From Rhetoric to Reality: An Enquiry into KM Initiatives in an Organisation of Higher Learning
Rajen K. Gupta
K. B. C. Saxena
The expression "knowledge is power" has become a convenient soundbyte for all and sundry. Boardrooms and corporate luncheons are abuzz with sweeping remarks such as "we need to effectively manage our knowledge" or "harnessing the power of knowledge is the way forward." Despite an abundance of literature on the subject of knowledge management, many firms struggle to manage their knowledge assets. Of all contemporary management techniques, knowledge management demonstrates the biggest gap between promise and results realised. Why do some organisations benefit from the implementation of KM systems while other organisations do not? Can this intangible entity called "knowledge" be managed and harnessed at all, or is it merely a matter of throwing the dice and hoping for the best? Can the rhetoric be translated into a reality? This paper presents a thorough literature review followed by a case study approach. The authors have delved deep into the realities of an educational institute as a study of an organisation. Some propositions that can be helpful in translating the knowledge management "rhetoric" into a "practical reality" have been proposed. The authors have attempted to identify the causes of failure/success of any KM initiative.
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