HR should act to end the perception that it has failed to rise to the knowledge management challenge.
That is the message of research revealed exclusively to Personnel Today this week on creating a knowledge management culture.
The report by management development institute Roffey Park found in many organisations it is business or IT teams rather than HR that have taken the lead in developing strategy.
The result, according to report author Christina Evans, is that cultural aspects are too often overlooked.
Evans said, “It is about saying to HR staff that they need to get on and identify their existing practices where they can put a knowledge management spin on things, such as inductions.
“Doing this gives credibility to HR within the business. It can be done. It is about getting the focus and making sure it links in with everything and is not just an adjunct.
“In many organisations they have been proactive but there has been criticism that they have failed to take the lead.”
Evans added that having a main board director to provide leadership and champion the cause of knowledge management within the organisation is critical to success.
There should also be a bottom-up approach to ensure “buy in” at every level.
Evans added, “The challenge for organisations is to create the cultural conditions within which knowledge is valued and shared voluntarily among all groups of employees.”
Sally Hulks, head of HR at KPMG, said her team had been working to integrate HR and knowledge management for two years. “I think HR has hung back from taking the lead on knowledge management. It is not an unreasonable criticism,” she said.
“In a lot of organisations it has become a bit of an IT specialism and HR needs to reclaim it.