Fundamental Components of Knowledge Management

Probst et al. [1997] describe the primary tasks of knowledge management in two circles (Figure 5). The "outer circle" with the activities target definition, realisation and measurement represents a traditional management process. This feedback control system accomplishes several tasks. It clarifies the importance of strategic aspects in knowledge management as well as the importance of precise objectives [Bullinger 1998]. The "outer circle" (feedback control system) considers the necessity to use the possibilities of measurements also in the field of knowledge management to come close to the idea of an objective oriented management.

Figure 5 - Fundamental Elements of KM, adapted from [Probst 1997]

In the "inner circle" (Realisation) are the structural components: Identification, Acquisition, Building/Structuring, Storing, Exchange and Utilisation. Bullinger

[1998] stresses that it is import not to neglect one of these elements, as this would prevent a continuous realisation of an "inner circle".

Bullinger [1998] sees the following advantage in the definition of components of knowledge management:

• It structures the management process into logical units.

• It offers starting points for interventions.

• It provides a defined frame for the search for the cause of "knowledge problems", and therefore the possibility to break down solutions into smaller units.

The following section shortly describes the purpose and the task of each component.

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