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Ikm individual final copy


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Ikm individual final copy

  1. 1. University of Wales & Management Development Institute of SingaporeSUBJECT (MBA) Information and Knowledge ManagementLECTURER Mr. Jeffrey TanBATCH MBWD5 1230ATITLE Assignment 2 Name of Student FIN No. Serial No. in Signature marksheet (full name as in the attendance file)MANDEEP BHULLAREmail address of student:Submitted on Due Date? YES/NO (Date submitted: 09/ 07 /2012)Submitted soft copy? YES/NO (Date submitted: 09 /07 /2012)Word limit observed? YES/NO (No of words: 4045) 1
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS:EXECUTIVE SUMMARY................................................................................... 3CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION........................................................................ 4CHAPTER 2: IKM THEORY............................................................................. 6CHAPTER 3: CASE STUDIESToyota.................................................................................................................... 13Rolls Royce........................................................................................................... 16Nissan ................................................................................................................... 18CHAPTER 4: DISCUSSION................................................................................. 20CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION.............................................................................. 21LIST OF REFERENCES....................................................................................... 22 2MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:Knowledge is the most important asset among all the other corporate assets in today’s competitiveworld. So it becomes more necessary for organizations to quantify the knowledge within the mindsof the knowledge workers.The objective of this report is to study about tacit knowledge transfer techniques in Automobileindustry and to discuss the case studies. The business objectives of Automobile industry areprovided and by following them everything is explained. Based on elements the business modelswhich are there in knowledge transfer are given in detail. The knowledge transfer models which areexplained are related to tacit knowledge techniques.The theory explains two knowledge management models, Nonaka and Takeuchi KM model and 4IModel. The case studies involve three automobile companies. The Toyota, The Rolls Royce andfinally The Nissan are the three companies, which has been studied in detail. The knowledge transfertechniques practised by each of them are actively related to the theories of IKM models. 3MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  4. 4. An investigation and evaluation of the tacit knowledge transfer techniques used byautomobile industry.Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION1.1 Background: Industries implementing Knowledge Management practices face a number of problems while deciding the approaches they want to follow. Knowledge management includes various processes which manage the knowledge of an organization. Knowledge Management approaches are applied on two forms of knowledge: tacit and explicit. Explicit knowledge is present in tangible forms and many people can share the same explicit knowledge. On the other hand, tacit knowledge is the knowledge held by an individual in his head and it is more difficult to extract and express it clearly. (Dalkir, 2005) Tacit knowledge is unique and therefore it’s very important to manage it and retain it. It is obtained by experiences and learning at work as well as daily life. Tacit knowledge of employees is an asset for an organization as success of an organization depends upon its ability to make best use of its knowledge assets. The knowledge of automobile industry is generally tacit and remains within the heads of its employees. Therefore there is a need to transfer the tacit knowledge of employees into forms which can be retained by the company and used in the future. Also if the tacit knowledge of a knowledge worker is retained by an organization then it can be used by other employees for bringing competitive advantage to the company. To retain the tacit knowledge of automobile companies, managers need to find the employees possessing the knowledge which is useful for the company in present and future and then to arrange the kinds of interactions between knowledgeable individuals that will help the organization perform its current tasks, transfer knowledge from one part of the organization to another. Automobile companies need transfer knowledge in between various units of the company. Tacit knowledge transfer at different levels in automobile industry helps in delivering innovative products. 4MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  5. 5. 1.2 Problem Statement:What are the various ways to capture the present tacit knowledge of employees so that it canbe used and shared among the organization members?1.3 Objectives: · To capture the tacit knowledge of potential employees before they leave an organization. · To transfer important information from well experienced employees to new employees. · To fill the knowledge gaps among the employees in different departments of company by sharing knowledge. 1.4 Methodology: Methodology of this research article can be divided into three steps in which work has been done. First step involves collection of relevant data and case studies. Tacit knowledge theory is taken from Knowledge Management textbooks and case studies are taken from online articles and journals. Scanning of data is done to extract the useful data from all the collected data. This is the most crucial work as using the irrelevant data can move the research in wrong direction. In step two after brief introduction theory related to topic is presented. Third and the final step include description of three case studies of automobile industry, their relationship to theory and conclusion. At every step work done is related to the problem statement to make sure that the research article is able to answer it. 5MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  6. 6. Chapter 2: IKM THEORY In today’s competitive world knowledge is an important resource of an organization which it is not evenly distributed within an organization so there is a need to protect, cultivate and share this resource among all the members of the organization. The type of knowledge referred here is the experiences and expertise in the mind of knower. Tacit knowledge transfer is an important approach followed by various industries so that expertise of a person in an organization is available to all those who presently need it and can be retained by the organization for future generations. Knowledge remains tacit until it is within the head of an individual and once it’s shared with others it becomes explicit. (Dalkir, 2005) Explicit knowledge can be used in multiple ways by an organization. There are various IKM models which describe the tacit knowledge transfer. Some of them are:  The Nonaka and Takeuchi Knowledge Spiral Model  The 4I Model Of Organizational Learning 2.1 The Nonaka and Takeuchi Knowledge Spiral Model This model is based on understanding the knowledge and converting it from tacit to more explicit forms and back again. According to this model there are four modes of knowledge conversion.  Socialization : From tacit knowledge to tacit knowledge  Externalization: From tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge  Combination: From explicit knowledge to explicit knowledge  Internalization: From explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge 6MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  7. 7. Source: Socialization (tacit to tacit): Almost all the knowledge resides in the brain of an individual and there should be a way to transfer this knowledge. Socialization aims at transferring tacit knowledge by face-to-face social interactions. It involves attaining of mutual understanding by sharing of mental models. There are many experiences, expertise and skills held by an individual which can be never shared without socialization. It is the easiest way of exchanging knowledge because we can socialize with people anytime and anywhere, it might be travelling in the train or meeting at the coffee machine. This way may be useful to gather the tacit knowledge of employees retiring and leaving the company. Advantage of this method is also its disadvantage because even after sharing the tacit knowledge it remains tacit only because it is not recorded into any form. Although it is an effective method of knowledge transfer but it is very time consuming and all knowledge cannot be easily distributed using this mean. Externalization (tacit to explicit): The externalization process gives tangible form to tacit knowledge and converts it to explicit knowledge. It is the process in which tacit knowledge becomes explicit and can take shape of concepts, models, metaphors or hypothesis (Nonaka and Takeuchi,1995, p.4). This process involves a third person who will interview the individual with tacit knowledge to extract the knowledge content and convert it into some explicit form. After externalization knowledge becomes tangible and permanent for the organization and can be used whenever needed in future. 7MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  8. 8. Combination (explicit to explicit): This process involves transforming separate parts of explicit knowledge into one combined explicit form. No new knowledge is created in this process rather existing knowledge is recombined and converted into new report or database. Advantage of this process is that more people can understand and use the content. Internalization (explicit to tacit): Internalization involves the conversion of newly gathered knowledge into the mental model. It is referred as “learning by doing”. (Dalkir, 2005) Internalized knowledge can be used in a broader, extended and reformed way along with the tacit knowledge of an individual. This changes the mental knowledge of an individual, which means they do the same work in a different way. This way people can internalize other’s experiences to solve their problems and enhance their performance.2.2 The 4I Model Of Organizational Learning Source: Dalkir, 2005Employees of an organization play a significant role in acquiring the organizationalknowledge. Knowledge acquired by an individual is a social process that cannot occurwithout group interaction. Individuals learn from group interactions and groups learn fromindividuals. The Four I model of organization learning states that organizational learning 8MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  9. 9. includes a strong relationship between comprehending new learning and using what is learnt.The four I’s of social and psychological processes link individual, group and organizationallevels of learning. The four I processes of Crossan are:  Intuiting  Interpreting  Integrating  InstitutionalizingThis model was further modified by Zietsma et al. (2002) who included the process ofattending at intuiting stage and experimenting at interpreting stage. All the employeesworking in an organization performs knowledge creation and capture. It can be done asmembers of community of practice (CoP) or individually by performing some activities tocreate, capture and codify the knowledge while doing jobs. Within an organization employeesshare perceptions and together interpret information and experiences. (Cohen and Levinthal,1990) This knowledge acquisition exceeds the employees and is coded into corporatememory. The integrated knowledge of employees forms the institutional knowledge.2.3 Methods of tacit knowledge transferThere any many tacit knowledge transfer techniques used by organizations to acquire theknowledge of the employees in the company and retiring employees who represent theknowledge “walking out of the door” . Parsaye (1988) mentioned three methods ofknowledge acquisition from individuals and groups: • Interviewing experts • Learning by being told • Learning by observation 9MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  10. 10. Interviewing Experts: INTERVIEWING EXPERTS STRUCTURED STORIES INTERVIEWS Source: ResearcherTwo techniques used for interviewing of experts are structured interviewing and storytelling.The method is used to capture the tacit knowledge of experts into more explicit forms. Manyorganizations use this method to record the knowledge, learning and experiences of retiringemployees. The interviewee must be prepared with the sample of questions and goals of thesession conducted. The two types of questions used in structured interview are open andclosed questions. Open questions are broad with few constraints and allow the expert to givefree response. On the other hand, closed questions put restriction on the amount and type ofinformation that expert will deliver through his/her response.It is important to capture the exact meaning of the thoughts shared because interviewparticipants may have different mental models. Four approaches used by interviewer inreflecting listening are: Paraphrasing, clarifying, summarizing and reflecting feelings. At theend interviewee can validate if knowledge captured is complete and correct.Story telling is an efficient technique used to capture and codify the tacit knowledge in anorganization. Within an organization stories can include informal narration of managementactions, employee interactions and other events. Delivering information in the form of story,results in having long lasting impact on the memory of listener. Organizational story tellingshould be conducted in a way that it is able to communicate knowledge and learning withinthe story. The organizational lesson or moral of the story should be properly learnt,remembered and acted upon by the employees of the organization. 10MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  11. 11. Story telling is an interactive way to communicate common values and good practice tocapture, codify and transmit valuable tacit knowledge.Learning by being told:This method involves two simultaneous approaches, interviewee delivers his knowledge andsimultaneously knowledge manager validates the knowledge and converts it into explicitform. Three approaches used in this method are: domain and task analysis, process tracing,protocol analysis and simulations. Tools can be software programs such as models,schematics and maps. TASK ANALYSIS Looks after the key task performed by expert Characterizes the task PROCESS TRACING Asks matter expert to "think aloud" while solving problem Tries to detect the psychological process used by expert PROTOCOL ANALYSIS Elicits verbal reports from expert participants Source: ResearcherLearning by observation:In learning by observation an expert is given a case study or problem which he has to solvewith his own expertise. Learning by observation involves giving sample problem or casestudy to expert and then he/she solves it. Although there is no way to observe an individual’sknowledge but in this way his expertise can be identified. Audios or Videos can be used torecord the expert recommendations and they can be used repeatedly in future. Whilerecordings are being done, the individual must always be present with the expert. Forphysical demonstrations cheap camcorders can be used. However, for softwaredemonstrations specific software needs to be used to record the actions directly from desktop. 11MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  12. 12. Using such simple techniques core information and demonstrations can be captured. In thisway tacit knowledge of experts can be converted into permanent explicit form.Other methods to transfer tacit knowledge are E-learnng Action Road Maps learning Ad hoc sessions Learning histories 12MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  13. 13. Chapter: 3 CASE STUDIES3.1 TOYOTAToyota is one of the world’s best Japanese automobile manufacturing companies whichmanufacture a wide range of products including subcompacts, luxury, sports, trucks, buses,hybrid cars etc. Toyota products are available in all five continents of the world. Toyotaperforms knowledge sharing practices in company as well as among suppliers also. The casethrows light on the various tacit knowledge transfer techniques used by Toyota. Source: today’s knowledge intensive era managing knowledge is as important as manufacturinggoods. Toyota transfers tacit knowledge of its employees within its production network.Toyota along with its suppliers uses six techniques to transfer the tacit knowledge and share itToyota holds supremacy in transferring productivity-enhancing knowledge throughout thenetwork (Nishiguchi, 1994;Lieberman, 1994). The techniques used by Toyota in knowledgetransfer are: 1) Supplier Association (kyohokai): Toyota has supplier association in Japan which promotes “mutual friendship” and “exchange of technical information” between Toyota and its suppliers. It has three main purposes: 13MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  14. 14.  Transfer of tacit knowledge exchange between Toyota and its member companies.  Training and mutual development among member companies  Socializing events (internal Toyota Document, 1996)The core objective of supplier association is to create alliance between members andtransfer tacit knowledge via multi-lateral knowledge transfers. 2) Voluntary Learning Teams (jishuken): OBCD (Operation management consulting division) of Toyota promotes knowledge sharing with its suppliers in a way which is unique in the automobile industry. Toyota has organized key suppliers into groups which help each other in productivity and quality improvements by sharing their tacit knowledge. The groups are changed after every three years by Toyota to get diversity in ideas and grouping of suppliers is based on:  Geographic proximity  Competition  Experience with ToyotaEvery year suppliers meet OBCD managers to decide theme of the project and the motivebehind it is to help each other with the crucial business issues by sharing knowledge andexpertise. It helps in increasing productivity in areas of common interest like reducing leadtimes or inventories. This practice is helpful both for Toyota and its suppliers. 3) Problem Solving Teams:Jishuken teams are created to transfer the knowledge of network workers to other workers.Apart from jishuken teams Toyota also has Problem solving teams who use the knowledgecaptured by jishuken teams to solve the various problems in the network. For example,insome situations the supplier may face quality problem in which the root cause of problem isnot identified. In such cases, a problem solving team of experts will be setup who willcollectively use their knowledge to solve the problem. 4) Inter-firm Employee Transfers:It is one of the well known practices among Japanese companies. In this practice theemployees are transferred from one office of a firm to the office where his expertise in 14MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  15. 15. required. In this way the employees remain with the company and at the same company canuse their tacit knowledge anywhere within the firm. This technique also helps in transferringtacit knowledge of an expert. When the transferred expert joins new office of firm, he shareshis experiences and know how’s with other employees and transfers his tacit knowledge tothem.It is also an important mode to transfer knowledge to the suppliers. Toyota provides itsperformance feedback to suppliers and checks if they are using new knowledge or not. Thereare various ways used by Toyota to give feedback to their suppliers and motivating them touse the latest practices for improving quality as well as productivity. All the necessarychanges implemented by suppliers are documented. 5) Creating Organizational Units for Accumulating Knowledge in the Network:Toyota has created various units for knowledge acquisition, storage and diffusion forincreasing the ability to accumulate valuable knowledge within the organization network. Bycreating organizational units which have accumulating knowledge residing within thenetwork, Toyota has been able to systematically build and to existing stock of knowledge. Inaddition to this, the network members also know where to find different types of knowledge.This approach helps in transferring tacit knowledge into a stock of knowledge which is easyto access within the network. 6) Creating Multiple Knowledge-Sharing Processes and Nested Networks in Larger NetworksToyota introduced various processes for sharing explicit and tacit knowledge within thenetwork. In this the knowledge type is matched with the process type so that knowledgeflows in the most efficient manner. For example Supplier Association is a process used forquickly distributing explicit knowledge to all members of the network. But this process alsoallows the multi-lateral transfer of tacit knowledge regarding specific topic. OMCD and theproblem solving teams engage in bilateral tacit knowledge transfers of a particular type. Thusthere are varieties of processes which members can select to get different types of knowledge. 15MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  16. 16. 3.2 ROLLS ROYCE MOTORSRolls Royce has not manufactured cars since 1971 and currently their car manufacturing isdone by Rolls Royce Motors Cars Ltd. It is an organization which manufactures motorvehicles of top quality. Rolls Royce brand stands for its quality, design and performance. TheKM team at Rolls-Royce is Derby (UK) based and provides a varied and comprehensiveknowledge support services to the company’s engineering teams. The following case studyreveals the tacit knowledge transfer practices of Rolls Royce. Source: transfer and retention strategy of Rolls Royce focuses on the following functionalareas Engineering, R&D and Quality Assurance. Core Knowledge which company wants toretain is tacit knowledge of employees. Tacit knowledge Transfer techniques used by RollsRoyce are as follows: 1) Communities of Practice (CoP): Employees having common interest and identity form a group within the organization to share knowledge and experiences. This practice of forming such groups at workplace is called community of practice. This practice is used by Rolls Royce to capture and 16MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  17. 17. transfer tacit knowledge of employees. As technological knowledge lies within the heads of individual experts so this practice helps in sharing and evolving the knowledge. As a result, employees can enhance their learning as well as help each other through one’s expertise. This is tacit to tacit transfer technique as knowledge of one person becomes knowledge of other after sharing it. 2) After action Reviews: Employees in an organization work in different departments and perform various tasks to complete the projects. Once the project is over, they hardly have any time to sit together, review each other’s work and give suggestions to improve it further. However Rolls Royce performs after action review practice by holding regular meetings in which project managers and engineers share their individual lessons learnt and positive or negative experiences gained while working on the project. Everyone has different learnings and experiences from the distinct projects and discussions are performed to extract useful knowledge from those lessons. A report of discussions is prepared after every meeting. These sessions help employees in gathering new ideas of their work. In this way tacit knowledge of employees in converted into both tacit and explicit form. 3) Expert Interviews:Expert interviews involve asking the experts about their experiences and tasks performed incertain situations. The success of this method depends upon quality of questions asked andability of expert to articulate his knowledge. Interview can be structured or unstructured.Unstructured interviews are unplanned with on the spot questions and even responses are notevaluated whereas, structured interviews are pre-planned interviews in which questions arealready decided and expert responses are evaluated. Rolls Royce holds the expert interviewsto make their employees learn from the expertise of persons who have achieved great successin their field. Retiring employees in Rolls Royce share their experiences and learning bygiving an interview. They share their problems and stories related to the problems in order toovercome it. They even give answers to questions asked by employees; this further improvesthe understanding and clears the doubts of those who are listening to the interview. Expertinterview is an excellent method of tacit knowledge transfer. 17MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  18. 18. 3.3 NISSANNissan is a well known automobile company with 31 production facilities in 16 countries andselling motor vehicles in more than 160 countries. It is consider one of the high qualityleaders in automobile industry. It is well known for its value creation objective and attractivedesigns. Various tacit knowledge transfer techniques used by Nissan are mentioned in thefollowing case study. Source: competitive advantage not only depends upon capital and equipment managementbut also on information and knowledge management. Knowledge Management involvestechniques to utilize information and knowledge assets of an organization especially tacitknowledge. Some tacit knowledge transfer techniques followed by Nissan are: 1) E- Learning :E-learning refers to electronic learning in which there is no teacher to provide any trainingrather computerized programs are used for training purposes. Nissan has large globalfootprint which demands high quality of leaders worldwide. The most deserving 60 leadersamong these are identified by Nissan from 10 different countries. They have qualities toperform the leadership roles in future. These leaders belong to different geographic locations 18MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  19. 19. across the globe and have varied leadership skills. To work for Nissan as a leadership groupthey need to learn the Nissan’s values, vision and mission.Nissan want to provide a common leadership program to connect the leaders worldwidewithout physical movement. This objective is achieved by the process of E-learning. Nissancreated leadership development program with optimal training efficiency named GlobalOrganization Leadership Development (GOLD) It provided three self-study e-learningcourses and four real-time which were delivered using DDI’s virtual classroom technology.All the leaders were mailed the e-learning program and using this they formed a group ofleaders who never met each other. Using this program all the group members interacted witheach other to share ideas and knowledge. 2) Interview with experts:Expert interviews are sessions in which people who are experts in a particular subject,program or process share their knowledge with others. Interview with experts is an efficientmode to make tacit knowledge more explicit.Nissan use both semi structured and structured interview processes to get the expertopinions. The objective of semi structured interview is to enrich the depth and details ofinformation provided by the matter expert. (Cooper and Schindler 2001) Nissan organizesexpert interviews within the company when they have unique knowledge of experiences orexpertise and they want to share it with the next generation of the company. 19MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  20. 20. Chapter: 4 DISCUSSIONSKnowledge management is a core management function of any organization and withinknowledge management tacit knowledge is very essential. Performance of an organization ishighly dependent on its tacit Knowledge of its human assets. So the methods for capturingtacit knowledge should be efficient and effective. From the case studies of the companies it isfound that:Toyota uses six different processes for tacit knowledge transfer. The knowledge managementprocesses used by Toyota are very different and innovative; they are not same as thetechniques provided in the theory. It reflects that Toyota manages its tacit knowledge inToyota’s Way and does not completely rely onIKM theories. Toyota is leading the automobile industry which shows that the knowledgetransfer techniques followed by them are efficient.Rolls Royce uses two techniques out of which communities of practice and expert interviewsare included in theory whereas after action reviews are their own innovative way. This showsRolls Royce use the past theory practices but at the same time they create their own practices.Nissan uses expert interview and E-learning processes for transferring tacit knowledge ofemployees. Both techniques used by Nissan are mentioned in the theory. E-learning is anefficient process which is not practised by many companies but Nissan is making good use ofit for training its overseas employees. Nissan can use some more techniques to transfer itstacit knowledge in a better way.In three case studies different approaches to transfer of tacit knowledge are mentioned buttheir objectives are same and are based on standard IKM models. All the case studies aim atcapturing the tacit knowledge to make the best use of it within the respective organization. 20MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  21. 21. Chapter: 5 CONCLUSIONKnowledge management itself changed a lot which means it is not constant depends upontime and is changing with the enthusiastic environment. From the explicit knowledge ofresource then they changed to implicit knowledge to acquire the position in market. The needof the time is to capture the knowledge within the heads of experts and store it in explicitforms which can be used anytime in future circumstances. In this case of Automobileindustry, they tell how they are defining its own position in market globally. If theinformation of knowledge is channelized, formalized, documented and applied at right timemeans the tacit knowledge can be utilized as an asset. For an effective knowledgemanagement not only the competitive advantage is needed but it should also develop theperformance of the organization. 21MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  22. 22. LIST OF REFERENCES:Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice [ONLINE] Available at: [accessed 30 June2012]Case Study: E-learning Develops Global Leader Population at Nissan [ONLINE] Availableat:[accessed on 6 July 2012]Creating and managing a high performance knowledge-sharing network [ONLINE] Availableat: [accessed on 3 July 2012]Dalkir K (2005), Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.Nissan Sustainability Report 2010 [ONLINE] Available at: [accessed on 6July 2012]Nonaka and Takeuchi knowledge management cycle. [ONLINE] Available at: [accessed on30 June 2012][ONLINE] Available at: 22MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM
  23. 23. Retaining Today’s Knowledge for Tomorrow’s Workforce [ONLINE] Available at: link between sustainability and absorptive capacities: the case of the electric car inRenault Available at: 23MANDEEP BHULLAR – G1146823W IKM