Example research essay topic: An Introduction To Skills Involving Knowledge Management – 1,050 words

What if I were to tell you that I could give you a
process or methodology that would allow those that
dont know what they dont know to determine what
they really needed? If I had a tool that supported
a process of gathering required information,
providing information to those that need it, when
they need it, and in a form they understood, would
people really be interested in such a tool? Well
if I had such a tool it would be priceless! What
Ive described is exactly the feeling I get when
trying to understand the concept of knowledge and
how to manage knowledge. There are superficial
distinctions between knowledge, data, and
information as one persons data or information
could be another persons knowledge. Therefore,
knowledge management sounds like something you can
put your arms around (easily described), but in
reality, its a concept whose definition changes
depending on your personal frame of reference.
Knowledge management is an important issue in the
manufacturing industry. However, the concepts in
this paper transcend manufacturing. Therefore, my
comments will be presented as if they pertain to
many industries, including manufacturing.
Knowledge Management Is Very Personal What is done
with knowledge is a key concept people at all
levels in an organization need to get comfortable
with. I could not find a universally accepted
definition of knowledge management.

For instance
some would argue, the primary focus of knowledge
management actions and thoughts should be directed
toward accomplishing common goals. If this is
true, then information is generated in a form that
enables people to attain a level of understanding.
With understanding, people are better able to make
sound and timely decisions. A cynical belief is
knowledge management is just a euphemistic term
that makes it legal to systematically take
advantage of employee ideas. Others believe,
knowledge management is luring people together
[physically or virtually] to share thoughts and
ideas in order to produce a level of understanding
needed to make decisions. Still others believe
knowledge management involves managing cerebral
activities (learning) within oneself to get some
type of action. In these examples, knowledge and
understanding could be used interchangeably.
However, the real concern is not knowledge or
understanding, rather, the focus is on what is
done with knowledge and understanding-the action.
Throughout this paper, Im going to assert that
what is done with knowledge is the focus of
knowledge management.

Understanding how to
influence what is done with knowledge in an
organization can profoundly enhance productivity
and is essential to leading and managing
organizational change, maintaining an
organizations competitive advantage, and
developing an organizations future required
operating capabilities. Existing Leader Skills Are
Valuable Technological tools that make unlimited
amounts of data available to anyone with access to
these tools complicate the concept of managing
knowledge. Combine this with the increasing
reality that knowledge is infinitely expansible
(the more you use it, the more it proliferates), I
can understand why some believe that what is
scarce in this new economy is the ability to
understand and use knowledge. Therefore, the
organizational skill becoming increasingly more
valuable is a persons conceptual capabilities-more
importantly, metacognitive awareness (situational
awareness). Metacognitive awareness (also referred
to as thinking about thinking) is when a decision
maker knows when to shift from using critical
thinking skills (cause and effect-based
conclusions) to using creative thinking skills
(putting ideas together in forms that did not
exists before) in order to make decisions. The key
here is emphasizing how important it is to
understand information and actions chosen based on
that understanding.

Knowledge Versus Intelligence
Knowledge is defined as understanding gained by
experience whereas intelligence is the ability to
learn and understand. For a long time it was
believe that there was only one kind of
intelligence, logical intelligence-designed to
form concepts, solve problems, obtain information,
reason, and perform other intellectual operations.
This belief was used as the basis for determining
whether or not people were likely to succeed. Now
we know that there are more separate and distinct
forms of intelligences. Logical intelligence is
one, other intelligences are: visual, verbal,
creative, physical, and emotional. The point being
made here is that because of the limited scope we
put on describing intelligence in the past, people
who were considered geniuses in logical
intelligence were thought to be more likely to
succeed than those that possessed other categories
of intelligence-this belief proved to be a
fallacy. We are now in what is considered a
knowledge era-focused on managing those who
possess knowledge.

Managing knowledge is analogous
to describing intelligence. I believe that we will
need to avoid the trap of valuing those who
possess a certain kind of knowledge over those who
may posses an equally important, but distinctly
different knowledge set. What is meant by
different knowledge set is people possess
distinctly different intelligence gathering
capabilities (visual, verbal, physical, etc).
Managing knowledge is supposed to be about making
sure the right information is available to users,
at the right time, in a form understandable [to
the user]. Therefore, knowledge management should
respect the many different forms of individual
intelligence-gathering capabilities (put another
way, knowledge management should avoid designing
systems that shape people to the system). Manage
or Cultivate? When considering organizational
norms of managing knowledge, one tends to think in
terms of limitations. How do you really manage an
infinite resource not meant, by design, to be
controlled? What if instead we used the term
cultivating knowledge? This term tends to get
people to think in terms of possibilities.

Getting
positive results from infinite possibilities
provides motivation for acquiring knowledge or
understanding. Making decisions, taking actions,
and achieving performance objectives are key.
Knowledge management should be thought of as the
art of systematically encouraging people to use
their knowledge for the future benefit of the
organization. This statement is consistent with
the concept of cultivating and I believe can be
very effective in influencing what is done with
knowledge to increase productivity. The ultimate
challenge is transitioning managers who are
accustomed to managing finite resources (time,
money, and things) and teaching them to manage an
infinite resource (knowledge). This will involve
an order of magnitude managerial paradigm shift
from managing knowledge to cultivating knowledge.
Knowledge Management and the Economic Element of
National Power Our economic systems are not set up
to understand or measu ….

Research essay sample on An Introduction To Skills Involving Knowledge Management