Loading
Nota de Estudos
Study Reminders
Support
Text Version

From Information to Knowledge

Set your study reminders

We will email you at these times to remind you to study.
  • Monday

    -

    7am

    +

    Tuesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Wednesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Thursday

    -

    7am

    +

    Friday

    -

    7am

    +

    Saturday

    -

    7am

    +

    Sunday

    -

    7am

    +

From Information to Knowledge

From Information to Knowledge
Knowledge is a strategic resource for many organizations. We can define knowledge as "information plus know-how" (Kogut and Zander, 1992).
Information alone is not enough to produce knowledge; we must also understand the best way to use information to solve a problem, contribute to a product or service, or make a similar contribution to the organization.
Knowledge builds over time in the heads of employees in the form of past decisions, processes in the organization, characteristics of products, interests of customers, and similar experiences.
An Example: From Information to Knowledge
A colleague of mine likes to tell the story of a New England company that decided
to move to the South. It offered all current employees jobs but would pay the
moving expenses only of employees above a certain management level. When the
company left for its new location, most of the staff stayed behind. Within a year,
the company was bankrupt. It had lost the knowledge that the staff possessed on
how to run the business.
Customers did not like dealing with new order processing and customer service staff members who did not know their business and needs. These customers began to place their orders with competitors, and the firm could not survive its loss of knowledge from the staff it left behind.


From Information to Knowledge
Highly developed countries are in a "post-industrial" age; they have far more
employees in the services industry than in manufacturing. Most of these people
work with information and rely on their knowledge to earn income; employees in
this sector are often called "knowledge workers."
For such organizations, knowledge is a strategic resource; it is valuable and hard to imitate.
Imagine a company like Andersen Consulting with over 45,000 employees worldwide. When a new client approaches Andersen Consulting with a problem, there is probably someone at the consulting firm that has relevant knowledge to help solve the problem. Andersen's consultants represent a huge investment in knowledge; the firm's challenge is to capture that knowledge and make it available throughout the world. Andersen Consulting uses information technology, including groupware and an Intranet, to help meet this challenge.


From Information to Knowledge
It is instructive to look at different types of knowledge; Nonaka(1994) distinguishes between explicit and tacit knowledge.
Explicit knowledge.
Explicit knowledge is represented by facts. Our formal education provides a great deal of explicit knowledge. This text is an example of an attempt to present explicit knowledge to you, knowledge about information technology and how to manage it in an organization.
Tacit knowledge.
Tacit knowledge is something we understand but have difficulty explaining. A good example of tacit knowledge is the ability to ride a bicycle. Many people can ride a bicycle, but it is very hard to explain in words to someone how to master this skill; our knowledge about bike riding is tacit.
By internalizing explicit knowledge, we turn it into tacit knowledge. If you are able to articulate tacit knowledge, you may be able to convert it to explicit knowledge for others to use.


From Information to Knowledge
How do companies acquire knowledge? The most obvious way is through experience, working with products, services, customers and suppliers.
Knowledge often comes from beginning to understand cause and effect relationships. Almost everything that one does in an organization presents a learning opportunity.
Research and Development departments, new product groups, engineers, and similar groups are formal efforts of the firm to create and acquire knowledge.
One important job for a manager is to foster the development of organizational knowledge and to create an organization that learns as it operates.