Knowledge management is a process that involves developing, storing, retrieving and disseminating information and expertise in an organization in the form of people skills

Introduction

Knowledge management is a process that involves developing, storing, retrieving and disseminating information and expertise in an organization in the form of people skills, documents, and resources in order to support as well as improve business performance.  According to Alavi & Leidner (2001, p. 121) research trends in knowledge management show that this is a multifaceted concept. The existing literature on knowledge management reveals a lot about the various emerging trends in various theoretical and methodological approaches.

This annotated bibliography analyzes the issues of research and practice trends in knowledge management, which have been highlighted in different studies. The first research paper under review is by Patton (2001), who evaluates various knowledge management standards relating. The second article is by Pan (1999), who focuses on practical aspects of knowledge management on the basis of a case study. The third article is by Ross (2001), who investigates the knowledge flow model that is used in R&D processes. In the fourth article, the analysis by Wilson (2002) of the inconsistent usages of the term ‘knowledge management’ in the current literature is presented.  The fifth article is by Grover (2001), who presents a general perspective on the trends followed in knowledge management research.

 

Title and reference of articlePatton, M, 2001, Evaluation, Knowledge Management, Best Practices, and High Quality Lessons Learned, American Journal of Evaluation, Vol. 22, No. 6, p. 329.
Type of articleResearch Based paper
Aim/Purpose of articleThe purpose of this paper was to highlight various best knowledge management practices and the high-quality lessons that have been learnt in efforts to come up with these practices. The study evaluates the different meanings derived in efforts to come up with a standard procedure for knowledge management.
Sample, location, method of data collection and analysisReview of literature on knowledge management, particularly issues of best practices as well as the high quality lessons that have been learned.
FindingsThe researcher found out that the high quality lessons learnt are a representation of various principles that are extrapolated from different sources and before being triangulated in order to make them more transferable in an independent manner. The evaluation profession was found to face many challenges, one of them being to maintain a degree of rigor in all different discussions on ‘best practices’ in knowledge management.
Significance of article in relation to: other articles, your topic or prior researchThis research has generated findings that signify that different knowledge management terminology usages ought to be monitored through platforms such as journals, and conferences. Secondly, there is need for dialogue on different ways of bringing rigor to emerging popular concepts. Thirdly, there is need for identification and holding up of emulation exemplars relating to all the high-quality lessons learnt.
Limitations of article.The main limitation was scantiness of literature on best practices in knowledge management.

 

 

Title and reference of articlePan, S, 1999, ‘Knowledge Management in Practice: An Exploratory Case Study’ Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 359 – 374.
Title and reference of articlePan, S, 1999, ‘Knowledge Management in Practice: An Exploratory Case Study’ Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 359 – 374.
Type of articleExploratory case study
Aim/Purpose of articleThe aim of this paper was to investigate empirically the knowledge sharing process within the viewpoint of an international organization, known as Buckman Laboratories. The researcher used the socio-technical perspective to trace the interaction among different practices involving knowledge management as well as the contexts of use.
Sample, location, method of data collection and analysisThe study dwelt on knowledge sharing processes at Buckman Laboratories. The researcher used the socio-technical perspective in this investigation. Semi-structured interviews were supplemented with the observations made by the researcher. A qualitative approach was adopted in the analysis of data.
FindingsThe paper proposes that a socio-technical theoretical perspective that is relevant to knowledge management in organizational settings should be used. The paper’s main finding is that management-related leadership often has a crucial role to play whenever a multi-level context is being established, in which knowledge management practices are assimilated effectively.
Significance of article in relation to: other articles, your topic or prior researchThe significance of this case study arises from the recognition of the need for a socio-technical view of knowledge management to be adopted for purposes of research.
Limitations of article, e.g. location, industry, focusTheoretical arguments relating to knowledge management are difficult to relate to actual business practices.

 

 

 

Title and reference of articleRoss, A, (2001) ‘Knowledge Management in Research and Development’, Research-Technology Management, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 28-48.
Type of articleSurvey
Aim/Purpose of articleFirst, the knowledge flow model for use in R&D processes was to be established. The second one was to highlight different unique aspects of knowledge management, particularly those that are important to R&D processes. The third goal was to catalogue ‘better practices’ for use by R&D managers in facilitating the creation and flow of knowledge.
Sample, location, method of data collection and analysisNineteen leading R&D companies were surveyed. An analysis of knowledge management in all these companies was carried out and a special report prepared on the basis of knowledge management trends, practices and issues observed.
FindingsThis article identified a company’s structure and culture as the critical factors that enable the flow of knowledge, with issues of choice of IT tools being of secondary importance. The paper also identified six initiatives that are currently being used by leading companies. These initiatives include instillation of goals and strategies, creating access to tacit knowledge, provision of search tools, promoting creativity, capturing new learning, and building a supportive culture.
Significance of article in relation to: other articles, your topic or prior researchThis research paper has significant for knowledge management practitioners who have an interest in different areas of R&D. It is significant in the process of figuring out the existing opportunities on knowledge management within R&D as well as their utilization in business contexts. This research is also a key milestone in knowledge management research in R&D.
Limitations of article, e.g. location, industry, focus

Aim/Purpose of articleThe article sought to analyze the basis and origins of the concept of knowledge management, its various components and the development processes it has gone through as a consultancy practice. The paper seeks to distinguish between ‘knowledge’ and ‘information’ and to explore the use of the term ‘tacit knowing’ with an aim of finding out the inconsistencies in the use of these terms.
Sample, method of data collection, analysisSampling was done using data gathered from journal literature, websites of consultancy companies, and presentations of various business schools. The use of targeted knowledge management phrases and terminology is described and analysis made. Trends on how the concept of knowledge management is used are highlighted. Any inconsistencies in the usage of the term are also indicated. Likewise, a similar analysis is carried out on the opinions held by professionals in the consultancy field.
FindingsThe research reveals the meaning of knowledge management as one that covers various organizational activities, some of which are not closely related to issue of managing knowledge. Those activities that have little to do with  how information is managed involve issues of various work practices, whereby attention is put on the overriding overarching expectation that dynamics in communication-related practices and trends will result in sharing of information.
Significance of article.These findings are very significant in that they generate a clear understanding of the basis upon which the term ‘knowledge management’ is used. To KM practitioners, these findings mean a lot, since they are an excellent launching pad for further research on knowledge management theory and practice.
Limitations of article.It was difficult to make sense of interchanging usages of the terms ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ to refer to the same thing.

 

Title and reference of articleGrover, V, 2001, ‘General Perspectives on Knowledge Management: Fostering a Research Agenda’ Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 5-21.
Type of articlereview
Aim/Purpose of articleThe article seeks to trace what is already known regarding knowledge management as described by Galunic (2001, p. 1196), information technology, and knowledge management research. The paper provides two complementary frameworks for highlighting potential opportunities for the creation of a knowledge management agenda. The paper also contains reviews of articles in the current issue.
Sample, location, method of data collection and analysisVarious useful knowledge management concepts are described and practices are highlighted with focus being put on various types of knowledge management projects that professionals often investigate. A discussion of knowledge management research trends is presented, where the concept of fragmentation in research and the need for a process and market frameworks is assessed.
FindingsThe findings indicate that efforts on many fronts are required for knowledge management research efforts to be successful. Knowledge management is found to offer many avenues for research, whether a process or market efficiency context is adopted. The research study is a crucial step towards setting up standards for research practices in knowledge management. The most notable significance of these findings is increased sense of interconnectedness between research agenda and various practical issues in knowledge management. For this reason, a healthy tension between knowledge and action needs to be maintained for purposes of organizational success.
Significance of articleThe research is significant for knowledge management researchers who have an interest in process and market efficiency issues in business.
Limitations of articleThe number of articles that were reviewed was restricted to three. This is because these are the only articles that had been published in the current issue. It would have been better for many more knowledge management articles to be analyzed and reviewed.

 

 Conclusion

In summary, knowledge management issues have discussed and explored from many perspectives with regard to their applicability in the organization. In this annotated bibliography, Wilson (2002, p. 24) sheds light on the inconsistency with which the term ‘knowledge management’ has been used. These views have also been expressed by Galunic, 2001, p. 1196). Moreover, as Marwick (2001, p. 821) points out, the concept of knowledge management seems to have two distinct meanings, one for technologists and another for business management theorists.

The discussion of the five articles that constitute the annotated bibliography shed light on the current trends in research on knowledge management; especially the gaps should be filled in with further research. Many opportunities for further research are clearly noticeable upon an analysis of these research articles.

The literature that was explored in the area of knowledge management in R&D. was limited




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