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April 27, 2009

Knowledge and Trust

Since the sense of shared identity of people is limited, the foundations for the existence of trust are relaticely weak. The level of trust and mutual understanding between individuals who do not mormally work together and who are not members of the same team may restrain the sharing and collective utilization of knowledge. Trust is very important in knowledge sharing and other social contexts, and the contexts of trust is complex. Development of trust is crucial and is one of the main ways to help knowledge processes to develop in intercommunity work context. Below are some types of trust.

Type of trust                   Description of trust

Process bases                 Based on experience, and built up over time

Characteristic based       Based on social similarities and cultural congruence

Institutional bases           Trust based on institutional or professional reputation, NOT interpersonal familiarity

Calculative                       Trust based on some form of calculation regarding costs/benefits

Norm/value based            Trust based on common social values

Cognitive expectation based     Trust based on common expectations of future events, and/or patterns of behavior

Companion                     Trust based on judgements of goodwill of friendship, built up over time

Competence                   Trust based on perception of others competence to carry out relevant tasks

Commitment                   Trust stemming from contractual obligations


April 25, 2009

Knowledge Conversion

Explicit and tacit knowledge are important parts in the knowledge management. I thought that tacit knowledge should be converted to explicit in forms of documents, online databases, patents, and etc, then the knowledge can be expressed. When I read the modes of knowledge conversion on "knowledge managment: classic and contemporary works" by Morey et al., I realized that there are other modes of knowledge conversion. Four modes of knowledge conversion are: from tacit to tacit, which is called socialization; from tacit to explicit, or externalization; from explicit to explicit, or combination; and from explicit to tacit , or internalization. 

Other three modes:

From tacit to tacit is a process sharing experiences. People can gain tacit knowledge directly from others without using language, especially when people have the similar experiences. If lack of the shared experiences, it is very difficult for a person to understand another person's thinking process.

From explicit to explicit is a process of systemizing concepts into a knowledge system. People exchange their knowledge and combine them together through media such as meetings, telephon conversation, emails and so on. This knowledge conversion is most often see in the business.

From explicit to tacit is a process of embodying explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge. It is just like "learning by doing". When experiences through socialization, externalization, and combination are internalized into people's tacit knowledge bases in the form of shared mental models, they become valuable assets.


March 15, 2009

KBAM Presentation

Time really flies! Just realized that I have done most of the MBE core modules and probably all mini projects. The past months were busy, intensive and also enjoyable. Really like MBE class and my teams. Last team project was a really big one. We spent almost two weeks to do it. The presentation was given on Friday morning to the WaveRiders Board of Directors. Everyone in MBE class wore so formal and smart on that morning! That was our last presentation and we acted as in real life for the first time.

We have put lots of efforts in this team project. (I like our presentation slides, they were very nice.) We gave several assumptions of the problems that the WaveRiders were facing and suggested the solutions. After the presentation, I realized the biggest area that we need to improve is that although we have given many good approaches to the WaveRiders with showing the benefits of those approaches, we did not give a whole plan to the WaveRiders, and this whole plan should include where the WaveRiders needs to start, and what the holistic process, and also need to give more evidences, such as case studies and data, to support the approaches. We still have not treated it as real enough.

After we presented, one of the board members asked how to do with the KM, what the process of it. The question belonged to my part, I talked about the knowledge audit to help the WaveRiders to solve the targeted problems, but I still felt nervous to give the response (but I am sure that I was much better then before through all the team projects and presentations), thanks to my team mate to give a response to the board member. To that KM question, the answer that I could give is from a paper I have read "The Knowledge Audit" by Liebowita Jay, et al.

Knowledge audit steps:

(1) Identify what knowledge currently exists in the targeted area
a). Determine existing and potential sinks, sources, flows, and constraints in the targeted area, including environmental factors that could influence the targeted area.
b). Identify and locate explicit and tacit knowledge in the targeted area
c). Build a knowledge map of the taxonomy and flow of knowledge in the organization in the targeted area. The knowledge map relates topics, people, documents, ideas, and links to external resources, in respective densities, in ways that allow individuals to find the knowledge they need quickly.
(2) Identify what knowledge is missing in the targeted area
a). Perform a gap analysis to determine what knowledge is missing to achieve business goals
b). Determine who needs the missing knowledge
(3) Provide recommendations from the knowledge audit to management regarding the status quo and possible improvements to the knowledge management activities in the targeted area.

Thanks to my teammates and my MBE class! All the best to rest of our MBE course!


March 13, 2009

KBAM seminar —— debate

We had a different way of our seminar on Tuesday. Debating of if standards stifle creativity innovation in order to understand how we can use standards in a way that does not stifle creativity and innovation. The way of the seminar itself, I think, can be called creative and innovative. It is a good try.

Creativity and innovation are very important to the success of a business, especially in today's increasingly competitive world. Creativity and innovation are key factors to strategize during strategic planning, design new products and services and etc. The standards are usually established from the past experiences. They are often consistency and compliance. We can see that there are some conflicts between the standards and creativity and innovation, but standards do not kill creativity or innovation. Every company needs to perform in a consistent manner, and the improvement of the company needs creative thought process and innovative ways to do old tasks. I believe that the standards, creativity and innovation can complement each other if applied correctly.


March 02, 2009

First Day of KBAM

We had an introduction to the module of Knowledge-Based Asset Management this afternoon. This module runs for two weeks. I was not surprised with the whole week of team study in first week and half team studies + half seminars in second week. Self-study and study with different people in a team is an important way of learning in the MBE course. Yet, KBAM is the one has the most team studies and self-studies since the course started. So, I am blogging now - at the first day of KBAM. ^_^

Definitions:

Knowledge assets are the knowledge regarding markets, products, technologies and organisations, that a business owns or needs to own and which enable its business processes to generate profits.

Knowledge management involves the identification and analysis of available and required knowledge, and the subsequent planning and control of actions to develop knowledge assets so as to fulfil organisational objectives.

Nowadays, enterprises, especially big enterprises, are realizing the importance of knowing what they know, i.e. know what their knowledge assets are. Moreover, they need to know how to manage and utilize these assets to make maximum return. The marketplace is increasingly competitive and the rate of innovation is growing, it is therefore very important for a company to renew and apply its knowledge to business to increase its competitiveness.


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