The paper "Human Resources Practices at Commonwealth Government Agency" is a good example of a human resources case study. This report explores the concepts of knowledge and knowledge management in relation to recruitment in an organisation known as the Commonwealth Government Agency (see Appendix 1 for the case study). The report discusses the issue of knowledge and its management, and then analyses the knowledge management system in the case study in the context of the organisation’ s recruitment practices. The information gathered from the discussion will be used as the basis for designing a knowledge management system for the organisation in a report that will be produced later. Prior to analysing the case study, it is important to define the terms that relate to the case; that is, knowledge and knowledge management.
There are many definitions of knowledge and knowledge management, and this paper will explore a few of them. Knowledge can be defined as the information that facilitates action and decisions or information with direction. Basically, knowledge is what one knows and enables people or organisations to undertake thoughtful action.
Knowledge has been recognised to be very significant in helping firms to compete in their environment. It thus becomes critical to continue developing and managing company knowledge so as to keep abreast of continuing change both in the internal and external perspectives of an organisation (Pun & Nathai-Balkissoon, 2011, p. 203). Of crucial importance in this paper is the understanding of knowledge in the context of tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge refers to personal, context-specific knowledge that resides in an individual. On the other hand, explicit knowledge is more formal codified knowledge that is conveyed from one person to another in systematic ways.
Thus tacit and explicit knowledge should be viewed as inseparable dimensions of knowing – which implies that knowledge cannot be expressed and formulated explicitly. A common understanding of knowledge is that it is broader, deeper, and richer than data or information. It is from this point of view that Davenport and Prusak (2000, p. 5) coined their definition that “ knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. ” This originates from the minds of those who know.
Thus in organisations, knowledge should be embedded in the organisational routines, processes, practices and norms – and should emanate from the experiences of people in the organisation – not just one or two individuals.
Davenport, T. H. & Prusak, L. 2000, Working knowledge: How organizations manage what they know, Harvard Business Press, Watertown, MA.
Geisler, E. & Wickramasinghe, N. 2009, Principles of knowledge management: Theory, practices, and cases, M.E. Sharpe, New York.
Jennex, M. E. 2007, Knowledge management in modern organizations, Idea Group Inc (IGI), Hershey, PA.
Maier, R. & Hildrich, T. 2006, “Knowledge management systems,” in D.G. Schwartz Encyclopedia of knowledge management, Idea Group Inc (IGI), Melbourne.
McInerney, C. & Koenig, M. E. D. 2011, Knowledge management (KM) processes in organizations: Theoretical foundations and practice, Morgan & Claypool Publishers, New York.
Perez-Soltero, A.; Barcelo-Valenzuela, M.; Sanchez-Schmitz, G.; Martin-Rubio, F. & Tomas Palma-Mendez, J. 2006, “Knowledge audit methodology with emphasis on core processes,” European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS) 2006, July 6-7 2006, Costa Blanca, Alicante, Spain.
Pun, K. F. & Nathai-Balkissoon, M. 2011, “Integrating knowledge management into organizational learning: A review of concepts and models,” The Learning Organization, Vol. 18 No. 3, 2011, pp. 203-223.