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Concept and Significance of Knowledge Management - Morrisons

University: University of Wales

  • Unit No: 8
  • Level: Post Graduate/University
  • Pages: 19 / Words 4702
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: BMSK5006
  • Downloads: 66
Question :

This project will analyse the challenges of managing knowledge and information and also demonstrate the ability to:

  • Illustrate the concept and significance of knowledge management.
  • Evaluate the process of knowledge management needed for organisational development.
  • Make a framework for setting the knowledge management culture.
Answer :
Organization Selected : Morrisons

INTRODUCTION

Information and knowledge are the valuable assets which plays a significant role in successful implementation of business processes and activities. Knowledge assets are defined as the intellectual resources of the business and the Knowledge used by the organisation in the form of understanding, memory, technical skills, cognitive abilities, ideas and learnings. The policies, database, guidelines, patents, documents and software are considered as the repositories of knowledge assets. In order to sustain the growth and business benefits it is important to manage these informations and knowledge assets so that organisational assets and procedures can safely and effectively accomplish their purpose (Hislop, Bosua and Helms, 2018).

The report will evaluate the significance of knowledge management with the help of case example of Morrisons. The organisation is among the largest supermarket chains with its headquarter located in England. The document will discuss the relation between data, knowledge and information as well as interrelationship between organisational and individual knowledge. It will also explain the requirements to create, apply and manage the knowledge integration. The report will also analyse the framework for building a knowledge management culture and information sharing. It will also provide recommendations to improve the existing framework used by Morrisons and role of intellectual property rights on organisation's functionality.

LO 1

Importance and rationale for managing knowledge

Earlier business groups were giving more priority to concept of capturing knowledge in centralised system so that these knowledge assets can be used in the future. However, this approach was less effective and thus new management strategies for knowledge management were promoted. Based upon such approaches instead of working on the knowledge assets Morrisons focuses on individuals who have knowledge assets and can share, use or hold it. Knowledge management is crucial strategy for preventing the knowledge assets from being misused or getting waste (Grover and Froese, 2016). It is essential for Morrisons to implement these managements approaches so that it can use these valuable assets in its business activities.

The proper management of information makes it easy for the Morrisons to access information very quickly and with accuracy. The quick access of knowledge is essential for problem solving and to enhance the productivity. Without sharing and collaboration of different knowledge skills it is impossible for the organisation to bring innovations and cultural changes which are key success elements for the company. The ineffective decisions can greatly affect the long term success goals of the company. Thus, it is necessary that before making any decisions Morrisons group must use its knowledge resources from different individuals so that it can have better analysis of the expected outputs and risk associated with the decisions. In order to deliver high quality services as per the needs of consumers organisation must manage its resources so that operational units can function with accuracy and minimum errors (Becerra-Fernandez and Sabherwal, 2014).

A. Relationship between information, data and knowledge

Data can be defined as the collection of facts, statistics or events which does not have any reference to time and space. It can also be called as unprocessed information because data can be categorised or processed to get a meaningful information. On the other hand when data is processed to draw any conclusion it is termed as information. The information gives rise to knowledge by application of judgement and experience. For instance the sales records of Morrisons are called merely data.

However, with suitable analysis and statistical tools it can be concluded that in a particular month the sales were lower. This conclusion is called information. Morrisons can apply its further jurisdiction that due to lack of ineffective marketing strategy sales were low or the quality of product in last month was not up to standards so this month sales have fallen down. The conclusions in the form of information are important for the organisation and they cannot be visualised as an isolated part of the knowledge acquisition (Donate and de Pablo, 2015). The data are the building blocks for formation of image while the reprocessing of information results in knowledge formation.

Thus, there is a linear transition from data to information and then to knowledge. However, there are instances when it is not simple and straightforward to extract information from data. For instance if sales records are given then working teams in Morrisons cannot simply make conclusions that if results are satisfactory or not. The organisation will require conducting deep research to compose the raw facts of data into useful information. Thus, it can be concluded that Morrisons will not be able to accurate apply its knowledge assets without proper analysis of information assets which are originated from data. Also check: Assignment Help Malaysia for your assignment task.

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B. Relation between individual and organisational knowledge

The individual knowledge is defined as the processed information which is accumulated by the individuals and forms strong basis for the decisions, actions and beliefs of an individual. On the other hand the organisational knowledge is defined as the various knowledge skills which is developed by the beliefs and ideology of different individuals who are part of the organisation (Dayan, Heisig and Matos, 2017). The organisational skills make its practices and decision making abilities distinct from the others. The individual and organisational knowledge are greatly dependent on each other. The knowledge assets of the individuals forms the basis of their skills and abilities to perform the functional tasks.

During the selection and recruitment process Morrisons ensures that the selected individual has higher and innovative level of knowledge skills so that the business goals of the organisation can be achieved. However, the organisational knowledge defines the way in which individual has to behave and act within organisation. Thus, there are possibility that the individual knowledge may have contradictions with respect to organisational one. In such cases it becomes very difficult for the organisation to manage those differences. For instance if employees of Morrisons have different perspective of solving problems then it may be difficult for such employees to adjust their practices and failure to accomplish this can result in poor quality of results (Wang, Noe and Wang, 2014). Most of the knowledge within organisation is based upon practical situation which may not be known by the individual knowledge.

Thus, it is required for the success of Morrisons that only those individuals becomes part of the organisation which are capable to transform and integrate their personal knowledge with organisational knowledge so that both participants can develop. For instance if Morrisons wants to conduct a training sessions on digital technology so that its functional activities can be performed with more efficiency than its existing human resources must have sufficient level of individual knowledge. This sufficient knowledge will help them to gain this new information assets which will bring new profits to company as well as development of their skills and knowledge.

C. Modelling techniques for identification of knowledge assets

The knowledge assets are the vital elements which can affect the performance of organisation. Thus, it is very important for company to identify its knowledge assets so that they can be managed properly (Geisler and Wickramasinghe, 2015). In order to identify this asset organisation is required to first implement knowledge management (KM) policies which gives detailed description of procedures on how knowledge can be created and stored.

The analysis of the resources, consumer behaviour and market elements are vital for assessment of the knowledge assets. For instance to assess the knowledge of individuals Morrisons can evaluate their skills. To develop understanding of the asset advice and monitoring from the experts is necessary. These experts and leaders can evaluate the strategies and skills of individuals to analyse that which knowledge assets are possessed by them and what enhancements can be made in skills by various training and development sessions. Morrisons can use following models to identify its knowledge assets:

Explicit models: Organisation can review its existing data or records so that knowledge can be discovered within these data (Todorović and et.al., 2015). The information technology tools such as data mining, data monitoring tools can be used by Morrisons to analyse pattern between data and text. This type of identification strategy can be used to identify the knowledge from an expert.

Tactic knowledge: It is considered as one of the complex and the most valuable way to identify the knowledge assets. It involves observation, analysis and awareness to gain competitive advantage through assets. The organisation can use different quantitative and qualitative methods such as survey, interviews, group discussion, network analysis and debate to evaluate the tactic knowledge.

Embedded knowledge: A large portion of the knowledge is trapped within process, policies and product routes of the Morrisons. The organisation can analyse and evaluate the ways in which certain task can be performed with innovation or more effectiveness. It will help company to discover new knowledge and to enhance the efficiency of existing assets by using reverse engineering tools (Martín-de Castro, 2015).

Apart from the above discussed sources knowledge can also be extended outside the organisational framework such as from customers, suppliers, distributors and alliances. The analysis of consumer requirements can be very helpful to evaluate and search the knowledge assets of organisation.

D. Evaluation of actual and potential knowledge assets

The knowledge assets of the Morrisons can be classified as the actual and potential assets. There are certain assets which are necessary for the organisation to execute its functional operations. For instance the technical knowledge is important for all team members of the organisation because organisation is also expanding its business through digital tools. On the other hand there are certain information and knowledge assets which have great potential to bring success to the organisation (North and Kumta, 2018).

Though currently Morrisons do not posses these assets but the acquisition of theses assets will promote huge changes to performance and growth aspects of the company. For instance Morrisons can explore its business to international market. The existing brand value of the organisation will help it introduces itself strongly among customers of different culture. However, to achieve the success in its business at global level also the organisation must have knowledge to address and understand the diversified needs of various consumers. This knowledge can be created and stored only through analysis skills and experience. If Morrisons group will aim at improving these potential knowledge assets as well as it will be very helpful for the organisation to deal with the emerging challenges in market.

LO 2

Knowledge management process

For the success of organisation it is important for Morrisons to effectively manage its knowledge assets. The first stage of this management process is to identify its knowledge assets so that they can be explored to growth opportunities (Becerra-Fernandez, Leidner and Leidner, 2014). Morrisons supermarket chain can use above discussed strategies to identify its knowledge assets. The mere identification of knowledge is not sufficient for the organisation for application of the knowledge. It is required that organisation must have suitable strategy to store the new as well as existing organisational knowledge.

For instance various records such as sales analysis, business policies or plan can be stored in digital communication tools so that the knowledge can be accessed and used anytime. With additional analysis and assessment Morrisons can implement its knowledge into practical use. During knowledge processing it is also analysed that how knowledge can be implemented and processed within organisation. The next stage in the knowledge management process is to share the knowledge assets with other individuals or teams in organisation so that these assets can be used on large scale for assuring the success of organisation.

A. Requirements to integrate, store, apply and create knowledge

For utilising the information and knowledge assets of the organisation effectively and with maximum profitability Morrisons must fulfil the requirements which can integrate and manage the knowledge assets (Masa’deh and et.al., 2017). Morrisons must develop its business culture in a way which supports and identify the existing knowledge assets as well as the need of emerging knowledge. The organisation must have favourable business culture which can detect and identify the knowledge. If there is requirement of additional knowledge for achieving certain goals then training programs can be used for this purpose.

The mentoring and leadership are necessary to analyse the needs and requirements of knowledge. It is also required that the identified knowledge is stored with care and securely. For instance if Morrisons have developed new knowledge assets regarding innovations in its products then organisation must use intellectual property rights which can give protection to these assets. Thus, in organisation there must be legal framework which monitors that how information is processed and exchanged. The knowledge can be integrated into successful business processes only when team leaders can identify the skills and knowledge assets of the individual team members.

Hence, for accurate integration of these assets with practices organisational culture must have open and effective communication network which can improve the quality of services by integrating it with most advance knowledge (Meihami and Meihami, 2014). Another effective requirement which can be helpful to share the knowledge is cross cultural teams and story telling approach in the practices. The leaders of Morrisons can use cross functional team so that individual members can link their knowledge with the different operational perspective of the company. Similarly, with knowledge management training sessions the employees of Morrisons can ensure that their knowledge is regularly improved and it does not overshadow with time. The creativity, emotional appealing, motivation and communication between leaders and employees can be considered as the basic requirement to enhance the knowledge creation.

B. Significance of intellectual property rights

Intellectual property rights (IP) aims at providing legal protection to the information or knowledge assets of an individual or organisation. The IP rights such as trademark, patent, copyright and trade secrets enables Morrisons to protects its intellectual properties against unauthorised access or usage. These rights helps organisation to distinguish Morrisons from other retail stores which is very essential for the success of company. The major revenue stream of organisation is through selling and licensing (Inkinen, 2016). In the absence of IP rights the knowledge assets can be copied by other competitors of Morrisons and thus its revenues can be affected adversely.

The various aspects of the business activities of Morrisons such as its logo, brand name, tag lines which are used in advertising campaigns, innovations are protected by intellectual rights so that organisation can get competitive advantage on the behalf of these assets. Morrisons is well known brand in UK thus using these rights it can sell or license its logo or innovations it can earn loyalty and can even explore its business to global market. However, it is also possible that some other organisations which are not well established can use the existing brand value of the 

Morrisons and can supply degraded quality of product in the name of Morrisons. Such fraud schemes can have long lasting inverse impact on the performance of organisation. Hence, these intellectual property rights will protect Morrisons against infringements. Without bringing innovations into business practices it is difficult for the organisation to sustain its position in the competitive market (Birasnav, 2014). If organisation will not protect these innovations then, it may not be able to grab full advantage of their innovation and handwork which they introduced in research and development. Intellectual rights are essential for fostering these innovations.

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LO 3

Framework for establishing knowledge management (KM) culture

KM framework aims at achieving the goals of utilising knowledge with full efficiency. The framework consist of various elements and procedures. The different processes of KM framework are independent of each other and Morrisons can pay more attention to any of the specific stage. The framework used by Morrisons first identity its business needs as well as the needs of its various stakeholders so that it can develop policies accordingly.

In order to fill the needs of its business organisation acquire, create as well as update the existing knowledge assets. To integrate the individual knowledge with the knowledge assets of Morrisons identified assets are then shared and stored so that they can be retrieved anytime when there is need to implement them (Martín-de Castro, 2015). This framework works on the principle of managing knowledge assets in a way that organisation can easily integrate them with benefits.

A. Contribution of knowledge assets on organisation

The contribution of knowledge assets (KA) can be considered as significant to the performance of organisation. The practices and methodologies followed by Morrisons to execute its routine functional activities are based upon its KA. If organisation will not have effective or updated KA then its practices will also be outdated and insufficient to meet the requirements of consumers and market. The innovations are the key factors which must be introduced with time in business so that organisation is not substituted by new emerging technologies and organisations.

The knowledge assets of the company also defines its position among the industry. For instance Morrisons is one of the leading supermarket chain and thus have to face tough challenge from other companies to sustain its top position (Why Knowledge Management Is Important To The Success Of Your Company, 2012). The logo, tag lines, symbol, packaging and promotional strategies are few of the elements which distinguish Morrisons from other organisations. If these knowledge assets are not protected then, other business groups can follow the same strategies which are followed by the Morrisons and hence there will be no unique factor in the services of Morrisons. It will definitely reduce the growth and profit generation of the organisation.

The human resources are the fundamental blocks of the organisation which performs all operational activities thus they must have the highest efficiency and skill. There is a wide gap between individual and organisational knowledge which must be filled so that business groups can reach to their goals. The knowledge sharing among people within Morrisons encourages more effectiveness in the working strategies by improving the performance of individuals and teams. The lack of required knowledge assets among human resources of organisation can lead to failure in achieving goals and thus it results in employee dissatisfaction (Top 5 Reasons Why Knowledge Management is Necessary, 2016). The organisation can provide quality services to its target audience only if there is regular flow of information and knowledge within organisation. This regular flow ensures that all team members are effective in their part and they can deliver the required standards of services in terms of quality and functionality.

B. Evaluation of knowledge requirements for organisation

Morrisons has huge number of employees and is providing its services at wide level. Thus, it requires variety of knowledge assets for accomplishment of its business activities. The team work is an integral component of the business. Without effective team works it is impossible for the Morrisons to explore its business activities at such huge level. Thus, the organisation must have knowledge of team work and management so that it can use its available resources effectively and with minimum risks. The project management and marketing are the basics for business organisations. Morrisons must have detailed knowledge of these skills so that it can establish itself among other competitive organisations.

With the digital advancements Morrisons is also using digital tools to attract more consumers towards its services. Thus, the insufficient knowledge of the technological skills can be harmful for the success of organisation (Martín-de Castro, 2015). If Morrisons will not update its technical knowledge then, its target audience may not consider its suitable for their requirements. The production and product delivery are the basic functional requirements of the teams at Morrisons. Thus, all team members of Morrisons must have capability and knowledge skills related to procedures which are followed at the organisation so that there is minimum risk of failure.

C. Framework to enable knowledge sharing

The team work requires the knowledge sharing channel at workplace so that workforces at Morrisons can achieve their task objectives. For enabling the sharing of knowledge organisation can implement various frameworks. The most simple and easy frameworks which promotes the sharing of KA is the open communication networks. When employees of Morrisons have free channels to communicate with their leaders, colleagues as well as consumers then it is easy for them to understand the requirements of their target audience, market as well as other stakeholders of the company.

If there will no path for sharing the knowledge then functional units of the company will never be able to deliver the services required by the customers of Morrisons. Another framework which can be used by Morrisons to encourage the sharing of knowledge assets is the cross culture training (Geisler and Wickramasinghe, 2015). When human assets of the organisation are given knowledge of different roles and tasks then it enhances their ability and skills to perform their tasks with more efficiency. The informal get together functions or fun events can also help individuals to share their knowledge with ease and comfort. Such approach of knowledge sharing helps to build effective teams at workplace.

With time there is urgent need for the Morrisons to improve its strategies. For instance with technical advancements the organisation has shifted more towards digital marketing as compare to the conventional approaches of marketing. Such transformations are not possible without sharing of knowledge in a more formal and regulated way. Training and development sessions are effective examples for such approach. Morrisons can conduct training sessions in which experts can share their knowledge to other employees of the organisation. Such type of sharing approaches are more effective and also provides practical knowledge so that shared knowledge can be brought into practices.

D. Improvement strategies for current framework

Currently the framework used by Morrisons to manage and share its knowledge resources needs some improvements. The supermarket and retail organisations are rapidly shifting towards the concepts of digital technology. However, most of the team members and employees of organisation are not aware with the detailed knowledge of these advancements and thus it is reflected in their performance as well. Hence, Morrisons must provide technical training to their staff members so that they can also coordinate with the incoming changes. The sharing and retention of knowledge within existing framework of organisation is not very effective (Martín-de Castro, 2015).

One of the key reason for this fact is that there is lack of communication between leaders as well as team members. It also limits the development of knowledge assets in the form of creativity or innovation. To enhance the knowledge creation organisation can use motivation and reward strategies which encourages people to think beyond the existing framework and to suggest new effective methodologies for performing their routine task.

Most of the employees are still unaware about the intellectual rights and thus they do not understand the importance of knowledge assets. Morrisons must form a KM team which can regulate the creation, flow and protection of these knowledge assets of the company. The organisation can also conduct debate or discussion sessions with its team members so that it can be analysed that up to which extent they are aware of the existing knowledge assets and what possible improvements and innovations can be made to the organisation (Geisler and Wickramasinghe, 2015).

These improvements in the existing framework of Morrisons will definitely help organisation to improve and protect its knowledge management approach.

CONCLUSION

From the report it can be concluded that the KM system is vital strategic and management concept for assuring the successful execution of business activities. The information and knowledge assets helps organisation to achieve its targets. However, if these assets are not protected or managed properly then it may cause significant damages to the business. The report has explained the importance of knowledge assets and various ways through which organisations can manage and identify their assets. It has also discussed the methods to store and share the knowledge assets so that business profits can be optimized. The individual knowledge forms the strong relation in defining and affecting the organisational knowledge.

The document has discussed the interrelationship between these two aspects and how it influences the overall performance of the company. It is also analysed that intellectual rights are significant measure to protect these resources and to fulfil the knowledge requirements of the business. The report has discussed that how IP rights contributes to achieve the long term success in business. It has also evaluated the framework for implementing KM system and its sharing. The report has also provided recommendations to make KM system more transparent and effective.

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REFERENCES

Books and Journals

Becerra-Fernandez, I. and Sabherwal, R., 2014. Knowledge management: Systems and processes. Routledge.

Becerra-Fernandez, I., Leidner, D.E. and Leidner, D., 2014. Individual, group, and organizational learning: A knowledge management perspective. In Knowledge Management (pp. 27-53). Routledge.

Birasnav, M., 2014. Knowledge management and organizational performance in the service industry: The role of transformational leadership beyond the effects of transactional leadership. Journal of Business Research. 67(8). pp.1622-1629.

Dayan, R., Heisig, P. and Matos, F., 2017. Knowledge management as a factor for the formulation and implementation of organization strategy. Journal of Knowledge Management. 21(2). pp.308-329.

Donate, M.J. and de Pablo, J.D.S., 2015. The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation. Journal of Business Research.68(2). pp.360-370.

Geisler, E. and Wickramasinghe, N., 2015. Principles of Knowledge Management: Theory, Practice, and Cases: Theory, Practice, and Cases. Routledge.

Grover, R. and Froese, T.M., 2016. Knowledge management in construction using a SocioBIM platform: A case study of AYO smart home project. Procedia Engineering. 145. pp.1283-1290.

Hislop, D., Bosua, R. and Helms, R., 2018. Knowledge management in organizations: A critical introduction. Oxford University Press.

Inkinen, H., 2016. Review of empirical research on knowledge management practices and firm performance. Journal of knowledge management. 20(2). pp.230-257.

Martín-de Castro, G., 2015. Knowledge management and innovation in knowledge-based and high-tech industrial markets: The role of openness and absorptive capacity.Industrial Marketing Management. 47. pp.143-146.

Masa’deh, R.E., Shannak, R., and et.al., 2017. The impact of knowledge management on job performance in higher education: The case of the University of Jordan. Journal of Enterprise Information Management. 30(2). pp.244-262.

Meihami, B. and Meihami, H., 2014. Knowledge Management a way to gain a competitive advantage in firms (evidence of manufacturing companies). International letters of social and humanistic sciences. 3. pp.80-91.

North, K. and Kumta, G., 2018. Knowledge management: Value creation through organizational learning. Springer.

Todorović, M.L., Petrović, D.ÄŒ., and et.al., 2015. Project success analysis framework: A knowledge-based approach in project management. International Journal of Project Management.33(4). pp.772-783.

Wang, S., Noe, R.A. and Wang, Z.M., 2014. Motivating knowledge sharing in knowledge management systems: A quasi–field experiment. Journal of Management. 40(4). pp.978-1009.

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