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Journal Article

Addressing Failure Factors in Knowledge Management  pp334-347

Rosina O. Weber

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 3, Editor: Charles Despres, pp257 - 347

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This article describes a knowledge management (KM) approach conceived from countermeasures targeted at addressing failure factors suggested in the literature. In order to counteract failure factors, the approach combines the technology of knowledge‑based KM systems, with the flexibility and understanding of knowledge facilitators, and the processes of the target community. In the KM system, the approach uses knowledge engineering concepts to represent knowledge artifacts and to enforce managerial responsibilities. By imposing a strict representation format, the approach guides and helps users. It does so by determining what knowledge to contribute, by enabling knowledge collection, and by representing knowledge. The purpose of knowledge facilitators is to complement the limitations of the computer‑ based component by verifying the quality of submitted artifacts and by motivating members to adopt the system. The design and operation of this approach is guided by identifying the processes of the target community and the level of specificity where they are useful. The importance of this contribution is that it offers guidelines to design a KM approach that relies on conclusions from published literature. In addition, it also proposes a means to validate knowledge sharing. A conclusion of this work is that it may be easier to address failure factors of KM approaches when all members of the target community have the same technical goals, are motivated by a common interest, are organized on a flat hierarchy, and are receptive to innovation. In addition, the use of a representation of the community's processes helps standardize capture, guide contributors, and associate existing with new artifacts. This association of artifacts can be used to validate knowledge sharing.


Keywords: Architectures for knowledge management systems, case-based reasoning, community of science, knowledge management systems, knowledge repository, validation


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