Knowledge Capture And Codification Management Essay

In the knowledge management cycle, the knowledge capture and codification begins at the first high-level phase. In specifically, tacit knowledge is captured, and explicit knowledge is organized or coded. The creation of new knowledge and the capture or identification of existing knowledge needs to be distinguished in knowledge capture.

In an organization, technology is not the key tool for capturing knowledge. The approach depends on business type, its culture, and how related people solving problems. Also, it has to be captured and codified in a way that it can become a part of the existing knowledge base of the organization.

Tacit knowledge capture

The techniques for tacit knowledge capture are differed at individual and group to organizational levels.

At individual and group levels

There are 3 majors approached to tacit knowledge capture from individuals and groups according to Parsaye (1988):

Interviewing experts: includes 2 popular techniques which are structured interviewing and stories.

Structured interviewing: this technique is used when knowledgeable staffs near retirement age. The organizations try to gain their lessons learned and best practices accumulated over their years of experience at the organization.

Stories: are detailed narrative of management actions, employee interactions, and patterns of culture, behavior, and other intraorganizational events that are communicated informally within the organization (Denning, 2001).

Learning by being told: in this approach, the knowledge manager will clarifies and validate knowledge from the individual or group, then renders these knowledge in explicit form.

Learning by observation: involves expert with a sample problem, scenario, or case study that the expert to solve.

At the organizational level

The organizational knowledge capture concerns more on macro level. According to Malhotra (2000), there are four major organizational knowledge acquisition processes:

Grafting: involving in knowledge transfer through acquisitions, mergers, or alliances between firms. Typically, it is a learning process in which a firm gains the access to knowledge that was not previously available with in it (Huber, 1991).

Vicarious learning processes: incur when one firm observes the others’ techniques or procedures.

Experiential knowledge acquisition: involves the knowledge are captured within a given firm. It means that the knowledge created during doing and practicing. This type of knowledge mostly is tacit but it can be easily transferred to explicit (Pennings, 1994).

Inferential processes: the knowledge capture primarily through interpretation of events, states, changes and outcomes relative to the activities undertaken and decisions made (Mintzberg, 1990).

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Explicit knowledge codification

Knowledge codification is the next step of leveraging knowledge. In this stage, knowledge is converted to tangible form such as document, which allows people to access with low costs. There are several approaches for codification of explicit knowledge such as:

Cognitive maps: are based on the concept mapping, which allow the organization directly draw a map for knowledge management. It indicates the relations and concepts of knowledge in graphical form.

Decision trees: are basically the flow charts, with many alternative choices indicating the impact of different decisions being made at those juncture points.

Knowledge Taxonomies: are hierarchy of concepts and definitions, which knowledge are graphically represented in a way that reflects the organization concepts within a particular field of expertise or for the organization. The high level of the concept position show the general or generic, and the low level show the specific and details (Dalkir, 2005).


The knowledge management obviously can impact the organizations and organizational performances at four levels: people, processes, products, and the overall performances. Importantly, it can impact organizations in two ways. At first, knowledge management can help to create knowledge, which contributes to improve organizational performance. Secondly, it can directly increase improvements along these dimensions (Fernandez, 2004).

Impact on people

Knowledge management can facilitate employee learning and causes employees to become more flexible and enhances their job satisfaction. These are because of their ability to learn lessons from the past.

Impact on employee learning

This can be accomplished through externalization and internalization, socialization, and communities of practice. Externalization, which is the process of converting tacit knowledge into explicit forms, and internalization, which is the conversion of explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge, work together in helping employees learning. Socialization also helps employees to access knowledge through joint activities such as meetings, conversations, and events. Community of practice is another channel to acquire knowledge in which people are dispersed geographically or organizationally but communicate regularly to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Impact on employee adaptability

Knowledge management gives the employee the ability to realize any changes in organizational activities. It also encourages the employees to learn from each other to possess the information and knowledge needed to adapt which the changes. As the result, the employees can not only response to changes but also are likely to accept changes.

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Impact on employee job satisfaction

Knowledge management provides employees some solutions for the problems they may face with that are same problems in the past. Base on that, they can address these problems effectively, and improve the effectiveness in performing their jobs. As the consequent, the employees are highly motivated.

Impact on processes



Learning organizations are those allow their workers and employees to learn from each others, inside and out side the organizations to improve themselves. It means that these organizations create an encouraging environment to learn for every body, from low level of employees to top managers. Therefore, these activities will improve the employees’ capabilities with the aim is to improve the organization total performance.

Why do organizations need to change to learning organizations?

The global economy in the twenty first century is more and more dynamic and changing all the time. The organizations need to learn to be able to adapt and face with arising bigger challenges. The learning organizations allow their employees to discuss daily works, create motivation and innovation. Also, the employees are able to learn from each others and from out side to improve their skills and potential. Therefore, an organization become a learning organization with high quality of employees will have more competitive advantages.

How to become a successful learning organization?

However, in order to become a successful learning organization, an organization needs to combine these elements:

Encouraging learning environment:

It includes four basic factors. The stable psychology means to avoid underestimating employees when there is a conflict or different point of view with colleges or superiors, or whenever the employees ask dull questions, confess mistakes, etc. The acknowledgement of the differences means to recognize the positive value from conflicts, which can create new ideas and avoid slackness. The third element is to be ready for practicing new ideas, which means to encourage employees facing to risks from new concepts that never examines. Finally, the time for work review, giving the leaders and managers short time to break and to think back what they have done thoroughly.

Learning strategies and specific practices:

It needs to have specific steps and the contributions from every body in building learning organization. The learning strategies relate to gathering, explaining and transferring knowledge, information. They include testing new products and services, improve knowledge and technology for competition and satisfy the customers demand, and educating and training existing and new employees.

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Learning behaviors of management:

The learning behaviors of the leader in the organization will have very important impact on the learning attitude of that organization. When the superior actively ask and listen to the employees, then they are more motivated in learning. If they show their readiness for accepting others’ ideas, and opinions, the employees will feel that they are encouraged to expose their new point of views.

These three elements will consolidate and supplement each others. That is when the management learning behaviors can create and maintain an encouraging learning environment, in which the employees can implement efficiently and effectively the learning strategies and practices.



Both knowledge management and learning activities are key factors to improve the organizations’ performance. They allow employees to learn from the past through knowledge management system which may be explicit knowledge or experiences from experienced workers which are tacit knowledge. These kinds of knowledge acquirement are actually stages in the knowledge management cycle; however, they are also learning activities with in an organization. Therefore, they are quite similar in the sense of acquirement of knowledge in an organization. For example, Vietcombank (VCB) is the best domestic bank of Vietnam in 2008. After 47 year in operation since 1963, there are many factors that bring success to this bank. Knowledge management and learning activities are obviously two of them. Knowledge management is recognized in VCB as the suitable information system which allows the employees to access to history document such as reports, evaluations, financial data, customers profiles, and etc. It is also illustrated by new comers acquire the experiences from the existing staffs. Similarly, the learning activities in VCB are illustrated by daily communication between staffs, staffs and managers, which may give them the chances to learn from each others’ experiences. Also, the VCB strengthen branches relationship by several events such as annual vacations giving staffs in different branches time to learn from each others.

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