Chief Knowledge Officers 2005, 2009, and 2015

Abstract: For each of the three editions of the Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (2005, 2009 and 2015), Richard T. Herschel (Saint Joseph’s University, USA) wrote an article on the role of the chief knowledge officer. Read on and see how it changed from an information sciences and technology perspective.

  • 1st ed. 2005: A chief knowledge officer (CKO) is a senior executive who is responsible for ensuring that an organization maximizes the value it achieves through one of its most important assets-knowledge. Knowledge is often defined as information exercised for problem solving, understanding, and benefit. By adopting a CKO, firms formally recognize that knowledge is an asset that needs to be captured, disseminated, and shared to enhance firm performance and value creation. And most of all, they realize it is an asset that must be managed. Knowledge management is seen as essential, because firms today are valued in part on market perceptions of expertise as expressed through their processes, products and services (Choo, 1998).

    Richard T. Herschel: Chief Knowledge Officers. In: Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, First Edition, IGI Global, 2005: 409-413.

  • 2nd ed. 2009: Knowledge management (KM) refers to a range of practices used by organizations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness, and learning across the organization. KM typically takes the form of programs that are tied to organizational objectives and are intended to lead to the achievement of specific outcomes such as shared intelligence, improved performance, competitive advantage, or higher levels of innovation. Knowledge management focuses on developing and maintaining intellectual capital across the organization. It attempts to bring under one set of practices various strands of thought and practice relating to: • Harnessing the effective use of data, information, and know-how in a knowledge-based organization and economy • The idea of the learning organization • Various enabling organizational practices such as communities of practice and corporate yellow page directories for accessing key personnel and expertise • Various enabling technologies such as knowledge bases and expert systems, help desks, corporate intranets and extranets, and content management systems (Wikipedia, 2007).

    Beginning in the 1990s, the person responsible for directing and coordinating these activities for organizations was oftentimes designated the chief knowledge office (CKO).

    Key Terms: Tacit Knowledge, Customer Capital, Explicit Knowledge, Knowledge Management, Human Capital, Business Intelligence (BI), Structural Capital, Intellectual Capital

    Richard T. Herschel: Chief Knowledge Officers. In: Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition, IGI Global, 2009: 527-531.

  • 3rd ed. 2015: There has been very little written in recent years about Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs). A Web search for the term can elicit a definition of the term and much less frequently, a job description at a particular organization…
    If Web search results are any indication, the viability and visibility of CKOs has diminished over time. Academic research about the concept seems passé and there appears to be little indication in surveying today’s literature that the concept is still promoted as an essential organizational component for sharing information and expanding intellectual capital.
    This seems unfortunate to me because there is now probably more need for a CKO than ever before. Today there are two critical issues that organizations must address: Big Data and business intelligence (BI). Big Data is a term that is used to describe the fact that the amount of data in our world has been exploding, and analyzing large data sets—so-called big data—will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus (McKinsey Global Institute, 2011). Business intelligence (BI) is an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and organizational performance (Gartner IT Glossary, 2013). With the rise of BI and Big Data, there are urgent and critical organizational needs for intellectual brainpower with honed analytical skills, swift decision-making capabilities, and effective and strategic data management. All of these activities are related to knowledge creation. As a result, the position of CKO only has to be recast in the context of BI to understand its utility and value for today’s organizations. To understand why this needs to be done, we should understand the relationship of BI and knowledge management and how the former contributes to the latter.

    Key Terms: Tacit Knowledge, Business Intelligence (BI), Data Mining, Intellectual Capital, Explicit Knowledge, Big Data, Knowledge Management

    Richard T. Herschel: Leadership for Big Data and Business Intelligence. In: Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Third Edition, IGI Global, 2015: 371-378.

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Google Books previews: 2009, 2015

Related articles:

  • Richard Herschel: Chief Knowledge Officers. International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 4 (2005): 173-177. | Purchase »
  • Richard T. Herschel & Hamid R. Nemati (2000): Chief knowledge officer: Critical success factors for knowledge management. Information Strategy: The Executive’s Journal, Volume 16, Issue 4, 2000: 37-45 | Read more »
  • Herschel, R., & Nemati, H. (2001). Chief knowledge officers: Managing knowledge for organizational effectiveness. In Y. Malhorta (Ed.), Knowledge management and business model innovation, (pp. 414-425). Idea Group Publishing | Purchase »
  • Nory B. Jones, Richard T. Herschel, Douglas D. Moesel, (2003) “Using “knowledge champions” to facilitate knowledge management“, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.49 – 63 | Purchase »

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