Knowledge Management is a data gathering/analytical process whereby a company utilizes all the available information streamlined by multiple and multi-varied online sources in order to improve its decision-making capabilities and infrastructure to the benefit of their customers and business clients. More and more companies are using the help of experts and specialised software systems for their knowledge management processes to help their businesses to determine its level of competitiveness vis-a-vis other industry players, to forecast fluctuations in consumer/client preference, facilitate and optimise customer relations and promote customer satisfaction, while promoting the sharing of ideas and encouraging collaboration with diverse industrial entities (like professional associations or venture capitalists) and fields of knowledge.
Its most important value is the fact that it stimulates innovation through the sharing and recycling of ideas, which can be used by other businesses to replicate, modify, and innovate an already existing product all to the advantage of consumers, investors and other businesses. Managers can learn to integrate new ideas and theories into their business processes, thereby acting as a catalyst and conduit for cultural and social change as reflected in all aspects of society. Ultimately, the Knowledge Management process is extremely useful for small businesses or start-up companies because it can help them gain a jump-start in the markets and thrive even in a world where the bigger competitors dominate the scene, thanks to this free exchange of ideas and information.
Through its efficient organizational capabilities KM also acts as a filter of information to cut out excessive noise or data overload and condense the issues that are most pressing at hand, by streamlining data through a conduit or filter that delivers the accessed material and its potential for company growth to the various organs or company departments responsible for handling that specific information. This procedure ensures that only high-quality decisions are made and that excessive information overload or unnecessary details are kept out of the way so as to ensure speedy decision-making. Another added benefit of the use of KM applications is that it makes learning routine, by constantly providing data that can help a company, and its executives, employees, and clients to continuously improve their skills and efficiency to achieve established goals. KM as applied to other industries like the military, places strategic importance on the learning aspect, as shown by the U.S. Army’s After Action Reviews (AARs), which encourage a continuous reassessment of the units’ performance, potential and organizational level after an assignment in order to look for ways to improve and perform better in the future.
Alas, a serious setback to the implementation of KM is the excessive secrecy of fortune 500 companies and their refusal to share information that could be vital to businesses worldwide and to a global society. Viewed in this light, what is needed is a radical paradigm shift that will lead these major players to acknowledge the importance of innovation, and—instead of thinking solely of their interests or the strategies to maximize profits— to recognize the multiple benefits they can gain through a shared collaborative and mutually beneficial global process that also involves small business. Because, in the end, Japan is still going to make better, ‘perfected’ models of Western tech products, whether the West likes it or not; and no matter how many copyright laws or legal conditions exist in individual nations to prevent the mass-dissemination of knowledge, people are still going to find ways to download free movies and music.