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Knowledge Management Thomas J. Froehlich, Ph.D. Program Director, IAKM Professor, SLIS.

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Presentation on theme: "Knowledge Management Thomas J. Froehlich, Ph.D. Program Director, IAKM Professor, SLIS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowledge Management Thomas J. Froehlich, Ph.D. Program Director, IAKM Professor, SLIS

2 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 2 Knowledge Management Problem 30 years of organizational knowledge, retired.

3 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 3 Lack of KM Costs Money Failure to retain tacit knowledge of employees costs money: The so-called discontinuity of knowledge in organizations occurs when experienced knowledge workers move from one position to another, including retirement, without having techniques or facilities to transfer their tacit knowledge to co-workers. For every knowledge worker with an $80,000 salary: – $6,000 is wasted on time spent on failed searches – $12,000 is wasted in recreating information that already exists

4 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 4 Aspects include: planning, capturing, organizing, interconnecting and providing access to organizational intellectual capital through intellectual and information technologies such as knowledge organization, the creation of metadata, or software development (e.g., data mining) directing or supervising such assets and those that are involved in these processes.

5 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 5 Among other things, KM involves: The conversion of the tacit knowledge of organizations into articulated knowledge The capture of knowledge-how, procedural knowledge, in addition to factual knowledge The recovery of knowledge lost in complex and diverse systems The exploitation of environmental knowledge for competitive intelligence The coordination and integration of information systems, activities and environments The Delphi Group defines KM as the leveraging of collective wisdom to increase responsiveness and innovation. (The Delphi Group, The Language of Knowledge, accessed 11/13/03.) We will look at some of these aspects shortly

6 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 6 Approaches to Knowledge Management There are many approaches to KM -- just a brief look at the web will disclose that several disciplines have laid claims to or appropriated the phrase, Knowledge Management: – Library and Information Science – Schools of Business The former two are the more dominant disciplines, but there are others: – Schools of Public Policy (e.g., George Mason University) – While Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication have yet to create a degree, there is considerable interest in news media organizations for KM options There tends to be a bifurcation in the approach, depending on the college or university: – Knowledge Management –emphasis on the capture and organization of resources – Knowledge Management -- emphasis on management (of people and resources) While the IAKM program is trying to avoid this bifurcation, it is important to discuss these dimensions

7 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 7 Knowledge Management Forum: Views of Knowledge Management KM consists of activities focused on the organization gaining knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of others, and the judicious application of that knowledge to fulfill the mission of the organization. These activities are executed by marrying technology, organizational structures, and cognitive based strategies to raise the yield of existing knowledge and produce new knowledge. Critical in this endeavor is the enhancement of the cognitive system (organization, human, computer, or joint human- computer system) in acquiring, storing and utilizing knowledge for learning, problem solving, and decision making. (R. Gregory Wenig) from the KM_Forum:

8 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 8 Knowledge Management Forum: Views of Knowledge Management The management process of: ensuring that the organisations knowledge needs are met; and exploiting the organisations existing knowledge assets. Organisations suffer from specific characteristic problems associated with knowledge: – knowledge bottleneck: a particular skill or expertise is in short supply causing a bottleneck that restricts the operations that compete for that supply; – corporate amnesia: organisations fail to retain knowledge acquired and lessons learned in the past. The people who had the knowledge leave and no retrievable record remains; – sub-optimal decision-making: the best knowledge available fails to be applied correctly leading to sub-optimal decision-making; – wasted resources: since the organisation does not really know what knowledge resources it has it fails to capitalise on potential new initiatives. (Robert Taylor) KM_Forum:

9 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 9 Challenges to Knowledge Management Part of the reason for variations in approaches may be due to the fact that we do not have a shared understanding of knowledge, particularly in an organizational context. Some have argued that we need to have precise definitions of knowledge, information, etc. in order to proceed in the field. The word information is less problematic in these contexts, for while we might characterize information as meaningful units of data, one is never sure how and when individuals turn information into knowledge, or that what one is putting into a database is knowledge.

10 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 10 Challenges to Knowledge Management One approach has claimed that Knowledge is information that is contextual, relevant, and actionable.* Knowledge facilitates decision-making and subsequent action. It is not clear how this helps providing a clear understanding of what knowledge is. Knowledge is based on context, content and intent -- and while we can capture content and to some degree context, intent is elusive. A post-modern, non-Cartesian approach would be to assert that such definitions are not required and would not advance the work in Knowledge Management – In effect, we do not need perfect definitions of knowledge or information, only what kind of knowledge or information is required to advance the purposes of the organization. *[Decision Support Systems and Intelligent Systems, Efraim Turban and Jay E. Aronson, 6th edition, 2001, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, p. 388]

11 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 11 Challenges to KM Rather than a definition of knowledge, one seeks to: Identify the information/knowledge needs of the organization Identify gaps in knowledge and latent or tacit knowledge Identify expertise Create strategies and policies to deal with these Strive to integrate processes and systems

12 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 12 Challenges to Knowledge Management In addition, there are many contexts for KM: can KM be abstracted from any context? Does it have a set of general principles that would apply to any context? The IAKM program asserts that while there maybe specializations within KM (medical knowledge management, government knowledge management – cf. etc.), there are general principles of knowledge management

13 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 13 IRM Concepts Some think that KM is something completely innovative. Many of the key ideas are prefigured in Information Resources Management (IRM) Even though IRM did not manage to become a pervasive strategy in many organizations, its influence was fairly broad and its ideas provided a framework for KM In many organizations, information resources are dispersed, fragmented, and decentralized. One of the objectives of IRM was to bring these resources under comprehensive inventory and control so as to eliminate costly redundancies, inconsistencies and incompatibilities of the various sources, resources and flow of information

14 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 14 IRM Concepts Melanie Norton (in Introductory Concepts in Information Science. ASIS Monography Series. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2000, using the work of D. Marchand) articulates key ideas: Information is a critical organizational resource that must be defined and measured within the organization's various management systems. Information can not be considered a free good with the cost of information-handling technologies and systems buried in overhead or other direct and indirect cost accounts. Information users must be accountable for the effective and efficient management of information for which they serve as caretakers, including production, acquisition, storage, retrieval, use, and disposition of information. Information resource needs must be integrally linked with basic organizational management processes such as planning and management control

15 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 15 IRM Concepts Information technologies must be integrated and managed together as a management whole, avoiding incompatibility barriers in information processing and sharing. Information is a resource that has a life cycle. It is acquired or produced, stored, and used. And, at some point, it becomes invalid, obsolete, or outdated, and must be disposed of. Attention in the organization should be shifted from technology to the content of information. Those in the organization must know how to ask the right questions and know when the technology produces the right answers. Marchand and Kresslein (1988) add that this clearly means maximizing the quality, use, and value of information and knowledge in the organization.

16 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 16 Objectives of IRM 4 : to establish an environment where information flows into corporate decisions to establish and practice techniques that compare the cost of creating or collecting information with the projected benefits derived from its use. to effect changes in attitudes, policies, and practices so that information comes to be viewed as a major asset in doing the business of the enterprise and in managing it. to analyze requirements before acquiring information technologies rather than the reverse. to legitimatize the role of the information manager, (e.g., in challenging line and staff managers on their IRM practices.)

17 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 17 Objectives of IRM 4 : to make users responsible for their information production activities by including them in systems design and other decisions by charging them for various services and by making them accountable for staff facilities and other resources needed to produce information. to identify research and development (R & D) opportunities both on- sight and off-sight aimed at improving ways in which information resources can be applied to corporate decisions and problems. to fix accountability for the efficient and effective acquisition and utilization of information resources as well as disposal of excess resources by designated employees throughout the organization. to make consideration of corporate information needs routine in doing business such as in making decisions about marketing strategies, plant locations, new sales offices, and consumer surveys. ( 4 from Karen B. Levitan, "Information Resources Management," Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST), vol. 17, 1982, p )

18 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 18 KM: New Dimensions beyond IRM The environment has changed, contributing to the emergence and evolution of KM: Change has accelerated, along with the emergence and growth of networked organizations, and revolution in information technologies The marketplace has become global, increasing competition and leading to better quality and more efficient means of production; there is increased information about companies, competitors, customers, materials and processes; and there is a need for greater accountability among stakeholders such as managers and customers This environment has fostered such developments as total quality management, benchmarking, best practices, strategic planning, organizational learning, all of which have some relationship or is constitutive of KM. KM entails not only value-added information, but fosters information for decision-making (especially for competitive advantage) and fosters knowledge creation, sharing and re-use. The only sustainable advantage a firm has comes from what it collectively knows, how efficiently it uses what it knows, and how readily it acquires and uses new knowledge. Davenport and Prusak (1998).

19 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 19 Distinctive Aspects to KM: Intellectual Capital The focus on intellectual capital/assets (also called invisible assets) of an organization: Intellectual capital is composed of the intangible assets of an organization, such as including employee knowledge, corporate memory, intellectual property, and research. A study at Columbia University estimated that spending on intangible assets like research and development and employee education results in a return eight times greater than an equal investment in new plants and equipment. The latter lead to revolutionary advances in the organization. Source: Accessed September 1, While there is little difference between corporate intellectual assets and corporate memory, the former tends to suggest information in explicit form whereas the latter does not. The latter involves a capitalization of know-how that is typically dispersed in organizations and KM serves to integrate and make explicit this corporate know-how.

20 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 20 Intellectual Capital KM Quick, A KM Tool for Government Practitioners (http: accessed 10/1/02 ) defines IC in the following way (providing one of the broadest approaches) Intellectual Capital: Includes all of the knowledge resources of an organization, including human capital, social capital, customer capital, and organizational/ structural/enterprise capital Human Capital: The individual and collective capabilities of the employees of the organization, including their knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies, education, know-how and experience. – While previously the predominant view was to consider employees as costs, today employees are more frequently viewed as assets. The newer trend is to view employees as investors. – Increasingly, employees capacity for learning and their abilities to be creative and innovative are highly valued assets. Social Capital: The informal networks, relationships, trust, and shared understanding between individuals in organizations. Social capital is manifested in the structure of relationships between employees as they interact in the organization. In addition to interactions across the networks built on relationships, social capital also takes into account all the aspects of language (culture, context, etc.) and patterning (sequence, amount, timing, etc., of exchange).

21 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 21 Intellectual Capital Structural/Enterprise Capital: Everything that is left when the employees go home. Includes property, patents, copyrights, business processes, systems, codified policies and procedures, etc. Also includes relationships with stakeholders. Often, organizations have highly developed structural capital that uniquely enhances their efficiencies and effectiveness. Customer Capital: The quality of the interaction and the relationship between the organization and the customers that enables the organization to effectively serve the customers. – External capital is measured by criteria such as the efficiency of product or service delivery and the satisfaction and loyalty of the customer. – Interaction with customers is increasingly virtual and is evolving to enable self-service and a collaborative relationship. These four capitals, comprising intellectual capital, refer to a value not usually reflected in accounting systems, but many say it should be.

22 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 22 Mapping IC and KM terms ( Intellectual CapitalKM Terminology Human Capital = Tacit Knowledge Social Capital = Social Knowledge Customer Capital = Customer Knowledge Structural/Enterprise Capital =Explicit Knowledge

23 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 23 Distinctive Aspects to KM One of the leading KM theorists and practitioners, Rudy Ruggles, designates the following as integral activities of KM: Generating new knowledge Accessing valuable knowledge from outside sources Using accessible knowledge in decision making Embedding knowledge in processes, products and/or services Facilitating knowledge growth through culture and incentives Transferring existing knowledge into other parts of the organization Measuring the value of knowledge assets and/or the impact of knowledge management Source: Gotcha: What is Knowledge Management? e/about_km.html. Accessed 9/15/02 e/about_km.html

24 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 24 KM: Management of Knowledge and/or Knowledge of Management? KM predominates among business management professionals and information management professionals. In fact, if one emphasizes the word knowledge in KM, one tends to focus on information activities (the processes and content of knowledge, whether data, processes or procedures). Here KM is seen as M of K, management of knowledge. This viewpoint tends to be espoused by those trained as information professionals. If one emphasizes on the word, management in KM, one tends to think of those who manage such operations, who direct the creation of intellectual capital and those who work towards those ends. We might say that this entails knowledge of management (K of M) in the sense of directing operations that manage resources and people. This viewpoint is espoused by those who educate and train business management professionals

25 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 25 KM: Management of Knowledge and/or Knowledge of Management? While I am playing on the phrase, KM, with readings of K of M or M of K, to emphasize different aspects, these aspects are interrelated: the management of people and management of knowledge, form a dynamic relationship Yet the way it is playing out in American academic institutions, it seems that two streams of professionals are being created – one in schools of library and information science and one in school of business. As noted earlier, the IAKM program is trying to avoid this bifurcation, while supporting diversity in the production of knowledge workers. In effect students should get equal doses of K of M and M of K.

26 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 26 Management of Knowledge (K of M) Those who manage knowledge must have some level of understanding in: knowledge organization, classification, storage, retrieval, indexing (including metadata and thesaurus development), labeling, terminology, intellectually connecting, document mark-up, systems for interconnected documents (SGML, RDF, concept maps, etc). That is to say, they must have a solid dose of information literacy skills and a good dose of librarian and computer skills. They must not only store but also retrieve the various knowledges that constitute the intellectual capital of an organization and any information that facilitates decision-making for the organization. This may involve accessing commercial information services (e.g., Dialog), digitizing information, building databases, web portals (intranet, extranet), digital libraries, content management systems, and information architecture for the collection, storage, access and dissemination of information.

27 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 27 KM: Focus on Information (M of K) From an information viewpoint, there are at least five aspects that create, develop and maintain information as intellectual capital: The exploitation of latent knowledge in an organization The importance of knowledge how rather than knowledge about. The roles and transitions of tacit to explicit knowledge in the knowing organization The role of cultural knowledge The development of information practices to address competitive intelligence, business intelligence and/or social intelligence, when appropriate for the knowing organization or intelligent organization The creation, tapping and monitoring communities of practice, so as to uncover and disseminate best practices

28 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 28 Latent Knowledge While in KM literature, there is only made a distinction between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge, there is the need (in my view) to distinguish at least three forms of non-explicit knowledge: latent knowledge, tacit knowledge and implicit knowledge. At the moment, we focus on latent knowledge: There may be much latent knowledge, not in the sense that information must be interpreted (potential knowledge), but in the sense that there is knowledge that is lost or unrealized in explicit data and information resources. Because of the increasing complexity and diversity of information systems and sources, knowledge often gets lost. Techniques must be employed to prevent such loses. Furthermore, existing resources must be exploited so that new knowledge can be extracted from the formal data stores, through connecting, cross- interrogation, interleaving, manipulation, mining or other processes, typically using a combination of intellectual and computer technologies.

29 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 29 Latent Knowledge Latent knowledge can be achieved through data mining (e.g., through use of computer algorithms and statistics to find find meaningful patterns in data) or in content mining (e.g. though the use of metatags – document indexing terms, XML and RDF to extract or connect meaningful chunks of information) Latent knowledge, implicit and tacit knowledge are different. Latent knowledge is potential knowledge, not the presupposed background of explicit knowledge (implicit knowledge), and not as employees specialized know-how related to their job (tacit knowledge) but knowledge gained by extracting or linking or mapping information stores, i.e. by extracting explicit knowledge from explicit knowledge (data in various respositories).

30 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 30 Knowledge About versus Knowledge How Taking another framework, there are two kinds of knowledge common in organizations: knowledge about and knowledge how. Knowledge about is explicit knowledge such as payroll, inventories, and trends analysis. Knowledge how, procedural knowledge, is knowledge about how to do something, how to find knowledge, to extract knowledge from the existing stores, to find expertise in the organization, etc. Such procedural knowledge is often difficult to represent in documents, and yet critical in creating or transforming knowledge. For example, the use of metadata, data about data, such as the labeling of key terms, often supply the means by which knowledge may be elicited by procedural means – e.g., a person is labeled with a particular form of expertise A good KM system must facilitate access of sources to know-how, whether in files or in the expertise of an employee. This knowledge is often tacit.

31 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 31 Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge There is also tacit or unformalized knowledge and articulated or formal knowledge in organizations. KM practitioners and theorists trace the notion of tacit knowledge to the work of Michael Polyani (The Tacit Dimension. London, Routledge Kegan Paul, 1966). For him, tacit knowledge was personal knowledge derived from individual experience, drawing on such intangible things as beliefs, clues, hunches, instinct, values and perspective, implying an intimate connection between knowledge and action Tacit knowledge is the intimate know-how of the experienced employee. It is the knowledge taken for granted until the employee departs the organization. Such tacit information disappears with the employee unless it is captured and recorded. Chun Wei Choo defines tacit knowledge as the implicit knowledge used by organizational members to perform their work skillfully. (Chun Wei Choo, Information Management for the Intelligent Organization, (Medford, NJ: ASIS&T, 2002), p. 264)

32 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 32 Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge Kevin Oakes and Raghavan Rengarajan estimate that as much as 80% of the knowledge of any company is tacit. (E-learning: The hitchhikers guide to knowledge management,T&D, June 2002 v56 i6 p75(3)). They also argue that to manage explicit (structured and unstructured) knowledge, several frameworks have to be in place: – effective search (based on metadata and browsability), – a content repository (a common, well-organized storage facility would help locate content or expertise), – publishing (the ability to get new knowledge into the system easily – particularly through and word processing and other common productivity tools in business) and – personalization (adaptation to individual users). On the other side, managing tacit knowledge involves managing the people who have the expertise, by treating people with specific knowledge as assets. The also note that The lack of reusability of experts [when they are still employed or available] emphasizes the importance of converting as much as possible into tangible knowledge. That concept is the heart of many KM systems.

33 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 33 Tacit versus Explicit and Implicit Knowledge Not all tacit knowledge can be made explicit and tacit knowledge is often hard to capture because it cannot be easily verbalized because it is expressed through action- based skills and cannot be reduced to rules and recipes. (Chun Wei Choo, Information Management for the Intelligent Organization, (Medford, NJ: ASIS&T, 2002), p. 264) In my view tacit knowledge is specialized knowledge that an employee acquires in the course of his employment, that allow her or him to effectively to carry out their work. Tacit knowledge is different from implicit knowledge, which the general framework that makes, for example, written or spoken language comprehensible (e.g., a well-formed sentence)

34 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 34 Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge Implicit knowledge is the foundation of tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge or latent knowledge: – Tacit knowledge (1) is experiential know-how, usually inarticulate, but some of which can be made articulate. – Implicit Knowledge (2) is preunderstanding – an understanding of the context, of the environment and of the language employed that makes explicit knowledge possible and forms the basis for tacit knowledge (1). Most of this remains inarticulate, e.g., as the deep structure of grammar: e.g., we recognize ill-formed sentences without necessarily being able to say why. – Latent knowledge is derived from explicit data stores, e.g., through data mining, but it is only meaningful through human interpretation which involves a pre-understanding. Explicit knowledge is articulated and is often electronically stored. Explicit knowledge resides in documents such as letters, memoranda, white papers, and other contributions to a knowledge database. The document is clearly the single most important record of an organizations knowledge processes. Ninety percent of a business operating knowledge resides in documents or in the minds of the knowledge workers that produce them. 2 Documents are the record keeping medium of business. 2 Mike Bonaventura,, The Benefits of a Knowledge Culture, Aslib Proceedings 49 (April 1997):

35 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 35 Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge Explicit knowledge can be content-based (i.e., the subject of document) or procedure-based (i.e., how to go about something or locate in-house experts) The process of transforming tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge emerges through the interaction of people within the organization. An important part of knowledge management is the exchange from tacit knowledge to explicit and explicit knowledge to tacit, which in turn needs to be made explicit. 3 These exchanges require an organizational culture that encourages and promotes sharing. The organization must value its collective knowledge and must learn to appreciate and promote information sharing. 3 Marianne Broadbent, The Phenomenon of Knowledge Management: What does it Mean to the Information Professional? Information Outlook (May 1998):

36 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 36 Transformations According to Nonaka and Takeuchi there are four types of knowledge transformations: from implicit to implicit knowledge: socialization from implicit to explicit knowledge: externalization from explicit to explicit knowledge: combination from explicit to implicit knowledge: internalization [Tacit knowledge and implicit knowledge are most often used interchangeably]. Most organizational theories analyze three of these, namely socialization, combination and internalization. Combination is the general realm of librarians and information scientists. Taking the perspective of a business, Nonaka and Takeuchi study all four processes, and underscore the central role of implicit knowledge. They argue that knowledge creation is dependent of the subjective dialogue of content and context, that remains most often tacit. [Nonaka, I., Takeuchi, H. (1995): The Knowledge-Creating Company, Oxford Univ. Press – source for next page as well]


38 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 38 Other Dimensions Included in Explicit to Explicit Transformation would be the uncovering of latent knowledge. We have mentioned many of the important aspects of KM, but a few other dimensions must be presented. In addition, an integrated structure would be useful

39 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 39 KM Overview

40 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 40 Other Dimensions Communities of practice Competitive, business and social intelligence Organizational learning KM Challenges KM Benefits

41 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 41 Communities of Practice Fostering or culling communities of practice is another key aspect of KM, in which tacit knowledge is made explicit, but it provides a particular, productive spin. Communities of practice, a notion pioneered in 1991 by Etienne Wagner and Jean Lave (Communities of Practice (Cambridge University Press, 1998) occur everywhere –they could but need not be aligned with an organizational department. They arise whenever people address common, recurring problems, such as salesmen, perhaps even with different companies but selling the same type of product line, share thoughts on how to close a sales deal. There are at least two types: – members, groups or subgroups of an organization, bound by common objectives and/or goals within the organization – they could be but most often are not formally created – Members or groups constituted by common goals or objectives across different organizations or environments.

42 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 42 Communities of Practice Out of these members, groups or subgroups one can seek to locate expertise and/or articulate the ´best practices´ that can realize the goals or objectives of the community of practice. For example, network professionals that install Novell Netware may discover the best ways in which to bring up a network with the least number of potential problems – such practices would be disseminated to Novell Netware engineers no matter what their employing organization. Communities of Practice are not organizational units, but informal groupings of people, bound together by common learning, a common project or by common set of actors. According to E. L. Lesser and J. Storck [Communities of practice and organizational performance, IBM Systems Journal, Dec. 2001, v40, i4, p831(11)] suggest: One may think of a community of practice as a group of people playing in a field defined by the domain of skills and techniques over which members of the group interact. Being on the field provides the members with a sense of identityboth in the individual sense and a contextual sense, that is, how the individual relates to the community as a whole. (1) a sense of identity is important because it determines how an individual directs his or her attention. (2) What a person pays attention to is, in turn, a primary factor in learning

43 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 43 Communities of Practice Strock and Hill [Knowledge Diffusion through Strategic Communities, Sloan Management Review 41, 2, (2000)] further assert that there are important differences between teams and communities: 1. Team relationships are established when the organization assigns people to be team members. Community relationships are formed around practice. 2. Similarly, authority relationships within the team are organizationally determined. Authority relationships in a community of practice emerge through interaction around expertise. 3. Teams have goals, which are often established by people not on the team. Communities are responsible only to their members. 4. Teams rely on work and reporting processes that are organizationally defined. Communities develop their own processes

44 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 44 Communities of Practice A Primer on Communities of Practice describes them in the following way: A community of practice is different from a business or functional unit in that it defines itself in the doing, as members develop among themselves their own understanding of what their practice is about. It is different from a team in that the shared learning and interest of its members is what keeps it together. It is defined by knowledge rather than task, and exists because participation has value to its members. Its life cycle is determined by the value that it provides to its members, not by an institutional schedule. ( Any good KM system must support collaboration and collaborative processes, knowledge sharing and processes that support them, both in communities of practice and in organizational units.

45 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 45 Enabling Knowledge Creation Given the necessary subjective foundations for the discovery or application of knowledge, there is a limit on what can be managed in knowledge. What can be managed is only what is explicit or could be made explicit or the conditions for its creation. Von Kkrogh, Ichijo and Nonaka (2000) argue that the function of a business is less about knowledge management than about knowledge enabling. Explicit knowledge can be enabled as well as the conditions for the possibility of knowledge discovery and creation Enablement activities include: – instilling a knowledge vision – managing conversations – mobilizing knowledge activists – creating or developing the right context – globalizing local knowledge These activities however belong more to the management sphere (K of M), which we will address shortly. [Von Krogh, G., Ichijo, K., Nonaka, I. (2000): Enabling Knowledge Creation. Oxford Univ. Press. ]

46 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 46 Tacit, Explicit and Cultural Knowledge Cultural knowledge is a special case that could be tacit or explicit knowledge or on a range between them. It manifests the organization´s self-understanding in terms of values, beliefs, practices, etc. It may be fully articulate or unarticulated (e.g., the employee implicitly knows what are the appropriate clothes to wear to work or is told to read and follow the mission statement of the organization). Chun Wei Choo characterizes it as the shared assumptions and beliefs about an organization´s goals, capabilities, customers, competitors. These beliefs are used to assign value and significance to new information and knowledge. (Chun Wei Choo, Information Management for the Intelligent Organization, (Medford, NJ: ASIS&T, 2002), p. 264)

47 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 47 Competitive intelligence, Business intelligence and/or Social intelligence 1 KM practitioners are also concerned with environmental scanning for the organization, focused on the following: competitive intelligence, business intelligence and social intelligence Competitive Intelligence includes both the analysis of competitors and the competitive conditions in particular industries or regions. Bernhardt characterizes it as an analytical process that transforms disaggregated competitor, industry and market data into actionable, strategic knowledge about the competitors capabilities, intentions, performance and position. 2 1 Chun Wei Choo, Information Management for the Intelligent Organization (Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2002), pp. 88ff. 2 Douglas C. Bernhardt, I Want It Fast, Factual, Actionable, Tailoring Competitive Intelligence to Executives Needs, Long Range Planning 27, 1 (Feb. 1994): 13.

48 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 48 Competitive intelligence, Business intelligence and/or Social intelligence 1 Business intelligence, broader in scope than competitive intelligence, monitors the environment for information that is relevant to the strategic and tactical decision-making process of an organization. Social intelligence, still broader in scope, is concerned with the capability of society and institutions to identify problems, collect relevant about these problems, and transmit, process, evaluate and ultimately put this information to use. Such information may be important to an organizations or nations objectives. 1 1 Choo, p. 87

49 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 49 Intelligence, Overload and Undersupply In any business, retrieving the right information or those who have the expertise to provide the information is critical for any intelligence practice. But Joseph Calo, the Director of the Institute of Competitive Intelligence at the University of Ottawa, makes the following claim: – 80% of what is collected in files is never used and nobody knows where the other 20 per cent of information is filed. – At the same time, 150 hours on the average are spent per person per year looking for that 20 per cent of information. What does it all mean? Were all librarians (in Denise Deveau, No Brain, no gain: Knowledge Management, Compuitng Canada (May 10, 2002), v28, i10, p. 14) – He hopes that technologies, developed by such companies as Gavagai Technology, Inc. or Nstein Technologies, that do automatic indexing in a way similar to humans – understanding something of the linguistic structure of the documents – will alleviate some of these problems. French Caldwell, Gartners KM expert, is not so sure: A lot of auto- indexing and automatic classification features offered in products just arent that good, You need people whose job is to classify information You need to find ways for people to collect information in the process of doing their work without their having to think about it. [Chritsina Coleman, Knowledge management in action: Gartners KM expert, French Caldwell, discuss best (and worst) practices in knowledge management, e-Business Advsor, July 2002, v20 15 p12(3).] Not to mention undersupply – what never makes it into a file, whether content or expertise

50 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 50 Organizational Learning Another key dimension – implied in previous slides -- to KM is organizational learning, which involves a continuous assessment of organizational experience, including that of communities of practice, and converting that experience into knowledge and making it accessible to the organization as a whole, as long as it is relevant to the organizations core goals and objectives. According to KM Quick, A KM Tool for Government Practitioners (, accessed 10/1/02 ) organizational learning has the following 1. Although individual learning may benefit an organization, organizational learning differs from individual learning which may improve only the individuals knowledge of, and capacity to act either in their personal or work environment. 2. Organizational learning is a collective process dependent on interactions and the learning from inter-relationships. It comes from the synergy of healthy interactions between employees. 3. Organizations with a learning focus and knowledge creating organization are continually improving their capacity for analysis, decision-making, and action.

51 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 51 Knowledge Management Professionals Information professionals that create, convert, maintain, store and retrieve these knowledges in an organization and promote organizational learning, are knowledge professionals or knowledge management professionals Their activities include: – creating directories of individuals with expertise in the organization; – codifying, classifying, storing and providing access mechanisms to knowledge; – recording and making accessible the organizations history and accomplishments – transforming the knowledges (e.g., latent to explicit) and disseminating them – doing environmental scanning

52 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 52 Management of Knowledge (M of K) Up to this point, the focus has been on what is managed – knowledge, but the management dimension began to surface. Knowledge managers manage knowledge, but managing knowledge(M of K) and managing people(K of M) may involve different talents and proclivities. Not only that, how many skills can a KM acquire? While he/she may not have detailed knowledge of all of these things, he/she has to know enough to direct the knowledge workers who manage such processes? Now we focus on the management dimension, though we have already suggested that one of the roles of the knowledge manager is to enable the conditions for knowledge creation and discovery.

53 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 53 KM: Focus on Management – Roles of the Knowledge Manager Manages and empowers organizational members – Those who carry out the KM activities – Those who can contribute to KM activities Provides leadership – In knowledge management practices – In ethical practices with respect to copyright, intellectual property, copyright, and competitive intelligence Sets the framework for information capital production – Promotes techniques and technologies to capture tacit knowledge, to capture and locate expertise (persons, procedures, databases), to access best practices – Manages and facilitates change – Promotes conversation, the source of much innovation

54 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 54 KM: Focus on Management – Roles of the Knowledge Manager One must remember the critical role of conversation in the creation of knowledge. Amrit Tiwana makes a powerful observation when he says: A good knowledge management system lives and thrives on conversation. Free, unrestricted and easy conversation must be supported. The medium itself must not be a stricture. (Amrit Tiwana, The Knowledge Management Toolkit (New York: Prentice Hall, 1999)). On the one hand we must not force all such conversations to be recorded (that would be a stricture) and we must have organizational practices and values to promote and reward such activities, particularly when they are fruitful In other words, people are the most critical resource for KM and technologies should only be adopted if they support and do not constrain KM activities

55 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 55 KM: Focus on Management – Roles of the Knowledge Manager Inaugurates, maintains and/or monitors communities of practice and/or organizational units (in terms of KM activities). – Sets goals and objectives – Promotes TQM, discovers and promotes best practices and procedures – Rewards those gaining and exercising KM skills and engaging in KM practices – Provides incentives for resource sharing, curiosity and innovation Sets standards for content interrogation (e.g., RDF, XML, etc.) so as to access content from heterogeneous media (diverse systems, platforms, sources) Seeks the coordination and integration of information systems, activities and environments and Strives for a comprehensive information audit (realizing that it probably cannot be done completely or that such a project is completely practical or useful)

56 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 56 Misperceptions of KM To see it as a technology, but it is really a balance among technology, people and processes. It is better seen as effective collaboration and knowledge sharing. Technologies, however, are emerging that are helpful in improved search and collaboration. French Caldwell argues that: We are starting to see document management and portal vendors brining in more functionality such as improved search and collaboration. This is resulting what we call a smart enterprise suite. These suites will take care of about 80 percent of the technical functionality for about 80 percent of the enterprise. So, you might find that were are still parts of the enterprise that require best-of-breed function, for example, enhanced search or team collaboration. For 80 percent of the enterprise, you get most of the functionality that you need in products from companies like HyperWave, Open Text, IBM/Lotus, Microsoft, and even eRoom, which has its roots in collaboration. [Chritsina Coleman, Knowledge management in action: Gartners KM expert, French Caldwell, discuss best (and worst) practices in knowledge management, e- Business Advsor, July 2002, v20 15 p12(3).] That all knowledge can be made explicit and it is the role of KM to do this. Not all knowledge can be made explicit (expertise resides in the skills of the person who possesses it) and choices have to be made about what is important enough to make explicit, when it can. We want to codify the useful 20%, not aggravate the useless 80%.

57 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 57 KM: Not so easy…. In the midst of this grand vision, we need to remember some caveats: Tom Davenports Ten Principles of KM include: – Knowledge is expensive (but so is stupidity!) – Effective management of knowledge requires hybrid solutions of people and technology – Knowledge management is highly political – Sharing and using knowledge are often unnatural acts – Knowledge management benefits more from maps than models, more from markets rather than hierarchies – Knowledge management never ends [Thomas Davenport, Some principles of Knowledge Management, available at: accessed September 24, 1999.]

58 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 58 Successful KM: Objectives Thomas Davenport, David De Long and Michael Beers, some of the gurus in KM, identify 4 broad objectives for KM: 1. Create Knowledge Repositories 2. Improve Knowledge Access 3. Enhance Knowledge Environment and 4. Manage Knowledge as an Asset

59 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 59 Create Knowledge Repositories – Create Knowledge Repositories, including the following types: 1. external knowledge, e.g., competitive intelligence; 2. structured internal knowledge, e.g., research reports, marketing materials, techniques and methods; and 3. informal internal knowledge, e.g., discussion databases of lessons learned. Procedures have to be installed for capturing significant tacit knowledge

60 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 60 Improve Knowledge Access Devise techniques for access to knowledge and for facilitating transfer among individual employees Use metadata and other intellectual technologies to improve access Use technologies that facilitate collaboration and transfer.

61 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 61 Enhance the Knowledge Environment Create an environment conducive to more effective knowledge creation, transfer and use. This usually means changing the organizational culture, especially norms and values. Encourage and reward knowledge-related behavior on the part of employees

62 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 62 Manage Knowledge as an Asset E.g., include it as another asset on the balance sheet, in order to enhance investors appreciation of a companys knowledge assets Focus on assets related specifically to knowledge and use them to increase the return on investment Measure knowledge assets and strive to make them part of the accounting operations of a company

63 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 63 The Knowledge Management Cycle Create knowledge Capture knowledge Refine knowledge Store knowledge Manage knowledge Disseminate knowledge Eliminate knowledge

64 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 64 Benefits of KM Reduction in loss of intellectual capital when people leave the company Reduction in costs by decreasing the number of times the company must repeatedly solve the same problem Economies of scale in obtaining information from external providers Reduction in redundancy of knowledge-based activities Increase in productivity by making knowledge available more quickly & easily Increase in employee satisfaction by enabling greater personal development and empowerment Strategic competitive advantage in the marketplace [Source: class7-1.ppt, accessed 11/3/03]. class7-1.ppt

65 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 65 KM Information Professionals TFPL, Ltd suggest three wide areas of KM professionals: 1. KM Planners and Facilitators A team whose roles include working with or as directors, managers; content structuring; IT tools; knowledge network; human resources; project management; external information strategies; internal marketing of KM concepts; help desk; design of KM and information training 2.KM Practitioners knowledge leaders; knowledge managers; knowledge navigators; knowledge synthesizers; content editors; publishers (e.g., of content on Intranet); coaches and mentors; help desk functionaries

66 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 66 KM Information Professionals 3.Enterprise-wide Workers whose roles include: – making decisions at the corporate level – strategic planning, competitive intelligence* Providing for such diversity in an educational program would seem too ambitious, even granting that such diverse roles are useful in the knowing organization. The real proof of the pudding is whether job advertisements appear in the classified ads with such titles. It is doubtful that Kent State University will provide such diversity in KM professionals in the marketplace. At the moment it is more useful, practical to focus on the management and knowledge roles, and let the subroles sort themselves out by themselves. *[Skills for Knowledge Management: A Briefing Paper by TFPL on behalf of the Library and Information Commission, July, 1999].

67 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 67 KM Learning Objectives To understand the value that KM provides an organization at the operational, strategic or tactical level and devise metrics to assess it (measuring the cost of producing it and its value) To have knowledge of and capabilities in business or organizational management practices, policies and procedures To understand and have competencies in KM systems, policies, practices, and procedures To have the ability inaugurate processes and procedures to extract tacit and latent knowledge (when possible) To have the ability to produce, maintain and disseminate competitive, business and social intelligence To foster communities of practice and cull best practices from them To have the ability to produce, maintain and sustain other data, information or knowledge and their systems that would facilitate the decision-making abilities of an organization To make such knowledges available across time, space and place, under secure conditions

68 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 68 KM Learning Objectives To have knowledge of and competencies in knowledge creation, collaboration, sharing, use and reuse To have competencies in intellectual technologies, such as taxonomies, thesauri and ontologies for knowledge-based systems; indexing and metadata practices; standards for knowledge-sharing across systems, networks and platforms (e.g., XML, RDF, topic maps, etc.) To know how to provide incentives or rewards for KM activities and to promote a culture of sharing, to the greatest extent possible To have understanding of barriers to KM activities and what can and cannot be resolved To have competencies in knowledge needs assessment

69 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 69 KM Learning Objectives To understand current and emerging information/knowledge technologies, how to evaluate them in terms of organizational needs and constraints, and how to implement them To know how to design, create, develop, sustain or tap communities of practice and interest for KM activities and best practices. To understand and implement ethical and legal standards and practices To know how to set KM goals and activities for organizational units To promote individual (self-directed) and organizational learning

70 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 70 Frid Framework for Enterprise Knowledge Management As a summary, I would recommend Dr. Randy J. Frids Frid Framework for Enterprise Knowledge Management: A Common KM Framework for the Government of Canada (New York: iUniverse, Inc., 2004), who makes some of the following observations about KM: Knowledge Management is not Information Management because IM delivers information, and KM helps manage what people do with the information. (p. 2). Knowledge management is not technology, it is management: e.g. to enhance decision-making, identify islands of knowledge and build bridges between them. (pp. 2-3) KM is not about leadership (inspired and inspiring individuals which employees would follow) but about management. Management is sustainable, repeatable and measurable, while leadership is generally unique. Both are needed in an organization (p. 8)

71 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 71 What Organizations Need to Manage (Frid) Whether people are asking the right questions What people know What people dont know How to best leverage peoples knowledge How to convince people to share knowledge How to map what people know to a business process How to fill knowledge gaps How to capture and codify unique knowledge How to prevent knowledge loss unless such a loss is planned abandonment To whom or what to turn when people need to fill a knowledge gap How to get people the knowledge they need, when they need it How to repair knowledge processes when they fail How to institutionalize successful knowledge processes How to capture and advocate lessons learned and best practices How to value unique and proprietary corporate knowledge (p. 5)

72 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 72 KM: A Game Plan (Frid) Step 1: Adopt a framework (illustration 1) – Protect and grow known intellectual assets – Identify change agents – Define change agenda (infrastructure to support KM initiatives) – Perform diagnostics and implement solutions (repeatable and sustainable KM initiatives – Outcomes: discovery, creation and protection of intellectual assets are all potential outcomes of the framework (illustration 2).



75 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 75 KM Game Plan (Frid) Step 2: Perform a maturity baseline – one must know the organizations current position so that its growth can be measured Step 3: Establish a knowledge management office (KMO): Ilustration 3


77 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 77 KM Game Plan (Frid) Define a KM roadmap (illustration 4)


79 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 79 KM Game Plan (Frid) Build a centralized KM toolbox. This would include: – A KM framework guide – KM policies – A KM maturity model – A KM analysis process – KM best practices – KM lesson learned – A KM discussion form – A KM document repository – KM contacts – KM risk-, issue- and opportunity-management tools – KM links – KM guides and training materials – KM templates – Km presentation materials (pp )


81 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 81 KM Game Plan (Frid) Step 5: Perform diagnostics and implement solutions. (p. 16) I would encourage your reading his text: it provides a succinct, intelligent and actionable framework.

82 SOASIST - 3/18/04 Knowledge Management 82 For information and suggestions: Please contact me if you are interested in KM, IA or IU. Survey? Click on Or send to: Or use snail mail: Thomas J Froehlich, Ph.D., Director Information Architecture and Knowledge Management Kent State University 316 Library PO Box 5190 Kent OH (330) (O) (330) (H) (330) (Cell) (330) (Fax)

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