This paper outlines the knowledge management in the context of globalization and using personal experience with virtual learning. Both the class theory of organizational knowledge management and innovational strategies are reviewed. Companies will be able to use distance learning and other applications or platforms to spread expertise and competencies to employees in different countries, which will enable them to have a significant competitive advantage over their rivals.
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Over the last two decades, the approaches to knowledge transition and acquisition transformed, and traditional models were improved. Now, access to education is facilitated through virtual learning platforms, which enable a more straightforward and efficient way for individuals to study. This has several implications for organizational knowledge management that can leverage innovation to create better strategies for development and distribution of information globally. This paper aims to review the new and innovative approaches to education that emerged in recent years.
Theory of Knowledge Management
For companies operating globally, expertise sharing has become a commodity. Girard and Girard (2015) state that knowledge management is considered to be the key element of organizational life. The concept itself refers to the ability to provide information to individuals at the right time, which should improve the performance of both people and companies. An important aspect here is the transformation of processes that was facilitated by innovation, the Internet, and other developments that allow more enhanced access to data, which will be discussed further in this paper.
The difference in resources that organizations possess, including knowledge and other capabilities, distinguishes them from other individuals or businesses in the same industry. Bharati, Zhang, and Chaudhury (2015) argue that the Resource-Based theory of the firm is the basic concept outlining the creation, sharing, and management practices related to learning. The focus is on the internal resources that a company possesses which can help achieve significant competitive advantage. Facebook, Linkedin, and Blogs are used by businesses, non-profits, and government institutions to share information (Mansouri & Piki, 2016). The primary motive for such actions is the lack of motivation displayed by employees in regards to participation in educational initiatives.
Unarguably, producing and collecting information is essential, however, one must be aware of the quality issue that is connected to this process. Bharati et al. (2015) state that a large volume of information does not necessarily transfer into increased competency and professionalism. Instead, the focus on quality and distribution practices is vital. Morevoer, Bharati et al. (2015) examined a variety of researches suggesting that quality is an essential determinant of success and competitive advantage for organizations.
Innovation and knowledge acquisition are connected because the former cannot be achieved without the latter. Hadad (2017) argues that technology advancement is the primary driver of contemporary education management. The author explores the topic of the knowledge economy (KE) to determine the implications of it for organizations. One aspect of this is a need to hire more skilled employees based on the development of skill levels of the competitors. The model discussed by Hadad (2017) implies that intelligence is an essential element that contributes to the economy’s growth and is the primary driver of improvement. Hadad (2017) points out several important distinctions between the traditional economy and KE that make the latter superior. For instance, the location of the individual is not as important as it used to be since the Internet allows accessing learning materials quickly. Next, the abundance of resources is evident, and a person has a number of options to choose from when studying. However, the KE has several difficulties, including a need for regulations on a global level that would protect information flow and allow easy access to it.
One element that should be considered is the fact that the abundance of resources in regards to knowledge and education provides an understanding of skills being essential for organizations. The ability to use novel technology to record and distribute information is crucial, but also, it is necessary to be able to distinguish between valuable data and the one that does not benefit an organization or an individual. The general knowledge management practices developed by scholars to manage non-innovational means of information distribution can be applied here, with adjustments.
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The changes in technology, together with globalization, have a significant effect on people. According to Hadad (2017), “contemporary society thus becomes a learning society, adapting to the new, and in this context educational systems must aim at the formation of people able to contribute to the development of their own competencies” (p. 203). In this regard, knowledge distribution becomes essential not only for businesses but also for all individuals in a specific community. From my experience with virtual classrooms and distance learning, I can conclude that the accessibility provided by these means of education is hugely beneficial. This element will be further explored in the final section of this paper.
Creation of new knowledge in contemporary times and, more importantly, its distributing, had mainly been affected by the Internet. Nowadays, individuals are able to access information from any location at any time, which is fascinating and allows accelerating personal and professional development. For global organizations, this proves to be beneficial because they can distribute the successful models of operations on a large scale in different counties more efficiently by using novel means of learning.
Over the course of studies, I was able to try out the innovational approaches to attending lectures and communication with classmates through discussion boards and other applications. This signifies a new era of learning because more people will be able to have both time and resources to attend university or professional courses, which will result in organizations having a more qualified workforce.
Business and Knowledge Management
Although the concept of learning may appear to have no relation to organizational processes and functioning of a company, it is essential to understand the link between the two in the current global environment. According to Brix (2017), the general approach in the academic community is that “knowledge creation in a firm was different from organizational learning” (p. 113). Hence, no adequate research exploring learning in the context of business exists, which is an issue. Brix (2017) explores the connection between organizational learning and its relationship with innovation. The author argues that, traditionally, companies generated knowledge through their research and development groups or external sources, for instance, new employees.
The internet of things is connected to the daily life of individuals, and thus, a proper application of it can lead to organizational success. Santoro, Vrontis, Thrassou, and Dezi (2016) state that development such as the internet of things challenge companies and require them to develop new strategies of knowledge management. This can be considered a disruptive technology that businesses use to change information flow and data management within their departments. The connection between the internet of things and knowledge management is reflected in the systematization that the latter provides. For instance, data mining, management of warehouse information, internal software used to convey information are all part of the new strategy of knowledge management prompted by globalization.
By using innovation, companies can be more efficient in regards to creating and sharing expertise. In essence, an individual’s competency and professional skills, as well as his or her insights can be captured and spread across the company’s subsidiaries using novel technology. While in the past this was difficult to execute, and in most cases, face-to-face communication was used, the new strategies can enhance and promote innovation. However, the question of abundance arises in this regard since the amount of professional knowledge shared, and ideas of employees can be impossible to manage, especially in large organizations and multinational corporations.
Knowledge management has long been linked to organizational excellence and ability to excel. Santoro et al. (2016) argue that material resources can only be leveraged if proper expertise is used in the process and the key is in “identifying and leveraging of knowledge to foster innovation processes” (347). The authors suggest that companies should invest in physical resources, mainly hardware, to facilitate education and expertise sharing. In addition, approaches such as discussion forums and shared databases that allow employees to access information affecting their workflow are essential.
One innovation that affected the society as a whole and should be reviewed in the context of knowledge management is the development of social media platforms and messaging systems, allowing individuals or institution to share information with large groups of people quickly. Bharati et al. (2015) review social media and its impact on the topic in question in the global context through the transformations and application of this communication mean. In general, the findings suggest that social media can be used by organizations to improve their knowledge sharing practices and impact their human capital. This component is usually reviewed from the perspective of communicating with customers or partners. However, by leveraging social media, businesses can enhance their learning practices and thus gain a competitive advantage.
While the question of applying innovational learning practices is becoming more critical, no extensive research outlining the concept and providing guidance to companies currently exists. Pereira, Ramos, Gouvêa, and da Costa (2015) examined distance learning practices in Brazilian public organization to determine the validity of this approach. In general, the outcomes of e-learning practices were evaluated by the participants as beneficial. Pereira et al. (2015) conclude that “quality, quality disconfirmation, value, and value disconfirmation positively impact on satisfaction, as well as disconfirmation usability, innovativeness, and optimism” (139). One necessary element, however, is the technological readiness of the participants and their computer skills that affect the ability to use virtual learning platforms.
The information explored above has implications for reviewing my own education and applying it in innovational ways. Firstly, the distance learning experience provided several suggestions for understanding contemporary knowledge creation and distribution. The Internet and specified platforms make it easy for people to access information that is connected to their professional development. From an organizational perspective, I would argue that large companies can develop courses that prepare new employees for the specifics of the environment they will be working in to ensure an adequate understanding of the organizational processes. This strategy can improve the efficiency of work because, in essence, the employee will be fully ready for their job instead of having only a general topic and skill set acquired in a university or college.
The discussions in the form of boards and forums in this regard is critical since even email communication does not provide a similar input. For organizations, this can be leveraged as a form of brainstorming. The advantage is that employees from different parts of the world will be able to provide their insight using these innovative models. In this regard, the essential managerial concepts of diversity and knowledge management will be combined. Thus, the brainstorming practices can be improved by using these tools to gain insight about an issue, new product, or process.
Knowledge management practices, however, become essential in the age of distance learning and abundance of information. Bharati et al. (2015) argue that enabling this process is impossible without technology in contemporary society. The structure of learning materials and organizational practices becomes essential for ensuring that employees are not overwhelmed with data. From the perspective of my virtual learning experience, I can say that a clear understanding of the curriculum and the ability to research information about specific courses have been essential.
The aspect of quality is another issue that I can reflect on and apply in my future work for organizations. During distance learning, a student receives information from an accredited educational facility. Thus, the issue of education quality and data volume is mitigated since the already established practices of lectures and assignments are transferred to the digital platforms. This helped ensure that the students benefit from their education. In addition, course instructors are University employers, which also contributes to the question of data quality. Arguably, a similar system can be applied by organizations to ensure proper learning and education acquisition practices, which will incorporate invitation. Thus, employees with extensive work experience and proved competencies in a particular field can participate in developing materials, such as videos and text to help companies distribute valuable information. Thus, the experience of virtual learning and virtual teams, together with the information gathered while examining the topic of education management, helped me enhance my understanding of this practice.
Additionally, my current level of knowledge can be used in a similar manner to strengthen and increase understanding of topics in my field. Thus, using virtual learning practices, I can develop materials that can be applied by organizations or other individuals working in the same area. Also, it should be noted that my experience in distance learning altered my perception of globalization, virtual education, and knowledge management. Firstly, it presented a practical example of individuals accessing education from any location and gaining a valuable experience comparable to that of a physical classroom. Next, it provided implications for understanding how large international corporations can use virtual learning to improve their knowledge acquisition practices by allowing easy-to-use professional improvement strategies. Finally, the research conducted on the topic helped me to understand the importance of quality over volume, which was also showcased by this distance learning experience.
Overall, knowledge management is an essential element of organizational excellence in contemporary society and the global economy. The examined research suggests that this element will be the crucial aspect of innovation and success for businesses. In addition, personal experience with distance learning provides an understanding of the advantages that this technology has. Thus, employers will be able to invest in systems that, in turn, will provide them with a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce, while people will have an opportunity to access databases with information and discuss ideas more easily.
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Bharati, P., Zhang, W., & Chaudhury, A. (2015). Better knowledge with social media? Exploring the roles of social capital and organizational knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management, 19(3), 456-475, Web.
Brix, J. (2017). Exploring knowledge creation processes as a source of organizational learning: A longitudinal case study of a public innovation project. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 33(2), 113-127. Web.
Girard, J.P., & Girard, J.L. (2015). Defining knowledge management: Toward an applied compendium, Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management. 3(1), 1-20.
Hadad, S. (2017). Knowledge economy: Characteristics and dimensions. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 5(2), 203-225.
Mansouri, S. A., & Piki, A. (2016). An exploration into the impact of blogs on students’ learning: Case studies in postgraduate business education. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53(3), 260-273. Web.
Pereira, F., Ramos, A., Gouvêa, M., & da Costa, M. (2015). Satisfaction and continuous use intention of e-learning service in Brazilian public organizations. Computers in Human Behavior, 46, 139-148. Web.
Santoro, G., Vrontis, D., Thrassou, A., & Dezi, L. (2018). The internet of things: Building a knowledge management system for open innovation and knowledge management capacity. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 136, 347-354. Web.