Monday, August 30, 2004

Knowledge Management for Higher Education. This is an interesting essay on the ways that knowledge management can be applied in academia. It definetly has applications for academic library instruction programs.

From the site:

Knowledge Management (KM) principles recognize that it is important for organizations to "know what they know." All institutions inherently store, access, and deliver knowledge in some manner. The question is what value is added to the products and services they deliver by the effective use of that knowledge capital.

"Almost any institution in this country will make reference to the capturing of knowledge, the sharing of knowledge and the delivery of knowledge from faculty to students," explains Stevenson. However, KM involves much more, going beyond the inherent knowledge industry of colleges and universities. In the EDUCAUSE Leadership Strategies volume entitled Information Alchemy: The Art and Science of Knowledge Management, Bernbom explains that KM involves the "discovery and capture of knowledge, the filtering and arrangement of this knowledge, and the value derived from sharing and using this knowledge throughout the organization" (2001, p. xiv). It is this "organized complexity" of collaborative work to share and use information across all aspects of an institution which marks the effective use of knowledge.

Higher education institutions have "significant opportunities to apply knowledge management practices to support every part of their mission," explains Kidwell et al (2001, p. 24). "Knowledge management should not strike higher education institutions as a radically new idea; rather it is a new spin on their raison d'etre" (p. 24). The problem is that it is such a "wide open area of study that it is difficult to understand the implications of knowledge management for an educational setting" (Thorn, 2001, p. 25). This digest offers a basic introduction to the potential of KM for higher education.

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