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This new discipline of knowledge is basically destined to make best use of the time to produce maximum results

Mar 06 - 12, 2000


Attock Refinery is the first company in Pakistan which has introduced the discipline of "Knowledge Management" which is so far new in Pakistan.

This was stated by Naeem Khan, Assistant Manager (Finance) of Attock Refinery Ltd while delivering a lecture on "Knowledge Management" organized by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.

This new discipline, according to Naeem Khan, will enhance the decision making process, efficiency and productivity of the organizations.

Elaborating his point of view, Naeem Khan said that generally the financial capital and financial management of an organization have 50-10 per cent impact on market capital but the share of intellectual capital and knowledge management on the market capital is 50-90 per cent which is a significant indicator about worth of knowledge management in an organization.

He said that Attock Refinery has already gone into intensive research on this subject and intended to disseminate its experience with the corporate sector for managing their business with a use of technology and using collective insight of all employees of the company.

Naeem Khan stressed on the fact that in order to meet the challenges of the new millennium our corporate and other segments of the economy should re-inset the business and training staff to cope with the expected challenges and threats confronted to business and professionals in the years to come.

He said that knowledge accounts for more than 80 per cent of net wealth of the company. Our organizations are extremely lagging behind in managing and enhancing the precious asset of knowledge.

Explaining the concept of knowledge management, he said that knowledge management is a conscious strategy that governs process of creation, dissemination, utilization and protection of knowledge for getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time to enhance decisions and improve organizational performance.

In fact the spirit of this new discipline was to save time, energy and wealth by channelizing the knowledge more productively. For example he identified following areas of knowledge and their applications in organizations: Knowing individually what we know collectively and applying it. Knowing collectively what we know individually and making it re-usable. Connecting people with other knowledgeable people. Knowing what we don't know and learning it.

Connecting people with valuable information. Disseminating knowledge to everyone needing it. Avoiding loss of valuable knowledge and wheel reinvention. Enabling conversion of information into valuable knowledge. These areas he suggested where knowledge management is needed in any organization.

Categorizing knowledge into three segments i.e. Tacit Knowledge, Explicit Knowledge and Cultural Knowledge, he said that implicit knowledge is used by organizational members to perform their work and to make sense of their words. Tacit knowledge is hard to verbalize because it is expressed through action based skills and cannot be reduced to rules and recipes. The explicit knowledge can be expressed formally using a system of symbols and therefore be easily communicated or diffused. The third category of cultural knowledge is cognitive and affective structures that are habitually used to perceive, explain, evaluate and construct reality. The assumptions and believes that are used to describe and explain reality, as well as, the conventions and exceptions that are used to assign value and significance to new information.

Highlighting various strata of knowledge lie cycle, he said that knowledge resides in people, processes, systems and culture which are inter-connected in the knowledge life cycle in respective cronical order. In order to make best results out of knowledge management, two steps in systematic order are needed to be initiated in an organization for identifying the business problems. First step is to determine the domains of knowledge managing initiatives which include initiating responsibility for knowledge sharing. Sharing knowledge and best practices. Capturing and re-using past practices. Driving knowledge generation for innovation. Mapping networks of experts. Building and mining customer knowledge bases. Measuring the value of knowledge. Leveraging intellectual assets, Embedding knowledge in products, services and process "knowledgized products".

After identifying the business problems, the second step is to create dedicated department of knowledge management. This department is needed to have understanding of core business issues and competitive needs, coordination/communication technologies, developing human and cultural infrastructure, matrics of knowledge creation and measurement.

This new discipline of knowledge is basically destined to make best use of the time to produce maximum results of the assets both in financial and intellectual nature of an organization.

Earlier Ahmed Saeed and S.M. Shabbar Zaidi of ICAP welcomed the speaker and introduced the subject to the audience.