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10 and provides definitions. Chapter two is a summary of the This definition lays out the following key concepts: literature survey. Chapter three analyzes the results of the STA questionnaire and the literature survey regarding Knowledge is a combination not only of data and doc- leave-taking. Chapters four through eight analyze the results uments, but of information, expert opinion and judg- of the questionnaire regarding overall KM practices in STAs. ment, skills, and human experience. Chapters nine and ten present transportation-related and non- Knowledge is an asset, implying value and necessity transportation-related case studies. Chapter eleven presents for management attention and control. the conclusions. Knowledge has value, not for itself, but because it is used to aid decision making. The appendices (AL) contain the questionnaire itself, job Knowledge may be explicit, captured in a document, titles and STA affiliations of the respondents, detailed ques- DVD, e-mail, chart, book, content database, or similar tionnaire results, and an annotated literature survey. medium. Knowledge may be tacit, held only in the minds of people. DEFINITIONS AND TERMINOLOGY Knowledge may be held by a single individual or may be generally understood by many (collectively). For this synthesis study, the term institutional memory is KM is a business management process. defined as "The body of knowledge, formal as well as informal, that is essential to the continuous and effective functioning To clarify further, knowledge differs from information of the agency at all levels." (G.T. Shin, personal communication, May 15, 2006). To sum- marize this communication, information is organized data and This heretofore unpublished definition is attributed to is captured in inorganic systems, perhaps on tape, on digital Dr. Howard Rosen, University of Wisconsin, Madison, as media, in books, handwritten documents, graphs, charts, tables, part of his participation as a panelist for this synthesis topic. etc. Knowledge, on the other hand, is created by an individual internalizing and digesting information. It changes over time This definition was chosen from among many in the liter- in various ways as it evolves and matures with accumulated ature because it succinctly states key concepts: experience, and it is active--it drives and informs action. Both formal and informal knowledge are present and Increasingly, the practices for managing an organization's necessary. institutional memory are gathered collectively under the trans- To be worthy of memory (formal remembering in this disciplinary business management process known as KM. In case), the content in the body of knowledge must be essen- organizations, accumulated knowledge can be considered the tial, implying thoughtful winnowing and synthesizing. fourth major asset to be managed as part of typical business The body of knowledge is not preserved for its own processes, comparable to physical assets (buildings and equip- sake, but because the agency needs it for continuous ment), financial assets, and human resources (HR). Geiger functioning; implying long-term, systematic attention et al. (2005) referred to knowledge as an asset in their report over time. Without the body of knowledge functions on asset management practices. When discussing the Alberta may become ineffective, broken, or disjointed. Infrastructure and Transportation agency, they describe the The body of knowledge is necessary at all levels, imply- agency's asset management information system, citing the ing that all employees have responsibilities regarding system's benefits: the creation and preservation of the body of knowledge, and also can expect to be able to use it as necessary to Enables gaining best life-long returns on investments; be effective in their own work. Documents the rationale for investment decisions; Provides the tools to achieve excellence in all phases of To further refine our understanding, there is a need to be asset creation and maintenance; more precise about what is meant by knowledge. The litera- Enables preservation and optimum use of knowledge ture survey revealed that KM as a business process is being assets, such as data, information, and human capital; and applied much more robustly in Europe, including Great Provides an effective and efficient learning tool (p. 33). Britain, and in Australia than in the United States. These enti- ties have advanced to the stage of standards writing, which However, there is a need to define KM more specifically. implies a certain consensus on the value of the KM business Some definitions for KM emphasize it as a tool for business process. Thus, for a specific workable definition of knowledge, competitiveness; others are so vague as to yield little guid- the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) was used: ance for practical implementation. For this synthesis, the best definition, in our opinion, is formulated in Australian Stan- The combination of data and information, to which is added expert opinion, skills, and experience, to result in a valuable asset, dard AS 5037-2005: which can be used to aid decision making. Knowledge may be explicit and/or tacit, individual and/or collective (European Guide Knowledge management--A trans-disciplinary approach to to Good Practice in Knowledge Management, Part 1, 2004, p. 6). improving organizational outcomes and learning, through max-