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Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences

Information Systems Management

Dr.Maen Hawari

Essay Paper
Group # 9
"Knowledge Management is a Misnomer?"
Jan, 2006
Version 3.4

Prepared by Group # 9 Team: Overview:

- Ahmad Al-Musallami - Abstract
- Mamoun Abu Al Rob - Introduction
- Shereen Matarneh - The Problem
- Belal Al Majali - Argument / Solution
- Alaa Darawsheh - Experiment / Proof / of the solution
- Wasim Biary - Research Implementation
- Literature Review
- Contacts & Document History
Information Systems Management Knowledge is a Misnomer? Essay Paper – Group # 9

• Title:
"Knowledge Management is a misnomer [1] because knowledge only exists in people's
heads. Thus, knowledge management is really just people management. Do you agree or
disagree? Discuss." [Ref#01 – Chapter 13, Discussion Question # 2]
• Definitions:
To be able to decide if it is a misnomer or not, let's first define Knowledge, Knowledge
Management & People's Management.
o Knowledge (K):
ƒ Information with direction or intent [Ref#01-Ch#07].
ƒ Tacit Knowledge: Knowledge that we don't know we know Difficult to
articulate and generally expressible only through action [Ref#10].
ƒ Explicit Knowledge: Knowledge that we know that we know. Can be
articulate, codified, stored, transferred through documents [Ref#10].
o Knowledge Management (KM):
ƒ Encouraging people to share knowledge in a form that others can easily
access [Ref#01 – Chapter 03].
ƒ The process by which an organization creates, captures, acquires and uses
knowledge to support and improve the performance of the organization
ƒ Set of methods for getting the right information to the right people at right
time [Ref#08].
ƒ KM is the explicit and systematic management of vital knowledge – and its
associated processes of creation, organization, diffusion, use and
exploitation [Ref#09].
o People Management:
ƒ "The development and implementation of an effective people management
strategy will help councils to ensure that they have the right people, in the
right places with the right skills, at the right time. To be effective a people
management strategy needs to be integrated with a council's overall
corporate strategy." [Ref#11].

One of the enduring subjects in the IT field since themed-1990s has been knowledge management.
Top corporate executives realized that their greatest corporate assets walk out of the door every
evening taking with them another crucial asset, knowledge.
Many feel that the term knowledge management creates the wrong impression, the term
management often brings forth the "we can control it" mindset. Knowledge cannot be controlled or
In essence knowledge exists in two states, tacit and explicit. Tacit knowledge exists within a
person's mind and it is private and unique to each person. Explicit knowledge has been articulated,
codified, and made public.
The process of transferring tacit knowledge to others in a key part of managing knowledge. To
emphasize this idea, some companies have stopped talking about knowledge management and use
only the term Knowledge sharing. [Ref#01 – Page 530-531]

To make it crystal clear, we disagree with the following term used in the question and in this essay we
gathered supporting documents to prove that it is not correct:
"Knowledge Management" = "People Management"

Misnomer, incorrect naming – (as in dictionary).

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Information Systems Management Knowledge is a Misnomer? Essay Paper – Group # 9

The problem
• It is very important to understand that Knowledge Management is different from People's
Management, even though both of them have a wide common goals such as leverage the skills of
the individuals, capitalize and invest in HR. Yet each of them has its focus: People's Management
focuses on employee life cycle from recruitment until retirement, training, qualifications,
evaluation, payroll, incentives, reduction of turn over ratio…etc. on the other hand Knowledge
management (KM) focuses on both structure of the knowledge environment and also encouraging
the knowledge sharing (KS) using the different KS enablers.
• How can we transfer knowledge from person's minds to a sharable, articulated, codified and made
public without management? [Shereen M.]
• The most important tacit knowledge isn't simply explicit knowledge that hasn't yet been uttered.
Humans aren't databases just waiting for the right quires to be run. The tact knowledge that lets a
CFO see in 10 seconds why a proposed merge is unlikely to work, is emergent knowledge [Ref#06].
• Attempt to make explicit the tacit knowledge in an organization may in fact be an attempt to short-
circuit the chaotic process of emergence. But that's exactly what emergence doesn't allow. In such
cases a KM system can nourish the intelligence from which wisdom emerges but neither replace it
nor make it explicit [Ref#06]!
• Challenge: "We need to know what we do know exactly (Tacit)?, when create and share new
knowledge that moves from tacit to explicit so others can use it" [Ref#08].
• Why don't people share? [Ref#08].
(a) Its not convenient, (b) They don't know what they know, (c) They don’t know the value of what
they know (d) They believe knowledge hoarding is job security (e) Don't get credit for it (f) They don't
have the time.
• Knowledge Gap, due to the fast change in business and technology, the gap in knowledge –
captured, shared- might become bigger and bigger [Ref#08].
• When employees leave, their knowledge walks out the door [Ref#08].
• 80 percent of our knowledge is in our heads [Ref#08].
• 50 percent of the corporate knowledge is hidden in e-mail [Ref#08].

Argument / Solution
• Argument
- Today’s business environment is characterized by continuous, often radical change. Such a
volatile climate demands a new attitude and approach within organizations-actions must be
anticipatory, adaptive, and based on a faster cycle of knowledge creation. [Ref#02].
- Ability to handle technological issues such as content management, web-based collaboration,
advanced search capabilities and enterprise portals... etc. [Ref#06].
- We need to develop a new dialogue between KM and IT practitioners – a two-way
conversation that should challenge. Provoke and support on both sides [Ref#06].
- Knowledge Conversion [Ref#10].

• Solution
- Knowledge is the interplay of people and
processes [Ref#08].

- KS approaches: Collaboration,
Communities of practice, content
management, Decision support, Expertise
locator, Good practices, Knowledge
mapping, Learning, Lessons learned,
Portals, Storytelling, Social capital
networking & Taxonomy [Ref#08].

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Information Systems Management Knowledge is a Misnomer? Essay Paper – Group # 9

- KM facts: (a) Knowledge lives in communities and network, (b) Group knowledge is more
powerful than individual knowledge, (c) Knowledge sharing needs trust to develop trust, some
interactions need to be face-to-face [Ref#08].
- Why do people share? [Ref#08].
(a) They take pride in their expertise, (b) They enjoy interacting with people, (c) They wish to
learn, (d) They expect others to reciprocate, (e) They want to contribute to the common good, (f)
Their culture encourages sharing & (g) They are loyal to the organization.

- Knowledge Conversion [Ref#09].

- Enabling the Solution [Ref#10].

(a) Intention, (b) Autonomy, (c) Fluctuation and
creative chaos, (d) Redundancy & (e) Requisite

- Implications [Ref#10].
o Create a knowledge Vision
o Develop a knowledge team.
o Adopt middle-up-down management.
o Switch to a hypertext organization.
o Construct a knowledge network with
the outside world.

Experiment/ Proof/ of the solution

• Experiment
- The World Bank spends three percent of its budget to transform itself from a lending to a
knowledge bank [Ref#08].
- GSA uses 'lessons learned' in one area
to improve operations throughout the
enterprise [Ref#08].
- US Navy implemented KM because
admirals want seamen to be able to
make decisions on their own during a
crises [Ref#08].
- KM saves BP / Amoco millions of
dollars-they spend 42, instead of 100,
days drilling deep water wells [Ref#08].
- Create/discover - 3M, Glaxo welcome
- Diffuse – HP,Thos. Miller, Rover, BP
- Measure/exploit – Skandia, Dow
- Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Automatic Home Bread Making Machine [Ref#10].
- Honda City, Developing the Car [Ref#10].

• Proof of the solution

Why is Knowledge Management Important in Today’s Business Climate?
"In the emerging economy, a firm's only advantage is its ability to leverage and utilize its
knowledge." [Ref#03]

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Information Systems Management Knowledge is a Misnomer? Essay Paper – Group # 9

- "Knowledge management is more of a strategy supported by technology that can show a

quantifiable, and sometimes substantial, return on investment." [Ref#04]
- "The best single lesson I ever learned was to maximize the intellect of the company. You
need to gather the knowledge of individuals, share those ideas and celebrate the sharing.
That, in the end, is how a company becomes great." [Ref#05]
- The Top 5 Reasons you need KM –
Today [Ref#06]:
1. KM helps you capitalize on
intellectual capital.
2. KM addresses your growing
knowledge needs.
3. KM benefits your budget (in an
up or down economy).
4. Delaying a KM implementation
puts you at a competitive
5. KM self-service saves money
and makes customers happy.

Research Implementation
Where is Knowledge Management Implement?
• The term Knowledge Management (KM) has become a key issue for government, industry and
certainly Information Technology (IT) executives. Several magazines have KM in their title, and
the number of books (amazon.com shows 423) is exploding. Organizations are becoming
increasingly aware of the importance of managing knowledge, like any other asset, to improve
their competitive advantage. Finally, Any Organizations Have a People Staff, KM can be
Implements [Ref#02].
• Knowledge management is simply necessary to any organization that deals with documents and
correspondence in any way and wants to tap into all the knowledge stored therein [Ref#06].
• Due to the fast-paced and competitive nature of the investment banking industry, need to leverage
knowledge collection and transfer in order to maintain a comprehensive advantage [Ref#06 - modified].

Literature review
• Ref#01 – Information systems Management in Practice, 7th edition, Barbra C.McNurlin, Raplph H. Sprague, JR.
• Ref#02 – Http://www.about-goal-setting.com/KM-library/knowledge-management-definition1.html
• Ref#03 – Larry Prusak, Executive Director of the, IBM Institute for Knowledge-Based Organizations (IKO).
• Ref#04 – From The Knowledge Management Payback, by Greg MacSweeney.
• Ref#05 – Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric,1981-2001.
• Ref#06 – David Weinberger edits "The Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization" (hyperorg.com), email
self@evident.com (Belel M.).
• Ref#07 – Kinney, 1998 (Belal M.).
• Ref#08 – Knowledge Sharing in the FAA, Peter F.Druncker (Belal M. Dec-2005).
o Difference between Data, information, Knowledge & Wisdom.
o Benefits of KM.
o How could you start a KS project?
• Ref#09 – Knowledge Management, The State of Practice, Dr.David J. Skyrme 1998 (Belel M.).
o Some Cases
o Action Planning
• Ref#10 – The Knowledg-Creating Company: HowJapanese Companies Create the Dynamic of Innovation., Jong Hun
Kim (Knowledge Management Systems) Nov. 10, 2005 (Belal M.).
o Knowledge Conversion
o Enabling Conditions
o Implications
• Ref#11 – URL= http://www.callcentres.com.au/reon.htm#People%20Management Waseem B.

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Information Systems Management Knowledge is a Misnomer? Essay Paper – Group # 9

Essay Contacts
- Ahmad Al-Musallami, AMusallami@Idealsoft.com.jo , AMusallami@Hotmail.com .
- Mamoun Abu Al Rob, mamouns2002@yahoo.com .
- Shereen Matarneh, Shereen_Matarneh77@Yahoo.com .
- Belal Al Majali, Majali@Hotmail.com .
- Alaa Darawsheh, Alaa_Darawshed@Yahoo.com .
- Wasim Biary, WaseemBayyari@Yahoo.com .

Document History
- Ver 1.0 2005/12/11 AMusallami, create the document skeleton.
- Ver 2.0 2006/01/02 AMusallami, collect & integrate material from all group members.
- Ver 3.0 2006/01/03 AMusallami, Enhancement & Integrations.
- Ver 3.1 2006/01/04 AMusallami, Enhancement of document.
- Ver 3.2 2006/01/04 AMusallami, Last update.
- Ver 3.3 2006/01/06 AMusallami, Last update, adding Waseem's part.
- Ver 3.4 2006/01/06 AMusallami, Last update, correction from Bilal.

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