Auditing organizational knowledge assets : case study in a power company of Hong Kong

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Auditing organizational knowledge assets : case study in a power company of Hong Kong

 

Author: Shek, Wah-yan
Title: Auditing organizational knowledge assets : case study in a power company of Hong Kong
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Knowledge management -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies.
Management audit -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies.
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: xi, 156 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2178307
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6
Abstract: The integration of knowledge management into the business process has been identified as one of the most pressing and one of the most practical research issues. As the effective management of an organization's knowledge assets is recognized to be a critical success factor in business performance, this points to the importance of a knowledge audit as the first step to probe into how knowledge is handled in mission critical business processes in an organization. A knowledge audit provides an evidence based assessment of the knowledge assets within an organization as well as the knowledge needs that they should focus its KM effort on. Although different approaches to the knowledge audit have been proposed in the literature, most of them are related to a knowledge management audit. Various projects of knowledge audits had been conducted by the author. It was found that current knowledge audit methods are resources intensive, limited in their scale of study and lack interaction. These factors reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of the knowledge audit. In view of the importance of the knowledge audit and of deficiencies of the current audit methods, the exploration of an alternative approach called STOCKS (Strategic Tools to Capture Critical Knowledge and Skills) has been designed and developed. It is composed of seven phases which are: 1. process prioritization and selection; 2. workflow study and STOCKS form filling; 3. STOCKS workshop; 4. building a knowledge inventory; 5. data analysis; 6. in-depth interview and data validation followed by 7. recommendations of certain knowledge management strategies. Data and information are collected through interactive and face-to-face discussion. STOCKS was trial implemented successfully in the Power Systems Business Group (PSBG) of CLP Power Hong Kong Limited (CLP). The whole auditing process in PSBG took around 16 weeks from setting the scope alignment with the company to the delivery of the audit report. More than 110 staff from 5 departments from different work levels in 13 business processes, participated in the audit project. Participants were provided with various STOCKS forms to complete in order to provide the research team with information about the IT tools/platforms, documents, implicit knowledge, as well as the critical industrial technologies in each process. They were then invited to participate in half-day STOCKS workshops for further discussion and validation of the data input from the STOCKS Forms. Quantitative and qualitative analysis was then made including stakeholder analysis and the identification of critical knowledge workers, industrial technologies, crucial documents, implicit knowledge as well as the knowledge fountain and knowledge discovery point of the process. After that, individual interviews and meetings were held with the respective participants in order to clarify any uncertainties found during the analysis stage. Finally, KM strategies on Process, People, Content and Technology aspects as well as their corresponding implementation periods were suggested. Outcomes and effectiveness of STOCKS were evaluated in both KM and intellectual capital aspects. When compared with other knowledge audits conducted in the same company, it was found that STOCKS is more systematic and is able to collect, and analyze a large amount of data. Through its interactive action, ideas can be investigated in depth to remind the participants of things they are unaware of before (i.e. they do not know what they know). More important, STOCKS creates an interactive and non-threatening environment for staff to share and prioritize their knowledge which they perceive as important, and also enhance the communication among different members of staff in the organization by its interactive nature. In most Intellectual Capital assessment tools, the workflow of the business process and the specific knowledge needs are not taken into account. STOCKS, on the other hand, helps to identify critical organizational knowledge that needs to be captured, and transferred for the healthy operation and sustainability of the business. STOCKS is a process-oriented tool which links up information management, business process management and strategic management in an organization.

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