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A project of developing a knowledge management system

Authors:
Preliminary communication
181
A project of developing a
knowledge management system
Ante Martinić*, Petra Bago**, Nives Mikelić Preradović**,
Goran Glavaš***, Bojana Dalbelo Bašić***, Jan Šnajder***
*KONČAR – Power Plant and Electric Traction Engineering Inc.
Fallerovo šetalište 22, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
**Faculty of Humanies and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
Ivana Lučića 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
*** Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb
Unska 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
ante.martinic@koncar-ket.hr, {pbago, nmikelic}@ffzg.hr, {goran.glavas,
bojana.dalbelo, jan.snajder}@fer.hr
Summary
Knowledge is an essential element of modern business and increasing attention
is given to its acquisition, distribution and exploitation in everyday business
activities. Therefore, KONČAR launched the development of a knowledge man-
agement system for its own demands and initiated a collaboration with the aca-
demic community for scientific research purposes and potential broader social
significance of the project. With regard to the multidisciplinary nature of
knowledge management, an agreement was reached with the University of Za-
greb, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Electri-
cal Engineering and Computing. The knowledge management system will ena-
ble an effective management of all segments of intellectual capital of an organi-
zation, resulting in increase in productivity and higher market competitiveness,
as well as an increased capability for generating new values for all parties to
the agreement.
Keywords: knowledge management system
The purpose of knowledge management
It is estimated that 80% of today’s economic value comes from intangible re-
sources (Petrick et al., 1999). The knowledge relates to its intangible resources,
consisting of resources recorded on information storage media and knowledge
possessed by the organizations' employees. The entire knowledge of an organi-
zation constitutes its intellectual capital.
Knowledge management can be defined as a set of activities practiced within an
organization with a goal to identify, record and apply knowledge, thereby stim-
ulating also the creation of new knowledge. There are two major forms of
doi: 10.17234/INFUTURE.2015.22
INFuture2015: e-Institutions – Openness, Accessibility, and Preservation
182
knowledge: (1) explicit – the knowledge that is recorded on some permanent
medium, and (2) tacit – the knowledge that can be found in people’s minds
(Dalikr, 2005). To enable an effective distribution of knowledge, it is necessary
to convert as much tacit knowledge as possible into explicit knowledge.
The intellectual capital, i.e., the knowledge relevant to organizations, can be
broken down to human, structural and relational capital (Pearse, 2007). The
human capital is represented by knowledge and skills of organization’s employ-
ees. The structural capital includes systems and processes necessary for an effi-
cient performance of organization’s goals. The relational capital is represented
by connections between the organization and other business entities. The main
elements of the intellectual capital are given in Figure 1.
INTELLECTUAL
CAPITAL
HUMAN
CAPITAL
STRUCTURAL
CAPITAL
RELATIONAL
CAPITAL
Management
Competenc e,
qualifications,
creativity ,
experie nce,
selflearning,...
Employees
Competenc e,
qualifications ,
creativity ,
experie nce,
selflearning,...
Intellectual
Property
Patents,
licences,
copyrights,
franchisees,
softwar e,...
Processes
Orga nizati onal
operations,
strate gy,
plans,
organizational
culture,...
Networ k
Sales,
marketingand
distribution
networks,
electr onic
networks,...
Brand
Creatingthe
imageofthe
company,
abilityto
attract
customers,...
Customers
Communication
withconsumers
inorderto
achieve
satisfac tionand
loyalty ,...
Figure 1. The structure of the intellectual capital
(http://autopoiesis.foi.hr/wiki.php?name=KM+-
+Tim+50&parent=NULL&page=Intelektualni%20kapital)
Knowledge management at KONČAR Group
The business activity of the KONČAR Group lies mostly in power generation,
distribution and transmission of electrical energy, industry and electric traction.
Founded in 1921, KONČAR Group nowadays consists of 18 dependent compa-
nies and 1 affiliated company, and has around 3,800 employees. The KONČAR
Group builds its business on research activities and production of its products,
alongside employing a number of highly educated employees and practicing an
individual approach to clients. The companies of the KONČAR Group imple-
ment their projects using products that are primarily the result of organization’s
knowledge and development. In order to manage its own knowledge effectively,
KONČAR initiated a project of development and implementation of a
knowled
g
crease th
e
increase
d
and impl
e
and appl
i
Group in
i
- the Fa
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Engineer
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mands w
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new valu
e
Develop
i
The kno
w
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g
as follow
H
u
Le
a
N
a
A.
g
e manage
m
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mentation
o
i
cation of m
o
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tiated an ag
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ulty of Hu
m
i
ng and Co
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i
ll be met t
h
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s for all pa
r
Fi
g
i
ng a knowl
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w
ledge man
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u
al capital: (
1
l
capital. T
h
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e manage
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s:
u
man Resou
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a
rning,
a
tural Langu
a
Martinić et al.,
ent system.
t
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o
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eement wit
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A project of de
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and contr
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h
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ompass all
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K
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capability t
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ins
K
ONČAR G
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three elem
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al capital, a
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pital of K
O
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183
c
t is to in-
l
ly lead to
v
e bidding
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mentation
K
ONČAR
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nstituents
Electrical
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ent areas
INFuture2015: e-Institutions – Openness, Accessibility, and Preservation
184
Business Process and Technologies,
Intellectual Property and Innovations,
Market.
In addition to developing knowledge management solutions for all of the
abovementioned areas, the project includes construction of the Central System
for Business Intelligence which will enable a single-point access to the entire
knowledge of the company, i.e., to the knowledge from all six knowledge man-
agement areas mentioned above. Each knowledge area encompasses business
processes that are implemented through related subprojects.
The relations between elements of the intellectual capital and knowledge man-
agement areas are shown in Figure 3.
Relationalcapital
Structuralcapital
Humancapital
HumanResources
Domain
IntellectualProperty
andInnovations
Domain
BusinessProcess
andTechnologies
Domain
MarketDomain
LearningDomain
Figure 3. The relation of the elements of the intellectual
capital to knowledge management areas
Considering the large scale of the knowledge management system, the iterative
approach will be practiced for its development and implementation, which will
reduce risks and achieve greater adoption by end users.
Business processes that will be introduced initially are those considered to in-
crease productivity and result in storing a considerable amount of knowledge.
Business processes with different stakeholders will be selected for simultaneous
A. Martinić et al., A project of developing a knowledge management system
185
introduction to various domains of knowledge management. That way the em-
ployee workload will be reduced, increasing the opportunity for their active
participation, faster adoption of new business processes and related information
systems.
In the next section, we examine parts of the project that illustrate the complexity
of a large-scale knowledge management system such as the one envisioned by
KONČAR. This is an open type project, which means that (apart from the ele-
ments listed in the following section), it can likewise include other topics, par-
ticipants and subprojects.
Collaboration on the development of the knowledge management system
The scientific community participating in this project includes the University of
Zagreb and its two constituents - the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. These two constituent
units represent the leading research institutions in the Republic of Croatia in the
areas of social sciences, humanities and technical sciences. These institutions
participated in more than 150 international and almost 300 national research
projects. The development of challenging and comprehensive company’s
knowledge management models may additionally position these research insti-
tutions as leaders in the higher education domain when it comes to knowledge
management, which will further strengthen their status as leading research in-
stitutions in Croatia, as well as in the region.
One of the main tasks of the project includes automation of the following pro-
cesses: collection, transformation and induction of knowledge. Knowledge is
derived from information that is precisely formulated in advance, based on the
data. The acquisition of existing knowledge is related to the automated (1) col-
lection of information from structured and unstructured (primarily textual) data
that the KONČAR Group and similar companies have in abundance, and (2)
derivation of knowledge from information by automated reasoning (i.e. machine
learning or expert systems). Furthermore, it is necessary to develop a central
business intelligence system able to make conclusions based on the information
incorporated from structured and unstructured resources.
KONČAR Group and companies of similar technical profile have abundance of
unstructured textual data containing crucial business information. Thus, from
the technical point of view, it is especially important to focus on the develop-
ment of methods for efficient text analysis and information extraction from text.
Tools for text analysis will significantly contribute to:
1. the management of human resources (automatic analysis of resumes and
competencies; linking employees’ competencies and projects’ require-
ments);
2. the management of intellectual property and innovations (detecting
patentable innovations based on the technical documentation; efficient
search of patent databases);
INFuture2015: e-Institutions – Openness, Accessibility, and Preservation
186
3. the management of business processes and technology (computer-aided
development of company’s knowledge base);
4. the knowledge management of the market (automated analysis of tenders;
analysis of competitor activity and extraction of relations between entities
relevant for company's business activities).
The management of digital resumes of the employees and their competencies is
one of the basic tasks of the human resource management. It is necessary to
structure and standardize the dynamic digital resumes and automate the process
of their loading into the central database. Additionally, we need to identify and
analyze the preferences of the employees regarding the specific methods of ac-
quiring knowledge (Coffield et al., 2004) in order to plan and organize the sys-
tem of educational and training activities, and to develop a taxonomy of the
employees’ competencies (Jacobs and Washington, 2003). Analyzing employ-
ees’ competencies and characteristics, it will be possible to optimize job posi-
tions, as well as find employees with an optimal profile for a specific job position.
In their study, Hilbert & López (2011) presented the world’s technological ca-
pacity to store information on analog and digital media in 2007, estimating that
94% of the stored data was in digital form, while the analog form was repre-
sented by only 0.007%. We can assume this ratio in KONČAR Group to be
more in favor of the analog form, given that official documents (although
mostly digitally born) still need to be printed. However, since the KONČAR
Group was founded in 1921, there are also large quantities of documents in pa-
per form. In order to make information from these documents available, these
documents must first be digitized (scanned or photographed), i.e., converted
from paper form to a form suitable for computer processing (machine-readable
text). Next, it is necessary to structure and standardize the digitized documents
as well as to annotate them with metadata. Depending on the language con-
tained in the documents, normalization of the text to standard Croatian will be
required. For each step in the digitization process, it is necessary to apply ex-
isting or develop new (semi)automated methods.
An e-document management system, i.e., a digital archival information system
has to be created in order to search and manipulate through large collections of
both digitally born and digitized documents. It is necessary to enable the man-
agement of e-documents and e-records, to ensure their longevity and to ensure
the trust of users in this type of records. Digital signatures will enable the verifi-
cation of authenticity of digitally born and digitized documents. Furthermore, it
is necessary to develop mechanisms of authenticating a printed record which
has been digitally signed. All digitized documents will be archived in the central
business intelligence system, and thus available for the business intelligence
analyses. This will allow historical (mostly unstructured) and new (equally
structured and unstructured) data to be interconnected, which will enable deri-
vation of new knowledge and efficient decision-making.
A. Martinić et al., A project of developing a knowledge management system
187
Conclusion
The knowledge management project launched by KONČAR aims to develop a
knowledge management system for the KONČAR Group’s own demands,
through collaboration with the academic community with the potential broader
social significance of the project. The expertize of the researchers from the Fac-
ulty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Electrical Engineer-
ing and Computing at the University of Zagreb in the relevant areas, as well as
the experience of these institutions in participation and management of interna-
tional and national projects, will contribute to improving the market position of
the KONČAR Group. Finally, this collaboration can help to advance KONČAR
Group’s own business processes, contribute to joint appearance and to the im-
plementation of the knowledge management solutions in other companies.
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Book
The ability to manage knowledge has become increasingly important in today’s knowledge economy. Knowledge is considered a valuable commodity, embedded in products and in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile individual employees. Knowledge management (KM) represents a deliberate and systematic approach to cultivating and sharing an organization’s knowledge base. It is a highly multidisciplinary field that encompasses both information technology and intellectual capital. This textbook and professional reference offers a comprehensive overview of the field of KM, providing both a substantive theoretical grounding and a pragmatic approach to applying key concepts. Drawing on ideas, tools, and techniques from such disciplines as sociology, cognitive science, organizational behavior, and information science, the text describes KM theory and practice at the individual, community, and organizational levels. It offers illuminating case studies and vignettes from companies including IBM, Xerox, British Telecommunications, JP Morgan Chase, and Nokia. This second edition has been updated and revised throughout. New material has been added on the information and library science perspectives, taxonomies and knowledge classification, the media richness of the knowledge-sharing channel, e-learning, social networking in KM contexts, strategy tools, results-based outcome assessments, knowledge continuity and organizational learning models, KM job descriptions, copyleft and Creative Commons, and other topics. New case studies and vignettes have been added; and the references and glossary have been updated and expanded.
The Role of Experience in the Creation of Intellectual Capital Cape Town
  • Noel Pearse
Pearse, Noel. The Role of Experience in the Creation of Intellectual Capital // Proceedings of ICICKM 2007 The 4th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning / Remenyi Dan (ed.). Cape Town, 2007, 329-335.
The Role of Experience in the Creation of Intellectual Capital // Proceedings of ICICKM
  • Noel Pearse
Pearse, Noel. The Role of Experience in the Creation of Intellectual Capital // Proceedings of ICICKM 2007 The 4th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning / Remenyi Dan (ed.). Cape Town, 2007, 329-335.