Technology and Knowledge Management
We are living in an ‘Information Economy.’ As economies matured and developed from agricultural to industrial and then service and knowledge-based, the demand for information increased. The Industrial Revolution increased the need for information. Manufacturing began to be carried out on a large scale in factories by organised companies. This created a need for information for internal control for managers and on company performance for investors. Today, a modern organisation must produce financial and performance information for investors and managers, regulatory information for government agencies and personnel information as well as information for many other interested bodies, but it needs information to manage and control its operations.
The information-intensive needs of managers cover many areas from individual information on specific customers to strategic information for a corporate takeover. Globalisation has increased the need for information by making the management task more complex, often requiring the co-ordination of staff and tasks in different countries.
Development of economies has seen the production of more information-intensive and knowledge-intensive products such as computer software. The assets of companies such as Microsoft may be comprised largely of the value that stock markets place on their intangible assets of information and knowledge (intellectual capital). Tom Stewart (1991) describes intellectual capital as, ‘patents, processes, management skills, technologies, information about customers and suppliers and old-fashioned experience.’ Added together this knowledge is intellectual capital.
On completion of this module you will be able to:
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the role of information in the business environment.
- Appreciate the need for skills and knowledge in the use of information for supporting decision-making.
- Effectively use and evaluate database systems for business decision-making.
- Develop the ability to specify suitable information systems for effective knowledge management.