Knowledge – this term, according to the knowledge management, comprises practise, strategy, method and approach. In one word, this is “how” to do something. Knowledge (or in other words know-how) is contextual and ranges in form codified or codifiable (explicit knowledge) to experiential (tacit knowledge) Knowledge is needed to understand business decision- making, growth and achievement of long- term vision of the organization.
Forms of knowledge
- Tacit knowledge - used every day by people, but difficult to capture in a formal record, its substance can not be expressed with words;
- Implicit knowledge - which can be systematized and presented using words, numbers, signs or symbols, and thus transferable
- web- based,
- new knowledge;
Economics of knowledge
According to the economics of knowledge, it is a positive externality. Knowledge comes from education and research. To understand the economics of knowledge, it is important to distinguish private and social benefits.
This is a benefit which consumer of good or service receives. Marginal benefit comes form an additional unit of a good or service. That leads to marginal private benefit (MB), which is a benefit form an additional unit of a good or service that that the consumer of this good of service receives.
Moreover, there is an external benefit from a good or service. This is the benefit that someone other than the consumer of a good or service receives. Like in private benefits, there is also a marginal external benefit, which is form an additional unit of a good or service that people other than the consumer enjoy.
What is more, there is also marginal social benefit (MSB), which refers to marginal benefit enjoyed by society (consumer of a good or service – marginal private benefit) plus the marginal benefit enjoyed by others (the marginal external benefit).
All of that is boiled down to following equation:
MSB= MB + Marginal external benefit
Examples of Knowledge
- Expertise – This is a combination of knowledge, experience, and skill in a particular area or topic, such as engineering, finance, law, or medicine. For example, a software engineer may have expertise in programming languages, computer architecture, and operating systems.
- Knowledge base – This is a collection of information and expertise on a specific topic or field. It can be used as a reference for experts or beginners. For example, a company’s knowledge base can be used to store information on products, services, and processes.
- Best practices – These are techniques or methods that have been proven to be successful in a given context. For example, in software engineering, best practices include using version control, automated testing, and following coding standards.
- Experiential knowledge – This is knowledge that is gained through personal experience. For example, a software engineer who has worked on a project for years will have a wealth of experiential knowledge about the project.
Advantages of Knowledge
One of the primary advantages of knowledge is that it helps to make decision-making more efficient. Knowledge can also lead to improved problem-solving, better customer service, and greater organizational innovation. Below are some of the key advantages of knowledge:
- Having a wealth of knowledge can help organizations better understand their customers, identify their needs, and create solutions to their problems. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Knowledge can be used to innovate and create new products, services, and processes that can give organizations a competitive edge.
- Knowledge can also be used to improve decision-making processes. By having access to reliable information, organizations can make better decisions in a timely manner.
- Knowledge can also be used to create a more efficient workflow. By having access to the right information, organizations can identify and eliminate inefficiencies and optimize their processes.
- Having access to knowledge can also help organizations improve their communication and collaboration, as well as increase their productivity. By having access to the right information, organizations can better communicate with each other and collaborate on projects more effectively.
Limitations of Knowledge
Knowledge is a powerful tool, but it has certain limits that can hamper its effectiveness. The following are some of the main limitations of knowledge:
- Time – Knowledge is limited by the amount of time available to process, analyze and act upon it. As time passes, knowledge can become outdated and irrelevant.
- Context – Knowledge is context-dependent and can vary between different situations and environments. As such, it is difficult to generalize and apply knowledge to different contexts.
- Accessibility – Knowledge is often inaccessible to those who need it due to various barriers such as language, location, and cost.
- Practicality – Knowledge can be difficult to implement in practice due to the complexity of the systems and processes involved.
- Motivation – Knowledge is useless unless people are motivated to acquire, use and share it. If people are not interested in learning, they will not be able to benefit from knowledge.
- Subjectivity – Knowledge can be subjective and can be influenced by personal biases and preconceived notions. This can lead to incorrect conclusions and decisions.
Knowledge is a complex concept, and many approaches have been developed to better understand it. Some of the most prominent approaches are as follows:
- Knowledge Representation, which seeks to capture knowledge in a structured way in order to facilitate its use and manipulation. It includes techniques such as ontologies, semantic networks, and frames.
- Knowledge Discovery, which is the process of automatically extracting knowledge from large datasets. It involves techniques such as data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
- Knowledge Engineering, which is the process of developing, acquiring, and maintaining knowledge-based systems. It includes techniques such as knowledge acquisition, knowledge base development, and knowledge base maintenance.
- Knowledge Management, which is the process of managing and leveraging knowledge to create value. It includes techniques such as knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, and knowledge creation.
In summary, knowledge is a complex concept, and there are a variety of approaches used to better understand it. These approaches include knowledge representation, knowledge discovery, knowledge engineering, and knowledge management. Each of these approaches has its own techniques and processes which are used to capture, extract, develop, acquire, and maintain knowledge.
- Rubenstein-Montano, B., Liebowitz, J., Buchwalter, J., McCaw, D., Newman, B., Rebeck, K., & Team, T. K. M. M. (2001). A systems thinking framework for knowledge management. Decision support systems, 31(1), 5-16.
Author: Karolina Golańska