The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Information about the European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM) is available here.

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Information about the European Conference on Intellectual Capital (ECIC) is available here
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Journal Article

Knowledge Management in a Virtual Community of Practice using Discourse Analysis  pp29-42

Khalid Hafeez, Fathalla Alghatas

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Abstract

The topic of Community‑of‑Practice (CoP) has been discussed in the management literature in the earlier part of 1990's, and since attracted a lot of attention from academics and professionals around the globe. Communities of Practice (CoP) have become a strategic approach for fostering learning and transferring knowledge. However, there are a few studies, which explain what makes a community to engage in a discussion to share their knowledge and experience. This paper discusses the anatomy of a CoP, and examines a number of knowledge management tools such as story telling and discourse analysis to illustrate how knowledge is transferred and learning takes place in a virtual Community of Practice. Results are presented from a 'live' virtual community of practice, which is in the maturity period of its life cycle to discuss the role of domain experts and moderators how they facilitate to engage the community in dialogues and help generate the new knowledge. Also using Nonaka and Takeuchi's knowledge spiral model it is explained how learning takes place in this virtual community of practice.

 

Keywords: Community of practice, discourse analysis, knowledge management, story telling, Nonaka and Takeuchi's knowledge spiral model

 

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Journal Article

Tacit Knowledge Revisited — We Can Still Learn from Polanyi  pp173-180

Kenneth A. Grant

© May 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, ICICKM 2006, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp131 - 254

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Abstract

The field of knowledge management is still relatively new, with all but a few of its related papers and books published during the last 15 years or so. However, one of the most cited sources is a much earlier work on the topic of tacit and explicit knowledge, by Michael Polanyi (1958 and 1966). An examination of some 60 papers from three major knowledge management journals demonstrates that Polanyi's work has frequently been misinterpreted by some authors and further suggests that, in some cases, the citing authors may not have read the cited work. Further, this has led to misinterpretation of Polanyi's work in ways that have affected wider issues in knowledge management. Polanyi's work is still relevant today and a closer examination of his theory that all knowledge has personal and tacit elements, such that knowledge cannot be made fully explicit, can be used to both support and refute a variety of widely held approaches to knowledge management. In particular, it raises issue about the continued efforts to make knowledge explicit through the use of information systems, without consideration of wider social issues, as well as refuting those who use the issue of tacit knowledge to dismiss the field of knowledge management as a misguided concept. It provides support for more recent work on next generation knowledge management.

 

Keywords: Polanyi, Nonaka, tacit, explicit, next generation KM

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Creation through University‑Industry Collaborative Research Projects  pp43-54

Julie Hermansand Annick Castiaux

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Abstract

It is obvious from the study of literature that university‑industry (U‑I) relationships and their subsequent knowledge transfers are topics of high political, economical, managerial and academic interest. Indeed, technological knowledge is seen as a major source of long‑term economic growth and its transfer to the firm is critical since it acts as a significant innovation factor. In order to access this knowledge, a portfolio of sourcing strategies is available to the firm: knowledge creation through internal RandD departments, knowledge sharing with suppliers or market relationships, and also transfer from knowledge institutions such as public and private research centres. In this paper, we recognISe that University is a central source of knowledge but we question the general belief that knowledge is per se flowing between private and academic sphere through the conduct of University‑Industry relationships. As a result, this paper presents our literature analysis concerning this research topic and explores one particular mean of inter‑organisational knowledge transfer, namely the University‑Industry collaborative research project. We present findings from an exploratory study, which aims at examining knowledge flows and collaborative behaviours at stake in such research projects. This interview survey has been realised with respondents actively involved in Belgian university‑industry (U‑I) interactions and provides qualitative data analysed through the theoretical framework of organisational knowledge creation developed by Nonaka and Takeuchi. We found evidence supporting the existence of a knowledge spiral as a dynamic for the whole projects and identified some knowledge‑based limits to the reconciliation process between university's interests and company's needs.

 

Keywords: university-industry interactions, knowledge transfer, Nonaka

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006 / Feb 2007  pp1‑130

Editor: Charles Despres

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Editorial

"The 7th annual European Conference on Knowledge Management 2006 held in Budapest produced a particularly interesting set of papers. KM as a field of academic endeavor continues to produce signs of maturity in the sense that the quality of contributions is markedly higher than in the past. But the tendency to fracture along multiple disciplinary boundaries remains.

The result is that selecting papers from the conference for inclusion in the Journal is more challenging than ever. Fourteen papers were chosen in the end however, and these from a wide range of authors based in Universities around the world.

Topics addressed by papers included in this edition are especially eclectic which, given KM´s multidisciplinary roots and transversal nature, reflects the multiplicity of the basic phenomenon (human and collective cognition, secondarily applied to organizational contexts). In some respects this characteristic is frustrating but also challenging, and there are researchers who find this motivating. Perhaps because the intellectual perimeters are multiple and loose. Perhaps because paradigms shift by traversing a path of intellectual mosaics.

On the other hand the fact is that after about two decades of serious research by the academic community KM is ‑ at best ‑ showing only weak signs of convergence. If maturing in terms of quality and productivity, it remains young in terms of disciplinary comportment. I once listened to a French cultural anthropologist explain to a French television crew why he had chosen to live and work in the United States (his business being to de‑code European culture for the American marketing machine).

He told them that European culture was an old culture with its codes well sorted and established. He characterized American cultural codes as young, searching and mixed, not unlike adolescents the world over no matter what their national origin. In the end he explained that after weighing the pros and cons he finally decided that he thoroughly preferred being mixed up with the young and the restless. The freedom and frontiers of youth being ""better"" than the standards and strictures of establishment.

This could very well be part of the attraction that KM has for a growing number of academics around the world. I have found the papers in this edition of value and I hope that you will as well."

 

Keywords: adaptive testing, affects, collective search, communities of practice, concept design, discourse analysis, information exchange, innovation, intellectual capital, knowledge cooperation, knowledge process, knowledge sharing, knowledge spiral model, knowledge transfer, Nonaka, online communities, ontology, organisational learning, story telling, tacit knowledge, university-industry interactions, user-centred design

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 2, ICICKM 2006 / May 2007  pp131‑254

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Editorial

This Special Issue of EJKM originated from the papers delivered at ICICKM 2006 in Santiago de Chile in October last year. Of course the papers have been improved by their authors since they were first presented and are now offered to a much wider audience.

The 12 papers in this edition are especially interesting in that I have seldom seen such a wide diversity of subjects. This collection is indeed strong evidence that the topic of Knowledge Management and its co‑traveller Intellectual Capital have a remarkably diverse scope. A few years ago, perhaps a dozen or so, some academics might have thrown up their hands in horror. ""How can we have a discipline with such porous boundaries?"" I imagine them to have said. Well in today's academic world boundaries are increasingly difficult to define and more difficult to maintain. Subjects blur into each other. And this phenomenon is not the result of a new way of research or thinking. It is simply the result of being more cognoscente of the way the world actually works.

It would of course be wrong to say that boundaries between subjects no longer exist or that they are no longer relevant. But it is true to say that we have now a much more open mind about how we think of research and how we combine different fields of studies. We have for a while been talking about multidisciplinary research. Then we focused on interdisciplinary research. Today we sometimes talk about trans‑disciplinary research. When anyone is brave enough to ask what these terms actually mean academics often run for cover.

For me the terms multidisciplinary research or interdisciplinary research or trans‑disciplinary research signals that we are focusing on a real problem which like so many situations in business needs to be understood and managed while bearing in mind that it is unlikely that any one centre of knowledge will be able to provide the whole answer.

The diversity in this edition of EJKM supports this notion.

 

Keywords: adaptive testing, affects, collective search, communities of practice, concept design, discourse analysis, information exchange, innovation, intellectual capital, knowledge cooperation, knowledge process, knowledge sharing, knowledge spiral model, knowledge transfer, Nonaka, online communities, ontology, organisational learning, story telling, tacit knowledge, university-industry interactions, user-centred design

 

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