Knowledge management is an essential aspect of today’s business. Knowledge is considered a valuable resource and represents a competitive advantage in the evermore globalized world. Also, for medium- and small-sized businesses as well as institutions such as schools, associations, or organizations, knowledge management plays an increasingly important role. Knowledge management means existing knowledge can be
- evaluated and
- utilized as strategically and operatively as possible.
To that end there are various knowledge management methods. Knowledge managers, who coordinate the knowledge of a business, ensure that the entire existing knowledge is saved, managed and readily available to others. Only in this way can all employees be kept informed and up to date at all times. Knowledge, however, is not restricted to the business itself. In fact, partners, suppliers and customers have external knowledge, which is made available to the business by knowledge managers. This allows new knowledge to be generated and realized in innovative products, processes and business areas (Innovation Management).
Knowledge management is implemented via a knowledge management system suitable to the specific business’s structures. This system supports the knowledge manager in keeping in full control and connecting loose ends. Also useful are knowledge management instruments such as knowledge management software or a knowledge database, which collects, organizes and structures the data and makes it available to all employees by means of smart document management. Knowledge management tools like these usually simplify project and process management significantly. Scientists have designed various knowledge management models which identify different core processes and activities in knowledge management. With these models, experts can create individual concepts for the introduction of knowledge management for specific businesses.