Wednesday, September 22, 2004

KM and LIS: part4

It seems that knowledge management has extended the LIS job market to the outside of traditional libraries and information services units. Although the level of LIS professionals involvement in the KM programs may varies.Facing with the phenomenon of information overload in companies and organizations, LIS professionals are increasingly needed to managing the huge volume of information and to providing people with the high-quality information. Indeed, information management is the heart of every KM programs.Ajiferuke (2003), has conducted the empirical research understanding the role of information professionals in KM programs in Canada. The result of his research shows that:Many of information professionals involved in the programs areplaying key roles, such as the design of the information architecture, development of taxonomy, or content management of the organization’s intranet. Others play lesser roles, such as providing informationfor the intranet, gathering competitive intelligence, or providing research services as requested by the knowledge management team.While these results make us happy, there are other researchs which show different results. I will write about them later.
Ajiferuke, I 2003, 'Role of information professionals in knowledge management programs: Empirical evidence from Canada', Informing Science Journal, no. 6, pp. 247-57.

KM and LIS: part3

There is a general acknowledgement within the literature that although LIS professionals have excellent information management skills in order to be significant players in knowledge management they need to gain additional skills and overcome a number of obstacles. Some of these obstacles arise from their personal behavior and some from an inappropriate type of education. Abell & Oxbrow (2001) state that from the employers' point of view the specific obstacles are as follows:
lack of business knowledge
lack of understanding of the interplay between information and organizational objectives
poor team and leadership skills
lack of management skills
Another general criticism of LIS professionals is that they are reluctant to change or slow to do so even when the need to do so is apparent. So, they fail to seize the opportunities.
To successfully engage in knowledge management, LIS professionals must have a holistic view and go beyond the narrow scope of their profession.
Abell, A & Oxbrow, N (2001), Competing with knowledge: the information professionals in the knowledge management age, Library Association Publishing, London.

KM and LIS: part2

LIS professionals are not in unanimity about knowledge management. Some commentators argue that knowledge management is nothing more than information management (Wilson 2002) or that it is no different from what librarians have done for years (Koenig 1997). Nevertheless, there is a general acknowledgement within the literature that LIS professionals have excellent information management skills in order to be significant players in knowledge management. Abell & Oxbrow state that:“A knowledge management environment needs excellent information management (IM). Although IM is not KM, knowledge is communicated through information, and the management of information creation, flow, storage and destruction is essential if individuals and groups are to share and build knowledge. The skills that facilitate the building of infostructures-the combination of information architecture, content management and information technology that enables individuals to access the right, reliable information at the right time, prevents information overload, and supports push-and-pull information delivery-are increasingly valued and sought by organizations. There are no doubt that the information profession has the theoretical basis and practical skills to provide this essential element of KM. (Abell and Oxbrow 2001)”
Wilson, Tom (2002) 'The nonsence of knowledge management', Information Research, 8(1).Koenig, MED (1996), 'Intelectual capital and knowledge management', IFLA Journal, 22(4), pp. 299-301.Abell, A & Oxbrow, N. (2001), Competing with knowledge: The information professionals in the knowledge management age, London: Library Association Publishing.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Implications for management development

Cullen (2004) in his article discuss implications for management development in a library and information service context. His article is based on a research of Irish LIS labour market.

Findings of the research shows that the most specific management skills which were sought by employers are:
  • Administrative/organisational skills
  • Staff management/Supervision
  • Leadership
  • Analytical skills/judgement
  • Project management
  • Staff training and development
  • Management skills (general)
  • Problem solving

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Education for knowledge management

The results of a research by Chaudhry & Higgins (2001) shows:
  • 1. KM courses are mainly offered at the graduate level.
  • 2. These KM courses are from the areas of business, computing, and information.
  • 3. The highest number of KM courses is part of the master's degree in information systems or studies.
  • 4. Information systems and studies departments focused more on knowledge repositories and developing and managing contents.
  • 5. Contents of KM courses in information schools show a slant towards information organization and management, emphasizing on information needs, resource selection, and information search and retrieval.
Information studies programs with ambitions of introducing a knowledge management specialty ought to add additional courses on knowledge organization, KM enabling technologies and knowledge-based organization, in addition to the introductory course on knowledge management covering basic topics of knowledge concepts, technologies, processes and strategies.