Mastering the Human Barriers in Knowledge Management
Kurt-Martin Lugger (Institute for Organization and Human Resource Management, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria)
Herbert Kraus (Institute for Organization and Human Resource Management, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria)
Abstract: "New" essential resources and success factors keep being invested and provide fertile grounds, not only in the consultancy industry, for ever more glossy brochures to create success. The production factor of knowledge is currently at the focus of many theories and numerous publications. It remains to be seen whether we are seeing real innovations. Knowledge has always been prerequisite to creating products or services, an essential input, a "silent production factor".
The modern, complex environment has also made products and processes more complex and extensive. The ability to adapt to changing conditions increasingly determines success or failure. All aspects of enterprises are affected, even the "smallest units", the human element. In this context, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to share knowledge with colleagues. Knowledge transfer is basically characterised by a question-and-answer principle. The focus is on the incalculable human factor. This causes more or less distinct transfer barriers.
Prejudices, fear of criticism, lack of confidence, constant time pressures and other factors are some barriers to transfer caused by the individual. Besides organisations may create barriers, too, through rigid hierarchies, red tape, and outdated procedures.
By means of the barrier matrix and the barrier cube we have presented eight different constellations from the scientist's view. At a very theoretical level we have also touched briefly on how to solve these problems.
Knowledge management does not yet seem to attach enough importance to the issue of communication, particularly to internal communication. In addition to individual and organisational transfer barriers, communication media can also contribute to problems and barriers in knowledge transfer.
Categories: H.5, H.m