Models of Knowledge Management - Knowledge Management

What are the different models of Knowledge management cycle?

The information pertaining to an organization, when renovated into knowledge, the renovation process is known as Knowledge management cycle. Knowledge management cycle includes all the different activities such as capture of the information, the manner in which information is processed and the different ways of distribution.

A number of knowledge management cycle models are existing and out of which there are four major models which are in high demand and most widely used. They are explained below.

Bukowitz & Williams

Zack Knowledge Management Model

This model is mainly extracted from the process of designing and development of the products related to the information. Under this approach, a logical and standardized network is designed between each of the stages.

The development stages of the stock of the knowledge is being analyzed and mapped with the different stages of knowledge management cycle.

The different stages are acquisition, refinement, storage, distribution and use of the knowledge. This cycle can also be termed as “refinery”.

Acquisition of Data or Information

This stage includes the different origins of the raw materials such as scope, breadth, depth, credibility, accuracy, timeliness, relevance, cost, control, and exclusivity.

It follows and works on the principle that the highest quality source data is undertaken or considered or else the products are lowered, which turns out to be downstream intellectually.


The knowledge refinement is physical, in the sense that it migrates from one medium to another or the refinement may also be logical which may be restructuring, relabeling, indexing or integrating.

Zack Model

The process of clean up such as sanitizing the content and the process of standardization such as conforming to the templates and practices of the best practices and implementing the lessons learned also constitute refinement.

The knowledge is created in readable format and the content is stored for future use and thus value is created to the knowledge.

Storage / Retrieval

Storage of the information can be done physically like in the folders, printed information etc. The information can also be stored digitally in the form of databases, knowledge management software etc. Retrieval constitutes the bridge between the refinement stages and the downstream stages of generation of the knowledge.


The process by which the product is delivered to the end-user is known as distribution, the product can be delivered in many ways like by using fax, print or email. This stage also ensures timely and frequency of the distribution.


During this stage of presentation, context is essential. At this stage, all the above steps are evaluated for its value-addition. For instance, this stage evaluates whether the user have enough of the context for us of this content. The failure of which is considered as the failure in value delivery to the individual and to the company.

To safeguard against the elimination, this stage also involves in renewing the repository and refinery.

The complete and exhausted image of all the key elements that are being engaged in the knowledge management model is provided by this is Meyer and Zack model. One of the most crucial stages is the refinement stage, but which is quite often neglected.

Bukowitz & Williams Model

This model explains the process by which the stock of the knowledge is being generated, maintained and expanded by the organizations with an aim to create value.

The term knowledge under this model comprises of the repository of knowledge, relationships, information technologies, the process know-how, environmental responsiveness, organizational intelligence and some of the external sources.

Bukowitz Williams Model

This model has several stages. The stages under this model are aimed towards matching of the intellectual capital to the strategic needs of the business. The different stages under this model are -

  • Get Stage – This is the first stage, under which the required information is procured which helps in decision-making, problem-solving and introducing innovations.
  • Use Stage – Under this stage, the information is combined into new and different ways making it more interesting thus enabling the innovations in the organizations. Individuals are more concentrated at this stage than groups.
  • The Learn Stage – At this stage, competitive advantage is being created by implementing the learning from the experiences. The state of ideas application is transformed into generation of new ideas by the learning and thus proves to be important.
  • The Contribute Stage – This stage encourages the employees to share their learning’s into a common knowledge base. This is the best way in which the knowledge of an individual can be made visible and available to the complete organization, as and when required.

McElroy Model

The process of knowledge production and knowledge integration is explained under this model. This process is explained by using some of the feedback loops with respect to the organizational memory, beliefs, and the business-processing environment claims.

  • In case of detection of any knowledge gap, more details about this gap such as the nature of the gap is learnt by problem claim formulation.
  • The problem claims that are being approved, are being responded by the knowledge claim formulation by acquisition of the information from the learnings of the individual and groups.
  • The knowledge claim evaluation process facilitates in testing and examination of the new knowledge claims.
  • The knowledge claims that already exist can be integrates as new organizational knowledge claims by testing and examining the new claims.

When the knowledge is applied into the organizational knowledge base, some experience is gained which results into developing new claims and beliefs are resulted and the cycle starts to begin again.

Individual and group learning constitute the primary processes in the production of knowledge. The process involves formulation of the knowledge claim, acquisition of information, knowledge claim being codified and evaluation of the knowledge claim.

Mcelroy Model

The processes involved in the knowledge production are as follows -

  • The first step is the individual and group learning
  • Knowledge claim is being validated by codification.
  • The individual and group innovations are codified by a formalized procedure.
  • When the knowledge claims or the information that is produced by others is acquired by an organization, it is known as information addition. This is very helpful in formulating new knowledge claims in the organization.

When the new knowledge claims are being announced and made available to the operations and when the old ones are discarded, it is known as knowledge integration. Different types of knowledge transmission like teaching, sharing of the knowledge and other social activities all together accommodate a new knowledge.

This model clearly describes about the examination of knowledge and the decision regarding the inclusion of the knowledge into the memory of the organization. Knowledge management is differentiated from document management by the authorization of knowledge. The main aim of the knowledge management cycle is to identify the knowledge content which adds value to the employees and the organization as a whole.

WIIG Model

According to this model, a business can be conducted successfully under some of the following conditions -

  • Business with relation to wither products or services and the customers is a must.
  • Resources such as people, budget and facilities need to be present.
  • Strength to take up the actions need to be present.

The organization is turned out as an intelligent actor by this model, by facilitating with the creation, gathering, uses the knowledge. This model of life cycle proves that knowledge can be created and used by the individuals and by the organizations.

This model is constituted of four different steps, which is depicted below -

Wiig Model

  • Building knowledge – Knowledge is gathered from both external and internal sources
  • Holding knowledge – Knowledge is being stored in a particular form.
  • Pooling knowledge – Knowledge is pooled from different management portals and through intranets
  • Applying knowledge – Knowledge is applied in the process of work.

What is Integrated Cycle of Knowledge Management?

The integrated cycle of knowledge management strategy can be started and implemented in the organization by three different stages. They are -

  • Knowledge capture and/or creation
  • Knowledge sharing and dissemination
  • Knowledge acquisition and application

Integrated KM Cycle

Knowledge Capture – The existing internal knowledge that was earlier left unnoticed is being identified and codified. The external environment of the knowledge is also identified.

Knowledge Creation – New knowledge and new innovations that was not present earlier is created.

Once the content that is newly created is sufficient, then content is contextualized. This can be done by connecting the knowledge with those who have the knowledge about the content.

Contextualization –All the key elements of the content are being identified such that content can be made available to different users. When the new content is firmly and precisely exhausted into the processes of the business, the concept of contextualization is said to be completed.

As the content is made available for the users, the knowledge management cycle is rechecked.

The extent to which the content is useful is updated by the users and the users also update when the content turns out to be outdated or when the content is no more applicable.

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