Knowledge Management is the collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge in of broad sense (Newman 1991). It has been around us for ages with its practitioners comprising of politicians, philosophers, teachers, scribes and preachers among others. Knowledge management is the management of the organization towards the continuous renewal of the organizational knowledge base - this means e.g. creation of supportive organizational structures, facilitation of organizational members, putting IT-instruments with emphasis on teamwork and diffusion of knowledge (as e.g. groupware) into place (Bertels 1996). This meaning has a technological connotation. Knowledge management aids in the decisions we make during the day to day processes so as to make such processes efficient.
In the recent past especially during the information age organizations have come to appreciate the importance of information and knowledge management. This has come to give birth to the fields of knowledge analysis and planning. Knowledge planning seeks to determine the suitability of information to an organization by establishing the knowledge usefulness, weaknesses and strengths. Then planning comes in where an organization will seek to manage this knowledge in a manner that it will remain competitive over the years. The organization will look into ways through which its labor or systems will be equipped technology wise to give the organization a competitive edge.
After the Second World War, the global situation took some radical changes. The interaction between nation which hitherto the world war two were hindered by the cold war. This was a thing of the past and the development of new technologies especially the internet and computers revolutionized the world in an irredeemable way. The ‘globe has become a village’ and people and organizations at any point on the globe can connect through the internet and telephone lines among other via other such technologies. Some technologies even allow for teleconferencing. This has opened up the globe in such a way that organizations can barely exist in isolation from others on the globe. More so than ever before, companies are competing on a global basis: customers are no longer obliged to buy goods or services in person; employees can carry out their work from offices or hotel rooms anywhere in the world, and multi-million pound transactions can be processed with the click of a mouse (Frappaolo, 2002).
In brief, globalization drives knowledge management and knowledge management in turn drives globalization. The internet has allowed people share information globally. It is possible to access virtually any kind of information on the internet .One can consult with experts on the internet or through other ways of networking that technology has availed. It is indeed the information age. If an organization is to expand or at least retain its competitiveness it will have to access and manage information. Globalization however ,meets challenges such as language barriers. This makes it hard for two parties speaking in different languages to interact efficiently. Other challenges include the different cultures of countries such as the east and the west that undermines sharing of ideas. Globalization as well has seen organization expand to significant extents such that some of them have been causing environmental degradation. Last but not least is the crime of plagiarism that has been taken to another level by globalization. These are challenges which knowledge management will have to look into sooner rather than later.
Knowledge management has seen most productions change gradually from labor intensive to technology intensive productions. A labor intensive production requires a lot of labor to produce goods or services while a technology intensive requires technology (capital) to do the same. The degree of intensity is given by the ratio of labor to capital or vice versa. Some labor intensive industries include agriculture, the restraint industry, and mining. Technology intensive production requires a massive capital investment to start with . There after remains almost constant and, it is due to this factor that most organizations are shifting to technology intensive production.
Benefits of technology intensive production include the efficiency and consistency of product. Labor intensive productions are also vulnerable to wage changes due to changes in the labor market. Other than that machines can work for longer without fatigue, unlike human labor. Knowledge management has over the years come up with technologies which are either labor or capital intensive. This has revolutionalized virtually all sectors of the world’s economy. There has been a trend from the agrarian revolution to the industrial revolution.To today’s information age where technology is replacing human labor to get to a more productive world’s economy.
Knowledge management is indeed a very important to any organization and the world at large. It is therefore, of utmost important that it is pursued especially information acquiring in fields that have over the years been problematic. These include areas such as the health sector particularly on terminal illnesses such as cancer and the HIV and Aids, environmental degradation and climatic changes. Information management evidently holds almost all solutions to sustainable human species survival on the globe. This solution to most problems lie within it ranging from peace to basic needs sustainability and energy sustainability of the globe. Peace as well lies within it as knowledge to understand different cultures of people helps avoid conflicts rather than holding stereotypical views that it is human nature not to exist in harmony. In conclusion, information can be used to get means of production and environmental management that sustains the human species and put an end to human suffering.