MGMT-311 Knowledge Management Mid Term Exam

MGMT-311 Knowledge Management Mid Term Exam – Describe some ways in which you can add value to existing knowledge beyond simply updating it and ensuring it is still valid…

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MGMT-311 Knowledge Management Exam

Paper details

Instructions: You must complete 4 of the six questions. Please complete the exam in a single MS Word document.  Please do not include the text of the questions in your submission as this will cause issues with the SafeAssign system that your submission is sent through. All questions carry equal marks. The exam is designed to be completed on an individual basis.

Answers to individual questions should be  500 words in length. Your final transcript should be submitted through the Assignments section of Canvas no later than Tuesday November 8th 2020 at 8:35PMIn answering these questions, please reference both the text as well as external sources to research and develop your answers. All external sources should be cited and referenced in the APA format.

  • Question 1: Describe some ways in which you can add value to existing knowledge beyond simply updating it and ensuring it is still valid.
  • Question 2: What are the key tenets of the connectionist approach to knowledge management?  Is connectionist synonymous with social constructivist?  Why or why not?
  • Question 3: Discuss at least three ways in which tacit knowledge can be captured from a group and then preserved in organizational memory.  What are the pros and cons of each approach?
  • Question 4: Compare and contrast pull vs. push technologies within the realm of Knowledge Management.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?  Which would you use in order to solicit best practices and lessons learned from knowledge workers?  Why?

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Solution

MGMT-311 Knowledge Management

Describe some ways in which you can add value to existing knowledge beyond simply updating it and ensuring it is still valid.

Knowledge management is considered a critical process in any organization. Knowledge is viewed as an approach that allows organizations to enhance their efficiency since it leads to better decision-making (Xiaojun, 2017). Knowledge management ensures that employees’ expertise and skills are up to date. One such aspect of knowledge management is to add value to the existing ones.

Knowledge verification is considered integral in the value addition process. Knowledge verification entails going through existing information to ascertain that it is of the best quality. The knowledge verification process is highlighted as occurring in two forms, that is knowledge validation and evaluation. Knowledge validation refers to building the right products. For instance, the knowledge should tackle the specific problems it is meant to solve.

The validation aspects are further supported by an evaluation that requires an adequate review of the knowledge to ensure that it achieves the purpose it was meant to achieve. Knowledge verification allows the organization to discover irrelevant aspects that do not have any use for the organization. Value is created when the organization aligns its knowledge management system to its objectives after getting rid of the unnecessary processes following the verification process.  

Another approach to the value creation of knowledge is by enhancing a sharing culture. Organizations have mastered diverse ways of collecting data. The ability to access information, thereby leading to knowledge acquisition, has further been enhanced by digital technology developments. However, an organization cannot benefit from knowledge management by having the information alone. On the contrary, the organization has to ensure that the knowledge is used to generate value. Sharing of information is one such approach to getting value (Wipawayangkool & Teng, 2016).

It leads to the spread of knowledge and skills across the organization, thus allowing employees to make decisions (Yasir & Majid, 2017). Failure to share the information hinders appropriate decision-making as some employees are unaware of the proper knowledge to curb the diverse issues they face. The challenges might exist despite the organization having the necessary expertise to handle them. Sharing knowledge is, therefore, an effective way to add value to already existing information and skills.

Likewise, organizations can enhance the value of the knowledge they possess by implementing their use. As highlighted above, organizations have diverse ways of accessing information that may be considered ideal in dealing with various issues. However, such a fete cannot be attained if the organization does not use the various knowledge database it possesses. The situations lead to a lack of value in the knowledge since it is not used to solve the problems it was meant to address.

Therefore, implementing existing knowledge is the right avenue to ensure that an organization creates value from the knowledge that it already possesses. Implementation of knowledge can take diverse approaches. For instance, the organization implements work collaboration activities to ensure that employees are imparted with the existing knowledge on solving different problems. Likewise, employees can use their expertise to handle their tasks. Implementing the current knowledge and putting it to use ensures that value is achieved instead of letting it stay idle. 

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What are the key tenets of the connectionist approach to knowledge management? Is connectionist synonymous with social constructivist? Why or why not?

The connectionist view of knowledge management refers to an approach that better understand human beings’ cognitive aspects when evaluating learning. The approach relies on artificial neural networks to provide numerical connections of different experiences that enhance learning. The interconnection of the diverse neural components allows people and organizations to solve various societal problems they encounter. The solution to the challenges is enhanced by artificial neural networks’ use of structured knowledge. The connectionist approach to knowledge management is anchored on four basic principles.

Learning and hence knowledge management is based on a series of stimuli and responses.  Knowledge is perceived as affecting the mental state of individuals.  The development of the cognitive functions thus arises from the stimuli-response activities. Learning occurs due to exposure to diverse stimuli in society (Babbar, 2018). Human beings are depicted as able to elicit a particular response that they might have been encountered earlier. It is the ability to show specific responses from experience that constitutes learning.  

The S-R reactions that people learn develop over time with particular interactions. The S-R relationship is depicted as being linked to specific sets of information. Thus, the brain’s response to the information occurs on sequences that elicit the same reaction to particular stimuli.  The chained reaction to stimuli is also known as the law of readiness. The law allows people to gauge the kind of reaction that can occur if a particular response is inhibited.

The third tenet of the connectionist approach to knowledge management is considered as the law of exercise. The principle stipulates that connections strengthen when they are routinely exercised. Failure to practice leads to the weakening of the connections. In this regard, knowledge is depicted as something that continuously grows when exercised.

Lastly, the connectionist approach relies on the effect principle in showcasing how knowledge is managed. The principle posits that learning occurs better when rewards are involved. The brain is projected to elicit better learning stimuli when positive rewards are concerned. Therefore, the principle illustrates that developing knowledge occurs best when people are motivated to attain particular objectives.

Lastly, people’s intelligence is depicted as a function of all the connections they learn. The connections arise from different situations or conditions people have encountered.  A person gets new connections when exposed to various stimuli that lead to the buildup of new responses. Knowledge is, therefore, determined by exposure to diverse situations and information. People with more exposure to diverse experiences are consequently portrayed as likely to gain more knowledge (Stinson, 2018).

The connectionist theory is synonymous with the constructivist approach. The similarity is highlighted by illustrating how learning takes place in human beings. The constructivist approach states that learning is influenced by the diverse interactions and experiences people encounter in life. An individual’s awareness is based on his past and present encounters. Therefore, it is evident that both approaches consider knowledge as something that is acquired from the diverse experiences that people face in life.

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Discuss at least three ways in which tacit knowledge can be captured from a group and then preserved in organizational memory. What are the pros and cons of each approach?

Tacit knowledge refers to a set of knowledge that is acquired from people’s experiences.  The knowledge cannot be transferred from one person to the other. On the contrary, it can be preserved through diverse forms of interactions. Organizations can capture tacit knowledge from diverse groups and ensure their preservation in several ways.

One such way of capturing tacit knowledge is by enhancing the organization’s culture. Every organization has a set of values that guide its staff behavior. Organizational culture allows employees’ actions to conform to the behavioral demands of their institutions. Even though institutions can dictate the expected behavioral values through formal instructions, the employee experiences play a huge role in shaping the culture. Enhancing organizational culture is, therefore, an ideal way of ensuring that tacit knowledge has been preserved.

The preservation of knowledge is highlighted by sharing knowledge and ideas through events that constitute an institution’s culture. For instance, organizations can develop different platforms for employees to interact with key people, for example, conferences, presentations, and interviews. The events allow the key figures to share diverse information, thereby preserving such knowledge within the organization (Yasir & Majid, 2017).

Another way by which organizational culture enhances tacit knowledge is by increasing interactions between the older employees and the young ones. Enhancing an organizational culture is beneficial in sharing tacit information since it provides employees with adequate knowledge. The key challenge with the approach is that it may hinder learning effectiveness by sharing of information due to its highly informal nature.

Developing mentorship programs is also a viable way to ensure the preservation of tacit knowledge. The programs’ objectives are to ensure that young employees are equipped with diverse skills through informal means.  For instance, the organization can encourage interactions between junior employees and their seniors. Similarly, experts may be assigned to provide employees with discussions of real-life experiences.  Assigning employees with mentors is also significant in acquiring and preserving tacit knowledge (Wang et al. 2016).

The knowledge is acquired through informal discussions between the employees and their mentors. The advantage of mentorship is its ability to provide employees with an informal approach to learning and acquiring detailed information about their activities (Yee et al. 2019). The lack of formality allows employees to ask questions which they could have avoided in a formal setting. However, the mentoring method’s primary disadvantage is seen in the possibilities of mismatches between the mentor and the mentee. At times the relationship between a mentor and the mentee may not go well, thereby leading to difficulties in exchanging the right tacit knowledge.

Another approach to acquiring tacit knowledge is by enhancing work collaboration. Organizations ensure that their employees are knowledgeable regarding activities that take place in different departments. Collaboration is also seen as an avenue for employees to interact and exchange information. Employees are also encouraged to contribute to various collaboration discussions that seek to facilitate information exchange (Campatelli et al. 2016).

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The informal communications through collaboration among employees facilitate the acquisition and preservation of tacit knowledge. Collaboration as a tool to acquire and preserve tacit information has its advantages and disadvantages. The critical advantage is depicted by the approach’s nature to impart employees with a pool of useful information.

Collaboration allows employees to access varied opinions, thereby gaining knowledge in several organization’s operations. The disadvantage of work collaboration is the possibility of the information acquired, especially when digital platforms are involved in sharing the information. The fact that different people share information makes it hard to know its collective meaning. Diverse cultural expectations and values may also make collaboration a problematic means to acquire and preserve tacit knowledge.

Compare and contrast pull vs. push technologies within the realm of Knowledge Management. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Which would you use in order to solicit best practices and lessons learned from knowledge workers? Why?

The concept of push and pull strategies can also be implemented in knowledge management. The push strategies to knowledge management refer to the management’s efforts to ensure that its employees are knowledgeable in particular areas. The organization considers knowledge as a product that should be pushed to the market (King, 2018). The market in this particular case is the employees.  The push strategy is based on resource availability and the need to improve certain areas.

The resource in this particular case is knowledge. The organization considers itself as having the appropriate knowledge to perform certain functions. However, the challenge is depicted on the staff due to a lack of knowledge in undertaking the activities. Therefore, the organization must ensure that employees are equipped with skills for undertaking particular tasks (Shrafat, 2018). For instance, the organization can decide to train employees on the perceived weakness areas.

The strength of the push strategies of knowledge management is seen in its ability to impart employees with the competence required to undertake different tasks. The realization of particular weaknesses in employees thus pushes the organization to undertake programs that meet the employees’ information needs.

Also, the approach builds explicit knowledge that can be used by other people. The major disadvantage of the push knowledge management approach is that it forces employees to acquire the knowledge they may not require. It is the organization that determines what knowledge to impart to the employees. Likewise, the push strategies do not allow the sharing of tacit knowledge.

The pull strategy to knowledge acquisition, on the other hand, focuses on employee need for knowledge. It is the employees who identify the diverse knowledge needs that they require. Identification of the knowledge deficient areas pushes employees to pursue diverse ways by which they can enhance their competence (King, 2018).

The desire to acquire specific knowledge makes employees force the organization into coming up with diverse programs that will deliver their demands. Likewise, the personal initiative to learn as depicted by the employee actions makes them engage in activities that may lead to knowledge acquisition, such as asking questions and seeking assistance from their peers.

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An advantage of the pull strategy is that it imparts employees with the knowledge required to handle the routine tasks. The acquired knowledge deals explicitly with the areas of specialization they handle. Likewise, knowledge acquisition through the pull strategy is immediate. For instance, a person receives an instant reply to communication that he or she requires. A challenge to the pull strategy is that it fails to provide the explicit knowledge that might later be transferred to other people. The knowledge is also suited to an individual’s demand as opposed to the general organization.

I consider the push strategy to knowledge acquisition as the ideal approach to manage knowledge in an organization. Every organization has its way of doing things. The fact that an organization concludes to impart their employees with specific knowledge means that they have determined some problems in their work. Therefore, it is ideal that the organization train the employees in dealing with the issue by imparting in them the relevant knowledge required to handle the duties. Likewise, the push strategy provides explicit knowledge that current and future employees can always focus on knowledge enhancement.  

References

  • Babbar, P., Yadav, K., Singhal, A., & Sharma, V. (2018). Connectionist model in artificial intelligence. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, 13(7), 5154-5159.
  • Campatelli, G., Richter, A., & Stocker, A. (2016). Participative knowledge management to empower manufacturing workers. International Journal of Knowledge Management (IJKM), 12(4), 37-50.
  • King, D. (2018). The push and pull of knowledge and training. Training & Development, 45(4), 6.
  • Shrafat, F. D. (2018). Examining the factors influencing knowledge management system (KMS) adoption in small and medium enterprises SMEs. Business Process Management Journal.
  • Stinson, C. (2018). Explanation and connectionist models. The Routledge handbook of the computational mind. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Wang, Z., Zhang, H., Chen, X., & Duan, Y. (2016). Impression management tactics of proteges and mentors’ knowledge-sharing behavior. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 44(11), 1825-1838.
  • Wipawayangkool, K., & Teng, J. T. (2016). Paths to tacit knowledge sharing: knowledge internalization and individual-task-technology fit. Knowledge Management Research & Practice, 14(3), 309-318.
  • Xiaojun, Z. (2017). Knowledge Management System Use and Job Performance: A Multilevel Contingency Model. MIS Quarterly, 41(3).
  • Yasir, M., & Majid, A. (2017). Impact of knowledge management enablers on knowledge sharing. World Journal of entrepreneurship, management, and sustainable development.
  • Yee, Y. M., Tan, C. L., & Thurasamy, R. (2019). Back to basics: building a knowledge management system. Strategic Direction.

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