Many people may think knowledge management is only applicable to enterprises. In fact, the inventor of knowledge management, Peter F. Drucker (2000), once stated that knowledge management can also be applied to schools and the major difference lies in the nature of how things are managed rather than what principles or norms are applied. Essentially, schools are the main cradles of innovative knowledge and contain an abundant amount of intangible assets. However, schools seldom touch upon how to apply the acquisition, integration, accumulation, sharing, transformation, and innovation of knowledge to practical works through the use of the information technology and organizational reforms. It is truly a pity. Currently, the hospitality industry is a focused industry of the academic arena. Thus, this study attempts to focus on the hospitality education of a technical college and introduce the concept of "knowledge management" to develop a substantial and feasible application process for teachers to manage teaching resources.
Knowledge and knowledge management
In the perspective of philosophy, epistemologists have been constantly exploring the meaning of knowledge. But due to the intuitiveness of knowledge (Lee & Chen, 2001; Salmenkaita, 2004), it cannot be observed or touched like tangible objects (Zack, 1999; Wu, 2001). It is often implicit and cannot be completely expressed by language or in words. A substantial and complete definition can hardly be provided, so there have been diverse interpretations. Positivists view knowledge as an object. It is an objective existence that is man-made, static, modal, and permanent. Its value does not vary with time. It can be easily conveyed, infinitely used, and accumulated. Based on this perspective, knowledge has become a sharable experience or information. As to the meaning of "knowledge management", the focus is placed on the acquisition (capture/recording) of internal knowledge, sharing (shared use), transmission (delivery),and application (Grant, 1996; Hansen et al., 1999; Wang, 2000; Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2003).
Knowledge management refers to the production, sharing, application, and transformation of knowledge. It can be induced from previous studies that the procedure of knowledge management involves 3 steps, including (1) acquisition of knowledge; (2) creating the culture of knowledge sharing; and (3) application of technological facilities (Alavi & Leidner, 2001; Davenport et al., 1998; Wang, 2000; Chang, 2000; Broadbent, 1998; Hansen, 2002).
In other words, "knowledge management" aims to transform personal knowledge into organizational knowledge through innovation, storage, sharing, and exploitation of knowledge, so as to help the organization seek higher performance, and better competitiveness (Zack, 1999; Tsai; 2001). The inventor of knowledge management, Peter F. Drucker, conceived that no matter knowledge management is applied to schools or enterprises, the principles and norms are the same, and the major difference lies in how things are managed.
"Teaching resources" include various audiovisual aids for teaching activities and also various social resources applicable to teaching (National Institute for Compilation and Translation in Taiwan, 1983). Lu (1996) conceived that teaching resources refer to various auxiliary resources that can vivify, enrich, and facilitate the process of teaching.
To sum up, teaching resources include all kinds of teaching data, audiovisual aids, and social resources that can vivify, enrich, and facilitate the teaching process. In other words, teaching resources basically encompass three categories, namely audiovisual media, text data, and social resources.
In a review of previous studies on teaching resources, it can be discovered that a good teaching resource, when ideally applied by teachers, is expected to have the following functions (Huang, 2001; Fun, 2001; Wang, 2000; Chang, 2000; Bennett & Gabriel, 1999; Gordon, 1997):
(1) Induce student's learning motivation. …