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5 Knowledge Management Cultures

        posted by , March 26, 2013

Knowledge management is about culture.

Knowledge is a highly political thing. Some organizations suffer from a dysfunctional knowledge environment — knowledge is hidden and mismanaged.

The way you manage knowledge is a critical aspect of your corporate culture. This is the reason that some firms consider knowledge management a human resources function.

The following examples of knowledge management cultures illustrate the differences between firms — from dysfunction to knowledge management bliss.

1. Leaky Knowledge Culture

An organization that fails to retain knowledge. Most knowledge is in someone's head. Employee turnover represents knowledge loss.

2. Knowledge Island Culture

Knowledge is retained but hidden in knowledge islands. Teams and departments maintain their own secretive knowledge repositories. Sharing is limited.

3. Common Knowledge Culture

All knowledge is maintained in a common repository. Sharing happens at some basic level.

4. Knowledge Sharing Culture

Knowledge management principles are in place. Knowledge sharing is a common objective of the firm. Knowledge sharing tools and programs are in place to improve the strategic value of knowledge.

5. Knowledge Sharing & Improvement Culture

Knowledge management processes and practices are measured and improved. Knowledge is effectively applied to strategy, decisions, processes, products, customer relationships and innovation.

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