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 Profile  Prof. Syed Ali Ahmed Zaidi
 Politics & Policy  Improved policies in social sector



By Prof. Dr. Khawaja Amjad Saeed
Email: icmalhr@brain.net.pk
Feb-04 - Feb-10, 2002

The 2000s and the beginning of 21st Century have been witnessing the rise of knowledge management as a driving force to change the landscape of thinking and consequently resulting in the development of a new mindset. New dimensions of prosperity have developed in the world. It is high time that we understand these dimensions and get motivated for comprehending the same and move to the path of prosperity on wider scale. New vistas will be identified. Innovation will bring new heights of service to humanity and help develop creative thinking. The current regime is popularly named as Knowledge Based Economy (KBE).

Knowledge Management has several definitions. Perhaps the best way to define it is to understand the process. This consists of the following three parts:

Process of Knowledge Management
Acquire Manage Apply

The basic objective is to make a difference in the obtaining conditions. Three levels of knowledge management include national, organizational and individuals. Two accredited and well accepted approaches to knowledge management include change mind set of people and deliver better than the best. Target for knowledge management is to create world class organizations in productivity and standards.

Scope of knowledge management extends to high-tech, agriculture and traditional jobs. The dominant focus is from "Business as Usual" to "KBE".

Motivational Dimensions
S. No. Motivating Drives

1. Learn
2. Relearn
3. Unlearn
4. Learn again

KBE: Shifting paradigms

KBE is currently the driving force. However, paradigm shifts have taken place in three dimensions. Firstly, earlier growth was resource based namely, land, labor, capital and enterprise. Now the growth is innovation driven. Earlier the emphasis of growth was agriculture and later industry. Now the major thrust is innovation. It is well known that in pharmaceuticals and internet business, the results are being achieved at 70% through intellectual property, knowledge and innovation. However, labor and other factors are now accounting for 30%. Secondly, the theme of scarcity of resources and diminishing returns are now moving to abundance of knowledge and increasing returns. Earlier the richest people belonged to oil wealthy class e.g. Sultan of Brunei, Saudi Shiekhs, Rockefeller of USA etc. Now the richest classes of people belong to IT e.g. Bill Gates ($46 billion: wealth in year 2000), Dell ($39 billion: wealth year 2000), Bill Gates ($56 billion : wealth in year 2001, before September 11, 2001 ) Importance of internet economy and knowledge worker is being increasingly felt. Thirdly, earlier the emphasis was to perfect the knowledge in stable environment. Now the shift is to imperctly sizing the unknown in an era of rapid discontinuing change. The product life cycles are getting shorter. Skill obsolescence can be vividly seen and one is forced to keep ahead of change.

Change scenarios for countries and organizations

Scenarios in countries and organizations are changing. Yesterday was different. Today is not as was yesterday. The future will be significantly different.

Changing Scenarios for Countries & Organizations




Quality Control

Quality Management

Innovation & Quality

Incremental improvement

Continuous Improvement

Breakthrough improvement

Cost Reduction

Cost Management

Value Creation

Use of Data

Use of Information

Use of Knowledge

QCs at Rank and File Level

QCs Across Departments

IQCs Across Organizations

Committed Workforce

Quality Workforce

World-class Workforce

Training for Employment

Training for Development

Training for Employability

Problem - Solving Mindset

Quality Mindset

Innovation Mindset

Knowledge base

Self-investment in knowledge management is the crying need. Generation of new and innovative knowledge needs to be institutionalized in organizations and at national level. However, significant factors governing development of knowledge base in an enterprise level include: information of industry and technology, company's mission statement, goals and plans, company policies and practices covering well known seven functional management areas namely, procurement, production, personnel, marketing, finance, research and development (innovation) and information. Important aspects of knowledge base include company culture, the personality of key organization members and important suppliers and customers.


It is high time that the critical importance of knowledge management is properly understood. Steps at all levels, already identified earlier are undertaken through an institutionalized approach. Developing countries will then have an opportunity to compete with developed countries. Prosperity will dawn in a bigger manner to be later shared in a wider spectrum. KBE will usher in a new era for countries and the objectives for which enterprises are established will be accomplished in a befitting manner for the stakeholders to be the real beneficiaries. Indeed this is possible. Commitment and dedicated efforts are the crying need of the hour.

*Dean: Executive Programs, The Punjab College of Business Administration (PCBA), Constituent College of Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Lahore. Former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Founder Director, Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.