Motivations For KM

There are a number of motivations leading to organizations undertaking a knowledge management program.

Perhaps first among these is to gain the competitive advantage (in industry) and/or increased effectiveness that comes with improved or faster learning and new knowledge creation. Knowledge management programs may lead to greater innovation, better customer experiences, consistency in good practices and knowledge access across a global organization, as well as many other benefits, and knowledge management programs may be driven with these goals in mind. Government represents a highly active area, for example DiploFoundation Conference on Knowledge and Diplomacy (1999) outlines the range of specific KM tools and techniques applied in diplomacy.

Considerations driving a Knowledge Management program might include:

  • making available increased knowledge content in the development and provision of products and services
  • achieving shorter new product development cycles
  • facilitating and managing organizational innovation and learning
  • leverage the expertise of people across the organization
  • benefiting from 'network effects' as the number of productive connections between employees in the organization increases and the quality of information shared increases, leading to greater employee and team satisfaction
  • managing the proliferation of data and information in complex business environments and allowing employees rapidly to access useful and relevant knowledge resources and best practice guidelines
  • managing intellectual capital and intellectual assets in the workforce (such as the expertise and know-how possessed by key individuals) as individuals retire and new workers are hired
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