Knowledge Management

Beyene, F. (Fekadu)

Learning Object

Investment in agricultural education, research and extension in Africa are crucial in generating knowledge to achieve the critical objectives of ensuring food safety and conserving the environment thereby reducing poverty and enhancing social and economic development. To realize these objectives, there is a need to learn how to learn and act which makes investing in knowledge management a crucial move. Therefore, one can simply raise the question “what are the steps involved in the generation of knowledge?” We can start from making a distinction among data, information and knowledge. Knowledge necessarily implies a process of assimilation and transformation by the human mind. A data base can contain information - that is, organized data - but for this data to become knowledge, it must be appropriated and confronted by reality. Availability of data does not necessarily mean there is information. Data can be converted into information if we are able to observe relationships. What makes a collection of data information is the understanding of the relationships between the pieces of data. While data are contextually interpreted, they do not tell how current information is going to change or be applicable in the future. By the end of this chapter, students are able to make distinctions among data, information and knowledge as well as indicate how tacit and explicit knowledge are interrelated and differ.

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