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.

Friday, April 01, 2005

knowledge management real practice in libraries

It is one year that I am working on knowledge management and LIS. I think I have read almost all resources about the relationships between KM and LIS. Almost all of papers in this area discuss some general ideas about the role of LIS professionals in knowledge management, skills needed to successfully engaged in KM, ect. I haven't come across with papers which discuss the implications of KM for libraries or case studies which describe the real KM practice in libraries. Except one paper which is about KM in reference services there is no resource (or at least I couldn't find) about detailed KM practice in libraries. LIS community should pay more attention to this area and promote real KM in libraries.

The implications of knowledge management for libraries and LIS professionals

Above is my thesis topic. I want to find the implications of knowledge management for libraries and LIS professionals. With LIS professionals, I mean everybody within library sector (both library education and library services). I got a comment from one of famous LIS teachers that "LIS professionals is a reasonable interpretation for LIS when combined with education, but when linked with professionals (or community), is perhaps more often means Library and Information Services). I agree with her. Based on the definition of LIS in Wikipedia, it refers to study and research rather than services. But I mean both.

I think changing the topic to:"the implications of knowledge management for library and information professions" will include both libraries and all people within library area. I am looking forward to hear from you.