce wastes etc. Rather than thinking on this problem and coming up with creative solutions, you just google it.
    Isn’t this halting your thought process?
    Though, when you need facts and figures etc, google is always a great option, but to consider it as a way out of everything, is a bit negative in my belief, atleast in the long run.
    So, what I propose is, that a KMS use is only really effective if you have the wisdom of when to use it and when not.

    06 Apr 2011, 10:42

  7. Awal,

    To my mind, as far as I understand, if you access some information from Google, I just that, information.. That you can might apply or not. But if we don’t apply our famous critical thinking it stops there. Is kind of just information that anyone can access and “use”? But it’s the added value the combination that worth exploring. For, instance perhaps I want to know what knowledge management is and then, say I come to your blog and I look for your information. I copy paste what you say I am not creating anything (this is just information, not knowledge), but if you captured your knowledge, it becomes information for me, the time when I read it and process it and combine it with my knowledge it’s the KBAM!!! BOOM!!! And what I think is that there relies the importance of managing knowledge, but I do agree, and ask the Plagiarism people if people are not tempted to copy paste. But I think is the combination which adds value, the rest is just information…

    Cheers!

    Ede

    06 Apr 2011, 21:16

  8. Ya Ede, maybe you are right.. And I think this can only be clearer when we are actually in the situation.
    The whole idea is, that now atleast we are aware and have this critical view of ‘is this bias?’ aways in our mind, which will surely alert us whenever we are about to fall in the trap!
    Thanks for the contributions!

    06 Apr 2011, 23:01

  9. Yea dats right Awal. In dat sense it really does halt the process of creativity. Using KM in an inappropriate way will not help anyone. Because what might work in one situation may not work in the other situation. Tweaking it with our creativity to suit yoor situation, however helps!

    20 Apr 2011, 11:29


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