How mature is Knowledge Management as an applied discipline, and how does this vary around the world?
The level of maturity of Knowledge Management was one of many variables measured in our global survey of Knowledge Management. It was measured in two ways - an estimate of the number of years that KM had been a focus, and a verbal description of maturity of KM within the organisation.
The diagram on the right shows the results for the verbal assessment.
We can see that Knowledge Management is most mature in India and Pakistan, USA and Canada, and Western Europe.
When you think about the MAKE award winners - Wipro, Infosys, Mindtree, NASA, Shell, Schlumberger, BP, Ford etc - this makes a lot of sense. Big companies from these three areas have led the development of KM from the start.
Lagging at the tail are Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and China. Here KM is largely in the early stages of application.
When we look at the average number of years spent doing Knowledge Management, as another proxy measure for the maturity of the topic (see table below), we see the same Top 4 as in the Figure above,. and the same bottom two. The order is not identical, but it is similar (South East Asia, for example, taking longer to fully embed KM).
Average number of years doing KM
|USA and Canada||7.8|
|South East Asia||6.5|
|India and Pakistan||5.9|
|Central and South America||5.5|
|N Africa and M East||4.7|
|Central and S Africa||3.7|
|Central Asia and China||3|
|Eastern Europe and Russia||1.5|
So what does this tell us?
It tells is that there is several KM heart-lands, with long experience and high maturity, in
- Western Europe
- South East Asia
It tells us that there are large regions where Knowledge Management has yet to have a real impact, such as China and Russia.
Whether China and Russia can adopt KM practices from the mature heartlands, or whether they need to develop their own, remains to be seen.