In the post-pandemic era, knowledge is a driver of a more cohesive work environment as we face the post-pandemic recovery. The origin of knowledge was probably created by Peter Senge at the Academy of Management around 1997. Senge, in his Harvard Business Review article “Communities of leaders and learners,” highlighted the importance of learning. Shortly after Senge, Peter Drucker, in his The Futurist article “The future that has already happened,” made a comment that reverberated among practitioners. Drucker posited, “the productivity of knowledge and knowledge workers will not be the only competitive factor in the world economy. It is, however, likely to become the decisive factor, at least for most industries in the developed countries.” While the origin is genuinely unknown, we feel these two prominent scholars created a snowball effect (i.e., The Learning Organization coupled with the knowledge worker), which created what we call knowledge management today.
1. After the Pandemic Comes the New Definition of Knowledge Management as Usual
Now in the post-pandemic era, we need a more comprehensive definition of knowledge management both scholars and practitioners can agree upon because knowledge management is a multidisciplinary discipline. The next section attempts to conceptualize the two viewpoints of knowledge management to present a more comprehensive definition for knowledge management in a post-pandemic recovery. We may need a more modernized, clear understanding of the concept of knowledge management which synthesizes and extrapolates prior definitions of knowledge management. Our goal is to present a pertinent definition that can help companies prosper with innovative and creative solutions to current and future problems which may arise.
While knowledge management is progressive and all-inclusive, it has incorporated the very fiber of organizations today, and this can be found in an organization’s information technology. The technological perspective represents a vital part of knowledge management as an organizing organizational communication. In this perspective, information technology plays a crucial role in an organization’s connections across the organization chart. It is vital for sharing knowledge, creating memory, and disseminating information as a central component to the effectiveness and usefulness of knowledge management.
Everyone would agree the post-pandemic recovery is a process. With any process, finding the best way to manage new knowledge to facilitate day-to-day operations from the office coupled with remote locations has been key to organizational success. The process perspective of knowledge management applies to the practice of operational risk management and how it is managed. Embodying new knowledge into day-to-day operations has always been pertinent to success. When the pandemic first began, disseminating the knowledge effectively was immediately improved upon so that the use of knowledge could be directly applied to the operational process. Using knowledge quickly, adequately, and appropriately can lead to resilience and protects organizations from an operations-risk-management perspective.
Based on these two perspectives, we provide a comprehensive definition of knowledge management:
“Knowledge management is an ongoing effort to improve organizational communication, build stronger technological and electronic networks, to constantly update and replenish knowledge as it exists in real-time, and to disseminate the most recent knowledge to the right people at the right time so that knowledge encourages individuals, stakeholders, and organizations to strive to continuously improve.”
Corporate strategy and information technology may be appropriate for building more innovative and knowledge-based workplaces as organizations recover from the COVID-19 business constraints. However, many executives may understand the importance of corporate strategy and information technology, but only in a tacit manner. We found the C-suite executives who placed a strong precedence on these two facets, corporate strategy, and information technology, have a better handle on the post-pandemic recovery. The reason is that these executives, increase knowledge management performance and business success in a post-pandemic recover by aligning corporate strategy and information technology. There is an interesting interaction between strategy, information technology, knowledge management, and the post-pandemic recovery within organizations which are worth exemplifying so other organizations can learn how to implement these tenets. The post-pandemic recovery is a widely researched and acknowledged concern of executives worldwide and by integrating strategy, technology, and knowledge management builds a cohesive organization.
2. Corporate Strategy
Corporate strategy, a precursor to business success, has been the primary focus of business leaders across the globe in a post-pandemic recovery. Organizational strategy created a learning environment that is critical to the organizational success. Corporate strategy is an enabler for knowledge management, but how to manifest this resource has been the focal point since the pandemic. With a strong reliance on supply chain management and unique ways to communicate with each other, employees, and customers, executives embraced a resilient corporate strategy.
Strategic supply chain management keeps the communication open and provides a sense of equity, job-satisfaction, and this viable supply chain meets customer and client needs.
Executives are combining strategic supply chain management and knowledge management to provide a frank appellation of corporate strategy. There are many facets of corporate strategic management, and one of the goals of each executive is to select the strategic supply chain management strategy that works best for their organizational perspective.
Many organizations survived the pandemic, but those that did reinvented operational risk management and embraced an effective supply chain to promote resilience. By doing so, executives managed to circumvent business relationships with clients and customers during quarantine and as we recovered. A cadre of strategic supply chain management professionals credentialed in this area have risen on the organizational chart.
3. Information Technology
The post-pandemic recovery is tantamount to the use of information technology and the electronic meeting software that is used for business success. Information technology facilitates knowledge management through three key events: impersonal, personal, and collective mechanisms. Each one has transpired during the pandemic and now are vital in the post-pandemic recovery.
Regulations, procedures, manuals, and protocols emerged through impersonal mechanisms. Information technology and the technical expertise employed in organizations have disseminated protocols across organizations and businesses. Unfortunately, we must mention there are some failing organizations that found it hard to navigate the pandemic due to collective mechanisms not available to them.
During the post-pandemic, personal mechanisms have enfolded relating to communication technology that shared knowledge in electronic meetings to help many organizations survive. This was due to the vast array of collective mechanisms in organizations today which use information technology to synthesize knowledge in remote locations.
Leaders of information technology have transformed operations management. Executives embraced a technology management perspective with the resolve to survive. They leaned on, or acquired, the necessary talent and survived the pandemic.
The importance of social capital and building camaraderie online and in virtual meetings helped organizations prosper in both an impersonal and personal way. Information technology helped develop the social capital that enhances knowledge creation and knowledge sharing to not only stipulate knowledge creation ideas but also disseminate knowledge throughout the organization. Information technology improved knowledge integration by applying knowledge sharing to create, maintain, and build a competitive advantage.
This article highlights the new corporate mindset. Survival is key to success, along with equity and employee satisfaction. Since knowledge management is so crucial for the post-pandemic recovery as organizations foster resilience, by embracing knowledge management as a corporate contingency, organizations become more resilient.
The post-pandemic recovery is still vibrant, and executives will continue to succeed with the viable compilation of corporate strategy and information technology. Leaders now need to continue to foster effective business strategies and develop technological infrastructure.
This is not a time to let our guards down as leaders of the corporate world. We must embrace the post-pandemic recovery and build solid strategic and technological platforms to improve knowledge management initiatives and keep employees satisfied, equitable, and engaged.