Knowledge Management: Building a Competitive Advantage in Higher Education

Knowledge Management: Building a Competitive Advantage in Higher Education

Knowledge Management: Building a Competitive Advantage in Higher Education

Knowledge Management: Building a Competitive Advantage in Higher Education

Synopsis

This volume provides a comprehensive discussion of knowledge management, covering its theoretical, practical, and technological aspects with an emphasis on their relevance for applications in institutional research. Over time, institutional research has had to reinvent itself repeatedly in response to changes within the internal and external environments that have impact on its operations and roles. Knowledge management provides exciting opportunities while challenging the organizational and structural status quo. Chapters examine the theoretical basis and impact of data mining; discuss the role of institutional research in customer relationship management; and provide a framework for the integration of institutional research within the larger context of organization learning. With a synopsis of technologies that support knowledge management and an exploration of future developments in this field, this volume assists institutional researchers and analysts in taking advantage of the opportunities of knowledge management and addressing its challenges. This is the 113th issue of the quarterly journal New Directions for Institutional Research.

Excerpt

Andreea M. Serban, Jing Luan

Knowledge management is about using the brain power of
an organization in a systematic and organized manner in
order to achieve efficiencies, ensure competitive
advantage, and spur innovation. This chapter discusses
the fundamentals of knowledge management, its
definitions, components, processes, and relevance for
higher education, in general, and institutional research,
in particular
.

In the early 1990s, corporations coined the concept and movement of knowledge management, which is an institutional systematic effort to capitalize on the cumulative knowledge that an organization has. “Knowledge management is a fast-moving field created by the collision of several others, including human resources, organizational development, change management, information technology, brand and reputation management, performance measurement, and evaluation” (Bukowitz and Williams, 1999).

Although a fairly young field, knowledge management has gained tremendous popularity very quickly in the business world. Journals dedicated to this topic include Knowledge Management Magazine, Knowledge Management Review, and Knowledge Management World Magazine. There are conferences either exclusively dedicated to this field, such as KM World or the Knowledge Management Conferences organized by the American Productivity and Quality Center, or prominently featuring knowledge management both in terms of presentations and vendors, such the annual conferences held by Gartner Research Group and EDUCAUSE. Consulting groups—both well established with a large client base and small, regionally based—have rushed to advertise knowledge management as one of their areas of expertise. Prominent examples include the Gartner Group, the American Productivity and Quality Center, and Klynveld, Peat, Marwick, Goerdeler (KPMG).

Knowledge management presents a significant business opportunity. According to industry expert Ovum (cited in VNU Business Media, 2001), the worldwide knowledge management market will be worth $12.3 billion by the year 2004. More specifically, Ovum forecasts that the worldwide market for knowledge management-related software will increase from $515 million in 1999 to $3.5 billion by 2004. Knowledge management-related services are expected to grow from $2.6 billion in 1999 to $8.8 billion by . . .

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