KM Governance

Posted by chiefworker on 18 August 2009

Governance of the KM function is a much debated subject in the Information and Knowledge Management community today.

Knowledge culture is quite intricately tied to Governance and over the last year or some seminal work has been published in this area. I have of course being (as employees and managers) practiced Governance. I have also consulted on Governance - in public, private and not-for-profit environments

In recent times, we have considered the contemporary thinking and we think that the work by Prof Suzanne Zyngier of La Trobe University (arguably the contemporary expert on KM Governance in the world today) is quite insightful and of practical use in organisations.

Prof Zyngier has carried out a global survey of almost 180 or so KM professionals and published the results in "KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT GOVERNANCE: SURVEY RESULTS, SUZANNE ZYNGIER, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, LA TROBE UNIVERSITY, VICTORIA 3086, AUSTRALIA" (please contact Prof Zyngier for a copy).

In setting out her work, Prof Zyngier states:

"Knowledge is not a series of artefacts to be managed. It is leveraged through organizational processes that include the management of both explicit and tacit knowledge resources."

I agree, and herein lies the constructive tension between the classical view of (IT artefact based) Governance regimes and what is appropriate for the KM domain.

In the same publication, Dr Zyngier has also shared the findings in respect of definition of KM - makes an interesting read.

The bit from the work that I find most insightful is the examination of the relationship between the seat of KM governance and benefits realised. Prof finds that the top four "seats" of governement that correlate positively to KM benefit realisation are:

  1. CEO/Managing Director

  2. Chief Knowledge Officer/IP/Learning Officer

  3. A stakeholder group

  4. CIO

I think that the the seat of KM Governance can easily be determined by answering the following question:

Is KM a strategic priority for the organisation? and if so how do we Govern OTHER strategic initiatives?

What do you think?


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