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Organizational Knowledge
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(January 30, 2019)


Towards the growing demand in today’s competitive market for consistent products meeting the requirements, organizations across the world are aiming to enhance customer satisfaction through effective demonstration of the adopted management system. The strategic decision to adopt the management system has been instrumental for a demonstration of its effectiveness. Organizational Knowledge plays a vital role in the achievement of the organization’s objectives. 


Organizations adopt and implement the management systems for demonstrating the ability to provide consistent products and services that meet the requirements.

Resources influence largely on the demonstration of the management system and its effectiveness. Organizational knowledge, as a part of the resources, is the knowledge specific to the organization which is necessary to plan, operate and achieve the planned results. The necessary knowledge for an organization should be determined and maintained in order to achieve the organization’s objectives. Understanding the significance of organizational knowledge and to emphasize the principle of “Engagement of People”, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has explicitly addressed ‘Organizational Knowledge” as a requirement in the current edition of ISO 9001: 2015 – Quality Management System Requirements (Reference to Clause Requirement 7.1.6).

In 7.1.6, this International Standard addresses the need to determine and manage the knowledge maintained by the organization, to ensure that it can achieve conformity of products and services. Requirements regarding organizational knowledge were introduced for the purpose of:

  1. Safeguarding the loss of knowledge, e.g.
  • Through staff turnover;
  • Failure to capture and share information
  1. Encouraging the organization to acquire knowledge, e.g.
  • Learning from experience
  • Mentoring
  • Benchmarking

(Courtesy: ISO 9001: 2015 – A.7)

Organizational knowledge can be based on internal or external sources. It is quite imperative to understand the organizational knowledge acquired through external sources from customers, external providers, academia, standards and conferences. Organizational knowledge through internal sources may be intellectual property, gained from experiences, lessons learnt from failures and successful projects, capturing and sharing undocumented knowledge and experiences, results of improvements in processes, products and services.

This article brings out the understanding of the organizational knowledge through internal sources with a prime focus on capturing and sharing undocumented knowledge and experiences. Many organizations adopt different methodologies which can be demonstrated for this requirement of organizational knowledge.

To understand the demonstration of conformance to the requirement on organizational knowledge based on capturing and sharing undocumented knowledge, this article uses a case study from ABC Company, a leading consultancy service provider. In ABC Company, as a part of demonstrating the principle of “engagement of People” and the capturing and sharing of undocumented knowledge; an initiative of Collective Knowledge Sharing (CKS) was started with a motive of sharing the gained knowledge through experiences. An electronic mail forum was initiated, which invites queries from consultants on different areas of interest to which the subject matter expertise (SMEs) provides answers with illustrations and case studies. A detailed log of queries is maintained as an archive for references.  All the Consultants are encouraged to raise queries, FAQs faced during their services, and as knowledge up- gradation process in this forum.



This forum helps the consultants to debate and get clarified on the areas of interests. It also calibrates the consultants on the subject areas with technical know-how. An overall of 22 debate sessions was completed with a detailed log of each raised query. This supports the consultant’s knowledge up-gradation, maintaining and improving the organizational knowledge.


 Consultants gain knowledge, self-calibrate with experts, and get benefited on up-gradation through this forum which captures and shares the undocumented knowledge in OMNEX. In addition to the CKS forum, ABC Company Management demonstrates the support for principles like “engagement of people” and “Leadership” by creating a “Social Group” among consultants for the sharing of technical knowledge gained through experiences.

These simple methods of capturing and sharing undocumented knowledge help the consultants in learning lessons through experiences, successful projects and failures observed during provision of services. Such friendly methods are easy for consultants to use frequently. With the management support on such methods challenges in competency development can be prevailed and improved. Initiations like these are examples which support the demonstration of Organizational Knowledge as a part of the effective management systems. These knowledge-sharing forums provide a practical approach to demonstrate and maintain the necessary Organizational Knowledge.



Initiations like these, are examples which support the demonstration of Organizational Knowledge as a part of the effective management systems. These knowledge-sharing forums provide a practical approach to demonstrate and maintain the necessary Organizational Knowledge. Requirements regarding organizational knowledge were introduced for the purpose of safeguarding the organization from loss of knowledge  and encouraging the organization to acquire knowledge


About the Author

   Praburam Seshadri is a Principal Consultant &Technical Head Omnex India Pvt. Ltd.