IM and KM

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What is knowledge?

There are many views and definitions; this is a NetIKX perspective.

Everybody quotes Francis Bacon "Knowledge is power" but few are familiar with the full quotation: "Knowledge is power. But mere knowledge is not power; it is only possibility. Action is power; and its highest manifestation is when it is directed by knowledge." For the individual, the acquisition of knowledge can be for personal pleasure. But for organisations, we take the view that knowledge is 'that which enlightens decisions and action'. In other words, knowledge is anything that helps an organisation to make decisions and undertake actions and as such it includes tacit knowledge (in people's heads), information (explicit knowledge) and processes (the how to, sometimes called embedded knowledge). The inescapable conclusion is that the key asset/resource for any organisation to survive is its knowledge.

What is information?

There are many views and definitions; this is a NetIKX perspective.

Information is a subset of knowledge. It is that element of knowledge that is written down, explicit knowledge, and is sometimes defined as 'data organised for a purpose'. The scientific definition of information is; 'That which reduces uncertainty'. Another way of looking at the issue is to say that 'knowledge is what we know', in which case information is the articulated and recorded part of what we know.

What is knowledge management?

There are many views and definitions; this is a NetIKX perspective.

Knowledge management is a set of ideas that help to understand the nature of the knowledge and how it is used in decisions and actions. It is helping managers to create, organise, store, use and enhance the knowledge resources available to them. From a different perspective, knowledge management is about extending a manager's toolset, giving him/her greater opportunities to make the right decisions and a greater chance of achieving the desired strategy.

What is the Willard model?

Nick Willard's model for IRM, was based on traditional resource management principles, but proved so powerful in its application to information, that the Network adopted it without hesitation as its 'road map' for the IRM Network to follow.

The Willard Model identifies five key elements of IRM:

1. Identification
The discovery of information resources and the recording of their features in an inventory

2. Ownership
The establishment of responsibility for the upkeep of an information resource

3. Cost and Value
Assessment of the cost of an information resource and its value to the organisation

4. Development
The further development of an existing information resource to enhance its value to the organisation

5. Exploitation
The processes which may allow a resource to generate further value through conversion into an asset or a saleable commodity


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