In my previous articles, I explored the concept of a knowledge economy, delineating it as an economy wherein knowledge resources, encompassing research, creative skills, diverse talents, and technical expertise, take precedence over other economic resources. This shift positions the knowledge economy as an alternative to traditional manufacturing or industrial economies. The British definition accentuates the vitality of the knowledge economy, emphasizing expertise and effective management of competitive knowledge services and products.
Numerous countries have diligently endeavored to elucidate the meaning of the knowledge economy. Efforts often involved intertwining it with higher education, gauging economic progress by measuring high-tech industries and academic institutions. Initiatives like establishing “knowledge cities” or “knowledge centers” and emphasizing “knowledge transfer” were undertaken. However, these endeavors primarily served to promote the marketing of university research.
While global technological advancements and the proliferation of AI products have propelled nations toward embracing a knowledge economy, a critical aspect remains neglected – the failure to invest adequately in knowledge management.
Crucially, transitioning to a knowledge economy necessitates treating knowledge as a commercial product, an asset that adds value. Acknowledging knowledge as a productive asset essential for the effective functioning of the knowledge economy underscores the need for careful management, nurturing, and development of this asset. In essence, knowledge must be actively managed, aligning with the historical role of governments in ensuring the meticulous management of productive assets for economic prosperity.
Knowledge Management (KM) refers to the technology, tools, and human resources employed to collect, manage, disseminate, and invest in knowledge within an organization. It extends beyond managing documented enterprise information, focusing on individuals’ knowledge-based skills, with a direct impact on the decision-making processes within institutions.
The field of knowledge management has operated independently since 1991, featuring instruction and courses within various domains such as business administration, information systems, public administration, library management, and information sciences. In recent years, diverse fields like media, computer science, public health, and public policy have contributed to knowledge management research. Prominent companies and organizations, backed by substantial resources, dedicate efforts to internal knowledge management initiatives, often integral to business strategy, information technology management, or human resource management.
Conversely, strategic consulting firms specialize in providing guidance on knowledge management for organizations. Organizational knowledge management endeavors typically center around objectives such as enhancing performance, gaining competitive advantage, fostering innovation, sharing lessons learned, integrating and continually improving organizational processes. This approach to knowledge management is viewed as a pragmatic mechanism compared to previous abstract research.
Emphasizing the role of knowledge management in the knowledge economy is paramount, given that the prosperity of the knowledge economy hinges on supporting trends and businesses in knowledge management. Additionally, defining what constitutes effective knowledge management becomes crucial for organizations aspiring to operate in or contribute to a knowledge economy. Future education initiatives should focus on instilling “learning how to learn” within institutions, fostering a culture of knowledge management.
A pivotal aspect involves concentrating on critical knowledge topics, establishing knowledge groups and cities, moving beyond the conventional focus on “high-tech” groups. This regional approach, facilitated by government initiatives, aims to create interconnected networks through a soft strategy, fostering face-to-face knowledge communication. Governments play a vital role in encouraging individuals to step out of their confines, engaging in knowledge-sharing through networks, workshops, seminars, international cafés, among other avenues.
In conclusion, for a knowledge economy to thrive, it must be anchored in productive assets, specifically knowledge viewed as a valuable asset. Success is contingent on the effective management of these assets, bringing forth the awareness of the imperative role of knowledge management. And with this, we move forward.
Author : Manahel Thabet
Published December 04, 2017
Al Bayan Newspaper