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Sample Technology Essay: Knowledge Management at Thomson Reuters

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an online portal (“Learning Exchange”) as a tool in promoting knowledge sharing at a leading market information firm – Thomson Reuters. The company was having problems with the flow of knowledge amongst different departments across several countries, therefore as the several theorists suggest, a knowledge management system in the form of an intranet was implemented in a bid to promote knowledge sharing. Results obtained from a colleague working within the organization reported that the Learning Exchange has not been as successful as planned due to the low level of trust following the merger, employee unwillingness to share and also the competitive culture that is usually the norm in Knowledge companies, thus confirming several theorists’ view of the reasons behind intranet sharing failures. A new corporate wide initiative is therefore proposed, to minimize the predominant competitive culture; engage all users in the knowledge management system; and to include an increasing number of relevant information on Learning Exchange.

Keywords

Knowledge management, Knowledge sharing, Thomson Reuters, Intranet sharing, competitive advantage, market information industry, organizational effectiveness.

1. Introduction

a. Organization and Industry

The global market information industry, dominated mainly by Bloomberg (33%) and Thomson Reuters (34%), has been described as a duopolistic market that may determine the future trend in global businesses. Drucker (2001) reports that attainment of competitive advantage is increasingly focused on the possession of information and knowledge, as opposed to capital and labour – the norm in previous decades.

Thomson Reuters is a global market leader in market information, following the merger between Thomson Financials and Reuters in 2008. It is headquartered in Canada, and operates in 93 countries with over 50,000 staff (Thomson Reuters, 2009). 2008 revenues were ?13 billion.

Employees who work in the market information industry are composed mainly of journalists, market analysts, and technology professionals. All three occupations are composed mainly of knowledge workers. Therefore presenting the best opportunity to ascertain the effectiveness of knowledge management systems in such an industry.

b. Aims and Objectives

This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an online portal (“Learning Exchange”) as a tool in promoting knowledge sharing amongst those that know, and those that don’t, at leading market information firm – Thomson Reuters. Has the intranet tool that was implemented, really done its work in promoting collaboration amongst employees within the organization, and if so, how was that achieved?

The importance of this paper lies in its unique approach to the culture within the organization and its aim of drawing up recommendations that could result in substantial benefit to the knowledge management industry.

c. Nature of the issue

Thomson Reuters, an information company, was having problems with the flow of knowledge amongst different departments across several countries. Evaluating such a question, especially within a global organization, could lead to innumerable results regarding the overall effectiveness of such approaches in that industry, and could set footpaths for recommendations which could change the methods in which such platforms are implemented in the future.

Though my eventual findings are not certain, preliminary literature research clearly outlines that the success rate of any Knowledge Management Intranet system is based on the culture of the organization (Ruppel and Harrington, 2001), willingness of staff to accept the application (Goh, 2007), and integration strategies put into place that would encourage all stakeholders to use the intranet (Goh, 2007).

d. Paper Structure and Research Limitations

In order to verify or discredit such assumptions, this paper would be structured in a way such that it discusses the organizational and industry background in Introduction. Theories relating to knowledge management and sharing would be discussed in the literature review. A methodology section would outline the main procedures within which the author has gathered the data, and the analytical strategy being adopted, while the results and discussion chapter would compare the results from the organization against existing literature. Recommendations and Conclusions would be outlined in following chapters.

The major constraint that this paper may encounter, would be gaining access to the core knowledge workers whose information would make the Learning Exchange intranet very effective. What are their views regarding sharing their knowledge within the organization?

2. Literature Review

a. Knowledge in Organizations

Knowledge, as defined by Ajayi and Leidner (2001, p109), “is the information processing that takes place in human minds, as well as personalized information related to facts, procedures, concepts, interpretations, ideas, observations and judgements.”

Knowledge is a critical resource within organizations that may be used to gain and maintain competitive advantage (Drucker, 2001). There is therefore a high impetus for organizations to “exploit effective and efficient methods of preserving, sharing and reusing knowledge in order to help knowledge workers find task-relevant information” and also to help hedge the company against future uncertainties in the changing marketplace (Lai and Lui, 2009).

Nissen and Levitt (2002) assert that knowledge is unevenly distributed within most enterprises; therefore the flow of knowledge across time, location and departments is critical to organizational effectiveness and performance within a knowledge-based view of the firm. Data and Information may be in abundance within an organization, however the degree to which these result in actionable strategies depend on the level of knowledge being shared in the organization, as illustrated in figure 1 below (Ipe, 2003).

Figure 1: Knowledge Heirarchy, Source: Nissen (2002)

Data lies at the bottom level and is usually the most abundant resource within an organization, with information at the middle and knowledge being the least available resource (Nissen, 2002). Therefore the higher the collective knowledge base of the organization, the more effective it would be with strategies that properly utilize this core competence (Ipe, 2003). Argote and Ingram (2000) further argue that knowledge that is improperly distributed within an organization is of little importance, and for knowledge sharing to occur, some sort of mutual platform must be present that engages all individuals in the process of knowledge sharing.

b. Knowledge Management and Sharing

Knowledge Management is concerned with exploiting and developing the knowledge base of an organization with the aim of accomplishing the organizations main objectives (Rowley, 2000). Knowledge sharing, defined as the process in which employees diffuse and share relevant information amongst each other within an organization (Bartol and Srivastava, 2002) has been categorized as the most important part of Knowledge Management (Bock and Kim, 2002). The main aim of sharing organization knowledge is therefore to transfer organizational assets and resources between entities in an organization in order to promote streamlined processes, prevent repetitiveness (Dawson, 2001) and gain competitive advantage (Drucker, 2001).

Knowledge sharing plays a very important role in a company’s performance and innovation; the willingness to share knowledge within an organization is dependent on the focus of the organization, be it:

Job guarantee,
Individual performance,
Team performance or
Team learning (Meng Hsun et al, 2006).

Empirical evidence shows that the motivation to share knowledge is highly dependent on the team culture within the organization, and is highest with the team learning culture, whilst lowest with those companies laden with individual performance guarantees. Figure 2 below is a pictographic representation of Nissen and Levitt’s (2002) factors that affect knowledge sharing behaviours.

Figure 2: Factors that affect knowledge sharing behaviours. Source: Nissen and Levitt (2002)

Huysman and Wulf (2006) noted that individuals might not necessarily opt to share their knowledge in all situations, even if it’s an organizational requirement. Foss et al (2009) also states that an individuals decision whether or not to share knowledge is highly influenced by the benefits and costs associated with each option.

c. Promoting Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge exists at different levels within the organization, and may be subdivided into individual, group or department level knowledge bases (De Long and Fahey, 2000), therefore an organization’s ability to effectively leverage the knowledge of these subdivisions in accomplishing an organization wide objective is highly dependent on its people and the culture within which the knowledge is created, shared and used (Ipe, 2003). Leveraging this knowledge could result in improved streamlined processes, such as those in a knowledge flow hierarchy as depicted in figure 3.

Figure 3: Knowledge flow hierarchy, Source: Zhuge (2002)

According to Ipe (2003) knowledge sharing within organizations is highly contingent on the following factors:

Nature of the knowledge
Motivation to share
Opportunities to share, and
Culture of the work environment

Figure 4: Knowledge sharing triangle, Source: Ipe (2003)

The methods by which these factors influence one another in promoting knowledge sharing are depicted in Figure 4. The capacity by which these factors influence organizational knowledge depends highly on the business objectives of the organization, its structure, business processes, rewards systems and culture. The organizational culture has the most influence on the other three knowledge-sharing factors, as it determines to a large extent, how and what knowledge is valued, relationships and rewards associated with knowledge sharing, and also the formal and informal facilities and opportunities that stakeholders have to share knowledge (Ipe, 2003).

Bresman et al (1999) asserts that the essential part of knowledge management is the transfer of knowledge across business units, hierarchies, countries, sister units and multicultural environments. Organizations may therefore encounter setbacks with regards to an increase in geographical and cultural distance within the organization. Meng Hsun et al (2006) also asserts that firms may encounter setbacks due to neglecting human nature and the knowledge trading mechanism within the organization. Foss et al (2009) also supports this assumption by stating that an employee’s attitudes and competencies may impede knowledge sharing. Some are ignorant of the importance of sharing knowledge whilst others possess an unwillingness to share that may be due to fear of losing importance, superiority or knowledge ownership (Zhuge, 2002).

However, the notion that an individual’s motivation to share is the main determinant for knowledge sharing has been challenged by Hislop’s (2003) study. The results of the study, illustrate that the most important determinant in an employee’s willingness to share, is the employee attitudes towards sharing. Employees working within the sales department of an organization may not be as willing to share knowledge, compared to those working in Marketing.

In a bid to curb the negativity associated with Knowledge Sharing, Lin (2006) discovered that the following motivational factors were significantly associated with employee knowledge sharing attitudes:

Reciprocal benefits,
Knowledge self efficacy and,
Enjoyment in helping in helping others.

De Vries et al (2006) also noted that eagerness and willingness to share are both positively related to knowledge sharing within an organization. Lin (2006) however asserts that expected organizational rewards do not significantly influence employee attitudes and intentions regarding organizational knowledge sharing. This finding therefore raises the question of what organizations can do to promote a knowledge sharing culture, if objective rewards have no significant effect.

d. Knowledge Sharing through Intranets

Drucker (2001) nominated the ability to gather and utilize knowledge as an important source of sustainable competitive advantage within an organization. A number of organizations have therefore begun pursuing knowledge management initiatives and making substantial investments in knowledge management systems that encourage a mutual culture of knowledge sharing behaviours (Hahn and Wang, 2009). While knowledge sharing may constitute a number of factors and requirements, a technology-mediated environment is one of the most important promoters of a knowledge sharing culture (Carlson and Davis, 1998).

Knowledge management systems are increasingly being deployed through intranets Foss et al (2009). Intranet KMS are knowledge networks with multiple points of entry maintained in a centralized location. Information could be created by, and is available to, all employees within the organization (Chin, 2005).

While the possibilities for intranet applications are innumerable, it is still classified as just the backbone for knowledge sharing. The success of any Intranet based KMS is based wholly on its adoption (Ipe, 2003). Successful KMS reflect the organization’s willingness and ability to share knowledge amongst each other, and the knowledge sharing culture within the organization. Unsuccessful knowledge sharing initiatives are not necessarily due to the intranet system, but the culture of the organization and employee’s willingness to share (Chin, 2005)

Chin (2005) further asserts that each knowledge management system has to pass through three main hurdles for it to be successful:

The technology used to implement and support knowledge sharing
The specified business goals that knowledge management seeks to achieve and,
A culture that understands the importance of a collective mindset within the organization.

Ruppel and Harrington (2001) also assert that the implementation of intranet knowledge management systems is facilitated through an organizational culture that promotes each of the following:

Trust and concern for other stakeholders
Flexibility and innovation
Policies, procedures and information management.

Top management seeking to implement these systems should therefore make sure that each of these procedures and cultures are present within the organization in order to obtain a successful adoption of its knowledge management initiative.

3. Analysis

a. Research Method

Based on the literature that has been reviewed and also on the purpose of this conference paper, the author adopted a positivist philosophy in ascertaining the success rate of “Learning Exchange” at Thomson Reuters. A deductive approach was also used when comparing data gathered to existing literature review.

Data was gathered through a case study analysis of an article written by Logan (2009) on the effectiveness of the learning exchange platform at Thomson Reuters. The author therefore aims to analyse the case study against the literature that has been reviewed on the topic with the hope of ascertaining the main factors that promoted or disrupted the intranet implementation processes at Thomson Reuters.

b. Analysis and Discussion

Being a knowledge based organization, Thomson Reuters faces the same challenges as outlined by Drucker (2001) – the possession and utilization of knowledge resources. A vast majority of its work force is composed of journalists and technical experts whose major competence is based, to a large extent, on what they know. Judging by Argote and Ingram’s (2000) theory, if journalists across several departments in the organization are unable to coalesce, then individual competences and knowledge would be useless.

This realization led the implementation of the “Learning Exchange” intranet platform, which aimed to create a unified formal platform for the sharing organizational knowledge. However, as Chin (2005) affirms, any knowledge-based intranet is only a backbone, which would only be successful if there is a unified adoption strategy within the organization.

According to reports garnered through a friend of mine, working at Thomson Reuters, the adoption of Learning Exchange has not been successful in meeting its implementation objectives. A vast majority of staff were sceptical about the process, especially due to the recent merger between Thomson Financials and Reuters that had occurred in 2008. The newly combined staff felt like it was a means for management to siphon out relevant knowledge from existing staff before they were let go. Thus confirming Ruppel and Harrington’s (2001) assertion that mutual trust amongst stakeholders was a very huge prerequisite for knowledge sharing.

The failure encountered with regards to the intranet adoption was also as a result of the predominant culture within the organization. Knowledge based organizations, as depicted by Drucker (2001), are known to be very competitive environments. Therefore employees hoard what they know, for the fear of losing importance, superiority or knowledge ownership (Zhuge, 2002). Some knowledge workers who had most of the relevant information were also hoarding a lot of relevant information. An employee within the organization said “it is just like a sales environment where you do not want to tell your colleague what you know, for the fear that they may do better than you”. This finding conforms to Hislop’s (2003) theory regarding the environment within which employees are encouraged to share information with one another. It also affirms Lin’s (2006) argument regarding the threat employees’ associate with knowledge sharing.

Ipe’s (2003) argument regarding the conditions within which employees share information also has a huge significance with relation to Learning Exchange. The ‘nature of the knowledge’ being shared is very valuable; therefore employees do not necessarily have that much ‘motivation to share’. Though the ‘opportunities to share’ are increasingly becoming available through the Learning Exchange, the ‘culture of the work environment’ does not necessarily permit it.

Learning Exchange is therefore increasingly becoming a backbone for knowledge sharing which has no “front-bone”. The more the knowledge hoarding culture within the organization is continuously being encouraged; the harder it becomes for knowledge workers within the organization to share information.

4. Conclusions

Though the initial aim of Thomson Reuters was the encourage organization wide knowledge sharing through the implementation of Learning Exchange, it did not possess the relevant organizational culture or employee willingness that the literature review had suggested. The platform for sharing was present, but its adoption and main objectives have not yet been met. The inability to successfully implement a knowledge sharing culture may lead to an increase in the risk of repetitive and overlapping processes within the organization, and also a lack of competitive advantage.

5. Recommendations

Based on the literature review, discussion and conclusions derived, these are my recommendations with regards to the implementation of Learning Exchange at Thomson Reuters.

Promote an organization – wide campaign that aims to change or at least minimize the predominant culture within the organization, in a bid to eradicate the knowledge hoarding actions that normally take place, and promote a more team approach.
Engage every user in the knowledge sharing intranet network by holding regular seminars and workshops on the importance of knowledge sharing. If possible, hold individual training sessions that educate all users on the benefits of sharing knowledge using the system.
Post an increasing number of organization information on Learning Exchange, as opposed to emails or bulletins. Incorporate predominant communication channels such as email and chat with Learning Exchange, in such a way that employees in the organization would have no choice but to adopt it for every day activities, and in the process learn more about its knowledge sharing features; then opt to use it.

6. References

Alavi, M. and Leidner, D. E. (2001) Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues, MIS Quarterly Vol. 25 (1) pp. 107–136.

Argote, L. and Ingram, P. (2000) Knowledge transfer: A basis for competitive advantages in firms, Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes 82 (1), pp150–169

Bartol, K.m. and Srivastava, A. (2002) Encouraging knowledge sharing: The role of organisational reward systems, Journal of Leadership & Organisational Studies 9 (1) (2002), pp. 64–76.

Bock, G. W., and Kim, Y. G. (2002) Breaking the myths of rewards, Information Resources Management Journal, Vol. 15 (2) (2002), pp. 14–21

Bresman, H., Birkinshaw, J., and Nobel, R. (1999) Knowledge transfer in International Acquisitions, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 30 (3), p439 – 462

Carlson, J. R., and Davis, G. B. (1998) An investigation of media selection among directors and managers: From “self” to “other” orientation, MIS Quarterly 22 (3),pp 335–362

Chin, P. (2005) Knowledge Sharing: The Facts and the Myths, Intranet Journal, www.intranetjournal.com

Davenport, T., De Long, D., and Beers, M. (1998) Successful knowledge management projects, Sloan Management Review, Vol. 39 (2) (1998), pp. 43–57.

Dawson, R. (2001) Knowledge capabilities as the focus of organisational development and strategy, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 4 (4) (2001), pp320–327.

De Long, D. and Fahey, L. (2003) Diagnosing Cultural Barriers to Knowledge Management, Academy of Management Executive Vol. 14 (4), pp.113-127.

De Vries, R. E., van den Hoof, B., and de Ridder, J. A. (2006) Explaining Knowledge Sharing – The role of Team Communication Styles, Job Satisfaction, and Performance Beliefs, Communication Research, Vol. 33 (2), pp115-135

Drucker, P. (2001) The next society: A survey of the near future, The Economist Vol. 3 (November), pp. 2–20.

Goh, A. S. (2007) Integrating Knowledge Sharing Implementation: Toward An Institutionalized Symbiotic Model. International Journal of Applied Knowledge Management, Vol. 1 (1), p16-21

Hahn, J. and Wand, T. (2009) Knowledge management systems and organizational knowledge processing challenges: A field experiment, Decision Support Systems, Vol. 47 (4), pp332-342.

Hislop, D. (2003) Linking human resource management and knowledge management via commitment: A review and research agenda, Employee Relations 25 (2), pp. 182–202.

Huysman, M. and Wulf, V. (2006) IT to support knowledge sharing in communities, towards a social capital analysis, Journal of Information Technology 21, pp40–51

Ipe, M. (2003) Knowledge Sharing in Organizations: A conceptual Framework, Human Resource Development Review, Vol. 2(4), pp337-359

Lai. C, and Liu, D. (2009) Integrating knowledge flow mining and collaborative filtering to support document recommendation. Journal of Systems & Software, Vol. 82(12), pp2023-2037

Logan, G. (2009) Thomson Reuters adopt online knowledge sharing tool, Personnel Today, www.personneltoday.com, (accessed: 12/12/09)

Meng Hsun, S., Hsien Tang, T., Chi-Cheng, W., and Chung-Han, L. (2005) A holistic knowledge sharing framework in high-tech firms: game and co-opetition perspectives. International Journal of Technology Management, Vol. 36 (4), pp354-367.

Nissen, M. E., and Levitt, R. E. (2002) Dynamics Models of Knowledge-Flow Dynamics, CIFE Working Paper #76

Reychav. I, and Weisberg, J. (2009) Going beyond technology: Knowledge sharing as a tool for enhancing customer-oriented attitudes, International Journal of Information Management, Vol. 29 (5), pp353-361

Ruppel, C. P., and Harrington, S. J. (2001) Sharing Knowledge through intranets: A study of organizational culture and intranet implementation, IEEE transactions on professional communication, Vol. 44 (1), p37-52

Thomson Reuters (2009) ABOUT US, www.thomsonreuters.com/about, (accessed 10/10/2009)

Zhuge, H. (2002) A knowledge flow model for peer-to-peer team knowledge sharing and management, Expert Systems with Applications, Vol. 23 (1) (2002), pp23–30

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Free Essays

Free Technology Essay: Knowledge Management

Why do some knowledge-based organizations perform well in terms of innovation but less well in terms of efficiencyTo what extent can information systems help to redress this balance?


ABSTRACT

In this paper, focus will be given on analysing how an innovative organisation can be in-efficient. The key role of information systems in addressing this issue will be discussed. The perspectives of various researchers will be taken into consideration. The different type of knowledge management will also be discussed. The drawbacks of Knowledge Management without proper information systems will be highlighted.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, information systems, knowledge management disadvantages, knowledge management innovation


INTRODUCTION

It has regularly been said that the knowledge based organisations are not as efficient as they are innovative. The report by the top consultancy firm, KPMG also confirms this statement. A knowledge manager of KPMG, Nagle (1999) says that one of the major challenges being faced by the firms in today’s world is how to best capture, store, retain and share the vast amount of knowledge possesses by their professionals. As per Cameron (2000), “Knowledge is power, but without the adequate management of that knowledge, the consequences for [organizations] could be devastating”. It should not come as a surprise to us that most of the firms are of the view that the key enabler for efficient knowledge management will be technology. Currently the corporate efforts are concentrated more on the group of technologies called as Knowledge Management Systems (KMS).

KMS in firms assists its employees to easily access the information in a better way, share ideas and learn from previous mistakes. In theory, by facilitating the sharing of ideas, KMS improves the innovativeness of the business. However, the downside of this is that by following this process, firms become less efficient. In this process, employees tend to spend more time in doing things, discussing different ideas which results in issues in streamlining the work and doing it in an efficient manner.

The central question of discussion here is how information systems like SAP or ERM can help in enhancing the efficiency of KMS. How can the implementations of a new information system can help in reduction of time wastage and simultaneously assist in making the knowledge transfer process more efficient.

In this paper, first an introduction to the knowledge processes will be given. Then how the role of knowledge management evolved in organisations will be discussed. The merits of knowledge management will be highlighted. Furthermore the potential inefficiencies due to knowledge management will be discussed. Afterwards the role of information systems in curbing the drawbacks of knowledge management will be discussed in detail taking the example of few organisations who successfully implemented information systems in their organisations.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

“Knowledge Management is concerned with the exploitation and development of the knowledge assets of an organisation with a view to furthering the organization’s objectives. The knowledge to be managed includes both explicit, documented knowledge and tacit, subjective knowledge. Management entails all those processes involved with identification, sharing and creation of knowledge.” (Davenport et al, 1998).

Figure 1: Knowledge hierarchy

Figure 1 gives a good idea of the hierarchy of knowledge. It shows how value can be added from the raw data which are at the disposal of organisations. By following the hierarchy, it can be seen how the data become information when applied to a particular context. This perspective will be discussed in detail later on. Furthermore, that information becomes knowledge when a particular meaning is applied to it. Finally that knowledge becomes wisdom when it is used as an insight. This wisdom is then useful for any organisation.

Knowledge can mainly be classified into two types: tacit and explicit knowledge. It has always been difficult to define these two types of knowledge. Tacit knowledge is basically rooted in a specific context, is subjective, highly experimental and largely unconscious. While explicit knowledge is mainly rule based, reusable and is objective.

Figure 2: Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

Figure 2 displays the difference between explicit and implicit knowledge when applied in the context of adding value to an organisation. It highlights the fact that the main difference between the two is use of communication in tacit knowledge. While in the case of explicit knowledge models are being used to add value.

Figure 3: Types of Knowledge (Willcocks and Whitley, 2009)

Knowledge can further be classified into individual level and collective level. Figure 3 shows the interaction between the types of knowledge in a matrix form. This figure further highlights the difference between the explicit and tacit knowledge.

In the case of knowledge based organisation, KM can mainly be classified into two varieties. First is, IT-focussed where knowledge is an object. IT is used to increase productivity of an organisation. Firms attempt to leverage the already held data. The firm wide relationship is enabled electronically. Second variety is Human- centred where knowledge is a process which leads to creation of more knowledge. It is primarily focussed on sharing knowledge and learning and innovation.

Figure 4: Interaction of Knowing and Types of Knowledge

Source: Small and Sage, 2005/2006

Figure 4 shows how knowledge is applied in the context of an organisation. In this interaction, the process of ‘knowing’ remains at the core of the matrix and is used as an ‘action’.

Different academics are of different views about knowledge based organisations. Pentland (1995) says that knowledge is mostly constructed socially and is shared between the participants in an organisational culture even though the participants have their own individual perspectives and views of the organisational situations. Sahay and Robey (1996) further capture on this concept in their proposal of knowledge operationalization as “social interpretation” (Schultze and Leidner, 2002).

The different perspectives of knowledge in an organisational context are: knowledge vis-a-vis data and information, state of mind, object, process, access to information and capacity. To further elaborate on the same it can be said that data is facts, raw numbers. Knowledge is customized information. In this case, KM concentrates on passing potentially useful information to individuals, thereby enabling incorporation of information. Next is the perspective of “state of mind” where knowledge behaves as the expression of knowing and interpreting. Here KM includes improving employees learning and understanding by providing information. Another perspective is that knowledge is perceived as a body to be stored and modified. Fourth is the view of knowledge being perceived as the expertise application process. The central focus of KM is over the process of creation, sharing, distribution and flow of knowledge. Fifth perspective is the knowledge being viewed as a requirement to retrieve information. The KM focuses of on methodological access to and retrieval of information. Finally knowledge is perceived as the potential to influence action.

KNOWLEDGE BASED ORGANISATIONS

In this section, it will be analysed as to how knowledge based organisations innovate better than the ones who are not knowledge based. Automotive industry provides a very good opportunity to examine inter-organizational learning. More than 70 per cent of the value of vehicle is developed and manufactured by OEMs and their supplier networks. As a consequence of this, the productivity of the network of firms working in collaboration is directly related to the quality and cost of the automobile. Most of the research in automotive sector shows that Japanese automotive network, in particular, Toyota has been far superior in transferring the productivity improving knowledge throughout the supply network (Dyer and Nobeoka, 2000).

Figure 5: Comparison between Automotive Labor Productivity of US and Japanese Carmakers

The ‘network’ of Toyota seems very effective in facilitating inter-organisational knowledge transfers (Dyer and Nobeoka, 2000). It will not be wrong to call it a model for the future of automotive industry.

One of the major dilemmas which Toyota faced while implementing the knowledge management processes in their organisation is to how to do the knowledge transfers among a large number of individual members in the most efficient manner. There were appropriate conditions to take care of other dilemmas like keeping the individuals motivated enough to participate actively and curbing free riding. But the critical steps necessary for proper flow of knowledge among members was not efficient enough. While explicit knowledge can easily be codified and transmitted to a large group of individuals via meetings and other activities, transfer of tacit knowledge required strong collaboration and can probably be transferred merely to a small cluster of individuals at a particular location only(Dyer and Nobeoka, 2000). Sharing information through meetings will result in inefficiency in transfer of tacit knowledge.

To counter this issue, Toyota promoted the thinking of kyoson kyoei and created a collective network-level knowledge transmission, repository and processes of diffusion. Four of the key network-level processes were: “(1) the supplier association (a network-level forum for creating a shared social community, inculcating network norms, and sharing knowledge), (2) Toyota’s operations management consulting division (a network-level unit given accountability for knowledge acquisition, storage, and diffusion within the network), (3) voluntary small group learning teams (jishuken), or a sub-network forum for knowledge sharing that creates strong ties and a shared community among small groups of suppliers, and (4) inter-firm employee transfers (some job rotations occur at the network level)” (Dyer and Nobeoka, 2000). These four critical processes managed to create an ‘identity’ of the network. Moreover it also facilitated knowledge transfer among network member.

Figure 6: Toyota’s network-level knowledge-sharing processes

Figure 6 gives a fuller picture of the knowledge sharing processes implemented in Toyota. By following these processes, Toyota managed to build robust mutual relationship with suppliers. Furthermore suppliers also started getting critical knowledge at nominal cost. As of result of this, suppliers participated in the network with a keen interest. It was not only to show their commitment towards Toyota but also to get knowledge transfers from Toyota. The more valuable tacit knowledge was being transferred in the bilateral atmosphere. This resulted in giving a powerful identity to the network. Suppliers began to correlate with the social community of the network.

All this was made possible by the learning groups which resulted in strong multi-dimensional relationships. Moreover suppliers also recognised the merits of sharing of knowledge. Additionally the Toyota suppliers were also in competition among themselves in the sense that the quickest grasping supplier will most probably get business for the new model.

It has been a major accomplishment for Toyota in the way they managed to “motivate all the members to participate and contribute knowledge” (Burgess, 2005) for the collective good.

Organisations who are leaders in knowledge management have used extrinsic rewards (Davenport & Prusak, 1998). To further substantiate this statement, experienced consultants at Ernst & Young and McKinsey were evaluated, on the basis of knowledge they contribute to their organisation. These consultants are of the view that “one party has to be willing to give something or get something from another party”. They were of the view that open and organic information culture leads to larger sharing. Furthermore they also proposed that those individuals who feel that their knowledge belongs to them rather than to their organisation can be expected to share their knowledge more (Burgess, 2005).

Disadvantages of KM

Research has shown that the ready availability of examples for KMS users led to a significant enhancement in their problem-solving skills when compared to the skills level gained through the use of traditional reference materials (McCall et al, 2008). Results have further shown that groups having access to KMS far outperforms those working in the traditional groups. Moreover this edge vanishes when the KMS access is removed. It has also been deducted that while both the groups gain different types of explicit knowledge the traditional groups have a tendency to encode most of the rules in memory. However the KMS group manages to gain superior-level of explicit knowledge which acts as a key to tacit knowledge formulation.

In the context of business, researchers have found that employees are more willing to exchange knowledge if it is related to business goals (Small and Sage, 2005/2006). They have put more emphasis on the importance of business strategy to be communicated to the employees. Another important aspect to be noted here is that the knowledge sometimes acts as a double-edged sword; though too less leads to in-efficiencies, too much can lead to rigidities that can be counterproductive in a rapidly changing world. Furthermore too little may lead to muddled social relations, too much will lead to curbing of different perspectives (Bowker and Star, 1999). According to Schultze and Leidner (2002), too little may lead to costly errors, too much may lead to undesirable answerability. IT can play a major role in all the knowledge management processes like knowledge creation, storage/retrieval, transfer and application.

One of the most critical issues being faced by the organisations in today’s world is their deficiency of skill to capture and incorporate information located in different sources. While some of these are internal to an organisation (data warehouse, transaction database, knowledge portals) others are external (commercial database, credit reports, news agency announcements, etc.) (Delen and Hawamdeh, 2009). If the organisations try to integrate the multiple sources into a single unified system just for the sake of centralization of the sources of information then it leads to highly rigid systems which are not practically manageable.

Some of the major reasons of the failure of KM are the multifaceted and multidimensional nature of knowledge available in an organisation. The dynamic nature and relationships between the knowledge management frameworks is also cited as one of the major reasons of failure of KMS.

Role of Information Systems

An efficient KMS should allow the user to easily access the explicit knowledge stored in any system that can be applied to address the issue in hand. KMS should increase the ease with which user can find a potential solution to the problematic situation. KMS makes the user relax about the need to encode the explicit knowledge in long-term memory as the knowledge components can easily be accesses by the user’s active working memory (McCall et al, 2008).

There are two critical demerits of KMS which might balance out the potential of the encoding of the knowledge available explicitly. Firstly, the vast amount of information and different ways of retrieving it via KMS could lead to likely increase in the amount of mental workout to retrieve the information (Rose and Wolfe, 2000; Rose, 2005). Secondly, it is the supposed simplicity of availability. If the information is easily accessible then the user will just use it for his situation without feeling any kind of motivation to encode the knowledge.

Researchers have found that many companies who have implemented Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) are of the view that the software will provide them a new chance to improve operational support and will simultaneously provide them a competitive advantage also (Irani et al, 2007). However the concept of ‘justification’ happens only at those places where every employee is made aware of the importance of the new software for the organisational sustainability. Although the resources of knowledge varies firm wide but usually it constitutes of manuals, letters, information about customers and derived knowledge of work processes. Organisations are realising that knowledge will not automatically flow throughout the company.

A critical aspect of knowledge sharing is providing the right means which should work within the organisational context. Over the period of time, organisations have realised that information technology (IT) is the only means by which enterprise knowledge can be shared effectively. Video-conferencing, sharing of application and providing support electronically are some of the key enablers of knowledge sharing processes. They can provide an excellent support to the already existing infrastructure of knowledge management.

Few of the major benefits of Knowledge Management systems are (1) In-valuable information can be shared throughout the hierarchy of the organisation. (2) Provides the opportunity to do away with churning out the same work thereby resulting in reduction of out-dated work. (3) New employees can be trained in a shorter period. (4) The intellectual property is retained by the organisation even of the employees’ leaves if it is possible to codify that knowledge. Some of the organisations who implemented the KMS very effectively and efficiently are MIT Open Course Ware, Knowledge Wharton. Although both of these organisations are educational institutions they provide an excellent case study of efficiently using information systems in their KM processes.

The key role being played by information systems is to assist in the storage and diffusion of knowledge so that knowledge can be accessed across the space and time (Schultze and Leidner, 2002). Information systems provide visibility to the invisible work and the complexity involved in doing that work.

Figure 7: KMS Success Model (Halawi et al, 2007-2008)

Figure 7 shows the key role being played by information systems in the success of KM projects. Normally it is at the centre of many KM projects (Halawi et al, 2007-2008).

However organisations who are implementing information systems into their KMS need to take few factors into consideration. The so-called ‘free’ exchange of knowledge is possible only in an ‘open’ corporate culture, non-departmental hierarchy. Furthermore sometimes this ‘open’ culture can act as an obstacle for employee empowerment (Irani et al, 2007).

Another point to be noted about multi-faceted aspect of KMS is that an effective KMS in not just about technology. It incorporates cultural and organisational aspects as well, it is necessary to design proper metrics to access the positives of KMS (Halawi et al, 2007-2008). Furthermore an integrated technical architecture is the critical driver for KMS. Proper use of information systems will facilitate the process of knowledge transfer, assisting in both the transmission and absorption and utilisation of knowledge. Researchers have found groupware, an IT tool for working in a group is of immense help in the proper implementation of KM in organisations. Groupware helps in interpersonal communications and facilitates the transfer of tacit knowledge (Wua et al, 2010). Researchers have found that the software tools and information systems applications are very crucial for both the ‘provider’ side and ‘receiver’ side.

Most of the top technology firms rely mainly on their dynamic ability to transform the knowledge in their organisation to add value to their customers. Researchers are of the view that the focus on tacit knowledge should not lead to not giving due importance to proper implementation of information systems. A proper balance needs to be found and exercised (Kalkan, 2008). In the current world, any organisation having improper implementation of information systems will be at a disadvantage position in the marketplace. Implementation of information systems should always be knowledge oriented.

CONCLUSION

This paper makes an attempt to analyse the role of information systems in efficient utilisation of KM. It has been highlighted as to how information systems are crucial in making an innovative organisation highly efficient. The demerits of KM without proper information systems are discussed. The efficient way in which Toyota managed its knowledge sharing using information systems within the organisation and across its suppliers has been discussed in detail. An attempt has been made to throw more light on the other aspects of proper IS implementation. Organisations should not consider that just by implementing Information systems all our problems will be solved. Information Systems should not be considered as a ‘silver bullet’.

As the research area is still evolving, more future research can be done on this topic. There are further sub-categories within KM which can be researched in more detail. Those categories will further provide a detailed view of the topic. While few organisations who implemented information systems has been analysed, other organisations also need to be analysed in this regard. Furthermore the definition of innovation and efficiency can be analysed from the perspectives of organisations implementing. This will provide a broader picture of the research area.


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Categories
Free Essays

Knowledge Management in Public Sector Organizations

Introduction

Knowledge itself is an abstract concept but its application can be seen in every walk of life. Knowledge and innovation go hand in hand and together they generate success for the development of any society. Knowledge accumulation creates value and it is this wealth which has transformed the agrarian societies into industrialized nations (Milner, 2000). Knowledge gives a competitive edge to companies as it is one of the most useful resources that they possess. However in this fast pace world one has to cope with the changing needs of the environment and utilize the knowledge in the most efficient manner in order to extract its full potential. Moreover the rapid pace of technology has facilitated this entire process and Internet has changed the landscape of business environments. Today’s economies are knowledge based economies (Emrich, 2005).

Peter Drucker said,

“The Purpose of management is the productivity of knowledge”

(Kelly, 2004)

There are various definitions of knowledge management, however to put it simple it is the management process within the organization that deals with the collection, organization and sharing of knowledge in the enterprise which is then integrated, evaluated and developed and distributed to all the other parts of the organization. Knowledge management has become an integral part of managerial activity as it helps to take right decisions at the right time with the real information in hand. This information is then provided to all the members of the organization (Gurrieri, 2008). In other words this knowledge is transferred to other products and services of the company which helps in value creation. This also helps in giving an enterprise a strategic edge over other firms. Knowledge management on the whole is not just confined to information technology only but it covers all the aspects such as the employees, the processes and the workflow, which means that knowledge management doesn’t have to be limited to information technology though there is no doubt that technology plays an integral role in the KM but our focus of this paper is going to be on the aspect of technology and knowledge management in the public sector firms particularly our focus is going to be on the education sector here (Hetland et al, 2007).

The distribution of tasks among the knowledge management dimensions

Source: (Milner, 2000)

Information technology and knowledge management in the Public Sector

The way we access the information has now changed due to which the relevance of knowledge management has increased over the period of time. Therefore all the firms including the public sector organizations through the aid of knowledge workers are investing more in technology in order to make use of newer applications to increase productivity, accountability and transparency in order to increase the level of efficiency and to improvise the entire process of public sector reforms. Government sector organizations are knowledge based due to which this area of study is of so much importance to them. They need its application at the local regional and national level (Milner, 2000).

When we talk about technology and management together, this means that data warehousing is an essential element of the KM. there are several software’s that are used to assimilate the information and distribute it among the various organs of the firm such as document management systems, e learning tools, objected oriented databases, artificial intelligence, real time access to a firms data base, enterprise information portals (ERP). These and several other IT programs tend to be effective tools for the management of the information without which work is not possible. The public sector organizations have also entered into this digital age of electronic means especially after the advent of policies like the ICT (Kelly, 2004).The public sector therefore fulfills its responsibility by recruiting the best people for the development of knowledge, growth and learning because it has to accomplish the following goals:

Knowledge development and provide information unlike the private sector

Promote knowledge for every one

Quality

Management efficiency

The structure of the government matters in this context because as the government has to take care of the intellectual rights

Knowledge Kiosks (Watts and Lloyd, 2004)

The analytical knowledge management framework

(Steyn and Kahn, 2008)

The above diagram shows various elements of the knowledge management. It is an integration of people, processes, technology which together create value.

In the government sector knowledge gets dispersed because governments are segmented by state and local level. Other than that as per the government policy the government keeps on changing due to which the current government gets to learn from the previous one, this gives an opportunity to the government to every time learn from its experiences and improve its system through good governance (Slabbert, 2004). Knowledge management in the government sector paves the way for incorporating the electronic means into the government sector. The ICT infrastructure helps the government to achieve its goals and to educate the citizens of the country to have access to quality information which they can utilize and also they themselves can bring value to the nation through knowledge sharing (Beal and Thomas, 2004).

The public sector organizations depends more on people based approach but to do so they have to come up with an appropriate framework for knowledge management. Moreover it has been seen that the level of accountability is stricter in the public sector organizations as compared to the private sector but studies have shown that the public sector organizations have been slow in terms of adaptability relative to private sector (Alleman, 1992). This is owing to the lack of awareness, rigid policies, people are not willing to share because they don’t see much incentive in doing so and also people on the public sector are less resistant to change. The entire set up is based on bureaucracy and the goal is not profit maximization. People working in the domain of public sector are more inclined towards the national interest and they are not self centered as they put their personal interest secondary. The public sector organizations face constant competition from the private sector, NGO’s, the government of other countries, All these reasons justify as to why the models for the knowledge management are taken from the public sector unlike the private sector where the culture, the interest, perception and everything differs. However the traditional approach of the public sector sometimes becomes a hurdle in the development of knowledge (Burr and Girardi, 2003).

Every firm has its own set of requirements and based on them they create their model of knowledge management and technology is always changing so the public sector firms also adopt different technological infrastructure based on their requirements. There are a collection of technologies that are used in the process which together constitute the software. The reason why these firms spend so much on this software’s is because they need up to date information for better decision making. Government sector tries to incorporate IT into their solutions for better performance.

Knowledge Management and the Education in the Agricultural Sector

Generally the concept of knowledge management can be applied in all government sectors such as education, transportation, health care and so on. However, this paper will be focusing mainly on the education sector which can be uplifted and further developed by the knowledge management strategies. Education is by all means one of the most significant sectors of a countries economy. It is the back bone of the nation which paves the way for the future growth and development. Therefore this sector is given utmost importance because its development is the nation’s development (Cook et al, 2004).

We will take into consideration the education of the agricultural sector of the country through knowledge management systems. There are many ways to achieve this like research into innovative ways to develop the sector and the development of the learning programmes for the all the stakeholders for better yield and growth.

This can be done in a number of ways as follows:

The systems can be used to do an assessment of the human resource of the business. Human resource is the life blood of the business therefore their input plays a crucial role for the development of the sector.

The management systems can be used to facilitate agricultural sector through the deployment of case studies and various tools relevant to the agricultural education.

The sharing of the knowledge and the use of newer techniques and methods among the communities

The private sector can also help the public sector in meeting their goals through the induction of their systems and technologies.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has facilitated all the sectors. Similarly it can be used to impart agricultural information to employ newer software’s and implementation of newer systems to navigate the progress and learning (Watts and Lloyd, 2004).

Open and Distance learning is an effective tool which can be used by the agricultural sector to enhance their learning and can be used for the development of the professionals in the field.

Knowledge sharing systems can also be used to manage the work and distribute the knowledge among the stakeholders (Vilma, 2008).

Technology has advanced so much that it is on the sector and the expertise of the knowledge workers that are employed to make use of the variant opportunities and their knowledge to develop and upgrade systems which are able to meet the standards because there is no end to innovation and more and more learning tools and techniques can be employed with the passage of time for growth and development (Torgerson and Elbourne, 2002).

UK government increased ICT expenditure for the next three years

Those governments which have been valuing the concept of knowledge management will also reap benefits out of it. The UK government in the year 2008 increased their budget for the ICT to an amount of 2.9 billion pounds. The idea was to give a further boost to the education sector by utilizing the technology and improve governmental performance and strengthen the education sector of the country (Tearle, 2004).The main motives behind such a move were as follows:

Better coordination with the parents through online facilities

Newer learning methodologies for the improvement of the curriculum

Enhance the resources available to the sector and increased participation

This would also improve the performance of the educational sector through better monitoring and control

However in both the cases that is agriculture and the education sector of UK, the government takes all these measures then it has to look into the training of the staff because people need to be equipped with newer software’s and technologies and they need to be well versed in that in order to use it effectively (Tearle, 2004). By doing so the government also raises the opportunities and market for the firms in the private sector because then firms such as Microsoft and open source firms try to get into the market by being the supplier of technology to the sector, hence it creates employment and development of both private and public sector (John, 2002).

There are many specialized firms in the market which are willing to provide assistance to the government’s public sector initiatives through their advance systems. Companies such as Informa, it is specialized in providing advanced knowledge and services to the public sector. They have services such as data monitor, Informa Economics and Agra for the agricultural sector. The company has clients worldwide including governments and other corporate sector businesses such as Pfizer and EU and WTO. Hence the government has an opportunity to make use of external sources to improve their knowledge based systems in the sector (Paolo, 2010).

Innovations in the education sector mean the achievement of high standard of education. These are the performance measures used by the government. The role of knowledge management is to look for newer ways to develop the different institutions of the sector. Education gives a competitive advantage to a nation. This is why all the organizations are systemically looking for newer ways to achieve excellence. Through the use of knowledge management the universities will be able to retain more students and it will also help them in the research process. Knowledge management helps in the strategic management process (Polkinghorn,1992).

The government can make use of web based systems in which it can collect the grants from the donors. However those donors need information in order to make effective decisions and this is where knowledge management plays an important role as it helps the donors to decide and then function. It can be used to share information among grant makers. The organization can also make knowledge management systems and form a network in which they can share their problems and have person to person connections with one another for better understanding (John, ,2002).

There can be issues in the knowledge management because

The culture does not support knowledge management

Lack of funds for knowledge management

Lack of training

Uncoordinated knowledge management roles

Inability of senior management to incorporate newer measures and look for opportunities

Lack of competence of the firm to measure financial benefits (Steyn and Kahn, 2008).

Conclusion

The concept of knowledge management is not new to the government. The government has significant opportunities it and the related informational technology opportunities associated with it. However it is on the ability of the government that how well they able to integrate this concept into the organizational culture of the firm and promote knowledge management which will further help them to grow and achieve competency (Emma et al, 2005). Private and public sector firms have some form of similarity in developing a framework for knowledge management but the public sector organization needs to be more careful as it has stricter regulatory practices.

References

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Education, Labor Law Journal, 43 (8), p477.

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Asset Flows in the Information Sector, Journal of Managerial Issues, 16 (4),

p442-459.

Burr, R. and Girardi, A. (2003), The influence of social context factors on perceptions

of procedural justice in the public sector, Australian Journal of Psychology, 55,

p117-117.

Cook, S., Macaulay, S. and Coldicott, H. (2004), Change Management Excellence:

Using the Four Intelligences for Successful Organizational Change, Kogan Page.

Emma, P., Clare, K., Tim, M. and Shaun, T. (2005), Comparing HRM in the voluntary and

public sectors, Personnel Review, 34 (5) p588-602.

Emrich, A.B. (2005), Start ‘Knowledge Revolution’ Now. (cover story), Grand Rapids

Business Journal, 23 (49), p1-8.

Gurrieri, A.R. (2008), Knowledge network dissemination in a family-firm sector,

Journal of Socio-Economics, 37 (6), p2380-2389.

Hetland, H., Sandal, G.M. and Johnsen, T.B. (2007), Burnout in the information

technology sector: Does leadership matter?, European Journal of Work &

Organizational Psychology, 16 (1), p58-75.

John, O., (2002), Wiring Governments: Challenges and Possibilities for Public

Managers, Praeger.

Kelly, A. (2004), The Intellectual Capital of Schools: Measuring and Managing

Knowledge, Responsibility and Reward: Lessons from the Commercial Sector, 1

edition, Springer.

Milner, E. (2000), Managing Information and Knowledge in the Public Sector, 1

edition, Routledge.

Polkinghorn J.R. (1992), Accelerating “At-Risk” Students, Journal of Labor Research, 3 (1), p11.

Slabbert, A.D. (2004), Conflict management styles in traditional organizations, Social

Science Journal, 41 (1), p83.

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survey for application in knowledge intensive organizations, South African Journal of

Business Management, 39 (1) p45-53.

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p232-239.

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in ICT in education, Cambridge Journal of Education, 34 (3), p331-351.

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the effectiveness of information and communication technology (ICT) on the

teaching of spelling, Journal of Research in Reading, 25 (2), p129.

Vilma, L. (2008), Sector reputation and public organizations, International Journal of Public

Sector Management, 21 (5) p446-467.

Watts, M. and Lloyd, C. (2004), Original article The use of innovative ICT in the

active pursuit of literacy, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20 (1), p50-58.

Categories
Free Essays

Source monitoring involves thinking about our memories, it involves the processes in ascertaining the origins of our knowledge and making decisions about what sources the knowledge or memories

Introduction (2425)

Human memory is far from perfect, often; we see somebody we ‘know’ in the street but can’t for the life of us think where we know them from. This is basically a mistake within our memory systems; more specifically it is a ‘source monitoring error’. Source monitoring involves thinking about our memories, it involves the processes in ascertaining the origins of our knowledge and making decisions about what sources the knowledge or memories are from (Johnson, Hashtroudi &Lindsay, 1993). For example, source monitoring processes help us to decide whether we saw an event or whether we were simply told about it, whether we found important facts from a reliable source or a glossy magazine. Source monitoring errors may occur when someone is familiar with something (be it a person, place, event etc.) but misplaces the source of where that familiarity is from. For example one may see a person in the street whom one would not normally see in the street, the person may seem familiar to you, but you cannot place where you know them from. This familiarity, once placed with recollection will provide recognition of why one finds a particular person, place or event familiar. As with the person in the street, this problem is likely to arise when the subject is out of context, hence the ‘butcher-on-the-bus’ phenomenon (Yovel et al 2004). Familiarity does not help us out until it is combined with information such as spatiotemporal context of an episode, in which the memory was acquired, this will then aid recollection.

When we are thinking about memories we undergo heuristic (automatic or unconscious) judgement processes in order to locate, effectively, where we know something from without making any conscious effort. Reality monitoring helps us know or realise what memories are internally generated (what memories are thoughts) and what memories are externally derived (what memories are of events that actually happened). Johnson et al (1993; 1997) build on Johnson and Raye’s (1981) reality-monitoring framework in order to produce a source monitoring framework that suggests that source monitoring is a combination of, different attributes or characteristics of memories and judgement processes which help to discriminate between different memories and types of memories (Johnson et al, 1993; Johnson, 1997). Source monitoring distinguishes between all the different internal thoughts; between different externally derived events and also between internal and external sources (e.g. dreaming about something, waking up and thinking it had actually happened) (Johnson et al 1997). By ‘source’ it is meant the general conditions under which a memory was acquired, i.e. the contexts of the event, how and when it was witnessed. Furthermore, source attributions are made, according to the source monitoring framework, to different degrees of confidence and specificity which depend on the quality and quantity of information available at the time of initial experience. Johnson et al also point out that among other things, information available, criteria used to determine the source of a memory and task demands of attributing a source are all important factors (Johnson 1993).

When we are making judgements about memories (through a judgement process) we attribute source monitoring. Source monitoring takes into account different kinds of information, or different attributes, about memories in order to complete the task of locating the source of a given memory. Different characteristics of the memory that monitoring is based on are; perceptual information (acquiring sensory information), contextual information (spatial information and information about your surroundings at the time), semantic information (information about language use), affective information (emotions) and cognitive detail (thoughts or information that may have been acquired) (Johnson et al 1993, Johnson 1997). According to the source monitoring framework there are several factors which determine the ease and accuracy of identifying a source; the first is the type and the amount of these different characteristics of the memory that monitoring is based on. The second is how distinctive these characteristics are from source to source, two sources with similar characteristics will be harder to distinguish from each other. The last factor is the effectiveness of the decision processes; richly detailed memories have unique attributes which enable decision processes to be effective (Johnson et al 1993).

Although most source monitoring decisions are indeed made in this heuristic or automatic manner, sometimes, more strategic processes are required to gather the appropriate information in order to avoid detrimental effects or situations. As well as heuristic processing, systematic or more ‘controlled’ processing is sometimes used (Johnson et al 1993). This more extended version of source monitoring processes is more complex. There may be other reasons or factors for you deciding, for example, what particular event occurred and when. Sometimes other beliefs, specific memories or general knowledge may have to be accessed in order to evaluate what you believe to be the source of your target memory (the memory you are trying to find the origin of). For example you may recall an event where a friend told you a story at a certain party; however other information about that friend being away travelling that year may lead you to recall that it could not have been that friend but must have been another.

Evidence that source monitoring involves memory characteristics is shown by comparing memories for perceived and imagined events. Events that are actually perceived have more perceptual and contextual detail, hence if a large amount of perceptual information is found; it is easier to make a source monitoring decision on that particular memory (Johnson et al 1993). One study that supports this framework is Johnson et al (1988), he asked participants to rate real events and dreamt or imagined events and rate them on memory characteristics, participants rated actually perceived events as having clearer temporal and spatial information and more perceptual information (Johnson et al 1993). Evidence that memories are attributed to sources by processes during the source monitoring procedure is shown by Raye, Johnson and Taylor. In their studies they used two different strategies to compare features of memories for internally generated and externally perceived events finding that given stricter instructions, participants are more selective about what information they need to preserve (Raye, Johnson &Taylor 1980). Evidence, through developmental research, that reality monitoring, external source monitoring and internal source monitoring are different classes of source monitoring problems is supported in poor performance on one but not another situation. As Hashtroudi found, older adults can be impaired in internal & external source monitoring but not in reality monitoring (Hastroudi et al, 1989).

Source monitoring can also be linked in with a range of other psychological and day to day phenomenon; such as; old-new recognition (Ferguson et al 1992), direct and indirect tests of memory (Richardson-Klavehn & Bjork, 1988), eyewitness testimony (Loftus, 1979) and misattribution of familiarity (Johnson & Foley 1984).

Although source monitoring can be applied in these different ways (automatic and controlled) and are used in every day life, there are indeed ways in which source monitoring errors can occur as seen with the example of the person in the street, in Jacoby’s False Fame effect and also through deja vu . These inevitable source monitoring errors can incur practical, social and emotional consequences (Johnson et al 1993) and can happen in a number of ways. For example a source monitoring error may result in you telling a joke to someone who originally told you the joke, a source monitoring error may also result in accidental plagiarism that could have been easily avoided. Peters et al (2007) has shown that people who have ‘memories’ or beliefs about abnormal or implausible life events, commit an increased amount of source monitoring errors or in other words they make more source monitoring errors by ‘misclassifying familiar non famous names as famous names’ (Peters et al 2007, p162) in the false fame task than people who do not have these memories or beliefs. (Peters et al 2007). Peters et al (2007) specifically tested people who claimed to have ‘hypnotically induced previous life memories’ against a control group (Peters et al 2007, p163). Furthermore, Clancy et al (2002) found that people who claim to have experienced alien abduction or claim to have memories of such abductions, tend to falsely recall and recognise critical lure words that they have not been presented with (Clancy 2002) in the DRM paradigm (Deese 1959; Roediger & McDermott 1995).

One particular phenomenon related with source monitoring errors evolved in 1989. Jacoby et al compiled a paper containing studies that showed what he called the False- Fame effect (Jacoby & Woloshyn, 1989). During a false fame task participants are shown a list of non-famous names to read aloud and are told that all of the names are non famous. Later, the participants are presented with the same (old) non-famous names mixed with different (new) non-famous names as well as actual famous names and ‘fame judgements’ are made on each name. In general, findings show that old non-famous names regularly get judged as famous due to a source monitoring error wherein the participant has misattributed the familiarity of a name, the correct source of the name would be from the initial list studied however the participant has incorrectly judged the name to be famous due to familiarity and a source monitoring error combined. After being explicitly told that the names studied within the study stage are non famous names, the act then, of naming a non famous name as famous at test, must be a source monitoring error. Jacoby’s false fame effect is also evidence that the past can be used to influence present performance without intervention of conscious recollection. If conscious recollection was indeed present, the participant would remember that they saw the non famous name earlier in a study stage and locate that as the source of the memory, and not think to themselves ‘I recognise that name therefore it must be famous’. In Jacoby et al’s (1989) study, the unconscious influence of memory is due to divided attention as Jacoby tested participants on the false fame test in full vs. divided attention groups. Jacoby & Woloshyn’s (1989) False-Fame Effect is a good way to show source monitoring errors (Jacoby & Woloshyn 1989).

A second phenomenon that is often seen to be related with source monitoring errors is when something may seem so familiar that you feel as though you have experienced it before, be it a place, a conversation or an event. This phenomenon is also to do with familiarity and is the familiar feeling of deja vu. Due to the nature of deja vu it has proved hard to study the phenomenon, however recent neurological advances have thought that deja vu could potentially, at any one time, be down to one of the following; a slight and brief change in speed of transmissions; a short split in perceptual information causing the (present) experience to seem as though it is two different experiences or the presence of unconscious familiarity without the conscious recollection of the source of the familiarity. Deja vu literally means ‘already seen’, Neppe (1983) described deja vu as “any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past” (Brown, 2003, p394). Brown (2004) also described deja vu as a ‘jolting confrontation between our subjective sense of familiarity and our objective evaluation of unfamiliarity’ (Brown, 2004, p256). The deja vu experience is often seen as another example (as well as the false fame effect) where the source of ‘familiarity’ is not recollected, and so is essentially a source monitoring error. Kusumi (2006) states that deja vu is caused by ‘comparable present experience and past experiences’ (Kusumi, 2006, p303). If one realises that they are experiencing or that they have experienced deja vu it is because reality monitoring helps one to confirm that an experience is new even though it feels familiar, however at the time of deja vu it is likely that one does not know they are experiencing it.

Jacoby 1989 shows that the past can be used to influence present performance without the intervention of conscious recollection and with source monitoring errors. This study remains in sync with this notion as participants are shown a set of stimuli and then shown again later knowing that they have previously seen a selection of the stimuli and know that those specific stimuli are non-famous. Therefore if they are to label an old non famous stimulus as famous their performance has been influenced by the past without conscious recollection. If the participants had consciously recollected where they recognised the stimulus from then they would have known they already saw it, remember correctly that they had been told it was non famous and then at test, they would have labelled the stimulus correctly as non-famous rather than incorrectly as famous. Jacoby also shows that he has produced this effect of unconscious influences through the help of dividing attention.

The earlier mentioned examples are a few ways in which the false fame test has been manipulated, or tested combined with different factors; the present study aims to explore into combining the false fame test with alternative stimuli that is; it will try to see if the same effects are seen when the participants look at actual images of faces on a computer screen rather than reading out words (names in word form). This study will also look into the question of whether people who experience the phenomenon of Deja vu frequently do worse when tested on the false fame paradigm than people who do not experience it as often (frequency of deja vu is defined by answers of the Inventory of Deja vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA). This is believed to be an appropriate next step to take into research about source monitoring errors and who is more susceptible to making these errors. The hypothesis is ‘Are people with higher frequency deja vu encounters more susceptible to False Fame tests?’

My predictions include that errors made on a false fame test will relate to frequency of deja vu. That is, people who experience deja vu more frequently will be more susceptible to false fame and therefore make more fame judgement errors at test, than people who experience deja vu infrequently or less frequently. This is due to ….****************Another prediction is that old non famous faces will be judged wrongly as famous more often than new non famous faces due to unconscious influence of the past combined with source monitoring errors. A third prediction is that both the factors of frequency of deja vu and also the type of face presented will have an overall joint affect on source monitoring errors and people will be more susceptible to false fame.


Method (1,397)

Participants

The total number of participants tested was 76; 64 females and 12 males. The participants’ ages ranged from 18 to 44, the mean age was 20.17 years with a standard deviation of 2.96 indicating that most of the ages are close to the mean. The participants were recruited from the University of Lincoln by advertisement of the study through email and recruitment via word of mouth; participants reading Psychology were enticed by a credit point which would in turn allow them to access the student pool during their own Independent study. All of the participants were either undergraduate students at the university reading various courses or otherwise involved with the university. The participants were placed into groups, after testing, based on the frequency of deja vu experienced, established by the Inventory for Deja vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA). Group 1 were participants who in general, encounter a low frequency of deja vu and group 2 are participants who encounter a high frequency of deja vu.

Materials

To conduct the experiment 60 images of non-famous faces and 30 famous faces were presented over three different displays for the first and third stage of the experiment combined. All the faces were cropped to a grey scale, chin to forehead, ear to ear section of each face in order to try to eliminate anything recognisable other than the face e.g. clothing, setting, body language, hair style and colour. These faces were all cropped to a width of 10cm to try to ensure that they were all roughly equal sizes and recognition would not be due to over or under sized images. The images were presented to participants using a presentation file with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 on a plain black background via a 15.6” HD screen.

For the second part of the experiment the participants were given the first part (part A) of the Inventory of Deja vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA) to fill in. The IDEA is a 24 part questionnaire designed to capture qualitative information about deja vu experiences. The questionnaire is comprised of 2 sections; A and B consisting of 9 and 14 items respectively. Participants completed the first half of the questionnaire as a distracter task in between study and test, this then indicated whether participants experienced deja vu often or not very often. The second part (part B) of the IDEA was given to participants who revealed a high frequency of deja vu experienced in the first part and more specifically the first question.

Procedure

Each participant was greeted and given a consent form to read, sign and date. Once this was completed the participant was prompted to ask any questions he or she may have had.

The participants were then given instruction to carry out the first, study stage of the experiment. This involved a timed presentation of 30 faces to which the participant was asked to make an age judgement on each face by stating ‘over’ if the participant believed the face to be over 25 or ‘under’ if the participant believed the face to be under 25. This age judgement ensured deeper encoding of the faces by the participants and each face appeared on the screen in front of the participant for 3 seconds. During the study stage, one of two study presentations, containing 30 different non famous faces each, were used and assigned to participants where, for one study presentation, old non famous faces in the test presentation would be new non famous faces when the second study presentation was used. This first section of the experiment lasted approximately 90 seconds. ***CHECK***After the presentation the participants were explicitly told that all of the faces they had just seen were non famous.

The participants were then handed the first part of a 2-part, 23-item questionnaire to be completed and given back for the second stage of the experiment. This part of the questionnaire was to be filled out by everyone partly as a distracter task between study and test stage but also for the information about deja vu experiences, the first half of the questionnaire lasted about 3 minutes.***CHECK***

The third part of the experiment was the test stage in which participants were again shown a timed presentation (each face appearing once again for 3 seconds) of the 30 previously seen faces from the study stage, a new set of 30 non famous faces and a further 30 famous faces randomly mixed all together to make a presentation 90 faces big. An effort was made in attempt to find faces that participants would hopefully recognise as famous but would not know the accomplishment that had led them to fame straight away without systematic processing. The participants would not have time to be able to think about this however as the presentation would very quickly move onto the next face for them to judge. Instructions read to participants at this point were very careful and precise. The participants were asked to state famous for a face that was ‘even vaguely familiar’ to them, participants were told that none of the famous faces that they would see would be as famous as someone like David Beckham but that a famous face would be famous on some level even if it was to a really low degree. The participants were asked to state out loud ‘famous’ if they recognised the faces as famous or ‘non famous’ if they did not recognise the face as famous. The experimenter noted the answers on a previously made checklist for all participants. Due to the counterbalance of faces in the first study stage, half the participants were seeing new non famous faces that the other half would see as old non famous faces.

After completion of the last stage of the experiment, participants were debriefed, thanked, awarded with their credit point and could then leave.

Design

The design consists of one unrelated (or between) subjects factor, frequency of deja vu with two levels; low frequency of deja vu and high frequency of deja vu. The design also consists of one within (or related) subjects factor, type of face; with two levels; old non famous faces (that the participant had previously seen) and new non famous faces (that the participants had never seen before). Due to this a two-way mixed repeated measures ANOVA was computed to determine whether people who experience a higher frequency of deja vu are more susceptible to making source monitoring errors with in a false fame task. A related t-test was also carried out on the scores obtained from famous faces, i.e. the number of famous faces that were actually judged (correctly) as famous to determine any differences of famous faces correctly being judged as famous between the two groups of high and low frequency of deja vu.

Ethics

During testing all relevant ethical issues surrounding the study, delineated by the BPS guidelines were regarded.

The participants were all given a consent form to read, sign and date to prove that they had given their informed consent in to taking part. Informed consent was given to make sure participants were not tricked into anything they were not aware of; false or misleading information was not given to participants simply to gain consent; withholding slight information for purpose of study that will not negatively affect the participant in any way is different to deceit. Within the consent form they were informed that they had the right to withdraw from the study at any time and that their partaking was completely voluntary.

Throughout testing and afterwards all information about participants was kept completely private and confidential as the Data Protection Act (1998) requires. All data gained was kept anonymous and no results attached to identities were exposed in any way. Participants were assigned codes in cases of withdrawal or if the participant needed to contact the experimenter for other reasons.

During the study participants were not exposed to any kind of risk or anything that would make them feel uneasy, stressed or anxious. After the whole study was complete, participants were debriefed and any information not thoroughly explained before the testing due to purpose of study was explained. Debriefing also ensured that participants were still happy to be included as research and that they could now withdraw if they were not. Participants took away the consent and debrief forms with information about how to withdraw is they so wished after they had left the room.

Results (516)

For each subject the proportion of famously judged faces (the number of old non famous faces judged as famous, the number of new non famous faces judged as famous and the number of actual famous faces judged as famous) was calculated as a function of deja vu frequency. These data are shown in Table 1. Response times were not recorded.

Table 1. Mean proportion of scores (incorrectly judged fame) of all three types of face in both high and low groups of frequency of deja vu.

From the table it is obvious that more errors were made on judgements given for old non famous faces than new non famous faces in both groups of low and high frequency of deja vu experienced. This result on its own is in continuation with other false fame tasks that have revealed non famous but already seen faces (names in other cases) to be judged as famous regardless of participants being told explicitly that the faces are non famous (Jacoby et al 1989, Bartlett et al 1991, Peters et al 2007>>more>>>?) On average, both groups of frequency of deja vu judged approximately half the amount of actually famous faces, (Mean =0.52 for both groups) as famous. The mean proportions of scores also show that the number of errors for old non famous faces were indeed higher in the high frequency deja vu group than the low, suggesting my hypothesis may be true, however further analysis has shown that difference to be non significant.

The results of the Mixed Repeated Measures ANOVA treating the frequency of deja vu (Group) as the between subjects factor and the type of face shown (Type) as the within subjects factor, showed the interaction between Group and Type to be not significant [F (1, 74) = 7.624; p = 0.007] indicating that the frequency of deja vu experience had no direct effect on incorrectly judging old or new non famous faces as famous. The interaction was calculated in order to find out the effect of both factors together on fame judgements. This being a main prediction of the research question leads to a null hypothesis to be taken. The analysis of variance failed to reveal an overall effect of Group [F (1, 74) = 0.179; p = 0.673], indicating that the overall proportion of incorrect fame judgements did not differ between low and high frequencies of deja vu experience, (one tailed). A main effect of test (Type) was found [F (1, 74) = 45.393; p< 0.001(p=0.00)] showing that incorrect fame judgements were greater in judgement of old non famous faces than new non famous faces (one tailed); this is still in continuation with other, previous research.

The famous faces judged as famous had the same mean proportion across both Groups, those who experience deja vu at a low (SD=0.20) and high (SD= 0.17) frequency indicating that there is no difference in correct fame judgements of famous faces between the two Groups. An unrelated t-test showed that any difference there may be between scores was not significant [t (74) =0.000; p=1.000] as 1.000 is greater than 0.05.


Discussion

The amount a face was judged as ‘famous’ was measured (see table 1.) for each of the three types of face; famous, old non famous and new non famous and in each of the groups; high frequency of deja vu experience and low frequency of deja vu experience. This was in order to find out if people who experience a high frequency of deja vu are more susceptible to false fame, i.e. will they make more incorrect judgements or source monitoring errors during the task. The proportions of means suggested at first that people who experience a higher frequency of deja vu are indeed more susceptible to a false fame task. Further analysis was carried out and an interaction calculation between group and type in order to find out whether people do indeed do worse on a false fame test if they experience higher levels of deja vu showed that they do not. Therefore a null hypothesis rejecting my hypothesis is to be taken showing that people with higher levels or frequencies of deja vu experience do not necessarily do worse on a false fame test that uses faces as stimuli as opposed to names in word form.

A calculation on the effect of group showed that the factor of whether people experience high or low frequencies of deja vu does not affect how many errors are made. In other words no significant difference was found in the number of incorrect fame judgements, or source monitoring errors, between the two groups. This is contrary to the prediction that people in the higher frequency of deja vu experience will do worse at the false fame test and obtain more incorrect fame judgements on old non famous faces than people in the low frequency deja vu groups. However people in this high frequency of deja vu experience group did, on average, make slightly more incorrect fame judgements (Mean=0.30) than people in the lower frequency of deja vu group (Mean=0.27 ).

A calculation on the main effect of test was found, showing that people made more source errors or incorrect fame judgements on old non famous faces than new non famous faces which is in keep with Jacoby et al’s false fame experiment (1989) and also confirms my prediction that old non famous faces will be judged wrongly as famous more often than new non famous faces due to unconscious influence of the past combined with source monitoring errors. In other words people were more likely to judge a face as famous if they had already seen it regardless of the fact that they had been explicitly told that the faces they had seen in the study stage were all non famous faces.

>>> talk about – past influence, familiarity no recollection and source monitoring error combined.

As already stated my hypothesis did not turn out to be true and people who experience high frequencies of deja vu were not more susceptible to false fame in this experiment, however if the same experiment was to be carried out with the original stimuli, i.e. using words instead of faces plus similar groups the outcome may be desirable. This may be due to the fact that the original test had been used and been successful in the past.

People who are more ****well travelled etc***** are more susceptible to the false fame test therefore people who experience deja vu may be too. (is it people who experience deja vu are oftern wel travelled etc or is it people who do bad on false fame task— I think its deja vu??In which case that is wrong

Overall my results do support other false fame tests such as Jacoby et al (1989), Peters et al (2007)… Bartlett et al 1991 find all examples I can where false fame effect are shown; intro?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source-monitoring_error

http://psiexp.ss.uci.edu/research/papers/memory/KelleyJacoby.pdf

http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=false+fame+studies&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart

Findings of my experiment

What it shows

What it supports

Possible reasons for results

e.g. different instructions

relationships of anything

use of distractor tasks

links to current experiment

further research in area

evidence of false fame effect

Older adults more likely to call old nonfamous names famous in fame judgement task, however deja vu is observed less frequently in older adults which adds a reason to the point that people who experience deja vu more oftenwould not be more susceptible to the false fame task.


Bibliography

Brown, A. S. (2003). A Review of the Deja vu experience. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 394-413.

Brown, A. S. (2004). The Deja vu Illusion. Current directions in Psychological Science, 13(6), 256-259

Ferguson, S., Hashtroudi, S. & Johnson, M. K. (1992). Age differences in using source-relevant cues. Psychology and Aging, 7, 443-452.

Hashtroudi, S., Johnson, M. K., & Chrosniak, L. D. (1989). Aging and source monitoring. Psychology and Aging, 4, 106-112.

Jacoby, L. L., & Woloshyn, V. (1989). Becoming Famous Without Being Recognised:Unconscious Influences of Memory Produced by Dividing Attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 118, 115-125.

Johnson, M. K., Foley, M. A., (1984). Differentiating fact from fantasy: The reliability of children’s memory. Journal of Social Issues, 40(2), 33-50.

Johnson, M. K., Hashtroudi, S., & D. Lindsay, S. (1993). Source Monitoring. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 3-28.

Johnson, M.K. (1997). Source Monitoring and Memory Distortion. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, 352 (1362) 1733-1745.

Kusumi, T. (2006). Human metacognition and the deja vu phenomenon. In K. Fujita & S. Itakura- (Eds.) Diversity of Cognition: Evolution, Development, Domestication and Pathology, (pp 302-314). Kyoto University Press.

Loftus, E. F. (1979). Eyewitness Testimony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Peters, M. J. V., Horselenberg, R., Jelicic, M., Merckelbach, H. (2007). The false fame illusion in people with memories about a previous life. Consciousness and Cognition 16, 162-169.

Richardson-Klavehn, A. & Bjork, R. A. (1988) Measures of memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 39, 475-543.

Yovel, G., Paller, K. A. (2004). The neural basis of the butcher-on-the-bus phenomenon: when a face seems familiar but is not remembered. NeuroImage, 21, 789- 800.

http://www.psywww.com/resource/apacrib.htm

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Free Essays

knowledge about Solar Power and advantages of using natural energy

Abstract

This report is about Solar Power. Reader would be interested in reading this report because nowadays natural energy is very important and its’ importance increases every day. In report are included advantages, types, future and history of solar power. As well reader will find information about how solar thermal power works and what is the function of the photovoltaic panels. Also there is a comparison between Solar Power and other types of power sources. That will help you to understand importance of natural energy.

Nowadays Solar Power is not as popular, as it will be in the future, because installation of systems to get energy from sun costs a lot. These factors are also introduced in this work, to show, that people must pay more attention on natural energy, to reduce price and take all advantages of it.

Aims and objectives

This project was designed to generate knowledge about Solar Power and to learn advantages of using natural energy.

The objective is to explain people how to acquaint reader with solar power using examples and interesting facts.

Introduction

For thousands of years, people have been using sun for simple needs, such as drying clothes and growing food. But only less than age ago, people have been able to use it for generating power.

Majority of people are used to use fossil fuels and are not interested in using new sources of energy. But they would change their opinions and their habits after they learned more about damage made by fossil fuels and all the benefits of natural materials.

History of Solar Power

Many consumers thinks that solar power is a relatively new power source but thats not true. The sun has been known to be a source of energy dating back to ancient times. The ancient Greek were the first to use solar power to their benefit, as they built their houses into the side of hills to take advantage of the heat storage from the sun during the day that would then be released during the night. The ancient Romans were the first people to use glass windows to steal the warmth of the sun in their homes. They were so serious about the preservation of this solar energy that they erected glass houses to create the right conditions to grow plants and seeds.

While people were benefiting from solar power, the first solar collector was built only in 1776. The collector was built by a gentleman called Horace de Saussare. This invention attracted much interest in the scientific community through the 19th century.

In the interest of making use of solar power, Auguste Mouchout created a steam engine that was powered only by solar energy in 1861. This was an exciting event, but the invention was very expensive and it could not be reproduced or even maintained so the steam engine was quickly forgotten.

It was during the later half of the 1950’s that solar power saw its first mainstream usage. The first solar water heated office building was built during this time by an architect named Frank Bridgers. A short time later a small satellite of the US Vanguard was powered by a solar cell of less than one watt.

After such big strides in the 1950’s, the solar power really took off, because of cheap oil prices in the 1960’s, it was more affordable for people to power their homes with oil than it was to power their homes or offices with solar energy.

There was a rebirth of the solar power in the 1970’s with the steadily increased oil prices; in fact the US Department of Energy financed the Federal Photovoltaic Utilization Program. This program was responsible for the installation and testing of over 3,000 photovoltaic systems.

The 1990’s brought an even more mainstream interest in solar power. Solar power was seen as a great alternative to oil and petroleum products. During the 1990’s over one million homes had some form of solar power installed.

Today, solar energy is one of the most useful and commonly used source of energy all over the world.

Types of Solar Power


Solar thermal:

Solar thermal power is the process of taking heat from the sun to generate energy. This type of solar thermal power is usually installed in homes to reduce the cost of heating and cooling the dwelling. In many cases solar thermal power is used to power the hot water system in a home.

Solar thermal power can be used in a passive or active mode. A passive type of solar thermal system will use the convection to circulate the water where the active water heater uses a pump to circulate the water. Solar thermal power is also used to power turbines and even some machinery.

Solar electricity:

Solar panels and are used to convert sunlight into electricity; this is probably the most commonly seen type of solar power. This electricity can be used to power many different things in a home, such as appliances. This conversion of sunlight into electricity is done through the photovoltaic panels.

Advantages of Solar Power:

The most obvious advantage is that solar power is a renewable resource. The sun is available the world over and even though it may go behind clouds and it may go down at night, the sun is still available consistently enough to provide the power we need. In fact, the sun provides more energy than the whole world currently uses!
Another awesome benefit of using solar power is that it doesn’t pollute the environment in which we live. Solar power is not associated with toxins or greenhouse gasses like other forms of power are. Solar power is the only type of power that is not harmful to the environment.
An amazing thing about solar power is that it is free. You don’t have to pay for the sun. If you simply use solar panels or lights you don’t have to pay to run them. You do have to pay for the installation, but once this is done you get the power for free. In addition, solar cells don’t require the maintenance and they can last a life time so there is relatively little expense associated with solar power.
Another often overlooked advantage of solar power is that it is a silent type power. There is no need to use heavy machinery, as is the case when drilling for oil; the solar power just relies on the sun, which is silent. While most people don’t think about noise, when there is an absence of it suddenly we realize how noisy energy production currently is.

Future of Solar Power:

Solar energy has been used in some form or another since ancient times but the solar energy future remains wide open. The reason for this is that there are so many variables associated with how mainstream solar energy usage becomes. The biggest deciding factor of solar energy in the future is its cost.

Current critics of solar energy state that overall coal and other fossil fuels are just much more affordable, but while fossil fuels may be more economical in the short term, the damage on the environment must be considered!!!

Fortunately, the cost of solar power is coming down, which means that the future of solar power is looking good. How quickly solar power is the rule not the exception really has to do with cost. The more that the government pushes consumers toward a fossil free future, the more attention solar power will get and the more attempts will be made to reduce the cost and increase the production of solar power.

Conclusions:

In conclusion, the advantages of solar power are vast and far reaching. Not only does this type of power benefit the individual and their home, it benefits the environment that we all live in. Solar power could not only make energy costs plummet for one and all, it could make the earth a better place to be in the long run.

References:
Miss K. L. Barraclough “A guide to report writing for first year”, School of engineering, design and technology, The University of Bradford.
Mrs Elizabeth Gadd “An example report” Loughborough University Library, November 2008.
http://www.darvill.clara.net/altenerg/solar.htm
Perlin, John (1999). From Space to Earth (The Story of Solar Electricity). Harvard University Press
Halacy, Daniel (1973). The Coming Age of Solar Energy. Harper and Row.
Mazria, Edward (1979). The Passive Solar Energy Book. Rondale Press
Bolton, James (1977). Solar Power and Fuels. Academic Press

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Free Essays

Public health is termed as the knowledge and skill of avoiding illness, extending fitness

INTRODUCTION

According to Acheson report (1988) Public health is termed as the knowledge and skill of avoiding illness, extending fitness in the course of a planned hard work of the community that is the idea and the hard work of the society will concentrate policy matters at the point of the general health of the people (Orme et al., 2003).

Weber described class as “a number of people who have in common a specific causal component of their life chances in so far as this component is represented exclusively by economic interest in the possession of goods and opportunities for income, and is represented by under the conditions of the commodity or labour markets” (Townsend, 1974, p.128)

19th Century Housing

According to Orme et al., (2003); Ineichen (1993) ; Burnett (1978) and Lambert, (2008) accommodations in the 19th century were extremely poor, overcrowded and unhygienic many homes were not properly constructed, and they were full of waterlogged and were unhealthy for human that is there were no illuminations; no airing in the house, in a typical home there were no furnishings in the individual homes, households had to share only one bed; that was mostly seven to nine individuals were sleeping in the same room and bed and the fact is these were usual practices around the time and sanitation had always been poor since the 18th century and much poorer as the numbers of people living in the same room increased and this contributed to the distribution of infectious illness which included cholera, typhoid and typhus.

Meanwhile there were no set of laws to construct a house in many cities. Building constructors usually constructed houses as they want and they mostly build a lot of properties in a single land. Several homes were ‘back-to-backs’ which means the back of one house was attached to the back of the other and were often two or three rooms, the sad thing was they were all cellar dwellings and cities such as Liverpool households stayed in cellars, which were soggy and inadequately ventilated as well as packed. Extremely poor individuals dozed on straw as they could not have the funds for beds (Lambert, 2008; Burnett, 1978; Ineichen, 1993) and Cholera around that time was very contagious which led many to a serious intestinal illness the incidence of cholera was very fast which took the lives of twenty- two thousand people the warning signs were aggressive diaheohoa with vomiting led by severe pain in the arms, legs and the stomach. Persistent dehydration and fever were frequent with the sickness and warning signs were very speedy within three to twelve hours and the skin turned dry and a cloudy navy or purple in colour whiles the individuals eyes sucked in their holes (Lambert, 2008; Burnett, 1978; Ineichen, 1993).

Within 1848-1849 cholera took over 50, 000 – 70, 000 lives and was a major public concerned. (Orme et al., 2003; Ineichen, 1993; Burnett, 1978)

Moreover, Baggott, (1998) confirmed that the early 19th century had lots of voluntary hospitals that were set up by those who gave funds to the public. The status of the voluntary hospitals were such that doctors did not have to charge for treatment with the concession of allied with the hospital, but doctors were making a living by treating the rich investors whose donations sustained the hospitals. The rich were always treated in their houses instead of the hospitals and hospitals in the 19th century were chiefly for the poor who could not have enough money for treatment. However, permission to these hospitals was very discriminative in such that the poor and the individuals with contagious illness were often refused entry since the doctors were not getting any money from them (Baggott, 1998).

According to Orme et al., (2003) Ineichen, (1993) Burnett (1978) Lambert (2008) it was a very sad moment when a member of one’s family could only be seen for a few days or hours after woken up an in 1843, Individuals could not live for more than 26 years in Liverpool, 37 years in London and 40-45 years in Surrey and many children lost their lives prior to their fifth birthday (Ineichen, 1993) and incidence of contagious illness were considered as miasma theory, which stated that illness came as a result of inhaling toxic substances which was the main focused of the Victorian public health groups, when incidence began to worsen (Ineichen, 1993). In 1832 the Royal Commission on the poor Laws were chosen as the concerns for public health rose very high with an increase in the cost of public funds which was followed by outburst of illness (Ineichen, 1993) it was not until 1840 when one Edwin Chadwick who was a famous supporter for social justice and the overall development of sanitary situations in the neighbourhood as a whole with decided to look into why there were a lot of contagious illness and according to Chadwick, the outbreak of contagious sickness were owed to poor sanitation, he recognised the fact that high levels of poverty were the grounds for individuals not being able to meet the expense of living in a cleaner environment however, individuals were really cleaning within as well as ingestion from polluted water supplies. In 1840, Chadwick had a strong-willed that something had to be done by investigating on his own. By 1842 Chadwick who was the Commissioner to the Poor Law ultimately issued a statement on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain. The statement accused the poor sanitation and overcrowded homes as the cause of illness. Chadwick assumed that the awfully standard of living of the poor gave way to the prevalence of illness; therefore he made careful observation on the way of life of individuals. Chadwick’s came up with a conclusion that the poor sanitary condition was the cause of illness in the community but his analysis also he made it know that a well developed procedures must be in place so as to resolve the lives of the un-wealthy individuals in the society and the procedures were to run sufficient drainage and water systems. Chadwick also added that all refuse must not be stored in homes and roads so as to reduce the spread of illness in the community (Ineichen, 1993). It was not until the hub of 1800s when one physician John Snow , who was managing the incidence of cholera in Broadgate which was a poor suburb in London assessed the effect of the illness from one area to another and made it known that drinking from polluted water was the cause of the incidence of illness such as Cholera rather than inhaling polluted scent from the atmosphere and as a result, a new legislation was passed when Chadwick revealed his 1842 report which made it clear that poor standard of living were the cause of the major incidence of illnesses in town which led majority of people to be occupied in cellars as a result of the government driven them out of their homes in 1851 to stop overcrowded (Orme et al., 2003; Ineichen, 1993; Burnett, 1978; Lambert, 2008). Many men groups named Paving Commissioners or Improvement commissioners were set up with the rights to tile, sanitary and illuminate the roads but in those times England was separated into parishes therefore the Commissioners merely had rights over specific parishes ( Burnett, 1978; Ineichen, 1993).

However in the 19th century many new houses were constructed which expanded to other parishes where the commissioners had no rights in the new neighbourhood their roads were normally untilled with no lights on the streets. They had no drainage systems and when it rained roads curved into sludge. Individuals were splashing unclean water in the roads which left stagnant on the roads, toilets outside the homes and were normally used by more addresses, there were usually long lines especially on Sunday mornings to use the toilets (Lambert, 2008; Burnett, 1978; Ineichen, 1993).

DISCUSSION

In the nineteenth century the living condition of the British civilization was extremely poor (Rose, 1982) take home pay per every individual was ?45 in 1900 and ?57 pounds in 1938. Many individuals who were able to work fell into poverty at some point of their lives and poverty was considered as part of the civilization. Even individuals with the maximum paid could come across in a time of work dejection. As work was very difficult to come by even if you were desperate and determined to do so. Even an artisan at some point had to depend on the incomes of children, help from friends, or borrowed money from neighbouring tradesmen so as to make ends meet before things get better. A bigger percentage of the British population straggled to make ends meet and their level of poverty were more constant even if it was not everlasting one (Rose, 1982), that is pauperism and misery was considered as a collective problem but not poverty.

Later in the 19th century plans were made to reconstruct the public health professionals were allotted and assisted to develop the drainage systems, accommodations and roads. Individuals started to realise about the effects of good hygiene. Florence Nightingale went on an assignment to develop hospital environments whiles Joseph Lister also revealed that many contagious illnesses came as a result of unsterile instruments used in surgery therefore he started cleaning apparatus after surgery this reduced the number of contagious deaths during surgery operation from 60% to 4% since then individuals were able to live longer after discovery of personal hygiene. ….

The public sector had the biggest share of hospital

Political Reforms

According to Lambert (2008) the Tory regime was set up in 1822 which then initiated a number of reforms at that moment, individuals could be suspended for more than 200 crimes however in 1825-1828 the life sentenced was eradicated for than 180 offences.

The Industrial Acts

Lambert (2008) has confirmed that an industry is termed as an environment where over fifty individuals are engaged with the aim of developing a mass product or material. The industrial revolution formed a unique order for women and child labour. Children were always working together with their families but prior to the 19th century children normally did part time work in fabric industries with women and were usually asked to do lengthy hours normally 12 hours or more in a day. The government was aware of the problem and in 1819 a law was passed to make illegitimate for children less than nine years of age to be employed in fabric industries. On the other hand the law was not very effective as there were no assessors to monitor the industries for unlawful children working. Therefore in 1833 a new law was passed for supervisors to monitor the fabric industries to stop children below the age of nine from labouring in the fabric industries. Children who were aged nine to thirteen were also not permitted to do more than twelve hour shift aday or more than 48 hours within seven days and Children aged thirteen to eighteen were also not to do more than 69 hours within seven days. Moreover no one below the aged of eighteen was permitted to do late night shift that is between 8.30 in the evening to 5.30 in the morning but within 1844 another act passed to disallow female from doing more than twelve hour shift within 24 hours which also decreased the minimum working age for operating in the fabric industries but in 1847 females and children were stopped from doing over ten hour shift within twenty four hours in the fabric industries.

In addition to the reforms, in 1850 the law was modified to permit females to work for ten and halve hours a day meanwhile fabric industries were not to be operated for more twelve hours within twenty four hours a day and every employee together with men, were authorized to take one and half hours for meal breaks however, In 1867 the law was expanded to all industries not only fabric industries however the1878 Factory Act explained an industry as any environment where equipment are used in processing materials. Moreover, in 1842 Miners Act was passed which prohibited females and children below the aged of ten from going underground to do mining work(Lambert, 2008).

At the middle of 1860s the ten hour shift a day was very normal, but not worldwide. In ‘sweated industries’ for instance manufacturing of matchboxes and fasten and individuals were getting more wages for ever single they completed many were working from their residence and usually worked from sunrise till sundown to make ends meet. All the same in 1871 bank holidays were formed and In the 1870s a number of professional employees were assigned an annual seven day vacation with pay. (Although it was not until 1939 that everybody had annual paid holidays) but in 1890s it was general for most individuals to have the weekends to rest especially Saturday afternoon(Lambert, 2008).

Trade Unions in the 19th Century Between the 1799 and 1800 the regime conceded the Combination Acts, which prohibited men from doing more than two jobs so as to make more earnings but in 1824, the combination acts were abolished but it was still not certain whether trade unions were officially authorized to make laws and was not until 1871 that trade unions were certainly made lawful.

Moreover, In the 1850s and 1860s qualified employees created temperate trade unions named New Model Unions which employees had to make donations towards the union and in turned received illness and job loss benefits and the New Model Unions were devoted and regarded as highly professionals who tried to consult instead of thump it was not until 1868 when TUC was established (Lambert, 2008)..

Moreover, in the late 19th century unqualified employees started to structure an influential trade union and in 1888 one Annie Besant tried to arrange a thump between females who toiled in Bryant and May industries to produce matches the reason was that the girls were getting low wages from working with them and experienced a sickness named ‘phossy jaw’ which comes as a result of operating with phosphorous. The strike went well and the companies were asked to increase their wages and in 1889 the girls created a trade union to protect their rights at work (Lambert, 2008).

Meanwhile In March 1889 individuals working for Gas companies and common Labourers also created a union whiles on the 14th August 1889 employees from the Great London Dock also had an achievable thump for five weeks for increase in pay (Lambert, 2008)

Professional employees occupied in ‘through’ addresses, as the name implies it means one can stroll through them from front to back. Meanwhile in the 1840s town councils started to make enforcements on houses. Cellar houses were prohibited and the style back-to-backs could not be constructed anymore but it was not viable to destroy and restore them all at ago. It took many years and many were still occupying in back-to-backs in the 20th century (Lambert, 2008; Burnett, 1978).

Still at the beginning of the 19th century toilets were usually cesspits, which were not regularly drained and from time to time spilled over while urine could leak through the floor into holes from which individuals got drinking water. This led to the spread of contagious illness such as cholera in many cities in the1831-32, 1848-49, 1854 and 1865-66 and in 1848 a Public Health Act was imposed. The act made it obligatory to structure local Boards of Health in towns and where the annual mortality rate will surpass 23 per 1,000 or if 10% of the population wanted it. Local Boards of Health could claim that all new homes get waste pipes and toilets. They would also arrange a water supply, street cleaning and waste collection. And In 1875 a Public Health Act was reinforced over the old acts where every local authority were asked to nominate Medical Officers of Health who would be responsible for taking legal action over individuals who sold polluted food or drink which was unclean to be utilized by individuals and local councils were made compulsory to offer waste collection (Lambert, 2008).

Town councils started to make public parks available and a lot were approved by-laws, which set down the least standards for new homes. However in the 1860s and 1870s sewers were dug in many big towns and In the 1870s water supplies were installed in many towns which led to much better and hygienic environment at the later part of the 19th century than earlier stage whiles in 1875 the Artisan’s Dwellings Act was conceded, which enabled councils the right to destroy poor areas but authorization to destroy huge range poor areas could not start until the 20th century. (Lambert, 2008)

Also in the middle of the 19th century the standard of living grew up. And by and by homes developed bigger. And In the end of the 19th century ‘two-up, two-downs’ were frequently seen that is homes with double bedrooms with a kitchen and ‘front room’ and most professional workers occupied in addresses with three bedrooms. Meanwhile at the later part of the 19th century very few poor households were still occupying in only a single room (Lambert, 2008)

The Poor Law

In 1792 well known magistrates met at Speenhamland in Berkshire and formulated a scheme for helping the poor. Minimum salaries were added to cash heaved by a poor charge. Several neighbourhoods of England implemented the scheme but it beard out to be very costly and the government however determined to make some amendments. In 1834 the Poor Law Amendment Act was conceded. In future the poor were to be handled as unkindly as possible to discourage them from getting aid from the country. In future able bodied people with no income were to be forced to enter a workhouse. (In practice some of the elected Boards of Guardians sometimes gave the unemployed ‘outdoor relief’ i.e. they were given money and allowed to live in their own homes).

For the unfortunate people made to enter workhouses life was made as unpleasant as possible. Married couples were separated and children over 7 were separated from their parents. The inmates were made to do hard work like breaking stones to make roads or breaking bones to make fertiliser.

The poor called the new workhouses ‘bastilles’ (after the infamous prison in Paris) and they caused much bitterness. However as the century went on the workhouses gradually became more humanitarian (Lambert, 2008).

REFERNCES

Ashforth, D., Digby, A., Duke, F., Flinn, W.M., Fraser, D., McCord, N., Paterson, A., Rose, E.M. (1976) the new poor Law in the Nineteenth Century Macmillan: London

Baggott, R. (1998) Health and Health care in Britain (2nd Ed) Macmillan: Basingstoke

Burnett, J. (1978) a Social History of Housing 1815-1970 David and Charles: Vermont

Englander, D. (1998) Poverty and poor Law Reform in 19th Century Britain, 1834-1914 From Chadwick to Booth Longman: London

Ineichen, B. (1993) Homes and Health: How Housing and health interact Chapman & hall: London

Lambert, T (2008) England in the 19th Century www.localhistories.org/19thcentengland.html(accessed 23.03.11)

Orme, J. Powell, J. Taylor, P. Harrison, T. and Grey, M. (2003) Public Health for the 21st Century: New Perspectives on policy, participation and practice Open University press: London

Rose, E.M. (1982) Studies in Economic and Social History: The Relief of poverty 1834-1914 Macmillan: London

Townsend, P. (1974) the Concept of Poverty Heinemann: London

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Free Essays

A study of organisational knowledge management in Philips UK

Introduction

The aim of this research is to comprehensively explore some key issues surrounding knowledge management and provide some additional dialogue to the discussion surrounding organisational knowledge creation.

Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1994) accepted model of Dynamic Organisational Knowledge Creation only considers the creation of organisational knowledge by looking at case-studies of exclusively Japanese organisations. The Japanese cultural convention is to adopt a middle management out culture of decision making which differs from the top down decision making culture which is typical of a western organisation. By using a case-study of a western organisation this research considers how the theoretical model can be interpreted from a different perspective. It looks at how the notion of the Dynamic Organisational Knowledge Creation model is interpreted by Philips UK and applies the Philips interpretation of the model to Nonaka’s original theory looking for similarities and differences which will add to our understanding of knowledge creation and management in an organisational setting.

This research will also explore the hierarchical relationship between ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ and how this relationship impacts on how Philips UK view knowledge creation by considering the Philips UK notion of these terms, how they are defined within the organisation and how they relate to the definitions available in the knowledge management literature. It also identifies the part that human interaction plays in the transition of ‘data’ to ‘information’ and ‘information’ to ‘knowledge’ within the context of Philips UK. Some conclusions can be drawn as to whether ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ exist along a linear relationship within Philips UK with ‘data’ at one end, ‘information’ in the middle and ‘knowledge’ at the other end, whether they exist in a circular relationship or in fact whether there is a case for suggesting that there is no particular hierarchical relationship between ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ within Philips UK.

It can sometimes be difficult to provide clear definitions for the terms ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ due to the way in which these classifications are used interchangeably within modern knowledge management practice and across different disciplines. For instance it can be argued that the term ‘knowledge’ often seems to refer more to ‘information’. Therefore it would be useful to establish a clear definition for each of these classifications within Philips UK as although they may exist on a continuum to some extent, defining them as separate entities may bring distinct problems to our attention which may in turn suggest different types of remedy (Mutch 2008). This research will enable Philips UK to fundamentally understand how ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ are classified within the organisation and use these distinct classifications to inform further development of internal systems and processes.

It is fairly easy to distinguish between ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ and although software developers have used these terms interchangeably when marketing their products in the past, as presumably the idea that a system which manages knowledge has vastly superior connotations to a system which merely manages information even when the terms information and knowledge are being used ambiguously (Wilson 2002). This ambiguity has to some extent shaped our perceptions of what knowledge actually is, according to Mutch “reducing it to those things capable of storage in technology” (2008:43) which would underplay the case that focussing on ‘knowledge’ may be a response to some of the fundamental challenges that face contemporary organisations.

We must also consider the term ‘data’ within the context of this research as according to the conventional hierarchy in the knowledge management literature ‘data’ is related to and a prerequisite for ‘information’ and ‘information’ is a prerequisite for ‘knowledge’ and in fact according to Davenport and Prusak (1998) the differentiation between them is merely a matter of degree. Although this convention is not universally accepted and authors such as Tuomi argue that in fact data only emerges after we have information and information only emerges after we already have knowledge (Tuomi 1999b).

Considering how organisational ‘knowledge’ is created within Philips UK must start with identifying the differing typologies of ‘knowledge’. These include tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is defined as knowledge which is personal in nature and generally is stored in the heads of the individual; it is difficult to formalise into a document or other means that can be easily shared. Explicit ‘knowledge’ is knowledge that can be explained by individuals and is transferable either in verbal or written form. Experience is often identified as the path which separates Tacit and Explicit ‘knowledge’ (Rooney, Hearn and Ninan 2005). Identifying the typologies of ‘knowledge’ which are present within Philips UK will help to evaluate the process of organisational ‘knowledge’ creation within the organisation.

Context – Why Philips UK?

Philips UK was chosen as a suitable candidate for case-study as it bears similarities to the Matsushisha Company which was a case-study used by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1994) for their original research. Like the Matsushisha Company, Philips UK is involved in the consumer electronics industry and has a strong focus on product innovation. This alignment allows for valid comparisons to be drawn between the two case-studies without criticism that any differences which are identified in the organisational knowledge creation model are due to differences in the industry that the case-study organisation is involved in rather than the decision making culture of the organisation.

Philips UK provides products, systems and services to the healthcare, wellbeing, lifestyle and innovation markets. The UK head office is based in Guilford just south of London and employs many people in the UK operations over a wide spectrum of business activity.

Philips was established in Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 1891 by Anton and Gerard Philips, they began by manufacturing carbon-filament lamps and by 1910 they became the largest single employer in the Netherlands. Fuelled by the Industrial Revolution in Europe Philips opened their first research laboratory in 1914 and started to introduce their first innovations in Radio and X-Ray technology. Over the years there has been a long history of innovation and breakthrough within Philips which continues even today. (Anon. )

Literature Review

In reviewing the current knowledge management literature it is clear that there is an insufficient emphasis in the grass roots business of defining ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ and understanding the relationship and interaction of these concepts. Sveiby maintains that:

“Some of the present confusion concerning how to do business in the knowledge era would probably be eliminated if we had a better understanding of the ways in which information and knowledge are both similar and different. The widespread but largely unconscious assumption that information is equal to knowledge and that the relationship between a computer and information is equivalent to the relationship between a human brain and human knowledge can lead to dangerous and costly mistakes” (Sveiby 1997).page number

In order to consolidate our understanding of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ a comprehensive review of the literature will lead us to a greater understanding of the definition of each of these concepts and a description of how they interact with each other for the purpose of this research. It seems to be that because the hierarchy of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ is so apparently obvious, authors tend to prescribe a definition to these concepts which although conforms to the accepted structure, ‘best fits’ the research which they are undertaking. An example of this is can be seen in a study by Braganza which considers applying the Knowledge-Information-Data (KID) model to the case study of the design and implementation of a knowledge management system in a utility company. Braganza notes that there are contrasting definitions of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ which makes it difficult to distinguish between them.

“The hierarchy is problematic because it is difficult to distinguish between data and information and between information and knowledge (Tuomi 1999b). Zack argues that data can be considered as facts or observations whereas information is data in a context; knowledge is information that is accumulated and organised in a meaningful way (Zack 1999). In contrast, El Sawy and his colleagues propose that data is defined as a carrier of information and knowledge, where information is thought of as facts, and knowledge as a new or changed understanding (El Sawy, et al. 2001). According to (Gunnlaugsdottir 2003), data are facts without context; whereas data transforms to information once it has the attributes of being organised, analysed and interpreted to acquire a meaning. Information becomes knowledge when it is used to resolve a problem or finish a task. Knowledge itself is deemed to be context sensitive and experiential in nature.(Braganza 2004)” page 352-353

Although these definitions are all similar in context they are however different in nuance which leads to a constant source of confusion and the temptation to simply adhere to a definition which supports the preferred outcome of the research in question. Some other examples of the definitions of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ available in the knowledge management literature are as follows:

“Data are understood to be symbols that have not yet been interpreted, information is data with meaning, and knowledge is what enables people to assign meaning and thereby generate information (Spek 1997)”.page number

Or

“Data are simple observations of states of the world, information is data endowed with relevance and purpose, and knowledge is valuable information (Davenport 1997)”.page number

Or

“Information consists of facts and data that are organized to describe a particular situation or condition, whereas knowledge consists of truths and beliefs, perspectives and concepts, judgments and expectations, methodologies and knowhow (Wiig 1993)”.page number

These definitions all conform to the conventional hierarchy that ‘data’ is a prerequisite of ‘information’ and ‘information’ is a prerequisite of ‘knowledge’ however although problems with this convention are recognised, they are not discussed within the literature (Meindl, Stubbart and Porac 1994). The conventional model has been heavily criticized during the last century by several prominent philosophers of knowledge, Polanyi (1958) for example (Tuomi 1999a).

An alternative approach introduces the reversed hierarchy theory which is put forward by Tuomi, this approach argues that

“Data emerge last—only after knowledge and information are available. There are no “isolated pieces of simple facts” unless someone has created them using his or her knowledge” (Tuomi 1999b).page number

As an example of this theory in practice Tuomi (1999b) suggests that defining a conceptual database model begins with knowledge i.e. selection of fields should be included in the database design (name, address, date of birth etc.). Information is then fed into these database fields, and the database can then be used to output statistical data.

Rather than thinking of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ as existing along a linear model with ‘data’ at one end ‘knowledge’ at the other end and ‘information’ in the middle, it is useful to consider the age old question ‘What came first, the chicken or the egg?’ and consider a dynamic and circular relationship between ‘data’, ‘information’, ‘knowledge’ with ‘human activity’ in the centre, this view is suggested by Knox (2007):

“Data, information and knowledge are not separate entities there is a dynamic and circular interaction between them which places the human element at the centre. Knowledge can generate new data and this is a recurring process.” (figure.1) (Knox 2007) page number

The imposition of human interaction into the data-information-knowledge transformation process brings with it issues of consistency and unpredictability, the human element brings differing individual attributes which are influenced by experience and understanding so are therefore ‘tacit’ by their very nature and are hard to measure or validate.

Figure 1: The Dynamic (and circular) Relationship between data, information, knowledge

and humans (Knox, 2007)page number

A critique of Knox’s (2007) model is as with many theoretical models is that it considers the data-information-knowledge transformation process to be clean and efficient, however in practice this process is undoubtedly more complicated due to external factors and human interaction.

Although we have highlighted some flaws with the conventional perception of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ it is not within the scope of this research to allow for new definitions to be created, we are simply looking to identify how the Philips UK notion of these terms can be applied to the available literature. This research considers the Philips UK interpretation of the traditional model of organisational knowledge creation and therefore it would be sensible to use the definitions provided by Nonaka and Takeuchi in the ‘Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation’ (1994) and ‘The knowledge-creating company: how Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation’ (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995) which are seminal works in the subject of organisational knowledge management. Nonaka and Takeuchi define knowledge as “justified true belief” (1994:15), and adopt Machlup’s (1983) definition of Information as “a flow of messages which might add to restructure or change knowledge” (Matchlup 1983:) page number.

Streatfield and Wilson (1999) argue that the concept of knowledge is over-simplified in the knowledge management literature, and they seriously question the attempt to manage what people have in their minds.

Organisational knowledge can be categorised into typologies. For example, Nonaka and Takeuchi (1994) identify tacit and explicit knowledge; Choo (2006) sees three different types of knowledge (tacit, explicit, and cultural); and Boisot (1998) describes four types (personal, proprietary, public knowledge and common sense). For the purpose of this research we will concentrate on the ‘tacit’ and ‘explicit’ knowledge typologies which were utilised by Nonaka (1994). Polanyi (1967) first drew a distinction between these typologies in his seminal work ‘The Tacit Dimension’ (Polanyi 1967) with ‘tacit’ knowledge being impossible to express because “we know more than we can tell”, this means that we cannot express what we know in words because we are not fully conscious of all the knowledge which we possess (Bouthillier and Shearer 2002).

‘Explicit’ knowledge however can be formalized, codified and communicated, it is often transferred through formal education and training programs (Kogut and Zander 2008) and therefore can be easily stored with information technology (Martensson 2000). ‘Tacit’ knowledge is perceived as an opposition to ‘explicit’ knowledge in the knowledge management literature when in fact it is merely its other side (Tsoukas 2003).

Nonaka’s (1994) ‘Dynamic theory of organisational knowledge creation’ (Nonaka 1994) presents the theory that organisational knowledge is created through four knowledge conversion processes: socialisation, externalisation, combination and internalisation with each process converting ‘tacit’ knowledge to ‘explicit’ knowledge or ‘explicit’ knowledge to ‘tacit’ knowledge (figure 2)

Nonaka (1994) SECI model of organisational knowledge creation (figure 2)

The first step is socialization this transfers tacit knowledge between individuals through observation, interaction and practice. The next step is externalization this is triggered by dialogue or collective reflection and relies on analogy or metaphor to translate tacit knowledge into documents and procedures. Combination then reconfigures bodies of explicit knowledge through sorting, adding, combining and categorizing processes and spreads it throughout an organization. Lastly, internalization translates explicit knowledge into individual tacit knowledge. Eventually, through a phenomenon that Nonaka (1994) calls the “knowledge spiral”, knowledge creation and sharing become part of the culture of an organization. If we take for instance the example of training an employee to use software used by Philips called ‘Helios’ which is used by account managers to produce sales figures. When being trained, the employee first shadows someone who is experienced in using the system (socialization), they make their own notes whilst they are shadowing (externalization), they attend training and are given a manual on how to use the software (combination) and finally they are able to use the system in their own ‘tacit’ way to enable them to do their job (internalization). The trainee will then be in a position to transfer this knowledge by being shadowed themselves by a new trainee and the cycle begins again. It is important to note that the quality of the knowledge creation relies heavily on the personality and innate ability of both the mentor and the mentee. It can be argued that this is the case with all ‘tacit’ knowledge creation or transfer processes.

The quality of knowledge created or transferred within an organisation is dependent on the individual attributes of the employees who are involved in the particular knowledge creating or transferring process (Cho, Guo and Che-Jen Su 2007). Some of the individual factors

which determine the quality of knowledge transfer or creation include individual ability (Wasko and Faraj 2008), greed (Lu, Leung and Koch 2006) fear of punishment (Burgess 2005), expected rewards (Gee and Young-Gul Kim 2002), extrinsic and intrinsic benefits (Kankanhalli, Tan and Kwok-Kee Wei 2005) and sense of self-worth (Gee-Woo Bock, et al. 2005).

The role that the individual’s personality and ability contributes to the success of knowledge creation or transfer within an organisation is critical, it may be that the quality of organisational knowledge is destroyed or in the very least corrupted by the innate inability or personal agenda of employees. As these factors are ‘tacit’ it is very difficult for an organisation to validate the quality of the knowledge transfer which it is managing as ‘tacit’ knowledge cannot be codified.

“Without a doubt, one’s personal direct or indirect connections with others play a critical role in the transfer of knowledge. However, little research has been conducted on how individual characteristics relate to knowledge sharing despite the rising interest on this issue. Considering that it is the individuals who are ultimately responsible for sharing knowledge, it is essential to understand the roles of individual variables to get a better picture on how to promote knowledge sharing and better manage employees’ knowledge” (Cho, Guo and Che-Jen Su 2007) . page 3

Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) use the key example of the development of the ‘Home Bakery’ by the Matsushita Company as an example of organisational knowledge creation.

“The company were trying to develop an automated bread making machine, however they could not replicate the quality and taste of traditionally made bread. A software developer spent time with the head baker at the Osaka International Hotel, where she learned the secret of kneading dough. She realised from her experiences that there was a simultaneous twisting and stretching movement to produce the perfect bread. This needed to be replicated in the machine which went on to become a huge success on its introduction in 1987. The software developer could not learn how to make the perfect bread through simply observing the baker or asking the baker to explain the process. This is because the act of kneading is ‘tacit’ and could not be codified by the baker. This knowledge could only be passed on through socialisation, in the same way as knowledge is passed on to an apprentice. When acquired by someone with an external purpose, it can be externalised and used by others. This ‘explicit’ knowledge can then be combined with other forms of ‘explicit’ knowledge, in this case the concept of the twisting motion was combined with engineering knowledge to create new knowledge and the cycle is completed through internalisation to produce the ‘taken for granted’ methods of operating” (Mutch 2008).

There are however some potential flaws with this theory, firstly it has been noted that although Nonaka considers four processes of knowledge conversion, in fact only the processes of externalisation and internalisation actually transform knowledge from one type to another, socialisation and combination only exchange knowledge from one person to another and do not transform it (Bratianu 2010). Harsh (2009) considers that much of the initial knowledge runs through the cycle many times; this means that there is a kind of ‘reusable’ knowledge that Nonaka does not recognise. Nonaka only looked at case-studies from Japanese organisations and he states that the spiral of organisational knowledge originates in middle management and evolves upwards and downwards. This may be true within Japanese culture; however in western organisations where decision making is often a top-down process this may not be the case (Bratianu 2010). This research looks at the cultural issue which has been exposed in Nonaka’s work by applying the Philips UK interpretation of the knowledge creation spiral to Nonaka’s original model and considering how it differs. It also considers whether in fact there is any correlation between the theoretical knowledge creation model and its interpretation within a ‘real life’ organisation or whether the theoretical model is just a convenience for management theorists.

As this research considers the effects that a top-down organisational decision making culture has on an interpretation of organisational knowledge creation, it is prudent to discuss how top-down management differs from middle-up-down management. Nonaka (1988) describes top-down management as the implementation and refinement of senior management decisions as they work their way down the organisational hierarchy. Nonaka also describes bottom-up management, which highlights the effect of information coming up from lower levels of management on organisational decision making. Middle-up-down management is the synthesis of these concepts.

“It is a process that resolves the contradiction between the visionary but abstract concepts of the top management and the experience-grounded concepts originating on the shopfloor by assigning a more central role to middle managers “ (Nonaka 1988) page 9

In essence this style of management empowers the middle management to assimilate the company vision coming down from senior management with the experience driven concepts coming from lower management and translate this into effective operational decision making which has the benefit of being agile and responsive to changing market conditions such as increasing competitiveness and technological advancement. Nonaka’s example of middle-up-down management is the development of Honda City in Japan in 1978.

Research Questions

1. How does Philips UK interpret the notion of data, information and knowledge?

What is the widely held definition of ‘data’, ‘Information’ and ‘knowledge’ within Philips UKHow does this compare with the definitions available in the knowledge management literatureWhen applied to a ‘real life’ organisation is ‘data’ indeed a prerequisite of ‘information’ and is ‘information’ a prerequisite of ‘knowledge’ or is this convention merely a convenience for management theorists?

2. Why is knowledge transfer an issue for Philips UK?

How does Philips UK manage the transfer of its ‘tacit’ and ‘explicit’ knowledgeWhat strengths and limitations are identified in the current knowledge transfer systems How does Philips UK deal with issues such as validation of knowledge and loss of knowledge when an individual becomes incapacitated or leaves the organisationWithin Philips UK is knowledge transfer a voluntary activity, does this cause issues for Philips UK?

3. Has the theoretical model of knowledge creation been adapted to suit Philips UK?

Considering Nonaka’s model of organisational knowledge creation, can aspects of this theory be identified in knowledge management systems within Philips UKHas the model been adapted by Philips to suit their particular needsIs the Philips UK interpretation of the model unique or are there issues identified in the model itself when it is applied in practice

Research Method

Research Strategy

This research is an exploratory study (Saunders 2009) and is designed to be a loose reflection of an existing study; therefore it is important that cues are taken from that existing study when designing the research method. This ensures consistency in the primary research method used in both studies and provides the greatest degree of validity to any comparative analysis which is undertaken.

The study which is to some extent being mirrored during this research is Nonaka’s (1994) Study of ‘Dynamic Organisational Knowledge Creation’. Nonaka adopted a strategy of building comprehensive case-studies of his chosen organisations by conducting semi-structured interviews which targeted key personnel within the organisation. A qualitative approach to primary data collection using semi-structured interviews has been adopted for the purpose of this research as it is considering the Philips UK interpretation of a theoretical model and therefore it is the most effective method of capturing opinion and nuance in the participant responses. Mirroring the data collection methods that were used by Nonaka in his original study also adds validity to any comparisons which are made between the studies’ due to a consistency in the data collection process.

Quantitative primary data collection methods such as surveys and questionnaires tend to produce the most valid findings when they are distributed to a large number of participants i.e. the entire organisation, as they highlight trends in participant responses. They are not an appropriate data collection method for the purpose of this research as the specific knowledge which is sought is only held by a few key personnel, there is not a large enough sample size to produce meaningful results and also it is contextual opinion and anecdotal evidence which is valuable for this study which is not provided by quantitative research methods.

There is some argument for distributing a questionnaire or conducting a survey which targets only the employees who have been identified either by virtue of their job role or their past project experience as having the desired knowledge base which is required by this research. Although when researching an extremely specific and complex area such as organisational knowledge creation there is the possibility that a question could be misinterpreted or misunderstood completely, therefore the responses may not be reflective of the participant’s actual viewpoint and therefore valuable information could be missed.

A semi-structured interview comprises of a list of themes which the interviewer covers with each interviewee although the particular questions asked may vary from interview to interview (Saunders 2009). This method of interviewing provides the ability to tailor each interview to the specific knowledge of each participant whilst still keeping a structure which is useful for comparative analysis. By contrast structured interviews ask a predefined set of questions to each participant; this interview style was considered incompatible with this study as key employees have been selected with different knowledge bases and at different management levels, therefore asking an identical set of questions to each of these participants would be inappropriate. Unstructured interviews take the form of a relaxed discussion covering a general topic area, there are no predefined questions and the interview has no structure apart from the general topic, they rely on the respondent talking about their feelings about a particular subject (Saunders 2009). Again this interview style was seen as inappropriate for this study due to the fact that for consistency, specific areas need to be covered by the interview, also unstructured interviews are difficult to analyse comparatively.

When considering the design of this research method and the comparative appropriateness of the primary data collection methods which are available, selecting to carry out exclusively semi-structured interviews results in purely qualitative data being available for analysis. Qualitative data can be contrasted with quantitative data in a number of ways some of the main contrasts are that quantitative research tends to be to do with measurement, it’s highly structured and focuses on the point of view of the researcher, the researcher tends to be distant and uninvolved with their subjects, quantitative data tends to be generalizable to the relevant population and the research is conducted in a contrived context. By contrast qualitative research is to do with words in the presentation of analysis, it looks at the perspective of those being studied and is relatively unstructured, the qualitative researcher seeks close involvement with the people being investigated, qualitative research provides a contextual understanding and the research is conducted in natural environments (Bryman 2007). To summarize, quantitative research provides hard, reliable data but it misses a deep contextual element and qualitative research provides rich, deep meaningful data but is harder to measure.

A total of four interviews were conducted with each interview lasting for approximately an hour; each consisted of a series of open and closed questions. The first section of questions were standard across all interviews; this set the context for the interview, they ascertained what that particular employee’s job title is, what their key responsibilities are, what level of management they feel applies to them and why they feel that they have been chosen to participate in this research. Although for ethical reasons some of this data has been made anonymous in the final study, it is still important to consider during analysis. There was then a set of semi-structured questions which are specifically tailored for each interviewee, these follow the main themes of the research and provide the information required to build a robust case-study.

The interviews which are required and have been agreed by the organisation are as follows:

Senior Management: An employee who has experience of high level knowledge management, this interview provides an insight as to how the formal knowledge management strategy operates within the organisation. This employee is concerned with knowledge creation and knowledge transfer within Philips UK.
Middle Management: An employee who is not directly involved with knowledge management, this interview clarifies the role of the middle manager in Philips UK and provides information relating to the Philips decision making culture and the role that middle management plays in this process.
Lower Management: This employee is responsible for maintaining Microsoft SharePoint within the organisation which is a key knowledge management system used by Philips. This interview will collect information regarding the knowledge management systems within Philips UK from an operational level; it will also uncover the strengths and weakness within the current knowledge management strategy when applied in practice.
Non-Management: This interview looks at an employee’s view of how the concepts which are derived from shop floor experience are translated up the organisational hierarchy.

The qualitative data which was collected from these interviews is transcribed using a date-sampling method; this technique means that only the areas of the interview which are relevant to the research are transcribed (Saunders 2009) and allows the researcher to concentrate on the most relevant parts of the interview. Date-sampling has potential problems such as the researcher having to listen to the recording several times to determine which sections should be selected for transcribing and also the risk of disregarding sections of the interview which may be prove important in the future and having to go back to find them at a later date.

To analyse the data collected, firstly a process of categorisation is undertaken which splits the transcribed data into several main areas, this provides a loose structure and a basis for further analysis. There will follow a process of unitising the data which achieved by splitting it up into chunks or related words (units). These could be anything from a sentence to an entire paragraph, sorting these units into each category reduces and rearranges the data into a more manageable form. In completing this categorisation process relationships will be identified between the categories and the data within them. It is important to test the validity of these relationships by developing a hypothesis for each relationship and then looking at alternative answers within the data or the literature in order to prove the initial hypothesis. This is a valuable step in the analysis process as a relationship between the data is only valid if it can be proven. The relationships which are identified in the data are then used to formulate sound conclusions (Saunders 2009). The qualitative primary data collection and data analysis process which has been undertaken in this study is graphically represented as a flow chart (figure 3) to allow for ease of understanding by the reader.

In conducting the analysis of qualitative research Burgess and Bryman (1994) recognise that in unitising and categorising the findings what is actually occurring is a ‘quasi-quantification’ of the data, it is in effect noting the frequency that certain words, phrases or themes occur in those findings. This may afford the researcher the ability apply a more quantitative approach to the data analysis and produce a measurable output, this method of analysis is called ‘thematic content analysis’(Bryman 2007). A qualitative research method was deemed the most appropriate in conducting this study as it is nuance, opinion and anecdotal evidence within a contextual setting which is necessary to enable valid conclusions to be drawn. By quantifying the findings, the context, depth and richness of data is to some extent lost and this could be detrimental to the overall study.

A set of pilot interview questions were tested on a group of the researchers’ peers before the actual interviews took place. There was some discussion regarding initial absence of context setting questions which was identified during this piloting process. This feedback resulted in the inclusion of a short set of questions which clearly establishes the initial context of the particular participant interview within the research structure.

The secondary research method takes the form of a search of academic journals and academic textbooks. A comprehensive review of the current literature available on the subject of knowledge management with particular focus on organisational knowledge creation theories has been conducted.

Figure 3: Process flowchart for qualitative primary data collection (semi-structured interview) and data analysis.

Access and Limitations

Access to Philips UK was granted as a result of a personal contact within the organisation. Contact was made with the HR department via Peter Maskell who is Philips UK Chairman and Managing Director. This research has been carried out in strict accordance with the NBS (Nottingham Business School) Ethical Guidelines (Appendix 2)

In conducting this study, specific ethical considerations have been made in order prevent participants coming to any harm as a result of the research. This harm may take the form of an effect on career prospects, stress and anxiety or reprimand by the organisation as a result of comments made in an interview. In order to ensure protection, all participant contributions have been made anonymous. Where direct quotes are used the participant will be identified only by their managerial level (Senior Manager, Middle Manager, Junior Manager and Non-Manager). A profile of each interviewee is available to the reader to add context (Appendix 4). This gives general background information such as how long the employee has worked for the company but omits identifiable details such as name or job title (Bryman 2007).

There are several limitations of the chosen research method which have been identified during this process. Although every effort made has been made to overcome the impact that these limitations have had on the quality of the research this has not always been possible.

The first limitation which has been identified in the research is that the interview participants will be selected by the Philips HR department based on a set of requirements provided by the researcher and the interviews will be conducted at the Philips UK Head Office in Guilford. This selection method does ensure that the interviewees meet all of the required criteria for the research; however a limitation of this method of interviewee selection is the potential for interview bias, although due to the nature of the research subject this is likely to be limited. There is the potential that only employees’ who are likely to give positive feedback about the organisation will be selected to participate, therefore it is important to discover why the participants feel that they have been selected to participate in the study. There is also the possibility of employees being briefed in advance by the organisation on how they are required to answer the interview questions which may result in invalid or manipulated data being collected.

This limitation is necessary however and cannot be overcome as the research is highly specialised and only certain employees’ are able to provide the required information based on job role and past project experience and also their availability to be interviewed within the research timeframe.

Another limitation is the restricted number of interviews which are being conducted; this limitation is due to Philips stipulation of a maximum time allowance so that this research does not interfere with the day to day operation of the organisation. As the aim of the interview process is to seek specific knowledge and information from subject matter experts within the organisation and not to identify employee trends, this limitation did not affect the research process to a great extent, however a greater number of interviews would help to validate the data which has been collected. It is important to consider that as the research sample is small it would be unwise to generalise the results, as this is a study of a specific process in a specific organisation and is therefore unlikely to be generally applicable. There is however the potential for transferability of the research due to the detailed description of the research situation and processes provided. Lincoln and Guba (1985) refer to this detail as a ‘thick description’ of the research context. Transferability occurs when the reader of a study notices enough similarities to their own situation to infer that the findings of that study will be the same or similar in another context (Lincoln 1985). A word of warning to readers is that no two situations are identical and therefore appropriate amendments need to be made to the research process if this study is to be used in a different context.

A limitation which has been identified is that some participants in the study are not based in Guildford and were unable to attend interviews at Philips UK Head Office, this limitation was overcome by scheduling the interviews to be held in a different location which is near to where the participant will be located on that particular day, for example a local hotel.

The final limitation which was identified during the research process is difficulties in coordinating interviews so that they fit within the research timeframe due to employees being out of the UK on business trips to the Philips Global Head Office in Eindhoven in the Netherlands or on annual leave. Although video conferencing facilities were made available by Philips to overcome this limitation they did not need to be utilised as all interviews were eventually able to be conducted on a face-to-face basis within the research timeframe.

The particular resources required for conducting and transcribing interviews include a Dictaphone for all interviews. For any long distance interview a video-conference suite is required.

Findings and Discussion

Research Question 1 – How does Philips UK interpret the notion of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’?

The individual lay definitions of ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ within Philips UK are not standard across the organisation, although each participant did feel that their own definition of each of these concepts was the most widely held view and could be considered as Philips official interpretation of the terms ‘data’, ‘ information’ and ‘knowledge’. At senior management level they are considered to be three distinct concepts whereas at lower management levels the distinction between ‘data’ and ‘information’ is blurred somewhat, to such an extent that the middle manager defines them as exactly the same thing.

“Data and information are exactly the same, if I look at sales figures for instance, I could call them data or I could call them information, its exactly the same thing” (Middle Manager).

This is interesting considering the emphasis in the literature regarding the highlighting of the ambiguity between ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ (Mutch 2008). This contrast could be explained by considering the context of previous studies and the management level which was involved in those studies. One would assume that a manager who had the authority to consider implementing a Knowledge Management System (Wilson 2002) would be of a relatively senior level within an organisation and therefore have to make considerations at the strategic level (Nonaka 1988). It is arguably the difference between the strategic level (senior management level) and the operational level (lower management levels) which accounts for the different areas of ambiguity. The middle, lower and non-management levels tend to be more operationally focussed and therefore tend to see ‘data’, ‘information’, and ‘knowledge’ within the organisation from their own operational perspective. This would account for the ambiguity between ‘data’ and ‘information’ as it is generally accepted that “information is data which has meaning” (Spek 1997) page number. As lower management levels are likely to only ever be exposed to ‘data’ which has meaning for themselves and their peers, this ‘data’ is automatically ‘information’ for that manager and therefore no distinction is made between them, leading to a sense of ambiguity.

When asked how Philips interprets the relationship between ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ again the differences in the interpretation of this relationship are significantly different depending on the management level of the participant. The senior management interpretation was along the lines of the reversed hierarchy theory (Tuomi 1999b)

“I’d see the data as being very much the output of some of that knowledge and information and as such the data is often easier to get your hands on then what lies behind it.” (Senior Manager).

Whereas the lower management levels tend to interpret the relationship in the conventional way,

“The data that is sent to me becomes information in my head and then the way that I use the information is then knowledge for me” (Non-Manager).

This distinct difference in interpretation seems to again fall along the lines of strategic level thinking (Senior Manager) and operational level thinking (Lower management levels) where the senior manager is in a position to appreciate the ‘knowledge’ and ‘information’ that was involved in designing and implementing a new process or system and they see the output of this as being the ‘data’ which is produced by that system. The lower management levels however again only see the relationship between ‘data’, ’information’ and ‘knowledge’ as a snapshot which focuses on their own operational role. Their first contact is with the ‘data’ which is produced by a system, they appreciate how the data is transformed into ‘information’ and then into ‘knowledge’ but as they are focussed on how this is used in their own role they do not appreciate the wider implications of how that ‘data’ was created or what happens to the ‘knowledge’. In considering whether the relationship between ‘data’, ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’ within Philips UK takes the conventional form, whether (Tuomi 1999b)’s reversed hierarchy theory is evident or indeed whether (Knox 2007)’s model of the dynamic and circular relationship between ‘data’, ‘information’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘humans’ can be identified. A surprising conclusion can be drawn, in fact it is true to say that there is evidence of all three within Philips UK, the senior management highlight the reversed hierarchy theory (Tuomi 1999b) and the lower management levels highlight the conventional view, but as a whole organisation the dynamic and circular relationship (Knox 2007) can be identified. It is just that the strategic level (senior) management don’t appreciate how the relationship is interpreted in an operational sense and the operational (middle, lower, non) management don’t appreciate how the relationship is interpreted in a strategic sense and it therefore takes someone from outside of the organisation who takes an overview of the process to recognise that it is a cyclical relationship that is actually occurring.

In looking at whether Philips UK considers that an aspect of the ‘data’, ‘information’, and ‘knowledge’ transformation process could be omitted, i.e. ‘data’ could become ‘knowledge’ without ever being ‘information’. There was a consensus across all interviews that participants felt that they could identify each stage of the transformation process in any example that they thought about. An example of psychometric testing was given, a manager has psychometric test results which are sent as a set of numbers (‘data’), the manager then interprets the results and converts them to ‘information’ for that manager, and sends them to the candidate, they are ‘knowledge’ for that candidate. If the ‘information’ stage is removed and the candidate is just sent the un-interpreted ‘data’ they would not be able to interpret it themselves and it would stay as ‘data’.

“You would have no chance of interpreting it whatsoever” (Senior Manager)

Therefore the ‘information’ is very important in this example as in all other examples which were considered.

Research Question 2 – Why is ‘tacit’ knowledge transfer an issue for Philips UK?

Philips UK attempts to manage ‘tacit’ knowledge as an asset, they have identified that ‘tacit’ knowledge creation and transfer is an important part of their on-going employee training, and a key part of overcoming the issue of an employee becoming incapacitated or leaving the organisation, which may lead to the loss of valuable ‘tacit’ knowledge. Some employees have become indispensable to the organisation due to the ‘tacit’ knowledge that they possess. Measures have had to taken within the organisation to maintain and grow the ‘tacit’ knowledge base.

“I’ve got a really good example of something we did a couple of years ago, we were confidentially doing a massive restructure in our lighting business and a result of that we retired six people early. Now we needed to retire them for headcount issues and all sorts of other good reasons but we were right in the middle of our bids for the Olympics and we desperately needed these guys for their knowledge, so what we have done is retain them, and some of them two and a half and three years later are still working for us but on a consultancy basis because that knowledge can’t just be written down and kept in a nice file somewhere for the next person to pick up, it’s their experience and the wealth of knowledge that they’ve got, we just had to tap it, so we tap it by physically employing them still in some way, shape or form” (Senior Manager).

Although the ‘tacit’ knowledge that those employees hold has been protected in the short term, eventually those employees will leave the organisation. Unless measures are taken to transfer the ‘tacit’ knowledge to other employees, that knowledge which is understandably important to the organisation will be lost.

In response to the issue of an employee holding ‘tacit’ knowledge which makes them indispensable to the organisation, a number of measures have been taken, such as introducing implicit training methods {{101 Benjamin Martz, Wm. 2003}} and IT systems which attempt to pass on or retain ‘tacit’ knowledge. Training is to some extent delivered through experiential activities.

“A lot of the core skills training which I would have people go through for instance coaching, you can’t read how to coach, you need to experience to do it and you need to watch a role model doing it” (Senior Manager).

This takes the form of shadowing and mentoring activities in conjunction with the Philips UK traditional ‘explicit’ forms of training.

“There are a lot of those types of things that go on and if I think even from a sales point of view. Any of our sales guys who go out there, they can read about the products but only by experiencing and watching from someone that knows and using that to transform that into the customer proposition” (Senior Manager).

‘Tacit’ knowledge is also created, transferred and to some extent catalogued by using IT solutions which in this case is a number of knowledge management systems. These systems, although they can document projects worked on and the tangible skillset of a particular employee, as Polanyi said “we know more than we can tell” page {{67 Polanyi,Michael 1967}} and therefore it is impossible for an individual to recognise all of the skills and knowledge that they possess.

‘People Finder’ is the Philips UK internal telephone directory, it can be utilised for searching for the skills and experience required for a particular project. People Finder replaces a system called ‘Yellow Pages’ which listed experts with different types of knowledge within Philips and their contact details which could be searched via the intranet (Sanchez 2005).

“Similar to what we did with yellow pages, is our internal telephone directory which is called People Finder. We have got fields in there that talk about key projects that you have worked on, knowledge and skills, experience and we are also using that as an internal recruitment tool” (Senior Manager).

Although the premise of this system is understandable to catalogue and search for ‘tacit’ skills and experience, it is arguable how widely this system is used by lower management levels for this purpose, as none of the lower management level participants used the system in this way.

“We just use People Finder to look for telephone numbers, and it also shows us our sales figures and targets, I didn’t know that you could use it to search for people with specific skills in the business”.

‘Social Cast’ is another tool which facilitates knowledge transfer and creation within Philips UK; it is a knowledge repository and collaborative working portal in which employees can upload bits of data, this data can then be processed, sorted into groups, selected or filtered. It affords an employee the ability to advertise the project that they are working on and request feedback and help from someone with experience in that field, it also facilitates networking which leads to knowledge sharing.

“Socialcast is one way of doing it. So for instance it’s particularly heavily used amongst the research community, so they say “I’m working on such and such a project based in England is anyone doing anything similar to me?” and then they will share, then it’s a way of networking getting together and sharing” (Senior Manager).

Although these systems can facilitate the transfer of ‘tacit’ knowledge, or at least act as a first point of contact for an employee who is looking for a particular skillset, it is arguable as to whether these systems are fully utilised or indeed if they could ever be fully utilised within an organisation. Even in a knowledge friendly culture such as is the case in Philips UK, an employee may think twice before they list their skills, knowledge and experience (or at least the skills and knowledge that they know that they possess), and then pass that knowledge on to others which may lead to them becoming dispensable to the organisation and impact on their job security {{102 Davenport,Thomas H. 1998}}.

Screenshots of the knowledge management systems utilised by Philips UK are available in the appendices (Appendix 5).

Research Question 3 – Has the theoretical model of knowledge creation been adapted to suit Philips UK?

Nonaka’s (1994) SECI model is evident within Philips UK; an example is given of the Philips UK lighting division. Philips have realised that as their market and the requirements of their customers have changed, from selling light bulbs and lamps etc. to creating high value bespoke lighting installations for high-end clients such as the Hotel Raphael in London. It is necessary to facilitate organisational knowledge creation in a structured way to enable an account manager to produce a market leading customer proposition. As we move into an experience economy {{103 Pine, II,B.J. 1998}} it is more and more about giving the customer an experience right from the beginning of the process, through to installation and maintenance, it’s about creating a whole package. It is only by creating new organisational knowledge and successfully transferring and growing that knowledge base that a consistent and improving customer proposition can be made.

“Well you used to be able to get people in, we have a showroom downstairs and a training room and you get people in when their new and show them the products, thank you very much, go off and sell the products, this is what they do, this is what their luminescence is” (Senior Manager).

However selling a product is different to selling an experience and much like the ‘Home Bakery’ case study used by Nonaka (1994) it is impossible for an experienced account manager to write down how they go about selling that experience. The first stage in a brand new account managers training process is socialisation.

“What they have to do is they will go out with people who have already specified on big jobs and go and experience that for themselves. So for instance we have got a big hotel, Hotel Rafael in London, very high end hotel and we have created the lighting experience for them. So you go along, you learn it you hear the stories about how it was created and the same with another lot of big projects” (Senior Manager).

The new account manager takes notes during the shadowing; this is the externalisation process where experience is written down or documented using analogy or metaphor. An example of this could be, ‘Greet the customer like he is your friend’. The combination process is where that ‘tacit’ experience is combined with ‘explicit’ knowledge such as training in the specific products, pricing etc. The combination process then creates a unique knowledge base for that account manager; eventually the internalisation process means that the account manager can specify and quote without having to refer to the handbooks or processes as this knowledge has been internalised by them and is unique to the individual, but also adds to the organisational knowledge base.

The SECI model {{14 Nonaka,Ikujiro 1994}} can be identified within Philips UK, however when considering how organisational knowledge creation is interpreted by account managers within the lighting division of Philips UK, there has to be some considerations made which may lead to adaptations to the theory in this situation. The first point is that Philips relies on the account manager who is being shadowed to make value judgements and only pass on knowledge which is valuable to the organisation {{104 O’Dell, Carla 1998}}. There is the argument that if we “know more than we can tell” {{67 Polanyi,Michael 1967}} it makes it difficult to tell if what we know is correct. This could lead to a corruption of organisational knowledge within the organisation, as the mentor cannot codify their ‘tacit’ knowledge, it cannot be checked or approved by the training department. This leads to an adaptation being made to the model as interpreted by Philips UK. Organisational knowledge creation for Philips UK has to be split into constructive (positive) knowledge creation and destructive (negative) knowledge creation.

It is also the case with the example of the Philips UK lighting division that in recruiting an account manager there has to be a process that occurs before socialisation, where the individual is selected based on their past experience, their personality, and their innate ability to sell {{90 Cho,Namjae 2007}}, as some individuals have the innate ability to be a sales person and some do not.

“Some people are born to be salesmen and some just can’t do it, it’s like an X-factor that some people have” (Middle Manager)

The issue is that personality, experience and innate ability are all ‘tacit’ qualities and therefore it is difficult to recruit for these qualities.

“This is where people become really valuable, well we struggle now recruiting to specify what kind of people we want is because we are not really interested in the knowledge that they have got, it’s what they can do with the knowledge that we can give them”(Senior Manager).

Considering the Philips interpretation of the SECI model another process occurs prior to socialisation which is recruitment, this recruitment could be external (new employees joining the company) or indeed internal (looking at existing employees). Philips UK invests in psychometric testing to aid in the selection of both internal and external talent in their endeavour to protect the quality of their organisational knowledge base.

The adaptations made to the SECI model are specific to the case study of Philips UK although speculation can be made that these adaptations can be generalised across other organisations. Although no assertions can be made as to the validity of these findings when transferred to any other organisational setting due to the small scale of this study.

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A Case study on Knowledge Management Practices

INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1

“Knowledge management will never work until corporations realize it’s not about how you capture knowledge but how you create and leverage it.”

(Etienne Wenger)

In early time period, information systems were the source for the management of production processes as the production planning and raw material as well in the factory. The global world introduced the diversity of the products in enterprises. Similarly, it added the need to bring up the powerful information systems that is to manage, compete and survive in the complex market. IT emerged an integrated information system, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which was gradually developed (Wei & Wei, 2011).

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an information system designed to integrate and optimize the business processes and transactions in a corporation or an organization (Moon, 2007).

The ERP systems are considerably large. This nature of the systems makes their implementation complex, time-consuming and costly. Furthermore, it is quite riskier to implement ERP and confront multiple challenges to those who implement. Thus as a consequence, it becomes the reason for the companies to discard ERP projects before completion.

One of the key factors is the poor Knowledge Management that results in the failure of ERP implementation projects. ERP projects are differentiated with traditional Information Systems in terms of knowledge. A variety of experiences, perspectives, and abilities are required in ERP projects as knowledge (Suraweera et al., 2007).

The fundamental asset of firms is ‘Knowledge’. As well as, knowledge is shared across individuals, teams and organizations. Therefore, it has emerged as core organizational capability-the ability to create, acquire, integrate, and deploy shared knowledge. The competitive advantage and success resides in not only exploitation of the existing knowledge but along with that the exploration to new one as strategic options (Sambamurthy et al., 2005).

ERP firms define their mission of Knowledge management; “Either to connect those who know or with those who need to know, to convert personal knowledge to organizational knowledge”. In order to overcome the difficulties and management changes, knowledge management can be beneficial as a support to implementation of ERP systems (O’Leary, 2002).

The ERP systems are capable that it can manage the resources efficiently and effectively. IT can be done with providing a total, integrated solution for its information processing needs. The respective capability is not only for the multinational organizations (MN) but for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) as well (Buonanno et al., 2005).

ERP plays data collection role by performing different functions as keeping the transaction receipts, accounting for payment orders, delivery lists, and invoices for inventory in and out. In order to make decisions for the management’s reference, valuable information is extracted with the business data reached a certain quantity (Chen et al., 2007).

An ERP system follows different phases of the ERP life cycle during its whole life. They are the following: adoption decision phase, acquisition phase, implementation phase, use and maintenance phase, evolution phase and retirement phase (Esteves & Pastor, 1999).

This research is conducted for understanding the “Knowledge Management practices in ERP implementation” and identifying the current status of Knowledge Management in telecom sector of Pakistan. The research will also be helpful in success of ERP implementation in Pakistan and how ERP can be used for effective Knowledge Management.

Research Objectives:

The main aim of this research is to identify the “Role of Knowledge management in ERP implementation” based on the knowledge management practices and activities with respect to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation.

The following specific objectives will be addressed:

uTo identify the role of knowledge management in ERP implementation.

uTo understand the importance of knowledge management in effective decision making.

u To understand the benefits of knowledge management systems in the organization.

uTo describe the role of Knowledge Management in successful implementation of ERP in an organization.

Research Questions:

A descriptive case study will be conducted in the telecom sector of Pakistan. Interviews of the top management will be conducted. Following broad interview questions will be covered;

Question-I:

How Knowledge Management creates value to organizations through implementing ERP?

Question-II:

What role can Knowledge Management play in pre implementation, implementation and post implementation stages of ERP in the organization?

Question-III:

What Knowledge Management practices are used and implemented?

Significance of Research:

Knowledge Management is the discipline of enabling individuals, teams and organizations to create, share and apply knowledge collectively and systematically that to better achieve their objectives. If the goal is to achieve the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in the organization, the knowledge management has a significant impact on it.

This research identifies the role of Knowledge Management before, during and after ERP implementation that are specific to PTCL. It helps in creating awareness of the concept “Knowledge” in PTCL by highlighting the importance of ERP implementation through Knowledge Management.

The major obstacle for the development of many organizations is a key point that is the lack or minimal of awareness to the concept of Knowledge management and respective associated benefits of this system. Just like the same, they don’t know how to train people to practice in knowledge management activities.

Most of the organizations are engaged commonly in the activities of collection and storage of data but they have adopted an ignorant behavior as well towards the concept of re-usability of data. It requires that there is a need to develop and follow the knowledge management strategy that supports industries for their growth and development. Implementing ERP through Knowledge Management plays a vital role for gaining competitive advantage.

ERP implementation has been adopted and emphasized by number of organization in developing countries. This research will be helpful in creating awareness of implementing ERP practically in better and effective manner.

LITERATURE REVIEW
Chapter 2

As background to the study, it comprises different aspects with respect to the Knowledge Management and Enterprise Resource Planning-ERP implementation.

1. What is Knowledge?

Knowledge is an elementary asset for firms in the modern economy. It is disseminated across not only the individuals, but the teams, and the organizations as well (Sambamurthy & Subramani, 2005).

Davenport and Prusak pointed out at their book entitled “Working Knowledge” that knowledge situates at the peak of three-story pyramid as in Figure 1: The structure of Knowledge (Tsai et al., 2006).

Adopted from: (Tsai et al., 2006)
Figure 1: The structure of Knowledge

The foundation of knowledge is data and information. Data symbolizes the raw facts without meaning; information is what is extracted by the data that is organized in a meaningful context, while knowledge is illustrated as the meaningfully organized accumulation of information. Thus, knowledge should be managed appropriately and with awareness (Rezaie1 et al., 2009).

There mainly defined are the two Categories of Knowledge; tacit and explicit knowledge (Worley et al., 2005; Lee et al., 2007; Sambamurthy & Subramani, 2005).

“Explicit knowledge” is the result of the ‘‘learning’’ of the company e.g., documented policies, procedures, scientific formulae, specifications, manuals, etc., while in contrast ‘‘tacit knowledge’’ mainly participates to ‘‘know-how’’ e.g., personal expertise, insights, intuitions, and so on (Worley et al., 2005; Lee et al., 2007).

1.1. Importance of Knowledge:

Knowledge is gradually more important for an organization; with the passage of time it has become a significant asset of the companies, and even supplementary finances, the market. The significant attributes to it may refer to that it can help personnel to enhance capacity and skills, as well as to get better products and services. Additionally, it is also supporting to the organizations in order to improve the organizational structure, develop a better organizational system and locate proper way outs to the problems (Qin & Yang, 2008).

Knowledge is a composite notion. There are a number of dynamics that determine the nature of knowledge creation, management, valuation, and sharing. How the organizational knowledge is createdIt is done by cycles of combination, internalization, socialization, and externalization (See Figure 2: The Knowledge transformation model).

Figure 2: The Knowledge transformation model
Adopted from: (Tsai et al., 2006)

As Knowledge is of two forms i.e., tacit (know-how) and explicit (know-what), in such a way it transforms the knowledge between tacit and explicit approaches (Sambamurthy & Subramani, 2005).

A better strategic approach to competitive advantage is not only to exploit the existing knowledge but to explore the new one too; exploring new comprehensions may result in achieving competitive edge along with taking advantage of the existing data and information or the knowledge resources (Sambamurthy & Subramani, 2005).

2. What is Knowledge Management?

Sustainable competitive advantage can be acquired as a result of a successful Knowledge Management. Many researchers have projected KM frameworks; it generally refers to the set of processes or practice of developing in an organization capable to create, acquire, capture, store, maintain and disseminate the organization’s knowledge (Rezaie1et al., 2009).

According to Ron Young, CEO/CKO Knowledge Associates International, Knowledge Management is defined as;

“Knowledge Management is the discipline of enabling individuals, teams and entire organizations to collectively and systematically create, share and apply knowledge, to better achieve their objectives.”

While According to Davenport and Prusak (1998), KM is defined as follows:

“Knowledge management is concerned with the exploitation and development of the knowledge assets of an organization with a view to furthering the organization’s objectives. The knowledge to be managed includes both explicit, documented knowledge, and tacit, subjective knowledge.”

2.1. Knowledge Management Practices:

Knowledge management (KM) is also defined as the management of information and knowledge and their usage in organizational routines processes within organizations. The important major focus involve the direction-finding of strategy, identification and communication of different types of knowledge that be inherent in processes, people, products and services so that it may support collaboration and as well as its integration in order to improve productivity and efficiency (Kanjanasanpetch’ & !gel’, 2003).

Knowledge activities of an organization may refer to a process to create a shared knowledge. It’s to put experience into knowledge and the organizations must encapsulate the mission and conclude experience, consequently transform knowledge into the organization (Qin & Yang, 2008).

Knowledge management is active organizational strategy. Knowledge Management ensures that people can get the knowledge in time at the time most needed. In such manner, individuals can share the knowledge and put into practice afterwards. At last it can also help to achieve the purpose to improve the organizational performance. Knowledge management is extremely a complicated process; it is based on the strategies as well as the support of the leadership, culture, assessment and technical factors, and so on (WU & PANG, 2009).

Figure 3: OVUM Structures for Knowledge Exchange and Integration
Adopted from: (Tsai et al., 2006)

The main objective of the knowledge management refers to an integrated system to exchange and sharing of knowledge. According to Tsai, Chang, and Chen, OVUM also proposed a model for the exchange of knowledge (See Figure 3: OVUM Structures for Knowledge Exchange and Integration) (Tsai et al., 2006).

It refers to the link between the tacit and the explicit knowledge. It also includes different processes as Sharing, Capture, Classification, and Understanding (Tsai et al., 2006).

1.1. Issues to Knowledge Management:

Issues faced in organization with respect to knowledge management have been an important aspect to the research study. In order to perform the business activities in efficient way, it requires well-organized knowledge management that may lead to organizational creativity, operational effectiveness, and quality of products and service (Guo et al., 2006).

The issues or the problems faced: In order to make the decisions, one of the problem is the coordination of the knowledge to the individuals or groups in the organization. There is a need to understand the knowledge distribution patterns that may be facilitated by the information technologies. Knowledge transfer is also another problem that may be because of the absorptive capacity of individuals or troubled transfer due to contextual nature of knowledge. Knowledge sharing and reuse should also be considered well. Research also suggests that “those who are helped are viewed as less competent than those who provide help” (Sambamurthy & Subramani, 2005; Srivardhana & Pawlowski, 2007).

KM is new practice in the business organizations but KM is also one of the challenging areas that is implementing, managing and supporting the ERP systems in today’s businesses. The implementation of ERP systems in Sri Lanka has encountered failures in terms of time, cost and scope (Suraweera et al., 2008).

Different issues can be resolved if ERP implementation is better integrated with the knowledge management systems. With the integration, the system can manage physical as well as knowledge assets for achieving competitive advantages (Guo et al., 2006).

2. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP):

Enterprise Resource Planning systems, commonly known as ERP, are the enterprise wide systems. They are integrated which automate core corporate activities that may include manufacturing, human resources, finance and supply chain management. With the use of such system many improvements can be acquired by the companies for example: easier access to reliable and consistent information, exclusion of redundant data and operations, cycle times may be reduced, increased efficiency and reduction of costs as a consequence (Baki et al., 2005; Newell et al., 2003).

The strong advancement of ERP systems has been considered with the superior competitiveness that may be result from the increase productivity along with reduction in costs, as well as improving decision quality and resource control, in this manner enabling leaner production. It may be said that ERP systems are the source for better organizational efficiency. Thus, the best practices defined by the organizations with better capture of information and redesign of organizational structure (Newell et al., 2003).

The use of information technology can be a competitive tool that is based on computer to support decision-making, also aligned with corporate strategy. In order to cope with the corporate goals and business needs of delivery, quality, and cost control, a selected ERP solution should be able to support decision-making. The Right ERP solution can act as an excellent decision support tool to achieve competitive advantage (Baki et al., 2005).

The aim of the ERP package is to integrate all key business activities. It can be done by the improved associations at all levels so that competitive advantage to be achieved. It may be considered ERP systems as an IT infrastructure that’s able to ease the flow of information between all business processes in an organization (Kanjanasanpetch’ & !gel’, 2003).

ERP implementation is neither the success path way nor full of benefits at all (Suraweera et al., 2008). According to Qin & Yang, “It is very complex to implement ERP, because it involves various knowledge transfer problems including the inner corporate, the corporate and the implementation parties.”

Qin & Yang proposed that the ERP implementation process is the flow, transfer and exchange of the ERP knowledge, the management tools and methods, the characteristics of the enterprises and the inner corporate explicit and tacit knowledge inside the corporate and amongst the corporate, the implementation party and the consulting company (Qin & Yang, 2008).

2.1. Importance of Knowledge to ERP Implementation:

ERP system is considered critical to many firms as to the enduring operations or activities of the company. It also represents their largest IT Investment. It provides a point that different knowledge capabilities (generation, combination-recombination and exploitation of knowledge) can lead as a source of competitive advantage (Srivardhana & Pawlowski, 2007).

ERP knowledge has been increasingly gained the depth and popularity. The swift growth in the ERP market persists to grow; in order to improve the efficiency and the management, many managers will pin their hopes on ERP implementation (Qin & Yang, 2008).

Importance of Knowledge to ERP Implementation (Supply-side view): ERP is neither common software, nor its implementation a simple IT project. It requires not only the technical support of the software suppliers for an improved blend of the software function and the corporate business, but also the whole process contribution of the special consulting company (Qin & Yang, 2008).

It means that the supplier should not be responsible for not only the supply of the software and related document, but requires the client necessary training; that includes the function, module structure, information flow, and so on. As well as the consultants are to exploit their experience in order to restructure the corporate business process and transform to the rate of right results in progress (Qin & Yang, 2008).

Where the software supplier can better identify the real practice of the corporate and transform its software, similarly the consulting company can also well recognize the advanced idea of the company as well as form a deeper understanding of the entire trade business (Qin & Yang, 2008).

Qin & Yang build a comprehensive knowledge transfer ERP system: Expert transfer system (experts), Serial transfer system (entire process of department) and Near transfer system (exchanges between organizations).

Importance of knowledge to ERP (ERP projects view): The knowledge created during ERP implementation and management is a significant resource for an organization. It must be properly managed. The creation of knowledge and sharing is supposed to take place at each phase of ERP implementation, as well as post-ERP Projects (McGinnis & Huang, 2007).

Knowledge is an important deliverable in ERP projects. It provides four main benefits; (McGinnis & Huang, 2007)

1.Project managers can visualize how KM can be incorporated to address specific project needs.
2.IT managers can achieve cross-project knowledge integration that would have otherwise been lost.
3.Organizations can control the relative knowledge gain so that to improve their processes more than non-knowledge oriented project.
4.Building on documented knowledge provides more current and accurate information to the central support organization. In this way, it can be re-used to reduce and minimize future project costs.

3. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Pre, During and post Case:

Yusuf et al. analyzed a case of ERP implementation in 2004 of Rolls-Royce. Rolls-Royce is a truly global business offering a range of first class world leading products. The company provides facilities over 14 different countries and it also deals with other offerings as after sales services, covering mechanical overhauls and spare part distribution (Yusuf et al., 2004).

It is said that the precise information systems and direct communication with suppliers are vital in order to offer customers a dedicated promise to deliver (Yusuf et al., 2004).

Before implementation: Rolls-Royce had been incorporated over 1500 systems before the project of ERP implementation was started. The incorporated legacy systems were expensive to operate and it was difficult to maintain and develop. Therefore in order to maintain good and in time decision making and assessment of performance, these systems were not sufficient to provide accurate, consistent and accessible data (Yusuf et al., 2004).

The problematic era was not related to communication perspective only but it did not support significant growth of the business. These systems were not sufficiently responsive to keep pace with the changing business environment (Yusuf et al., 2004).

Implementation: The ERP project was being carried out involving a management team of specialists from the external outsourcing company EDS. The project implementation problems were grouped into three areas of cultural, business and technical difficulty. The core implementation teams accounted for the needs of both the managerial and end-user (Yusuf et al., 2004).

Post Implementation: It was proposed different benefits; an immediate benefit will be the ability to promise and timely delivery to customer. This was that the older systems could never achieve, as they often used due dates that were in the past. SAP can only use current information. In such a way it’ll lead to: improvement in customer satisfaction & customer confidence, increased lead time of orders, and also improve customer confidence, improvement in supply chain management (Yusuf et al., 2004).

It was also concluded that there is the need to look the sustainability of enterprise information systems (EIS) during the post-implementation period. The reason is the lack of clear understanding about the strategic needs and requirements for sustaining the effectiveness of large-scale information systems after a period of relative stability following initial implementation (Yusuf et al., 2004).

4. Integration of Knowledge Management and ERP:

At different levels of the organization, it encompasses a set of various forms of data, information, and knowledge. Research suggests that knowledge management is functional in ERP where a proper implementation of ERP creates a link among the areas of the enterprise (Guo et al., 2006).

The proper management of two types of assets has been recognized by the modern organizations; physical assets and knowledge assets (Suraweera et al., 2008; Guo et al., 2006). Therefore the management of knowledge assets demands the integration of KM and ERP systems that becomes a strategic initiative (Suraweera et al., 2008). It is advantageous to implement both ERP and knowledge management in the enterprises as a consequence. It may result in competitive advantage to the enterprises (Guo et al., 2006).

Knowledge management can be integrated with ERP and thus the business processes can be managed. The business transaction activities can be integrated by ERP systems. In order to process the transaction, the information acquired can help a firm to plan their activities such as production and knowledge management can also be useful for a number of activities. As a result, ERP may be a better information platform for knowledge capturing, storing, sharing, and innovating (Guo et al., 2006).

The availability of new exterior knowledge is made possible by the ERP systems with the ‘‘best practices’’, along with the knowledge from vendors and consultants engaged in system implementation and support (Suraweera et al., 2008; Srivardhana & Pawlowski, 2007). Both researchers and practitioners have provided important consideration to knowledge sharing during the ERP implementation in developed countries. There are some strategies to overcome KM issues in Table 1: Some Strategies to overcome KM Issues (Suraweera et al., 2008).

Table 1: Some Strategies to overcome KM Issues

Adopted from: (Suraweera et al., 2008)

An enterprise consists of different areas as customer relation, manufacturing, human resource, financial management, and supply chain management functions. A successfully implemented ERP provides a link between all these area and form a highly integrated system with shared data (Guo et al., 2006).

ERP systems assist KM related activities in a number of ways. For example, potential knowledge is to be explored by ERP systems’ support; they trace expert-owned specialized knowledge, and disseminate and employ knowledge of business processes. In view of that, KM is increasingly critical for the success of ERP implementations (Suraweera et al., 2008). The integration of ERP and knowledge management can result into use or reuse knowledge for ERP purpose (Guo et al., 2006).

The implementation of ERP systems and knowledge management is widespread as organizational initiatives. The transfer of the human knowledge is an important issue. The reason is that ERP systems have been developed as more collaborative systems (Park & Hossain, 2003).

There are ERP products that provide software components to facilitate knowledge management. SAP is an example of it that provides solutions for knowledge management and transfer. It is integrated into an interface to share with a variety of other components of the system (Guo et al., 2006). According to O’Leary, “SAP’s ‘‘Knowledge Warehouse’’ is aimed at managing unstructured knowledge and delivering it to those who want or need that knowledge. SAP’s Business Information Warehouse, a data warehouse, is used to manage structured data, typically generated from the ERP system.”

A successful ERP system causes to restructure the processes in the organization in order to improve the overall effectiveness, while providing a means to externally enhance competitive performance, raise responsiveness to customers, and sustain strategic initiatives (Gargeya & Brady 2005).

Integration rationale: The integration of ERP and knowledge management has been proved as necessity for small and medium enterprises for the future perspective (Metaxiotis, 2009).

Metaxiotis proposed a conceptual model for the integration of ERP and KM as illustrated in Figure 4: Conceptual Model.

The proposed model shows, an integrated transaction processing system is provided by ERP. It also provides access to information that covers multiple business functions e.g., financial and accounting, human resources, supply chain and customer services. The main base for the ERP system is the central database. A central database and knowledge base is developed as the result of integration of ERP and knowledge management. This integration collects information and knowledge from, and feeds information and knowledge into, modular applications supporting all of a company’s business activities. It results in automatic update of related information and knowledge, when new information and knowledge is entered in one place (Metaxiotis, 2009).

Figure 4: Conceptual Model

Adopted from: (Metaxiotis, 2009)

In ERP different parts in enterprise are integrated in order to improve the internal organizational efficiency. In this way employees use less time to perform tasks, while KM can lead to the required competitive advantage so that to compete (Metaxiotis, 2009).

Research Methodology
Chapter 3

1. Nature of Research and Technique:

This research is quantitative in nature, as it is based on the interviews and discussions with the top management of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). A descriptive case study will be conducted in this sector.

2. Aim for the Adaption of Interview Approach:

The interview approach has been adopted and conducted in order to find the role of knowledge management in the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) & to know knowledge management practices in terms of ERP and its implementation in PTCL.

3. Background of Interview Questions:

The broader interview questions are established with the help of Literature Review. The interview session with the top management of PTCL has been conducted (Interview questions are appended in Appendix: A). Interviews with top management have helped us in understanding role of KM in PTCL before, during and after ERP implementation.

4. Findings of Interviews and output:

The findings of these interviews have been analyzed along with the literature review, which is transformed into final output then. The final output has been generated about how Knowledge Management supports the ERP before, during and after implementation.

Findings and Analysis
Chapter 4

1. Interview Session:

The research has been carried out by the technique of Interview Questions. The interview session was conducted by the interviewees’ of the organization – PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited).

Interview session has been conducted for the research purpose comprising “A Case study on Knowledge Management practices in the ERP Projects of the Organization”. Senior Manager to ERP Project Implementation has worked by the start to the selection of the system. He is responsible for the SAP Administration. The ERP Project has been initiated by March-2007 that has now reached to maximum 90% level of completion.

1.1. Answers to Interview Questions:

1. What priority is assigned to knowledge management by top management of your organization?

According to manager;The prior level of importance was given to the knowledge management. For this, initially they developed a website with the feature of authorization property given to the particular users. Moreover, they carried on with availability of training CDs, books in the printed form.

“Now with the implementation of new ERP system, the SIM files are generated where the tutor provides the knowledge of important alerts.”

2. How does knowledge management provide support during ERP design phase?

3. What are the sources of knowledge in your organization?

To the source of knowledge practice adopted was FAQ’s initially.In order to organize the information ‘As-is’ processes and SAP processes are integrated. This organized information is retrieved on the basis of need afterwards. Knowledge management helps in identification, creation and representation of the desired processes in the organization.

Manager stated that;

“Currently, PTCL has established shared portal containing important documentations with defined ways/ instructions to access and use the portal.”

Along with that CRM is implemented that is totally based on the knowledge management.

4. Do you think, knowledge management is important and essential for ERP implementation?

The view of Manager was;Knowledge management is important and essential in ERP implementation because if the strong KM system is present, it would not be affected by the turnover of the employees.

“KM is not about to know anything, its all about the strong management of Knowledge. For ERP implementation and its best performance knowledge is properly managed as there are number of practices of Knowledge management. Therefore knowledge management has significant role in the implementation of ERP in the organization. ”

5. At what points knowledge is systematically captured in the organization?

“The systematic approach used by the PTCL was to capture the knowledge through the online database, which involves the access to the information by search words e. g., use of keywords, with the relevant date etc. Now shared portal features the content based search as well.”Stated by Manager;

6. How does knowledge management support ERP during its implementation phase?

“The ERP system has been placed as Centralized system. Knowledge management done by the organization, by providing the access of information (documentations) to users, result into almost 60% cost reduction.”Manager said;

The manger supported his statement with the example as;

“For examples, as the instruction manuals help the users to know about how to use it, that also counts to more time consumption and costly if training sessions are given more time. The left time would be used for the other activities of better achieving objectives.”

7. What is your opinion about achievement of reduction in cost and time through or with the help of knowledge management?

If time is given to other to make them understand about the systems. For the solution documentations are prepared.

The manger revealed a point that;

“However, as the documentation is formed manually that somehow arises the problem of misleading due to the human errors to instructions.”

8. Does knowledge management enhance employee advancement while working in ERP system?
The Manager highlighted the point with respect to resistance of employees to sharing information;Knowledge is an important asset of the organization.

“Knowledge management leads to enhance the level of performance of employees but there is also the problematic concept of hiding the information; people resist sharing their information or hesitating in order their work to bring in front of others.”

9. How much time does an employee take to get the relevant knowledge from the ERP system of the organization?
Gathering information depends upon what employee want to access and how the system is organized in a systematic way. The employees working in PTCL utilize lesser time to gather the relevant knowledge because of the defined parameters and specific tools which are highly organized.

10. What knowledge management practices (if any) are used by your organization?

11. Are you facing any problems in data/knowledge gathering and migration?
The knowledge is stored in form of website, CDs, Sim files and shared portals. The knowledge is stored on the basis of end user requirement as well as auditing purpose. PTCL retains the documented information for approximately 3-10 years. The record keeping is based upon the policies made by the organization. The maturity level of documentation is also important. PTCL was recommended to use 4.6 versions while 6.4 versions were in the benefit of PTCL.

According to the Senior Manager; on the knowledge gathering and migration stage, PTCL is not facing any problems except manual working of the documentations as users can access knowledge timely.

12. What is the current level/status of knowledge management in your organization?
“If we categorize knowledge mgt status in three levels, high medium, low. PTCL is working on the medium level.”The Manager provided that;

Therefore the level is not much high.

13. What strategy did you use in your organization for knowledge management?
14. Did your organization provide timely training to various users of your ERP system; before and during implementation of ERP?
PTCL has used different strategies for managing its knowledge such as, shared portal, websites, emails and books in the printed form. The level of adoption of the strategy to use books in the printed form, is very low. More preference is given to the other strategies excluding the storage limitation factor as they need to easy access.

Manager stated that;

“Before ERP implementation, the training was conducted at functional level in the form of organized training sessions and during the implementation the training was based on end user roll out and sim tutor. In PTCL the ERP system-SAP was the successful implemented project in history.”

15. Do you think new ERP system has enhanced knowledge & skills of primary users of the organization?
16. Did you collect any information from your vendors regarding their knowledge about ERP (before implementation)?
There were 530 employees for the working of commercial account Lahore dealing with the particular transactions with the implementation of new ERP system enable 30 employees to handle the working.

In order to implement the ERP system PTCL calls for the vendor selection process. Manager described briefly about the vendor selection process; this process involves vendors into bidding process against ‘Request for Proposal (RFPs)’.

The Senior Manager stated that;

“PTCL received RFPs from almost 10 vendors. A scale is divided into 5 classes was formed w.r.t required information needed by the functionaries. PTCL negotiated with the vendors through functionaries that it didn’t involve the ERP team. In this way, it provides to better evaluate the best system against the requirements.”

17. Did you involve any consultants before ERP implementation?
General Manager of ERP Project had been hired as consultant. PTCL also consulted to the firms in US and Malaysia as well for technical designing implementation.

18. How does ERP and knowledge management help top management in effective decision making?

19. How do you mange the tacit knowledge in your organization?
Timely and correct decision making is a key to success of a business. In PTCL, ‘SAP Reporting Visibility’ is most important for the effective decision making. U-fone is also working with PTCL in it.

The Manager told us that PTCL has adopted different concepts to transform the tacit knowledge, a valuable asset of the organization as;

Brainstorming Sessions: One way to manage the tacit knowledge is that vendors and ERP Project teams meet together in the early mornings and set a particular target that is reported in evening time slot at the end of the day. The next day progress is reviewed.

Training Concept: Training provided to the employees allows the organization to judge the level of employees. It means that what is the level of employees in terms of skills as communication, writing, technical, or management skills.

Magazines: PTCL also provided the opportunity to employees to share their knowledge and working efforts.

20. What are the problems your organization is facing in practicing knowledge management during operational phase of ERP?

The Senior Manager exemplified the problem encountered at operational level;At the operational level of ERP, PTCL encountered problem of wrong instructions provided. In order to access particular knowledge stored in databases, different codes are used.

“For example, PTCL instructed to enter the key “SAP MReP” to access the documents; however the correct form was “SAP MR3P” and it was missing to press the enter key in instructions too. This problem remained till 1 month, after that ERP Project team reviewed and sort out the solution.”

Another problem era is having knowledge about the particular functional area. Sometimes, employees are asked to engage in working activities apart from their line that they are not expert into.

According to Senior Manager, the consideration must be;

“Right person for the right Job”

In this way, it also increases workload of employees as they are to work in their particular line area as well as in the asked area too. It results in overburden that disturbs the working efficiency of employees.

21. Do you think, with the use of ERP system software, the data or knowledge, used by your employees is more accurate than it was before ERP implementation?
With the SAP, PTCL is enjoying the beneficial advantage; there are checks and stages in the SAP. For example, complete logs are maintained for salary checks. In addition, Proper process is followed for auditing purpose and feedback mechanism.The data was in scattered form and No visibility was there before the ERP implementation.

22. What are different levels of access of users to the ERP system?

According to Manager;

“PTCL incorporates Module wise segregation – Groups of different users are made and particular authorization is provided to them. “User Authorization Matrix” is generated involving checks on the objects from reengineering to implementation and vice versa.”

This authorization is also provided on the basis of the need of users as well.

2. Case-Study (PTCL):

The case study comprised on the ERP Project implementation of PTCL and encompassing advantageous benefits of ERP implementation along with the Knowledge Management.

2.1. Companies’ Background:

PTCL is all set to redefine the established boundaries of the telecommunication market and is shifting the productivity frontier to new heights. Today, for millions of people, PTCL demands instant access to new products and ideas.

2.2. ERP system implementation Project:
Table 2: SAP ERP Implementation in PTCL

Initialization of ProjectMarch – 2007
Estimated time for completion18 months
Implementation CorporationSiemens (Pakistan) Engineering Co. Ltd
SAP SolutionSAP – E-business suit (version 6.4)
1st milestone achieved31st October, 2007
FunctionariesHR, Finance, Project systems etc.
Operating firm with PTCL PTCL

2.2.1. Introduction:

The focus of the project is to set up and maintain the qualifications catalogs, create and evaluate profiles for a range of objects (for example, persons and positions), evaluate career and succession planning scenarios, set up appraisal systems, as well as plan, hold, and evaluate appraisals, create development plans, and work through individual development planning scenarios by customizing the functions of personnel development to meet customer requirements.

The interviewee – Senior Manager to ERP Project Implementation has worked by the start from the selection of the system. He is responsible for the SAP Administration. The ERP Project was initiated by March – 2007 that has now reached to maximum 90% level of completion. The Plan estimation was made of 18 – month time period to completion of the Project. The 1st milestone was achieved till 31st October, 2007.

2.2.1.1. Project Background:

It is known that ERP is the collection of integrated activities. Initially, PTCL has implemented core ERP – it was established but it was not the integrated system. There was the need of an integration system for achieving business goals and objectives and perform the business processes at maximum best level.

For the purpose, PTCL conducted the study for ERP implementation. The organization applied for different companies to incorporate the ERP system. The best selected organizations comprised;

Siemens – E-business Suit (SAP)
IBM – E-business Suit (Oracle)
Figure 5: Seimens – SAP ERP Implementation in PTCL

Phase: A1ERP Project implementation was categorized to different phases of levels;

Phase: A2
Phase: B
Figure 6: Phases of ERP Implementation

PTCL moved forward to SAP by adoption of particular steps. PTCL also studied different processes according to requirements of functionaries; as ‘As-Is’ and ‘To-Be’ processes. The selection of vendors and functional consultants for the processes to implement was the next step that resulted into the final documentation known as blueprint. If blueprint was not accurate to the requirements given to the vendor or functional consultant, then the penalty would be charged to them.There are the standard systems available for ERP systems. As the functionaries of the organization are specific to their particular activities, so it was necessary to move with the Customization according to functionaries.

At the most important phase of ERP implementation user acceptance testing was done where the deficiencies and limitation were rectified. The next step was to roll out – engage employees in training and then deploy to actual process.

Table 3: Steps to SAP ERP Implementation
The strategy for the future change requirement was also formed, involving timeline as for the development, testing or implementation. The reason for selecting SAP was that it was the best fit to the requirement of PTCL.

2.2.2. Knowledge Management and ERP:

Knowledge Management is of great importance that is also suggested by many authors in literature (Qin & Yang, 2008). PTCL initially launched a website that incorporated the feature of authorization property given to the particular users. The prior level of importance has been given to the knowledge management. Furthermore, they carried it to availability of training CDs, and books in the printed form in order to provide users with available information.

According to manager;

“Now with the implementation of new ERP system, the SIM files are generated where the tutor provides the knowledge of important alerts.”

With the passage of time PTCL step forward according to the business needs that they involved in integrating activities to Knowledge Management. Currently, PTCL has also established shared portal. They also captured the Knowledge in a systematic way with the help of online database with advanced features.

The view of Manager was;

“KM is not about to know anything, it’s all about the strong management of Knowledge. For ERP implementation and its best performance knowledge is properly managed as there are number of practices of Knowledge management. Therefore knowledge management has significant role in the implementation of ERP in the organization. ”

Knowledge is an important asset of the organization. Knowledge management leads to enhance the level of performance of employees as also proposed by Qin & Yang, 2008. It is found another problematic concept of hiding the information; it means that often people resist sharing the information or having a factor of hesitation for their work to be disclosed to others.

As ERP system is very complicated that it engages team members and system users into intensive interaction. The interaction among the individuals involve constant knowledge creating, sharing, mining, maintenance, and learning among members. As a consequence, it is important to establish a well-structured knowledge management mechanism. In this way it can support the interactions as well as reduce the impact of the ‘brain drain’ caused by the exit of team members. In addition, an effective knowledge management mechanism allows better performing with the effective ERP system implementation (Tsai et al., 2010).

2.2.3. Situations before ERP Implementation:

PTCL had initially established an ERP system to carry out the business activities. Although there was an ERP system but it was not an integrated system. Before the ERP was implemented in the Organizations, it dealt with multiple issues as with respect to accessibility of knowledge and training costs.

Manager stated that;

“Before ERP implementation, the training was conducted at functional level in the form of organized training sessions and during the implementation the training was based on end user roll out and sim tutor. In PTCL the ERP system-SAP was the successful implemented project in history.”

Before the ERP implementation, the data was in scattered form; there was no visibility of data that is it was hard to access and proceed with proper available information. With the SAP, PTCL is enjoying the beneficial advantage; there are checks and stages in the SAP. For example, complete logs are maintained for salary checks. In addition, Proper process is followed for auditing purpose and feedback mechanism.

The training cost would result in terms of time cost. As stated by the manager, it was more time consuming to provide training at individual level and search out the information for use. It was also mentioned that there were 530 employees for the working of commercial account Lahore dealing with the particular transactions before ERP implementation that may be the reason to increase costs. The implementation of new ERP system enables 30 employees to handle the working.

2.2.4. Implementation of ERP:

It’s not easier to implement ERP without managing the knowledge assets of the organization. In order the functionaries to perform the business activities in better way they were in need of an integrated system in PTCL. For the reason, PTCL initiated an integrated ERP project in March 2007.

The potential reason for the failure of the ERP implementation process is the lack of suitable training even if companies’ spent a lot. Majorly, many experts are hired during implementation course (Mashari, 2002).

In PTCL General Manager of ERP Project had been hired as consultant. PTCL also consulted to the firms in US and Malaysia as well for technical designing implementation.

ERP vendors concentrate on customization process. It is needed to match the ERP system modules to the actual features of existing processes. The Research have also represented that configuring and implementing ERP systems is a complex and expensive task (Buonanno, et al., 2005).

For the implementation of ERP system PTCL called for the vendor selection process. This process involved vendors into bidding process against Request for Proposals (RFPs). PTCL received RFPs from almost 10 vendors. A scale was divided into 5 classes was formed with respect to required information needed by the functionaries. PTCL negotiated with the vendors through functionaries that it didn’t involve the ERP team. In this way, it provides to better evaluate the best system against the requirements.

Literature suggests that right choice to ERP solution is also a critical success factor. Certain considerations for the choice of the package involve important decisions, for example, budgets, timeframes, goals, and deliverables etc. (Baki & C?akar, 2005).

PTCL selected SAP keeping in view the requirements of the functionaries and business processes. PTCL studied different processes as ‘As-is’ and ‘To-Be’ processes and evaluated to ERP software selection as needed to requirements.

2.2.5. Operational level of ERP Implementation:

After the phase of ERP implementation, the next step comes is the maintenance. It requires sufficient data sources, or else the delivery of information to enterprises for decision-making activities cannot be possible (Tsai et al., 2010).

The manger revealed a point that;

“However, as the documentation is formed manually that somehow arises the problem of misleading due to the human errors to instructions.”

At the operational level of ERP, PTCL encountered problem of wrong instructions provided. The manually created documents encountered the problem. In order to access particular knowledge stored in databases, different codes are used. The Senior Manager exemplified the problem encountered at operational level;

“For example, PTCL instructed to enter the key “SAP MReP” to access the documents; however the correct form was “SAP MR3P” and it was missing to press the enter key in instructions too. This problem remained till 1 month, after that ERP Project team reviewed and sort out the solution.”

Users demand for the modifications after the implementation of the system. Thus, the user requirements, experience, and knowledge serve as feedback that helps to improve system performance. Hence, the effectiveness of the ERP performance lies in the ability of the system to produce real-time integrated information (Tsai et al., 2010).

2.2.6. Knowledge Management in ERP Implementation:

ERP implementation along with the knowledge management practices provides a contextual benefit to organization at different levels.

The Manager provided that;

“If we categorize knowledge mgt status in three levels, high medium, low. PTCL is working on the medium level.”

Giving the medium level to Knowledge Management, ERP system was placed as Centralized system. With the ERP system and Knowledge management done by the organization, PTCL gained the advantage of almost 60% cost reduction. The time cost can be saved by providing instructions instead of time consumption to formal training environment.

A successfully implemented ERP provides a link between all these area and form a highly integrated system with shared data (Guo et al., 2006).

In order to process the transaction, the information acquired can help a firm to plan their activities such as production and knowledge management can also be useful for a number of activities. As a result, ERP may be a better information platform for knowledge capturing, storing, sharing, and innovating (Guo et al., 2006).

PTCL has used different strategies for managing its knowledge such as, shared portal, websites, emails and books in the printed form.

According to Manager;

“PTCL incorporates Module wise segregation – Groups of different users are made and particular authorization is provided to them. “User Authorization Matrix” is generated involving checks on the objects from reengineering to implementation and vice versa.”

The knowledge is stored on the basis of end user requirement as well as auditing purpose. PTCL retains the documented information for approximately 3-10 years. The record keeping is based upon the policies made by the organization. The maturity level of documentation is also important.

The implementation of ERP systems and knowledge management is widespread as organizational initiatives. The transfer of the human knowledge is an important issue. The reason is that ERP systems have been developed as more collaborative systems (Park & Hossain, 2003).

PTCL has adopted different concepts to transform the tacit knowledge, a valuable asset of the organization as;

Brainstorming Sessions: One way to manage the tacit knowledge is that vendors and ERP Project teams meet together in the early mornings and set a particular target that is reported in evening time slot at the end of the day. The next day progress is reviewed.

Training Concept: Training provided to the employees allows the organization to judge the level of employees. It means that what is the level of employees in terms of skills as communication, writing, technical, or management skills.

Magazines: PTCL also provided the opportunity to employees to share their knowledge and working efforts.

In order to cope with the corporate goals and business needs of delivery, quality, and cost control, a selected ERP solution should be able to support decision-making. The Right ERP solution can act as an excellent decision support tool to achieve competitive advantage (Baki et al., 2005).

Timely and correct decision making is a key to success of a business. In PTCL, SAP Reporting Visibility is most important for the effective decision making. U-fone is also working with PTCL in it.

On the whole Benefits of Knowledge Management to employees are as follows;

Information access to users
Managers search for different articles on needed information and share them to others
Feedback, reviews and target meetings are also beneficial to employees.

CONCLUSION
Chapter 5

The study comprises of multiple sides with respect to the role of Knowledge Management Practices in ERP implementation. What role knowledge management plays in order to implement ERP systemsThe different phases of the ERP implementation are to be integrated with the knowledge management. The analysis of Pre, during and post implementation provided contextual output to the respective era of research.

The most challenging projects also encompass implementing an ERP system that is undertaken by any company. Success is not easy to achieve and it is obvious that most companies implement ERP systems just to stay competitive (Gargeya & Brady, 2005). Knowledge is an important deliverable of ERP projects that yields different benefits (McGinnis & Huang, 2007).

The study provides insights the facet to implementation of ERP. The importance to the integration of knowledge management practices and ERP implementations is of potential value. Knowledge management practices are as important as implementing ERP projects in the way to success. Knowledge management has been considered in terms of ERP implementation as Pre, during and Post implementations of ERP systems.

At one side to the right choice of ERP solution that best matches the organizational information needs and processes ensures successful implementation and use. To the counter side, the incorrect software is not the best match to the organization’s strategic goal or business (Baki & C?akar, 2005).

The SAP ERP Implementation was the successful project in the history of PTCL. Organization Implemented SAP also involving vendors and consultants. The consultants were given importance in order implement ERP hired from outside the country. Vendors’ selection process was as the business process of the organization. The ERP implementation was done through the Blue Print provided by the vendors that is finalized for actual deployment in the organization.

How actually PTCL managed before, during and operational level ERP implementationPTCL faced different problems regarding access to data, time management and like before the ERP to be implemented. They counter these problems while the designing of ERP Project. PTCL adopted different strategies to in order to resolve different issues as knowledge management, time management, and cost management etc. The SAP system implemented provided a competitive advantage to cost reductions to 60% almost.

However, sharing of knowledge is managed with the authoritative property and on the basis of needs; the resistance of employees to knowledge sharing is also common. The employees must be motivated and trained in the way that sharing of knowledge is not the loss of knowledge but it may result in further increase in knowledge if managed properly.

Even though, the organization had moved from core ERP to integrated system of ERP, some other best practices can be adopted in order to better integrate the knowledge management and ERP implementations. For example just like as the ITL framework of PTCL that requires knowledge management at the essential level, there are automated systems available for the knowledge management that can be adopted for practice.

The problem area that was pointed out was the manual preparation of documentation for the knowledge management. The consideration must be that how can better deploy the solution to the problem and utilize the automated working system based on the requirements and feasible to functionaries.

ERP system development involves the coordination of a number of users and developers in terms of their implementation efforts. It encounters many problems to users and developers during the implementation phase. Therefore, there is a need to keep a record of those problems. The record keeping can help to address the problems and found solutions (O’Leary, 2002). The Right ERP solution can act as an excellent decision support tool to achieve competitive advantage (Baki et al., 2005).

REFERENCES

1) Sambamurthy, V., & Subramani M., (2005). Special Issue on Information Technologies And Knowledge Management. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 1-7.

2) Tsai, C., Chang, C., & Chen L., (2006). A Case Study of Knowledge Management Implementation for Information Consulting Company. International Journal of the Computer, the Internet and Management, Vol. 14, No.3, pp. 60-78.

3) Rezaie,K., Baya,t M.,& Nazari Shirkouhi S., (2009). Evaluating Effective Factors of Implementing Knowledge Management Based on FAHP Method. Third Asia International Conference on Modelling & Simulation, DOI: 10.1109/AMS.2009.70.

4) Qin, Q., & Yang, L., (2008). Knowledge Transfer Model of Integrated System: Take ERP Implementation for Example.

5) Baki, B., & C’akar, K., (2005). Determining the ERP Package-Selecting Criteria: The case of Turkish Manufacturing Companies. Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 75-86, DOI: 10.1108/14637150510578746.

6) Suraweera, T., Mahagederawatte, S., Kahandawaarachchi, C., Hewamallikage, P., Periyapperuma, D., & Adipola M. (2008). Knowledge Management Implications in ERP Implementations: Evidence from Sri Lankan Cases.

7) Kanjanasanpetch’, P., & !gel’, B., (2003). Managing knowledge in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Implementation. School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Patumthani , Thailand.

8) Guo, S., Wang, C., Luo, X., Qi, M., Cao, N., Li, C., Xu, C., (2006). Deploy Knowledge Management and ERP Concurrently in Extended Enterprise Environment. IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Taipei, Taiwan.

9) Srivardhana, T., & Pawlowski, D., S., (2007). ERP systems as an enabler of sustained business process innovation: A knowledge-based view. Journal of Strategic Information Systems 16, pp. 51-69, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsis.2007.01.003.

10) O’Leary, E., D., (2002). Knowledge management across the enterprise resource planning systems life cycle. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems 3, pp. 99–110, PII: S1 4 6 7 – 0 8 9 5 ( 0 2 ) 0 0038-6.

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12) Worley, H., J., Chatha, A., K., Weston, H., R., Aguirre, O., & Grabot, B., (2005).Implementation and optimisation of ERP systems: A better integration of processes, roles, knowledge and user competencies. Computers in Industry 56, pp. 620-638, DOI:10.1016/j.compind.2005.03.006.

13) Newell, S., Huang, C., J., Galliers, D., R., & Pan, L., S., (2003). Implementing enterprise resource planning and knowledge management systems in tandem: fostering efficiency and innovation complementarity. Information and Organization 13, pp. 25–52, PII: S14 71 -7727(02)00007-6.

14) Park, J., & Hossain, L., (2003). Social-embed-ness of ERP Systems in KM Practice.

15) WU, Y., & PANG, J., (2009). Research on the overall framework of knowledge management.

16) Moon, B., Y., (2007). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): A review of the literature. International Journal Management and Enterprise Development, Vol. 04, No. 3.

17) Suraweera, T., Remes, U., & Wakerley, S., (2007). Dynamics of Knowledge Leverage in ERP Implementation.

18) Buonanno, G., Faverio, P., Pigni, F., Ravarini, A., Sciuto, D., & Tagliavini, M., (2005). Factors affecting ERP System adoption. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 18, No. 4.

19) Chen, W., Liu, P., Tsai, C., (2007). An Empirical Study on the Correlation between ERP Knowledge Management Implementation and Enterprise Operating Performance in Taiwan’s Industries. International Journal of the Computer, the Internet and Management, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 70-94.

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22) Yusufa, Y., Gunasekaranb, A., & Abthorpe, S., M., (2004). Enterprise information systems project implementation: A case study of ERP in Rolls-Royce. International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 87, pp. 251–266, DOI:10.1016/j.ijpe.2003.10.004.

23) Gargeya, B., V., & Brady, C., (2005). Success and failure factors of adopting SAP in ERP system implementation. Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 501-516, DOI: 10.1108/14637150510619858.

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25) Baki, B., & C?akar, K., (2005). Determining the ERP package-selecting criteria: The case of Turkish manufacturing companies. Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 75-86, DOI: 10.1108/14637150510578746.

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27) Mashari, M., (2002). Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems: a research agenda. Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 102, No.3, pp.165-71.

APPENDIX: A:

Interview Questions:

A descriptive research study is conducted that identifies the role and importance of Knowledge management based on Knowledge Management practices and activities with respect to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation. Specific objectives of this study are;

1) To identify the role of knowledge management in the ERP implementation,

2) To understand the importance of knowledge management in effective decision making,

3) To understand the benefits of knowledge management systems in the organization,

4) To describe the role of Knowledge Management in successful implementation of ERP in your organization.

The organizational data will be held in strictest anonymity and will be used purely for research purpose.

General Questions:

1) Do you have knowledge management system/application available that people are using for any knowledge management practices in the organization or for the routine jobs?

2) What is your opinion about developing knowledge management system/application/culture?

3) What is the role of knowledge management in information system?

4) What is the impact of knowledge management in the pre, during and post stages on the implementation of ERP?

5) What are the benefits of knowledge management to employees?

6) To what extent ERP helps to support and to develop knowledge management infrastructure or culture of organization

Interview Questions & Purpose:

Questions’ Number

Questions

Purpose

1

What priority is assigned to knowledge management by top management of your organization?To understand the level of priority given by the organization to the knowledge management in its overall objectives.
2

How does knowledge management provide support during ERP design phase?To analyze the support of knowledge management in ERP design phase. We know that design of the knowledge management systems, in order to organize the information about different types of enterprise system packages, is a prerequisite to selection of the ERP System package that best fits to an organization’s own context and fulfills their requirements.
3

What are the sources of knowledge in your organization?ERP system covers all the areas of an organization, like order management, manufacturing, HR, financial system etc. and flow of information across different business units as well as functionaries of an organization. Therefore, the organization must be aware of the various sources where knowledge is generated within it.
4

Do you think, knowledge management is important and essential for ERP implementation?The purpose is whether the knowledge management is essentially required (if at all) for implementing ERP system; and if so, to what extent. Or else, if an organization can implement ERP without knowledge management.
5

At what points knowledge is systematically captured in the organization?ERP system comprises a collection of transactions that allow information to flow seamlessly across different business units and functionaries of an organization. The purpose, therefore, is to identify and analyze the various specific points at which knowledge is captured in the system. Nature of different types of the knowledge being captured is also relevant here.
6

How does knowledge management support ERP during its implementation phase?Some problems and issues like resistance of users of the system etc. arise when an organization implements the ERP system. We, therefore, need to know what other such problems come in the way of ERP implementation and how knowledge management can help resolve such problems and issues.
7

What is your opinion about achievement of reduction in cost and time through or with the help of knowledge management?Whether reduction in cost and time, one of the objective of implementation of ERP system, is directly or indirectly linked with knowledge management or not.
8

Does knowledge management enhance employee advancement while working in ERP system?To understand the role of knowledge management towards advancement in performance of employees working in an ERP system.
9

How much time does an employee take to get the relevant knowledge from the ERP system of the organization?The purpose is to assess the time required for employees to gather the data from the system sort and transform it in a way according to their requirements keeping with the level of access allowed to them.
10

What knowledge management practices (if any) are used by your organization?The purpose behind this question is to know about various knowledge management practices that are adopted by the organization so that we can relate those practices with the knowledge management lifecycle.
11

Are you facing any problems in data/knowledge gathering and migration?We know that, for example, “traditional practices do not have an explicit process to ensure that the knowledge being captured will be integrated, verified and stored for future use”. Therefore, the purpose here is to describe the different such like problems that are faced by the organization in gathering knowledge and its migration.
12

What is the current level/status of knowledge management in your organization?The purpose is to examine the current status of knowledge management and the design principles behind it in particular context of the specific organization under study.
13

What strategy did you use in your organization for knowledge management?There are a number of different strategies that can be used for knowledge management. The purpose of this question is to know the long-term strategy the organization has actually adopted and the logical reasons behind selection of that particular strategy.
14

Did your organization provide timely training to various users of your ERP system; before and during implementation of ERP?The purpose of this question is to analyze the level of training required in an organization before and during implementation and operation of ERP system and importance of imparting necessary training in a timely manner.
15

Do you think new ERP system has enhanced knowledge & skills of primary users of the organization?To know the level of contribution the new ERP systems has made in increasing the knowledge and skills of the users.
16

Did you collect any information from your vendors regarding their knowledge about ERP (before implementation)?To know whether the vendors and other such stakeholders of an organization are aware of the benefits, requirements and effect of the ERP system being implemented on them.
17

Did you involve any consultants before ERP implementation?To know the importance of expert opinion as to the nature and content of the ERP system to be implemented in the organization.
18

How does ERP and knowledge management help top management in effective decision making?Timely and correct decision making is a key to success of a business. As ERP system is supposed to afford instant availability of relevant information, it also contributes towards effective decision making. Purpose behind this question, however, is to have the specific input of the organization under study about the role ERP has played in this direction in the particular context of the said organization.
19

How do you mange the tacit knowledge in your organization?The transformation of tacit knowledge, a valuable asset of an organization, into the storable explicit knowledge is very difficult. The strategy adopted by the organization under study in this area is to be explored to see possibility of its application in other like situations.
20

What are the problems your organization is facing in practicing knowledge management during operational phase of ERP?To have knowledge of the possible problems like information overload, poor sharing etc. and constraints of ERP system coming in the way of knowledge management during its operational phase.
21

Do you think, with the use of ERP system software, the data or knowledge, used by your employees is more accurate than it was before ERP implementation?To draw a comparison of the situations prevailing before and during ERP implementation and to see the difference in the level of data accuracy experienced on implementation of the ERP system.
22

What are different levels of access of users to the ERP system?To have knowledge about the different levels of users of an ERP system and the access allowable to each such level.

Categories
Free Essays

What issues do team managers face regarding knowledge management having transient work force at London Borough?

Introduction

The purpose of the research study was to find issues which team managers face regarding knowledge management in teams having transient work force. The study focuses on London Borough.

The temporary workers need some specific knowledge and training before they get on to the work but due to time shortage the necessary knowledge transfer does not happen. Also, when they leave the organization their knowledge is not captured properly. Every organisation has their culture and beliefs which are manipulated due to transient workforce. In such scenario, the team manager needs to effectively manage the creation, capture, share and transfer of knowledge.

The article uses the case study approach with semi-structured interview technique to analyse and find what roles team mangers perform in knowledge management and also the problems faced by them in social services sector where the 50% of workforce is transient.

Critical Review of methodology used

The research methodology uses a semi structured interview technique. Two team mangers, hired from an agency and hence transient workers themselves were interviewed during the study. Focus of interview was on how they manage to capture and share the knowledge with co- workers especially when they have their own work and responsibilities to do.

The technique used by the authors is appropriate though in my perspective the questions asked could have been more elaborated like-

They could have added why the manager is facing so many problems in capturing, sharing and transferring knowledge. What are the main objectives of individual departments and where exactly they are lacking behind
The head of departments also could have been interviewed to know about the tools and mechanisms employed in the organisation for knowledge management so that the comparison could be done to find where the gap lies in its implementation.

Evaluation of result presented

The main problem is with manager who has to deal with the entire problem at end, especially with the team where they have more of transient staff rather then permanent staff. And how the manger should get involved with them in short time span when they are from different organisation culture and different countries culture where they gather knowledge in different way.

Other problem is trust between member of team where if trust is lacking far more and more behind because trust build with time and in temporary worker trust cannot be build up easily.

So all this point can only be come up by interview, so I think author has done good job over here and I am satisfied over here with the methodology used.

Authors have supported their research results with enough theory and literature. The authors have suggested the concept of redundancy for the organisation by referring to Nonaka et al (1995:36) and also knowledge audit by referring to work by Koulopoulos and Frapello(1999:423).

Application and relevance of key findings:

This article has great relevance in both private and public sectors.

(Cohen and Levinthal, 1990) – “The prior state of the knowledge base generates a positive feedback to support the creation, validation, presentation and distribution of knowledge”.

(Bhatt, 2000a) – “Without meaning, knowledge is information or data. It is only through meaning, that information finds life and becomes knowledge”.

(Marakas, 1999) – “Knowledge is context dependent, since “meanings” are interpreted in reference to a particular paradigm”.

The article- Knowledge Management in Organizations: examining the interaction between technologies, techniques and people by Ganesh D. Bhatt discusses the knowledge management process can be categorized into knowledge creation, knowledge validation, knowledge presentation, knowledge distribution and knowledge application.

By creating a nurturing and “learning-by-doing” kind of environment, an organization can sustain its competitive advantages.

Conclusion

This article is very appropriate for the knowledge base as it is focusing on the managers problems in managing, sharing and transferring of knowledge where team comprises of large number of transient workers. The suggestion for encouraging the use of Communities of practice given by the authors will prove to be beneficial as it will aid the sharing and transfer of both explicit and tacit knowledge. Safer practices are very important in child protection and caring of the elder people so, effective and efficient knowledge management is must.

References

Chinowsky, P and Carrillo,P (July 2007) Knowledge management to learning organisation connection. Journal Of Management in engineering ASCE.

Laming. L, (2003) The Victoria Climbie Inquiry. HMSO.

Powers, V.J. (1999) Knowledge Management in Practice: Xerox Creates a Knowledge Sharing Culture Through Grassroots Efforts

Koulopoulos, T. Frapello, C. Why do a Knowledge Audit, Knowledge Management. March 1999

Audit Commission (2002) Recruitment and Retention: A Public Service Workforce for the 21st Century

Ford ,D(Jan 2010) KM in changing Society: Using Knowledge to changing society.IEEE.

Categories
Free Essays

The value of knowledge: the role of Knowledge Management and Innovation

Introduction

Knowledge is a powerful weapon for any institution, whether belonging to business, politics, social work or art. It plays a vital role in the functioning of any organisation, especially if the organisation is a business organisation seeking to take maximum advantage of the knowledge that it is has collected and organised, making sure it is managed in a proper way. Systematic organisation of knowledge ensures superiority of the firm over its competitors. The concept of knowledge management refers to modifying the present set of organisational processes so that the level of productivity as well as its outcomes can be enhanced. The key to knowledge management is to understand the value of every part of knowledge; the fast-moving business environment of today is entirely knowledge driven and dependent upon it. The knowledge outcomes of an organisation are not directly managed, integrated or created by the knowledge management but knowledge processes of the organisation are influenced by the knowledge management and also influence the knowledge outcomes (Firestone and McElory 2005).

The term innovation has its genesis from the Latin word “innovatio”, which means renew or change. Renewal or improvement in things is a form of innovation; it brings a change in existing things or brings entirely new things into the market, as the consequence of innovation is novelty. When an individual or unit of adoption perceive any idea, practice or object as new, it is known as innovation (Roger 1962). Innovation comes about when an individual attempts to change his thinking process and decision making process and begins to think “out of the box”. Innovation brings along a complete transformation and replaces old settings with new and better processes. Innovation can be introduced in various fields such as technology, engineering, sociology, business, design, and economics. Furthermore, innovation is brought about in these areas by identifying opportunities and taking the maximum advantages (Rogers 1962). Both innovation and knowledge management are heavily dependent on IT systems; no part of the organisation is untouched from the effect of technology. Hence, both these concepts have had to make themselves technology enabled; it turned into innovation and knowledge management systems.

Knowledge has been a matter of concern from a long period of time for scholars and researchers. The systematic development of the concept of knowledge management took place in last 15-20 years. This concept assumes that, just as human beings are not able to utilise the full potential of their brain, an organisation is also unable to fully utilise the available information; hence, the need of knowledge management arises (Geisler and Wickramasinghe 2009). By introducing knowledge management, an organisation can classify the knowledge into different categories such as confidential, important and moderate. On the basis of this classification, it can be distributed among the workforces, which in turn will utilise the knowledge for creating better outputs (Christensen 2003).

Organisational learning and knowledge management are complementary to each other. Organisational learning has been regarded as the way in which an organisation learns or adapts new things. In this concept, the organisation uses some organisational theories and models that facilitate the process of its learning. Organisational learning seeks to apply knowledge and then develop or create outcomes based on this knowledge. Organisational learning has been regarded as the “bridge between working and innovating.” Similarly to individuals, organisations also need to learn. This learning may come from past experiences or failures or from any other learning program. An organisation needs to learn to be competitive in the present environment (John 2002).

Organisational learning and knowledge management have an inter-relationship because an organisation can learn only with the help of knowledge. However, organisational learning is concerned with the processes whilst knowledge management is concerned with the content of knowledge obtained, created and processed by the organisation. In addition to this, the ultimate goal of knowledge management (KM) is to enhance organisational learning (OL). KM motivates the practices which create, distribute and apply the knowledge in real functioning because the organisation can achieve its goals and objectives by adopting such practices only. From this point of view, it can be said that with the help of organisational learning, an organisation can utilise available knowledge in a better way (Easterby-Smith, Araujo and Burgoyne 1999).

Organisational learning plays an important role in knowledge management. The importance of the concept of organisational learning is increasing gradually with the development of the technology. Technology itself is a part of knowledge and technological implication enhances the level of organisational learning. In addition to the technology, human resources of an organisation are the biggest source of knowledge for the organisation. It is the human resource of any organisation, which learns and applies any knowledge and derives fruitful results. Thus, they learn and in turn the whole organisation learns something new and can find its competitive edge and contribute towards knowledge management (Easterby-Smith and Lyles 2005).

In this process, information and knowledge have a prominent role to play. It is only through the availability of the information and knowledge that an organisation guides its way towards organisational learning. The whole process of organisational learning starts with the procedure of collecting precious information about outside happenings so that it can formulate strategies accordingly. Information and knowledge facilitate the organisational learning by providing necessary information, which is essential to polish the learning capabilities of the organisation. When using the term ‘organisational learning’ then the artificial legal entity that is an organisation does not actually learn itself but its sub-parts, like the human resource and other processes learn and develop. Similarly, accumulation of accurate and timely information is necessary for the application of the knowledge in knowledge management (King 2009).

In knowledge management, it is necessary for an organisation to be aware of events that take place in its surroundings as well as in the far-fetched marketplaces. Knowledge management has become an integral part of the organisation because without the presence of well developed knowledge management systems, organisations cannot create, disseminate and apply the knowledge. Sometimes, even the nuances of the information play an important role in its learning. In addition to the outside knowledge, an organisation should have knowledge about its inside functioning, without the knowledge of this aspect even best of the outside information will be of no use.

In addition to this, it is crucial for the organisation to be aware of the activities of its competitors. Even if the organisation market leader, it needs to have accurate knowledge about its competitors’ move. If it is not concerned about the competitors’ actions then its research and development department needs to be extraordinary so that it can be one step ahead from its competitors. However, it cannot be said for certain that having a potential R&D department would be enough for the organisation because its competitors are also striving for a competitive edge. In addition to this, the organisation needs to have knowledge about the technological changes, international trade and government’s policies.

Knowledge has the power and value to change the organisation; hence, such critical issue needs to be managed. Even though the control function in managerial functions come at the end, it is crucial in managing knowledge. Control needs to be exercised on matters like how to use and disseminate knowledge. Control is not only exercised over the employees who have knowledge, but also on the employees who does not possess knowledge. In addition to this, the control function is necessary because of the manipulation and distortion of knowledge. Adequate knowledge control ensures that knowledge is utilised in favour of the organisation and positively influences the organisational performance (Krogh and Roos 1996).

Furthermore, knowledge should be handled in a way that proves it is legitimate. Knowledge that does not have any relation within the organisational context is a waste of time and money. At times, knowledge can be false and may not possess the importance in an organisational context, which the knowledge manager claims. In such circumstances, knowledge managers should try to collect the accurate knowledge and avoid the unnecessary part. After acquiring the legitimate knowledge, it should be shared with all the employees of the organisation. Every employee on all levels of the firm should be provided with the necessary knowledge so that they can perform accordingly.

The business environment is highly dependent on I.T., computer-based systems play an important role in managing knowledge. Knowledge management system helps in the collection of data, classification, dissemination and utilisation of the information. With the help of internet, companies can collect information regarding latest innovations in the industry and accordingly update its process. Confidentiality is another important feature of knowledge management because all the information cannot be disseminated to every employee. Some of them are confidential in nature, which need to be kept secret. Such knowledge can be connected with new product launches for example, marketing strategy and so on (Krogh and Roos 1996).

There are seven main recent trends in the field of knowledge management. The latest trend among them is convergence which deals with the international management approaches in the field on knowledge. In this growing trend of knowledge management various approaches, practices and concepts if international organisations are clubbed together so as to gain maximum benefit from them. This trend has the view of introducing innovation in information and communication technology and in the consultative approach. This trend is mainly concerned with private sector, knowledge management experiments, social science, evolution of technology, civil society engagement and multi-stakeholder processes and so on (Creech 2005).

Another trend is related with transition i.e. it is developing through various stages. Knowledge management systems are related to creating, developing and dissemination. It provides the facility of knowledge mapping, storage and retrieval to the user. In this transition stage, now the knowledge management can establish direct interaction with the user and who wants to obtain knowledge as well as share the knowledge. Another emerging trend is knowledge mobilisation which influences the working of the organisation. Initially the focus was on establishing a network within the organisation, so that employees can share knowledge and take maximum benefit of this knowledge. Knowledge mobilisation explains that internal and external information should be integrated, so as to develop a new form of knowledge.

Along with these trends, social capital and social networks are also important trends. Social capital states that although one’s knowledge is important, one cannot avoid establishing social connections, which in turn will give them better knowledge. Social networks on the other hand, refer to how information is flowing through these relationships. In addition to this, open source is also one of the attractive trends of knowledge management. This trend states that in knowledge-based organisations, codes of knowledgeable programmes are open to all so that everyone has the potential to gain, hence its name ‘open source’. Another trend is related with the collaboration of different modalities which is concerned with improving the quality of the knowledge. The last and most important trend is adaptive management which refers to adapt every change in the environment (Creech 2005).

Today’s organisations are known as knowledge-based organisations because they cannot survive without having accurate knowledge about external and internal operations of the organisation. Knowledge is essential for success and beating competitors in difficult market conditions. A business starts with an idea and a valuable idea can only be conceived through good knowledge of surroundings. From the inception of a business, through to its processing and end of its life cycle, knowledge is necessary. With the help of knowledge, we rely on innovation to bring about the processes of the business. Without important knowledge about the business and its related elements, innovation cannot thrive within the organisation.

Innovation is the tool through which knowledge is utilised to create a new product and services which are desired by the customers. Innovation has been regarded as the intelligent combination of invention and commercialisation because through innovation, a company earns money by offering totally new products to the market. Innovation is related with new knowledge which in turn may be related with market and technology. The technology sector has the most fast-changing process; as soon as a new product has been unleashed, something more advanced is ready to replace it. Components, linkage and processes altogether form technological knowledge. Market knowledge, on the other hand, relates to the knowledge of the customer’s tastes and preferences and market dynamics.

Knowledge is not a chance relative to innovation, it is the meaningful information which provides a base for the creation of the innovation. Knowledge is a combination of related information, experience and insight, which helps in developing new knowledge and experience. With the help of this new knowledge, new innovations are also created so as to enable the organisation with competitive advantage. In this process, knowledge management also plays an important role by learning from history to develop innovation. One of the important functions of knowledge management is sending the necessary information to the right person, so as to enable them in creating meaningful innovations (Popadiuk and Choo 2006).

Most of the companies motivate knowledge sharing among the employees so that they can have a good level of knowledge about the organisational goals and objectives and contribute towards them accordingly. With the rapid growth of competition in the business environment, business organisations are intensively searching for the strategies that can help them achieve sustainable competitive advantage. These strategies need to be such that the firm can differentiate its products and services from the competitors and be innovative. In this context, a well formed knowledge management system helps the organisation to create knowledge and excel at the marketplace. Thus, knowledge and innovation have a strong and complex relationship because on one hand, it creates competitive advantage for the firm and it is not always necessary that it would create some miracle for the organisation on the other (Popadiuk and Choo 2006).

Knowledge management, organisational learning and innovations are key components of this paper. All of these components are necessary for the development of the organisation. Knowledge management is the key foundation for acquiring, managing and integrating knowledge for the purpose of the innovation. This enables the organisation to create a suitable basis for innovation. Innovation in turn is necessary for the sustainable competitive advantage. In this competitive business environment, no firm can survive without introducing constant innovations in the firm. Organisational learning is related with the learning capabilities of the organisation as a whole. Thus, this paper can be concluded by saying that all three concepts entwined and are important for the organisation to gain and sustain competitive advantage.

References

Rogers, M. 1962. Diffusion of Innovations. Glencoe: Free Press.

Firestone, J. and McElory, M. 2005. Doing Knowledge Management. The Learning Organisation Journal, 12(5), pp. 1-29.

Christensen, P. 2003. Knowledge Management: Perspectives and Pitfalls. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.

Geisler, E. and Wickramasinghe, N. 2009. Principles of knowledge management: theory, practices, and cases. New York: M.E. Sharpe.

John, D. 2002. Organisational Learning and Effectiveness. London: Routledge.

Easterby-Smith, M. Araujo, L. and Burgoyne, J. 1999. Organizational learning and the learning organization: developments in theory and practice. London: SAGE.

Easterby-Smith, M. and Lyles, M. 2005. The Blackwell handbook of organizational learning and knowledge management. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

King, W. 2009. Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning. Pittsburgh: Springer.

Krogh, G. and Roos, J. 1996. Managing knowledge: perspectives on cooperation and competition. London:SAGE.

Creech, H. 2005. A Synopsis of Trends in Knowledge Management. [Online]. Available at: www.iisd.org/pdf/2006/networks_km_trends.pdf [Accessed on: 28 April, 2011].

Popadiuk, S. and Choo, C. 2006. Innovation and Knowledge Creation: How are these Concepts Related. International Journal of Information Management 26, pp. 302–312.

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Free Essays

How an academic journal can expand your knowledge on critical thinking

Introduction

Jennifer Moon (1999, p. 2) described a journal to be a vehicle for reflection as this process can represent deeply seated orientations of our lives. The aim is to expand my knowledge on critical thinking also to develop and critically analyze various research skills supporting my studies through out the course of my degree.

The journal will show a record of my personal reflections on each topic. In this journal I will be identifying concepts I find challenging, discovering new, exciting topics and will practical them using other modules. This is a compulsory module set by the university, which I believe is essential in my degree and career onwards in life because journals favors learning through the encouragement of conditions for learning, critical thinking is a skill that anyone would benefit from developing and using. I can certainly learn how to think critically and improve my problem solving skills with little extra effort. Keeping an academic journal will be quite interesting for a change as I do keep a personal diary; I am looking forward to acquiring new knowledge as a developing critical thinker by the end of this module.

WEEK ONE

The tutor explained who a critical thinker and the core questions that a critical thinker needs to ask. There are a vast range of areas a critical thinker has to cover in order to become a problem solver. It could either be more focused reading, knowledge on how to get your points across easily (Cottrell, 2005)

According to Cottrell (2005, p.1)‘’critical thinking is a cognitive activity, associated with using the mind’’. Critical thinkers should have characteristics such as good observers, good communication skills, and good judgment just to mention a few.

I found the first class to be very interesting because I realized that I am a natural critical thinker in anything I do, I exhibit most of the characteristics most times for example when asked about a topic I know nothing about, I try to answer using the surrounding facts to the topic.

We also looked at different sources of information. I picked particular interest in articles. I currently sourced for an article by Arons, Arnold B. “‘Critical Thinking’ and the Baccalaureate Curriculum.” That I will be using to understand this module better.

At the end of this week I learned how to use critical thinking in relation to my academics. For instance if I was given an essay to write on, I would know how to critically structure my answers in relation to the question asked for example critically discuss the fallacies of descriptive writing. Citing as an example.

WEEK TWO

We continued this week on the sources of information. During the lecture the tutor differentiated the various sources of information, which include Newspapers, books, Journals, and Monographs. Newspapers and Books are one of the oldest forms of information. Newspapers are the most common source of information, which are broken down into three kinds, which are – Tabloids, Middle market Tabloids and Broad sheets.

Before now I was not familiar with the different types of newspaper I found the topic a bit confusing at first, but I had noticed the difference between the Independent (broadsheet) and The Mirror (Tabloids).

The Tabloids includes papers like- The sun, The mirror- they are easy to read, simple grammar, they are also cheap. Or free in some cases.

The middle tabloids are a little more detailed but still convey the news in a simple way; an example is Daily Mail.

Broad sheets have a wider perspective and are more statistical; the use of English is more advanced. The observer, the guardian are some examples.

As an international student I put the knowledge to practice by categorizing my country’s newspaper into their various groups. I also looked at how various countries portray their news to the public, as this is one of the most accessible forms of media; For example BBC news focuses on news in the uk (this being a British channel) and breaking news in other countries where as World News covers news around the world.

In this week I learnt the importance of information via the newspaper. I liked the fact the tutor involved the class during the discussion. It was interactive. I found this topic very interesting and relevant to my course of study because Information is very important and using the right sources is very essential. It makes you aware of what is happening around you and also expands my views on different areas.

WEEK THREE.

In week three the topic discussed was ‘The sources of materials’. Every good source of information must have authentic evidence, validity, facts and opinions.

According to Cottrell primary sources are the raw material for the subject, such as data and documents while secondary sources are materials such as books and articled based on, or written about. (Cottrell, 2005 p126,)

Primary sources include those materials that have investigated and have evidence of time, place. Some examples are: photographs, newspapers, books, autobiographies just to mention a few. Secondary sources are written materials that usually have fact. These include: biographies, interviews with people that were present at the occurrence of the event.

I identified the types of sources but my area of concern where I found confusing was the grey area. -Grey areas are those types of sources that include primary and secondary sources.

I think identifying the difference might be a bit confusing for me because for example in the case of a robbery, a news reporter may interview eyewitnesses but not the actual victim, the story could be changed when exchanged by word of mouth from one to another therefore altering the original story.

Primary sources may be difficult sometimes if you do not have the facts to back it up. For example a TV interview which may be not available if it was not saved or recorded. Its authenticity could become unclear due to lack of evidence.

Primary and secondary sources are necessary to achieve wider knowledge. The sources of information lay the foundation for writing .I will continuously build on my knowledge on collection of useful forms of materials. I have begun improving my writing skills to back-up my arguments. I will use a primary source to in my forth-coming essay in this module.

WEEK FOUR

Donald Campbell said “All research ultimately has ?a qualitative grounding’’.

For qualitative research there’s no such thing as qualitative data. ?Everything is either 1 or 0?? according to Fred Kerlinger.

Qualitative involves uses data like words (interviews, questionnaires) and quantitative research involves actual numbers. The tutor highlighted the various features and characteristics of both methods. The different methods are used in different a case for example Census counting, which is quantitative, and promoting a new product, which is qualitative.

Quantitative as the word implies involves a lot of numbers tables, graphs are some of the methods used. This method is quite easy for me to use. Some features of quantitative research include; prediction, explanation, measurement and it claims objectivity. In qualitative; data is in form of words, objects and pictures, it is time consuming to create design as the study unfolds.

For qualitative research, this source is more informal, opinions and emotions are expressed.it is not as strict and straightforward as the quantitative method.

At the end of this topic I have a clearer understanding to the strengths and weakness of each method. According to Miles & Huberman (1994, p.40). The strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research are a perennial, hot debate, especially in the social sciences. This phrase simply states the long existence of the research methods, not withstanding the differences between both of them; they are still widely used as research approaches.

I have gained a deeper insight of the two types of methodologies. If I am told to do a research with either method I believe I will utilize both methods if asked.

For me I think the qualitative approach is what I will prefer because it allows for beliefs and emotions to be expressed. I like to express opinions and myself where possible. I used the qualitative method in my information age module using a questionnaire on the importance of the Internet. I did a little reading on a book called Introduction to social research by Punch, Keith F.I noticed that the qualitative approach is mostly used in the social sciences and quantitative approach is more science based, but either way if am told to do a research with any method I will be able to do it and achieve the purpose of the research.

WEEK SIX.

Week six was about Electronic Resources the session was presented by Maria Introwicz in the J.B library. She outlined the different types of information, such as books, journal articles and websites, and also how we can use library tools to find this information. She also outlined the various sources of finding information; website, e-books, Google scholar, journal books. The preferred referencing style in most United Kingdom universities is the Harvard system, which I have a little problem with. I asked her detailed questions to the areas I was facing problems with for example citing Newspapers.

The session was helpful because I learnt how to use the Harvard system better .I had issues with referencing in my previous course now I am correcting my errors and still learning different ways to improve my referencing in my academics and here after. I personally do not utilize journals, E-books because I was not aware of how to use them. But now I do I will use more it, it shows different sources of information other than the regular books and websites. I think when this is used it shows more in-depth to the level of research that has been put into one’s research.

http:// www.library.ubc.ca/home/research.html is a website that has books and journals which I use to source for information.

WEEK SEVEN

In this week the area of focus was on journals. The oxford dictionary (2000) defined journals to be a newspaper or magazine that deals with a particular subject or professional activity. She outlined the various methods of sourcing for academic journals online, and from this university as well. We practiced searching for journals in our specific areas of study. I found it quiet difficult and confusing because finding the exact journal could be time-consuming. I will have to learn how to use this more no matter the backdrops.it shows a more comprehensive and extensive research if used in the case of academic work. This session has helped me improve my confidence in finding and making references. I found a journal using my Athens log-in called.

WEEK EIGHT

Argument and Analysis and Analytical Essay were the topic of the week the topic entailed the types of reasoning for writing essays, the structures and fallacies of reasoning.

In writing essays, My arguments always needs to be properly explained to show my reflections and reasons to validate my work, particularly in academic writing.

What I summarized off this week’s lecture is the conclusion is the total summary of a whole essay. Conclusions are meant to draw clear pictures and always keep the readers mind and should never loose sight of the topic (Cottrell, 2005). It should always be logical and fact based. Including more evidence is a very wrong thing to do. I have learnt to correct my mistakes in this area. Relating to my other modules I have not put this to practice yet.

WEEK TEN

The use of language and how it conveys it’s meaning has an impact on the choice of words. Over the years just as the world as evolved the use of English has also done the same.

In various disciplines there are specific terminologies used. For example in academics students in some cases used to be referred to as learners or customers but that has changed. Language is meant to convey meaning but express not only communication but also affects the way we deal with issues.

WEEK ELEVEN

The topic of the week was about written, verbal and visual communication. Communication is an unending process with people, customers, companies, news and others. The way the information is conveyed is as important as the information itself. We as human have different levels of understanding so the way we interpret Visual communication will vary as well. In written communication a considerable part of the skill comes from both the reader’s and writer ‘s ability to imagine the other point of view, verbal communication requires patience and imagination as well (martin 1987 p12).

WEEK TWELVE

At the end of this module I can say that I have identified myself as a critical thinker because I have improved my attention and observation skills, improved my skills of analysis and applying them to different situations. I have learnt to ask the core questions of a critical thinker, source for right materials, analysis my conclusions in conclusion I have learnt how to apply my critical knowledge to my other modules. Keeping this journal though was time consuming but it created a deeper level of reflection for me not just for my academics but in my reasoning as well.

REFERENCES

Cottrell, S. (2005) critical thinking skills: developing effective analysis and arguments.

Fred Kerlinger

Jennifer Moon (1999) Learning Journals: A handbook for academics, students and professional development

Oxford dictionary

Martin, Bygate.(1987) : language teaching . A scheme for teacher education.

Great Clarendon street, oxford.

Miles & Huberman

http://sandykumskov.com/importance-critical-thinking/

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Free Essays

Knowledge Management (KM) in Healthcare Systems

INTRODUCTION
KM is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, managing, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets, including database, documents, policies and procedures, as well as unarticulated expertise and experience resident in individual workers (Wickramasinghe, 2003). There are many dimensions around which knowledge can be characterized such as storage media, accessibility, typology and hierarchy.

HISTORY OF KM

Knowledge Management (KM) is an essential tool in today’s emerging healthcare system. Hospitals that seek to deploy KM systems need to understand the human element in the process. Earlier, success factors were only restricted to a few healthcare variables such as patient care and cost, but over the years, technology (both clinical and administrative) has evolved as a differentiating variable, thus redefining the doctrines of competition and the administration of healthcare treatments. One of the key objectives of a KM system is to insulate a hospital’s intellectual knowledge from degeneration (Elliot, 2000).

The UK public sector now typically spends an estimated ?2 billion per annum on IT, equating to around 1% of the public purse (Holmes & Poulymenakou, 1995), while the NHS spends around ?220 million annually on IT in hospitals (Audit Commission, 1995). Information technology is transforming the healthcare environment in ways that go beyond simple consumer health information Web sites (Hoagland, 1997).

SWOT ANALYSIS

Various Strengths of such organizational structure are:

There is a strong control over the employees with clearly defined rules and regulations.
The system is highly centralized because of which various decisions can be monitored efficientley..
There is standardization in the organization and everyone is following same procedures and thus there is no scope for any confusion.
Weaknesses of bureaucratic form of organizations:

The biggest weakness of such form of organization is that there is too much control leading to a lack of innovation initiatives and thus making the jobs dull and boring. Also, this has an adverse impact on the level of morale of employees which is clearly seen in case of Reddix trust hospital.
Another weakness is that though decisions can be efficiently monitored it takes a lot of time to take any decision as there are only few people in whose hands such a power rests. In case this group of people is overloaded decision making will become too slow.
The chain of communication is too long which generally leads to distortion of the message
Bureaucracy itself encourages political behavior in the organization and people try to use wrong means to go up the hierarchy.

KEY ISSUE OF REDDIX HOSPITAL

Reddix Hospital does have an information system in place. It comprises of Radiology Information System, Patient Administration System, Laboratory Information System and Clinical Patient Record System, Pharmacy Systems and Nursing System. But there is a lack of interoperability between these systems and there is no clinical information governance. Further due to an inefficient Hospital Information System patient files are not available to the concerned caregivers when required. These caretakers are not aware of patients’ medical history and if some wrong medicines are given patients suffer from severe reactions. According to NHS performance report 60% of patients were suffering from life-threatening consequences of improper care.

Furthermore nurses and caregivers are not aware of the best practices. Also Reddix is using a centralized computer architecture where softwares being used are 30-40 years old. Such outdated softwares have limited interfaces with other healthcare information systems. Moreover they did not have the ability to interconnect with other desktop applications.

In most of the NHS hospitals a distributed form of computer architecture is followed. Moreover Reddix does not use a secure information security mechanism which is again an important point of consideration.

Due to above reasons and to ensure an efficient and innovative working of Reddix Hospital Trust it was decided to adopt a proper Knowledge Management System at Reddix.

Thus, a combination of all the three systems may be used to address the requirements of various stakeholders to the KM project.

SUGGEST CHANGE

Reddix can move to divisional form of organization as it will be easy to handle the complexities associated with a complex nature of hospital functions and divisions.

In order to promote learning and development in the organization Reddix can use following methods:

Learning Culture
Reddix need to develop a learning culture in the organization. There should be a free flow of information within the organization. People should be able to share and exchange information and knowledge without any barriers. Senior team should people at all levels to learn regularly and learning should also be rewarded.

Key Management processes
Learning and development can be fostered through proper capability planning, reinforcing teams, developing values and vision for such teams and maintaining an efficient performance reward system.

Tools and Techniques
Open communication, mentoring and supporting colleagues, making people learn to see team and organizational goals as same are some tools to maintain learning in the organization.

Thus, from above mentioned process Reddix can ensure learning and development of its staff so as to implement KM in an efficient manner.

RESOURCES

These organizations decentralize decision making to the business units, thereby allowing the corporate office to concentrate its focus on corporate strategy, capital allocation, and monitoring of the operational and strategic performance of business units. This creates the advantage of increasing accountability, given that common/comparable measures can be established across different divisions and internal competition for available capital can be stimulated.

Along with its various merits this system may bring about certain disadvantages for Reddix Trust Hospital:

First, there is the problem of duplication of services—that is, redundant marketing, manufacturing, and other functional services that are established within each unit. Costs can escalate when functions are repeated in multiple areas.

Corporate executives in decentralized organizations can too easily distance themselves from their divisional operations and thus find that they lack the needed insights and skills to understand their disparate businesses. Corporate leaders can also focus so much on capital allocation and corporate strategy (e.g., mergers, divestitures, acquisitions) that they lose touch with the operational side of their businesses.

Organizational Fit

2nd Learning outcome:

SCOPE OF CHANGE AND VISION

Healthcare organizations are facing many challenges in the 21st Century due to changes taking place in global healthcare systems. Spiraling costs, financial constraints, increased emphasis on accountability and transparency, changes in education, growing complexities of biomedical research, new partnerships in healthcare and great advances in IT suggest that a predominant paradigm shift is occurring. This shift is necessitating a focus on interaction, collaboration and increased sharing of information and knowledge which is in turn leading healthcare organizations to embrace the techniques of Knowledge Management (KM) in order to create and sustain optimal healthcare outcomes. This report describes the importance of using Information Technology knowledge management systems for healthcare organizations and provides an overview of knowledge management technologies and tools that may be used by healthcare organizations with a special focus on Reddix Hospital Trust.

RESISTANCE

Reddix hospital is overloaded with work. Doctors are working for double the stipulated time. The information system at Reddix is centralized and nurses and caretakers have no direct and easy access to patient records. Also there is low level of morale, lack of motivation, lack of innovation and high rate of absenteeism and staff turnover and also high rate of sickness among hospital staff.

All these factors prove that Reddix Hospital Trust is following a bureaucratic form of organization.

The bureaucratic hierarchy is by far the most abundant organization form as we start the new millennium. They are everywhere all of the time and it is hard to envision a world without them, or indeed any other kind of organization form that will work as well.

Elliott Jaques (1989, 1990), firmly believed that the bureaucratic hierarchy’s only problem is that it still lacks complete perfection, and Hammer and Champy (1993), asserted that bureaucracy is a glue that holds organizations together.

OPTIONAL APPRAISAL

Reddix can use intranet to make the stakeholders properly understand what is KM and how it can enable them to work efficiently. A dedicated blog can be created where staff can exchange their understanding of the concept and that of project a whole and can learn through shared experiences. Also it will help them in understanding the flow of information within the organization and how to use the new method efficiently. A proper detailed view of the new system along with some relevant examples can be easily provided on the portal which will help in a detailed understanding of the concept.

However in this system people will learn as per their understanding levels. In case there is some misunderstanding on their part it cannot be cleared and people will start working on their individual assumptions about the concept and project. This may lead to conflict and disputes while implementing the concept.

Justify your planned changes?

COMMUNICATION TO STAKEHOLDER

The project of Knowledge Management affects a number of people related with the organization. These are- doctors, nurses, administrative staff, etc. All these people need to be properly aware of the need of KM in their organization and also how they will be benefited from such a change in the organization. The success of any KM program depends upon the clear understanding of concepts by these stakeholders.

FINALIZE CHANGE PLAN

Continuous use of knowledge leads to generation of new ideas which can be recorded in the system and again and again use of such idea further leads to generation of new ideas. Thus, KM will give a scope of innovation to hospital staff.

Proper storage and availability of information about a patient’s health will allow the team of doctors to communicate easily and take decisions on further treatment in an efficient manner. Also the medication prescribed to patient, allergic records, surgery records, etc are readily available which can form the basis of further treatment.

Another important system is to develop a program for providing training with regard to use of new system. Such programs or training workshops should be designed in a manner that each and every person in the organization is properly aware about his/her role in KM and can also help his/her subordinates in achieving efficiency through such a system.

This system is good for imparting knowledge about the concept but lack practical approach. For proper implementation of the concept such workshops should be continued for some time after the introduction of KM in the hospital. It will help the staff to get real time experience of getting trained while working.

Instant flow of information and improved communication leads to quick decision making. Doctors can communicate with each other regarding the treatment of some critical patient, refer to the case history available at a single place and take decision in a short period of time

Reddix can take the groups of staff for some tours to other hospitals using Knowledge management effectively. This will help the staff in getting a real-world idea about use and benefits of KM. This will act as a catalyst to prepare them for them for the next stages of the project. However, this method does not ensure a deep understanding of the concept as methodology of implementing KM varies from organization to organization.

IMPLEMENTING KM AT REDDIX

Various steps involved in implementation of KM program at Reddix Trust Hospital are discussed as follows:

Objectives
Reddix need to implement a KM program so as to improve patient care, reduce accidents, increase the morale level of the hospital staff, efficient decision making and improve the flow of information within the organization.

Strategic model to achieve these objectives

The achievement of an efficient KM program depends upon the designing of an efficient Application Architecture. The key features of such an architecture or model is discussed as follows:

Patient Admission Process
First step in implementing Knowledge Management in Reddix is the automation of Hospital administration and registration systems that are used to “register” patients into the hospital. A powerful first point-of-contact (point-of-sale) approach for the hospital can be used in the form of embedded-chip smart cards. These cards are capable of holding compact patient medical record and biometrics identifiers. This would enable quick, automated registration and admitting, as well as information for health and health insurance purposes such as eligibility, referral, and pharmacy approval.

Communication of Patient Admission Data
Next is to automate the data associated with the admission of a patient which is of a relatively generic nature. Made up of standard patient demographic data, insurance particulars, and the patient’s location (department, room number, and bed), the information associated with the event of admitting a patient is of interest to most if not all of the other information systems used in the hospital. In an e-hospital, this patient information is communicated with all other applications in the hospital. Hospitals organize themselves around specialized diagnostic methods, focused medical interventions, and various therapeutic care strategies.

Supporting Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences
According to Becich (2000), it is estimated that 50% to 70% of the major decisions that affect patients are based on information available from clinical pathology (laboratory tests) and anatomical pathology (tissue samples).

Thus it is necessary to computerize laboratories, radiology, cardiovascular laboratories, nuclear medicine, etc. For Example: The classical x-ray film processing has been replaced with “film-less” imaging processes that produce digital images in many hospitals worldwide. Hospital Pharmacy also need to be right from automated drug dispensing devices to robotic workstations used to package and barcode patient medication.

Point-of-Care Data Entry
Further there is a need to automate the point-of-care data. Procedures (e.g., surgeries, laboratory tests, or x-rays) can be scheduled in an enterprise scheduling system to better allocate many types of resources. Integration between the admitting and orders systems makes the process more efficient and accurate. These orders can be communicated to the appropriate clinical system (e.g., radiology or laboratory) electronically if interfaced or integrated with the order management system. Once an order is placed in a clinical system, the process of performing the ordered diagnostic test or delivering the specified medication or service begins. If the physician could consistently digitize these “paper instructions,” the improvements in the accuracy, the timeliness, and the appropriateness of patient care would be staggering. In addition, the patient vital sign data (e.g., blood pressure, fluid input and output, temperatures) are written on the patient’s chart. Technology can be used to convert physician voice dictations to digital text (typically the patient’s admitting history and physical and the discharge plan and diagnosis).

Evaluation:

Automated Hospital Information System Architecture

[Adapted from Mon and Nunn (1999)]

Implement a Culture change policy

Next is to develop a proper healthy environment for KM. Staff needs to be made aware and trained about the concept of KM and how that is beneficial for different levels of the organization. People should be able to adapt to such a change being introduced in the organization. Such an acceptance will ensure the efficient implementation of KM program.

Change Models

Here we will discuss two change models which can be applied to Reddix Hospital.

The Intervention Change Model

The Strategic Change Process Model

The Intervention Change Model
This model developed by Robbie Paton and Jim MacCalman (2006), is based on the idea of an open system approach which view an organization as a series of interlinked and interdependent elements and components of systems and subsystems.

Reddix Hospital is an organization that consists of several elements like that of consultation, pharmacy, patient care, nursing, specialized treatment, clinical information, etc. As per the intervention model firstly the problem is to be identified, which is the lack of a proper information system in the hospital. Next is to analyze and select the change options available which is determined as the need of KM in Reddix. Finally this KM is to be applied at every level and every department and element of Reddix. These functions or elements are interlinked and a change in one will mean a change in all the elements.

The Strategic Change Model
This model developed by Phil Beaumont complements the implementation stage of the intervention model. This model is also required to be applied at Reddix. It aims at making the staff understand the need for change in the organization. It takes the form of a story-telling which managers often use to promote change.

At the start of this process senior managers at Reddix will initiate communication to engage employees in the change process. Next will be focusing on claims, evidence, theories of cause and effect to help employees understand what the need is and how the change will benefit them.

Further performance conversation will take place to generate action in order to initiate change and finally closure conversations will be there to signify the successful completion of the change process. Such a process will help the staff of Reddix to grasp each and every part of KM program efficiently so as to use it effectively in their future course of action.

Improved Team Communication
Proper storage and availability of information about a patient’s health will allow the team of doctors to communicate easily and take decisions on further treatment in an efficient manner. Also the medication prescribed to patient, allergic records, surgery records, etc are readily available which can form the basis of further treatment.

Reduced Problem Solving Time
Instant flow of information and improved communication leads to quick decision making. Doctors can communicate with each other regarding the treatment of some critical patient, refer to the case history available at a single place and take decision in a short period of time

Improved Patient Care
An efficient KM system will reduce the burden of knowledge on the staff. They can concentrate on their work. Specialists can be consulted easily and decisions can be taken efficiently. This will improve the condition of patient care in Reddix.

REFERANCES
Groff, Todd. R. (2003), Introduction to knowledge Management: KM in Business, Butterworth-Heinemann

Gay, Paul du (2003), The Values of Bureaucracy, Oxford University Press.

Jennex, Murray E (2005), Case Studies in Knowledge Management, IGI Global

Miner, John B (2006), Organizational Behavior 2: Essential Theories of Process and Structure,

M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

Martin, Graeme (2006), Managing People and Organizations in Changing Context, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Schwartz, David G.(2006), Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management, IGI publishing.

Wickramasinghe(2005), Creating Knowledge-Based Healthcare Organizations, IGI Global.

Wickramasinghe, Nilmini( 2007), Knowledge-Based Enterprise: Theories and Fundamentals, IGI Publishing

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Free Essays

Innovation and Knowledge Management as a Source of Competitive Advantage – a case study of iphone and Blackberry

Abstract

A research proposal setting out a case study of Blackberry and iphone, looking at the role played by innovation and knowledge management for each brand, and how they have helped create competitive advantage.

1. Introduction

The following sets out my research proposal. It utilizes a case study approach, comparing and contrasting the mobile communications brands Blackberry and iphone and how they have harnessed the powers of innovation and knowledge management. It also looks at how each of these have contributed to the distinct market positions of each brand.

The iphone is made by Apple. Previously a maker of niche personal computers with a cult reputation, Apple achieved mass-market brand appeal with their launch of the ipod music device. They built upon this success with the launch in 2007 of their ‘iphone’, a ‘smart’ phone (a device which, in addition to offering mobile calls, also has many of the functions of a personal computer including internet browsing, email connectivity and access to music). Smart phones had been around for some years, , but were largely confined to corporate users: the iphone brought the concept to the general consumer (Porter and Norton 2010).

Blackberry phones are made by Research in Motion Ltd (RIM), a North American company specializing in smart phones. Until recently, Blackberry served the corporate market primarily: however in 2008 Blackberry they two phones designed to tap into the lucrative consumer market (Hutt and Speh 2009). The Blackberry is currently market leader in the USA: In 2008, RIM’s share of the smart phone market in the USA was 45%, compared to iphone’s 25% (Hutt and Speh 2009). However, globally, neither brand has a strong presence, with Apple taking a share of just 0.9%, and Research in Motion 1.9%. Nokia, by comparison, leads at 40% (Pride and Ferrell 2011). In terms of the market in the developed world, however, evidence suggests that “competition in [the] smartphone market is heating up”, and new players including Dell and Microsoft seem likely to move into the market (Butcher 2010). Microsoft, for example, seem likely to partner Nokia, who have recently lost their share of the market in the developed world. A growth to 10% of market share in the US is predicted by 2015 for this partnership. Samsung are also likely to grow their share of the US market, predicted to rise to 21% over the next four years (Strategy Analytics 2011). The smart phone arena has been described as ‘cut throat’ already, with tight margins and a fast moving pace. New developments could include a a move towards ‘open’ systems, rather than the ‘closed’ ones (i.e. operating systems which are unique to the brand) favoured by Apple and RIM (Butcher 2010). Given this, there is now more need than ever before to assess how competitive advantage can be accessed in this market sector, and to find tools that can be used to ensure an organization obtains and keeps a place as a market leader. In the light of this, this study addresses this need.

The following proposal will give a brief overview of the areas to be covered in the literature review, including approaches to gathering information and a brief overview of topics to be covered. This will be followed by a discussion of the proposed methodology, justifying the selection of methods and explaining their use, and also covering any ethical considerations and limitations. In addition, the research areas, specific research problems and overall objectives will be set out, and a provisional time-frame presented.

2. Literature Review
2.1 Interest in Topic, Overview of Relevant Areas

My interest in the topic came about through an increasing awareness of the competitiveness in the ‘smart phone’ market in the UK, and particularly between iphone and Blackberry, with considerable loyalty to the brands from owners. Iphone in particular has a very loyal customer base (Standard and Poor 2009), although Blackberry has been nicknamed ‘crackberry’ due to the way users become ‘addicted’ to it (Strategic Direction 2009). There are, however, some some signs that Blackberry users are willing to switch loyalty and try another smart phone (Stafford [online] 2010). In this competitive market, it is important to understand in more detail how buyers become attracted to smart phones, and how their loyalty is retained. Is the loyalty that iphone owners, for example, often feel for their product due to better innovation and knowledge management compared with Research in Motion, or is it a product of marketing the phone as a ‘cult’ brand(Schneiders 2011).How can innovation and knowledge management contribute to the success or failure of smart phone brands?

Because smart phones have only been in existence for less than 10 years (Fling 2009), there is a lack of research in the area, with relatively few textbooks and academic articles looking at the subject. While some studies look at the two brands in terms of certain aspects ofcompetitive advantage, innovation and knowledge management, and far more studies look at the the brands in general, or take a technological approach, no existing studies seem to combine the elements of interest in one.Given the need to understand how companies operating in this area can develop competitive advantage, and also given this lack of existing research, I felt that the area was worthy of further study.The approach I will utilize is to draw upon existing theories of innovation and knowledge management in order to develop a framework, then execute a detailed case study of both brands in terms of this.

The notion of innovation has, over the last 20 years, become increasingly important in business management. The 80’s saw a wave of renewed interest in the concept, with an emphasis upon individualism and psychology. 80’s innovation theorists pointed out that individuals create companies and drive growth (Sundbo 1998). At the same time, others suggested that the social context in which the entrepreneurial individual operates is also crucial for fostering innovation: for example Peter Drucker (1985). For Drucker, innovation means a new attitude which involves sharing knowledge, and also means being aware of the wider business environment in which an organization operates (Drucker 2007).Another perspective on innovation highlights the importance of marketing, suggesting that innovation consists of reading market information and making informed decisions about what the consumer wants (Sundbo 1998). The literature review will explore and compare theories such as these in depth.

There are also a number of existing models of the link between innovation and competitive advantage which are useful. McGrath et al (1996), for example, propose a model rooted in economic theory which links competitive advantage to a number of factors including causal understanding, the proficiency of the innovation team, and the emergence and mobilization of the new technologies. Others point out the complex nature of the relationship between innovation and competitive advantage, and highlight other factors of importance (Lengnick-Hall, 1992). One particularly useful model was suggested by McKinsey and Company (Buaron 1981). They argued that any innovative and successful new business might utilize a ‘new game’ strategy, by reworking the ‘value chain’ which is predominant in the industry, in order to change the ‘rules of the game’, and protect the advantage they gain by this by erecting barriers to stop competitors being successful (Grant, 2005).

More generally, theories of competitive advantage are also useful. Various theories suggest the role of resources, for example, with both tangible and intangible resources playing a role in creating advantage. Others highlight the importance of company capabilities and competencies and strategy (Hill and Jones 2009). More general theories of competitive advantage, for example the resource-based view, will be used to throw light on the debate. In addition to these models, practical tools for looking at competitive advantage will be used, including appropriate means of analyzing the environment in which Apple and RIM operate. These will include, for example, Porter’s ‘Five Forces’ model, in which the environment is seen in terms of the ‘threat of new entrants’ in to the market, the ‘threat of substitutes’, the ‘bargaining power of suppliers’ and the ‘bargaining power of buyers’ to generate an overview of the competitive power of that organization within the industry. Other useful tools include Brandenburger and Nalebuff’s ‘Value Net’ (1996) which indentify four aspects which impact upon any organizations position: ‘customers’ ‘suppliers’, ‘competitors’ and ‘complementors’ (organizations whose products do not compete with but enhance those of the organization in question) (Avital 2004)

Similarly, there are various ways of defining and conceptualizing knowledge management, and what it can do for an organization. In brief, knowledge management can be defined as ‘finding, keeping and leveraging information assets’ (Avital 2004). There are three main approaches to information management, which are based upon beliefs about the nature of knowledge, and whether it is objective or subjective. Avital distinguishes the ‘codified knowledge repository’ approach, in which knowledge is independent and objective and can be best managed by computer-based databases or documents, the ‘expert directory’ approach, which holds that knowledge is subjective and found in individuals, and the ‘community of interest’ view, where knowledge is seen as a function of a community of connected individuals. Other ways of approaching the matter include making a distinction between data (raw, context free), information (interpreted data, data with meaning) and knowledge (information plus understanding, able to inspire action). This 3-part model can be seen as a hierarchy of use (Geoff and Jones 2003). Knowledge can also be divided into the tacit and the explicit: tacit knowledge is knowledge which is internal to a person, but is not made explicit and is hence personal to the user; explicit knowledge is knowledge which has been written down or otherwise recorded and is thus available for use by others.Knowledge management often involves the process of making tacit knowledge explicit (Geoff and Jones 2003). Ways of applying insights about knowledge management are various, and can include bringing people and groups together collaboratively through all the available means of communication, being able to access expert knowledge easily (this can be facilitated by teamwork or enhanced communication), and developing a strong ‘community of practice’, a group of people with shared interests and expertise who are happy to share their abilities. Other useful tools include the fast availability of information, creating networking opportunities, and an in-depth knowledge of the organisation’s knowledge bank (Marquardt 1996)

The literature review will also look at iphone and Blackberry in detail.The history of both brands will be discussed, and also the wider context of Research in Motion and Apple, looking at their genesis, key markets, strategies and other areas. The telecommunications market in general, and the market for Smart phones will be discussed. Quantitative data concerning performance of each brand, and their market share in the US, Europe and globally, will also be presented. Overall the literature review will help clarify research objectives and questions, and present a foundation for the subsequent analysis and interpretation.

2.2 Research Area, Research Problems, Research Objectives

Both Blackberry and iphone have carved out a niche within the European and US market. This research study will investigate how innovation and management of knowledge (both within and outside the organizations) have contributed to creating these positions as market leaders. It will also look at the extent to which Blackberry is likely to remain in leading position, or whether iphone’s use of knowledge management and innovation mean that this brand is likely to overtake as leader. This area of research interest can be stated as research problems as follows:

How have the Blackberry and iphone brands used innovation to create competitive advantage
How have the Blackberry and iphone brands used knowledge management to create competitive advantage
Given their innovation and knowledge management resources, are Blackberry likely to retain market leading position, or will the iphone take over

The objective of carrying out this research is to look at the input both innovation and knowledge management can have upon a brand’s success. By looking at the ways each feed into this success, by highlighting what approaches are not successful, and by analyzing the factors involved in this process, it is hoped that the research will help show how organizations can better address the challenges of today’s rapidly changing mobile telecommunications marketplace. Because the area is so new, with smart phones only in existence for the last ten years, there is little existing research in the area. While there are many useful theoretical studies of wider concepts including innovation, knowledge management and competitive advantage, few have applied these to either iphone and Blackberry. In addition, the fast pace of technological change means that organizations need to react quickly to changes in the operating environment, so any research which does look specifically at the area is quickly out of date.

3. Methodology
3.1 Approach and Choice of Methods

The research will be informed by a positivist research philosophy. Positivism holds that knowledge is objective, and independent of the researcher. It is based upon epistemological (theories about how knowledge is possible, and how it is validated) assumptions concerning the ultimate reality of the world and its independence from the human subject. This study will assume that knowledge is sharable and objective. Alternative research approaches have been rejected for this study. An interpretivist approach, which holds that social interaction is the basis for knowledge and which suggests that the researcher has an important influence on what is researched, and hence claims that objectivity is not possible (O’Donoghue, 2007) was held inappropriate. I believe that the study will uncover key information about iphone and Blackberry which can be validated by others.

The study will also use a deductive, scientific approach. In deductive research, the study begins with theories about how the world is expected to behave, and derives testable hypotheses from these theories. Deductive reasoning requires a logical approach. It is contrasted with an inductive approach, in which information is collected and patterns are found in the data, which lead to subsequent generation of theories about these patterns (Babbie 2010). In this case, firm ideas about the impact of innovation and knowledge management lead to hypotheses suggesting that these factors can lead to competitive success.

The proposed research will use a case study approach, looking at Blackberry and iphone in the context of theories examined through the literature review. Data will be collected from secondary, as opposed to primary sources. In primary research, information is collected for the first time for the purposes of the study. Sources of primary data can include surveys, observation and experiments. Secondary data is data which has already been collected. It can include academic journals and books, databases from industry and government sources, and official records (McDaniel and Gates 1998). Given the relative lack of information about these brands use of innovation and knowledge management, there is an argument to combine secondary data with a primary study, for example carrying out interviews with key management at Blackberry and iphone asking about their use of innovation and knowledge management. This, like primary research in general, would allow the data collected to be tailored to the exact research questions (Allen and Skinner 1991), and also add to the body of existing studies. However, this method was rejected in this case, as it was thought that a more extensive literature review based study would allow for the full development of useful theoretical models to assess the case of Blackberry and iphone. It was also thought that although there are no studies which look into the precise research area suggested, there is much material available about each of the brands concerned, and this material has not, so far, been approached in relation to wider research aims of this sort. It was also felt that a secondary-sourced study could form the backbone for subsequent primary research studies collecting data to be set in the context of the current research.

3.2 Data Collection

Key academic online and library sources will be used to collect papers, books and databases regarding the issues in question.The university library will give access to relevant journals and textbooks. Useful journals include general business journals, for example the Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, and Journal of Marketing. There are also a number of specialist journals covering innovation (for example Innovation Management and knowledge management (Knowledge Management, the Journal of Knowledge Management) and related areas.

Online searches will be key in gathering data, as they allow numerous journals to be searched for key words. There are a number of useful academic databases which include both business-specific databases such as Emerald, Bloomberg, Business Source Premier, Datastream and Global Market Information Database; and general databases with business coverage including Academic Search Premier, IngentiaConnect and JSTOR. These databases will be interrogated through key word searches. Terms used for these searches will include ‘Blackberry’, ‘iphone’, ‘smartphones’, ‘innovation’, ‘competitive advantage’ ‘information mangagement’ and ‘knowledge management’. These terms will be used in combination together, to find literature which already covers the area of interest, but also alone and in combination of just two terms, in case a search on all terms yields insufficient information, and to get further background on theoretical approaches to knowledge management, for example. Should the searches return too much information, advanced search techniques will be used to restrict articles to those from the last five years only, or looking at the UK only.Overall, access to data should be unproblematic, to the extent that the data exists, as the author can use a number of these business databases and other information sources via the university. However, as pointed out above, there seems to be a relative lack of literature which looks at all aspects of the research study. For this reason, academic data will be supplemented by information gleaned from commercial information sources such as Keynote and Euromonitor. These supply a number of reports looking at market areas, for example the mobile phone market, and include a wealth of useful statistics about phone ownership by brand, for example (Keynote 2010). Mintel also produce useful reports, including a regular update on digital trends (Mintel 2011). Another central source will be information from Research in Motion and Apple themselves, as well as the internet sites for Blackberry and iphone. Their websites contain a wealth of useful information including annual reports on financial status. The sites also contain information for the press, though of course this is likely to be subject to bias.

The reliability, validity and generalisability of information can usually be assured by using where possible, meta-analyses of data and avoiding non-academic sources such as unverified internet websites. However, it has already been established that there is relatively little available information of this type. With this in mind, the study will include information from a wider range of sources, but will bear in mind the issues regarding reliability and validity this might raise.

Because the study is primary research only, questions of ethics are less relevant, as the study does not involve human subjects direct. However, It is important to at least think about the ethics of the research, not just from the point of view of the researcher but from the position of all stakeholders (interested parties). For example, the research should be carried out honesty and accurately (Wilson 2010). In this case, I will attribute all textual sources to the correct author, and interpret the information as best as possible

3.3 Data Analysis

Data analysis will consist of interpretation of the data collected about iphone and Blackberry in the context of theoretical perspectives on the roles played by innovation and knowledge management in creating advantage. Do either organization display particular approaches which means they have been more successfulHow do the approaches of Blackberry and iphone compareThe information discussed will also generate recommendations for other players in the mobile phone market. A number of considerations will be kept in mind, in order to analyse the data in the most appropriate and rigourous way. As Boslaugh points out, it is vital to ask, for any piece of information, what the original purpose of collecting it was, what kind of data it represents, how it was collected and when.If the data is quantitative, for example a database, it is also important to know if it has been cleaned or recoded. Because at least some of the information from this study will be collected from sources which are likely to be biased towards a particular viewpoint, primarily the information from RIM and Apple, it is particularly important to be aware of the background, and separate out data which can be used from data which is being used for a promotional end by the organization. This will be the case particularly for press releases and other data designed for the media. However, even with academic studies, it is also important to know as much as possible about the details of the study, for example, if questionnaires were used to collect data, how they were worded, and how respondents were selected (Boslaugh). It will also be important to be aware of the size of any primary study (how many cases were considered), and how any results are interpreted in terms of the research aims. In general, information gathered about models and theories of innovation, knowledge management and competitive advantage will shape the approach to case studies of Blackberry and iphone. Data gathered about the companies will be interpreted in the light of these theories.

Finally, it should be pointed out that there are clear limitations on the research. As mentioned, the study will be limited to published information, rather than including a primary component, which would allow the research to be tailored to the objectives. However, it is hoped that the study will allow such primary research to be carried out more effectively at a later date.

4. Conclusion

The above has set out a structure for my research study, looking at the role innovation and knowledge management play in the competitive advantage of both Blackberry and iphone. The research area and proposed questions have been set out, areas to be included in the literature review were discussed, and the methodology to be used has been included.

4.1 Expected Findings / Implications
Based on my intuitive awareness of the two brands, on the image of each brand presented in the media, on the impression I have gained from hearing colleagues and friends talk about iphones and Blackberrys, and also upon the reading I have done so far for this study, I predict at this stage that iphone have a more comprehensive grasp on competitive advantage. I expect to find objective confirmation of this, and also evidence to suggest that their advantage comes from a better grasp of both ways of managing innovation and knowledge management. I expect the main limitation to be that previous study in this area is scant. Because the development of smart phones is very recent, there has been relatively little academic research in the area, and much of the existing information is technically related. Had more previous work existed, this would have been useful for the study. For instance, a body of existing work on how smart phone makers use both innovation and knowledge management would allow this study to have an academic context, and would give ideas about the interpretation of information. This is, to some extent, a disadvantage, however it also means that the planned study will present useful information which might be useful to see how organizations making smart phones might best approach the market. I also feel that the study will provide useful information and evidence which can be used in the future to shape primary studies in this area.
The time chart below sets out a list of activities which need to be carried out, stage by stage, and also shows the time period allocated to each. While the planning and design will take some time, as well the literature review, it is also important to allocate sufficient time to think over the findings, and interpret them. In particular, I feel it is important to allow a gap between data collection finishing and data analysis starting (the data analysis includes interpreting the case study in the light of overarching theories). The data analysis stage should also be given sufficient time, as new ideas might develop during this stage.
Time Chart

—————————— Stages (Weeks) —————————
Task123456789101112
Research design –– – –
Planning––––
Lit review/ data collection––––––
Data analysis–––––

Dissertation
Draft–––
Final––––

References

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Butcher, D (2010) ‘Competition in smartphone market is heating up’, Mobile Marketer, May 18th 2010.

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Fling, B (2009) Mobile Design and Development: Practical Concepts and Techniques for Creating Mobile Sites and Web Apps, O’Reilly Media, Inc., Sebastapol CA

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Hutt, M D and Speh, T W (2009) Business marketing management: B2B, Cengage Learning, Mason, OH.

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Schneiders, S (2011) Apple’s Secret Of Success – Traditional Marketing Vs. Cult Marketing, Diplomica Verlag, Germany.

Stafford, P (2010) ‘RIM to launch BlackBerry tablet, but customer loyalty falling’, [online] (cited 11th June 2011), available from

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/information-technology/20100803-rim-to-launch-blackberry-tablet-but-blackberry-customer-loyalty-falling.htm

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Wilson, J (2010) Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research, SAGE Publications Ltd, 2010 London, Thousand Oaks, CA.

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Free Essays

A critique and comparison of relevant literature in relation to organizational learning and knowledge management

1. INTRODUCTION

Fiol and Lyles (1985) describe organizational learning, as being the process wherein organizations being cognitive enterprises, have the capability to accumulate information regarding their own actions, understand the effects against those of alternatives, then adopt the most relevant action in relation to future decisions. Therefore improvements within organization is based on how well they can understand past actions and external information, disseminate and reflect on them with the aim of making better future decisions (Anand et al, 1998).

Studies on organisational learning are diverse, and a number of theorists have proposed several methods of understanding and applying relevant them within organizations. The most notable of these are the single and double loop learning styles proposed by Argyris and Schon (1978); the five disciplines proposed by Senge (1990); and the four learning constructs of Huber (1991). The aim of this literature critique is to consider each of these theories in line with development of knowledge management systems within organizations. The following chapters describe each theory, critically analyses their viewpoint, and then ascertains their relevance to knowledge management system development.

2. ARGYRIS AND SCHON DOUBLE LOOP LEARNING

Argyris and Schon identify two major forms of learning that occur at the organizational level, described as single and double loop learning. These processes occur at different capacities and usually determine the extent to which innovation and new ideas surface (Sun and Scott, 2003). According to these theories, all individuals, groups or organizations have their preconceived notions about particular processes (Argyris, 1994). These preconceived notions might often contradict with the general process of doing things.

In the single loop learning model, these preconceived notions would be adjusted to fit in with the general process of doing things. The individuals, group or organization would react based on what they believe to be the most convenient method, which is usually to follow suit on the general process of having things done (Sun and Scott, 2003). The deeply held assumptions or beliefs do not resurface and become buried under the auspice of following suit on the general trend. This according to Argyris and Schon is described as single loop learning, wherein one entity influences the other. In the double loop learning method, individual, group or organizational beliefs, begin to surface (Argyris, 1995). They are considered in line with the general belief, and these beliefs are questioned or even modified in the event that they are deemed unsuitable for the organization.

This theory was developed using Action workshops, wherein individuals were requested to write their preconceived notions and their eventual actions in line with new information. If they conducted their actions based on information provided, then single loop learning was recorded, while double loop learning occurred if they adjusted their actions in line with their individual beliefs. This theory has however been criticised broadly. Sun and Scott (2003) argue that organizational policies, processes and routines act as “defense mechanism” against the prevalence of double loop learning. These policies may restrict the ability of individuals or groups to freely challenge generally accepted principles, which could have otherwise led to double loop learning.

The action research method through which this experiment was first conducted has been criticised by Nonaka (1994) who states that asking individuals to outline their preconceived thoughts and subsequent actions on two separate notes do not accurately depict how an organization would react to single and double loop learning situations, except if a probability sample was utilized in the study. Robey et al (2000) also brings up the scenario wherein individuals with different backgrounds are brought in on a project, each with a different preconceived notion about the project. These individuals are usually advised to act in line with generally accepted practices in a bid to deter conflict in the decision making process, thereby alienating double loop learning processes. Schultz (2001) therefore states that the most ideal learning process, being double loop learning, would be most ideal in environments that actively promote creativity and innovation, as they are the backbone through which individuals can actively express their ideas and through that, change generally accepted practices.

3.SENGE’S FIVE DISCIPLINES

Senge (1990) outlines “personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, team learning and systems thinking” as ideal methods for organizations to learn from their previous actions and environmental changes. Senge’s disciplines address the major shortcomings in Argyris and Schon’s model as it identifies effective methods through which organisations can promote double loop learning processes within the company. Mental models and team learning, especially in informal environments, can promote the transition of learning from single to double loop, as it gives individuals and groups the opportunities to share information and ideas across all tiers of the organisation (Robey et al, 2000).

Sun and Scott (2003) note that it is through the creation of social relationships that individuals can engage in dialogues that actively promote reflective conversations and inquiry. However, Wang (1999) criticises this approach as it does not thoroughly promote double loop learning. He states that learning may occur, but it does not lead to change in preconceived notions. The other three disciplines however have a more profound effect on organisational learning. Senge depicts that personal mastery aids individual development; shared vision engages all individuals within the organization towards a common vision and objective, while systems thinking aligns all the different disciplines in a method that promotes active learning.

These fives disciplines have been corroborated by several other theorists as it actively brings in all forms of learning at the individual, group and organizational level (Sun and Scott, 2003). These stages have been viewed as logical and coherent for an organization aiming to transform its learning processes. However, this study fails to account for barriers that may exist between different stages of learning (Robey et al, 2000). The five disciplines highlights how individuals, groups and organizations can learn, but it does not identify how individual learning can be transformed to groups, and groups into organizations. Wang (1999) also states that little information is provided on how these different learning stages apply in the realm of knowledge management systems and how it differs according to different structures within organizations. According to Sun and Scott, these models just like that of Argyris and Schon, fails to account for the main determining factors influencing organizational learning.

4.HUBER’S FOUR CONSTRUCTS

Amongst all the organizational learning theories highlighted in this critique, Huber was the first to highlight the relevant process for organizational learning and also identify how it could be utilized in a knowledge management and sharing environment. Huber (1991) identifies four major constructs that are crucial to organizational learning and these are: Information acquisition, information distribution, information interpretation and organizational memory.

Crossan and Hulland (1996) identify information acquisition as a unique addition to the organizational learning theory, as it is one major facilitator determining how organizations learn in the first place: by first acquiring information. Schultz (2001) also highlights the importance of information acquisition; particularly in terms of the effect external information has on organizational competitiveness. He found a positive correlation between external information acquisition and competitive advantage. Stein and Zwass (1995) also found significant relationship between external information acquisition and organizational performance.

Information distribution highlights methods through which the organization shares information across all departments, while information interpretation depicts the methodology through which individuals and groups interpret information and utilize them in decision making. These constructs highlight important factors that previous theories of Argyris and Schon; and Senge have failed to identify especially in the realm of acquiring information and sharing it. Argyris and Schon only focused on methods through which individuals, groups and organizations accept and interpret data; while Senge focused mostly on the social aspect of organizational learning. Huber in contrast identifies the major logical sequences through which an organization can truly acquire data, share it, store it and learn from it.

However, Garvin (1993) depicts that Huber’s theory fails to account for social factors already identified by Senge. It fails to account for human factors that are actually meant to be the major parties in organizational learning. Nonaka and Tekeuchi (1995) also assert that though Huber accounts for explicit knowledge that are externally available, it fails to account for tacit knowledge that is truly beneficial for competitiveness. Sun and Scott (2001) also identified difficulties inherent in transferring information across all constructs, as learning transfer between entities, just like the other theories criticized, have not been considered.

5.CONCLUSION

In relation to the main critique question, which is on the organizational learning theory that accurately discusses the importance of knowledge management systems in learning organizations, Argyris and Schon (1978) and Senge (1990) failed to account for relevant methods, while Huber (1991) was the only to identify the major sequences through which information could be shared across an organization, and also applied in knowledge management system development. However, further research is required on how to utilize knowledge management systems in engaging individuals to criticise generally accepted principles, and promote sharing through social interaction.

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6.REFERENCES

Anand, V., Manz, C.C., and Glick, W.H. (1998) An organizational memory approach to information management. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23 (4), pp. 796–809

Argyris, C. (1994) Unrecognized defenses of scholars: impact on theory and research. Organization Science, Vol. 7 (1), pp 79–87

Argyris, C. and Schon, D.A. (1978) Organizational learning, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.

Crossan, M., and Hulland, J. (1996) Measuring organizational learning, Paper presented to the Academy of Management..

Fiol, C.M. and Lyles, M.A., 1985. Organizational learning, Academy of Management Review Vol. 10 (4), pp. 803–813

Garvin, D.A. (1993), Building a learning organization, Harvard Business Review, pp.78-91.

Huber, G.P. (1991) Organizational learning: the contributing processes and the literatures. Organization Science, Vol. 2, pp. 88–115

Nonaka, I., 1994. A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation, Organization Science, Vol. 5 (1), pp. 14–37

Nonaka, I., Takeuchi, H. (1995), The Knowledge-Creating Company, Oxford University Press Inc., New York, NY

Robey, D., Boudreau, M., and Rose, G. (2000) Information technology and organisational learning: a review and assessment of research, Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, Vol. 10 (2), pp 125 – 155

Schultz, M. (2001), The uncertain relevance of newness: organizational learning and knowledge flows, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 44 (4), pp. 661-81

Senge, P. (1990), The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, Doubleday/Currency, New York, NY

Stein, E.W. and Zwass, V., 1995. Actualizing organizational memory with information systems, Information Systems Research, Vol. 6 (2), pp. 85–117.

Sun, P. and Scott, J. (2003) Exploring the divide – organizational learning and learning organizations, The Learning Organization, Vol. 10 (4), pp 202 – 215

Wang, S., 1999. Organizational memory information systems: a domain analysis in the object-oriented paradigm. Information Resources Management Journal, Vol. 12 (2), pp. 26–34.

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Relationship Between Knowledge Management And Decision Making

Relationship between knowledge management and decision making

In today’s complex and turbulent environment, knowledge management has become increasingly important in decision making. Unlike in the past where organizations employed consultants or experts to aid with the decision making process, these actors have today been replaced by knowledge managers and decision making is increasingly being supported by decision support systems with built in knowledge base (Gamble 2001).

In this view, this paper examines the relationship between knowledge management and decision making. There is no universally accepted definition of the term ‘Knowledge management’. However, in this context, it will be used in reference to the strategies and practices used by an organization to capture, store and distribute knowledge that is either embodied in individuals or embedded in the process and practices of the organization (Holsapple 1995).

As noted by Joshi (2001), knowledge management has important implications on decision making in an organization. Effective KM should support the process of decision making and strategic planning. For example, knowledge management plays a major role in the planning phase of a project. Based on the current information, forecasters guide decision makers in making complex decisions in the business world characterized by increased risks and uncertainty. The entire decision making endeavour is made based on the outcome of forecasting, a knowledge intensive activity (Mohammed & Jalal 2011). Knowledge management is thus important in tactical decision making.

Knowledge management in organizations is supported by information technology. That is, Knowledge Management Systems rely on routines programmed in the logic of computational machinery (Malhotra 2004). The expertise and experiences of employees are stored in computerized databases. Both the tacit and explicit knowledge are stored in computerized databases and software programs for re-use in future (Malhotra 2004). In fact, most of the knowledge management experts acknowledge that technology contributes around 15% of the solution (Gamble 2001). However, technology in itself is not sufficient. Of great importance are the people with knowledge. People are the main determinant of the success or failure of knowledge management.

But still, managing knowledge is no easy task. As suggested by Karlin & Taylor (1998), acquiring knowledge is not the real problem that organizations face, rather the main challenge is the lack of skills to manage such knowledge in order to ensure effective decisions. It is a major challenge to capture knowledge such as data, information and experiences from individuals that possess them and to use such ingredients and transform them into knowledge that would enhance decision making (Mohsen et al. 2011)

Practical examples where knowledge management guide decision making

A perfect case where knowledge management can guide decision making is in the PC market. Given the competitive environment which has resulted in diminishing margins in the PC markets, Dell may need to shift focus to hosting services (Malhotra 2004). To do so more effectively, Dell would first have to harvest knowledge through experimentation, adaptation and innovation (Malhotra 2004). Then it would need to redefine both the business and customer value propositions.

Another area where knowledge management has proven to be useful in decision making is the banking sector. Due to increase in competition and the growing integration of financial institutions, most banks are increasingly targeting at improving on customer satisfaction in order to continue to thrive. As such, the process of knowledge creation, storage and distribution has become essential such that banks have assigned specialized personnel to manage these critical processes (Mohsen et al. 2011).

Knowledge management in banks is particularly evident in the fields of risk management, performance management, customer relationship management and marketing management (Jayasundara 2008). Banks have invested heavily in knowledge management systems such as Decision Support Systems, Data Mining and Data warehouses (Jayasundara 2008). Through such systems, banks have been able to improve and attain more efficient results in decision making.

According to a survey by Reuters, it was found that 90% of the companies that deployed a KM solution had more efficient results in decision making (Malhotra 2001). The survey also revealed that 81% of the companies that deployed a KM solution experienced an increase in their productivity (Malhotra 2001). A similar study by Lui & Young (2007) in the manufacturing sector showed that global manufacturing businesses utilized knowledge management systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) and Customer Relations Management to enhance their manufacturing decisions.

Given the vital role that knowledge management plays in decision making, it is not surprising to find many organizations transforming knowledge from being an abstract concept to a tangible and manageable one (Oduoza 2010). But, whilst there is a general agreement that knowledge management enhances the decision making process and leads to worthwhile decisions, there are certain instances where such systems can fail.

Why knowledge management systems may fail?

Where knowledge management information systems are seen an end in themselves, failure is guaranteed. ‘Knowledge’ and ‘information’ have different meanings. Knowledge resides in the user and happens only through the processing, analyzing and filtering of data via human brain (Liew 2007). On the other hand, information refers to refined data that can be re-used (Liew 2007). The two are not the same yet many organizations fail to understand the difference and become frustrated when significant investments in technology fail to deliver the expected results (Paprika 2001).

In order to harvest employee knowledge and to turn it into corporate knowledge that can be widely shared, strategic thinking and planning must come into play. Without a strategic plan or a guiding strategy for increasing margins, knowledge management information systems are bound to fail. For example, if the technology department is only department mandated with a knowledge management initiative, then such systems are unlikely to deliver the expected outcomes.

To ensure the success of knowledge management systems, it is important to foster an environment that allows for knowledge sharing. Yet most organizations are still defined by hierarchical structures that do not support interdepartmental collaboration (Paprika 2001). Creating an organizational culture that supports sharing of knowledge is important to avoid such systems from failing.

Also, too much focus on IT-based knowledge management may impair a firm’s capacity for knowledge creation (Malhotra 2000). Solutions often tend to specify the ‘minutiae of machinery’, ignoring the human psychology of how people in the organization acquire, share and create knowledge (Malhotra 2000). Such constrained and restricted perspective of knowledge management can be detrimental on a firm’s learning and adaptive capabilities (Malhotra 2000).

In fact, it becomes more problematic in a dynamic environment that requires multiple interpretations and ongoing evaluation (Malhotra 2000). In order to address this weakness inherent in IT-based knowledge management, it is equally important to focus on the synergy of innovation and human creativity. Nonetheless, the process of decision making is a knowledge intensive activity. Explicit knowledge that is obtained from repositories and the tacit knowledge that is obtained through a one on one interaction between a manager and an employee can be used to support decision making.

Reference

Gamble, P.R., 2001. Knowledge management: a state of the art guide. Kogan Publishers

Holsapple, C.W., 1995. ‘Knowledge management in decision making and decision support’. The international Journal of knowledge Transfer and Utilization, vol.8 (1), pp.5-22

Jayasundara, C.C., 2008. Knowledge Management in Banking Industries: uses and opportunities.

Joshi, K.D., 2001. ‘A framework to study knowledge management behaviours during decision making’. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, Vol. 12, PP.68-79.

Karlin, S., and Taylor, H. 1998. An Introduction To Stochastic Modeling. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt

Lehaney, B., 2004. Beyond knowledge management. Idea Group Inc

Liew, A., 2007. ‘Understanding data, information, knowledge and their inter-relationships’. Journal of knowledge Management Practice, vol.8 (2)

Malhotra, Y., 2004. ‘Why Knowledge Management Systems FailEnablers and Constraints of Knowledge Management in Human Enterprises’. In: Michael E.D. Koenig & T. Kanti Srikantaiah (Eds.), Knowledge Management Lessons Learned: What Works and What Doesn’t, Information Today Inc. American Society for Information Science and Technology Monograph Series, 87-112.

Malhotra, Y., 2001. Expert Systems for Knowledge Management: Crossing the Chasm between Information Processing and Sense Making. Expert Systems With Applications, 20,1, 7-16.

Malhotra, Y., 2000. ‘From information management to knowledge management: beyond the ‘hi-tech hidebound’ systems’. In: K. Srikantaiah & M.E.D. Koenig (eds), knowledge management for the information professional. Medford, N.J., Information Today Inc., pp.37-61

Mohammed, W. and Jalal, A., 2011. ‘The influence of knowledge management system (KMS) on enhancing decision making process (DMP)’. International Journal of Business and Management, vol.6 (8)

Oduoza, C.F., 2010. Decision support system based on effective knowledge management framework to process customer order enquiry, UK.

Paprika, Z.Z., 2001. Knowledge management support in decision making. Budapest, Hungary

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Starting your Dissertation: Essential Knowledge to getting it Right First Time

Planning your Move.

A dissertation isn’t just a test of your knowledge in a particular field; it is also a test of your time management and organisation skills too. To be able to not only create a detailed and fully referenced academic report but to do it within well-defined and tight timescales is a skill in itself, and not meeting your time constraints can be just as damaging to your final mark as a poorly presented dissertation.

You should consider that a dissertation is not only a culmination of your academic work, but also an introduction into your forthcoming life in academia or industry, where you will be expected to hit potentially tight timescales with accurate work. That means that you need to effectively plan not only what you are going to deliver, but when you are going to deliver it too.

The key to starting your dissertation is to break it down into manageable chunks, and make a plan of when each part will need to be delivered, and these need to follow a logical sequence. For instance, the very start of your dissertation needs to be the decision about what your question is going to be, and you will not be able to do anything else until you have agreed that with your supervisor. Your supervisor is there to guide you through the whole process, but also takes on other roles, such as:

Helping you to decide the topic of your dissertation and advise you about essential primary and secondary reading for it.
Helping with formulating ideas and hypotheses regarding your question.
Discussing the progress of your work with you during the course of the year and helping you meet delivery targets.
Offering guidance on the proposed structure of the final deliverable.
Offering feedback at all points in the process.
Advice to you about the structure of your dissertation, including matters of presentation, such as the title page, contents page, pagination, footnoting and bibliography.

You should consider your supervisor to be the subject matter exert on form and deliverables, and you should consult with them often.

What’s The Question?

Picking a question is a delicate and in-depth process. This is going to be the question that you throw yourself into, and becomes the central focus of your life for the next year, so t has to be right. That means discussions with your supervisor, who will have a good idea of what constitutes a suitable question.Generally, a dissertation question should be:

Relevant to your field of study.
Manageable in terms of research and in terms of your own academic abilities and background.
Substantial in scope and with original dimensions that set it apart from similar previous research.
Consistent with the requirements of the assessment you are undertaking.
Clear and simple, while being of sufficient depth to make it relevant.
Interesting to academia.

It’s all too easy to pick the wrong question; many students select a question that is either convenient – its fits neatly with coursework – or is simply a fad or something that is derived from personal circumstances. That’s not to say that you cannot consider these factors when picking a question, but you should try not to let them become controlling factors.

Research it!

While you are producing a new piece of academic work, the old adage of “there’s nothing new under the sun” hold true, and while your research will be original, there will be other works out there that are similar and will be able to offer guidance. These will fall into two broad categories:

Arguments that support your hypothesis. These will be previously completed works on which you base your research and use to demonstrate the existence, legality, or purpose of your own research. For example, you may be researching the limitations of online learning for novice students, in which case you would support your work with published papers that demonstrated the difficulties faced by novice learners.
Papers that you refute. There will be previously published works that you will counter through new research. You will have to understand them fully and pick out the parts where your research disagrees with their research, and create a cogent, well researched argument to support your own hypothesis.

To be able to properly research is a skill that you need to learn as you are likely to be using it for much of your working life. By the point of starting a dissertation, you should have completed several researched papers and reports and will have researched and cited works. You should treat your dissertation as an extended report and ensure that you extract all of the information that you need from your research.

Putting it all together.

With a question agreed, your research done, and a timeline agreed with your supervisor, the massive task of putting it all down on paper begins, but do not underestimate the importance of starting early. Make notes whenever you can and start to build up a report from first principles, create a structure and start to fill in parts that you can, complete all the ancillary parts like your list of acronyms and your questionnaire if you are using one.

Do not put the work off; you may think that you have a long time to write your dissertation but a good dissertation is a lot of work, and you will have barely enough time to fit it all in anyway. If you find that you run into problems, you need to speak to your supervisor promptly and get back on track quickly. The same thing applies if you find that you are starting to miss your milestones and are in danger of missing important deliveries of work.

When you start writing, proof read as you go. Write a section and then read through everything that you have done before. You need to check for the usual typos and grammatical errors, but as your report grows, you need to ensure that it not only is academically correct, but also continues to fit the original question and remain relevant.

The report that you finally construct will help define your working life and will have an impact on your future employability, so it is worth putting the work in now and making sure that you get the maximum benefit out of it.

References

Bell, J. (2009) Doing Your Research Project. Open University Press, Berkshire, UK.

Berry, R. (2013) The Research Project: How to Write it. Routledge, London.

Hailser, P. (20110) How to Write a Good Research Paper. Samfunds Litteratur, Frederiksberg.

Thomas, G. (2009) How to do Your Research Project. Sage, Los Angeles.

Walliman, N. (2011) Your Research Project. Sage Publications, London.

Winkler, A. & McCuin-Metherill, J. (2011) Writing the Research Paper. Thomson Wadsworth, Boston.

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Knowledge of the prevailing conditions in the labour market is fundamental to the Human Resource Planning process and to understand labour supply

Introduction

Human resource planning plays a very significant role in ensuring that the organisation achieves its overall strategic goals. As the workforce becomes more competitive and globalized, the role of strategic human resource planning is given even more importance. Understanding the current trends and prevailing conditions in the labour market is crucial because it will give human resource managers very valuable insights on forecasting recruitment needs and evaluating the appropriate level of compensation for employees.

Labour market analysis is an essential tool in Human Resource Planning. This helps ‘to identify skill shortages and enables a diagnosis of market failure to match labour supply with demand’ (Kumar, 2011, p.15). To conduct labour market analysis, it is important to have comprehensive and regularly updated information about the labour market.

The basic concept behind this is that of supply and demand. For example, if the labour market is experiencing mass layoffs and job cuts, then there is a large pool of employees waiting to be recruited. This abundance of labour supply consequently affects human resource forecasting, both in terms of the number and quality of employees that can be hired, as well as the compensation given to new employees (e.g. employers have more choices in recruiting the best employees for the job, lower starting salaries for new employees because there are many applicants willing to settle for a lower pay, etc.). Conversely, if the labour market is experiencing a boom in recruitment or a low unemployment rate, then there is higher demand for labour – which will directly impact recruitment planning and employee compensation. In this situation, employees have the upper hand because they have more options in terms of where to work and they can demand higher salaries because of the shortage in skilled employees.

With these in mind, this paper will analyse the subject matter by providing evidence on why knowledge about current conditions in the labour market is necessary to Human Resource Planning process and in understanding labour supply.

The Importance of Human Resource Planning

Human Resource Planning improves the utilisation of human resources by helping management to forecast the recruitment needs of the company, both in terms of the quantity of people to be hired and the types of skills required for the job (Banerjee, 2012). It involves the identification of the organisation’s human resource requirements and consequently, to guide human resource managers in coming up with plans to address these requirements (Armstrong, 2008). Human Resource Planning is crucial because it helps the organisation to estimate its demand for labour and to evaluate the size, nature, and sources of supply that will be needed to meet this demand.

Human Resource Planning may also be defined as ‘a strategy for the acquisition, utilisation, improvement and preservation of the human resources of an enterprise’ (Kumar, 2011, p.1). Based from this definition, the major activities of manpower planning can be enumerated as follows: (1) Forecasting future manpower requirements, (2) Inventorying present manpower resources and analysing the degree to which these resources are employed optimally, (3) Anticipating manpower problems by projecting present resources into the future and comparing them with the forecast requirements, and (4) Planning the necessary programmes of recruitment, selection, training, etc. for future manpower requirements (Kumar, 2011, p.1).

Human Resource Planning also helps managers to develop ways to avoid or correct problems related to human resource management before it becomes serious enough to disrupt the organisation’s operations. Additionally, it should make provisions for the replacement of staff, either from within or outside of the organisation, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, whenever the need arises (Banerjee, 2012).

The model below illustrates a basic Human Resource Planning process. In this model, Human Resource Planning can be defined as a process that helps an organisation to ensure that it has the right number of people, filling the right positions, at the right time. To ensure that this objective is met, the strategic future planning of staff is crucial. This involves putting in place plans and strategies for the ‘acquisition, utilization, improvement and retention of the human resources required by an organisation, in pursuit of its objectives’ (Kiran 2009, sec.1). Based on this model, human resource managers should come up with training plans, recruitment plans, and redundancy plans. The recruitment plan should consider gender, age, qualifications and experience, vis-a-vis the organisation’s goals and objectives. The time frame for the implementation of these plans depends on the organisation’s aims and other external influences (Kiran, 2009).

The organisation must know its overall targets and aims in order to forecast its future staffing requirements. One of the main tasks within the Human Resource Planning process involves the recruitment of employees, with a special focus on what are the most likely sources of labour supply. Thus, recruitment forecasting relies heavily on finding out where the right labour can be sourced. This will help to cut down the costs for hiring and training of personnel, as well as reducing costs due to hiring mistakes (Banerjee, 2012). As such, it is very important for human resource managers to have a keen understanding of the labour market.

Understanding the Labour Market in Human Resource Planning and Labour Supply

In recent years, there have been many major changes in the practice of Human Resource Planning. The rapid expansion of developing economies, the increasingly diverse and global nature of the labour market, and the emergence of new technologies have caused significant impacts on the ‘demand for and supply of skills, organisational structures and practices, and the prospects for employment, inequality, productivity and growth’ (Vaitilingam, 2006, p.1). As such, there is a need to have a better understanding of the changing characteristics and needs of today’s workforce, especially in terms of labour market and labour supply.

As mentioned earlier, Human Resource Planning involves forecasting of the organisation’s future human resource requirements and determining where these will be obtained. To achieve this goal, the following sets of forecasts are needed (Human Resource Planning, 2009):

A forecast of the demand for human resources
This refers to the number of employees and types of skills needed by the organisation.
A forecast of the supply of human resources available within the organisation (Internal Supply)
These are present employees who can be promoted, transferred, demoted, or developed to fill in the organisation’s employment needs.
A forecast of the supply of external human resources (External Supply)
These consist of people who do not work for the organisation but are potential candidates to fill the organisation’s job vacancies.

With these in mind, human resource managers must have knowledge about the current labour market conditions in order to effectively forecast the organisation’s needs. In order to supply the organisation’s workforce requirements, human resource managers must look at the overall labour market conditions (Human Resource Planning, 2009). Doing so will provide insights on the availability of external candidates, as well providing indications on the likelihood of internal employees seeking employment elsewhere. For example, when there is an abundant supply of labour, organisations tend to have an easier time of recruiting qualified candidates; while current employees are unlikely to leave their jobs because of the lack of opportunities in other organisations. On the other hand, when there is a shortage in the supply of labour, organisations are competing with each other to get the best candidates and internal employees may be tempted to look for opportunities in other firms because they can bargain for higher a position and better compensation.

Human resource managers must also be aware of demographic changes and other external factors within the labour market, which can affect not only its recruitment prospects but also its internal human resource conditions. These include the aging of the workforce, rising female participation in the workplace, rates of fresh graduates seeking employment, changes in education and skills, immigration rates, casualisation of the work force, outsourcing of employees, hiring of international candidates, etc. To illustrate, the growing role of women in the workforce may require improvements in childcare facilities, allowing flexible work schedules or work from home arrangements, assurance of job security in case of absence due to family issues, or granting of maternity leaves or special parental leaves. Another example concerns the ageing of the workforce. An ageing workforce may force organisations to employ or retain a larger number of older workers, or to outsource a younger workforce from overseas (Human Resource Planning, 2009).

Furthermore, because of the increasing globalisation of the workforce, human resource managers may need to recruit candidates either locally, regional, or internationally (Human Resource Planning, 2009). This requires considerable knowledge on the labour market, not only from a local perspective but on a global scale. The rising trend for the outsourcing of employees from developing countries have emphasized the need for knowledge in domestic and international labour markets. Organisations are turning to outsourcing because of the abundance of skilled employees at cheaper labour costs.

Over the years, it has been observed that there are changing patterns in employers’ demand for labour and workers’ supply of skilled and less-skilled labour. Since the labour market is an essential component of the economy, the government has always taken an active role in managing labour from a macro-level perspective. In this regard, human resource managers must also have knowledge of government policies regarding the labour market. Managers must have a good understanding of how governments ‘can affect levels of pay, distribution of pay, job matching, and the supply of skills through various labour market and education policies’ (Vaitilingam, 2006, p.24).

There are two main scenarios in the labour market which directly impact the Human Resources Planning process and labour supply: (1) when there is a deficiency of labour, and (2) when there is a surplus of labour. Human resource managers should have a good understanding of the labour market in order to address the different needs in these scenarios.

In the scenario where there is a deficiency of labour, the following strategies can be undertaken to optimise the organisation’s human resource capacity: (1) encourage internal transfers and promotions; (2) conduct training and development; (3) recruit new employees from outside the organisation and improve recruitment methods; (4) extend temporary contracts; (5) delay retirements; (6) reduce labour turnover by reviewing the reasons for resignations; (7) utilize freelance or agency staff; (8) develop more flexible working methods; encourage and provide adequate compensation for overtime work; (9) negotiate productivity deals; (10) increase productivity through capital investment, e.g. automation, use of new technologies, etc (Kiran 2009).

On the other hand, in a scenario where there is a surplus of labour, the following steps can be undertaken to improve the organisation’s efficiency: (1) limit the replacement of employees; (2) freeze new recruitment; (3) implement redundancies, either voluntary or compulsory; (4) provide early retirement incentives; (4) implement a tougher stance on discipline to increase dismissals; (5) encourage job sharing; (6) eliminate overtime; (7) redeploy employees to other units (Kiran 2009).

Conclusion

Human Resource Planning utilizes labour supply and demand forecasts in order to predict labour shortages and surpluses – with the goal of enhancing the organisation’s success (Ricio, 2011). Matching labour supply with labour demand is one of the primary tasks of human resource managers. Based from an economic perspective, the supply and demand between those who offer employment and those who offer their labour is determined by the economic aspects of the options that are available to each of the parties. This means that employees and employers weigh their choices by considering the economic advantages, which they can get out of the transaction.

Taking this into consideration, it is important for human resource managers to update their knowledge and broaden their understanding on the prevailing conditions and issues in the labour market. Having a keen understanding of the workings of demand and supply and being aware of demographic and social factors within the labour market will guide managers in reviewing and improving their human resource strategies in order to be flexible, adaptable, and responsive to change.

References

Armstrong, M (2008). Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action. 4th ed. London: Kogan Page Limited. p5-20.

Banerjee, A. (2012). What is the Importance of Human Resources Planning?. Available: http://www.preservearticles.com/2012051932504/what-is-the-importance-of-human-resources-planning.html. Last accessed 2nd Nov 2012.

Bulla, D N and Scott, P M., (1994). Manpower requirements forecasting: a case example, in (eds) D Ward, T P Bechet and R Tripp, Human Resource Forecasting and Modelling, The Human Resource Planning Society, New York.

Human Resource Planning. (2009). Chapter 2: Human Resource Planning. Available: http://www.scribd.com/doc/18002086/Human-Resource-Planning. Last accessed 2nd Nov 2012.

Kiran, K. (2009). Human Resource Planning & its Alternative Approaches. Available: http://www.indiastudychannel.com/resources/93604-Human-Resource-Planning.aspx. Last accessed 2nd Nov 2012.

Kumar, K. (2011). Macro Level Scenario of Human Resource Planning. Available: http://www.egyankosh.ac.in/bitstream/123456789/35832/1/MTM2-02.pdf. Last accessed 2nd Nov 2012.

Ricio, DE. (2011). Human Resource Planning and Recruitment. Available: http://www.slideshare.net/Riciomaru/human-resource-planning-and-recruitment. Last accessed 2nd Nov 2012.

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Free Essays

To what extent is knowledge of historical context important when interpreting political philosophy texts?

Introduction

This essay will demonstrate that an understanding of the historical context surrounding a political philosophy text is an essential part of interpreting the assertions it makes. The essay will discuss two philosophers, one whose work is believed to demonstrate this necessity, and another whose composition allows us to observe the dangers that inevitably arise when we attempt to extrapolate meaning from a text, without respecting or engaging with the context that framed its creation.

The intellectuals chosen for this discussion are Karl Marx (specifically on his quintessential collaboration with Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto) and Thomas Hobbes, whose 1651 text Leviathan contains some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought.

Before turning to either Marx or Hobbes, however, we must first consider the importance of interpreting political philosophy so that we may understand just how vital knowledge of historical context is to the process. T. Carver once entertained the notion that ’an examination of thoughts from the past is a bad habit, and we should keep our minds on current affairs‘ (Carver, 1991, p.1). He elaborated on this by posing the question ’Why read Marx at allWhy take any notice of his biographical circumstancesWhy read his works in historical context?’ before concluding that ’there is no knowledge of the present that is not constructed from ideas that were generated in the past‘ (Carver, 1991, p.1). It is for this reason, amonge others, that the interpretation of political philosophies that far precede our current affairs is worth looking into, and upon identifying the value of ideas generated in the past, it is only logical to consider the past from which the idea in question emerged from.

The Communist Manifesto

Marx and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto makes the observation that the history of all existing society has been marred by a struggle between the classes, namely between ’freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild master and journeyman‘ and that this rivalry between the ’oppressor and oppressed‘ has reached a terrible climax in the emergence of the polarisation between the ’proletarian‘ and ’bourgeoisie‘ (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.219). The bourgeoisie are characterised by owning the means of production; while the proletarians have only their labour to sell (Engels & Marx, 1848). According to Marx, the ’epoch of the bourgeoisie‘ had ’simplified the class antagonisms‘ by replacing the feudal system of industry that could no longer meet the growing wants of markets (Engles & Marx, 1848, p.222). Whereas this system had been founded on the idea of men being subservient to their natural superiors, Marx believed the bourgeoisie to have replaced this with an obvious self- interest (Engles& Marx, 1848). The consequences of this change were the distinctions between classes, which had never been more dramatic (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.222).

As outlined previously, the proletarian had only his labour to sell, and as innovations in means of production became ever more revolutionary, specialised skills were devalued and the working man, whose existence depended on the securing of work, faced defeat (Engels & Marx, 1848). The Communist Manifesto called for working men of all nations to unite against the bourgeoisie (Engels & Marx, 1848). Marx posited that the bourgeousie’s fall was inevitable, owing to the fact thattheir existence was dependent on the formation of capital, which itself was dependent on wage-labour (Engles & Marx, 1848). Wage-labour relied on competition between the labourers themselves (Engels & Marx, 1848). Marx purported that the bourgeoisie’s inevitable promotion of Modern Industry would result in the advance of industry replacing the isolation of the labourers (Engels & Marx, 1848).

Marxist political theory expresses a desire to do away with private property on the grounds that its existence is solely dependent on its non-existence for 90% of the population and also to deprive the bourgeoisie from subjugating the labour of any individual by means of appropriating the products of society (Engels & Marx, 1848). Marx looks to a world in which class distinctions disappear and the proletariats, in becoming the ruling class, sweep away the ’old conditions of production‘and with it ’the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally‘ (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.244). In short, in place of a bourgeois society would exist a society in which the ’free development of each is the condition for the free development of all‘ (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.244).

Certain specifics within and surrounding this text must be appreciated in the appropriate context in order to fully comprehend their relevance and true meaning. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx makes known the fact that the proletariat have only their labour, as this is all they can sell and their only means of survival (Engels & Marx, 1848), presumably this meant that the necessity of obtaining a wage helped to keep the working class under the control of and dependent on bourgeois industry. The true nature of this assertion simply cannot be comprehended without empathising with the working man of Marx’s age, especially in the context of an Englishman living in a democratic society boasting a National Health Service and a Welfare system. Without engaging with the historical context and thinking outside the confines of a modern Western civilisation, we fail to identify the significance and vitality of Marx’s political philosophy. In not acknowledging the desperation of the proletariat, our interpretation of his work lies in jeopardy.

Let us, for a moment, do away with context completely: Let us take out of consideration the facts that Marx was expelled from France and Belgium for his political activism(Singer, 1980) and that the polarisation between proletariats and the bourgeoisie was so stark. Let us forget that this was a desperate period in history, characterised by violent revolutions in a Paris and Berlin, juxtaposed with the actions of an authoritarian Prussian Monarchy who enforced undemocratic restrictions on political expression (Singer, 1980). The resulting perception is surely that Marx’s work is gratuitously tenacious, vitriolic and paranoid. A reading such as this should surely result in a dismissal of his work on behalf of any serious modern political thinker. In short, to dismiss historical context, is to dismiss Marx.

Hobbes and the Leviathan

When turning to the work of Thomas Hobbes, widely considered as one of the founders of political philosophy in Europe, we are confronted with what is believed to be one of the most compelling cases for the importance of a working knowledge of the historical context of a political text. Here, too, we are granted the opportunity to consider even more so the detrimental effect to the interpretation of a political philosophy that a lack of consideration for historical context can lead.

Hobbes is best known for his 1651 work, Leviathan, which was an attempt to provide a complete explanation of ’the matter, form and power of a commonwealth‘ as the document’s subtitle explicates (Hobbes, 1651). He dissented against the Aristotelian view that man tended towards the good and instead believed that humans in their natural state are barbaric and condemned to a short existence (Ryan, 1996). He further disagreed with Aristotle’s assertion that society and politics came naturally to man and that the hierarchies created by man could too be observed in nature. Rather, he asserted that man created society and politics as an artificial means of ensuring universal peace motivated by a fear of death (Ryan, 1996).

Hobbes believed that, rather than being forced in our natural state into contact with one another without an authority to keep us in check, we enter into a social contract in which we covenant with one another to give up our natural rights in the Sovereign’s favour (Ryan, 1996). Hobbes asserted that an absolute authority should be imposed on the society for its own good, preferably a Monarch, to keep humans in awe (Hoelzl & Ward, 2006). The Sovereign’s complete authority over us was, for Hobbes, beneficial to mankind as it was the only alternative to a short and brutish existence, hence man’s willingness to be subservient to such an authority (Hoelzl & Ward, 2006).

In Leviathan, Hobbes established his political philosophy explicitly and clearly, yet the conclusions a modern day reader is likely to draw from a shallow, non-contextualised reading of the work, are deceptively conflicting. For example, Hobbes champions the notion of equality by espousing that every man has an equal right to self-preservation, while simultaneously endorsing the absolute authority of the Sovereign (Hobbes, 1651). Having barely given a moment to address the apparent paradox which has arisen, one be further perplexed to learn that Hobbes, while preaching absolutism, stated that in some circumstances rebellion against this absolute authority could well be desirable (Hobbes, 1651). In the event of simply identifying the sentiments laid bare within Leviathan and taking them at face-value with no effort to apply a knowledge of Hobbes’ historical context, we may be forced to conclude that his political philosophy is problematic at best and at worst, incoherent.

However, if we proceed by applying a little historical context to the text, we are able to discern the information essential to understanding Hobbes’ political philosophy. Hobbes formed his political philosophy at a time of great unrest – during the English Civil War (Oakeshott, 2001). This accounts for his bleak view of human behaviour and his conclusion that humans tend towards warfare and barbarianism. He believed that what he had witnessed was a taste of the ’war of every one against every one’ that would surely ensue if the artificial institution of society was notmaintained, and the social contract of which he spoke not honoured (Hobbes, 1651). He felt that the only way to avoid this barbarianism was in the installation of a Monarch and so chose to endorse this system as opposed to one of violence and barbarianism (Ryan, 1996). In our time, we have infinitely more options in terms of political parties and systems from which to choose but for Hobbes’ era, it was a matter of chaos or the Monarchy.

What, though, of the oxymoronic notion of the right to rebel against absolute authority to which we must surely succumbRespecting this, our conclusion must be that Hobbes encouraged a kind of temporary adherence to absolutism as long as the Monarch was behaving in a manner beneficial to its people and was representing them in the correct, Hobbesian fashion by ensuring political and societal peace. Should the Monarch fail, rebellion may be desirable (Hoelzl & Ward, 2006). We should think of this ’absolutism‘that which Hobbes speaks as a kind of temporary doctrine and functional adjective. In Hobbes’ point of view, it is useful for citizens to behave as if living under an absolute authority, as long as that authority is representative of the people’s needs. This cannot, of course, be considered true absolutism, but rather more of an authoritative tool, and so the contradiction disappears. The doing away with this contradiction, however, is only possible when the historical context is considered. In fact, the only two options as far as Hobbes’ experiences were concerned consisted of absolutism and wanton destruction (Ryan, 1996). Were Hobbes forming his political philosophy today, he may be presented with, or may find conviction in other viable and demonstrable political alternatives such as Capitalism, Socialism or Fascism. However, he lived within the confines of a time in which order had been equated with the Monarchy and chaos had been equated with its opponents (Ryan, 1996).

Conclusion

We have observed, then, two instances in which knowledge of historical context is essential. In the first instance, as evidenced by Marx and Engel’s readings, it was established that knowledge about the work’s historical context is key to the comprehension of a political philosophy. And in the second example, looking at Hobbes’ work show how a lack of contextualisation can cause severe damage to interpretation and mislead the reader into finding discrepancy where there is none – which may result in total misinterpretation of the text. Therefore, it can be concluded that knowledge of historical context is nothing short of essential when attempting to interpret political philosophy in a proper manner.

References:

Carver, T., 1991.Reading Marx: Life and Works. In: T.Carver, ed. 1991. The Cambridge Companion To Marx. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch.1.

Engels, F. and Marx, K., 1848.The Communist Manifesto.Translated by S. Moore., 1888. 2nd ed. London: Penguin Books.

Hobbes, T., 1651.Leviathan.3rd ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Hoelzl, M. and Ward, G., 2006.Religion and Political Thought.London: Continuum.

Oakenshott, M., 2000.Hobbes on Civil Association.Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.

Ryan, A., 1996. Hobbes’s Political Philosophy. In: T. Sorell, ed. 1996. The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch.9.

Singer, P., 1980. Marx. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Categories
Free Essays

Knowledge Management

Abstract

By evaluating the core policies and strategies of the NHS in the United Kingdom one can evaluate if these are aligned to the knowledge management and customer knowledge management objectives in a learning organization. The discussion will first approach the theoretical bases for these concepts as well as how they relate to one another in such an environment. Thereafter, application of these concepts will be evaluated within the specific strategies and policies of the NHS to determine the extent to which they applicable in this environment. The strengths of the organization will become highly relevant considerations therefore enforcing the view that perhaps the suitability of these models may be dependent on the nature or type of organization and not necessarily the organization itself.

Introduction

The rise of knowledge management and customer knowledge management is an evolution of recent business strategies to the mutual benefit of all involved parties. By examination of the practices of an organization as well as the theoretical expected outcomes for that organization one can see the efficacy of these two strategies. The chosen organization is the National Health Service of the United Kingdom (NHS). It was chosen based on a variety of factors, including the strong interaction that it presents between knowledge management and customer knowledge management, with both being integral parts of the objectives and strategies of the NHS. Furthermore, it is a useful comparator as there are many different facets and strategic initiatives that are constantly being introduced and revised within the organization. There is a tangible vision and a very broad customer base therefore making the explanation of these concepts by way of example relatively straight forward. It will be shown through application of these concepts to the intricacies of the NHS that there exists a strong motivation for the implementation of these strategies as it is mutually beneficial to all involved parties. Through a strong basis in customer knowledge management, one can also see that there is the possibility of a relationship between CKM and KM generally. The relationship between these two concepts can be clearly seen with the NHS and in having such a relationship, fosters an environment of a learning organization. It is clear that the NHS is a learning organization based on its commitment to KM and CKM, which shall be shown through discussion and analysis in due course.

A Knowledge-Based Economy

The birth of knowledge management generally as a dominant organizational construct can be seen as a direct by product of the shift of the developed economies of the world from manufacturing based to knowledge based. The essential difference that this presents is that in a knowledge based economy, knowledge is the tool used to produce economic benefits, as well as job creation. There is also a distinction to be drawn between a knowledge-based economy and a knowledge economy where the latter is based on the idea of knowledge as a product. These concepts are inextricably linked and one cannot understand the important of KM without understanding the aims and intricacies of the knowledge or knowledge-based economy. In the literature on the topic, there is an apparent conflation of knowledge and knowledge-based, however this conflation is not a relevant concern for the purposes of the current discussion, suffice to acknowledge however that there is such a distinction.

A by-product of this shift is the importance of a knowledge-worker – one who works with his head instead of his hands, producing ideas, concepts and knowledge (Drucker, 1966). This represents the formation of the learning organization or organizational innovation, which are undoubtedly related to the concept of KM (Hislop, 2005), although the exact nature of the relationship between learning and KM is not necessarily clear. These concepts represent the emphasis of learning in organizational structure, management and processes (Hislop, 2005). KM may however be distinguished from these concepts on the basis that KM focuses on learning as a strategy for business development and the encouragement of knowledge sharing. Many organizations have chosen to internalize their KM efforts as part of their business strategy or human resource management, therefore enforcing the commitment to KM (Addicott et al, 2006).

Knowledge Management

KM has two distinct objectives: to transform data into knowledge and to transform tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. As the names suggest, tacit knowledge is something which an individual knows, however this is difficult to capture and articulate for the purposes of knowledge sharing, whereas explicit knowledge is easily captured, documented and shared (Hislop, 2005). With these objectives in mind there are two broad approached to KM, namely an objectivist and a subjective concept.

The objectivist point of view advocates that knowledge as a commodity exists independently of individuals and is free of individual objectivity (Hislop, 2005). This approach is codified in the sender/receiver model – which sees the sender codifying explicit knowledge into a textual form that can be easily understood by the reader. It is independent of any socio-cultural factors and there is a strong emphasis on technological knowledge repositories where this information is categorized and stored.

The contrasting approach is the practice-based or subjective approach to KM where there is a strong emphasis on tacit knowledge communication which identifies socio-cultural factors as being highly relevant and that tacit knowledge by nature is difficult to identify, articulate and communicate. It does not emphasize explicit knowledge in the way that the objectivist approach does and uses the relationship between tacit and explicit knowledge as a communication tool. Knowledge Managers therefore encourage the transformation of their employees from egotistical knowledge hoarders to altruistic knowledge sharers (Eisenhardt & Galunic, 2000).

Customer Knowledge Management

Customer Knowledge Management (CKM) is an extension of KM between companies and their customers, creating knowledge sharing platforms between the two. It creates mutual value appreciation and performance, and is considered to be a strong competitive skill making the customer an active receiver of information rather than reliant and passive in communication. CKM is a combination of KM generally and customer relationship management. It involves direct communication with the customers, which is the essential element of CKM.

The resident idea with CKM is that there is a shift from what the company knows about the customer, to what the customer knows. Therefore affording the opportunity to gain knowledge from customers. This is the defining characteristic of CKM distinct from customer relationship management or typical KM. The typical angle that one would view a customer in this way is: If we only knew what the customer knows (Gibbert et al, 2002). This envisages the emancipation of the customer and in doing so creates a joint value system. The NHS is a perfect example of this as there is a new drive towards customer knowledge and involvement. There has been a recent drive towards self-help for pharmacies and the NHS generally, providing a service of a symptom checker. This allows the customer to input their symptoms into a database and in a way self-diagnose. This is a very useful form of customer feedback and by being proactive about health conditions there is a simple goal of education achieved and therefore better efficiency in the organization through customer support.

The Propagandist Perspective of the Learning Organization

The learning organization as explained above has propagandists and skeptics, however the propagandists believe that the achievement of a learning organization is an achievable idea because it presents significant benefits for the employees and the customers. Defined by Pedler et al as “organization which facilitates the learning of all its members and consciously transforms itself and its context,” (1997, 3) a learning organization has the added benefit of being adaptable to the latest trends or demands of the market place. It is in a sense characterized b y having open communication systems and can be described as the anti-thesis of a bureaucratic work environment (Hislop, 2005). One can obviously see the importance of this model to an organization such as the NHS, where there is the threat of very sudden need and demand for change. Therefore to be able to communicate learned knowledge between the various branches of professional involved is a highly beneficial system to have implemented. These benefits of the learning organizations are also challenged on the basis that they assume a certain willingness from the people involved, i.e. the stakeholders (Argyris, 2008) which is in itself problematic as studies have shown that this kind of knowledge sharing can often be perceived as threatening in that it may emphasize criticism rather than learning objectives (Chowdhury, 2006). It is debatable whether this is a relevant consideration in an organization such as the NHS, because of the nature of the environment. With the commitment undertaken by healthcare professional being very serious in nature and the general attitude towards healthcare not being treated flippantly, one could argue that a learning organization structure is intrinsically linked to the nature of the work involved.

Strategy

The first highly relevant consideration in the creation of a learning environment is strategy. With regards to the NHS, this can be seen to be done at both a KM and a CKM level. In development of a relevant strategy, one needs to consider the stakeholders in the organization. For the NHS, the two most important stakeholders are the patients (customer) and the healthcare practitioners (doctors, nurses, paramedics, etc). Importantly however there is a larger public framework which sees various levels of involvement by the government and the public. In developing a strategy for any issue, one must be clear on the value system that one is aiming to represent. The NHS is committed to the long-term goal of providing good healthcare to all persons regardless of wealth (NHS, 2012).

One aspect of the NHS that is particularly admirable is the commitment that they demonstrate to strategic development. One can see that there is a strong commitment to being a learning organization in the flexible approach that they take to strategy. The increasingly demanding challenges of people in general having to make time to visit healthcare professional has been noted by the NHS and therefore they are adapting new strategies on how to provide healthcare to people without having to physically engage with the patient/customer. These can be seen on the strong online presence that NHS has providing symptom checkers, interactive quizzes and health articles. By doing this, the NHS are promoting a kind of public awareness towards health care issues and in doing so, strongly engaging in CKM by creating this shared value system, being one that is committed to good quality healthcare. Furthermore, because the NHS is a kind of public entity there is a large spectrum for public participation.

Looking In

Once a strategy has been realized, one can look to internal methods of promoting these strategic objectives. As noted above, the NHS has a strong online presence involving technological innovation which allows for widespread and effective information dissemination. A very useful byproduct of these strategic initiatives is that it promotes a system of accounting whereby stakeholders are responsible for themselves. In doing so, one promotes the idea that individuals are responsible for their own wellbeing. There is a clear link here between the aims of CKM and those of the NHS. By providing information and self diagnostic criteria, there is an empowerment that is revolving around customer participation. In doing so, the NHS is also receiving critical data which in turn will assist the institutional KM objectives. By assessing the information provided by the symptoms test, crucial information relating to current ‘trends’ in the market can be used to assess things like product demand, service delivery and service demand to ensure that there are the correct available services in relation to those demands.

With this there becomes a need for internal exchange between the partners in the NHS to allow the dissemination of the information gained through CKM, transforming it into KM procedures. Due to the nature of the NHS, one can see that knowledge sharing in this way would be highly beneficial. Due to the nature of medicine, most of what is learnt is based on prior experience of professionals in the industry, therefore it can be called an industry practice and fostering of a learning organization through KM in this way seems like an almost natural byproduct. There is some room for reward in this case as industry professionals may receive much notoriety based on their scientific contributions to the industry, particularly in the avenue of medical breakthrough of treatment courses. There is a potential for relatively serious repercussions in the case of a failed treatment and this in itself often serves as a kind of ‘human incentive’ to facilitate information dissemination.

Structures

One needs to have a functional structure in order to enable the departments and stakeholders to work together and interact within one another. With regards to CKM, it is clear that there is a high level of structural support facilitating working together of the various stakeholders of the organization. The allowance for virtual interaction that exists on the NHS website as well as pharmacy ‘hotlines’ where information can be given or gathered for the benefit of the customer and the business.

This becomes slightly more problematic when moving into the sphere of KM, however due to the public nature of the NHS, the involvement or interference by the various stakeholders with one another is fairly pronounced. There is a customer feedback report that is available to all persons to complain about the individual practices and this therefore ensures a certain quality of service. There are further annual, bi-annual and quarterly conferences held where healthcare professionals are encouraged to share knowledge based on their experiences. In this way, tacit knowledge can be seen to transgress into explicit knowledge through sharing for mutual benefit. This relates back to the idea of incentive as notoriety in this way is often sought after by many professionals. It is arguable that this in itself promotes the product-based structure of knowledge management as it accounts of socio-cultural indicators simply by the nature of the subjects involved. There is however despite this an element of explicit knowledge emphasis as the practice of medicine itself is an objective account of symptoms and applying those universally according to those characteristics.

Looking Out

Obviously it goes without saying that the success of any organization is highly dependant on the input of what Pedler refers to as boundary workers. These are the people on the fringes of the organization that are by and large responsible for the gathering of information from various sources. This has particular relevance to both KM and CKM in that the information gathered has equal importance to both. In the case of the NHS, as with any organization that is service based, there are a large number of these boundary workers to gather this information. This is evident in both patient records and the information gathered through the NHS website and questionnaires that are used. By doing so, this data can be analyzed into knowledge that can be shared through objective output sources. One can go so far as to see how the symptom checker on the NHS website is a culmination of these processes as it is using a database of obtained knowledge to assist and share with the customer.

Through gatherings of industry professionals through conferences and publication of medical journals and articles, it is clear to see that there is a commitment by the NHS to intercompany learning. Sharing of information in the way that the organization does promotes the sharing of knowledge through databases and external communication sources. One must bear in mind that the NHS comprises of the majority of the healthcare sector and therefore communication between professional in the industry has a broad reach and high value.

Learning Climate

The very nature of the healthcare industry promotes it as a learning climate. The consequence of the ever evolving field of human care requires constant evolution and a very flexible attitude towards learning. One can see that this is present in the NHS with the process of continuous evolution of policies and commitments towards various illnesses. The policies are changing and growing constantly in response to relevant societal needs. This can be seen in the emphasis placed on pre-natal healthcare and family planning, as this has become a relevant social issue in the last decade. This can further be seen in the new Cancer Policy of the NHS which is aiming to strategize towards a new and more aggressive approach to cancer research and disease control. The nature of the profession also encourages sharing of information in a network of professionals. Therefore these strategic initiatives are generally a combination of both KM and CKM as the need is coming from both sides, professionally and from the public.

There is a strong commitment by the NHS to career development and betterment of their staff. This can be seen more in the lower academic fields of carers and case workers particularly, where there is large training incentive to learning opportunities. The NHS provides a working and learning scheme whereby an employee’s skills can be enhanced. From the perspective of CKM there is encouraged learning through website publication as well as a vast array of information that is available from healthcare facilities. There is generally a broad commitment to all facets of healthcare, including mental and reproductive health care systems.

Moving Forward

Analysis of the practical and theoretical aspects of the NHS and how it relates of KM and CKM in a learning environment is crucial for any organization to move forward. As a result a number of factors become relevant. It is clear that in the practice of the NHS there is a clear transformation of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. At the level of KM, this takes the form of documentation of subjective considerations. In other words, this will be case studies and patient notes. By examining these, the professionals create explicit knowledge that is objectively transferable to other professionals in the industry. By doing so, one could argue that the practice based approach to KM is being supported, as there are socio-cultural factors at play. Furthermore, by providing information to other stakeholders through articles and training, one is taking account of various education levels for example, carers and case workers. This is done by providing a simpler version of a complex set of facts. In the realm of CKM, there is also transference of knowledge from professionals to the clients using information relayed by the clients themselves. In doing so there is a mutual value creation done by the professionals to the customers taking account of relevant socio-cultural indicators. By creating this database for public assess they are allowing the expropriation of a certain level of customer by allowing them to do it themselves. It is clear that this has great benefit for the professional in the industry as it may relieve resource and staffing constraint.

In doing so, there is a clear creation of a learning environment. Whilst it has been argued that this learning organization is an inherent characteristic of the professional environment of the healthcare industry, it can also be seen in the CKM objectives. It is clear that by empowering the customer with knowledge, there is a certain responsibility that is transferred to the customer. This in turn will have a knock-on effect for those customers as they will be able to self-diagnose in the future and this will pass to their network of people and so on. An example of this can be seen in a simple common cold. Through experience, individuals know the symptoms and treatment plan of the common cold, therefore they do not generally seek out professional assistance as they are able to manage it themselves. If this were the case with other ailments, the best course of action will be decided upon by the customer which has a mutually beneficial effect. Knowledge sharing in this way generally has a similar effect for healthcare professionals as it will also lead to experience based beneficial outcomes. An example would be through cancer treatment, experience has proven that a certain course of action is most beneficial, therefore this is the proven solution that will be used. The publication of this information in journals and circulars helps to manage the knowledge sharing ensuring the maintenance of a learning organization within the NHS.

Conclusion

Through analysis, the NHS clearly presents itself as a learning organization. There is a strong interaction between CKM and KM in the NHS because of the public nature of the organization. It is clear that it is committed to knowledge sharing for mutual benefit and therefore presents a strong case for the e-flow model of the learning company. There is a strong presence of internal and external influence in the learning and knowledge strategies and this is clear through the flexible nature that is shown by the policy initiatives of the NHS. The research initiatives of the NHS demonstrate a clear transference of tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge in a way that it is capable of being shared and transferred between the various stakeholders. In doing so, the NHS have in some ways combined KM and CKM aspects and goals of the organization therefore empowering the professional and the customers. The nature of the organization arguably makes this a relatively simple activity as there is an inherent need for reformation and a commitment to learning and sharing knowledge. At the lower levels however this becomes more important, however one could argue that this is mitigated through the strong involvement by the public and accountability methods that the NHS provides for the customer. The NHS is a very good example of effective implementation of KM and CKM concepts in a learning organization. It has been shown that through commitment by the NHS, appropriate levels of customer involvement and empowerment, and the correct approach by the industry professionals, it is possible to have a good relay of knowledge sharing and that there is a possibility of strong interaction between customer knowledge management and knowledge management at a professional or higher level. It seems that it is essential to have accountability methods in order to ensure efficacy, however one could argue that this is simply an essential of the new, modern, learning organization. On the other hand, one could also discuss whether the success of the NHS in implementation of these strategies leading to their existence as a learning organization is highly dependent on the nature of the work involved and the type of professionals, subsequently meaning that perhaps there is an argument to be made which will mean that the success of KM and CKM strategies in a learning organization is more dependent on the type of organization and not necessarily the strategies thereof.

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Gibbert, Leibold & Probst, 2002. ‘Five styles of Customer Knowledge Management,
And how smart companies put them into action’
Hislop, D., 2005. Knowledge Management in Organisations Oxford: Oxford Universty Press
National Healthcare Service [online] [cited on 19 May 2012)] accessed on nhs.uk
Pedler, M., Burgoyne, J. and Boydell, T., 1997. The learning company: a strategy for sustainable development, 2nd edition, Maidenhead, Berks: McGraw-Hill

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Free Essays

Knowledge Management: PETRONAS

Introduction

Today, oil and gas companies around the world are not just professional organizations who specialize in mechanical drilling and extraction processes. Increased oil demands and the need for improved productivity have forced these organizations into new methods and knowledge intensive approaches. For instance information technology has now become very much an integral part of the oil exploration and oil extraction business. The collaboration between multi disciplinary teams has become a norm. Real-time information communication from remote reservoirs, and processing of such data in a collaborative environment that involves multiple teams and vendor locations has become an essential part of the business decision making process. In other words, a knowledge based approach underlies the critical business decisions in oil majors. (Jemielniak & Kociatkievicz, 2009, pg 284). As an oil and gas extraction company of the world, with presence in more than 30 countries across the world, PETRONAS is one of the Oil Majors. Being an increasingly competitive sector, skilled staff are always on demand in the Oil and Gas industry. This implies that organizations have to defend against attrition and be armed with effective knowledge management practices that manage vital information about processes, best practices and information about field experts and tacit knowledge about the entire operational processes. Effective knowledge management process is at the heart of business competitiveness and success.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge is a multidimensional and heterogeneous entity. Proper storage, classification and retrieval of knowledge is critical for innovation, cost control and hence the competitiveness of any industry. Particularly, for knowledge intensive firms such as PETRONAS, where high skilled engineering processes are involved, there is a need for ‘integrated operations’ between various knowledge areas. Ultimately, improving the production optimization process is at the heart of all knowledge management practices in PETRONAS. One of the important areas that lack coordination in the Oil and gas sector in general is the working of the reservoir engineers, the production engineers and the process engineers at the facilities. This implies that operation decisions are not always made in consultation with the onshore engineers. In other words this leads to what is known as the fragmented approach. (Jemielniak & Kociatkievicz) 2009, pg 285

Integrated Operations (Process facility and reservoir sensors and Collaboration among vendors and operators) (Jemielniak & Kociatkievicz, 2009, pg 285)

Information technology has now penetrated every area of the production and process control aspects of the Oil and Gas companies. However, most of these IT tools are specialized and lack the integration that makes it difficult to access relevant data for purposes of production analysis and optimization. It is necessary that all the three major divisions (reservoir management, production management and process management) exchange real-time data. A shared information space might be the answer to the problems as it promotes better access to real-time data and integration of the various processes, which is the key to achieving production optimization. (Jemielniak & Kociatkievicz, 2009, pg 284)

Knowledge Management in PETRONAS

Knowledge management practices are very recent at PETRONAS. As the Knowledge Management manager, Miss Murni Shariff, disclosed in a recent interview, only in 2006 the company seriously focused on KM practices. Prior to that KM was mostly restricted to content and information management. (KMTalk, 2009) There are two types of knowledge namely tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge, as the name suggests, refers to knowledge that could be easily documented. This type of knowledge is gained by reading, observation and discussion. For instance, documented guides about a program or the operational features of a product are examples of explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge, on the other hand, is more implicit and it is not easy to document it and consequently much harder to share. Tacit knowledge is developed over a period of time when an individual gains insights and details about the various functions in the organization. (MMU, 2006)

Currently, PETRONAS is focusing on all efforts towards transferring this tacit knowledge of its staff and making it accessible for future reference and for new workers. Achieving this tacit knowledge sharing pertaining to the various complex processes within the organizations is crucial for the company to reduce costs and become competitive. As Stephen Birell, marketing director of Vardus, a KM company focusing on the Oil and gas sector states, “The way the industry can drive down cost is by attacking the areas of huge cost which are facilities and drilling. And if everyone follows best practice and shares their learning, you won’t have people making the same mistakes twice. And that ultimately saves money.” (Chowdury, 2006)

Three issues are the main motivating factors for the implementation of KM practices across the organization. These are 1) aging workforce- With more than three and half decades since its institution many of the technical staff members at PETRONAS are nearing their retirement age and this mass retirement would drastically impact upon the performance unless swift knowledge management policies are in place to capture the tacit knowledge of these experienced older workforce. 2) The global oil industry is very competitive placing a high premium for the experienced and knowledgeable workforce. High attrition rate at PETRONAS is one big problem as competitors are luring skilled staff. In this context the issue of Trust becomes foremost. The following 5 C’s are recognized as trust factors among knowledge intensive workers. These are a) Competence, b) Commitment, c) Conflict, d) Communication and e) Caring. Of these commitment is foremost and it is the responsibility of the team leader or the manager to ensure that commitment to the organization and its values are developed naturally as a response to the motivation and example shown by the leader. (Ralston, 2007) Finally, increasing international operations also implies international competition and in this scenario an effective KM plan is indispensible for the organization to smoothly manage and coordinate the international operations. KM makes it possible to simply follow the ‘PETRONAS way’ of transferring knowledge across the different organizations. (KMtalk, 2009) Initially, the main focus was on technology and in removing the hindrances in sharing knowledge stored in varied database formats. However, more than the technical problems it is the problem associated with human acceptance that is currently a pressing issue. In other words, promoting effective change management is the key to implementing KM practices. At PETRONAS new initiatives were implemented to promote better change management.

Communities of Practice

A new, ‘Communities of practice’ (CoP) initiative was implemented with the idea of starting an effective KM program across the entire organization to better facilitate transfer of information between the various divisions in a swift and effective manner. Currently, there are over 50 CoP’s with each Cop having 30 members. A leader or a champion is chosen among each CoP team based on their performance criteria. The CoP’s were provided with a basic structural framework with which they can implement KM solutions and promote group-wide collaborative values. Regular monitoring of the CoP operations and impact of the same are undertaken. These leaders are also encouraged to share success stories on online CoP newsletter. To encourage enthusiastic participation from the staff, the Knowledge management team is also currently promoting a rewards system wherein the reports from the various Cop’s would be reviewed and the best performing team recognized and awarded (Murni Shariff, 2008) This CoP approach at PETRONAS has shown significant positive results so far with effective information exchange between various operating units already visible across the organization. This would also significantly improve the training for younger generation staff as they fast replace the retiring older generation. A simple online tool that was designed to evaluate the penetration of the CoP based KM practices has confirmed these positive improvements. ( Murni Shariff, 2008)

Conclusion

Knowledge management practices are critical to the continued competitive growth of any organization. In simple terms it facilitates effective reuse of organizational resources which is tantamount to considerable cost savings. Particularly, in a knowledge intensive and high-tech organization such as PETRONAS, KM practices help to promote better collaboration between multidisciplinary teams. This could help avoid millions of dollars in costs by helping workers avoid unnecessary delays and repetitive mistakes. The current KM practices involving Communities of practice concepts are showing good acceptance among the staff which is important for effective change management. As more and more staff members are encouraged to participate in KM activities, more intensive KM practices and collaborative platforms could be established. This would help in realizing organization wide process integration and overall business alignment. However, regular knowledge auditing is the key to understand the flow of knowledge within the organization and to ascertain areas where improvements could be effected by increasing knowledge sharing. Continued management support is the key as even a small amount of time and resources spent on good KM practices would definitely translate to considerable productivity gains in the longer run.

References

Dariusz Jemielniak & Jerzy Kociatkievicz, (2009), Handbook of research on Knowledge intensive organizations, Pub by Information Science Reference.

Faith Ralston, (2007), How to manage four types of Knowledge Workers- Play Your Best Hand, Adams Media. U.S.A

KMtalk, (2009) Knowledge Management in PETRONAS : Interview with Murni Shariff, viewed Jan 23rd 2012, < http://www.kmtalk.net/article.php?story=20090131090639919>

Murni Shariff, (2008), PETRONAS : Engaging Knowledge Worker Communities to Stimulate Innovation and Build Corporate Capability, Viewed Jan 23rd 2012,

Naguib Chowdhury, (2006), Knowledge Management Implementation in PETRONAS: A Case Study, Viewed Jan 23rd 2012,

Manchester Metropolitan University, (2006) Introduction to Knowledge Management, viewed Jan 24th 2012,

Categories
Free Essays

Space meets knowledge The impact of workplace design On knowledge sharing ?

Abstract

An examination of the role the physical workplace plays in creating opportunities and barriers that influence knowledge management has become a matter of substantial debate. Design of good workplaces for knowledge sharing is considered a major challenge for any organisation. This study provides an insight into the impact of the design and use of the physical workplace on knowledge sharing. Evidence presented in this study substantiates the position that the physical presence of an employee has the potential to impact performance and knowledge management. This assessment will be of use to researchers seeking to further examine the area of knowledge management.

Introduction

Knowledge management, described as the intentional management of information has become increasingly important to organisations (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Alavi, 1997; Garvin, 1997; Wiig, 1997; Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Ruggles, 1998; Hansen, 1999; Zack, 1999a). In large part this has been fuelled by the exponential growth of the knowledge economy and the increasing number of knowledge workers who have become as essential for many firms competitiveness and survival (Tallman and Chacar 2010). For many emerging organisations face to face contact is essential in the dissemination of knowledge within that infrastructure (Ibid). The process of internal knowledge management is a dynamic element that must be maintained in order to produce results.

Literature Review

Knowledge is defined as a dynamic human or social process that allows a justification of personal belief as regards the truth (Nonaka 2011). Interaction between people, employees and consumers is one of the primary methods of communicating innovative and inspirational progress. Modern studies in the field of knowledge management have begun to shift focus from the importance of the physical workplace to those engaged in knowledge work (Becker 2004). The recognition of inherent value in the employee base adds incentive to capitalize on the low cost innovative opportunities that knowledge sharing creates (Tallman et al 2010). With critical insight established through the direct contact of the employees, the means of communication becomes a critical concern (Dakir 2012). International companies are recognizing this same value of face to face interaction as the social interaction between management sections, benefits production and development levels world-wide (Noorderhaven and Harzing 2009).

In their discussion of social capital, Cohen and Prusak (2001) emphasise the importance of the physical workplace for the exchanging of knowledge, specifically the distribution of ideas amongst individuals in a situation where they could not assume that others knew what they were required to know. Becker (2004) hypothesises that the choices an organisation makes about how space is allocated and designed directly and indirectly shapes the infrastructure of knowledge networks – the dense and richly veined social systems that help people learn faster and engage more deeply in the work of the organisation. This corresponds with the Dakir (2012) argument that technology is no substitute for live interaction among the members of the organization. Davenport et al (2002) undertook a study among 41 firms that were implementing initiatives to advance the performance of high-end knowledge workers who were regarded as critical to the company’s aims. They focused upon determining the elements that affected the knowledge work performance. Surprisingly, the issue that was most frequently dealt with by these firms involved the physical workplace – “the other common ones were information technology and management” (Davenport 2005, p. 166).

Davenport (2005) emphasises that the recognition of the importance of knowledge work has grown in recent years, but that our understanding of the physical conditions in which knowledge can flourish has failed to keep pace. The inclusion of emerging communication technology has been argued to provide a better opportunity for employee interaction (Rhoads 2010). This same element of improved long distance communication is credited with diminishing the valued impromptu inspiration that many firms rely on during day to day operations (Denstadli, Gripsrud, Hjortahol and Julsrud 2013). According to Davenport et al (2002) workplace design should be seen as a key determinant of knowledge-worker performance, while we largely remain in the dark about how to align ‘space’ to the demands of knowledge work. Davenport (2005) emphasises the point that “there is a good deal said about the topic, but not much known about it” (p. 165). Most of the decisions concerning the climate in which work takes place have been created without consideration for performance factors. This fact continues to diminish opportunities for in-house knowledge sharing and effective dissemination of intelligence (Denstadli et al 2013).

Becker (2004) points out that the cultivation of knowledge networks underpins the continuing debate about office design, and the relative virtue of open versus closed space. Duffy (2000) confirms these views when he admits that early twenty-first-century architects “currently know as little about how workplaces shapes business performance as early nineteenth-century physicians knew how diseases were transmitted before the science of epidemiology was established” (p. 371). This makes every emerging decision regarding effective knowledge sharing critical to the development of any organisation.

Deprez and Tissen (2009) illustrate the strength of the knowledge sharing process using Google’s approach: “one company that is fully aware of its ‘spatial’ capabilities”. The spatial arrangements at Google’s offices can serve as a useful example of how design can have a bearing on improving the exchange of knowledge in ways that also add value to the company. The Zurich ‘Google engineering’ office is the company’s newest and largest research and development facility besides Mountain View, California. In this facility, Deprez and Tissen (2009) report: “Google has created workspaces where people literally ‘slide into space’ (i.e. the restaurant). It’s really true: Google Is different. It’s in the design; it’s in the air and in the spirit of the ‘place’. It’s almost organizing without management. A workplace becomes a ‘workspace’, mobilizing the collective Google minds and link them to their fellow ‘Zooglers’ inside the Zurich office and to access all the outside/external knowledge to be captured by the All Mighty Google organisation” (2009, p. 37).

What works for one organisation may not work for another and this appears to be the case in particular when it comes to Google (Deprez et al 2009). Yet, some valuable lessons in how the workplace can be used to good effect can be gained from Google’s operations. For this precise reason, research was carried out at Google Zurich to provide both theoretical and managerial insights into the impact of the design and use of the physical workplace on knowledge sharing (Ibid).

Studies comparing the performance of virtual and co-located teams found that virtual teams tend to be more task oriented and exchange less social information than co located ones (Walther & Burgoon 1992; Chidambaram 1996). The researchers suggest this would slow the development of relationships and strong relational links have been shown to enhance creativity and motivation. Other studies conclude that face-to-face team meetings are usually more effective and satisfying than virtual ones, but nevertheless virtual teams can be as effective if given sufficient time to develop strong group relationships (Chidambaram 1996). This research implies the importance of facilitating social interaction in the workplace, and between team members (virtual and co-located) when the team is initially forming. Hua (2010) proposes that repeated encounters, even without conversation, help to promote the awareness of co-workers and to foster office relationships. McGrath (1990) recommends that in the absence of the ability to have an initial face-to-face meeting other avenues for building strong relationships are advised to ensure the cohesiveness and effectiveness of the team’s interaction. So although interaction alone is not a sufficient condition for successful collaboration, it does indirectly support collaboration. Nova (2005) points out that physical proximity allow the use of non verbal communication including: different paralinguistic and non-verbal signs, precise timing of cues, coordination of turn-taking or the repair of misunderstandings. Psychologists note that deictic references are used in face-to-face meetings on a regular basis, which refers to pointing, looking, touching or gesturing to indicate a nearby object mentioned in conversation (Ibid).

Newlands et al (2002) analysed interactions of two groups performing a joint task in either face-to-face or a video conference system. They found that deictic hand gesture occurred five times more frequently in the face-to-face condition the virtual interaction. More recent research has found that extroverts gesticulate for longer and more often in meetings than introverts (Jonnson 2006). Barbour and Koneya (1976) famously claimed that 55 per cent of communication is non-verbal communication, 38 per cent is done by tone of voice, and only 7 per cent is related to the words and content. Clearly non-verbal communication is a key component of interaction and virtual interaction systems need to replicate this basic need, especially in the early stages of team forming or when the team consists of a high proportion of extroverts. The physical co-location of teams also facilitates collaboration (Ibid). A seminal piece of research carried out by Allen (1977) demonstrated that the probability of two people communicating in an organisation is inversely proportional to the distance separating them, and it is close to zero after 30 metres of physical separation. Furthermore, proximity helps maintain task and group awareness, because when co-located it is easier to gather and update information about the task performed by team members (Dakir 2012).

A recent survey of workers at highly collaborative companies found that most “collaborative events” are short (with 34% lasting fewer than 15 minutes) and the majority take place at the desk (Green 2012). It is likely that these impromptu interactions relate to sharing information (perhaps on the PC) or answering queries rather than lengthy intense discussion and development of joint ideas. Interactions at desks may facilitate tacit knowledge sharing by overhearing relevant conversations between team members, but such interactions can also be considered a distraction if not relevant (Denstadli et al 2013).

Methodology

There are two acknowledged methodological approaches: quantitative and qualitative (Creswell 2005). The quantitative method involves identifying variables in a research question which are then utilized in order to collate numerical data (Ibid). The qualitative research is open to interpretation allowing personal answers to be incorporated into the study (Creswell 2005). The researcher considered both options in order to complete the necessary goals.

Types of Data

There are two forms of data: primary, or newly generated data, or secondary, previous data generated within existing studies (Creswell 2005). This study required the acquisition of primary data creating the need for relevant instruments. A survey with 5 open-ended questions has been created and subsequently conducted with centred on 548 employees working at Google Zurich. This was done in order to explore the perceptions of Google employees with regard to the environment in which they work with a focus on factors that affect knowledge sharing in the work environment.

Methods of Data Collection

The qualitative data analysis employed a Content Analysis technique to reveal participant perceptions of their work environment. The survey questions were designed to explore employee perceptions regarding the following dimensions:

1) Activities that allow for increased exchange of knowledge;

2) Advantages of frequent interaction with colleagues;

3) Individuals or groups dependent on the frequent interaction with co-workers orgroup members;

4) Factors that facilitate interaction within the workplace

5) Factors that inhibit interaction with others in the workplace.

Survey participants responded to five open-ended questions and rated their answers using a five-point Likert scale where 5 was ‘most important’. Using a Content Analysis approach (Creswell 2005; Leedy and Ormrod 2005; Neuendorf 2002), the interview responses were analysed. Content Analysis is a qualitative data reduction method that generates categories from key words and phrases in the interview text; it is an evidence-based process in which data gathered through an exploratory approach is systematically analysed to produce predictive or inferential intent (Creswell 2005). Content Analysis was used to identify themes or common concepts in participants’ perceptions regarding the culturally and environmentally distinctive factors that affect interaction in the workplace (Neuendorf, 2002). This process permitted the investigator to quantify and analyse data so that inferences could be drawn.

The Content Analysis of survey interview text was categorically coded to reflect various levels of analysis, including key components, words, sentences, or themes (Neuendorf 2002). These themes or key components were then examined using relational analysis to determine whether there were any relationships between the responses of the subjects. The analysis was conducted with Nvivo8® software which enables sorting, categorising, and frequency counts of invariant constituents (relevant responses). Content Analysis was used to critically evaluate the survey responses of the study participants, providing in-depth information regarding the factors related to workplace interaction.

Sample Respondent Characteristics

The invited population consisted of 675 individuals and a total of 548 individuals participated in the survey resulting in a response rate of 81 per cent. Of these 548 completed surveys, 35 responses were discarded because the respondents only partially completed the survey. The final sample consisted of 513 respondents. The key characteristics of these respondents are summarized in Table 4-1.

Table 4-1 Sample Respondent Characteristics

FactorDescriptionFrequency
EducationHigh School

Bachelor Degree

Certificate Degree

Master Degree

PhD Degree

Other:15

118

19

231

121

9
Tenure< 2 years

2-5 years

> 5 years153

331

29
Time Building Use< 1 year

1 year

2 years

> 2 years140

102

271

0
Time Desk Use< 3 months

3-6 months

7-12 months

> 12 months143

159

126

85
Age< 20 years

21-30 years

31-40 years

41-50 years

> 50 years0

216

255

35

7
GenderMale

Female428

85
MobiltyZurich Office

Other Google Office

Home Office

Travelling

Other88.9%

3.9%

3.9%

2.7%

0.5%

PositionEngineering

Sales and Marketing

GandA

Other:428

12

14

59
NationalityGermany

Switzerland

United States

France

Poland

United Kingdom

Romania

Hungary

Netherlands

Sweden

Spain

Australia

Russian Federation

< 10 respondents73

62

35

33

28

27

24

23

17

16

14

13

12

136

Survey Findings

In order to provide an audit trail of participant responses to the thematic categories that emerged from the data analysis, discussion of the findings precedes the tables of data, within a framework consisting of the five survey questions. An overall summary is provided at the conclusion of the discussion of findings. During the analysis of data, common invariant constituents (relevant responses) were categorically coded and associated frequencies were documented. Frequency data included overall frequency of occurrence as well as frequencies based on rating level (5 = most important to 1 = least important). Invariant constituents with a frequency of less than 10 were not included in the tables. Study conclusions were developed through an examination of the high frequency and highly rated invariant constituents in conjunction with the revealed thematic categories.

Question 1: Main Activities that Allow Exchange of Knowledge

Table 4-2 provides high frequency invariant constituents (relevant responses) by survey participants demonstrating themes within the data for Question 1. Thematically, the analysis revealed the following primary perceptions of participants in terms of main activities that allow knowledge exchange: (a) meetings of all types; (b) whiteboard area discussions; (c) video conferencing; (d) email, and (e) code reviews. These elements demonstrated a high frequency of importance ratings, and a moderate percentage of respondents rated these elements as ‘most important’ (rating 5). Other themes revealed through the analysis included the importance of writing and reading documentation, Instant Messaging (IM) text chat, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and extracurricular/social activities. All other invariant constituents with a frequency of greater than 10 are shown in Table 4-2.

Table 4-2 Data Analysis Results for Question 1: Main Activities Allowing for Exchange of Knowledge

Invariant ConstituentOverall number (Frequency)By Rating

5=Most important
n=51354321
Informal discussion/face to face mtgs/stand ups35114977603332
Formal planned meetings/conference room mtgs2184061563823
Email207747432216
Lunches/Dinners64910151812
Whiteboard area discussions/brainstorming5822131094
Video Conferencing (VC)5841620144
Code Reviews515162046
Writing/Reading Documentation476813164
IM/Text Chat/IRC4610161073
“Extracurricular Activities” (e.g., pool, socializing, Friday office drinks, etc.)4522151016
Writing/Reading docs specifically wiki pages/sites34210697
Chat (unspecified in person vs. text)3387873
Techtalks2745675
Training/presentations23133106
Mailing lists21102522
Shared docs/doc collaboration1703554
Read/write design docs specifically1202505
Telephone/phone conversations1203243

Question 2: Main Advantages of Frequent Interaction with Colleagues

Table 4-3 provides high frequency invariant constituents (relevant responses) by survey participants demonstrating themes within the data for Question 2. Thematically, the analysis revealed the following elements representing the primary perceptions of participants in terms of the main advantages to frequent interaction with colleagues: (a) knowledge and information exchange and transfer; (b) staying current on projects and processes; (c) social interaction; (d) learning from others; (e) faster problem resolution; (f) efficient collaboration; and (g) continuous and early feedback. The following themes received a high frequency of importance ratings and a large percentage of ‘most important’ and ‘important’ ratings (rating 5 and 4, respectively) included: knowledge sharing, staying in touch and up to date, learning from others, faster resolution/problem solving, better collaboration, and feedback. Although socialising was revealed to be a strong overall theme, it also demonstrated lower importance ratings. Other themes revealed through the analysis are provided in Table 4-3.

Table 4-3 Data Analysis Results for Question 2: Main Advantages of Frequent Interaction

Invariant ConstituentOverall number (Frequency)By Rating

5=Most important

n=51354321
Knowledge sharing/exchange of information/Knowledge transfer149753919124
Staying in touch/up to date/ more info on projects and processes11358281782
Socializing/social interaction7451035186
Learning/learning from others/learning new things/increased knowledge base7217281485
Understand problems/needs – faster resolution and quicker problem solving7025241146
Better/more efficient collaboration67428953
Feedback/continuous feedback/early feedback661729893
New and better ideas/flow of ideas/creativity/ brainstorming6525151474
Teamwork/being part of a team/teambuilding5110121892
Get work done/efficiency/speed462613241
Fun4421115115
Better understanding of what others are doing and how/workloads4415171002
Everyone on same page/shared vision/focus on goals of team32109652
Better personal contact and easy interaction27561123
Avoid misunderstanding/work duplication27810441
Helping others/getting help (when stuck)26391031
Good/happy atmosphere/work environment2412858
Networking2219624
Motivate each other/inspiration2151582
Other/new perspectives/viewpoints18210312
Improving quality of work/performance1615910
Work synchronization1628141
Productivity1231431
Knowing latest news/innovations1203216
Better communication1011521

Question 3: Individuals or Groups that are Dependent on Frequent Interaction

Table 4-4 provides high frequency invariant constituents (relevant responses) given by survey participants demonstrating themes within the data for Question 3. Thematically, the analysis revealed the following elements representing the primary perceptions of participants in terms of individuals or groups that are dependent on frequent interaction of the participant: (a) my team/project teammates/peers; and (b) managers. The first theme demonstrated a high frequency of importance ratings with a moderate percentage of ‘most important’ and ‘important’ ratings (rating 5 and 4, respectively). Although the theme of managers was revealed to be a relatively strong overall theme, it also demonstrated lower importance ratings. Other themes revealed through the analysis are shown in Table 4-4.

Table 4-4 Data Analysis Results for Question 3: Individual/groups dependent on frequent interaction of participant

Invariant ConstituentOverall number (Frequency)By Rating

5=Most important
n=51354321
My team/project teammates/peers12887191435
Managers/PMs484241163
Users/customers/clients357121042
All reports/related teams34717442
Engineering teams (various)28188200
Recruiting team/staffing1753630
Geo Teams1576200
Operations teams1423522
All of them1191010
HQ1133122
Other engineers using my project/peer developers of my tool1015310

Question 4: Factors Facilitating Easy Interaction

Table 4-5 provides high frequency invariant constituents (relevant responses) by survey participants demonstrating themes within the data for Question 4. Thematically, the analysis revealed the following elements representing the primary perceptions of participants about factors that facilitate easy interaction: (a) common, proximal, and open workspace areas; (b) common functional areas; (c) sufficient and available meeting facilities; (d) excellent communication tools; and (e) video conference facilities. The theme of open and common workspace areas/shared office space demonstrated a high frequency of importance ratings with a very large percentage of ‘most important’ ratings (rating 5). Other revealed themes, particularly the second listed theme, demonstrated relatively high overall frequency, but these themes did not demonstrate the strength of importance that the first theme did. Other themes and invariant constituents revealed through the analysis are shown in Table 4-5.

Table 4-5 Data Analysis Results for Question 4: Factors Facilitating Easy Interaction

Invariant ConstituentOverall number (Frequency)By Rating

5=Most important
n=51354321
Open and Common workspace areas/shared office space/desk locations/sitting together175103342594
Common shared Areas (e.g., Kitchen, play/game rooms, lounges, library, etc.)173406642178
Enough facilities for meetings/availability of meeting and conference areas90192730122
Great communication tools (email, VC, chats, dist. Lists, online docs, wireless, VPN, mobile…)80113014187
Video Conference meeting rooms/facilities78192518124
Onsite lunch/dinner/common dining area (free food and eating together)5071511134
Whiteboard areas for informal meetings431018771
Corporate culture/open culture/ open communication culture431811932
Email421113954
Casual and social environment/open atmosphere36195921
People: easy going, friendly, smart, knowledgeable, willing to help35149336
Social Events2836577
Company calendar/planned ops for meeting/ scheduled meetings1937621
Geographic co-location/same time zone1374200
Travel/trips to other offices1212135
Chat (non-specific text or in person)1124302
IM/internet chat1051112
MOMA/social networking/wiki pages/company docs1010342

Question 5: Factors Inhibiting Interaction with Others

Table 4-6 provides high frequency invariant constituents (relevant responses) by survey participants demonstrating themes within the data for Question 5. Thematically, the analysis revealed a single strong element and several elements with less relevance as inhibiting factors. The physical geographic differences – specifically the time zone differences – were noted by a majority of participants as the most important element that inhibited interaction with others. Study participants perceived their overscheduled and busy work lives, noise levels in their workspaces, and shared work environments to be contributing inhibitory factors with regard to interaction with others. These elements also demonstrated high frequencies of importance ratings with a moderate percentage of ‘most important’ ratings (rating 5). Other themes revealed through the analysis are shown in Table 4-6.

Table 4-6 Data Analysis Results for Question 5: Factors Inhibiting Interaction with Others

Invariant ConstituentOverall number (Frequency)By Rating

5=Most important
n=51354321
Physical Geographic distance/ timezone differences16411536931
Very busy/Overscheduled people/ overbooked calendars/ too many meetings4517161020
Crowded/noisy environment/ noise in shared space33196440
Defective VCs/ VC suboptimal/ VC equipment not working2597720
No meeting rooms available2286620
Too few VC rooms in some locations / lack of available VC rooms1949501
Open Space: no privacy, interruptions/ disruptions1958321
Information overload/ too much email1562610
Large office building/building size and layout/ too many people, difficult to find people15114000
Team split between multiple sites or large distance between team members in same bldg1545420
Need more whiteboards/lack of informal areas with whiteboards1135210
Language barrier: lack of correct English/not knowing colloquial lang. or nuances1151311
Lack of time/deadlines1152121
Different working hours within same time zone1053200

Discussion

Both the literature and the survey have illuminated interesting facets of the work environment and the need for personal communication. The analysis of the 513 participants’ responses to five open-ended questions from the employee perception survey revealed patterns of facilitating and inhibiting factors in their work environment. Nonaka (2011) clearly illustrates this point with the argument that the communal environment promotes a standard of communication not found in the technological alternatives. Further, the shift away from the organization to the person orientation provides a fundamental benefit to every employee (Becker 2004). With a rising recognition of individual value, the organisation is building employee trust. Participants in this study preferred frequent, informal opportunities for the exchange of knowledge. The opportunity for growth was centred on the capacity to exchange concepts in a free and easy manner (Nonaka 2011). The evidence presented in this study demonstrates that these opportunities were more valued by team members with high knowledge exchange needs. This is line with the increased depth of knowledge and ability to meet technical needs through employee communication (Tallman et al 2010). A combination of professional advice can benefit the entire production and development process. In this study, transactions among participants were often brief, and were perceived to require limited space – often just stand-up space – with noise-regulating options not found in open-office environments. Dakir (2012) demonstrates the environment has the potential to add to or detract from employee communication, making this factor a critical consideration. Spontaneous and opportunistic knowledge-sharing transactions were valued, and technology provided a platform for this type of knowledge exchange to occur. This evidence from the survey corresponds with the literature illustrating that increased communication and sharing in the workplace enhances the entire operation, as well as providing new and fresh opportunities and innovations (Tallman et al 2010).

The research at Google provides further support for the view of some leading companies who strongly believe that having workers in the same place is crucial to their success (Noorderhaven et al 2009). Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer communicated via a memo to employees that June 2013, any existing work-from-home arrangements will no longer apply. Initial studies theorized that the work at home system would provide a better platform for workers, even on a local level (Dakir 2012). Many points of the memo cited in this Yahoo example, parallel the literature presented in this study. Her memo stated (Moyer 2013): “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.” This is clearly in line with the Coehen and Prusak (2001) assertion that the physical workplace is a critical element of the dynamic business. “That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.” This element of the her reasoning is nearly identical to the argument presented by Dakir (2012), that a successful company do so, in part, by promoting communication and teamwork in the office, the technical alternatives are not enough.

“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together….Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices” (Moyer 2013). This section is directly in line with emerging studies citing the vital nature of the interaction and face to face employee contact (Heerwagen et al. 2004).

This study has clearly demonstrated that Mayer is not alone in her thinking; Steve Jobs operated in a similar fashion as well (Davenport et al 2002). Despite being a denizen of the digital world, or maybe because he knew all too well its isolating potential, Jobs was a strong believer in face-to-face meetings. “There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat,” he said. “That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas” (Isaacson, 2011, p. 431). This assertion by Jobs closely resembles the argument presented in the Rhoads (2010) study that found a clear correlation between the communication capacity and opportunity for successful innovation and progress. Following this philosophy led Jobs to have the Pixar building designed to promote encounters and unplanned collaborations.Mayer’s former colleague at Google agrees (Ibid). Speaking at an event in Sydney February 2013, Google CFO Patrick Pichette said that teleworking is not encouraged at Google. This reflects the consensus that is emerging that time in the office is not only valuable but necessary to sustained competition in the industry (Denstadli et al 2013). Pichette believes that working from home could isolate employees from other staff.

Companies like Apple, Yahoo! and Google are holding on to (or have started embracing) the belief that having workers in the same place is crucial to their success (Dakir 2012). This appears to be based on the view that physical proximity can lead to casual exchanges, which in turn can lead to breakthroughs for products. Heerwagen et al (2004) illustrates that it is evident that “knowledge work is a highly cognitive and social activity”. Non-verbal communication is complex and involves many unconscious mechanisms e.g. gesture, body language, posture, facial expression, eye contact, pheromones, proxemics, chronemics, haptics, and paralanguage (Denstadli et al 2013). So, although virtual interaction can be valuable it is not a replacement for face-to-face interaction, particularly for initial meetings of individuals or teams. Furthermore, the increase in remote working has indicated that face-to-face interaction is important for motivation, team-building, mentoring, a sense of belonging and loyalty, arguably more so than in place-centred workgroups (Deprez and Tissen 2009).

Conclusion

The role of knowledge management in the workplace has become an increasingly valuable segment of a company’s resources. This study examined the practice of working remotely versus employee interaction in the work place providing many illuminating developments. Despite the early optimism that emerging technology was going to provide the end all to employee work habits have proven less than fully realized. The evidence in this study has continuously illustrated an environment that requires the innovative, face to face interaction in order to maintain a competitive edge in the industry. Further, the very environment that promotes this free exchange of ideals is not adequately substituted by technology. In short, the evidence provided in this study has clearly demonstrated the advantage that the in house employee has over the remote worker.

The impromptu encounters between employees are very often the elements needed for progress. What is clear is that in order for a business to capitalize on their full range of available resources virtually requires, face to face personal interaction in order to fully realize the firms full potential. In the end, it will be the combination of leadership, teamwork and innovation that provides business with the best environment, not necessarily how much technology is available.

References

Dalkir, K. 2005. Knowledge management in theory and practice. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Butterworth Heinemann.

Denstadli, J., Gripsrud, M., Hjorthol, R. and Julsrud, T. 2013. Videoconferencing and business air travel: Do new technologies produce new interaction patterns?. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 29 pp. 1–13.

Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. 2011. The wise leader. Harvard Business Review, 89 (5), pp. 58–67.

Noorderhaven, N. and Harzing, A. 2009. Knowledge-sharing and social interaction within MNEs.Journal of International Business Studies, 40 (5), pp. 719–741.

Rhoads, M. 2010. Face-to-Face and Computer-Mediated Communication: What Does Theory Tell Us and What Have We Learned so Far?. Journal of Planning Literature, 25 (2), pp. 111–122.

Tallman, S. and Chacar, A. 2011. Knowledge Accumulation and Dissemination in MNEs: A Practice-Based Framework. Journal of Management Studies, 48 (2), pp. 278–304.

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Free Essays

Knowledge About Ionising Radiation Among Dentists

Introduction:

Dental radiography has evolved over the last decade. The evolution began with the introduction of new changes to the operations of dental radiology. Some examples of these changes include new machines, smaller beam sizes, increased filtration, advanced techniques, faster film speeds and large increases in utilization (White, 1992, 118-26). However, concerns do remain about the possible adverse effects of dental radiography on humans for several reasons: firstly, these procedures remain the only common type of diagnostic radiography capable of being performed without intensifying screens, requiring concomitantly higher doses. Secondly, the targets to film distance are short. The third reason is the emitted rays are in near to sensitive organs in the head and neck region. These examinations are among the most common diagnostic radiographic procedures performed today. Based on these examinations, previous studies have concluded an increased risk for salivary gland, thyroid, and brain tumors (UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, 2000, Vol.1).

Literature Review

According to UNSCEAR 2000 Report (European Union, 1997, 22), dental radiography is one of the most frequent types of radiological procedures. Although the exposure associated with dental radiography is relatively low, any radiological procedure should be justi?ed and optimized in order to keep the radiation risk as low as reasonably achievable (Radiation Protection 136). Dose assessment is recommended to be performed on a regular basis to ensure that patient exposure is always kept within the recommended levels and to identify possible equipment malfunction or inadequate technique (Alme’n, Mattsson, 1996, 81-89). With comparison to adults, children have been found to be more radiosensitive (International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1991, Publication 60). Therefore, increased attention is recommended in supervising children to minimize the medical radiation exposure to children. All radiological procedures carried out on children must adapt to special radiation protection measures, which aims at recognizing and implementing possible dose reduction strategies in order to eliminate unnecessary and therefore un-justi?ed radiation exposure.It is the responsibility of the health care professional to provide firsthand knowledge to the patients undergoing all radiological procedures and processes. The dentist can answer queries of any patient with regard to radiation hazards, which can be reliable provided their knowledge is adequate and up-to-date. The knowledge related to radiation is taught during undergraduate training in medical colleges. However, dentists grossly underestimated the proper risk regarding proper use of medical imaging tools and their associated radiation risks (International Commission on Radiological Protetion, 1991, Publication 60). On the other hand, the incorrect information about its safety and effectiveness, is made and promoted by some dentists who are paid and sponsored by the manufacturers of these devices to lecture and give seminars promoting their products. The conflict of interest does add extra concern about the safety of these products.

OBJECTIVES & METHODS

The objectives of the study will be to:

Assesses dentist’s knowledge about ionizing radiations and their hazard on the patient.
Identify the level of understanding regarding use of ionizing equipment’s among dentist.
METHODS:

The research will assess the ionizing radiations knowledge, risk and awareness among dentists in Australia and Jordan.

The approach to this assessment will use a survey that will be distributed to 300 dentists.

These are some of the questions that I will be asking the dentists:

1-Name (optional)

2- Sex

3- Age

4- Dental school

5- Year graduated

6- Residency

7- Experience

8- Risks associated with ionizing radiation on human tissue

9- Methods of mitigating or preventing ionization radiation during practice

10- Best practices associated with ionizing radiation

HYPOTHESIS

The null hypothesis or my expected outcome of the survey results is that of the better hospitals, or the institution of allied health care that provide ionization radiation during practice to have dentists that understand the risks better than other doctors. The other doctors are understood to be in practice in less stellar institutions of allied healthcare. The alternative hypothesis is that doctors at the stellar institutions as well as doctors at the lesser institutions are unaware of the risks associated with ionizing radiation.

References

White SC. assessment of radiation risk from dental radiography. Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 1992;21(3):118-26.

United Nations Scienti?c Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Sources and effect of ionizing radiation. Report Vol. 1 UNSCEAR publications (2000).

European Union. Council Directive 97/43 Euratom, on health protection of individuals against the dangers of ionizing radiation in relation to medical exposures, and repealing Directive 84/466 Euratom. Off. J. Eur. Commun. L180, 22 (1997).

Radiation protection 136. European Guidelines on radiation protection in dental radiology: The safe use of radiographs in dental radiology. European Commission publications.

Alme?n, A. and Mattsson, S. On the calculation of effective dose to children and adolescents. J. Radiol. Prot. 16(2), 81–89 (1996).

International Commission on Radiological Protection. 1990 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. ICRP Publication 60. (Oxford: Pergamon Press) (1991).

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Free Essays

Abstract for Literature review based on Dentists’ Knowledge of Ionising Radiation dental radiography.

Abstract for literature review

Despite there is a rapid growth in the technology that has myriad benefits in improving the interventions of dental health, only a fewer dentists are well aware of the risk hazards of some these modern technologies (Praveen, et.al. 2013). Large body of evidence suggests the lack of knowledge in dentists in regards to the risks associated with ionising radiation while giving dental service (Rout and Brown, 2012). More importantly, only a handful of studies have attempted to unveil the facts and current state of knowledge and awareness associated with detrimental effects of ionising radiation in Australian and Jordanian dentists. This study, through questionnaires and interviews, examined the dentists that are giving services in Australia and Jordan and assessed their knowledge of such effects that are linked with ionising radiations. The study was carried through intense literature review was carried out to collect the current background in the subject area and the findings of these studies were critically reviewed.

Focus of the literature review was based upon the different factors, such as the complications of ionising radiation, complications in different age group people, preventive measures and the current state of knowledge in the dentists all around the globe. Praveen, et.al (2013) suggests that radiation in dentistry is mainly used for diagnostic purposes and in a dental set-up usually the practicing dentist exposes, processes and interprets the radiograph. Although the exposure to such radiation is kept as very less, it is essential to reduce the exposure to the minimum to the dental personnel and patients in order avoid the carcinogenic and organ damaging effects that can be produced by it.. Several radiation protection measures have been advocated to ameliorate these effects. Dose dependent radiation exposure was identified as a one of the key measures in limiting the use of ionising radiation. As suggested by White and Mallya (2012), wise selection of patients to treat with ionising radiation and implement patient-specific reason, which ensures greater benefits than the harms are the two easiest ways to tackle with the risks associated with ionising radiation.

However, Ayatollahi et.al (2012) suggests that this practice is not adequately implemented in majority of the dental clinics. Secondly, the review identified children as most susceptible to radiation exposure. Preventive measures such as use of special radiation protection equipments and dose dependent exposure were suggested to be central in minimising the effects of ionising radiation in children in dental clinics. Moreover, it was suggested that knowledge of such risks in dentists can make a significant contribution in the improvement of safe dental practice, ensuring adequate safeguards of both patients and dentists.

The literature came up with a conclusion that up to date and evidenced based knowledge is still lacking in dentist regarding the risks of radiation hazard. This will need re-educating and re-training the dentists, make them aware of ionising radiation risks, and make them able to answer any queries from patients about the risks of ionising radiations (Praveen, et.al. 2013). As part of the clinical practice, all dentists are required to undertake radiography as part of the clinical practice in which dentists and members of the dental team, must understand the basic principles of radiation physics, hazards and protection, and should be able to undertake dental radiography safely with the production of high quality, diagnostic images (Rout and Brown, 2012). Although the grey area that was identified was that, dentists are poorly informed on how to use medical imaging tools safely and efficiently. Furthermore, they are found to underestimate the radiation risk and their devastating effects in patients’ long term health. In addition, some of the studies revealed that despite some knowledge on the harmful effects of ionising radiation in patients, as well as in their own health, the knowledge of patient’s protection including the exposure distance and prevention of radiation leakage, protection of personnel, i.e. the occupational risk hazards of ionising radiation, dentists were reluctant to employ these safety measures in day to day practice (Rout and Brown, 2012)).

Considering the context of this study, no research has evaluated Australian and Jordanian dentists’ knowledge on the risks associated with ionising radiation in the dental clinics; suggesting the importance and need to carry out this study. This puts patients of different age groups in significant risk of developing pathological conditions that are induced by the exposure to ionising radiation. Thus, designing a training module to teach dentists about radiation safety and risk is mandatory for safe dental health practice. This study provides insights into developing new strategies, policies and practices to minimise or even avoid such risks in the future.

References

Gray, C.F. 2010, “Practice-based cone-beam computed tomography: a review”, Primary dental care : journal of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK), vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 161-167.

Lalla, R.V., Saunders, D.P. & Peterson, D.E. 2014, “Chemotherapy or radiation-induced oral mucositis”, Dental clinics of North America, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 341-349.

Metsala, E., Henner, A. & Ekholm, M. 2013, “Quality assurance in digital dental imaging: a systematic review”, Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, .

Praveen, B.N., Shubhasini, A.R., Bhanushree, R., Sumsum, P.S. & Sushma, C.N. 2013, “Radiation in dental practice: awareness, protection and recommendations”, The journal of contemporary dental practice, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 143-148.

Rout, J. & Brown, J. 2012, “Ionizing radiation regulations and the dental practitioner: 1. The nature of ionizing radiation and its use in dentistry”, Dental update, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 191-2, 195-8, 201-3.

Verma, S.K., Maheshwari, S., Singh, R.K. & Chaudhari, P.K. 2012, “Laser in dentistry: An innovative tool in modern dental practice”, National journal of maxillofacial surgery, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 124-132.

White, S.C. & Mallya, S.M. 2012, “Update on the biological effects of ionizing radiation, relative dose factors and radiation hygiene”, Australian Dental Journal, vol. 57 Suppl 1, pp. 2-8.

Categories
Free Essays

The Twilight Saga 5: Midnight Sun 13. Knowledge

I weaved my way down my driveway while imagining all the ways I could bring myself closer to Bella. Just to lightly touch her hair, to hold her close to me like I did so carelessly after the accident, or to bring her warm lips to mine…I trailed off in thought as the fantasy went visual.

Enough, I ordered, though I was aching to feel the warmth of her rich skin. Enough.

When I reached the end of the drive I knew what to expect, though, the insults that continued at maximum capacity fissured my nerves.

Idiot! Jackass! Lunatic! I really hope you are happy! If I have to move again…, Rosalie was seething belligerence. The vivid image she thrust on my mind was my Vanquish being catastrophically driven off a ravine.

I sighed and shook my head trying to dispel her thoughts, but after living with her for this long I’d learned to hum a tune or ignore her internal muttering, even when she was screaming at the top of her mental lungs and making the visual pictures more devastating.

After watching all of the possible ways she would crash my car over and over in her head I realized that it didn’t matter.

It was Bella who was ultimately significant now. Her silent thoughts ?C how warm and trusting she is.

Ah, I thought gleefully. My mental distraction worked perfectly.

I sat in the car, my fingers still wrapped tightly on the steering wheel as I thought about going back. I inhaled deeply at her scent that was still lingering in the car. White hot knives cut down my throat, but I embraced it, content that I was satiated for the moment.

A thought disrupted my internal blitheness.

Boy, do you have some explaining to do.

“Emmett,” I muttered, though I was grateful he had forgiven me of my actions so quickly. His low chuckle came from inside the house as he over took Jasper’s knight in a game of chess.

I had to deal with this now. I couldn’t go see her until my family was resolved, though, honestly, I should never go back. Her life would be the better for it ?C she would have a life to live.

Carlisle’s car was parked next to Rosalie’s M3. I sighed in relief. If he was here, then maybe Rosalie would be on her best behavior.

More thoughts filled my mind bringing me back to the present. It was time to confront my family about the secrets that Bella logically pieced together.

I finally persuaded myself into going inside to speak with Carlisle.

Alice’s thoughts interrupted my anxiety filled mind.

I hope you’ve reconsidered your plans for the weekend. I love her, too. Her internal cry was a lament.

I twitched slightly under the impact of the earlier vision. I tried to expunge her thoughts from my mind as my stomach began to twist in pain.

Absurd ?C it was a lie, impossible. I would never hurt Bella…would I? Bella…in my arms…cold, white, dead… The thoughts were inconceivable. Alice was blind or confused somehow, the vision insurmountable.

The pain swiftly took me under – it felt like my body was burning from the inside out, almost as if the pain of her death would literally make me combust. I gave Alice a grave look.

“You’re wrong.” My tone was hollow.

Please, Edward! Alice begged.

I could feel every degree of love she had for her. She doesn’t even know her ?C her love was nonexistent compared to mine.

I sighed.

But doesn’t everyone have that reaction to her? Hadn’t I? Didn’t I risk everything just to save her life so I could observe her; watch her sleep at night?

My need to speak with Carlisle was growing at an immense rate. He would have answers. He always knew what to do.

I marched past Alice where she was sitting on the stairs, her face rested on her hands, her lower lip jutting out slightly from her upper. I ignored her pouting, knowing it was because of her vision that was bringing her into this trepidation. And her vision was wrong.

I clenched my teeth together as I spoke, making my words almost incoherent “I’m strong.”

I’m brave enough, I tried to convince myself.

“I won’t hurt her, Alice. Your vision is impossible!”

I’m begging you, she continued to plead.

Her anguish was beginning to weigh on me. I shoved her mental insight from me viciously. How could I possibly bring death to her?

I wanted ?C no ?C I needed Bella. The necessity to hold her, my hunger…my thirst for her was exponentially growing at a sizable intensity. But, it wasn’t my thirst that I was craving the most; I desired for her, longed for the face, the voice, that accompanied the fragrance.

I moved swiftly up the stairs so quick, in fact, a normal human wouldn’t have seen me.

Slowly opening the door to my potential sentencing I entered Carlisle’s office. His face was so close to the book he was reading that his nose was nearly touching the pages.

Association between PPI’s and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis…His eyes moved up the page until they left the book flowing upward towards my face which was perfectly mirrored in his eyes. Guilt was resolutely displayed across my face.

I looked away.

Esme, joyfully flitting around the room, was re-organizing the bookshelves in effort to make room for new books Carlisle had just purchased. She caught my glance when I entered the room.

Edward!She beamed.

She didn’t consciously think her name but to some extent of reasoning her mind was radiating the essence of Bella’s presence that always accompanied me. The fond attachment she had formed for Bella, without ever meeting her, brought a hazardous new light upon being with her. If it were up to Esme, Bella would already be transformed into a vampire. My obvious love was enough for her to wish this often, though she would never voice her desires.

Each second I grew closer to Bella was another second that was being taken from her life. My thirst. My love for her. Which one was stronger? Would they intermingle and make her a vampire?

Risky. My thought was fleeting because I knew that I wouldn’t leave her alone and that I wouldn’t change her. What was the future, her fate? The internal struggle of her inevitable future began nagging at me almost as bad as Rosalie thought’s that were now blaring in my head.

This wasn’t something I could run from. Maybe Carlisle would have the answer. The strong desire for advice wasn’t approaching quick enough. I was growing impatient at all the courtesies.

Hello Edward. His mental tone showed no inflection that he knew of Bella’s knowledge.

Good; Rosalie kept her trap shut, another surprise on top of the already growing pile of shocking news that I seemed to be attracting. Would this news, this information, prove my malefaction?

Now that I was standing here, ready to concede my guilt to him, I didn’t know what to say, speech wouldn’t form. How do you tell someone you deeply care for, more than that, your creator…your father that you betrayed their family ?C my family ?C for a mere human girl?

But to me she wasn’t just ahuman girl – she was thehuman girl, the only one that ever truly mattered.

Carlisle read my expression, his thoughts scattering in every direction, dancing in his mind before he settled on being alarmed at my facial expression. My calm fa?ade must have faded.

What is it Edward? What is wrong? Is Bella…his thoughts trailed off, but I knew the direction they were heading.

Luckily, his concern for that subject was unnecessary.

For now.

“Carlisle, I…she…” I hesitated, pausing.

I didn’t know how to tell my family, those who loved me the most, that I was Judas made flesh. A betrayer.

Carlisle raised an eyebrow at my state of irresolution.

“Edward? Is everything all right?” he asked incredulously, bringing attention to our conversation.

Esme turned at his words, bringing her thoughts and concentration to the open dialog.

Ignoring their stares I continued to sway on the spot, standing there with my mouth halfway open like a gold fish out of water gasping for air. The words failed me.

Would this, of all things, break their faith in me? No one had so absolutely guessed our secret before, learned our truths. If my heart was alive, beating, I swear even a human would be able to hear it. There was only venom in my veins ?C the one thing that would inevitably bring Bella to her death.

Death. No, this couldn’t be the end. Her knowledge wouldn’t condemn her, I refused. Would this be Carlisle’s conclusion, just like it had been for the rest of the family? I would fight against them, if this is what they decided.

“Edward?” Esme prodded.

I had to tell them what she knew; no doubt Rosalie will make sure they were aware if I didn’t confess this soon. It’s better if they hear it from me, but still, the words wouldn’t escape my lips. How do you confess a betrayal? It’s much more difficult than I thought it would be.

Feeling guilty, Edward? Rosalie sneered mentally. What a surprise! I can’t believe you. Once again I had to shove Rosalie’s thoughts from my mind. The barrier was harder to put into place when my concentration was being pulled in so many directions.

Besides the aggressively hostile nature of Rosalie, everyone else was silent, the dead air making it evident that everyone was eavesdropping at this ultimate of pivotal moments, surely waiting to hear my betrayal, or ultimately deciding her fate for me. None of them dared to think it. Not now. Not after I had already fought so hard to keep her alive.

I inhaled a generous gulp of air.

Esme’s anxious look continued to grow deeper.

What is it? Please tell us, she thought tentatively.

Only a brief second had passed before I finally bowed my head downward as if I were admitting a great shame and delivered the words I was terrified would hurt my family. Judas had nothing on me. I sunk into the nearest chair.

“Bella…well, she…she knows, Carlisle.” I had never struggled with words like I did when Bella was involved.

His eyes grew wide, his thoughts in an uproar of intense confusion and concern.

Bella knows? About us? She knows about us? … “Edward, what is going on? Is everything okay? Should I be worried?” Carlisle’s thoughts spilled from his mouth like a stream of water, so rapid I didn’t have time to respond to one of them.

At the same time I brought my glance to his and he focused on my blameworthy expression. He observed my look and then reassured himself that I hadn’t done something foolish. Boy was he wrong.

This all happened in a tenth of a second. My mind still hadn’t fully comprehended all his thoughts.

Of course I shouldn’t be worried, everything will be fine. Okay. Now, “what exactly does Bella know?” he asked, zealous.

I ignored his enthusiasm at the prospect of Bella knowing our secret. Was it an act? Surely my words would cut deeper in a minute. He hadn’t really had time to settle on the thought.

“She knows everything about me!” About us, I amended internally. “She put the pieces together and I just…I couldn’t keep lying to her.” I figured the truth would be better than lies right now.

Honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t tell her himself. Carlisle contemplated mentally. The way she has changed him…I can’t describe it. She would be his perfect pairing. Why not change her? he murmured in thought.

Excellent, Esme beamed. Was she excited about this news too? Was this not the huge betrayal I thought it would be?

“She is the best thing that has ever happened to you, Edward.” Carlisle cut into my thoughts. “I’m so glad she knows,” he whispered softly to me. “It was to be expected. But now, maybe it’s time to move to the next step.”

My head snapped up.

Esme nodded in agreement.

“Next step?” I shouted. “Move to the next step?”

Was this the conclusion? An immortal life? I couldn’t be responsible for such a brutal act. It felt like a brick was sliding down my throat into the pit of my stomach.

“You want me to what…ask her to die?” I shot up like a bottle rocket. “Ask her if she wished to be doomed to go to hell? Are you insane?”

The thought of her burning with the fiery thirst day by day or the first initial three days of begging for death as her veins burned with venom ?C my venom ?C nearly sent me over the edge.

I was hoping beyond hope that this would not come to some sort of vote like what nearly happened after I saved her from the van. To make her into the appalling creature that I am or bring on her early death…no, there is another option. There has to be.

I looked to Carlisle. If anyone’s opinion mattered it would be his. He froze for just a fraction of a second and then sighed heavily. I studied him for a few seconds, apprehension etched into my face, easily reflected in his golden eyes. Also, I could see my face from two viewpoints perfectly. There it was, my pain jerking down the corners of my lips.

“I can’t imagine hurting her, bringing her to her death.”

“If it’s a matter of self control…I can offer my services,” Carlisle proposed.

“A vampire, forever frozen at seventeen…forever doomed to our existence.” Carlisle flinched at my words. “I just can’t…you can’t! How can either of you possibly think her knowledge of our existence a good thing when this is the conclusion?” I shouted.

There were a few murmured agreements throughout the house. Jasper was quiet but thought the next step or death should be the only options. But, after Alice’s request he seemed to try his best to keep his thoughts to himself.

“Who is to say she couldn’t live out her mortal life?” I paused, chagrin obvious in my tone. “I haven’t killed her.” But I could. So easily.

But you haven’t killed her, you even saved her life, I thought to myself, the little devil sitting on my shoulder. Not yet, I amended. The guilt was plainly splayed across my face.

Couldn’t Carlisle tell I was scarcely clutching onto my humanity – just barely by my fingertips when I was around the sweet seduction of Bella’s blood and her enticing pulse? Each second around her was like crawling through the desert and happening upon water that was poisonous. So seductive.

If being human is what you wish for her and you feel that you can’t offer this…then maybe this is the time to leave. Carlisle offered as a choice. He saw me flinch and changed tact. I just don’t want you to make a mistake by denying yourself your true mate by keeping her human. He spoke silently to me.”If you wish to keep her human, then that is your decision. We will not demand her death, or her transformation.” Carlisle added, trying to calm my frenzied nerves. At the same time he was letting everyone in the house know this was his final word. And they are to abide by it. No deaths, no transformations. The end. “You have amazing self control. I believe that you will make the right decision.”

Shock. Yes, that was the emotion I was feeling; stunned, surprised, astonished…I looked up and stared at him incredulously.

Even if I did decide to change her, I wouldn’t have the strength to stop myself from drinking her dry. Just thinking about the luscious taste on my lips sent a shiver of pleasure down my spine.

How could he possibly believe that this whole situation is a good idea? Dread flowed through my frozen veins as the thought of hurting the delicate flower of a girl, Bella, entered my mind. I tried to expunge the images that Alice had embossed into my brain, for they seemed to be coming to the surface at this conversation.

I wasn’t the only one surprised and outraged by his responses to it all, how easily Carlisle just accepted this bit of news like he knew it was going to happen all along.

Rosalie, working on her car, had thrown a wrench down and walked away, muttering choice swear words under her breath. Jasper coughed – something a vampire would never need to do – while breaking part of the chess piece he was holding. He knew of the danger this could possibly cause us all.

Then there were those two thoughts that were unsurprised, actually elated. Alice, for obvious reasons, predicted this future. She loved Bella, human or vampire. Esme, who didn’t care if Bella had four fingers and crossed eyes, was smiling at me. Her thoughts were content, pleased at this news, even though a sturdier Bella, in her mind, would be the better choice.

There was only one neutral thought. “Next time we’ll use your chess set,” Emmett muttered to Jasper. Though, I knew if it came to sides, he would choose Rosalie’s.

Before I responded to Carlisle’s words Esme’s thoughts protruded into my head. I wonder when I can meet her.

I turned and gave Esme a withering look.

“Why are you guys doing this to me?” Derision was obvious in my voice. “If I stay with her…” I needed to leave her alone. She needs to live a mortal life, one that I can not offer her. “I could kill her.” My face screwed up in pain at the word kill.

It’s been months, Edward. She’s still alive. You can do this, I have faith in you, Carlisle thought.

My hands were trembling slightly as fear pulsed through me. Faith, I scoffed. Esme approached me swiftly and embraced me, all fear flooded from my body at her gentle touch.

Carlisle approached me and Esme let go as he placed his hand on my shoulder and thought sympathetically; everything will be all right, son.

It was silent for a minute, as everyone let the news sink in.

“So, what did you tell Bella?” Carlisle asked, intrigued now. Our previous conversation was now in the distant past.

Everything I was doing seemed so human lately. I sank lower into the chair as if it were my only support after being deflated.

“I didn’t tell her, Carlisle, she guessed. She guessed everything, even my little talent of reading minds!”

Carlisle’s thoughts were incoherent with surprise; his words spiraled together and were muddled so I continued.

“I only filled in the blanks, which were not many. She is much more perceptive than I realized…” My voice trailed off and I slumped even lower into the chair. I had made so many mistakes.

I then remembered what she had told me about her trip to First Beach.

“Then her little friend Jacob Black…”

Before I could get another word out Carlisle already knew exactly what had happen.

Jacob…Black. Oh! “The Quileute’s?”

I nodded.

Oh… I see. He chuckled.”I never thought it would be their side to break the treaty! Oh, of course, I know it couldn’t have been meant like that, surely he doesn’t think the stories are true.” he shook is head.

This house became silent, not a word or thought formed for several spiraling seconds. When the curtain of silent thoughts became louder then thoughts themselves, I finally looked up to try to interpret Carlisle’s face since his mind had become nothing more than a bewildered mental humming. The astonishment on his alabaster face was humorous.

Before I could make my mouth move to ask the question I seemed to be asking more and more lately, what are you thinking, Carlisle began to chuckle at full volume. He was truly taken aback, but this news hadn’t bothered him at all. His mind was stunned into silence as flashes of Bella went through – all from that almost tragic day with the van.

I couldn’t take the ever-growing silence emanating off the walls.

“What?” I asked with irritation.

Carlisle shot Esme a look.

Go on,Esme thought while nodding to Carlisle to continue, as if he could read her thoughts. He finally spoke.

“How did she react?”

“She said, ‘it doesn’t matter’ what I am,” my teeth gritted at the memory, and then my expression softened when I remembered the tears that welled up in her eyes at my reaction. Another mistake.

“She won’t tell anyone?” he asked.

“No. I trust her.” At my look, he accepted my answer without a doubt.

“Edward, this cannot be a coincidence. There is a real change happening here.” Carlisle chuckled once more.

Esme put her arm around Carlisle and a large grin gradually spread across her face. My parents were… happy, excessively, even. I hadn’t predicted the conversation going in this direction at all.

I was given the impression that everything was happening very fast. The monster in me began backing into the darkest corners of my mind, gradually dissipating as I was becoming more and more human the more familiar I became with Bella.

What should I do? I know what I should do; it was a matter of what I was going to do.I knew what the answer should be. I need to leave her alone. Even if I can cage the monster for the time, it is not likely I can keep him caged forever. Yes, I have my family for support, but that won’t stop me from accidently hurting her. I had to leave, as Carlisle suggested.

I placed my hand over my eyes and slouched even deeper in the chair. If I sunk down any lower I’d fall right off of it.

Then thought of her deep chocolate brown eyes looking at me with tears as I said goodbye made my un-beating heart ache. The memory of her tear stained face flashed across my mind.

Would she cry? If I left, would she even care? She shouldn’t. I sighed. She really does embrace danger, or maybe the right word was Entice.

I thought about Alice’s vision. I pinched the bridge of my nose at the recollection. The more I thought about it the harder it was for me to imagine being alone with her without breaking or damaging her. Why did Alice put these thoughts in my head? I don’t want to hurt Bella, but I don’t know how much more I could take!

Being in Bella’s presence with the aroma, her warmth…so brave and trusting… not touching her was going to become a problem. Her skin – so soft…electric. I started imaging her warm and cradled comfortably in my arms – lightly touching her face and pulling my hands through her hair. Before I could get too deep into that daydream I had to make a decision and fast.

Regardless of what my decision should be, I was a selfish creature and refused to go. Leaving the girl isn’t an option, I decided. She was a danger to herself and she needed me to protect her, I lied effortlessly.

I shook my head as I ultimately determined I was still going to take her to the meadow. I will give her the chance to see me for who I am, I promised myself. Maybe she would finally learn how dangerous I am and run away screaming.

I won’t kill her, though. I love her. I tried to convince myself that love was enough. The love I felt for her was so exquisite it was nearly pain because I knew there were only two options left for her now.

No, those won’t be her only options. I will make this work. Three options. She could grow old and live out her life, but with me in tow.

Only a few seconds had passed during my reprieve. Carlisle and Esme looked fixedly at me. Their confidence in me was overwhelming. They honestly believed in me, trusted that I wouldn’t hurt her. Maybe Judas did have the corner on the betrayal market.

As I saw the conviction in their faces, something deep inside of me settled. I stood up, surveyed their loving faces and the inner workings of my brain and my non-beating heart finally accepted her fate. Option three.

She will live, I’ll look after her and she will live, I determined. As long as I was around, no one would ever harm her because I would break them limb from limb if they even attempted, or even if they possibly thought it. Her vampire protector. Forever.

“It seems I can’t stay away from her.” I grimaced, but deep inside I was glowing.

I don’t want him to stay away from her; he’s been a different person since she came into his life,Esme thought cheerfully.

Carlisle grinned, his thoughts in sync with Esme.

I sighed, but the sound wasn’t as pained as before. It was almost…joyous.

Striding swiftly from the room I realized it was no longer silent in the house. I could hear faint mutterings from Rosalie. Instantly I shoved her constant jeering from my mind.

Deep down, Rosalie’s problem with Bella really was pure jealousy. She hated that Bella was human because she wanted to be human. But I thought her warm, trusting humanness was Bella’s best quality.

Edward!Alice bellowed from her head while skipping up the stairs towards me.

The cloudy, blurry vision from earlier today was instantly clear. No longer did she see Bella’s lifeless form lying in the bracken of the forest floor. My eyes no longer glowed that ominous red.

When she reached me at the top of the stairs she grinned widely while practically jumping on me to wrap her tiny arms around my neck.

“Thank you, Edward!” Alice was jubilant.

I nodded and returned her hug, releasing her quickly because I was on a mission.

Have fun at Bella’s. I suppose you won’t tell her hi for me, will you?

For the first time since I entered the house this afternoon, my lips twitched up into a smile, completely opposite from my previous grimace. My stomach was doing back flips at the thought of being with her again.

I couldn’t stand being away from her any longer.

I dashed through the forest towards her house as if someone was lighting a fire beneath my feet. As I took off I heard faded thoughts from Alice.

I wonder what happened to change the vision? I hope Edward starts letting me hang out with her. Just two more days…She was counting down. Then I saw images of her dressing a blushing Bella up and playing with her hair like she was a doll.

I rolled my eyes, but instantly craved for this to come true.

I was sitting in the rocking chair in Bella’s room. Her warm delicious scent was swirling around me and I was sucking it slowly into my lungs with each breath. I was willing myself to stay away from her. A feat much harder than one would realize.

Tonight, she was not sleeping soundly. I watched as she tangled herself into the blankets early on in the evening.

I stood. Realizing I was unable to help her, I sat. The chair was my prison, holding me in my seat. She was the dessert across the table from a kid who had to eat broccoli. The temptation would never go away, yet each second I grew stronger against my will to rush over and hold her. I couldn’t allow myself to do something so foolish. It was about her now. What she wants, what she needs. I had to toss my selfishness away as best I could, even though my presence was selfish enough.

She tossed again. I got up once more, my hands reaching out like I could help. My touch was too cold…wrong. I seated myself back into my prison.

I sighed. With the quick intake of air the burning persisted in my dry throat. Each breath brought me pleasure and torture. Mainly torture, though her scent reminded me of how alive she is.

“Edward…” she mumbled in her sleep.

This was not the first time this evening that she murmured my name in her sweet magical voice. Each sound or movement was watched by me as she continued to tangle herself in the sheets.

I couldn’t help but worry that she wasn’t having a good dream. I was a monster after all.

She woke a few times in the night, startled from her dream ?C or nightmare ?C but I was stealthy enough to hide. She never caught me but I wondered what she would think if she did. Would she finally scream? Would she shriek at the sight of the peeping tom that I had become? Would she turn her deep gaze towards me and beg me to leave and never come back?Anguish fell over me at the thought. This must be why I continued to hide every time I saw her eyes flutter.

She tossed again, holding her pillow tightly while a small sigh escaped her lips.

“Edward…mmmmm.”

Once again my heart leapt at the sound of my name on her breath.

As the night progressed she settled into a deeper sleep, finally calm and unmoving. In the earlier hours of the morning I saw her shudder and watched as goose bumps arose on her skin.

Without thought I was standing, walking over to her, leaning down, hand out stretched before my mind finally caught up with my actions. Indecision was deep in my thoughts.

Another breath.

More fiery thirst.

I wasn’t sure if it was the monster or my protective side, but without thinking I reached out to unravel her blanket to cover her. As I slowly moved the blanket over her I accidently touched her arm. Or was it an accident?

It was if a million little electrodes sent pleasant shocks down my spine. I closed me eyes to take in her aroma.

She was soft…warm.

I quickly held my breath but realized that if I were going to stay with her that I had to overcome my thirst, my ever growing desire to crush her to my body and dig my teeth deep into her neck.

Another breath.

My mouth was instantly full of venom. The monster inside of me was clawing at my chest bones, trying to break free of my body and drink the most delicious blood that ever existed. I grabbed at my chest trying to push the monster back in when suddenly I felt something vibrate. It was my phone.

Alice. I swallowed the pool of venom pouring into my mouth.

Leaping out of her window I answered the phone. I opened my mouth to speak but before I could say hello Alice began pleading in her bell voice.

“Edward! Please!”

My hand automatically met the bridge of my nose. She was my favorite and the most irritating of my family.

She continued without pause.

“I keep getting flashes of you killing Bella! If you kill her I will be very upset. I haven’t even had the opportunity to talk to her,” her voice was petulant.

I gritted my teeth and breathed in the light morning air around me. The fresh air cleared my head making the monster retreat. How had I let things get out of hand? Why did I have to put my hand in the cookie jar?

“Alice,” I breathed.

She interjected.

“Please, just be careful, Edward! Your future has been changing erratically…I never know what is going to happen with you anymore.” I could almost hear her pout.

I sighed because she was right. The easy flow of my future had taken a wild spin and even I couldn’t tell her what my plans were from day to day anymore.

“I won’t hurt her, Alice,” I said with chagrin.

“You better not!” It was a command. “I’ll see you soon.” She hung up the phone.

I groaned. Was I really that close? I didn’t think I was. Looking back up at her window I decided it was okay for me to check on her ?C just one more time ?C tonight.

Her small chest was moving up and down evenly along with her steady breath. She was still sound asleep. Safe. Her protector kept her free from danger.

But didn’t protect her from himself, I growled internally. I was going to have to work on that.

The light of a new day began to peak over the tops of the trees, sending blue tints across the grey clouds that accompanied the sky.

My mind was racing around with what this new day would bring me as I was soaring through the forest at a ferocious velocity back towards home. The questions I would ask her…the responses I would receive. To just dive in and understand her mind, to know what she was thinking.

My thirst instantly became secondary to her knowing mind. My curiosity was aching like a thirst.

Thirst, I thought warily.

I needed to hunt. I needed more blood to help dilute the intense sensations that came over when I was around Bella. I’d do it now, while I was out ?C one more time ?C just in case it wasn’t true after all, that my ravenous desire to have her was second to her.

I closed my eyes, letting my nose take over.

Deer, I groaned. Ugh.

I still raced towards it and quenched my ever burning throat, letting the warm blood soak into my dry and frozen throat. Gluttonous. That is what I had become. If I shook myself you might even hear the blood slosh around in me.

But, there was no blood that would ease this ache…this hollow yearning. I pushed the animal off of me with disgust and realized my need for a shower and fresh clothes.

When I arrived at home I ran into Rosalie in the garage.

Great, I thought. Exactly what I need.

“You know this is going to cause problems, Edward,” she hissed my name.

“Not now, Rosalie.” I growled back.

“You are so self-centered, haven’t you thought about what this will do to our family?” she bit back at me.

Of course I had thought about it. Wasn’t it obvious that it was eating at me, every second of every day? It was only earlier that I admitted my betrayal.

She must be bored ?C this argument was getting old.

“Rosalie, go jump off a cliff,” I snapped back at her, not like that would do much to her; maybe ruffle her hair and clothes – that should piss her off.

I chuckled at my internal thought.

Ignoring her jibes and muttering I continued to walk inside. Everyone else was pointedly ignoring me. It was apparent that they were all acting busy. I saw through the pretense but I was relieved they were leaving me alone.

I was swiftly dressed and back at Bella’s before Charlie left, parking my car around the block so it would be out of sight. I raced towards her house, hoping to hear something new today.

Lurking in the shadows outside her house, the feeling of being a stalker came over me again. Was this how I would forever live my life ?C being a crazy vampire stalker?

Catching the tail end of their conversation I reprimanded myself for letting Rosalie distract me, taking away a considerable amount of my time. My stalking time, I laughed mirthlessly at myself.

Feeling a little belligerence because I failed to get back before her thoughts were being spoken, I listened with more effort….eavesdropping on their conversation more tentatively.

“I’m not going to the dance, Dad.” I heard the stubbornness in Bella’s tone as I imagined her vulnerable face creasing with anger. Her kitten anger.

I chuckled.

Today seemed to be a mostly silent thought day for Charlie, but the tenor of his mind was still leaking out. Fear raged through him at the possibility that none of the boys liked her at school. What was wrong with his daughter? These thoughts were more pointless than he realized. If only he knew what all the males at school thought about her…

Even worse – what she liked: a vampire.

“Didn’t anyone ask you?” Charlie asked, concerned.

“It’s a girl’s choice.” Bella’s voice was exultant with smugness.

I could almost hear the triumph in her voice as she realized she won this argument. Once again I imagined her face; her chin jutting out, her lips pursing.

Another chuckle.

Oh, how light my heart felt every second I was around her.

“Oh.” Charlie huffed, disappointed.

His thoughts turned a different direction while he contemplated why she didn’t like anyone at school.

She did like someone though…me. My heart leapt, my desires raced, my body ached to hold her. Enough, I ordered. Hadn’t I gone too far already today?

The clattering of dishes rang out into the yard before Charlie emerged from the house. I watched as he waved, saying goodbye to Bella. I raced towards my car.

As soon as Charlie drove off I was in the driveway waiting for her, anxious that one day she will walk out of the house, see me waiting for her and then will deny me her company.

It pained me to think like this but I was still not completely sure of her feelings. Her hidden thoughts make things more interesting, I sighed, but they also drive me insane.

Bella came out of the house with a slight skip in her step as she turned around to lock the door, leaving the main dead bolt unlocked. I noticed everything about her, even the inconsequential.

As I watched her carefully, I almost exited the car to give her a hand, worried she might fall at her pace but she slowed when she saw the silver Volvo waiting for her in the drive. I felt a quick sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Well, I should remain in the car; she obviously was considering her options at this point.

More pain, my burning desire feared to be extinguished.

She continued her unhurried pace in my direction. What was she thinking? Did she not want to ride with me today?

She stopped with her hand on the door, wavering. Aggravation flooded me in waves I’d never felt before, not at Bella, but the fact that I didn’t know what she was thinking. I tried to probe her mind once again, and reached a solid and impermeable wall.

My light mood quickly faded at my new fear.

Her hand reached out to grab the handle. I exhaled heavily at the relief that now flooded me.

Finally, she decided to ride with me, I hoped, considering she was now opening the door. Her head ducked under the roof of the car and I greeted her with a smile while I waited for her scent to assault me.

She finally sat in the passenger seat and shut the door, sending a hot wave of freesia in my direction.

Daggers, white hot knives…burning. I took in a large breath, closing my eyes.

Her scent did exactly what I expected. The warmth of her body and her pulse emitted the loveliest smell and the scent wrapped around me as it scorched down my throat. I opened my eyes to see the particles of air swirling around me that were now doused with her aroma.

My eyes finally met hers.

“Good Morning,” I said after swallowing my thirst. “How are you today?”

How was she? What were her dreams about? Did she miss me? There were countless quantities of things I wanted to inquire about. My questions distracted me from my thirst more than anything else.

I suppressed a sigh.

“Good, thank you,” she smiled.

Smiling, that was good. I surveyed her face and could tell she didn’t sleep well because she had large circles under her eyes. And I stayed in her room all night as she tossed in her sleep, I added mentally. No need to inform her of my nightly visits, though.

Once again I became frustrated because I couldn’t hear her knowing mind. What kept her up at night? What made her toss and turn and say my name? It never appeared like she was having a nightmare, or maybe I was just trying to convince myself of this. What else could possibly be making her so restless if not scary monsters that actually exist?Maybe I was just fooling myself.

“You look tired,” I pointed out to continue her talking.

I took in another breath and was instantly intoxicated by her scent. My mouth watered, I was nearly salivating.

No mistakes, I ordered.

“I couldn’t sleep.” She looked like she was confessing to something and then hid behind her curtain of hair.

Keep it light.

“Neither could I,” I teased as I turned the key to start the engine.

She laughed and the sound was harmonious.

“I guess that’s right. I suppose I slept just a little bit more than you did.”

“I wager you did,” I returned her smile; relieved the conversation was going so well.

Another ?C deeper ?C breath soared down my throat this time and I bit down hard on my cheek. The tantalizing smell was luxurious, painfully pleasurable…a rich profusion, opulent. The elaborate mix of her enticing scent was the only thing I ever wanted to breathe in, though, at the same time I craved the fresh air outside…just to clear my mind. I could literally stick my tongue out and taste her on the air; it was so saturated with her aroma.

Oh, who cares about the pain, she was here with me and that was all I wanted, I told myself.

No mistakes!

I took in a few more gulps of air while the monster clawed angrily at my throat. He was so close to the edge that I was using all my concentration now to fight him back.

“So what did you do last night?” she asked, intrigued.

She instantly scared the monster back into the darkness with just the sound of her voice.

She’s clever…but not clever enough, it was my turn to ask the questions ?C as I had made clear the day before. There were so many questions that were left unanswered and I had to know.

A smile broke across my face and I chuckled.

“Not a chance. It’s my day to ask questions,” I said enthusiastically.

“Oh, that’s right. What do you want to know?” her forehead creased.

What was going on in her mind? She looked worried and I almost reached out to press my finger in between her eyebrows to smooth out the worry lines.

Keep it simple, light.

“What’s your favorite color?”

That was simple enough.

She rolled her eyes.

Maybe too simple.

“It changes from day to day,” she smiled.

I knew I was going to have to drag everything out of her, no surprise there.

“What’s your favorite color today?” I asked gruffly.

“Probably brown,” she said, looking down at her brown shirt.

Really? I had to stop myself from snorting and instantly dropped my serious gaze, the pretense no longer needed.

“Brown?” I asked skeptically.

“Sure. Brown is warm. I miss brown. Everything that’s supposed to be brown ?C tree trunks, rocks, dirt ?C is all covered up with squashy green stuff here,” she complained.

At her answer, I was able to add another thing to my list: she was self-effacing. She wasn’t easily led by other people, choosing her color because of what she liked, not what the populace agreed upon.

Suddenly I remembered her muttering, “It’s too green,” when she was sleeping one evening and tried not to chuckle aloud.

“You’re right,” I decided, excitement racing through me at all the thoughts I would unlock today. Even learning this little thing about her made me reel with glee.

Okay, back to business. I was abruptly serious again.

“Brown is warm.”

Brown was in fact one of my favorite colors, too. I don’t know why it took me so long to become aware of this; her deep brown eyes and long brown hair. I hesitated for an instant, not wanting to spoil the moment, but feelings I had never felt before I met Bella were surfacing.

My hand twitched, wanting to reach over and pull her hair from her face, so I could see the beauty that lied beneath. To just lift her chin slightly, turning it in my direction so I could try to read the deep depths of her eyes… Enough.

It would be wrong for me to do it, to place her warm face in my cold hands. The warmth. If I just slightly raised her chin, I could meet her half way…place my lips to hers.

Enough, I ordered again, but it was too late. My hand was out stretched, reaching towards her as I pulled her hair behind her shoulder, gently. Some of the lose strands spilled over my hand. Enough!

I dropped my hand instantly.

No mistakes!

I could feel the warmth coming off of her skin, her fragrance was enveloping, and her hair was soft like silk. My urge to press my cold hard lips to her delicate soft ones had not evaded me.

Stop there, I scolded myself. No more errors. You mustn’t be so selfish, I reprimanded.

We pulled into the school parking lot but this didn’t mean that my questioning was over…that my desires were gone.

Keep it light, I reminded myself.

“What music is in your CD player right now?” I asked.

She thought for a moment, her eyes un-focusing, looking up.

“Linkin Park.” Her eyes met mine again.

Hum, interesting choice. I reached into a compartment under my CD player and after rummaging through the debris I pulled out the same exact CD.

“Debussy to this?” I raised an eyebrow.

She just grinned at me. It was infectious. I returned her smile.

It was time for school to start and we had to part ways. Luckily I could locate her no matter where she was, jumping from mind to mind. I was listing questions to ask her while I waited for the hours away from her to pass. Purgatory had now become a small slice of heaven.

Watching her interact with other humans only added more questions to my ever growing list. I wanted to know everything about her. Was her responses what she was really thinking or was she replying with what they wanted to hear?

My list grew. I made sure to meet up with her in between every class and stroll along side her while she talked; absorbing the information like a snake soaks up the heat from the sun.

During our short walks I was able to unleash some of the questions from my ever growing list. Her every expression, body language, and replies were all-encompassing and intriguing. I was gradually learning each of her little quirks and thoughts.

As I continued to unlock the mystery that was Isabella Swan, I learned something new. She wasn’t just good; she was virtuous…above me. I looked at the crowd in the hallway. Above them all.

The day when I could question her nonstop had finally arrived and I was entirely full of a bright glowing light. As each moment passed I was deeply afraid she would realize I was below her, insignificant compared to her greatness.

She still ate with me at lunch, or she ate, I questioned. Sometimes, I got so excited with the information being spilled from her that I began spitting out the questions so fast that she was almost breathless trying to respond to them all. It was hard to control myself.

It was like someone switched on the computer and I was accessing her hard drive, absorbing the knowledge of her mind that she kept locked up nice and secure.

Then, something miraculous happened. Or, by my standards it was miraculous. Because who could possibly like a vampire? During our questioning I asked her what her favorite gemstone was and she blurted out topaz immediately and then her skin turned an appetizing color of red. Automatically, I breathed in a gluttonous amount of air and sighed. Why was she blushing? I begged her to enlighten me as to why she was embarrassed by her answer.

“Tell me,” I begged.

“It’s the color of your eyes today,” she sighed and I watched her look down while the blush on her cheeks became a brilliant red again.

She loved me, too. Like I said ?C a miracle. Another thing to add to my list: she was passionate. Joy rushed me; almost flipping me over my seat at the feelings of deep affection that warmed me, almost making me feel human. Almost.

I suddenly thanked whatever force brought her to me.

And then, surprising me even more, she elaborated on her answer.

“I suppose if you ask me in two weeks I’d say onyx.” Her face turned even a darker shade of pink. I ignored the thirst, easily wiping it away like a bug on my windshield.

Was she finally opening up? I could feel the spring in my step, the instant craving to bound over the table and bring her into my arms…to kiss her warm lips.

She gave me a face like she was bracing for something.

Was she waiting for the fury that radiated off of me when I realized how engrossed she was with a vampire and the fact that she just didn’t care? I’d forever hate myself for my poor reactions in Port Angeles…for making her cry.

When the lunch break was over we walked to Biology class. I wanted to reach out and seize her hand…her warm ?C inviting ?C hand looked very welcoming to my own. She was next to me but I was feeling detached, like our fingers should forever be interlocked.

Stop it, I thought. No mistakes. And holding her would be a mistake.

We would be continuing the movie in Biology class today which I wasn’t thrilled about. Yesterday the electricity in the room was encompassing us. I wasn’t sure I would be able to not touch her while she sat so close to me in the dark room where the electricity flowed freely between us. Each little zing practically making me automatically reach out towards her.

We took our seats beside each other and I knew the warm room would soon fill with Bella’s scent. The heater turned on and I was waiting to embrace it, to bring it deeper into my lungs so I could revel in the delicious scent, let it intoxicate me. I’ve never been drunk, but if I had to guess, I’d say her scent made me quite tipsy.

Every moment that passed by when I was with Bella was the most painful and pleasant. Though the fire I felt in my throat didn’t dissipate, her aroma was something I continued to embrace. Over time her scent had become less over powering which helped the monster stay securely caged in my chest. Or maybe being around her all the time helped? Had my constant presence in her life helped to make the thirst dissipate? Each moment, the thirst was becoming more manageable with my familiarity with her scent.

The lights dimmed for the movie and I moved my chair a little farther away from hers this time. I saw her eye my movement with sadness, but it was better if I don’t entice my senses too much, even though the space didn’t matter much to these new feelings I had.

The need to reach out and hold her hand, or maybe put my arm around her was nearly overwhelming.

No mistakes, I fought internally.

She would probably be repulsed by how cold my skin is. She would feel the hardness of my body and maybe then she would realize the monster I am. Would she be terrified then?

No matter how far away I moved from Bella in this warm little room I could sense her and feel the current in the air around us. I watched her as she leaned forward, folding her arms on the desk and resting her chin on them. Not once did I look away from Bella. I watched as she twitched occasionally and wondered what was bothering her.

Did she want to touch me too?

If she did, it would only make it that much more difficult for me to not give her what she wants ?C to bring her into my arms and hold her securely to my chest like I did the day I saved her from the van.

Hah! He moved away from her. Mike sneered in our direction. Guess things aren’t going so well in Cullen land after all.

This enraged me beyond belief and made it that much more difficult to keep my hands off Bella. I wanted to protect her from his thoughts; I wanted to show him that she was mine. But again, I had to remind myself of what a horrible mistake I was about to make as my arm twitched in her direction.

I folded my arms securely across my chest attempting to keep the monster caged and trying to hold my hands at bay. If I were not a vampire, I would have crushed my own bones from crossing my arms so tightly. I was trying to hold back my other desires, now, as they burned and begged for me to just reach over and grab her up into my arms. The fantasy was beginning to spin wildly out of control.

Enough!

When the movie was over I saw her sit up. She was gripping the desk so hard that I saw her fingers go from white to pink as the blood rushed back into them. I watched as the blood swirled under her clear skin. I was internally struggling, trying not to caress her, hoping she hadn’t hurt herself by her deathly grip on the desk.

The class was dismissed and I stood up and waited for her to get to her feet. I grabbed her books and walked her to gym. What was she thinking now? The questions burning inside me were not the questions I was going to raise today.

Do you love me too? came to mind. I sighed as my curiosity was beginning to burn as hot as the thirst in my throat.

As I was walking with her I was fighting the urge to reach out and hold her hand, again. The urge was becoming unbearable. My thirst was now second to my new desires.

I was walking at her pace hoping I could convince myself that all of my cravings had to take a backseat to Bella’s needs. She is so frail and breakable. The internal conflict was becoming regular.

When we finally reached the gym I still hadn’t completely made up my mind. I was totally and utterly unsure of my path. When she turned to look at me with her deep communicative eyes any commitment I had crumbled to pieces.

She looked so glorious that my arm was raised, hand out, and caressing her face from her temple down to her jaw without my consent. A deep fervor brought new sensations down my spine. A tingling feeling rushed through my veins, entering my heart, expanding it with just the thought of my affection. As soon as I realized what I was doing I dropped my hand, turned around and staggered away.

Any semblance of my good nature persona was probably crushed at my rude goodbye. Heck, I didn’t even say goodbye.

What in the world were you thinking? I thought angrily at myself. She didn’t seem to mind though. She might have even leaned a little into my touch, the devilish side of me thought.

Wow, her instincts were backwards. Who would want to be touched by something so cold?

As I was walking I started peeking into peoples’ minds in her gym class. After what happened last time in gym class I had to admit I was slightly anxious that she might injure herself again. To imagine her warmth dissipating nearly crippled me.

I wanted to stay out of Mikes mind but he was always paying so much attention to Bella. As much as I hated him, I appreciated him for always paying attention, but loathed him for unlocking some of her secrets before I did.

Reaching class I sat next to Emmett.

I really hate Cullen, he is such a freak. Mike was thinking in irritation. What does she see in him? He’s such a tool. Mike thought scathingly while playing badminton. Well, things did seem a little cool between them in Biology.

At his thoughts I almost shot out of my seat in anger. He was mentally picturing fighting with me and winning Bella’s affections. Suddenly, the thought of this feeble human trying to fight me was comical and I was trying very hard to suppress laughter.

Emmett stared at me as he watched the many expressions flicker across my face. I ignored him because I was busy watching Bella in gym.

Mike and Bella didn’t speak, and I had to admit it was rather delightful to see him sweat over it. I really didn’t like the way he thought about her, or the way he fantasized about being with her. I started to imagine all the ways I could torture him. I smiled at the wistful thought but I needed to banish that idea from my mind quickly before that daydream got too out of control.

What is so funny? Emmett was staring at me, smiling.

It was clear he wanted to know what was going on by his raised eyebrow, no mind reading necessary. I knew he was having a hard time with my situation with Bella. It wasn’t because he cared, it was because of Rosalie. She was being difficult. If anything, he was having an enjoyable time with the situation minus Rosalie. Emmett was learning to love humans because he thought they were so hilarious.

I grinned at him and whispered too low for human ears to hear.

“Mike is thinking of fighting me,” I chuckled low.

Emmett’s eyes grew tight as his smile widened. Now he was trying to stifle a laugh. Emmett always loved a fight, but that one would be too easy.

We could just put him in a room with Rosalie. She has been very irritated lately, Emmett couldn’t stop from laughing this time.

He pictured Rosalie in a room with Mike. In this image, Mike was pathetically trying to fight off a very powerful and pissed off Rosalie. Mike wouldn’t stand a chance. I grinned widely at the thought, another chuckle escaping my lips.

Ms. Goff looked for the culprit of the laughing and passed over us quickly. Just like the other teachers, they all thought us to be perfect students.

Who is interrupting my class? What could possibly be so funny? She thought angrily.

I arrived outside the gym before Bella had exited, practically bouncing on the balls of my feet. My desires started flaring up again when she finally walked through the doors and her eyes met mine. A smile crept up her elegant face. She was happy to see me, too.

I don’t deserve her.

I couldn’t help but smile back. It was all I could do to not grab her up into my arms and hug her.

No mistakes. Especially after the one I made before her gym class.

Her scent enveloped me, and the monster reared up, but the desire to hold her over powered the monster and he was pushed into the dark again. Just another stupid bug on my windshield. My body was taking charge without my permission when it came to acquiring what I desired most with Bella.

To preoccupy my time I decided to start my questioning again.

I drove her to her house while unlocking the mysteries of her mind the whole all way there. I parked in her driveway while our conversation continued. We were so engrossed in our exchange that Bella didn’t seem to notice we had stopped.

After sitting in the car for quite some time I noticed that she never tried to exit. I was bathing in her aroma and letting the hollow yearn in my stomach and the dry dull ache of my throat remind myself of the monster that I am.

I started asking her questions about her past and I became instantly terrified. Did I really want to know what was lurking in her past? Was there another boy? Someone she had to leave behind? Someone who could hold her, embrace her, care for her without having the desire to drink her dry of life? The fear behind this thought nearly crippled me so I decided I would ask her later about previous boys she dated.

Skipping over the subject I asked her why she loved Arizona. She explained it to me in great detail, excited to answer this one. The way she talked about the place was almost like she loved it, just like I loved her. She used her hands to describe things. It was like I unlocked her voice box. Her thoughts were finally being freed from her mind.

When she was done answering I already had another question in mind. I asked her what her room was like and she began telling me about it in detail. Of course I already knew exactly what it looked like; dotted with shoes, tangles of covers on her bed, closet lacking jumbles of clothes, piles of books and an old computer that at first glance you wouldn’t think would work. I couldn’t help myself. I had to be near her and asking the inconsequential seemed to be the best way. I felt so alone without her around.

When did she become my life? How did she become my life?

“Are you finished?” she asked with relief in her voice when I didn’t spit out another query.

Finished? “Not even close ?C your father will be home soon.” It was more of a reminder for me, not for her.

She looked out the window quickly like she was wondering where the sun went.

“How late is it?” she asked, a little panic in her voice.

She glanced at the clock and surprise crossed her face.

“It’s twilight,” I answered.

I looked out the windshield and realized another day was over.

“It’s the safest time of day for us. The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way… the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don’t you think?” I grinned at her, trying to remind myself to keep it light.

“I like the night” she announced. “Without the dark we would never see the stars,” she frowned and looked out the window. “Not that you see them here much,” she finished sarcastically.

Her tone caught me off guard and I laughed.

Crap, her father. I heard Charlie a few streets away.

“Charlie will be here in a few minutes. So, unless you want to tell him you will be with me Saturday…” I raised an eyebrow teasingly.

I wanted her to tell him because it would give me a reason to bring her back. It would keep my new desires in check…my thirst, my ever growing need to kidnap her and never bring her home again.

“Thanks but no thanks,” she replied airily. There she went again, embracing danger.

She began gathering her books, looking a little uncomfortable. Did I say something wrong? Was it the look on my face?She turned and looked at me.

“So, is it my turn tomorrow, then?” she asked.

She still wanted to see me tomorrow! I rejoiced.

“Certainly not!” I said in mock rage.

It felt so good to be light and teasing around her. She made my skin sing.

“What more is there?” she said, perplexed.

There was everything more. I wanted to know everything about this girl, every detail of her life.

“You’ll find out tomorrow.” I teased.

I reached across her ?C before thinking about it ?C to open her door. Her warmth washed over me and it took every bit of my brain to concentrate on not leaning over and letting my desires take control. I heard her heart start to beat rapidly. It skipped a few beats and I felt her breath on me. I ached…I yearned for her.

No mistakes!

How much could I take before I did something I regretted?

A thought startled me back into reality.

I hope Charlie is home. I’m ready to watch the game. It sure has been a while since I’ve seen him, hope he’s not still mad at me.

I froze with my hand on the door handle.

“Not good,” I muttered.

I clenched my teeth together; it was Billy Black.

“What is it?” She stared at me trying to read my face.

Well, I knew I was going to have to let her out of the car eventually, but not while the Blacks were here. I wanted to take her and run. What other kind of stories could they fill her mind with?

“Another complication.” I said glumly.

I grabbed the door handle and pushed it open. The air outside blew swiftly into the car and brought her scent with it. I was instantly ravenous and moved quickly away from her, trying to shove the monster back in my chest with the movement.

Stay Bella I wanted to beg but she really did need to just leave me alone. I knew I wouldn’t let her leave me alone though, not after discovering that she was the most astounding creature I had ever known. I suppressed a sigh as the Blacks headlights flashed across her gorgeous face.

“Charlie’s around the corner,” I warned her.

She got out at once. Sheets of rain were pelting down on my windshield. Odd, I didn’t notice it was raining until she opened the door. I could see her squinting through it towards the Black’s car. She must not know who it is. I stared right through the headlights seeing very clearly. I could hear Jacob Blacks thoughts now and he was irritating me immediately.

Oh, it’s Bella! I wonder if there is something wrong with her truck. I should take a look at it, maybe make something up that would take me a long time to fix so I could spend more time with her. Man, she is so pretty. I wonder what she thinks of me…Who is that? He stared in my direction but he didn’t recognize me.

I had to get out of there. I squealed my tires and drove away more quickly than necessary. As I drove away I was struggling with myself about spying on her some more. Would the Blacks convince her to stay away from me? I was not oblivious to Billy’s thoughts, I had heard his opinion many times in the past and he loathed me.

But Bella was still alive, and she was still with me. She said it didn’t matter to her that I was a vampire. I wonder what it will finally be, the thing that scares her away, I pondered. The thoughts of leaving her alone started to become fewer and farther between.

What was her fate now? I was still worried about our trip to the meadow. I remembered Alice’s vision before my resolve but they are so skewed that they could change the instant I decide to take a bite.

Would I kill her? Would I take her into my arms, press my lips to her neck and sink my teeth into her, making her an immortal? I couldn’t even imagine being able to stop.

Would I ask Carlisle?

No, she didn’t deserve my fate. I would never take her soul.

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Nursing Knowledge

What makes Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) a great source of knowledge for nursing references? It produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies. The column by JBI will cover a broad range of topics and will appear periodically in AJN.

With reference to its official website, http://www.joannabriggs.edu.au, The Joanna Briggs Collaboration is a coordinated effort by a group of self-governing collaborative centres, coordinated through the leadership of The Joanna Briggs Institute. The legitimate operations of The Joanna Briggs Collaboration include the promotion of evidence-based health care; education and training; conducting of systematic reviews; the development of Best Practice Information Sheets; the implementation of evidence-based practice; and the conduct of evaluation cycles and primary research arising out of systematic reviews.

Various collaborating centre have teamed up to produce excellent and up to date sources that are relatively relevant in medical field. A good source of research should be current, concise, and give factual evidences.

The website also contains electronic copies of all JBI collaboration publications that includes such as; Best Practice Information Sheets, systematic reviews, evaluation cycle reports and practice manuals.

What’s most important about this research source is that the evidence library offers a variety of reports such as product and technical reports, executive summaries, review protocols, and a Cochrane library. For further research, it offers various database such as a systematic review database and database of abstract reviews of effects.

Overall, this research source will definitely help someone to find pertinent facts and information on medical field.

Sigma Theta Tau International

As a knowledge and leadership organization, the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International responds to health and nursing profession trends and issues that are germane to its mission.( http://www.nursingsociety.org/resources/main.html)

The site is a good start point for research, here you will find;

Ø  Resources and Position Papers – Position statements and resource papers about trends and key issues that are developed by the society.

Ø  Global Alliances – affiliations alliances of society with other eminent international organizations for stronger organization.

Ø  Various Organizational Affiliates

Ø  National Quality Measures Clearinghouse – NQMC, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), it is a public storehouse for evidence-based quality measures and measure sets.

The site offers more than a research source; it also acts a focal point for nursing communities where they can exchange information on various aspects of nursing. There is also a special link for student nurse resources and society resources. As they value their members they offer mentoring programs to enhance the leadership and potential skills of nurses.

Its commitment does not only rely to library resources and research but also dedicated to its society, community and fellow members. They also have a foundation that serves the culmination of overall purpose of the organization. Certain communities are established to promote well being and participation in socio civic cultural activities of nurses.

In general, this site offers a great mixture of facts, information, and interaction made by nurses to its fellow nurses. A well informative site that serves as a ground for various nurses all through out; thus, with the organization mission and vision that will has a parallel principle which will serve as continuous commitment to the society.

References:

http://www.joannabriggs.edu.au

http://www.nursingsociety.org/resources/main.html

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Free Essays

The Application of Consumer’s Knowledge

| CONSUMER BEHAVIOR PAPER| The Application of Consumer’s Knowledge and Involvement Concept in “Adu Segar Larutan Penyegar” Case Study from Brand Cap Kaki Tiga Perspective | September 2012| MMBM Batch 25 Team #2 Dickson Mulia 0152121007 Genoveva Iswati0152121016 Arfianti Puspitarini0152121035 Maulana 01521210xx EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga, currently being manufactured by PT Kinocare, is facing a fierce competition against Larutan Penyegar Cap Badak since Wen Ken Drugs decision in February 2011 to withdraw the license from PT Sinde Budi Sentosa and granted it to PT Kinocare.

In the market, the new Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga is perceived as a replica product of its predecessor and they are struggling to gain consumer brand awareness and eventually become consumer’s choice. In this case study, we recommend Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga to get out of the tight corner by implementing a breakthrough innovation in order to gain consumer interest and remove consumer’s visual imagery of Badak logo that has been anchored in consumer’s memory since 1937 I. BACKGROUND 1937 – The Product Era

About 75 years ago, in 1937 four Singaporean Chinese families decided to go into business together to market a secret traditional medical recipe which becomes known as Three Legs Cooling Water. In Hokkien, ‘3 legs’ (pronounced as Sa Ka) is a popular proverb meaning to flatter someone. But in the world of traditional medicine in Singapore and Malaysia, the ‘3 legs’ means a simple effective way to prevent or heal fever and headache caused by ‘healthiness’ in the body The logo features two legs on solid ground and one additional leg to provide additional support and expedite the healing process.

The symmetrical legs represent equality for all and humbleness on others’ views and suggestions. And finally, the circle marks the cohesiveness of the staff and customers centered on the triple legs 1978 – Introduction into Indonesia Market About 30 years ago, in 1978 Wen Ken Drug Co. Ltd Singapore granted the license of Three Legs (known locally as ‘Cap Kaki Tiga’) to PT Sinde Budi Sentosa as licensed manufacturer with headquarter located in Jakarta. 2011 – Transfer of License Wen Ken Drug Co. Ltd Singapore withdrew the license of Cap Kaki Tiga from PT Sinde Budi Sentosa and transfered it to Kino Group.

February 2012 – The Competition Kino Group was prohibited from using Cap Kaki Tiga brand together with Cap Badak painting on the product. PT Sinde Budi Sentosa has won their claim over the usage of Cap Badak painting on their products and Kino Group may use Cap Kaki Tiga brand. This is the beginning of the competition on cooling water between Cap Kaki Tiga and Cap Badak. Following is the comparison of the product : Larutan Penyegar Cap Badak (Sinde) and Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga (Kino). About Kino Group Kino Corporation started as a small distribution company named Duta Lestari Sentratama back in 1991.

Another big step was taken in 1999, Kinocare Era Kosmetindo, manufacturer of a wide range of personal care products for all genders and ages was established. 2003 saw Kinocare Era Kosmentindo enlarged its businesses further into homecare division by providing a wide range of homecare products under the brand Sleek. Expanding into Asian region, in 2002 Kino opened its branch office in Malaysia; Kino Care (M) Sdn. Bhd. , and in 2003 in the Philippine; Kino Consumer Philippines Inc. and also established distributorships with some other big distributor companies in Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam and Myanmar. Kino Group consists of the following: . PT KinoCare Era Kosmetindo : Personal care and Home care products (Kino Sweat, Ovale, Eskulin, B;B Kids Shampoo, Ellips, Sleek, Cap Kaki Tiga) 2. PT KinoSentra Industrindo: confectionary products such as candies, snacks and chocolates (Kino Candy) 3. PT KinoAid Indonesia : Pharmacy and Beverages (Resik V, Absolute, Panthers) 4. PT Duta Lestari Sentratama : Distribution After almost two decades, Kino Corporation Group  products are now available in big distributors, hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini-markets, thousands of cosmetic stores as well as  million of small traditional outlets throughout  the Indonesian archipelago.

Kino’s product quality has met international standard qualification, proved by the increasing demands from the markets all over the world. II. BASIC CONCEPT AND THEORY The scope of analysis of “Adu Segar Larutan Penyegar Cap Badak vs. Kaki Tiga” case is focused on Consumer’s Product Knowledge and Involvement concept. Consumers have different levels of product knowledge, which they can use to interpret new information and make purchase choices. Levels of knowledge are formed when people acquire separate meaning concepts (accretion process) and combine them into larger, more abstract categories of knowledge (tuning).

The levels of product knowledge are classified based on below spectrum: More Abstract| | | Less Abstract| Product Class| Product Form| Brand| Model/Features| “Larutan Penyegar”| Ready-To- Drink| Cap Kaki Tiga| Original(Bottled , 200ml ; 500ml)Fruity taste(Canned, 330ml, available in 7 variants)| Because consumers are likely to make separate purchase decisions at each level of knowledge, marketers need to understand how consumers organize their product knowledge in terms of these different levels.

Thus, based on this concept, the basic questions that might arise are “What are the levels of product knowledge for “Larutan Penyegar”? and “Which are the dominant factors that influencing consumer’s purchase decision? ” The knowledge of consumers is organized into means-end chain concept. In this concept, consumers can have three types of product knowledge: * knowledge about the attributes or characteristics of products, * the positive consequences or benefits of using products, * the values the product helps consumers satisfy or achieve Products as Bundles of Attributes

The simplest line to describe “Products as Bundles of Attributes” is that it is the physical characteristic of the product itself. From a cognitive processing perspective, we might wonder if consumers really have knowledge in memory about all of these attributes and whether consumers actually activate and use this knowledge when deciding which products and brands to buy. To evaluate whether consumer awareness of product attributes of “Larutan Penyegar” , we might get the figure by asking “Do you know the basic ingredients being used in this product? or “Would you compare the ingredients of each brand? ” Products as Bundles of Benefits Marketers also recognize that consumers often think about products and brands in terms of their consequences rather than their attributes. Consumers can have knowledge about two types of product consequences: functional and psychosocial. Functional consequences are tangible outcomes of using a product that consumers experience rather directly while psychological consequences of product use are internal, personal outcomes, such as how the product makes you feel. Products as Value Satisfiers

Consumers also have knowledge about the personal, symbolic values that products and brands help them satisfy or achieve. Values often involve the emotional affect associated with such goals and needs (the strong feelings and emotions that accompany success). In contrast means–end chain links consumers’ knowledge about product attributes with their knowledge about consequences and values. In other words, consumers see most product attributes as a means to some end. The end could be a consequence (a benefit or a risk) or a more abstract value. A common representation of a means—end chain has four levels:

Brand| Attributes| Functional Consequences| Psychosocial Consequences| Value| Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga| Mixture of medicinal ingredients | Help relieve sore throat | I feel better / healthy| -| Based on above figure, the means – end chain of Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga ends at the level of psychosocial consequences. III. CONSUMER ANALYSIS Having all the questions behind the basic concept, we must get the answer in order to understand the levels of consumer product knowledge, the means-end chain of “Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga” and whether consumers aware of the competition of “Cap Badak” vs. Cap Kaki Tiga” and if the subjected case influences the purchasing behavior. Therefore, a small research was conducted with the following design: Methods: Quantitative, Face to Face interview Geographic location : Jakarta, Bogor Sample criteria : Consumer of “Larutan Penyegar” with the following constraints: * 18+ years old * Purchase decision maker for Larutan Penyegar RTD * Purchase Larutan Penyegar RTD in last 6 months Sample size : 21 samples Research findings: 1. Cap Kaki Tiga name dominates the Top of Mind awareness by 90%, left Cap Badak with only 10% TOM. | Cap Kaki Tiga| Cap Badak|

Top of Mind Awareness| 90%| 10%| Q: Thinking about “Larutan Penyegar” brands, what brand name do you think first of all? 2. 90% of respondents recall their last purchase of Larutan Penyegar brand is Cap Kaki Tiga  | Cap Kaki Tiga| Cap Badak| Last Purchase| 90%| 10%| Q: What was the brand(s) have you bought in past 6 months? 3. Interestingly, from 90% respondent who mentioned that their last purchase was Cap Kaki Tiga, only 19% who can distinguish the new packaging of Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga and chose it, while 62% of the respondent most likely recall visual imagery of Badak and chose Cap Badak brand.

The rest 19% didn’t remember which bottle that they bought. | Cap Kaki Tiga| Cap Badak| Don’t Remember| Visual Imagery| 19%| 62%| 19%| Q: Now I would like to know how familiar you are with the ”Larutan Penyegar” product. 1 set bottles of Larutan Penyegar Cap Kaki Tiga vs. Cap Badak, and point which bottle they bought the last time 4. 90% of the respondent does not aware about the competition about the product  | Not Aware| Aware| Awareness about the case| 90%| 10%| Q: Do you know that currently there are two different products? 5.

After the respondents are told about the brief description whether the “old” Cap Kaki Tiga is currently produced by different manufacturer (PT Kinocare), and the manufacturer of “old” Cap Kaki Tiga is now producing Cap Badak, only 10% of respondent who prefer Cap Kaki Tiga, 52% prefer Cap Badak and 38% would choose any products that is available in the store. | Cap Kaki Tiga| Cap Badak| Anything| Brand Preference| 10%| 52%| 38%| Q : After you have the knowledge that currently there are 2 brands, which product(s) that you would choose?

To summarize, based on the research above, the insights are: 1. Most of the respondents (90%) do not aware about the competition of Larutan Penyegar products from the two brands (“Cap Badak” vs. “Cap Kaki Tiga”). 2. Inconsistency happened on brand name and product recollection. The high respondent mind share on “Cap Kaki Tiga” name (90%) is not translated into product election (19%) due to people historical memory about the product is anchored in the strong visual image of the “Badak” packaging. 3.

An interesting fact appears when respondents are told about the difference of the brands, ironically most of them (52% vs 10%) prefer to choose “Cap Badak” instead of “Cap Kaki Tiga”. However, there is still an opportunity for “Cap Kaki Tiga” to win the 38% respondent who would choose any brands. Then, based on insights above, we can identify few problems of Cap Kaki Tiga current products, which are: 1. “Badak” logo imagery is very strong in consumer’s mind. To win over “Badak” image is quite impossible eventhough consumers have strong awareness on “Cap Kaki Tiga” name.

If both products have to be in head-to head competition, such in display, most likely consumers will always choose “Cap Badak”. 2. From interviews, we got few comments about “Cap Kaki Tiga” logo which is not quite familiar and don’t look interesting at all. Some of them think that logo of “Cap Kaki Tiga” makes the product looks like a fake. Some even thought the logo looks associated with poisonous mosquito-killer insecticide product logo. IV. RECOMMENDATION “RECOVERY/SOLVING” AND KEY LEARNING

Our group proposes several recommendations for “Cap Kaki Tiga” brand to be considered: 1. Launch new format of “Cap Kaki Tiga” with totally fresh new whole concepts (packaging design, formats and marketing communications). a. Changes of packaging design should emphasize on the “Cap Kaki Tiga” name, as its strong point, and minimize the proportion of “Cap Kaki Tiga” logo, as its weakness point. b. Changes of bottle format with new shapes. We analyzed that with same bottle format as “Cap Badak”, it won’t be beneficial for “Cap Kaki Tiga”.

The reason for that is the consumer will always associate the bottle format with “Badak” painting in it and they would most likely prefer it and assume the “Cap Kaki Tiga” current same format as a fake. c. To support the changes in design and bottle format, we have to give strong marketing communications emphasizing on historical “journey” of original “Cap Kaki Tiga” brand product. This approach has the ultimate goal to underline the originality of the brand with “Cap Kaki Tiga” as the holder of official license from Wen Ken Drugs since the very beginning and create consumer confidence that the product is not a fake. . In order to increase consumer involvement, we recommend Cap Kaki Tiga to tap into younger segment through its flavored variant product line by communicating “Larutan penyegar” as daily beverage. Through this strategy, it is expected to create a new image and perception that a consumer does not have to wait until he feels sore throat to consume “Larutan Penyegar”. To support this strategy, Cap Kaki Tiga might conduct a marketing event that promote consumer’s involvement in the usage of the product, for example : conducting 10K Running Competition for charity, sponsorship in sports competition (e. IBL) as the official beverage, sponsorship in school annual music festival, and so on. 3. Strengthen distribution channel is also key strategy “Cap Kaki Tiga” have to explore to win the competition. To target indifferent consumers, availability of the product is a must. Kino should have expertise on this area, since other Kino’s products are already strong in distributions. 4. Have further research (ZMET Study) in order to get further insights on: d. The brand and logo association, how “Cap Kaki Tiga” brand and logo can affect the consumer purchase decision. e.

To understand the key reason for purchase and also the influential touch point so we are able to develop effective marketing campaign on the new concept launch Key learnings from our study on “Cap Kaki Tiga” brand, stated as following: 1. Top of mind awareness of brand is not necessarily translated into consumer’s decision to purchase (share of market) for the case of “Larutan Penyegar” competition. Therefore, an effective marketing strategy is needed to drive consumer purchase furthermore. 2. High brands awareness means nothing if the consumers don’t aware about the product itself.

A product must have a uniqueness to be able to distinguish itself from the crowd and chosen by the consumers. 3. “Cap Kaki Tiga” has to try to go out from ‘Red Ocean’ competition with “Cap Badak”. The more they are trying to compete head-to head with similar concept as “Cap Badak”, the less opportunity for Cap Kaki Tiga to win “Larutan Penyegar” competition. 4. It worth to have a shot on going to the market with fresh new whole concepts, because “Cap Kaki Tiga” has opportunity to be the ‘offense’ side, rather than “Cap Badak” as defense’ side. Offense as to grab the indifferent market as mentioned before on the short-term basis, and to grab the current market share from “Cap Badak” on longer term period. V. REFERENCE 1. Peter, J. Paul & Jerry C. Olson, “Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy”, 9th edition, McGraw-Hill International Edition, 2010. 2. http://www. wenken. com 3. http://harrysanusi. blogspot. com/ 4. capkakitiga. com 5. Suryadi, Dede, “Adu Segar Larutan Penyegar”, SWA Magazine Edition 22, October 2011.

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What It Is Called Legitimate Knowledge for Clones

What it is called legitimate knowledge for clones. An educational institution is a form of institution that is used to educate people. Educational institutions are essential for society to produce knowledge people (workers). Schools are designed to produce limitless knowledge in every aspect of life. However, the “men” behind schools tend to be selective in producing knowledge and constructing ideas. This paper intends to give an explanation of how schools can be hazardous by using concepts of Stuart Hall in his book, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, and Michael W.

Apple and Nancy R. King in the article of “What Do Schools Teach”. These concepts applied to the hailsham case in the novel of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro to indicate that an educational institution like hailsham can be harmful due to the controlling and manipulating information for other purpose so that it generates what it is called legitimate knowledge for the clones. Hailsham is the sole source in constructing inhumane ideas to the students that reflect their destiny as donors and perceived a short life.

In the novel of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, students are taught that they are destined to be donors, and after the fourth donation their short life is granted. According to Stuart Hall in Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, he brings up a topic about discourse, power and knowledge, which created by Michel Foucault. Hall believes that in Foucault’s theory of discourse can be define as “’how human beings understand themselves in our culture’ and how our knowledge about ‘the social, the embodied individual and share meanings” (Hall 43).

In other words, hall stated Foucault’s idea about discourse as how people discuss or understand the idea of things in certain society. Hall also stated Foucault’s idea about only certain social institutions, such as school, have the power to construct meaning, create truth or knowledge about things among society. That is to say that school is one of the sources that plays an important role in shaping students understanding of something.

Therefore, being the sole sources that creates ideas on people’s mind, telling them to be donors and have a short live is not a pleasant idea to be embedded in people’s minds. Beside the concept above, Educational institutions can be harmful due to the knowledge control. According to Michael W. Apple and Nancy R. King, “the study of educational knowledge is a study in ideology, the investigation of what is considered legitimate knowledge (be it knowledge of the logical type of “that,” “how” or “to”) by specific social groups and classes, in specific institutions, at specific historical moments.

It is, further, a critically oriented form of investigation, in that it chooses to focus on how this knowledge, as distributed in schools, may contribute to a cognitive and dispositional development that strengthens or reinforces existing (and often problematic) institutional arrangements in society” (Apple and King 342). To simplify, the available knowledge and the hidden knowledge are being selected to be presented to students as proper knowledge, base on the ideology at a certain society at a time.

Thus, educational institution can be defective due to the knowledge validity. According to the paragraph above, institutions control what can and cannot be presented. This theory can also be applied in the novel of never let me go. According to the book Miss Emily said that “We had run hailsham for many years, we had a sense of what could work, hat was best for the students in the long run, beyond hailsham. Lucy Wainright was idealistic, nothing wrong with that. But she had no graspof practicalities.

You see, we were able to give you something, something which even now no one will ever take from you, and we were able to do that principally by sheltering you. Hailsham would not have been hailsham if we hadn’t. Very well, sometimes that meant we kept things from you, lied to you. Yes in many ways we fooled you (Ishiguro 268). In other words, hailsham and its people is trying to hide the latent facts in order to protect children and for the continuity of the school itself. Therefore, institutions can be harmful in terms of controlling knowledge and information.

Another concept is that the basic function of schools or educational institutions is that schools should prepare students in terms of life skills to be able to do well in life. According to Michael W. Apple and Nancy R. King, “schools seem by and large, to do what they are supposed to do, at least in terms of roughly providing dispositions and propensities “functional” in later life in a complex and stratified social and economic order” (Apple and King 341). To clarify, Apple and king believe that schools have their own function to prepare students in the real life.

The last concept above is inversely reflected with the case of Never Let Me Go novel. In the novel, Kathy H as the narrator show the readers that in hailsham student do not get sufficient knowledge about life. Most of the time in hailsham, they only do painting and philosophies. Guardians or teachers do not teach them life skills. In the novel, Kathy H, as the narrator told us that “looking back now, I can see we were pretty confused about this whole area about sex, that’s hardly surprising, I suppose, given we were barely sixteen.

But what added to the confusion-I can see it more clearly now-was the fact that the guardians were themselves confused” (Ishiguro 95). This is the evidence that students do not get educated about sex sufficiently. Another example is when Kathy H said that “there was incidentally , Something I noticed about this veteran couples at the cottages-something Ruth, for all her close study of them, failed to spot-and this was how so many of their mannerisms were copied from the television” (Ishiguro 120).

In other words, Kathy observes that their seniors are copying certain behaviors that are depicted from the movies in order to reflecting a normal person in life. This case shows that students are lack of understanding of the world until they have moved from hailsham. Educational institutions such as hailsham can be hazardous due to the production of knowledge that is designed to keep students from knowing the truth. Boarding schools such as hailsham can prevent students from growing properly. Their lack of understanding of the world produces insecurity and anxiety to face the actual life.

Moreover, they are designed not to be rebellious instead, they are steered to be obedient and hopeless due to the lack of life skills and they are told in the first place that they are destined to be donors with short life. Works Cited Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go : New York : Vintage Canada, 2005. Hall, Stuart. Representation: Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices. London: SAGE, 2003. Apple, Michael W. , King, Nancy R.. ”What do Schools Teach? ”. Curriculum Inquiry 6:4. 1977:341-358.

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Mobile Knowledge Management: Systems and Policies

The terms knowledge and knowledge management are such broad topics that there have no common definitions. Knowledge is something that is believed and reliable, as distinguished from information which is a set of data  arranged in  meaningful patterns. Knowledge is information combined with experience, and reflection,  integrating thinking and feeling.

Knowledge management refers to a set of practices to capture and disseminate know-how among organizations around the world (Denning, 1998) for reuse, learning and creating awareness across organizations (Wikipedia) . It is easier and faster to transfer information than knowledge from one individual to another.(Denning, 1998). Among the benefits of knowledge management practices are : increased ability to capture knowledge from outside organization and integrate knowledge from departments within the organization; improved skills and knowledge of workers; increased ability to adapt services to clients; define and provide new services to clients; improved worker efficiency and productivity; alleviated the impacts of worker departures (Pratt,  2006).

Knowledge management particularly semantic web documents has been applied in integrating ecoinformatics resources and environmental data (Parr, et al., 2006). This was done using the tool ELVIS (Ecosystem Location Visualization and Information System) to construct food webs (Parr, et al., 2006). Other applications were in data warehousing of student data in higher education (Palmer, 2006) and knowledge management design team-based engineering (Reiner, 2006). The latter demonstrated the use of design history as a source of  insight for team design process. It proposed a modeling framework for collaborative and distributed knowledge management for design teams (Reiner, 2006)

Advances in computer and information technologies have greatly enhanced knowledge management. Palmer (2006) employed e-mail and the web to get participants to access a questionnaire on improving data quality in a data warehousing  in a higher education setting . The use of metadata and end-user involvement were positively correlated with obtaining high-quality data in data warehousing.

Today, mobility and transportability are the emerging as important considerations for sharing information and knowledge. With mobile phones and hand-held computers using wireless technologies, people are no longer tied down to work in a physical office with rigid working hours but can do things in the comfort of their homes or elsewhere in a virtual office.

With the ease of sharing knowledge, abuses and infringement of intellectual properties were also made easier. Regulations within the organization and the national government in general are needed to safeguard the companies against these potential abuses. Policies are also needed for security and privacy and can  determine the success or failure of a web service (Bonatti, et al. 2006).

Roman et al. (2006) proposed a  combined WSMO (Web Service Modeling Ontology) and WS-policy framework consisting of a set of specifications with heavy industrial backing. This framework combines a conceptual model (Web Service Modeling Ontology), a formal syntax and language (Web Service Modeling Language) and an execution environment (Web Service Execution Environment) (Roman et al., 2006).

2.  Complete Problem Statement and Goal

The trend in knowledge management is headed towards the same direction as mobile entertainment. Entertainment equipment has gone down to the size of the i-pod and portability of the DVD complete with small screens and sound system. Although some of the features of the big system are conveniently packed into the miniature system, there will always be a trade-off between the capabilities of the big system and the portable small system.

This proposed research will look at the plight of the small system, the size of the mobile phone or hand-held computers that rely on wireless technology. The goals are to optimize its use for the different knowledge management processes, and identify policies to safeguard its misuse especially the threat on knowledge security of the organization. The goals will be measured in terms of the number of process that the handheld devices can handle  compare with the host computer, number of times communications breakdown and their causes, frequency of security breakdown through the use of the mobile devices.

Research question:

“To what extent will mobile systems, the size of mobile phones and hand-held calculators, be utilized in knowledge management?”

Hypotheses:

Downsizing/outsourcing will be the trend in business which will require mobile systems for communication and knowledge management.
Mobile systems will become more sophisticated and powerful to be able to perform tasks that are currently done by bigger systems.
Security  systems of company knowledge (data) will evolve along with the development of mobile systems
3.  Relevance and significance

More and more companies continue to invest in wireless e-mail, personal productivity applications, inventory management and sales automation. More than half  of 250 IT executives surveyed in October 2003 recognize the importance of wireless technologies in their organization’s overall goals and improve user satisfaction (Ware, 2004). Most common wireless devices include a combination of mobile phones (with or without web browsers/email), laptop computers with wireless modem  and PDA’s with wireless connectivity  and pocket PC’s (Ware, 2004).

Among the different wireless applications that companies will continue to support in the future, email access tops the list followed by calendar/scheduling, web access, personal productivity (word processing, spreadsheets, presentation softwares), text messaging, real time inventory management, factory floor, transactions, global positioning system (GPS), human resources, finance/accounting, decision support, CRM, sales automation, wireless e-commerce, and procurement  (Ware, 2004).

Overall 60% of those surveyed were positive that their wireless investment already paid for itself (Ware, 2004). The greatest benefits came from increased productivity, streamlined processes/greater efficiencies and improved user satisfaction (Ware, 2004). The challenges to wireless technologies are security, user support, privacy and budget restrictions (Ware, 2004).

Downsizing can cut down the cost of doing knowledge management. Downsizing can be done through physical reduction in the size of the hardware (equipment), software that can be run on a hand-held computer or mobile phone set, or a networking system whereby the host computer does the data analysis and the final results downloadable to the mobile phones. Government and company policies are needed to safeguard against misuse, industrial espionage and other information security issues.

4.  Approach

For Hypothesis No. 1:

This will be a time series analysis, with years as independent variable, and numbers of companies undergoing downsizing/outsourcing and mobile devices as dependent variables.

A survey will be done on the  internet and from published news reports such as CIO Reports regarding number of businesses which had undergone downsizing or outsourcing of their operations, during the past decade. This will be correlated with the number of mobile devices used by different companies during the same period. The time series plot of the data will show the trends in downsizing and/or outsourcing and number of mobile devices through the years. The years will be the independent variable while the number of companies and mobile devices will be the dependent variables. A correlation between the two dependent variables will be made. A significant positive correlation  and increasing trends in the graphs will support Hypothesis No.1.

For Hypotheses No. 2 and 3:

This study will identify two companies of different sizes (large and small in terms of facilities, number of staff, type and volume of business) that have a host computer, a local area network (either wired or WIFI) and broadband internet access, and staff who have their own or office-issued hand-held computers or mobile phones with wireless internet capabilities through the years.

Questionnaires will be prepared and key management officers and office staff will be interviewed. Information to be gathered will include the company profile, the knowledge management system in place including softwares and consulting firms, knowledge management applications most frequently used, access security levels issued to different classes of office staff.

The staff will be asked to enumerate the processes they could do or would want to do using their mobile units, from simple text messaging to internet browsing that help in the overall decision-making process in the company.

The capabilities of their host computer will be tabulated side by side with the capabilities of their most common mobile device (brand, model, year acquired). Capabilities will be measured in terms of available memory and the number of tasks the device is capable of performing. This is again a time series data with year as independent variable and the number of features or tasks performed by the host computer and the mobile systems will be the dependent variables. If hypothesis no. 2 is correct we would expect an increasing number of tasks that can be performed by the mobile system.

For hypothesis No. 3, the dependent variable will the frequency  of data security  breakdowns and the independent variable will the years the company has been in operation. Another indicator will be the number of regulations formulated to curb security problems (dependent variable) through the years. Company management will be asked regarding existing company policies, code of ethics, data security and standard operational procedures through the years from the time the company was established.

They will be asked how frequent did they suffer breakdown in data security through their mobile devices through the years. They will also be asked to comment on the ideal design for their computer hardwares and softwares and features for the mobile equipment.  They will also be asked to comment of what kinds of government support and regulations are needed to curb piracy and infringement of their intellectual properties.

This research will need the following resources: interviewers to interview at least three key company officers, two staff per office department (e.g. human resources, procurement, marketing, operations, etc.); a knowledge management or IT specialist to evaluate  knowledge management software system and how the ordinary staff can access to it using their mobile equipment.

References:

Bonatti, P.A., Ding, L., Finin, T. and Olmedilla, D. 2006. Proceedings of the 2nd International Semantic Web Policy Workshop (SWPW’06). 5th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC). Athens, Georgia, USA. Nov. 5, 2006.

Denning, S. What is knowledge management? Background paper to the World Development Report 1998. from
Palmer, H. 2006. A data warehouse methodology and model for student data in higher education. PhD dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. UMI Number 3218332. 202pp.
Parr, C.S., Parafiynyk, A., Sachs, J., Pan, R., Han, L., Ding, L., Finin, T., Wang, D. 2006. Using the semantic web to integrate ecoinformatics resources. American Association for Artficial Intelligence (www.aaai.org).
Reiner, K.A. 2006. A framework for knowledge capture and a study of development metrics in collaborative engineering design. PhD Dissertation. Stanford University. UMI Microform 3219361.  258 p.
Roman, D., Kopecky, J., Toma, I. and Fensel, D. 2006. Aligning WSMO and WS-Policy. Proceedings of the 2nd International Semantic Web Policy Workshop (SWPW’06). 5th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC). Athens, Georgia, USA. Nov. 5, 2006.
Ware, L.C. 2004. The payoff of wireless IT investments. CIO Research Reports. From

Wikipedia. Knowledge management. From

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_management

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Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge is Powerful than Money Respected president, honorable faculty staff and my fellow students A. O. A. Knowledge is powerful than wealth is our today’s topic of discussion. When we say that knowledge is power we mean that knowledge is the only source of strength in the world. The idea that wealth is power is also quite common, it is believed to be true by a number of people but that is wrong; wealth is not a permanent thing. A man may be wealthy today but he may become very poor tomorrow. So man’s wealth cannot be a true source of power. Thus it is only knowledge that is a real source of power.

Knowledge is wealth; if you have knowledge of market condition, you can become a rich trader and stock broker, you can get well-salaried jobs. If you want to engage in any trade of occupation, you have to learn it as an apprentice, otherwise you are lost at seas and will lose your capital instead of earning more. Knowledge and experience are most important in order to become wealthy man. MR PRESIDENT: Although in the present age money has become very necessary thing and people are giving much more importance to it, they are considering it as a ruling force. But they are wrong.

We have to ponder over it with a keen eye. If money is ruling force than how we can justify the golden sayings of holy prophet (PBUH) when he says that ignorant and wise cannot be equal- when he says that to get knowledge is the basic responsibility of every man-male and female. When holy prophet is giving much more importance to knowledge, education and wisdom then we have a reasonable right to ask those people who are the advocates of money that holy prophet did not give importance to money. Why he always avoid accumulating money? The answer is very simple-wisdom is ruling power.

Holy prophet ruled over a domain without money and on the basis of wisdom. MR PRESIDENT: If you have no knowledge of enemy fight and movements in war you can not organize your strategy to conquer him, this how Napoleon lost the battle of water too, he overslept that night against his routine and so he could not be informed about the changing pattern of enemy’s positions. When he got up he was too late to re-adjust his own forces before Lord Wellington launched a massive invasion against him. Wealth can be lost; more you spend it, it becomes less but knowledge is a thing that cannot be stolen by time or thieves.

MR PRESIDENT: An educated man better understands his duties and obligations and serves his country in best possible way. Knowledge people are seeds of great civilization and progress. Russia and America owe their technological progress and space rocketry system to German scientists who they kidnapped after Second World War and paid them the highest salaries. Through knowledge, man is to earn livelihood and to maintain family. MR PRESIDENT: Knowledge comes first than money. If there is wisdom than earning of money is no difficult. Without wisdom earning money, saving money and using money is very very difficult.

The history is replete with the examples where man had denied the wealth and prospered in life. Mehmood of Ghanznavi invaded India many times to spread Islam. He had the opportunity to plunder Temple of Somnaat. He had also been offered jewels and gold and wealth by the worshippers and administration of the Temple, but he refused to take it saying “I want to go in history as idol breaker instead of idol seller”. Hazrat Ali (RA) says and I quote Knowledge is better than money, since you have to protect money, while knowledge protects you.

And money is depleted from spending, while knowledge grows when you spend it. And knowledge makes rulings, while money is ruled over. Their souls may have passed away, but their effects remain present in the hearts of people. People who hoard money have died while they are still living and scholars live on through the ages. . . I unquote. On the creation of Adam, in the Heavens, the Almighty bestowed upon him the gift of knowledge. The first verse of holy Quran which was revealed on Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was also IQRA BI-ISMI RAB-I-KALLAZI KHALQ read with the name of thy lord who created you.

Desire to excel by mean of education and knowledge had been inculcated by Allah Almighty. MR PRESIDENT: It has become a misconception in the prevalent era that desire of wealth and money is everything. It is the sole reason behind the progress of man. It may be an exception but, I would say, one cannot generalize this notion. This is a fallacy. Knowledge reinforces the natural sympathies of a person; create in him a large fund of fellow-feelings. Inspire him to deeds of charity and sacrifice and makes him to love mankind in general.

Knowledge of person feels satisfaction and thinks that he is having everything. It also strengthen moral instincts and impulses curbs and restrain lawless desire and teach a man the art of living in human society according to recognized values and principles. Knowledge makes a man to think for himself, everybody enlarges his mental horizon and develops his mental and intellectual powers. Knowledge equips a man with social manners, etiquettes and the art of speech making and conversation. It gives a certain polish and refinements to men and women. Finally knowledge raises our prestige in all ways. Thank you.

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Core Knowledge

Core Knowledge Using what you learned about brain development in Chapter 4, explain why intensive intervention for poverty-stricken children starting in the first 2 years has a greater long-term impact on IQ than intervention at a later age. A child’s brain development is very critical in its first 2 years. A childs brain develops dramatically during the first 2 years. “During the first two years neural fibers synapses increase at an outstanding pace.

Because of developmenting neuron requires space for these cognitive structures a surprising aspect of brain growth is that as synapses form many surrounding neurons die 20-80 percent, depending on the brain region. ” When a child is living in a low poverty environment it affects the child’s brain since the neurons are not being stimulated by their caregivers. Looking at a caregiver who does not interact with a child a young age the child will have less interaction with a person. This correlates with a child’s IQ. When neurons are seldom stimulated they lose their synapses in a process called synaptic pruning.

About 40 percent synapses are pruned during childhood. “About half of brains volumes consist of gilal cells which are responsible for myelination. The Development through the lifespan book talks about children who are adopted have a greater chance to better nutrition and health. The book also talks about stress. Chronic stress of early deprived orphanage rearing disrupts the brains capacity to manage stress, with long-term physical and psychological consequences. Reference Berk, L. (2009) Development through the lifespan. Allyn & Bacon; 5 edition. 2009