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Knowledge management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizations as processes or practices. An established discipline since 1991 (see Nonaka 1991), KM includes courses taught in the fields of business administration, information systems, management, and library and information sciences . More recently, other fields have started contributing to KM research; these include information and media, computer science, public health, and public policy. Many large companies and non-profit organizations have resources dedicated to internal KM efforts, often as a part of their business strategy, information technology, or human resource management departments . Several consulting companies also exist that provide strategy and advice regarding KM to these organizations. Knowledge management efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with organizational learning, and may be distinguished from that by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the sharing of knowledge.

Knowledge transfer in the fields of organizational development and organizational learning is the practical problem of transferring knowledge from one part of the organization to another (or all other) part(s) of the organization. Like knowledge management, knowledge transfer seeks to organize, create, capture or distribute knowledge and ensure its availability for future users. It is considered to be more than just a communication problem. If it were merely that, then a memorandum, an e-mail or a meeting would accomplish the knowledge transfer. Knowledge transfer is more complex because (1) knowledge resides in organizational members, tools, tasks, and their subnetworks and (2) much knowledge in organizations is tacit or hard to articulate. The subject has been taken up under the title of knowledge management since the 1990s. Argote & Ingram (2000) define knowledge transfer as "the process through which one unit (e.g., group, department, or division) is affected by the experience of another" (p. 151). They further point out the transfer of organizational knowledge (i.e., routine or best practices) can be observed through changes in the knowledge or performance of recipient units. The transfer of organizational knowledge, such as best practices, can be quite difficult to achieve. Szulanski's doctoral dissertation ("Exploring internal stickiness: Impediments to the transfer of best practice within the firm") proposed that knowledge transfer within a firm is inhibited by factors other than a lack of incentive.

Perspective in theory of cognition is the choice of a context or a reference (or the result of this choice) from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another. One may further recognize a number of subtly distinctive meanings, close to those of paradigm, point of view, reality tunnel, umwelt, or weltanschauung. To choose a perspective is to choose a value system and, unavoidably, an associated belief system. When we look at a business perspective, we are looking at a monetary base values system and beliefs. When we look at a human perspective, it is a more social value system and its associated beliefs. In social psychology one would talk in terms of the other person's point of view when soliciting or motivating the other person to do something for you. Being able to see the other person's point of view is one of Henry Ford's advice towards being successful in business. "If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own".

The Information Audit (IA) extends the concept of auditing holistically from a traditional scope of accounting and finance to the organisational information management system. Information is representative of a resource which requires effective management and this led to the development of interest in the use of an IA. Prior the 1990s and the methodologies of Orna, Henczel, Wood, Buchanan and Gibb, IA approaches and methodologies focused mainly upon an identification of formal information resources (IR). Later approaches included an organisational analysis and the mapping of the Information flow. This gave context to analysis within an organisation’s information systems and a holistic view of their IR and as such could contribute to the development of the Information Systems Architecture (ISA). In recent years the IA has been overlooked in favour of the systems development process which can be less expensive than the IA, yet more heavily technically focused, project specific (not holistic) and does not favour the top-down analysis of the IA.

Narrative inquiry or narrative analysis emerged as a discipline within the broader field of qualitative research. It is an approach to understanding and researching the way people create meaning of their lives as narratives. Linked fields are narratology and life writing. Narrative Inquiry should be distinguished from storytelling in that the word narrative implies an audience and a narrator. Of interest to narrative inquirers is not what happened so much as what meaning did people make of what happened. Narrative Inquiry is a fairly recent movement in social science qualitative research. It has been employed as a tool for analysis in the fields of cognitive science, organizational studies, knowledge theory, sociology and education studies, among others. Other recent advances include the development of quantitative methods and tools based on the large volume capture of fragmented anecdotal material, and that which is self signified or indexed at the point of capture. According to D. Clandinin and F. Connelly, Narrative Inquiry is an understanding of “narrative as both phenomena under study and method of study” Clandinin and Connelly define Narrative Inquiry as a method that uses the following field texts as data sources: stories, autobiography, journals, field notes, letters, conversations, interviews, family stories, photos (and other artifacts), and life experience. Narrative Inquiry emerged not just as a form of qualitative research, but from the field of Knowledge Management, which shares the sphere of Information Management.

A business process or business method is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers. It often can be visualized with a flowchart as a sequence of activities with interleaving decision points or with a Process Matrix as a sequence of activities with relevance rules based on the data in the process. There are three types of business processes: Management processes, the processes that govern the operation of a system. Typical management processes include "Corporate Governance" and "Strategic Management". Operational processes, processes that constitute the core business and create the primary value stream. Typical operational processes are Purchasing, Manufacturing, Advertising and Marketing, and Sales. Supporting processes, which support the core processes. Examples include Accounting, Recruitment, Call center, Technical support. A business process begins with a mission objective and ends with achievement of the business objective. Process-oriented organizations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to avoid functional silos. A business process can be decomposed into several sub-processes, which have their own attributes, but also contribute to achieving the goal of the super-process. The analysis of business processes typically includes the mapping of processes and sub-processes down to activity level.

Consistent with the working definition used in Knowledge Management for Nuclear Industry Operating Organizations, IAEA TECDOC Series No.1510 this document also defines knowledge management (KM) to be an integrated, systematic approach to identifying, acquiring, transforming, developing, disseminating, using, sharing, and preserving knowledge, relevant to achieving specified objectives. The use of KM helps an organization to gain insight and understanding from its own experience. Specific activities in knowledge management help the organization to better acquire, store and utilize knowledge. Knowledge management consists of three fundamental components: people, processes and technology (see Figure 1). Knowledge management focuses on people and organizational culture to stimulate and nurture the sharing and use of knowledge; on processes or methods to find, create, capture and share knowledge; and on technology to store and assimilate knowledge and to make it readily accessible in a manner which will allow people to work together even if they are not located together. People are the most important component in a KM system and the creation of new knowledge is one of its most valuable byproducts. For a KM system to function properly, the people involved must be willing to share and re-use existing knowledge and to cooperatively generate new knowledge to the advantage of the organization.

The Knowledge Management Professional Society (KMPro) is a non-profit organization and was founded in 2001 as the main professional body for those working in the broad field of Knowledge Management (KM) throughout the world and it is a society created by KM professionals for KM professionals. It is the only international, non-profit membership organization in the field of KM. Its purpose is to encourage the practice of KM, promote best practice and to provide a community for those who are active in KM or who have an interest in KM. As a professional society KMPro encourages collaboration, co-operation, networking and fellowship amongst individuals working in this field. All those in any country or any kind of organization that are involved in or concerned with Knowledge Management can join the Society, which currently has more than 120,000 members from more than 88 countries. There are chapters located world-wide to provide opportunities for collaboration and networking on a local or regional basis, and members are also encouraged to interact through various virtual communities and social networking opportunities both internally and externally (KMPro LinkedIn Group and Certification Network LinkedIn Group). The Society publishes a periodic journal containing case studies, lessons learned, best practice, book reviews and other topics of interest to KM practitioners and the journal is available to both members and non-members.

The Know-Net consortium was a research project started in October 1998 and finalized in March 2000. This major multipartner industrial project was co-funded by the European Scientific Programme of Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT) of the European Commission within the theme of IT for Learning and Training in Industry (under contract ESPRIT EP28928). The aim of the project was to create, test and deliver a knowledge asset centric framework, methodologies, processes and tools. The Know-Net consortium comprised: INSEAD business school, Centre for Advanced Learning Technologies,(the lead in developing a knowledge asset measurement methodology); Planet, a Greek management consultancy company; The German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence DFKI; Knowledge Associates, a knowledge management company based in Cambridge UK; The Greek Institute of Communication and Computer Systems; Fachhochschule Basel, a Swiss academic institution; A research unit of the National Technical University of Athens. Testing and evaluation of the project deliverables was provided by two further members: UBS, the global financial institution, NAI Gooch Webster, a UK based chartered surveyors firm. The Know-Net solution was further validated and enhanced in a second project entitled LEVER (Leveraging Knowledge in the Software Industry). LEVER was funded by the Information Society Technologies (IST) programme of the European Commission under contract IST-1999-20216. The LEVER project started in November 2000 and was finalized in October 2001.

In business and engineering, new product development (NPD) is the term used to describe the complete process of bringing a new product to market. A product is a set of benefits offered for exchange and can be tangible (that is, something physical you can touch) or intangible (like a service, experience, or belief). There are two parallel paths involved in the NPD process: one involves the idea generation, product design and detail engineering; the other involves market research and marketing analysis. Companies typically see new product development as the first stage in generating and commercializing new products within the overall strategic process of product life cycle management used to maintain or grow their market share. Idea Generation is often called the "fuzzy front end" of the NPD process Ideas for new products can be obtained from basic research using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats), Market and consumer trends, company's R&D department, competitors, focus groups, employees, salespeople, corporate spies, trade shows, or Ethnographic discovery methods (searching for user patterns and habits) may also be used to get an insight into new product lines or product features. Lots of ideas are being generated about the new product. Out of these ideas many ideas are being implemented. The ideas use to generate in many forms and their generating places are also various. Many reasons are responsible for generation of an idea.

A social network is a social structure made up of a set of actors (such as individuals or organizations) and the dyadic ties between these actors. The social network perspective provides a clear way of analyzing the structure of whole social entities. The study of these structures uses methods of social network analysis to identify local and global patterns, locate influential entities, and examine network dynamics. Social networks and the analysis of them is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which emerged from social psychology, sociology, statistics, and graph theory. Georg Simmel authored early structural theories in sociology emphasizing the dynamics of triads and "web of group affiliations." Jacob Moreno is credited with developing the first sociograms in the 1930s to study interpersonal relationships as structures in which people were points and the relationships between them were drawn as connecting lines. These approaches were mathematically formalized in the 1950s and theories and methods of social networks became pervasive in the social and behavioral sciences by the 1980s. Social network analysis is now one of the major paradigms in contemporary sociology, and is also employed in a number of other social and formal sciences. Together with other complex networks, it forms part of the nascent field of network science. A social network is a theoretical construct useful in the social sciences to study relationships between individuals, groups, organizations, or even entire societies (social units, see differentiation).


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