What is Knowledge Management: Underscoring the 3 Viewpoints of KM Implementation

Knowledge management is essentially the effective and efficient utilization of corporate intelligence that can be distributed to improve the business process. This however is just one of the many definitions that could answer the question: what is knowledge management? In fact, many knowledge management professionals have incorporated new ideas and innovation to the concept. This is due to the developing nature of knowledge management. It is important to note that KM, as a separate management discipline, is a young practice. Popularized only in 1995, the theory and concepts of KM continue to evolve as innovations are incorporated.

There are three points of view associated with the implementation of knowledge management. The first is the technological view of KM. This refers to the approach used by managers in implementing knowledge management. It primarily relies on the use of technology such as software and application tools to create knowledge base and distribute the know-how in the enterprise. This view is more associated with information systems managers who are tasked also to handle knowledge management.

The second viewpoint is the structural KM approach. A structural approach principally relies on the creation of organizations from which knowledge can be generated, processed, and distributed. This is more associated with engineers and systems analyst who are implementing their own brand of KM.

Finally, the third view point is the externalist knowledge manager. Externalism focuses their efforts on creating conducive venues to capture knowledge outside of the company’s assets. This point of view also adapts KM to different situations. Proponents of this approach are generally more flexible.

These viewpoints define the implementation of KM on different companies operating under different business environments.