Enabling ICT and Knowledge Management to Enhance Competitiveness of Higher Education Institutions

By Sulisworo, Dwi | International Journal of Education, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Enabling ICT and Knowledge Management to Enhance Competitiveness of Higher Education Institutions


Sulisworo, Dwi, International Journal of Education


Abstract

HEIs are recognized to be in the knowledge business, and increasingly they are exposed to marketplace pressures in a similar way to other businesses. In this new situation, knowledge become the main drivers to create growth and security for the organization. The purpose of this paper is to seek the ICT contribution to knowledge management that enhance the HEIs competitiveness. The adoption and use of ICT to facilitate Knowledge Management (KM) has brought to focus the urgent need to come out with new methods, tools and techniques in the development of KM systems frameworks, knowledge processes and knowledge technologies. Creating a shared knowledge base and providing best practices via ICT tools enables the replication of future wellbeing. Through ICT, experts and professionals in different fields are empowered contribute their knowledge to effectively and efficiently.

Keywords: Knowledge management, Higher education, Information technology

1. Introduction

Nowadays, in knowledge-based economy land and capital become secondary and knowledge is the primary source of competitiveness and innovation. Higher education is in the knowledge business (Cranfield and Taylor, 2008; Yeh, 2005). Core activities are associated with knowledge creation and dissemination and learning. As a consequence, at the higher education institutions (HEIs), the intangible assets become more important and significantly affect the education quality. As the external environment increased pressure upon HEIs to become more productive and business-like. The HEIs uses the business management techniques as the vehicles for change. HEIs are recognized to be in the knowledge business, and increasingly they are exposed to marketplace pressures in a similar way to other businesses (Kidwell, et. al., 2000: 31) and knowledge become the main drivers to create growth and security for the organization (Aujirapongpan, et. al., 2010). It might, then, be reasonable to suppose that knowledge management (KM) might have something to offer higher education institutions (Rowley, 2000: 327; Yeh, 2005: 36; Suhaimee, et. al., 2005: 48-50; Kidwell, et. al., 2000: 31).

All top management had realized that KM can be used by HEIs to gain a more comprehensive, integrative, and reflexive understanding of the impact of information on their organizations. The practice of KM, initially derived from theory and practice in the business sector, provides a framework to illuminate and address organizational obstacles around issues of information use and access. HEIs can perhaps learn from KM efforts in the business sector, in terms of the limitations and drawbacks associated with KM. In fact, there are several compelling reasons why HEIs have not, and perhaps should not, simply re-appropriate KM, as popularized by the business sector, into their own organizations. In the business sector, there has focused on information technology and systems as solutions to problems of knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing. In the other hand, HEIs face an increasing number of challenges that have forced them to rethink how they are accountable to external demands, as well as how to improve internal accountability. Rather than focus on micro-level information sharing activities, implementing KM strategies and practices requires these educational institutions to examine the larger context of information sharing within the organization, specifically how their people, processes, and technology function within it.

KM strategies and practices come to embody the interactions between people, processes, and technology. These three-people, processes, and technology-all function as an integral part of the ongoing dynamics as organizations struggle to meet their information needs. Rather than situating technology as the focal point, KM practices approach technology as an essential resource that is necessary for changes in organizational process to occur, but not sufficient. Recent trends in KM may grant technology disproportionate authority in how organizations share information. …

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