MISM 611 Knowledge Management: Foundations and Case Studies




Knowledge, and not just technology or financing, holds the key to success in the global economy of the 21st century. This course focuses on the connection between knowledge and strategy, with a strong focus on practical applications of knowledge management (KM) in industry. KM involves people, information, workflows, best practices, alliances, and communities of practice.


This informative course will draw on successes – and failures – of KM practices from around the world, and provides students with a foundation for assessing KM initiatives.


Course contents


Drivers for KM practices in organizations around the world

KM framework based on the author’s “8Cs” framework

Strategies for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, startups and large organisations

Best practices from industries like IT, pharma, manufacturing

Technology assessment and vendor review

Knowledge mobilization via wireless technologies

Community dynamics and knowledge generation

Cultural issues of sharing, collaboration and incentivisation

Investment criteria, assessing and benchmarking KM practices

Knowledge networking on a global scale

Critical success factors for KM

Aligning knowledge and performance with strategy


What you will take away from this course


What is the scope and power of knowledge management

What are the theoretical and practical underpinnings of the global knowledge movement

What is the importance of tacit and explicit knowledge in organizational growth

What is the status of the KM movement in the Asia-Pacific

How to use the “8Cs” framework for KM: connectivity, content, community, commerce, capacity, culture, cooperation, capital

How to blend Web and wireless platforms with workflow for knowledge exchange

What content strategies can help glean knowledge from information repositories

How to create a community of trust and sharing for knowledge networking

What are current trends in knowledge leadership literature

How to build knowledge-focused capacity in R&D and marketing teams

How to audit and assess knowledge assets in an organisation

How has KM actually been practiced by market leaders and start-ups

What are the emerging frontiers of KM worldwide


About the Instructor


Dr. Madan Mohan Rao is a KM consultant and writer based in Bangalore. He is the editor of two book series: “The Asia-Pacific Internet Handbook” and “The Knowledge Management Chronicles,” and is also editor-at-large of DestinationKM.com. Madan was formerly the communications director at the United Nations Inter Press Service bureau in New York. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology at Bombay and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with an M.S. in computer science and a Ph.D. in communications. Madan is an adjunct faculty member at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore. He has given talks and lectures in over 60 countries around the world, and serves on the board of numerous startups and media firms in Asia.


Course Materials


 - Presentations made by the lecturer

 - Book 1: Leading with Knowledge, by Madanmohan Rao (Tata McGraw-Hill)

 - Book 2: Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques, by Madanmohan Rao (Elsevier India)



Course Outline


Table 1: Sessions, Dates, Topics, Reading material, Student activity


Session Date Topics Reading material Student Activity
1  Sep 9 Introduction to KM, disciplines, strategy Book 1, Ch. 1

Book 2, Ch. 1

Choose assignment topics
2 Oct 16 KM tools: Connectivity and Content Book 2: Ch. 22, 23, 25, 32 Class presentations
3 Oct 17 Communities of Practice Book 2: Ch. 9, Ch. 21 Class presentations
4 Oct 18 Student Presentations: Assignment 1 Book 1 Compare and contrast two case studies
5 Nov 20 Collaboration and Cooperation Book 2: Ch. 4, 27 Class presentations
6 Nov 21 Cultural foundations Book 2: Ch. 17, Ch 22, Class presentations
7 Dec 7 Sustaining and Measuring KM Book 2: Ch. 28, Ch. 31, Ch. 5, Ch. 10, Ch. 11 Class presentations
8 Dec 8 Student Presentations: Assignment 2   Peer review


Assignment 1:


Students will pick two case studies of KM practices from Book 1, and compare and contrast the two organisations, their KM strategy and outcomes. The current status of KM in the two organisations should also be assessed by print/online literature review. A 10-page report will be submitted.


Assignment 2:


Students should prepare a 20-page paper titled “Key Emerging Issues for Information Managers in KM Teams,” and identify three key themes, build examples of these themes in action from real-life case studies, and recommend solutions or approaches in each theme.


Class Presentations:


For each chapter of reading as described in Table 1, students will be divided into three categories: proponent, opponent, and futurist. The proponent will highlight the successes and positive impacts of the material in the chapter; the opponent will identify the drawbacks and shortcomings in the material; the futurist will describe three emerging  trends in this space and how they can be handled.




Attendance: 10%

Class presentations: 20%

Assignment 1: 30%

Assignment 2: 40%