Irma Becerra, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author in the fields of Knowledge Management, Business Intelligence, and Entrepreneurship.
She is a thought leader, innovative educator, and community leader. Irma has a broad educational background that spans the fields of Engineering, IT, and business.
She took office as the seventh President of Marymount University in Arlington, Va., on July 1, 2018. Irma launched the University’s new Strategic Plan, “Momentum,” which will guide the University over the five-year period from 2019 to 2024. The plan calls for Marymount to achieve national and international recognition for innovation and commitment to student success, alumni achievement, and faculty and staff excellence.
A Cuban-born American, Irma immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was an infant, living in Puerto Rico through high school. Those formative experiences ignited her mind, imbuing her with a passion for knowledge along with a deep-seated belief that “no one can take away your education.” She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and went on to become the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Florida International University (FIU).
Prior to Marymount, she served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Fla., and spent three decades at FIU in a variety of positions that include Vice President, Vice Provost, Entrepreneurship Center Director, and tenured professor in Management Information Systems. She founded FIU’s Knowledge Management Lab and led major projects as principal investigator at the National Science Foundation, NASA (Headquarters, Kennedy, Ames, and Goddard Space Flight Centers) and the Air Force Research Lab. She was a Sloan Scholar at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research.
- Business Intelligence: Practices, Technologies, and Management with Rajiv Sabherwal
- Knowledge Management: Challenges, Solutions & Technologies with Rajiv Sabherwal and Avelino J. Gonzalez
- Knowledge Management: An Evolutionary View — Second Edition edited with Dorothy Leidner
- Knowledge Management: Systems and Processes in the AI Era— Third Edition with Rajiv Sabherwal and Richard Kumi
Table of Contents
- Introducing Knowledge Management
Part I: Principles of Knowledge Management
- The Nature of Knowledge
- Knowledge Management Foundations: Infrastructure, Mechanisms, and Technologies
- Knowledge Management Solutions: Processes and Systems
- Organizational Impacts of Knowledge Management
Part II: Knowledge Management Technologies and Systems
- Knowledge Application Systems: Systems that Utilize Knowledge
- Knowledge Capture Systems: Systems that Preserve and Formalize Knowledge
- Knowledge Sharing Systems: Systems that Organize and Distribute Knowledge
- Knowledge Discovery Systems: Systems that Create Knowledge
Part III: Management of Knowledge Management
- Factors Influencing Knowledge Management
- Leadership and Assessment of Knowledge Management
Part IV: Emergent Trends in Knowledge Management
- Knowledge Management through Cloud Computing
- Knowledge Management through Communities and Crowds
- Knowledge Management through Artificial Intelligence and other Emergent Technologies
- Knowledge Management during Global Crises
- The Future of Knowledge Management
The first reason is the motivation of individuals in the group to help each other. In this sense, people who may not know each other or may be geographically remote from each other are likely to share knowledge because they may have no other way to access that knowledge. Also, for those participating in the network there is an opportunity to gain recognition for their expertise and receive feedback on their ideas. Finally, many contribute from a sense of moral duty, public responsibility, and fairness.
The second reason people contribute is to build social capital with other members of the community, because participation in the network allows members to develop relations with others. Individuals with a strong identification with the ideals of the community are more likely to help each other in the network. Finally, those that receive most help are most likely to later help others in the network.
The third reason people share knowledge relates to the creation of a critical mass — a term borrowed from nuclear physics. The concept of critical mass refers to the notion that a certain level of participation has to exist in order to produce a public good. What is necessary in an online community is to have enough members resourceful enough to provide the public good to others.
A knowledge democracy in an organization cannot be achieved unless senior executives believe that people across the organization can offer the most valuable ideas to influence organizational strategy. This is why the best leaders must often serve as facilitators for their teams rather than focus on their own success. Effective KM leaders know that it’s less about getting credit and more about giving the credit to their teams.
It’s true that interesting challenges lie ahead for leaders — careful management of people and technologies, synthesis of multiple perspectives, and dealing with a variety of tradeoffs — yet the opportunities for those who seize the knowledge democracy are indeed exciting. Leaders may often be tempted to move their team to a specific solution, but the knowledge manager leader allows the team to come along on this path. As a result, the entire team will own the solution and feel part of the success that will follow.