T3-1: Showing a Concrete Benefit of KM to the Knowledge Worker

A tendency when KM is introduced to an organization for the first time is that knowledge workers tend to look at KM as “extra work.” If this is how they view KM, regular work will win over any extra work, particularly if the periodic personnel evaluation system measures his/her performance only in regular work.

I use this simple slide to convey to individual knowledge workers a benefit KM can give them: they can finish their work faster. Most knowledge workers like this. This slide mentions five typical factors that affect speed of completion of work.

KM benefit for individual K worker

I use the above figure to drive home some points to clarify the meaning of intellectual capital and its three recognized components: human capital, structural capital and stakeholder capital.

  1. I include the third factor “support from boss and teammates” to show that effective action (the goal of KM) is affected not only by knowledge assets or cognitive factors, but also by motivational or affective factors. Therefore, these cannot be ignored in actual KM practice.
  2. The third factor is actually internal relationship capital, in contrast to stakeholder capital which is external relationship capital. I use this example to show that stakeholder capital – the usual third component of intellectual capital – is externally looking and miss out on an important internal factor that also affects productivity and effective action. Why do you think companies spend money on team building workshops?
  3. Notice, too, that the fourth factor “decision rules are clear” is both within the purview of quality management as well as knowledge management. I use this fourth factor to illustrate the fact that KM and QM overlap.
  4. The first, second and fourth factors are examples of structural capital while the last factor is an example of human capital.

You can use the above chart and ideas; if you do, please acknowledge me as its source. Thanks!

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