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Mobile Technology For Knowledge Management

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Question:

Discuss about the Mobile Technology for Knowledge Management.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Knowledge Management refers to the process of getting the right knowledge to the right person at the right time. To accomplish this, an organization needs to have a clear understanding about the area where knowledge exists and the form in which it exists. Then the knowledge management system identifies where the knowledge has to be sent and how to send it. Knowledge management also involves the creation of new knowledge. The overall aim of this mechanism is to create value, leverage and refine the knowledge assets of the organization in order to meet its goals (Pari, 2012).

The purpose of this report is to analyze the role of mobile technology in the process of knowledge management in Polish manufacturing companies. The techniques and areas where mobile technology can be incorporated are identified and its efficiency is reviewed. Mobile technology provides the workers in the Polish industry with real time insight into the business activities of the organization no matter where they are. According to Chituc, Americo and Cesar various organizations are transforming their business concepts from traditional to modern methods using mobile technology, especially smartphones. The most important change has been seen in the adaption of e-business on a large scale in the recent times. The report revolves around the ways in which Polish manufacturing industry is using mobile technology to support knowledge transfer and how effective and ineffective the methodology is (ASEAN Foundation, 2008).

 

Review of relevant literature on the theme you have selected

According to Ko et al knowledge transfer consists of two sub processed which are sending and receiving knowledge. This implies that knowledge Management is a two way process. Knowledge can be generally categorized as a tactic or explicit. Tactic knowledge transfer requires recreation of knowledge, whereas in case of explicit knowledge the transfer of knowledge can be done using verbal explanation, documentation or information systems. Explicit inter organizational knowledge in a polish manufacturing company is in the form of procedures, database and policies. On the other, tactic inter-organizational knowledge is present in research excellence, organizational culture and management know-how of the organization (Bajpai, 2017)s.

After identifying the form of knowledge, it is important to figure out the best ways to transfer it to the right kind of people at the right time. According to Albino et al, the factors that positively affect the knowledge transfer are the actors in the knowledge, the context of the transfer process, the content and the media. In case of manufacturing industries like Polish manufacturing, managers are the actors of knowledge transfer; the context of the process is to increase the success rate of the projects and the medium of transfer used here is mobile technology. In the process of using mobile technology in transferring knowledge; organizational and managerial competencies, technical competencies and behavioral competencies play a key role. Firstly, managers in manufacturing companies use mobile technologies across different processes according to their competencies and those competences influence the type of knowledge that is transferred (Derballa & Pousttchi, 2011). Secondly, managers in manufacturing companies use mobile technologies across different processes according to their competencies and those competences have a different influence on tacit and explicit knowledge transfer. Lastly the use of mobile technologies by managers in manufacturing companies influences the efficiency of knowledge transfer that can be understood via an improvement in the number of successful projects. Managers need to know why and how the knowledge can influence positive on business performance.

There are a number of other factors that will influence the knowledge management system in an organization. Some major factors include Strategy, Organizational Culture, Organizational Processes, Management and Leadership, Technology and Politics. The strategy developed by any organization to manage knowledge should be dependent on the organization’s corporate and business strategy. The aim behind this strategy development should be managing, creating and sharing the relevant knowledge assets will assist in acquiring tactical and strategic knowledge. The organization culture also has an impact on the manner in which workers interact with each other, the context in which the knowledge is created, the degree ad way in which people will resist particular changes and lastly the way people share or do not prefer to share the knowledge. Similarly, the organizational processes imply what kind of processes, systems and environment should be used in order to support knowledge management in the organization. 

Additionally, knowledge management demands competent and experienced leaders manage knowledge in the right manner in the organization. The organization might want to appoint knowledge managers and knowledge brokers separately to manage the process of knowledge management. The technological advancement also plays an important role in knowledge Management (Zhang & Shuzhen, 2014). For instance, in the case study the success of mobile technology in the Polish manufacturing industry for the purpose of knowledge management is discussed. Lastly, the degree of work politics prevailing in the  organization also influences knowledge management. This process requires long-term support to implement and retain the changes made during knowledge management. Also, due to extensive politics the workers or management might get discouraged to take initiatives regarding knowledge management.

 

Review of the KMS

This section analyses the usefulness of mobile technology in knowledge management in Polish manufacturing industry. The method used to measure this was qualitative research in which, surveys were conducted in several Polish manufacturing companies. The companies surveyed included several manufacturing types like: industry – 90 companies (74.2%), construction 19 companies (14%) and others 18 companies (13.4%). Out of the respondents, 82% were managers and 18% were the chief executive officers of the organizations (Derballa, 2008). The factors that define the qualities of managers to transfer knowledge in a Polish manufacturing company were decided on the basis of the feedback surveys and their sources which were divided into the following categories:

The result of the surveys was determined using a correlation and regression method so that the effect of mobile technologies used by management in order to transfer the knowledge can be estimated (Maliszewksa, 2015). The data contained was analyzed in the context of the linearity, equality of variance and normality. Based on this, it was observed that there were no major deviations. The correlation analysis of the use of mobile technologies by managers of manufacturing companies, according to their competencies, on the efficiency of explicit and tacit knowledge transfer was determined by observing the increase or decrease in the rate of successful projects in the organization. The analysis also stated that the Polish manufacturing companies with highly competent managers were only benefitting from mobile technology in the transfer of explicit knowledge. The managers used mobile technology to develop policies, plans and procedures that would help in successful management of knowledge. Even though these companies were using mobile technologies across different departments and processes, yet it was most successfully used in transferring explicit knowledge. Another observation revealed that the interaction of managers in the context of transferring tactic knowledge was very less. All these observations clearly identified that in the Polish manufacturing industries, the mobile technology was being highly supportive in transferring explicit knowledge, while it lagged behind in managing tactic knowledge which was seen as a huge drawback in the knowledge management system overall (Robinson, et al., 2014).

The research also shows that in Polish manufacturing organizations, managers used mobile technologies extensively to share and transmit reports and statements which enabled using real time data to make major future decisions. This further added to the success rate of the organizational projects. The efficiency of explicit knowledge transfers witnessed a hike when managers switched to using mobile technologies in the organization for the purpose of sharing knowledge within the organization. Additionally, the results show that there is a positive relationship between the behavioral competencies of managers in a manufacturing company who use mobile technologies and the transfer of policies (Kumar, et al., 2011).

 

Critical discussion

Based on the result of the surveys, it can be clearly stated that the use of mobile technologies in Polish manufacturing industries is highly influenced by the competencies of the managers and their overall understanding of the knowledge management system. It can hence be derived that the efficiency of inter-organizational knowledge transfer depends on the organizational and managerial competencies of managers plus the technical competencies of managers plus the behavioral competencies of the managers who use mobile technologies. The result is pretty justified since it can be clearly observed that for an organization to become a complete knowledge- oriented company, the managers and leaders play a key role. However, it can also be witnessed that the manager’s competencies can only have an impact on the explicit knowledge transfer while the tactic knowledge transfer remains unaffected by it (Brdulak, 2013).

Finally the results reveal that the use of the mobile technologies in Polish manufacturing companies can only be successful when it comes to transmitting short messages and amendments in the existing policies of the company. In order to create and transfer new knowledge, a face to face interaction is the best method. Depending on mobile technology for the creation of new technology and its acceptance among workers will not be successful. People need to be communicated about the new knowledge and how they can benefit from it. Mobile technology can be a very hostile method to do this which could eventually result in high resistance from the end of with workers. Mobile technology can help in providing real time data that could be used for the creation new  knowledge,  but its transmissions should be done more personally. Hence, the organizations that aim to increase the number of their successful projects, should only use mobile technologies in the process of transferring knowledge that consists of changes in existing policies, strategies and procedures. For the transfer of tactic knowledge, other methods like web blogs, face to face meetings, coffee break interactions should be used.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, I would say, it has been evident from the case study and the research that even though mobile technology is gaining popularity in the manufacturing industries to manage knowledge, it is not capable of dealing with every aspect of the knowledge management system. The transfer component can use mobile technology, but when it comes to creating knowledge and sustaining it, mobile technology will not prove to be very effective. The study also shows that the manufacturing industries can only benefit from the mobile technology only if the managers of these organizations possess technological and behavioral competencies along with organizational competencies. The organization should hire knowledge managing personnel carefully based on their knowledge and experience. Also, the role and responsibilities of these managers should be clearly defined by the organization, so that the managers know what is expected from them.

The Polish manufacturing industry should additionally use other methods and tools to manage the tactical knowledge. Since the research shows that mobile technology is not very effective in this category of knowledge management, the organization should try and test other methods like web blogging to create and transmit tactic knowledge. Overall, due to high technological advancement, there are a lot of opportunities for manufacturing industries to exploit for enabling smooth working of their organization. The organization should just be careful about picking the right tools for the right kind of work.

 

References

ASEAN Foundation, 2008. Introduction to Knowledge Management, Available at: https://www.aseanfoundation.org/documents/knowledge_management_book.pdf

Bajpai, B., 2017. M-LEARNING & MOBILE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT:emerging new stages of e-learning & knowledge management. pp. 1-10, Available at: https://www.academia.edu/322439/M-LEARNING_and_MOBILE_KNOWLEDGE_MANAGEMENT_emerging_new_stages_of_e-learning_and_knowledge_management

Brdulak, J., 2013. Knowledge management in polish companies. International Journal of Business and Management Studies,, 2(2), p. 369–378.

Derballa, V., 2008. Mobile Technology for Knowledge Management, Available at: https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/mobile-technology-knowledge-management/25205?camid=4v1a

Derballa, V. & Pousttchi, K., 2011. Mobile Technology for Knowledge Management, Available at: https://www.irma-international.org/viewtitle/49062/

Kumar, R., Dey, S. & Rao, K., 2011. Investigation of mobile Knowledge Management: Developing and Integrating Enterprise App Store with existing Knowledge Management System. International Journal of Computer, Volume 1, pp. 6-11.

Maliszewksa, P., 2015. The effect of the use of mobile technologies by management in polish manufacturing enterprises on the efficiency of knowledge transfer within a company. Foundations of Management, Volume 7, pp. 159-168.

Pari, G., 2012. Introducing Knowledge Management, Available at: https://www.cs.unibo.it/~gaspari/www/teaching/slides_KM1a.pdf

Robinson, A., Campo, K. & Isaac, W., 2014. Virtual Outreach: Use Of Mobile Technologies For Knowledge Management And Extension Services In Rural Communities, Available at: https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/cfcs13/253574.html

Zhang, Z. & Shuzhen, C., 2014. A New Trend of Knowledge Management: A Study of Mobile Knowledge Management. Management Science and Engineering, 8(4), pp. 1-5.

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