Connecting information with innovation

How are knowledge and information management roles and responsibilities changing? The latest research from TFPL reveals new trends in role design and skills requirements.

Page 1 of 2 next >>

In 2006, TFPL published the results of research on emerging information roles in the digital environment.

One of the outcomes was the identification of knowledge and information management (KIM) as a single discipline that would unify and replace information management (IM) and knowledge management (KM).  A second outcome of the research was the development of an Information Responsibilities Framework.  We modified this Framework for our 2011 survey, in which we revisited the issue of roles.

Information roles, skills and career development

With our 2011 survey, we set out to explore what is happening with information roles and skills and to identify trends and opportunities to help employers and employees understand the KIM responsibilities required in organisations.   We also wanted to test the continuing relevance of the Information Responsibilities Framework.

The 2011 survey was a web based questionnaire which TFPL Connect  members and other communities were invited to complete. 220 usable replies were received from a range of organisations with over 50% claiming global reach.  About 35% were from the public sector and 45% from the private sector. Approximately 80% of respondents were from senior management and out of those approximately 15% were from non-KIM roles.

Headline conclusions

  • Assigning KIM responsibilities is now increasingly driven by organisational policy on innovation and investment suggesting that KIM is regarded as an essential rather than discretionary business function.
  • In most organisations, KIM is clearly associated with KIM specialists and there is little recognition of KIM responsibilities inherent in other roles. Indeed, many KIM specialists do not acknowledge other roles contributing to the KIM arena.
  • Functions such as Research, Competitive Intelligence and Information Technology do not align themselves with KIM. In the same way individuals coming from non-KIM backgrounds do not identify with a KIM specialist community.
  • There are clear signs that core KIM disciplines such as information management, records management, library and information services, business analysis, and knowledge management, are coming together and in some cases merging.
  • The model for assigned KIM responsibilities has evolved towards a dispersed model with central support so, while there is a dispersal of KIM practitioners throughout organisations, centralised KIM teams still have a place in the evolving organisation.
  • In spite of rumours to the contrary, KIM headcount is remarkable stable and shows no significant decrease over the last five years.

Page 1 of 2 next >>