WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: Meaning, Process, Tools, Theory & Types

What is knowledge management
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Knowledge is a valuable asset for every company, and effectively managing, storing, and disseminating that knowledge is essential for business success. You can identify, maintain, and make this knowledge available to all employees with the right processes, providing genuine commercial benefits. Meanwhile, learn the meaning of knowledge management and its types, process, tools, theory, and examples to grasp this idea. 

What Is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management (KM) is a systematic process for identifying, creating, representing, distributing, and deploying knowledge to support organizational objectives. It includes the technologies, tools, methods, and practices used to manage knowledge. 

KM is a multidisciplinary field that draws on knowledge from various disciplines, including information science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and computer science. Knowledge management is often approached as a strategy, theory, or a set of practices for improving organizational performance. You can explore it in industries and organizations, including businesses, schools, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Furthermore, knowledge management has its unique theory, types, process, and even tools companies can create and share among their workers. This means you can use many different ways to approach KM, but all involve creating, sharing, and using knowledge to achieve organizational objectives. KM includes many activities, such as knowledge capture, knowledge sharing, knowledge use, knowledge assessment, and knowledge-based decision-making.

The goal of KM is to help organizations create value from their knowledge and improve their performance. KM has its roots in the work of early management thinkers such as Peter Drucker and Alfred Chandler, who emphasized the importance of knowledge in organizations. In the 1970s and 1980s, many scholars and practitioners began to develop methods and tools for managing knowledge. Then, in the 1990s, KM became a more formalized field, following the establishment of professional organizations, journals, and conferences dedicated to KM.

What Are The 4 Types Of Knowledge Management? 

The four types of knowledge management are explicit knowledge, implicit knowledge, tacit knowledge, and procedural knowledge. These types of knowledge management have their pros and cons, and you will understand them better in the following:

#1. Explicit Knowledge

Explicit knowledge is knowledge or information that is codified and recorded for individuals within an organization to access and use. This type is typically stored in databases, files, and other types of documentation. You can readily transfer it from one person to another or from one organization to another.

Organizations often use explicit knowledge to share best practices, processes, and procedures among employees. Hence, you can use it to improve the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, explicit knowledge is generally easier to transfer and share than tacit knowledge, which is more difficult to codify and document.

#2. Implicit Knowledge

Implicit knowledge is the type of knowledge that is not consciously acquired or remembered but learned through experience and repetition. This type is often through skills training and practice and is difficult to articulate or transfer. This is because it is not easily verbalized or written down, as people acquire it through everyday experiences and around others or something they consciously learned. 

For example, a person who learned how to ride a bike is not likely to explain the mechanics of how to do so but can do so without thinking. Similarly, a bilingual person is not likely to explain the grammar rules for both languages but can speak both fluently.

Furthermore, implicit knowledge is usually contrasted with explicit knowledge, the type one can consciously access and articulate. However, note that both types of knowledge are important and necessary for effective functioning. For example, a person who only has explicit knowledge of how to ride a bike is not likely to ride a bike as effectively as someone who possesses implicit and explicit knowledge. Similarly, a person who can articulate the grammar rules for one language may not be as fluent as someone with explicit and implicit knowledge of the language. so, implicit knowledge is an individual’s ability to perform a task.

#3. Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge is the kind of knowledge that is difficult to express in words. It is the know-how, skills, and abilities people acquire through experience and practice. Tacit knowledge is often personal and context-specific, and it is this that makes it so difficult to transfer or communicate with others.

Additionally, tacit knowledge is a key ingredient in many professions, from engineering to medicine to cooking. It is the knowledge that allows them to troubleshoot problems, come up with creative solutions, and make sound judgment calls. It is often the difference between success and failure.

However, the challenge with tacit knowledge is that it is hard to bottle and sell. It is knowledge best passed on through apprenticeships and mentorship. It is hard to teach in a classroom. And yet, it is so essential to many people’s everyday activities.

#4. Procedural Knowledge

Procedural knowledge is the type that enables people to perform certain tasks. It is also sometimes referred to as “know-how.” Generally, people acquire it through experience and practice, and it is not always easy to articulate.

One of the benefits of procedural knowledge is that it can help people to be more efficient and effective in their work. For example, someone who knows how to operate a particular type of machinery can do so more quickly and effectively than someone without this type.

Procedural knowledge can also be helpful in problem-solving. For example, if someone is trying to figure out how to fix a broken piece of equipment, they can find the answer more quickly if they understand how the equipment works.

What Are The 5 Components Of Knowledge Management? 

Here are five components of knowledge management:

#1. Strategy

Strategy is a critical component of knowledge management, as it is the proactive planning and decision-making for achieving organizational goals. Without a sound strategy, organizations will likely struggle to achieve their goals and objectives. To develop an effective strategy, organizations need to understand their goals, objectives, and the resources available to them. 

Furthermore, they should identify and assess the risks and opportunities associated with achieving their goals. Only then can they develop and implement a sound strategy to achieve their desired outcomes.

#2. Process

The term “Process” involves creating, storing, and disseminating knowledge. This includes acquiring, storing, organizing, and retrieving information. It helps organizations to improve their performance and make better decisions. Additionally, the process is a critical part of knowledge management because it aids organizations to create value from their knowledge. 

#3. Technology

Technology is a critical component of knowledge management, as it helps collect, store, and distribute knowledge throughout an organization. It can also go for creating new knowledge through research and development. Hence, leveraging technology can aid organizations to establish a competitive advantage and improve their overall performance.

#4. People

People are the most important component because they are the creators and users of knowledge. Without people, there would be no knowledge to manage. They include senior management, group leaders who inspire their colleagues, the core knowledge management team who direct execution, and lastly, staff members who contribute and utilize the process. 

#5. Improvement

Improvement is a process that helps organizations identify and implement changes that will lead to desired outcomes. There are many approaches to improvement, but all share a common goal: to make a better organization and improve its performance. 

So, if an organization constantly improves its processes and procedures, it can become more efficient and effective. Improvement will also help the organization to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

Knowledge Management Process

The knowledge management process is a framework that helps organizations identify, capture, and share knowledge. It consists of four steps: identification, collection, curation, and dissemination.

The first step, identification, involves identifying what knowledge is needed and where it resides. The second step, collection, involves gathering that knowledge. The third step, curation, involves organizing and storing the knowledge. The fourth step, dissemination, involves sharing knowledge with those who need it.

Thus, the knowledge management process is a valuable tool for organizations because it helps them to make the most of their knowledge assets. 

Knowledge Management Tools

There are various types of knowledge management tools available to organizations, and the most effective tool depends on the organization’s specific needs. 

One common type is a knowledge base tool, which collects information employees can access. You can use knowledge bases to store information about company procedures, product information, or customer records. 

Another type is a document management system, which stores and tracks documents. You can use it to store information such as customer contracts, employee manuals, or product specifications.

Other knowledge management tools are:

  • Customer service knowledge base. 
  • Product knowledge management system.
  • Inventory management system.
  • Learning management system (LMS), etc.

Knowledge Management Theory

Knowledge management theory is the study of how organizations manage and utilize knowledge. It focuses on knowledge creation and sharing within organizations. The goal of knowledge management theory is to help organizations better manage their knowledge more effectively.

There are numerous knowledge management theories, each with its unique perspective. Some theories include the resource-based view, the social constructivism perspective, and the organizational learning theory. Each of these theories has its strengths and weaknesses, and organizations should carefully consider which theory best fits their needs.

What Are The Top 5 Benefits Of Knowledge Management? 

The top 5 benefits of KM are:

  • Reduced costs associated with retrieving and using knowledge.
  • Increased efficiency and productivity as a result of better information management.
  • Improved communication and collaboration across an organization.
  • Reduced risk of information loss as a result of better information management.
  • Increased ability to react quickly to changes and challenges.

What Is Knowledge Management Strategy? 

A knowledge management strategy is a plan for how an organization will identify, capture, store, and share knowledge. It includes both the processes and technologies to manage knowledge.

An effective KM strategy can help an organization improve decision-making, increase efficiency, and boost innovation. It can also help to improve customer service and to build a more knowledgeable and engaged workforce.

What Makes A Good Knowledge Management System? 

A good knowledge management system should be easy to use and allow users to quickly find the information they need. 

What Is Knowledge Management And Example? 

Knowledge management is the process of organizing, managing, and using knowledge to achieve organizational objectives. A good example of KM is when a company collects and stores employee ideas for decision-making.

What Is Knowledge Management And Its Purpose? 

Knowledge management is a process that helps organizations identify, capture, organize, share, and use knowledge to improve productivity and decision-making.

What Are Some Examples Of Knowledge Management Systems?

Some examples include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and document management systems. These systems help organizations to store, organize, and retrieve information.


In conclusion, knowledge management is a process of acquiring, storing, and using knowledge. It involves tools and techniques to manage knowledge, as well as a theory to guide the process. There are different types of knowledge management, each has advantages and disadvantages.

While knowledge management includes many processes and tools, you can use different theories to guide KM practices. Ultimately, the type that is best for your organization depends on the organization’s specific needs and goals.



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