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‘Knowledge Management Toolkit’ by Karen Giannetto and Anne Wheeler


Knowledge Management Toolkit.
By Karen Giannetto and Anne Wheeler.
Gower, 2000.
A4 ringbinder, 113 pages,
Price £99.
ISBN 0 566 08293 4.

Interest in ‘knowledge management’ has increased significantly in recent times, which is a sad reflection on organizations and their past failure to communicate up and down with the intention of ensuring effective communication and improved relationships. This toolkit is described as a ‘resource for creating policy and strategy, with practical guidance for managing knowledge at all levels within the organization’.

The publication is formatted in three Parts. The first – Introducing Knowledge Management, includes sections on what it is, where knowledge is found, and managing knowledge. This is basically an introductory, but a clear, practical and free of excessive jargon or ‘highbrow’ theory description. The second Part – The Knowledge Management Process – extends the descriptions and guidance of Part 1. It considers the planning, preparation and implementation of a knowledge management system and, like Part 1, is a clear, practical and useful guidance text to the approach. The final Part, Tools and Techniques, contains materials that are suggested as useful to photocopy and circulate within the organization. It includes checklists and workshop tips and techniques that can be used to investigate current practices and collect information on how it is; proposing a case for introducing the approach; planning and conducting a knowledge audit; planning the implementation project and implementing it; and communication and training. The last-named section offers a session plan for an introduction to knowledge management, with three OHP masters. The section is completed with a checklist on a project review checklist, action planning and considering the next steps.

The ‘toolkit’ is a clear description and help to those who will be responsible for selling the knowledge management system within an organization and implementing it, but I am still left with the feeling that this is all common sense that should be used in effective organizations. However, we are all aware of organizations where internal communication hardly exists in an effective form. The section containing the three OHP masters seems to be the only one that justifies (?) the format of expensive ring-binder rather than a more traditional form of publication. The checklists if they were to be photocopied would need to be reformatted for practical use.

Leslie Rae
August 2000

You can browse through a range of Gower publications for training and HR professionals in the Gower online shop within TrainingZONE, where many of their products are available at a discounted price.


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