Incorporating Knowledge Management in Organization Essay

Pages: 8 (2351 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

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Incorporating knowledge management at the Army National Guard G6

The military institutions have always represented the backbone of a country's security and safety system. Within the United States, they are part of the national symbols and the trusted organizations of the entire population. The scope of the military institutions is that of ensuring safety of the people and peace within the country.

In rapidly changing times however, the means in which the military institutions come to complete their roles and functions change and they become more demanding. In the specific case of the Army National Guard, more and more emphasis is being placed on the organization's ability to integrate all its strategies into a single unified effort. As the pressures increase then, the organization has to seek new means of responding to the challenges.

One specific response in this sense is represented by the integration of business principles in the completion of military operations. Specifically, while the army remains a non-profit institution, it should implement some lessons from the business community, which is focused on efficiency and result maximization. At this particular stage, attention is placed on the integration of knowledge management at the Army National Guard (ARNG).

2. The Army National Guard

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Before proposing the implementation of knowledge management at the Army National Guard, it is necessary to briefly introduce the organization. The Army National Guard operates through a total of 54 guards, located one in each of the fifty states, and the others in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. During typical times, the ARNG is ruled by state governments, but in case of emergencies, the United States President is able to call in the guards.

TOPIC: Essay on Incorporating Knowledge Management in Organization Assignment

In times of war or other emergency situations, the Army National Guard responds to the President, who can mobilize troops and use them for federal purposes. In such situations, the scope of the ARNG is to restore peace, and in times of peace, its scope is to preserve it.

"While federalized, the units answer to the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating and, ultimately, to the President. Even when not federalized, the Army National Guard has a federal obligation (or mission.) That mission is to maintain properly trained and equipped units, available for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency, or as otherwise needed" (Website of the Army National Guard, 2009).

The scope of the Army National Guard is as such a strictly military one, but in order to accomplish it, it is necessary for the institution to also engage in adjacent operations, such as the management of its people, the management of its resources or the adequate usage of information. In order to accomplish these tasks, it has to continually evolve and modernize, and, at this stage, a question is being raised relative to the integration of knowledge management at the Army National Guard.

3. Knowledge management and its benefits

The first step in creating a plan for the implementation of knowledge management at the Army National Guard is represented by the full comprehension of the concept of knowledge management. In a general setting, knowledge management refers to the collection and processing of information in such a manner that it supports the company in attaining its overall objectives.

The specialized literature presents a series of definitions for the concept of knowledge management, but the researchers have yet to come to a universally accepted definition. Still, a definition is presented below; it has been retrieved from the CIO website and it is as relevant as any other definitions that are available. According to the CIO editors then:

"KM is the process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets. Most often, generating value from such assets involves codifying what employees, partners and customers know, and sharing that information among employees, departments and even with other companies in an effort to devise best practices" (Levinson).

While this definition does not argue the role of information technology in knowledge management, it has to be noted that knowledge management is indeed not a synonymous with it. In other words, the integration of it within the institutional context does not necessarily imply that the firm is engaging in knowledge management. On the other hand however, knowledge management process cannot be completed in the absence of informational systems.

The integration of knowledge management within organizations is an imperative measure in these rapidly changing times as it allows the institution to recognize the new threats and adapt to them. According to the prestigious Forbes magazine, the integration of knowledge management within firms is a necessary process due to three pivotal capabilities of knowledge management, namely:

The ability to support decision making processes within the organization

The provision of support for learning to become an ongoing and routine process, rather than a sporadic effort, and last

The ability to stimulate cultural change and innovation (Quast, 2012).

In the specific military context, these benefits of knowledge management are felt and enhanced, but they are further developed to respond to specific needs of the army. Knowledge management in the army context then improves mission command, knowledge sharing and training efforts. Better said:

"KM enhances mission command, facilitates the exchange of knowledge, supports doctrine development, fosters leaders' development, supports lessons learned, supports training and enhances professional education. Ultimately, KM enables the Army to become an adaptable organization that is able to learn and change" (United States Army Combined Arms Center).

4. Plan for knowledge management incorporation

As it has already been mentioned, the integration of knowledge management is essential in any institution, but even more so in the military organizations, where the safety of an entire state depends on the institution's access to information, ability to process that information correctly, to transmit it and so on. In other words, knowledge management at the Army National Guard is not an option, but a stringent necessity.

In such a setting then, it is now important to devise a customized plan for the implementation of knowledge management at the Army National Guard. Within the literary sources, there exist several models to implementing and managing knowledge, but in practice, it has to be noted that these does not exist a model for guaranteed success. In other words, each institution has to devise its own implementation and management plan, based on its own particularities. In the case of the Army National Guard then, the plan will be tailored to the specific traits of the institution, the scopes it serves, its vision, mission and so on.

At this level, it is noted that the future knowledge management plan at the Army National Guard has to be developed and implemented in such a manner that it supports the following:

Innovation and adaptability, alongside with communications and technologic integration

Further security and integration at the level of the cyberspace and in terms of war fight (important at the level of readiness), security, defense, intelligence operations, business systems and cyber operations

Efficient use of all organizational resources, especially the resources in the field of Information Technology, where it is sought to create efficiencies

The integration of it within all institutional processes and operations and the provision of support towards financial stability

Preparedness for any types of intervention and ongoing support to the civil society.

Based on these characteristics of the Army National Guard, it becomes obvious that the knowledge management plan to be developed and implemented has to be complex and able to serve multiple purposes. Additionally, it has to be tailored to the specific needs of a military institution, but also integrate all specifics of the knowledge management field. In such a setting then, the plan proposed at this stage includes the following:

(1) the analysis of the current infrastructure

(2) the alignment of knowledge management with the objectives of the institution

(3) the design of the infrastructure for knowledge management

(4) the audit of the existing knowledge assets and systems

(5) the design and creation of the knowledge management team

(6) the creation of the knowledge management blueprint

(7) the development of the knowledge management system

(8) the management of change

(9) Deployment of the knowledge management effort, and last

(10) the evaluation of the performances of the new knowledge management system (Pearson Higher Education).

These ten steps to knowledge management implementation at the Army National Guard can be further classified into four larger categories, namely the first phase of infrastructural evaluation (steps 1 and 2); the second phase of analysis, design and development of knowledge management (steps 3 through 7); the third phase of knowledge management deployment (steps 8 and 9) and the last phase of metrics on performance evaluation.

In the first endeavor, the Army National Guard would focus on the assessment of the infrastructure they employ for information management. This infrastructure is normally updated as the army invests in its technologies,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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