Monday, February 21, 2005

Knowledge management and information management

Except some commentators who believe that KM is nothing more than information management (Wilson, 2002), there is a general agreement within the literature that information management is one of the most important component of knowledge management. The distinct difference between KM and IM is that the focus of KM is in not only external but also internal knowledge. People (both employee and customer) are very important in KM practice." in broad terms, KM shares IM's user perspective-a focus on valuse as a function of user satisfaction rather than the efficiency of the technology that houses and delivers the information" (Prusak, 2001). Grey (1998) made a distinction, that is, "working with objects (data or information) is information management and working with people is knowledge management."

How do you effectively share knowledge and expertise that's grown within an organization? That's never been part of what a librarian has been asked to look at. (Foy as quoted by DiMattia & Oder, 1997)

Forman sees KM as part of a shift in librarian consciousness: "if we remain in the 'we design and they will come and use' tradition of librarianship, we will fail. Everything has to be user-defined and librarians should build around that."(DiMattia & Oder, 1997)

The results of a study by Gu (2004) indicate that. after entering the 21st century, the development of KM research is much more remarkable than that of IM. KM has been leading IM in both publication productivity and academic population and tendency is overwhelmingly growing.

KM and LIS education

The present LIS education doesn't provide students with today's skills needed. Piccoli says she thinks that library schools should do a better job of helping students understand that they do not work in a vaccum-their library's services must be tied directly to the corporate mission. (DiMattia & Oder, 1997)

KM's emergence

KM has rooted from some different factors:

1. Downsizing: following downsizing, organizations came to recognize that they had lost years of valuable information and expertise and determined to protect themselves against a reoccurence.(DiMattia & Oder, 1997)

2. KM is a logical extension of the information society, an attempt to cope with the explosion of information and to capitalize on increased knowledge in the workplace.(DiMattia & Oder, 1997)

3. Globalization
4. Ubiquitous computing: access to information has expanded dramatically
5. The knowledge-centric view of the firm

(3,4 & 5: Prusak, 2001)

The role of libraries and librarians in KM

The relationship between KM and LIS, has discussed in the literature from different point of views. Some writers consider the role of LIS professionals in KM process in their organizations. They argue that librarians should act as partner with other units of the organization on a KM team, play a valuable role in the process, and potentially rise in their company's KM hierarchy.(DiMattia & Oder, 1997)

Friday, February 18, 2005

Major topics of LIS and KM literature

  • Almost every paper in KM and LIS field has started with a brief description of knowledge management and its origin and challenges: difference between data, information and knowledge; tacit and explicit knowledge; organizational culture and so on which are general in every KM paper.

    The most topics regarding KM in relation with LIS are:

    1. The similarities between library work and knowledge management
    2. The difference of knowledge mangement and information management
    3. The skills needed for librarians as knowledge workers
    4. The role of LIS professionals in knowledge management
    5. The barrieres in front of LIS professionals to successfully engaged in knowledge management
    6. The role of knowledge management in leveraging the library efficiency
    7. The implications of knowledge management for LIS education
    8. The role of knowledge mangement in LIS job market
  • 9. The role of knowledge mangement in leveraging the position of LIS professionals

Knowledge management in LIS literature

I think the enterance of knowledge management to the LIS literature and considering KM as a ground for LIS professionals has been started with Broadbent's paper in 1997. This paper is a reference of almost every paper in this field. The fast growth of KM and LIS literature can be showed with analying LISA (Library and Information Science Abstract) records from 1997 till now. The records which contain "knowledge management" in their title are 38 in 1997 and 592 in 2004.