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Strategic Positioning of Human Resources Management in the Knowledge Based Economy

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HRM facilitates knowledge sharing in so-called learning organizations. The concept of learning organizations (LO) is instrumental in furthering studies on knowledge management. Aggestam (2006, 296) averred that “ the concept of LO regards the organization as an entity and focuses what are the characteristics such that encourages its members may learn” . In addition, “ LO tends to focus more on external threats as the reason for fostering learning” (Kezar, 2005). The LO concept is linked to knowledge management (KM) through the use of information or data by human resources for the greater benefit of various stakeholders.

In this regard, KM is known as the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of information through human resources, systems, procedures and technology to specifically benefit those who are directly involved in the process (Thite, 2004, 28). “ The process in which organizations assess the data and information that exist within them, and is a response to the concern that people must be able to translate their learning into usable knowledge” is another view for KM (Kezar, 2005, 150). Both definitions emphasized that the common element for KM are the presence of data and the skills utilized by human resources to manage these data for various purposes: personal, professional, organizational and even societal goals. The role of HRM in KM has several significant rationales, to wit: (1) to articulate the objective of KM in the organization, (2) to facilitate knowledge through goal alignment and incorporation of culture in policies and procedures; (3) to enable personnel to learn and synthesize information to a holistic learning experience through skills and competencies; (4) to actively share the practical application of knowledge in everyday lives; (5) to encourage previously identified unconventional behaviors and relax controls in human organizational interactions; (6) to evaluate and apply strategic measures in developments on technological and communication systems in the organizations by ensuring that balancing factors on traditional modes of communication are retained; and (7) to continually support “ low-tech solutions to knowledge management” (Lengnick-Hall & Lengnick-Hall, 2002, 231) through an encouragement of simple and traditional methods of teamwork and collaboration.

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