Knowledge acquisition that refocuses knowledge management

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A model of knowledge acquisition that refocuses knowledge management
John Van Beveren

The author John Van Beveren is Lecturer, University of Ballarat, Mt Helen, Australia. Keywords Information, Management, Model, Intellectual property, Innovation Abstract This paper presents a model of knowledge acquisition from definitions of data, information and knowledge. The model asserts that knowledgecannot exist outside of the human brain, and that any expression of the knowledge requires it to be transformed into information to be communicated outside of the brain. The model asserts that information is acquired through the sensors to the brain where it is processed with prior knowledge and that new knowledge can be created from the processing of information within the brain only. From adiscussion of this model in the context of alternative viewpoints, it is concluded that the future focus for knowledge management should be toward human resource strategies that leverage human-intellectual capital within firms and for the dissemination and sharing of important information that promotes creativity and innovation within and between employees. Electronic access The current issue and fulltext archive of this journal is available at

Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 6 . Number 1 . 2002 . pp. 18±22 # MCB UP Limited . ISSN 1367-3270 DOI 10.1108/13673270210417655

Knowledge management has become very popular, particularly as we are in the ‘‘information age’’ and ‘‘knowledge era’’, and much has been written on the topic fromvarious disciplines, ranging from management, strategy, economics, to computer science. Each of these disciplines has provided numerous viewpoints and approaches to knowledge management, although they all centre around the notion that knowledge is a valuable asset that must be managed, and the essence of knowledge management is to provide strategies to get the right knowledge to the right people at theright time and in the right format (Milton et al., 1999). Most authors have defined knowledge management as a practice that finds valuable information and transforms it into necessary knowledge critical to decision making and action. Lahti and Beyerlein (2000) further suggest that the only sustainable competitive advantage for a firm comes from the value it can develop for its customers. Thisvalue emanates from the construction and communication of important information from employees who engage with the customer, to the employees who have the knowledge to create new important information that they can communicate back to the initial employees for action. Often the new information requires innovation, and thus the management of innovation is important for most firms. Innovation is anongoing process in which organizations create problems, define them, and then develop new knowledge for their solution. The continuous generation and synthesis of collective organizational knowledge provides a firm with the ability to outperform the marketplace (Brown and Duguid, 1998). Many writers in the area of knowledge management have suggested that improvements in information technology willprovide tools required for knowledge management. Some have extended this notion further to suggest that the creation of knowledge-based systems or knowledge technology from the methods of knowledge engineering will produce better knowledge management (Milton et al., 1999), where knowledge engineering involves the acquisition, storage and use of knowledge from experts in the domain for which theknowledge technology is to be created. 18

Knowledge acquisition that refocuses knowledge management John Van Beveren

Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 6 . Number 1 . 2002 . 18±22

The purpose of this paper is to present an opposing view to the knowledge engineering approach and to those that suggest that knowledge can be acquired, stored and used outside of the human brain. The author...
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