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Knowledge Sharing In Global Business

Introduction

In the contemporary world, technology and business management have become inseparable. Technological advancements especially in the development of various software programmes have made business collaborations possible, convenient and more widespread. This has especially been facilitated by social media applications, which have given the users the freedom to control and regulate information developed or interactively discussed by people.

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These aiding are like wikis and blogs. The more revolutionizing application has been the cloud computing programme which has availed more IT oriented services enabling organizations to interact and share knowledge more often. Cloud computing has a homogeneous trait as it enables users to access it irrespective of the type of the hardware in use. Companies have thus been largely favoured as long distance collaborations in knowledge sharing has been made easier. A company can also interact with different organizations without any extra cost. Global collaborations has bee generally accepted as a way of boosting and improving businesses around the world. Companies have come together to aid one another in the areas that one company the dominant paving way for another to establish itself.

Benefits of knowledge sharing

Knowledge management entails a variety of strategies and practices devised by a corporation or organizations, to enable them appropriately adopt the vast experiences and insights. The knowledge could be in individuals there by connecting with the department of human resource for effective management. The other branch of knowledge is the one accumulated by an organization throughout its duration of existence. Knowledge management employs the skills and techniques taught in fields such as management and business administration. In recent times knowledge management has incorporated research like computer science and information and media.

With technology evolving every day, the department of knowledge management has witnessed major revolutions. Software have made the once rigid and conservative department to become, diversified, less formal, radical, convenient and easy to integrate. Applications like blogs and cloud computing through their interactive natures, have made global collaborations between business easier and acted as a platform of the collaboration.

In business, knowledge is acquired either through experience or education or in other cases through both. This could be in the theoretical or practical know how of the subject. Business incorporates many diverse fields like: sales and marketing, advertisement, production and many more of which each particular field demand qualified personnel in respective sector. It is thus common to find different types of professions in one business and these calls for an elaborate, well functioning human resource management to cope up with the diversification. Different businesses face different challenges (Lyu & Runyan, 2010). No individual or company that can claim monopoly of knowledge especially in the 21st century. This is so as there are different ways of doing the same task.

Lack of monopoly of knowledge, specialization, and division of labour are some of the causes that have facilitated sharing of knowledge in businesses. Sharing of knowledge has many benefits to a business as opposed to closed system of monopoly. Sharing saves time, expenses, manpower, open new areas for business ventures, creates new employment opportunities and is a perfect platform for coming up with new inventions, upgrading and modification.

Sharing also facilitates for a friendly environment for businesses to thrive. This is so as sharing improves business relation among companies thereby stamping out unhealthy and mischievous competition which at times results in sabotage and blackmail (Smith, 2005). Sharing also fosters unity. In business, unity is very important as stakeholders in unity are able to wade off common threats to businesses, through their collective bargaining power and extensive and intensive knowledge acquired. Knowledge sharing also improves trust and stamps out suspicion and superstitions, as understanding of products by users is improved (Marcus, 2007).

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Knowledge sharing in an organization is in most cases fixed and follows the policies of the organization and is focussed mainly on the organization’s goals. The staffs in most cases are fixed and work in contracts with a considerable amount of time which are at times, renewable. These factors make knowledge sharing in an organization almost redundant or static. There is circulation of the same old ideas and this makes radical changes brought by knowledge sharing almost impossible. However, knowledge sharing across board sees the sharing of fresh and original ideas, revolutionizing and problem solving ideas and information.

This is made possible by the diversification of the groups sharing ideas, the different settings brought together and the large base of experience brought on board. For a business to experience major progressive reforms, it must exercise more knowledge across board rather than within the organization alone. The sharing of knowledge across board, with effectiveness and efficiency and at the same time in a secure way without security breach can only be guaranteed by web based applications like cloud computing.

In one organisation even though we might have employees with extensive knowledge for example in international operations, organizations do not pay attention nor encourage reverse knowledge sharing from employees since their focus is usually on forward knowledge sharing. This means that in one organization knowledge is from the top downwards and never the reverse. This therefore creates a culture that is one sided which can be said to be closed structured, fixed kind of knowledge sharing.

This lack of diversity has in turn made companies lack proper preparation, enough information and experience on the international markets resulting to the primary failure in international markets. However sharing knowledge across borders has created an open structured system (Stemquist, 2007). No company or individuals can claim to be superior so allowing knowledge to flow from all areas even in reverse mode. This has given international trade a big boost and enabled companies to flourish in areas they never did before (Drucker, 1998).

Global collaborations via the net require well established networks of interconnections. Security systems should also be enhanced to avoid hackers from gaining information that they might use against the organisations. The authenticity of the information gathered should also be verified as not all are from credible sources. The availability of resourceful collaborators should also be considered so as to have at all time trusted sources to consult.

Knowledge sharing in global collaborations: blogs, cloud computing and others

Blogs

The internet has various applications, one of which is the World Wide Web normally referred to as the web. In there, are blogs, which generally are sites of the web or part of the sites. Blogs, which in most cases are interactive, are maintained by individuals and contain images, videos, opinions, views, event updates and descriptions. Companies and organizations take advantage of their interactive nature to conduct business, share information; get feed backs from the people, get new materials and information. They are also used to pass news on a certain subject or as diaries (Delic & Riley, n.d).

Blogs can be accessed from any corner of the universe giving businesses a vast and diverse market area. They are very popular and preferred because unlike other static websites blogs are interactive and users can post comments. Through widgets, usually on the blogs, those visiting have the privilege of sending message to one another. This becomes a suitable site that a potential seller and customer can meet or company executives can share information on the developments around the world. They can be personal or those of corporate and organizational calibre. They can also be categorized according to nature: political, fashion, education. They can also be classified based on the content; those containing videos are vlog while others may contain links. The device used to construct it also matters.

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The simplicity of blogs makes them a haven for interaction. Their specification like vlog and personal makes it easier and precise to choose the specific one that suits the needs and wants of the blogger. They save time and money that could have been used in consulting and travelling. Business interactions become more frequent and convenient some eventually leading to joint ventures and others to sponsorship.

They open markets that were untapped while at the same time solidifying the existing ones. Aviation companies have been able to easily conduct business with other companies in the same line. Independent freight booking companies have been availed crucial data, like scheduled and cancelled freights through their respective making their operations smooth. Software developers have also been using blogs to advertise and market their new products available. This has enabled vendors to streamline their operations as they cannot exploit their customers due to the price conventionality.

Cloud Computing

Hosted services delivered via the net is what is commonly referred to as cloud computing. These services could be as software, infrastructure or platform. Cloud computing should not be confused with traditional hosting as it stands distinctively in that unlike traditional hosting, it is sold to the consumer on demand terms, its elasticity creates room for expansion enabling the consumer can have as much as would want and because it is at all times completely managed by the provider.

Through cloud computing businesses all over the world have a common market to purchase certain services (Payne, 2008). This enables a small company in Rwanda Africa, to have the same soft wares as a company at the heart of New York. This makes it easier for businesses all over the world to interact on a common ground. Amazon Web Server is the widest and largest provider for public services. Having a server that caters to most parts of the world makes knowledge management easier and possible. Companies like multinational companies find it easier and convenient to manage and harmonize their activities across their areas of operation.

Big companies have come together to promote their products some even not in the same line of operations. For example Toyota one of the world’s largest motor vehicle manufacturing companies recently signed a lucrative deal with Fujitsu a prominent leader in IT services and products. Fujitsu platform of cloud computing has been growing tremendously and caught the attention of Toyota. The car manufacturer will move its operations of dealership management system, mainly used by Australian clients, to the IT Company’s broader and mega system. This contract of thirty six months will be pay as you use. The vehicle company will benefit in that it will directly take control of IT resources usage and will not pay any fees even if it wished to realign its strategies on technology. It can start as one server and the gradually expand on demand.

Learning and knowledge sharing has also benefited a range of companies (Sik-wah, 2006). Optus is one such company that has been reaping from information sharing. This Australian company deals in telephony services, service network for businesses, satellite and internet services. The company’s workforce has been instrumental in training the staff moving the business to a higher level. The company has established programs in aiding development and comprehensive learning.

Online classes have been developed for equipping the personnel with personal and professional skills for development. Opus and Seertech worked together and designed a strategy to maintain ageing data. The sharing has enabled Opus to eventually shift its focus which was mainly administrational to designing requirement for learning and knowledge sharing.

Cloud computing enables companies, with rather hard policies, to integrate and cooperate with one another. This was not possible before the development of blogs and cloud computing. Cloud computing to a great extent reduced the overall costs associated with computing powers. Scaling is also made possible or even service reduction are minimal ,if any, marginal cost other than that connected to services on demand, those of infrastructures and the ones brought about by the platforms.

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Cloud computing also has drastically reduced purchases for upgrades, that is if any. Since cloud computing is possible in any hardware as long as it is internet enabled, the service has radically and spontaneously reduced many companies’ capital expenditures associated with hardware. It is projected that cloud computing development will drastically reduce the costs of obtaining IT infrastructure by more than 50 percent enabling even low income earners to be at par with high income generating enterprises.

Since cloud computing is fully managed and supplied by the provider, costs associated with maintenance and IT support is decreased. This is also so as, as there are no staffs to maintain for locally managing the infrastructure and software. The service also removes the notion of having fixed contracts, which in the past had been rigid and binding preventing expansions and innovations. With cloud computing, mega vendors have emerged, these have improved security. Survey has shown that most adopters have positive response, indicating that cloud computing has enabled them attain certain set goals hence improvement in their business and radically making them agile.

In the past, different organizations used to use different systems that were in most cases not compatible. Even though willing to engage in collaborations, there lacked a unifying platform to do so limiting the knowledge in a certain domain.

Cloud computing has solved this problem of system incompatibilities by making it possible for all companies to use the service. The service allows all sorts of interaction hence acting as the platform for collaborations. The service also does not contradict the policies of any given organization as it gives the freedom of choice. Users control their space and only acquire what they can handle at any given time. A company is thus able to establish its security requirements, making cloud computing safe and easily manageable even for smaller organizations (Landaeta, 2008).

Others

Other soft wares like skype and webcams have made communications around the globe easier. They allow one to negotiate or share information with another person live on the net. One can be shown a commodity or even a demonstration carried out via live video from many corners of the world (Cusumano, 2004). You are able to see your client and thus can engage in business activities like bargain, privately. One can also share knowledge with his counterparts from other parts of the world without having to travel.

Before the internet became a popular medium of communication, oversees business engagements were only for the privileged few. One had to have a lot of cash and resources to organize oversee business endeavours which were also consuming a lot of time. Domestic trade was the most common for small and middle level businesses. With the revolution in Information and Technology, business and knowledge sharing can be conducted by any determined individual without pulling much resource.

Knowledge management has become easier and more orderly. Information, most of which is from credible sources has become readily available for all. Technology like that of fibre optic has enabled business among nations to flourish. Importation and sharing of knowledge has become more often providing much needed revenues to countries. Through business ventures, common interest are many and this helps in maintaining cordial relations amongst nations that could have been otherwise hostile. World peace is maintained and safeguarded.

Nowadays, conferences and activities of knowledge sharing are being conducted online. Seminars and workshops are also conducted online. This has seen many businesses and business persons being actively involved. Business culture around the globe widens and diversifies; time and resources are also saved. The level of awareness in the world is uplifted giving rise to more capable and competent managers from all levels (Leistner, 2010).

This creates flourishing businesses and at the same time creating stable economies with improved standards of living. This ensures the human essence and dignity are maintained. Deaths by starvation are minimized while at the same time medication can be purchased online. Vaccines and cures can be secured in time reducing death and human suffering. Online donations are also facilitated making it possible for other nations and business persons and corporations to aid those affected by calamities such as earth quakes.

You Tube has also revolutionized knowledge sharing. Collaborators are able to share information through posting of videos on You Tube. You Tube a video sharing website enables its users especially registered ones to upload, view and share videos. Businesses especially in the entertainment industry have drastically improved the availability of their contents through You Tube broadcast. All viewers using the internet can share contents via You Tube; this enables the user to have more knowledge of products and services. Technology has also made education easier as there are many educational channels one can subscribe to, for example Academic Earth which offers online courses.

Nowadays people are able to obtain online degrees making knowledge more efficient across the spectrum. Video technology has now become one of the most important tools of knowledge sharing. Videos enable users to absorb knowledge more easily and clearer. Videos also clear doubt, scepticism and speculation. Videos also enhance creativity; a person is able to improve a product viewed on You Tube or via web cam. Web cams also capture information and transmit to the server. Surveillance of an area can thus be done using video technology, which in turn has boosted security. Videos can be used as evidence in the prosecution of a suspect.

Conclusion

Technology is an important asset in the world of today in whichever sector including business. Businesses these days are being shaped through information sharing mainly via the net. Books, journals and publications are now being sold and accessed via the net. Security, which is paramount for business to thrive, is being guided by internet, as surveillance is web connected. The Internet has revolutionized business through knowledge sharing.

Globalization in business has been made possible by the internet and a kind of universalism is enhanced. Knowledge sharing in business has thus become an important activity which is benefiting businesses immensely. Web applications like blogs and cloud computing have become indispensable and are a must have for any organization that wants to remain competitive and relevant in the contemporary world which is now more inclined towards globalization.

Knowledge sharing and collaborations in business have become a necessity for any business (Brake, 2008). This is so as specialization has become more and more advanced making many businesses to become intertwined. Sharing has improved relationships among collaborative partners as there is abundant flow of information making referencing materials widely available, enabling there to be clarity and precision.

Cloud computing has led to the acceleration in the growth of web based applications making information sharing across the web easier and cheaper compared to off the shelve or custom built knowledge sharing. This has in turn encouraged global collaborations.

Blogs and Cloud computing have been the main contributor to the global collaborations and knowledge sharing. The web applications have made knowledge management more conventional and systematic. The collaborations have had many advantages to businesses like, to a large extent they have solved the problem of organizations being overwhelmed by data miners. The various data mining applications have been discussed at length using cloud computing, and organizations advised and sensitized about their rights in the process of data mining. The web applications have therefore become the main unifier for businesses around the globe.

Reference List

Brake, T. (2008). Where In the World Is My Team: Making a Success Of Your Virtual Global Workplace. Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.

Cusumano, A. (2004). The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad. New York: Free Press.

Delic, A. & Riley, J. (n.d). Enterprise Knowledge Clouds: Next Generation KM Systems? Kemal Hewlett-Packard Co Kemal.

Drucker, P. F. (1998). “The coming of the new organization.” Harvard Business Review on Knowledge Management. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Landaeta R. (2008). Evaluating Benefits and Challenges of Knowledge Transfer, Across Projects. Old Dominion University Vol. 20.

Leistner, F. (2010). Mastering Organizational Knowledge Flow: How to Make Knowledge Sharing Work. Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.

Lyu, J. & Runyan, R.(2010). Success in International Operations: the Key is knowledge Sharing Knoxville: University of Tennessee. Vol. 3-7.

Marcus, R. (2007). Great Global Grid: Emerging Technology Strategies. Bloomington: Trafford Publishing.

Payne, J. (2008). Using wikis and blogs to improve Collaboration and knowledge sharing volume 7.

Sik-wah, P, Chu, L (2006). Exploratory Study of Knowledge Sharing in Contracting Companies: A Sociotechnical Perspective. Journal of construction engineering and management.

Smith, A, C. (2005). Knowledge Sharing: volume 12. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Stemquist, B., (2007). International Retailing, 2″‘ ed., New York: Fairchild Books.

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