In one of our earlier post we wrote about knowledge management and it includes sharing knowledge and also creating new knowledge. And now we have to ask how to create new knowledge in the enterprise?
In recent years, scientists have challenged the ability to create new knowledge and to use it, which is one of the most important sources of competitive advantage. In a world where markets, products, technologies, competition, regulations, and the whole society changes extremely fast, continuous innovations where knowledge is growing has becoming an important source of competitive advantage.
Between implicit (implicit knowledge of the human unconscious knowledge, which is the result of past experience, and that is difficult to put it into words) and explicit knowledge (explicit knowledge is easily expressed and thus quickly shared between people and organizations, using a variety of options, such as formulas, manuals and records) we have four main steps, which can be considered as phases of knowledge creation in the organisation:
- Socialization – one individual shares implicit knowledge with the other . . . socialisation alone is quite limited knowledge creation process. Granted, the student learns from the tutor. Neither the tutor nor student will get systematic review how the knowledge was created, because their knowledge didn’t become open, so this method is not used in a large organization as a whole. Companies use the same principle for on-the-job-training. Thus, the principal method of acquisition of implicit knowledge is experience.
- Sharing – in this phase implicit knowledge is put into word, so the knowledge will become explicit. This is the most typical knowledge creation process in firms; the implicit knowledge is converted explicit through metaphors, analogy, concepts, hypothesis or model.
- Combining – is the process where knowledge is systematized in knowledge management systems. This phase conversion involves combining different explicit knowledge. Individuals exchange and combine knowledge through documents, meetings, telephone, or computers, social networking sites. Existing explicit knowledge is transferred through sorting, adding, combining and categorizing, this may lead to creating new knowledge.
- Internalization – in this phase explicit knowledge is transformed implicit through learning. When the experiences through socialisation, sharing and combining are attached to an individual knowledge base, then the implicit knowledge will become more valuable. Moreover, if the new knowledge revealed to be shared across the organization, other employees will learn it, which means that they use the explicit knowledge to expand, develop, and shape their implicit knowledge . . . Employees use innovation, which will eventually become part of the process for granted.
To stay competitive, companies must efficiently and skilfully create, find, grab and share knowledge inside the organization. Many companies are so complex that their knowledge is fragmented, difficult to find and therefore sharing the knowledge is inconsistent, irrelevant, and ignored in the decision-making processes, that affect the business.