In this contemporary day and age, every organization or for that matter an individual is faced with insurmountable amount of information from various quarters. So too at the time of decision making, every manager is faced with the same dilemma of sifting through the rubble of information all related in some way or the another with the decision at hand. To assist these managers make better informed decisions, the discipline of knowledge management has come in the limelight. Other advancements in the field include the decision support systems (DSS), data mining and warehousing etc (Davis, 2004).
Knowledge management is making sure that all the relevant information necessary for efficient functioning of the business be gathered from the personnel of the organization and disseminated to the concerned persons who will be able to maximize from the information. Since knowledge is a dynamic process which is continuously evolving with the changing macroeconomic or the socio factors, companies and even the individuals need to have on board a mechanism through which they could foster an efficient process by which the right information or knowledge reaches the right person (Mclnerney, 2002).
Decision making in the contemporary times are difficult to do for the managers as so much uncertainty is there in the business environment; it is for this reason that companies conduct research to help them make better decisions in the light of the findings of the research conducted. Business research is an integral component of knowledge management and with the boom in the information flow has become an integrated and in-house activity in the business.
Intellectual capital is given extreme importance nowadays by the companies all over the world as they make huge investments in the personnel, technology and the information systems so facilitate efficient flow of information; and that the incubation of new ideas is possible so cutting edge technologies and products come into the market giving the companies the needed competitive advantage. What has also happened in the mean while is that the contemporary manager has evolved into a person who has knowledge of nearly all the activities of the business and not just his confined job responsibility. So that has meant that the role of business researcher or a knowledge worker has become interchangeable with a knowledge worker blurring the lines (Stratigos, 2001).
With regards to my own business of a shoe retail outlet, I need to know what sort of information I need to make use of from the surrounding environment which is always changing vis-à-vis demand condition, competitors’ moves, supply chain, marketing, etc. The shoes are targeted mainly to the males who may be office going, students or teachers. So business research has a prime role in clarifying and reducing uncertainties which would help the company make well reasoned decisions (Mclnerney, 2002).
The type of decision taken involve are usually tactical in nature which for example include keeping those types of shoes that are in demand by the target market. Since the fashion changes very quickly, I need to make sure that the goods stocked in the outlet need to be in keeping with the demand. Other types of decisions include selecting the best supplier possible to buy the shoes from; who would give me the best rates possible being lowest amongst the rest of the deals.
Knowledge management helps this shoe business by making sure that the relevant information is taken into consideration while making the decisions or put another way the information helping reduce the uncertainties of the competitive environment. For example business research would reveal the relevant information regarding the tastes and the fashion of the contemporary times; this would help in keeping only those shoes that are in demand ensuring higher sales and profits.
Also empowering of the employees is extremely crucial for the outcome of a successful knowledge management program; as my employees are an intellectual capital for me so I need to foster an environment which is conducive for exchanging new ideas regarding some different things that could be done in the business to give it the competitive edge in the market. Also knowledge management would ensure that the right knowledge or information reaches the concerned employee in the company.
This is important as information that is passed from the lower hierarchy or even in the lateral hierarchy that the concerned person does not have to sift through the heaps of information. But the information should be truncated according to the needs of the said person receiving it who is called an information user (Nonaka, 2007).
Davis, D. (2004). Business Research for Decision Making. 6e. South-Western Pub.
Mclnerney, C (2002). Knowledge Management and the Dynamic Nature of Knowledge. Journal of the American society for information science and technology. Web.
Nonaka, I. (2007). The Knowledge-Creating Company. Harvard Business Review,. Web.
Stratigos, A. (2001). Knowledge Management Meets Future Information Users. Web.