A man by the name of Albert Einstein once said that “information is not knowledge”.
In my first post I defined information as “data that have been shaped into a form that is meaningful and useful to human beings” (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). However, in order to transform information into knowledge a firm must utilise additional resources to ‘discover patterns, rules, and contexts where knowledge works’. Furthermore wisdom is considered to be the individual and collective experience of applying knowledge to the solution of problems. Wisdom essentially involves where, when, and how to apply knowledge.
As one might deduce from this it is vital for any firm to to utilise knowledge effectively in order to survive and thrive in the ever-increasingly competitive business environment of today. Various successful global organisations do this through the implementation of ‘Communities of Practice'(COPs). These are informal social networks of professionals and employees within and outside the firm who have similiar work-related activities and interests. Companies such as IBM, the U.S Federal Highway Administration ,and the World bank use such communities which depend greatly on software environments that enable collaboration and communication.The main benefits of COPs include:
- It is easier to reuse knowledge-existing community members can refer newcomers to useful and appropriate sources of information
- It can reduce the learning curve for new employees as they gain access to the community’s established methods,expertise and tools.
- They can act as a spawning ground for new ideas, techniques, and decision-making behaviour (Laudon & Laudon, 2012).
I would also advise you to refer to this short video which further elaborates on my explanation of COPs and their importance in the communication of valuable information on both and individual and organisational level:
Laudon & Laudon ,(2012) Management Information Systems, Managing the Digital Firm, 12th edition.