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Fullfilling the Promise of Knowledge Management: Implementing KM Initiatives throughout the Organization

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Businesses today operate in an environment characterized by change, complexity, uncertainty, and anxiety (Friedman 2005). All employees in all industries must be empowered to achieve optimal performance through effective actions, decisions, and problem solving (Figallo and Rhine 2002). No industry is more typical of this than the wastewater industry. And the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) faces the same challenges common to all wastewater utilities: losing knowledgeable staff, renovating and replacing aging facilities, sustaining compliance, and constraining rate increases. DWSD management has recognized knowledge management (KM) as a key business strategy to help address these challenges, and has proactively focused resources to take KM throughout the organization, from management and first-line supervisors to field operations and maintenance staff.

This presentation is intended to help wastewater utility managers understand the means and solutions of knowledge management that can be used to better meet demands with current resources. It will present how DWSD is empowering employees with the capability to learn new roles and responsibilities, find what they need, when they need it, and to be assured that what they find is accurate and current.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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