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Implementation and Importance of Knowledge Management: Snapshot Industries

University: CQ University Australia

CASE STUDY

Snapshot Industries Snapshot Industries liked to see itself as a bastion of tradition. The original owner, Sam Snapshot, had maintained close control over the business for 25 years as it developed a number of commercial products in gardening and kitchenware. Until he retired, Sam knew the names of every one of the 200 staff members and their families. He made all decisions about products, clients and employment conditions, and even signed every leave application. Sam was Snapshot Industries. The business — comprising a plastics section, a machinery and tools factory, packaging and distribution, and an office — had maintained the same business focus and systems for a very long time. Sales were steady and reliable — after all, everyone needs vegetable peelers and rakes.

Employees were proud to tell their friends that 95% of staff had been with the company for over 20 years. They boasted of their well-developed systems and the way everyone had complete control over their work. They liked the fact that each section had its own tearoom and distinctive office systems. Each person had a particular role, and there was a strong, informal understanding of where each fitted. There were never any arguments over who did what, because each person had control over his or her own patch. Predictability, they felt, was the secret of success. Each day was totally predictable, and the level of work was comfortable. No one needed to think too hard, or consider how things could be done differently.

The death of Sam caused major upheaval, particularly when his grandson, Jim, took over the reins. Initially, there was only slight consternation. Employees were sure Jim would see the value of the existing system and would preserve the arrangements which already existed. They watched with increasing anxiety as this 30-year-old MBA graduate started to hire movers and shakers, and started acquiring several other businesses in service areas as well as manufacturing. The company expanded from 200 employees to 600, and a restructure was undertaken.

The number of products was reduced, and the output for each product was increased. The plastics area was redeveloped around assembly and quality control teams, with senior staff acting as supervisors. Several teams were responsible for building similar products, and bonuses were introduced for higher performance. This created great stress among the ‘old hands' as they had never worked in a competitive setting before. They found they were starting to avoid each other and stick with their small teams. A vigorous marketing team was installed, and a centralised record and personnel system was initiated. The introduction of computers into all areas caused additional stress for those who had been at Snapshot for a long time working in the applied areas. They couldn't even use the mouse, let alone navigate around the keyboard! And now they were being asked to enter their work times, leave applications and supervisory records online. Stress was high, and taking a toll in accidents, absenteeism and turnover.

Within a year of the restructure, Jim found that 60 of the original 200 staff had retired. They indicated they couldn't see where they fitted now, and were feeling too overwhelmed with the rate of change. Many noted they couldn't sleep at night, because they were being asked to learn too much too quickly.

In addition, a number of the newly acquired people were also resigning. Many were commenting that it was too hard to integrate with the old Snapshot people. They felt they were regarded as upstarts and they were excluded from information they needed to do their job. The original staff, when confronted with this claim, argued that they couldn't share it, as it was in their heads and much too hard to explain. Besides, there was not enough time to stop and natter when they themselves had so much to do and learn in their new work roles.

And so key people found new positions and left, often taking several other good members of their team with them. Orion Enterprises seemed to be attracting quite a few of these departees, and Jim was starting to recognise he had a problem.

At first, he had been keen to see them go — he could see great potential for bringing in fresh blood, and creating new opportunities. However, he was realising that there were some major problems that needed solving. Inconsistent systems were starting to emerge, with different teams operating in very different ways. He was experiencing major faults in product lines. When teams were asked to explain these problems, they would either indicate that a key member had resigned, and they didn't know how to manage the process so well anymore, or it would be found that the person with the knowledge was in a team that discouraged communication with others. Records were also indicating some major problems in their capture of information. Although a number of new forms and systems had been established, many of the old brigade insisted on submitting tatty handwritten notes which were often indecipherable.

Jim was feeling panicky. He could see the whole place unravelling before his eyes. New staff were complaining of 'silos' within the organisation, and the difficulty of both locating and accessing sources of expertise. Everyone who came to his office noted they had no idea where the organisation was going, or what it wanted from them, so they found they were just doing what they thought was needed. This was resulting in some major inconsistencies and misdirections in the business. Costs were up and productivity was diminishing rather than increasing, despite the bonuses being offered. To Jim, the company was beginning to feel like a giant monster consuming his inheritance as he watched helplessly.

Desperate, he hired a consultant to see what might be done. The expert spent some time interviewing a range of employees, looking at the systems in operation, and considering the needs of the organisation if it was to survive. She met with both past employees and existing members, and analysed similar organisations elsewhere. Her conclusion? Snapshot Industries needed to introduce better knowledge management at all levels of its operation, from the strategic positioning to the basic systems and processes which were followed. In particular, she noted the need to shift the culture to a more collaborative focus, and also suggested that leadership was a significant challenge.

Write a report answering the following questions from the "Snapshot Industries" case study.
Case Study Questions:
1. Why did the expert see the problem as one linked to ‘Knowledge Management (KM)’?
2. Identify the types of knowledge which can be found in Snapshot Industries. Consider which elements are strategic knowledge.
3. Why were the resignations and retirements a problem? What could be done about this?
4. Identify the reasons for the consultant’s concern over leadership. How has Jim’s leadership affected the business? Can you see some ways in which Jim could improve his practices?
5. In your opinion, which areas most need to reflect knowledge management principles? Why?
6. Do you think that KM is a strategy in this case? Why or why not?
7. Could KM solve all the problems of Snapshot? Why or why not?

Answer

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES  

Executive summary:

Network generation, processing the ideas and evaluating the plans in more strategic way can serve the good basis for knowledge management. People will get motivation from the entire process of knowledge management and will work according to the need of organization, as the management of the organization aspires them to do. This knowledge management process will generate goodness for the organization and further will increase the profitability and growth. By the help of communication process and advanced technology, the organization can progress in the knowledge management. 


Introduction:

In the organization, it is very essential to manage the knowledge and the diffusion of knowledge creates a base for the competitiveness in the market economy. The culture of the organization need to manage in a strategic way and culture has a very strong influence to curve the behavior of the people (Yee-Loong Chong et al. 2014). The organization can choose the right method and policy by which they can able to share knowledge to the employees and the tactics that will use in the knowledge management will put a long-term effect in the organization. The knowledge transformation is an important aspect in this criteria and the ability to forecast knowledge in a good way will enhance the possibility of future growth for the organization. The systematic and deliberate process of supplying knowledge will help the entire organization to create a strong base for the sustainable advancement within the organization. In this study, the case evolves out with the possibility that to get successful phrase in the organization it is necessary to maintain the knowledge based information. Furthermore, the company needs to take up certain process so that the organization does not face any kind of problem in future and the productivity of the organization increase with time. 


1. Expert sees the problem as linked to ‘Knowledge Management (KM)’: 

The organization can help in processing things in better way and will serve the knowledge-based information to the employees so that the employees can work strategic way. To view their objectives the organization will create things in such a way so the cultural change can manage and in future the evaluation of things will view in short period of time. The individual and the organizational knowledge will maintain by the possible outcome get from the cultural knowledge and the organization will take care of this entire procedure. The mangers will take care about the knowledge and it will determine the future possibility for accompanying knowledge distribution. In a particular situation, the organization will handle the actions of the management as well as the employees to diagnosis the organizational work and give better input for the growth of the organization. The knowledge based information process will help the organization to serve appropriate information to the employees so they can easily connect with the organization and do their allocated work within minimum period. Here in this case, the specific organization is facing various types of problems that generated from the management and the employees work cannot able to get managed in a proper way (Serenko and Bontis, 2013)


The company is facing problem regarding the knowledge management as in various department the allocation of work and employees are not properly segregated. In the quality control team, the employees are not controlled in a proper way and the seniors staffs are working as supervisors and taking care of this department. In many times they are taking care of the department who sell same kind of products but it can hamper the production, as they might not able to understand the exact process of managing that thing. The competitive setting of things in the management process is very much known to the new people, as they are completely unaware of everything. (Evans et al. 2015) This process has generated the facts that they are started avoiding other employees and they connected more with their small groups of people. The employees who were working with Snapshot group become habituated with the old process of work and now they are placed in the other team that is marketing create a lot of haze in their work possibility as they become completely unaware of every facts that what they will do and how they will progress. 


Stress in the organization has increased and they don’t know how to handle this things in an organized way and this process become a complete wastage of knowledge because they are doing the work relating to their applied work structure. In has seen by Jim that they are not handing the process in a good way and as the process of knowledge, management 60 of the original 200 staff had retired already. This process has created a barrier in the knowledge management and this is a serious wastage of talent, as the employees are not working with their regular department according to their knowledge and expertise. 


2. Types of knowledge in Snapshot and consideration of strategic knowledge:

In Snapshot industry, there are various types of knowledge within the department and this knowledge is maintained in a way so that the organization can fetch growth in consideration to the long-term prospect. The organization is running their business from 25 years and they are basically into the development of commercial products. Sam Snapshot is the main responsible person for building the business and he is the person who takes care about the clients, products and other employment conditions and every employee leave application used to sign by him. The 200 employees who were working in the organization, closely related to each other. The departments were very much efficient to each work they did. The types of knowledge that the organization has are-


Explicit knowledge:

The organization has explicit knowledge as they can easily transmit that knowledge to each other and each individual get benefited from this process. This method of explicit knowledge can serve as a systematic and organized way. The communication method in the explicit knowledge process formed a good base of employment in organization. Reliable process in the explicit knowledge will help in creating proper knowledge towards the employees they will be efficient in future and will bring success for the organization (Li et al. 2014)


Tactic knowledge:

In the explicit knowledge process the communication is very easy and one can easily make understood the other that what they want to say and what they require. In the tactic communication process the employees communicate with more complexity and this process is not easy to understand (Sigala. and Chalkiti 2014). This communication method is difficult to understand and it is not that much possible to communicate in a simple way as it has incorporated many of the difficulty level. Here in the organization the employees and somehow the management cannot able to communicate in a proper way and various problem arises from this technique. The employees were unable to figure out the entire thing that the management is applying and the inconsistency in knowledge processing creates complexity. 


Proportional knowledge:

The proportional knowledge process has created a base for the declarative sentences and it is basically depend on the propositions those are indicative. The management has introduced this knowledge and it is as an attribute to the fact that what they know as information all are true and the employees also need to understand the fact. 


Figure 1: Knowledge management process

(Source: Donate et al. 2015, p. 364)

The strategic knowledge is the knowledge based information within the organization and by the help of this knowledge any organization can able to forecast the organizational process in a better way. The strategic knowledge method will take up certain things those are knowledge influences, which will take up the possibility for Snapshot Company, to culminate the procedure and taking care of the management by organizing things for leadership and culture in knowledge. The second thing in the strategic knowledge is knowledge foundations like how the organization is using human resource management based on the knowledge systems. Then the organization will formulate the policy for knowledge application where they will use core knowledge, knowledge responsibilities, knowledge service and learning this to fetch development. Lastly the organization will go for knowledge enhancement and review of the entire thing. In the enhancement procedure the evaluation of knowledge, knowledge sustainability, issues, and research process will generate. 


3. Resignations and retirements are a problem and possible measure to solve the problems: 

From Snapshot Company many of the employees are taking giving resignations, as they cannot able to continue with the organizational process. The shift in departments is creating a lot of problem for the employees, as they cannot able to cope up with this. Many employees are actually from the operation department but the organization has placed them to the other departments and they feel helpless, as their base is not from that department. They cannot able to handle the marketing related works as they were in the operational management team. There is a strong communication gap between the employees as they are differentiated from their actual group and feel that they are catering to the organization something new that is not their forte, as they are not habituated in the process (Ahern et al. 2014)


The centralized record and some of the systems related to the personnel department has shifted to the applied areas and they are losing their expertise by this process. The additional stress that the employees are handling was not easy to take and the employees are losing interest from their job. Many of the employees have asked to come early just to take up and learn new operation process as they shifted their departments. This process has generated the increase in the submission of leave application, as this thing cannot continue for long. The employees put objections that they are unable to sleep at night. 


The organization need to take up certain plans so that they can solve this kind of problem and in future the growth of the organization get increased in a good way. The company needs to put the employees in their departments where they have proper expertise and the employees will feel that they can work in a proper way (Sigala and Chalkiti, 2014). The employees will get to know that their skill and knowledge perfectly as they will be in the appropriate department. The relationship building with the employees is very necessary, where they will understand that what exactly the organization wants and based on that thing they will work and provide best value to the organization.  Proper information generation within the organization will help the management and the employees top get to know about the entire organizational operation and marketing process. The management needs to show concern regarding the employees work culture, information system, communication process and some of the small changes that will help in creating a good possibility for the organization.


4. Concern over leadership and Jim’s leadership technique moreover the improvement in the practice:

The leadership technique of Jim is quite different from Sam and in his leadership; technique creates a huge difference in organizational process. The employees were sure about the fact that Jim can able to take over the entire organization in a positive way and with better concentration as the arrangement of the organization was already there Jim just need to take care about the management and the operation process. In the first stage of business, Jim has taken many of the other movers and internal and external stakeholders and this involvement create a mess in the organization. As Jim has developed certain anxiety level and it hampers the business, a lot and he took over other businesses as well along with manufacturing. In this situation, the company introduced more 400 employees and the count become 600 with a new restructure.The products that are produced in the company have declined and the output increased. Combination of things in the control process needs more attention and the old employees get pressurized for this entire change and they cannot able to take this things. The leadership of Jim has seen a bad phrase and the department employees are shifting to another department and for this process their expertise gets declined. 


The process can be solved by proceed through a good and deliberate process of goal driven policy. The manger needs to understand the company’s vision, knowledge and skill in a way so that they can able to serve good things for the organization. By generating good habits and sketching the good values for the organization will help in creating proper growth and success for the organization (Birasnav, 2014). In the second phrase the objectives of the organization need to be clear and the employees also get to know that how they can able to take up things so that the organization can face a good position in the market economy. The performance of the employees large depends on the possibility that how the mangers and the manger motivate them is the responsible person who can able to organize the resources and efficiently share things to the employees. The leadership quality will invest in the possibility that they can embrace the accurate thing that the organization wants and grow personally. The last process will be the execution of things is a way so that the organization can continually increase performance. 


5. Knowledge management principles:

The knowledge management principal is an important thing in the organization and they need to consider these things in a strategic way so growth and profitability can achieve. The knowledge management principles are-

i) Self-organizing knowledge:

The employees and the management will take process so that the group and individuals can fulfill the purpose of the organization in a positive manner. 

ii) Community help:

The knowledge-based information will take help from the community as the community largely affected by the process of internet service. 

iii) Language is the main concern in knowledge:

For proper generation o knowledge information providence is a necessary, as data will serve everything required in the organization. Experience generates by the process of language and communication will take up the form of knowledge. Development of language will intensify the process clearly (Del Giudice and Maggioni, 2014)

iv) Rules and regulations are not fit with this process:

Certain rules and regulations can hamper the process in knowledge as the deliverance of the entire thing. In knowledge management, people need to see that the positive information and if it follows the rules and regulations then the process can get hampered. 

v) Knowledge confirms the matter of management:

The appropriate management style will get checked and then the organization will further process for the other things. If the management is doing good then the company can proceed for growth and prosperity in future. 

vi) Knowledge needs to take first priority:

As knowledge, management can put a strong aspect in the organization so generating things with this will enhance the capability for cultural orientation. The various option needs to open in consideration to the global factors and along with that the management will take the responsibility for the entire thing to process. 


6. KM is a strategy for Snapshot:

The organizational learning can largely consider the process for knowledge management. With full potentiality, the organization will take up the good things and will place the employees in their accurate place where they belong entirely and by following a process, the organization will think that how they need to carry out the entire thing properly (Donate et al. 2015). The organization will try to acquire the process to utilize the knowledge to achieve growth in a good way. The appropriate form of knowledge generation will help in formulating things with appropriate manner and it will maximize growth. The utilization of management for knowledge will help in serving the best practices for the organization. With the applicable guidance from the organization, the management can take certain steps that will fuel the organization to take up best formulae so that growth can increase. The personal belief of people that is more justified will help in serving the best value for the organization. For the Snapshot organization it is very much essential that they look into the business process as their employees are not happy with the management (Kianto et al. 2014)


They are shifting their department, their expertise is getting decreased, and to solve this problem the management needs to take up certain steps that will help them in face anything in future and continue the management process by the help of involving the knowledge management process. When the organization can able to know that what they are actually doing and how they can associate things with the other so that productivity get increased and people take interest in learning things then the embedded knowledge will help them to serve best things for the organization. The specific action of the organization will process by the help of knowledge management and it will be adequate for the organizational success. 


7. KM can solve the problem in Snapshot:

Knowledge can definitely able to solve the problem in Snapshot. Here the employees will be train and they easily can able to solve the problem that will help them to solve any problem. The relationship building in the organization is very necessary and it will increase goodness and positive symptoms in the management process (Todorović et al. 2015). The organizational goals and the vision will serve in a positive way and they will able to forecast the future need. The knowledge management procedure will gather the idea that people are motivated enough to do any task that they are allocated to and in this organization by the help of proper function and communication with other departments can help to solve any management related problem. The organizational work process improvement in Snapshot will create a good value for the work process and by following this process the employees will work by maintain some terms and conditions of the organization.  


Conclusion:

Employee personal performance and the strong network system will help in process things in a good way and the management will; get the result after implementing knowledge management in their own management process. Social process put a huge impact in the success of knowledge management as the group and community practice will help the employees to serve their own points of view and opinions. By the processing of good knowledge distribution to the employees it is necessary to work harder with each department and culminate this things for the acquire information by the reference with organizational efficiency. Individual knowledge will help the organization to create an effective and efficient business structure and organization with time will get to know that what is good for their each department to establish the company globally in a good position.



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