The competition for the business organisations in the global world has become very difficult and the organisations develop the knowledge assets in order to get a competitive advantage in the market. An individual learns from everyday experience in life where the individual collects the data and transform the data into information and the information helps in the learning process of the individual. Apple is one of biggest US-based business organisation that produces electronic products and various services for the consumers all over the world and the techniques used in the organisation for managing the knowledge and information has helped Apple to become one of the highest growing tech giants around the globe. This report will explain and evaluate how knowledge and information are managed in the workplace of Apple and will provide recommendations to develop the knowledge sharing framework in Apple so that the organisation can manage the knowledge and information within the organisation effectively.
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The random facts and symbols without any significant meaning are called data and the data is the collection of raw materials and facts of an event that is not filtered and synchronised and bears no significant meaning to the individuals. For example, some random numbers are data and the random number bears no significant meaning to an individual and has a few values to the individual.
Information is the processed and filtered data and the synchronisation of data that express meaningful explanation is called information. The data of an event is collected and then process and the transformation of data bears significant meaning for the occurred event (Koenig, 2011). For example, a random collection of data bears no significant meaning to the individuals but if the numbers are processed and filtered it can turn out to become mobile phone number of someone and the transformation of raw numbers into a mobile phone number bears significant meaning to the individuals and it is information.
Information is power in the digital world and the processing of information that helps to learn and gain experience of someone about something is called knowledge. For example, information about the mobile phone numbers of the UK can be analysed by someone and it can provide knowledge of someone about the pattern of a mobile phone number within the UK such as all the numbers start will the same code in the UK and it is called knowledge.
Knowledge is gained experience and learning and the use of knowledge effectively is called wisdom. For example, the wisdom of the mobile phone operators in the UK helps to manage the numbers of users in the UK and the millions of mobile phone is of different number starting with the same regional codes (Stevens, 2010). The wisdom of mobile phone operators about permutation and combination and communication of the operators with all the relevant agencies within the UK helps to manage the numbers of mobile phone users in the UK.
The relationship between data, information, knowledge and wisdom is explained below:
Figure: DIKW Pyramid
Source: (Stevens, 2010).
The DIKW Pyramid is used in explaining the relationship between data, information, knowledge and wisdom and data is base of the process. The data is the collection of raw material and details of an event without any significant meaning and if the data is processed and analysed effectively it provides meaning which is called information (Brewer and Brewer, 2010). The analysis of the information helps to learn and gain experience and the learning and gain experience from information is knowledge. That is how the information is transformed into knowledge and the use of the knowledge effectively that helps to forecast the future as well as wisdom. From the above discussion, it is cleared that data, information, knowledge and wisdom are interrelated and maintains the pyramid to form from one to another.
An individual analyses information and learn from the information that helps to develop the experience of an individual and it is called individual knowledge. For example, a person learns new things in daily life and store the information in the mind of the person that helps to develop the experience of the person. The knowledge of an individual is developed by a person in order to ease the life of the person so that the person can use the knowledge effectively for the greater good of oneself. For example, an individual learns that touching fire can burn flesh and skin with tremendous pain and the knowledge of the nature of fire of an individual helps the person to keep safe distance from fire and use the fire in an effective way without causing any harm to himself and the knowledge is stored in the brains of an individual and passed through the generation (Webb, 2017).
An organisation is a place where a group of people work with hand to hand with specific objectives in mind. The collective operations of a group of people in an organisation help to meet the organisational objectives of the organisation. The organisational knowledge is the collective knowledge of individuals and the collective knowledge is called organisational knowledge. For example, the knowledge of individuals working in Apple helps the organisation to run effectively and the knowledge is stored and shared within the organisation for ensuring effectiveness (Whelan and Carcary, 2011). The organisational knowledge is built in Apple with the contribution of the knowledge of the employees in the organisation. For example, there are people working in the marketing department of Apple as well as in the manufacturing department. The entire department in Apple develops the knowledge of particular operation such as marketing department develops the knowledge of the organisation about effective marketing that helps to run the organisation effectively. The knowledge of the marketing department of Apple is developed by the individual’s knowledge of the employees working in the marketing department of the organisation (Webb, 2017). That is how the individual knowledge and organisational knowledge is interrelated and organisational knowledge cannot be thought without the accumulation of individual’s knowledge working in organisations.
Knowledge assets are the developed knowledge and the analysis and modelling techniques help to identify knowledge assets. There are various types of information and information can from anywhere and there are different types of information sources that help to identify knowledge assets and they are given below:
- The primary source of information: The primary source of information is the detailed information about particular things and the primary source is used to gather information for the organisations and individuals and the sources helps to develop the knowledge assets of individuals and organisation (Dalkir, 2013). For example, the primary source of information is mainly books, journals, research papers, case study, reports etc. The primary source of information is the main source of information that is used by individuals and organisations to develop knowledge assets and print and electronic both media can be used to access the primary source of information.
- A secondary source of information: The analysis of primary information that is not published but help to enrich the knowledge of individual and organisation is called a secondary source of information. For example, the learning from a scholarly article that helps to develop the knowledge assets an individual and sharing the knowledge of the individual is a secondary source of information (Lloyd, 2010).
- A tertiary source of information: The information is collected from both primary and secondary sources and the distillation and collection of information are called the tertiary source of information. For example, an organisation develops the organisational framework with the primary information and experience which is a secondary source of information and if an individual learns from the operation process of organisation, it will be called the tertiary source of information (Dalkir, 2013).
The capturing of valuable information helps both an individual and organisation to identify knowledge assets and the process is given below:
- Set objectives: The objectives need to be cleared in order to identify knowledge assets and clearing the objectives helps to access the relevant print and online sources in order to identify required knowledge assets.
- High-quality data: The data needs to be collected in high quality and the collection of high-quality data helps to analyse and process the data effectively and it helps to identify knowledge assets.
- Relevant information: The information needs to be relevant and relevant information is collected in order to identify knowledge assets as the analysis of relevant information helps to develop knowledge ((Lloyd, 2010).
- Use knowledge: The knowledge achieved from the above-mentioned process needs to be applied in and using of knowledge will help to develop knowledge assets.
The use of information sources and the process of capturing valuable information is the application used by an individual and organisation in order to identify knowledge assets effectively.
The movement of information between people and systems is called information flow and information flow is required for creating and transferring knowledge. For example, the information about knowledge of people flows from one person to another with the form of books, literature and review and the effective flow of information helps to create, store, apply and integrate knowledge (Kebede, 2010). The philosophies of great men and scientist of previous time reach the people searching for the information with the information flow. When the information is huge and it becomes difficult to analyse the information, it is called information overload.
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The information is required to be stored and shared effectively and the storing of information and sharing the information helps to maintain the information lifecycle. The information lifecycle is the process where it is demonstrated how the information is created, stored, applied and integrated to ensure the information movement and flow and the process helps to create and storing knowledge. The searching for valuable information and using identifying valuable information helps to develop the knowledge assets. The relevant information needs to be searched and effective searching for information helps to develop knowledge. The identification of relevant information helps to create knowledge and identification of relevant information is required for knowledge assets (Kebede, 2010). The process of creating, storing, applying and integrating knowledge which is required for managing knowledge and information is explained below:
Knowledge Acquisition: To create new ideas and knowledge is knowledge acquisition with using the relevant information. The process is to search relevant information and analysing the information and the information helps to develop new information and ideas which is called knowledge acquisition. For example, Apple requires highly skilled and talented employees in the organisation to meet the organisational objective which is to provide the best quality products and services to the consumers in the market. Apple provides training and motivates the employees to develop their skills and used the knowledge assets of the organisation to prepare the strategy for training the employees of the organisation (Hislop et al, 2018). There are many problems that may occur in the process and the creative team of the organisation generates new ideas and techniques and applications in the knowledge of the organisation to solve the problem of the organisation. That is how the knowledge acquisition of Apple helps the organisation to create new knowledge in the organisation.
Knowledge retention: The knowledge of an organisation needs to be preserved in order to access the knowledge in need and apply in the organisation effectively. The soaring of information has been developed by the individual’s overages and the storing of knowledge helps an individual to use the knowledge effectively. For example, in the ancient times, the storing of the knowledge was to memorise the information and the system for storing knowledge have been developed over times for retention of knowledge. The use of paper has enabled to preserve the knowledge in the written forms in paper and the technological revolution has enabled with a digital database that is also used in the retention of knowledge. For example, the knowledge of Apple is stored in the database of the organisation and the organisation takes the risk management measures to ensure the security of the knowledge of the organisation. The organisation uses cyber-security to risk management of the knowledge of the organisation and both written forms and digital database is used in the organisation for storing the knowledge of the organisation.
Knowledge Transfer: The knowledge needs to be transferred for the application of the knowledge and the knowledge sharing was used in the ancient period for the preservation and storing of knowledge (Lindblom and Tikkanen, 2010). For example, the knowledge in ancient times was memorised and transferred from generation to generation orally for the storing and preservation of the knowledge. The knowledge transfer uses modern communication system and database management for the transformation of knowledge. For example, the knowledge of Apple is used by the employees of the organisation by accessing the database of the knowledge assets of the organisation that helps to develop the knowledge and skills of the employees working in the organisation. The employees working in the organisation also transfers the knowledge in the training sessions of the organisation in order to develop the skills and knowledge of the employees working in the organisation. The developed communication channel and database management system helps Apple to transfer the knowledge of the organisation effectively that ensures the effective function of the organisation.
The knowledge assets for an organisation are very important as the effective function and meeting the objectives of the organisation depends on the knowledge assets of an organisation. The contribution of knowledge assets in an organisation is explained below:
- To maintain the information flow of the organisation by creating an effective communication network in the organisation. The knowledge assets of an organisation help in developing communication within the organisation that ensures the effective flow of information within the organisation and ensures the effective function of the organisation.
- The knowledge assets of organisation help to develop the storing of the knowledge of the organisation and the knowledge is preserved using different risk management techniques and the process ensures the competitive advantage for the organisation from the rivals (Easterby-Smith and Lyles, 2011).
- The knowledge assets of an organisation help the employees to learn from the knowledge of the organisation effectively and it helps to search relevant information within the organisation. The knowledge assets help to access the information effectively that helps to solve the problems of the organisations and the effective function is also ensured using the knowledge assets of an organisation.
- The knowledge assets help to transfer knowledge within the organisation and the transferring of knowledge helps to develop the knowledge and skills of the employees working in the organisation (Easterby-Smith and Lyles, 2011). For example, Apple requires skilled employees in the organisation in order to provide quality services and products to the consumers in the market. The knowledge assets of the organisation help to transfer the knowledge with the employees effectively and the process helps to develop the skills and knowledge of the employees working in the organisation effectively.
- The knowledge assets of an organisation ensure effective functions and help in meeting the goals of the organisation. For example, the knowledge assets of Apple are used so that the organisation can function effectively and the knowledge assets also contribute to meeting the organisational objectives of Apple.
The information and technology is the fastest growing business around the world and Apple provides electronic products and various technical services to the people. The quality of products and services along with the commitments of the organisation has helped Apple to become one of the biggest Tech giants in the world and people around the world loves the products and services of Apple despite high prices for products and services. The knowledge requirements for Apple are evaluated below:
- The knowledge of market and rivals is required for Apple and the knowledge of the market is an external factor that influences the knowledge assets of an organisation. The market analysis will help Apple to understand the market condition and the condition of the market is important for developing the knowledge assets and using the knowledge assets of the organisation effectively to sustain in the competitive market (Kamaşak and Bulutlar, 2010). The knowledge of rivals will also help to understand the competitive advantage of the organisation in the market and the analysis of rivals in the market will help Apple to come with an innovative product in the organisation.
- The consumer satisfaction is important for Apple to sustain in the market and the organisation needs to interact frequently with the consumers to collect their feedbacks and considering them. The knowledge of what consumers are thinking will help the organisation to develop the products and services that will help the organisation to sustain in the market.
- The violation of intellectual property rights will cause serious problems in the operation of Apple and the organisation needs the knowledge of intellectual property rights so that the intellectual property of others can be used for the organisation with proper documentation and authorisation and the knowledge will also help to deter others from using the intellectual property of Apple (Wang et al, 2014).
- Apple requires the knowledge of cyber security and data management and the knowledge will help the organisation to manage the data effectively and using the data of the organisation. The organisation can hire employees or train employees to develop the knowledge of cyber-security for the organisation and the cyber-security knowledge will help Apple to manage the risks of data theft. The preservation of data will provide the organisation competitive advantage in the market.
Knowledge management basically refers to the matter of sharing, creating, utilizing and managing the existing organisational information and knowledge to have better organizational goal accomplishment. Knowledge management paves the way of better utilization of soft resources and organizational better operation By making proper documentation of organizational data, reservation of data, information dissemination, research activity, information gathering, and the knowledge management can be done. In the arena of IT world, Apple Inc. is the IT giant who are doing better knowledge management and picking up their expected target accomplishment.
How knowledge management enhance Apple Inc.
- Speeding up access to information and knowledge: Apple Inc. tends to update their server regarding what the recent launched products and their prices, recent offers, recent production rate and recent company performance By doing so, the employees can have their expected information and lead operational management.
- Improving decision making process: As Apple Inc. do better knowledge management by updating the information documentation. The employees have the full accessibility to the hub of information. So, they can take decision easily. For example, the production manager knows what the current demand of the customers is and he/she know what the current information is. So, this ease the overall decision making.
- Promoting innovation and cultural change: Better knowledge management of Apple Inc. paves the way of making better information dissemination. The rate of information sharing is increased and organizational mutual interaction is improved to a great extent. The co-workers can seek possible solution with each other’s (Apple, 2019). Everyone stretches the helping hand to others for having good team performance. Thus, the helping cultural environment is created.
- Improving the efficiency of an organization’s operating units and business processes:As mentioned before, knowledge management increase the accessibility of information of the employees, so they can easily have access to the data especially gathered by the research activities. As the employees can have their required information easily, so their work speed increases and efficiency is ensured. So, the overall organizational performance goes up (Knowledge Management Systems, 2010).
- Increase customer satisfaction: By having required documentation, prepared customers data and smooth communication channel, the sales department comes to know what actually the customers demand and customers are demanding what sorts of products. In this case, Apple Inc. can easily provide the service to the customers in very speedy way and the customers get satisfied by having required service on time.
- Increasing competitive advantage: Apple can come to know about their rivalry information like Huawei, Samsung. They can know how their turnover is, how they are catching their customers, what their current turnover are and what their current customer’s numbers are. So they easily can have the competitive advantage over others By having so, it becomes easy to make better operation and having target accomplishment.
- Reduces risk: proper knowledge management ensures proper data security in privacy issue, well protected company’s information, customers’ personal information. By having so, company’s risk of losing the data or the vital asset is decreased and organizational effectiveness and efficiency enhanced.
The above mentioned things are happened within Apple Inc. due to ensuring better knowledge management. In order to make proper positioning in the market and for enhancing more turnover, they often update their information, maintain privacy and conduct research activity (Apple, 2019). All these knowledge management practices contribute for better organizational mission and vision accomplishment.
There are techniques that are adopted by the organisations only to ensure effective knowledge sharing within the organisation as the process help to develop the skills and knowledge of employees. Knowledge sharing ensures the proper functions of the organisations and also ensures increasing productivity of the organisation. The framework of Apple to enable knowledge sharing is evaluated below:
- Culture of Apple: Apple has developed a culture within the organisation and trains the employees to adapt to the organisational culture. The organisation is a multinational corporation and people from different background and culture work in the organisation and the development of a common culture in the organisation helps the employees to communicate effectively within the organisation and the effective communication helps to share knowledge of Apple within the organisation (Schiuma, 2012).
- Networking: The organisation has developed a social networking system that enables the employees to connect with one another and the networking system of the organisation has made the relationships of employees with managers easier and the developed networking helps to share knowledge of Apple within the organisation.
- Use of technology: The organisation is a Tech giant and also uses technology to share knowledge as the employees working in the organisation can access the relevant information in the organisation from the database. The connection of the database with all the employees has helped Apple to share knowledge of the organisation effectively and timely.
- Motivation: The organisation uses motivational techniques to motivate the employees of the organisation to develop skills and knowledge. The motivational techniques adopted by the managers of Apple help the employees of the organisation to become motivated and that also ensures the effective sharing of knowledge within the organisation (Wang et al, 2014). The motivation of sharing knowledge helps in developing skills of the employees in Apple and the process also helps to maintain the quality and productivity of the organisation.
The knowledge sharing framework of Apple has been discussed above and there are some changes that are very necessary to make in the knowledge sharing framework of Apple as the risk of data management in sharing the data of the organisation needs to be considered and the organisation needs to concentrate on the security of the database of the organisation. The recommendations for change in the framework of Apple are given below:
- Managing risk of data sharing: The data sharing of Apple has been digitalised with connecting the employees to the database of the organisation and the organisations can access the information of the organisation stored in the database. The organisation needs to restrict the access to crucial data manually and the risk management of data sharing in the organisation needs to be ensured by limiting the access of the employees in the organisation. If the employees of the organisation pass the data to another rival that will be a great disadvantage for the organisation (Wang and Wang, 2012). That is why the risk of data sharing in the organisation needs to be managed by limiting the access of employees to all the data of the database.
- Ensuring cyber-security: The cyber-security needs to be considered by the organisation with intensity as the database of Apple is connected to the internet and hacking can cause the theft of important data of the organisation. The hackers can also contaminate the data of the organisation and risk the data storage. The organisation needs to hire employees with the expertise of cyber-security to ensure the security of the database (Von Solms and Van Niekerk, 2013). The organisation can also train the employees of the organisation to develop the knowledge of cyber-security and the training of the employees with the knowledge of cyber-security will prevent to get scammed in the web and will also provide security for the database of the organisation.
Knowledge is power and the management of knowledge is important for retention of power. The organisations use knowledge and information management techniques in organisations in order to create new ideas and create new knowledge assets. The knowledge and information management helps an individual or organisation to create, store and apply knowledge. The knowledge sharing in the organisation ensures the sharing of skills and techniques from employees to employees that ensure the productivity of the organisation. The management of risk for sharing knowledge and cyber-security is necessary for the preservation of data within the organisation.
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