The Role of Management
The preceding articles identified a number of management responsibilities that need to be in place in order to ensure that ‘Beneficial’ learning takes place in organisations;
- Part 2/7 – “It is ultimately the responsibility of Leadership and key stakeholders within the organisation to ensure that change and growth is enhanced through the retention, development, and creation of new knowledge to expedite a move from the current to a future state of growth.”
- Part 3/7 – “The success of knowledge creation in an organisation is dependent on the integration of each of these functions, encapsulating the beliefs, interpretations, premises, procedures, experiences and intuitions of all levels, functions and roles within the organisation into a shared repository that is accessible to all relevant stakeholders.”
- Part 4/7 – “Organisational Management are responsible for preparing employees for learning and controlling the work environment to allow learners new opportunities to apply, practice, and perfect learned behaviour and outcomes after training.”
- Part 5/7 – “Most importantly, executive management have to consider the reasons why change interventions fail and address each of these potential risks as effectively as possible, in particular they need to address the people issues, which more often than not, are responsible for determining the successful outcomes of change interventions and projects.”
- Part 6/7 – “In order to derive the best possible value from learning interventions, organisations and their learning professionals will need to develop a fundamental knowledge of the brain and understanding of neuroscience research discoveries, which enhance learning and memory embedding of new skills in learners.”
The role of top management in articulating the organisation’s knowledge vision is emphasised by Nonaka et.al., as is the important role of middle management in particular, supervisors, group and team leaders who are the `knowledge producers’ responsible for energising ba.
Knowledge management is largely an organizational activity that focuses on what managers can do to enable knowledge management’s goals to be achieved, how they can motivate individuals to participate in achieving them, and how they can create social processes that will facilitate knowledge management success.
In summary, Nonaka et.al. (2000) believe that using existing knowledge assets, an organisation creates new knowledge through the SECI process that takes place in ba, where new knowledge, once created, becomes in turn the basis for a new spiral of knowledge creation.
This process creates an environment in which individuals and groups continuously assimilate the new knowledge and apply it in their current situation thereby affecting a move from a current to a future state of learnt knowledge in a rapidly changing environment.
The challenge is for management to understand the dynamics involved, facilitate and maintain a dynamic environment necessary for knowledge ‘creation’ and ‘learning’ and leverage the opportunities that arise in order to sustain competitive advantages enjoyed by the organisation.
The knowledge-creating process cannot be managed in the traditional sense of `management‘, which centres on controlling the flow of information. Managers can lead the organisation to actively and dynamically create knowledge by providing certain conditions that are conducive to knowledge creation and learning.
Prosci (2005, 2007 & 2014), analysed a large number of companies, reviewing past and present studies and identified a number of key change management practices in order to identify industry best practices employed during successful change interventions. The following six areas apply to this context:
- Better engagement of knowledgeable senior leaders as change sponsors,
- Improved planning and more effective application of change management methodologies,
- Effective communication,
- Employee involvement in the change intervention process.
- Dedicated resources for managing the people side of change interventions,
- Earlier and more personal communications with employees.
Organisational Leadership and learnership professionals are responsible for creating an environment, (ba), within which knowledge assets can be developed and promoted, shared within the organisation and a continuous spiral of knowledge creation can be engaged.
Nonaka I, Toyama R, and Konno N, SECI, Ba and Leadership: a Unified Model of Dynamic Knowledge Creation, Long Range Planning vol. 33 (2000) 5-34.
Prosci’s Top Contributors to Success – 2005, 2007 and 2014 Study Results, [http://Prosci.com], Retrieved: 26 July 2015.