Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Knowledge is power

The idea of "knowledge is power" is not new. Hence KM has highlighted it. 12 centuries ago, Ferdowsi, one of oldest Persian poets says: "One who has wisdom is powerful".

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Corporate culture in libraries

Library literature has started to apply business procedures for libraries to enhance their effectiveness and sustainability. I just came across with two interesting papers. One of them discusses the implications of e-commerce for marketing the library services and resources and another one discusses the corporate culture in libraries.
When the whole world is going to be involved in business why not libraries?
Applying best practices and procedures from other fields would help library and information professions from being EXTINCT in competition with other information suppliers.
Libraries are not for profit organizations but they have to prove their cooperation in return in investment. Following the way that for profit organizations attract customers to buy their products would help libraries to keep their patrons.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Report of actKM conference

  • Six annual actKM conference 2005, held 26-27 October in Canberra, Australia. The conference theme was: managing knowledge for better performance. Participants were mainly from Australia. Over two session days the following topics were covered:
    · Knowledge, productivity & performance – what does it all mean?
    · Creating the knowledge environment for better organizational performance
    · Knowledge, productivity & performance in teams
    · Enabling individual knowledge worker productivity & performance – what works & what doesn’t
    The conference was divided to 3 different sections: papers, workshops and research forum. The actKM Research Forum was held for the second time at this year's actKMAnnual Conference. Six doctoral candidates at various stages of thecandidacy, including one recent graduate, presented some very interestingpapers on their research topic and findings. I presented my paper at research forum. My topic was: “The implications of knowledge management for the library and information professions”. The research forum directors were tasked with selecting the best paper, They decided to award the prize jointly to:
  • Monica Kennedy, PhD Candidate, University of Canberra, ExploringExperiences of Learning and Knowing at Work: findings from a publicsector case study
  • Dr Michelle Mau, DBA Graduate, Southern Cross University, MappingInformation Flows in an Australian Public Sector

    LIS professionals in actKM conference
    For me as a student with the LIS background investigating the phenomenon of knowledge management in the LIS environment as my PhD project, the most interesting aspect of the conference was the great participation of librarians in the conference as speakers or participants. Mentioning all names is far that the scope of this short report. But two famous and influencing people from the LIS background were Nerida Hart and Patrik Lambe. Nerida Hart was member of conference committee team and ran 2 workshops with her colleagues entitled: “Australian Public Service KM community of practice” and “Why organizations don’t get best value from their knowledge and information resources: an emergent causal examination”. Nerida has worked in libraries since 1973. She is currently Director of the Knowledge and Information Services Section, Family and Community Services Library. Patrick Lambe and his colleagues presented a paper in the conference. Patrick Lambe is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Straits Knowledge, a Singapore-based research and consulting firm that focuses on how Asian organisations use their knowledge. He has a Master's degree in Information Studies from the University of London, and is currently Vice President of the Singapore Information and Knowledge Management Society. Patrick has worked in several academic and special libraries in the UK.

Friday, July 15, 2005

An experience to share with you

I got only 5 more responses after sending a reminder email to mailing lists. So, it seems it if people want to participate, do it in the first invitation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Some frequent cited sentences in knowledge management literature

I intend to bring here some most frequent cited sentences in KM literature. You can suggest a sentence as well.

This is one of most frequent cited sentence which authors refer to in tacit knowledge:

[knowledge] "originates and is applied in the minds of the knowers. In organizations, it often becomes embeded not only in documents or repositories, but also in in the organizational routines, processes, practices and norms."
Davenport, T.H. and Prusak, L. working knowledge, Harvard Business School Press, 1998.

"Tacit knowledge is personal, unarticulated knowledge, which is part of indivitual experience. Explicit knowledge is recorded, expressed in formal language and transmitted easily. The four which describe the conversion of tacit to explicit knowledge are socialization, externalization, combination and internalization.
Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge creating company. Oxford University Press.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Library and information professionals' real engagement in knowledge management

Except one study from Canada, I haven't come across with an evidence about real involvement in the KM by library and information professionals. It is a good research topic for those who are interested in this area.

Is knowledge leverage librarians' task?

Although I am agree with most parts of .">Ferguson's paper it is hard to accept some other points. For example:

The more senior "knowledge-enabling" tasks...require a level of leverage that very few librarians enjoy, although many may aspire to it.Some include a strategic information management role that includes development of an organization's IT infrastructure...
Knowledge leverage needs to take place in parts of the organization never reached by librarians.
It seems to me, therefore, that many of the knowledge-enabling tasks are best effected by the Human Resources division in an organization. We are talking about significant evolutionary developments in organizational culture.

We should ask ourselves why librarians can't reach knowledge leverage?
If library and information professionals expand their skills are there better opportunities for them on knowledge management?
I think librarians should be part of a team for IT infrastructure because as Dorabjee (2004) states: IT staff tended to focused on the technical side, ignoring the more fundamental information management requirements.

Dorabjee, S 2004, 'The business of information: are information professionals risk-averse?' Business Information Review, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 148-56.

Do library managers practice better knowledge management than any other type of managers?

In his excellent paper, Ferguson, discusses some challenges I was thinking about. He shows some similarities between Information Management and Knowledge Management and suggests that it is better for library and information professionals to involve in KM from their IM skills and applying KM for their libraries rather than claiming to be their organization's knowledge manager.
Below is some extracts from his paper:

  • We should be asking whether the KM principles that some see as integral to librarianship are actually practiced in our libraries.
  • There is no empirical evidence to suggest that library managers practice better KM than any other type of manager.
  • Library managers whose ability to leverage the intellectual capital of their libraries leaves considerable 'room for improvement'

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A comment on my thesis topic

A librarian from the Middle-East Librarians Association (MELA), has given me a comment on my thesis topic. Following is what she/he has written:
"I've been a librarian for over 30 years and I've got an M.B.A. Business models are designed as methods to help organizations achieve the best bottom line. In other words, they are model that support competition and beating rival businesses. As we're seeing in the global economy, competition tends to end up with a few very large businesses eliminating the competition. Libraries work on a the basis of cooperation. No single library can own or provide everything, especially when services need to be delivered locally. It is essential for libraries to cooperate among themselves. The sustainable farming models would be a more suitable model for libraries, which need to adapt themselves to local conditions. Maybe you would be able to redefine a variant of those as a knowledge management system. Although, since you probably have to finish your dissertation along the lines you've started, that might be something you do later."

I think this is misunderestanding of knowledge management.
As far as I know, the KM purpose is acheiving the organization's goals. In business the goal is making more mony and competition. Non-profit organizations like libraries and governments have different goals and KM helps these kinds of organizations to reach their own aims.

As Dorabjee (2004) states: " These opportunities include saving resources and costs, working more efficiently, ensuring information expertise is deployed appropriately, turining competitors (both internal competitors: those in KM, IT, training and records management and external: publishers, deliverers of desktop e-content and other external information or service providers) into collaborators, and ultimately the opportunity to survive and thrive.

Dorabjee, S 2004, 'The business of information: are information professionals risk-averse?' Business Information Review, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 148-56.