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WHY KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FAILED by DANIEL DONI SUNDJOJO

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  • 1. Why Knowledge Management System Failed by Daniel Doni Sundjojo WHY KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FAILED? By Daniel Doni Sundjojo Introduction In the modern bussiness environtment, organization faced the uncontrrolable and unpredictable bussiness environtmet. In the environtment where everything change rapidly and radically, the organization capability to manage know-how has become increasingly recognized as competitive advantage. With that mindset, knowledge management has been born and transform become the most popular phrase in every strategic forum, journal, literature on even discussion. Many companies has invested a huge amount of money to mplement knowledge management system into their system. Unfortunatelly, knowledge management system is not always running well. Many companies has invested their money for implementing knowledge management system but they become disappointed as the knowledge management system is looks like an useless system that has value billion rupiahs. Why the phenomenon rises? Why the knowledge management system doesn’t work properly? The most important word in the knowledge management system phrase is knowledge. Huber (1991) had defined knowledge as : “ Knowledge is a justified personal beliefs that increase an individual’s capacity to take effective action.” Polanyi (1966) has divided knowledge into explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. He distinguish between it : “ The phrase tacit knowledge refers to knowledge that cannot easily articulated, and thus only exist in people’s hands and minds, manifesting itself through actions ; explicit knowledge means knowledge that has been captured and codified into manuals, procedures and rules, and it easy to disseminate. Explicit knowledge is easy to disseminate through information technology system, web documentsbrainstorming, electronic brainstorming, catchball, and so on. But the tacit knowledge is more personalized. It must share for one person’s to be useful for another person through a process of reflection, enlightment and learning. That’s why the knowledge management sytem doesn’t’t work properly. Many knowledge management practitioners only concern to knowledge, knowledge management, knowledge management itself, but forget the fundamental notion that can make it runnung well : the motivation to learn from the member of organization. You may change systems, modified it with knowledge management system ; You may change process, added it with the process to capture, share and store knowledge, but you may change bahavior of the member of organization too. Brown and Duduig (1991) argue : “ Knowledge will not necessarily circulate freely through a company just because the technology to support such circulation is available.” The most important is not the system, but change of behavior from the member of organization, the rise of their motivation to learn to use knowledge management system properly, and take an advantage from it. To change behavior, the organization must transferred into the learning organization first. Learning organization has defined by
  • 2. Why Knowledge Management System Failed by Daniel Doni Sundjojo Senge (1990, 3) as : “ organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.“ Huber's (1991) four constructs of information acquisition, information distribution, information interpretation, and organizational memory focus quite strongly on the information systems of the organization. They address strengthen the linking between knowledge management system, especially explicit knowledge and learning organizations. Before this research, I have conducted pre-research in six organization that have implemented knowledge management system. The result of pre-research indicate that knowledge management system work properly if the member of organization doesn’t resistance to knowledge management system. Moreover, they must change their behavior to use the knowledge management system, have motivation to learn about this system and feel the system will give them value added in improvement theirselves. In the other words, if we expect knowledge management system worked properly, firstly, we must transform our organization into learning organization. Because, in the learning organization there are change behavior, motivation to learn, even challenge their “sacred cows” to improve themselves.Without it, knowledge management system only a expensive system that doesn’t work properly. Based on the result of pre-researh, this paper will examine proposition : Knowledge management system will implemented properly if organization has transformed into learning organization Knowledge Management System and Learning Organization Huber's four constructs has strong linking to explicit knowledge management. Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) state : “Explicit knowledge is externally available and can be coded into systems, structures, and routines in the organization. However, tacit knowledge creation and management, which are considered more strategic.” From that perspective, the knowledge management system has proved its link with learning organizations, especially strategic learning. Alavi and Leidner (1999) states : “ in the resms of the culture-based perspectives, managers asssociated knowledge maangement with learning.” Further, the result of Alavi and Leidner reseach (1999) has states : The respondents in the survey imlied a distinction between information and knowledge, although they seem to have used the words interchangeably. The distinction was implicit int their discussions of a potential to create cognitive overload due to an over-supply of information, and the desirability of providing access to people with knowledge, rather than information itself. This is consistent with the view held by some participants who linked knowledge management to organizational learning process. In this paper, learning organization will defined from Garratt’s perspective. Garratt (2000, pp 1 - 10) has divides learning organization into three levels of learning : policy learning, strategic learning and operational learning : Operational Learning is the continuous process of moving people towards conscious competence within their organization ; Policy Learning is about directors, managers and staf combining to make sense of pattern in turbulent and fast- changing external envorontment which provides macro- political dynamics – the energy
  • 3. Why Knowledge Management System Failed by Daniel Doni Sundjojo niches – in which the organization survive and thrives ; and finally Strategic Learning is about monitoring the changing external world, reviewing the organization’s position in these changes. Making risk assessment to protect and develop enterprise, broadly deploying its scarce resources to achieve its purpose,and ensuring that there are feedback procedures in place to measure the effectiveness of any strategy being implemented. From my pre-reseach result, Garratt’s three levels of learning has proved its link with implementing knowledge management systems, not only explicit knowledge management, but also tacit knowledge management. Meanwhile, in this research, the knowledge management system has seen at many viewpoints : implementing document management systems (Lemken, Kahler, and Rittenbruch, 2002) provide access to explicit knowledge sources. Electronic mail management (Lindstaedt and Schneidder, 1997) offer organization of communications and acces to communication histories. Workflow management systems (Lemken, Kahler, and Rittenbruch, 2002) realize process-oriented knowledge through workflow procedures and finally, organization memory information system that introduced by Stein and Zwass (1995). The organization memory information system integrated past and present knowledge by making it explicit for future use. Methodology This reseach use single case study. This reseach conduct in internet services provider company that has implemented knowledge management system along side with strategic learning, policy learning and operational learning. The relevant data and source of evidence will describe celarly in table 1. Table 1. Relevant data and sources of evidence Proposition Relevant data Sources of evidence Knowledge management system will implemented properly if organization has transformed into learning organization Implementation of knowledge management system Interviews open- ended nature, direct observation, physical artifacts, documentation, archival records. Implementation of strategic learning, operational learning, policy learning. Interviews open- ended nature, direct observation, documentation, archival records. The gap between implemetation knowledge management system and strategic learning, operational learning and policy learning Interviews open- ended nature
  • 4. Why Knowledge Management System Failed by Daniel Doni Sundjojo Conclusion The result, as predicted before, is clear : 1. Knowledge Management is only work properly when the organization has transform into Learning Organization. When learning culture has blend with organizational culture, Knowledge Management System will be useful tools to improve organization. Motivation to learn and improve will be the most important ingredient in all of organization member. 2. Commitment from top management is necessary to guarantee knowledge management working properly. 3. Communication, coaching and councelling is necessary to the member organization especially the member who has fear or skeptics of change 4. No scapegoats. Never ever put scapegoat at all, even in system, process, people, policy, don’t even try to put scapegoats. The important process is only solve all of the problem with the right way. References : Beckett, R., Murray, P. 2000. Learning by Auditing : a Knowledge Creating Approach. The TQM Magazine, 12, 2, 125-36. Brown, J.S. and Duguid, P. 2000. Balancing Act : How to Capture Knowledge without Killing It. Harvard Bussiness Review on Organizational Learning. (May/June) ; 45- 59 Fiol, C.M., and Lyles, M.A. 1985. Organizational Learning. Academy of Management Review 10 : 803. Garratt, B. 2000. The Learning Organization: Developing Democracy at Work. London: Harper Collins Publishers. Garvin, David.A. 2000. Learning in Action : A Guide to Putting The Learning Organization to Work. Boston : Harvard Bussiness School Press. Gladwell, M. 2005. Blink. Jakarta : Gramedia (terjemahan) Leonard- Barton, Dorothy. 1995. Wellsprings of Knowledge : Building and Sustaining the Sources of Innovation. Boston: Harvard Bussiness School Press. Mc Shane, S.L., and M. Von Glinow. 2003. Organizational Behavior. New York: The McGraw – Hill Company, Inc.
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