1. Analyze the nine (09) steps proposed by Awad & Ghaziri (p.254-260) for promoting knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing. Comment on advantages and disadvantages and how/if these steps could work in your organization.
Awad and Ghaziri proposed nine steps for initiating and establishing knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing within the organization. These nine steps consider all the aspects or dimensions of the organization, such as the environment or atmosphere, organizational culture, motivation and initiation of knowledge transfer, the processes of planning and preparation, and program evaluation and assessment. It is a reliable guide for organizations to ensure a smooth transition of business operations and practices to adapt the concept of knowledge management and knowledge transfer as the nine steps follows a methodical process that looks into the diverse composition and complex dynamics of the organization.
One advantage of Awad & Ghazzi’s nine steps to knowledge transfer and sharing is that it focuses more on the planning phase to make sure that the organization is fully prepared to take in the concept of knowledge management and facilitate the processes of knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing. First, it attempts to establish trust within the organization to instill the value of knowledge transfer and open sharing between its members. After all, knowledge management is highly dependent on open communicative relationships between its members, which support the concept of knowledge transfer and sharing. The organization is also being prepared to adapt to changes by modifying organizational culture. Acceptance is one of the primary values that the organization must include in its culture. This value ensures that its members are willing to go into the process of knowledge transfer and sharing in order to realize the goals and objectives of the organization.
Another advantage is that the nine steps are built on pro-activity and productivity. It urges organizations to take action, not only by doing but also by understanding. This idea follows the concept of theory and application, meaning organizations should train its members to grasp and understand knowledge sharing and transfer paradigms, strategies, techniques, and methods before applying them in the actual work setting. It establishes efficiency and productivity by focusing on both aspects, not only on the concepts which does not ensure proper application or the actual practice which lacks the proper direction or guidance from sound theoretical knowledge management practices.
The nine steps recommended for implementing knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing is that it does not end in the implementation process alone, but continuous to improve knowledge management by way of employing assessment and evaluation techniques. Evaluating the program of knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing is not only focused on the efficiency of these two processes, but also on the stand of employees regarding job satisfaction, relationship between the members of the organization, especially with managers, and the working environment and atmosphere within the organization. The three aforementioned advantages of these nine steps merge to guide the three phases in implementing knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer – the planning phase, the implementation phase, and the evaluation phase.
Perhaps the disadvantages of these nine steps are that it lacks the technical aspect of actually informing how they will be put into practice and its inability to show flexibility for varied dynamics of organizations. I consider the nine steps as paradigms or methods on how to go about knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer, however it does not reveal the mechanical aspect of implementation to guide organizations in the real setting or environment. Moreover, it does not consider diversity of organizations because it speaks within the general context of an organization.
2. After reading Wallace & Saint-Onge, please comment on the Strategic Unit (organization and responsibilities in figure 13-2) and the project management approach used at Clarica. Comment on the process and cost/benefits. Anything that you would do differently?
Forming an independent unit or division within the organization to overlook knowledge management is an efficient way to make sure that all practices are aligned with organizational goals and objectives and that knowledge management processes work correctly and are handled by appropriate organizational teams. This was implemented in Clarica, and the division was called the Strategic Capabilities Unit composed of teams that are mostly concerned with the human capital of the organization. In the case of Clarica, the unit was able to allow the obtainment of capabilities and resources that were required to set up knowledge and learning as an organizational culture and strategic technique.
Since the Strategic Capabilities Unit was a separate division set up upon the plan of implementing knowledge and learning processes within the organization, this probably required the consumption of resources. However, increasing cost to focus on the project of knowledge management implementation returns with benefits and contributions for competitive advantage. The tasks necessitated by adapting knowledge management were consolidated to a single unit or body within the organization with the sole purpose of overseeing the entire process. This allows much-needed attention to knowledge management and ensures that it is managed professionally because it is handled by a proficient and highly trained unit or division.
This is highly supported by the concept of delegating tasks to the members of the organization. Ideally, tasks and responsibilities should be divided into able-bodied members of the organization who were highly trained to accomplish specific jobs and plans. This ensures that tasks will be completed before deadline and by people who know perfectly well how to accomplish them. This idea was adapted for the establishment of the Strategic Capabilities Unit. The process of implementing knowledge management requires the formation of a thorough strategic plan is expected to be carried out by qualified members of the organization who are highly knowledgeable and skilled in the field of knowledge management.
The result of the efforts of the Strategic Capabilities Unit in Clarica was the formation of a collaborative work environment wherein communities were established to improve all aspects of the organization by communication openly and sharing and transferring relevant knowledge. The communities were also diverse, ensuring that it knowledge sharing and transfer covers a wide range of organizational concerns and problems in need of improvement and solutions respectively. Moreover, the focus of the unit was not only to contribute to organizational advantage but also to individual advantage. The Strategic Capabilities Unit looked into improving the knowledge and learning capabilities of individual members through proper training and of communities within the organization by fostering collaborative and helping relationships within the organization for improving business practices and operations and ensuring productivity and desirable work outputs.
One thing I would have done is to include in the plan the modification of organizational environment to facilitate knowledge and learning. Although it may seem to be trivial to focus attention on the tangible and intangible environment within the organization, it also helps in a way to cultivate knowledge management in the sense that it freely allows the sharing and transfer of knowledge in terms of physical space and imaginary space between the members. Focusing attention on the organizational environment addresses concerns regarding physical and digital security, reasonable work spaces for members of the organization, and the space needed to set up technologies to support knowledge acquisition, sharing, transfer, and learning.
Awad, E. M. & Ghaziri, H. M. (2004). Knowledge Management. NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
Gorelick, C., Milton, N. & April, K. (2004). Performance Through Learning. OX: Elsevier Inc.