The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Journal Article

Visual Tools within MaKE — A Knowledge Management Method  pp28-36

Peter Sharp, Alan Eardley, Hanifa Shah

© Nov 2003 Volume 1 Issue 2, Editor: Fergal McGrath, pp1 - 226

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the practical significance of visual tools in Knowledge Management (KM) and Information Systems (IS) development in the context of the development of MaKE, a KM method. Visual tools are used extensively in KM and IS. However, this paper identifies a dilemma in the use of visual tools and examines how this dilemma was addressed during the development of some visual tools in MaKE. A brief description of MaKE is provided before visual tools are presented and discussed. The visual tools are called the Knowledge Targets Pyramid, Knowledge Tree, Knowledge Block, and the Linking Overview which are used to help present outcomes. They were reviewed and analysed in workshops in a major UK Fast Moving Consumer Goods manufacturer. The authors suggest that the findings of this research are relevant to visual tools used as part of KM methods and frameworks and that if certain guidelines are borne in mind, visual tools are very helpful for understanding and communicating, in a short time frame, relatively complex phenomena. Within the context of MaKE the Knowledge Targets Pyramid, Knowledge Block, and the Linking Overview do this more effectively than the Knowledge Tree.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management method, action research, visual tools

 

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Journal Article

The Potential of Neuro‑Linguistic Programming in Human Capital Development  pp131-141

Eric Kong

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, ICICKM 2011, Editor: Vincent Ribière, pp110 - 207

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Abstract

Human capital (HC) represents the cumulative tacit knowledge that is embedded in the minds of people in organisations. HC is important to organisations because it serves as a source of innovation and strategic renewal. Individuals carry HC when they join an organisation and take their talent, skills and tacit knowledge with them when they leave the organisation. Thus HC is volatile in nature. Organisations are therefore keen to do what they can to foster and develop HC as a means of achieving sustainable competitive advantage. This paper argues that neuro‑linguistic programming (NLP) has the potential of developing and enhancing the stock of HC in organisations. NLP emerged in the 1970s from the University of California, USA. NLP suggests that subjective experience is encoded in terms of three main representation systems: visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic (VAK). NLP practitioners claim that people tend to have one preferred representation system over another in a given context. Despite that previous research has shown that NLP can assist in facilitating knowledge and learning capabilities, very limited research is conducted using NLP in nurturing HC in organisations. This paper critically reviews the literature and theoretically argues that NLP can be used as a practical approach to develop HC in organisations. This is because NLP primarily focuses on individual internal learning and that learning likely leads to the accumulation of HC in organisations. In other words, organisational members may find it more effective to enhance their tacit knowledge, both individually and collectively, if they adopt the NLP approach in their day‑to‑day work. Examples on how NLP may be used to develop HC in organisations will be provided. Future research direction and limitations will also be discussed.

 

Keywords: human capital, individual and organisational learning, neuro-linguistic programming, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic systems

 

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Journal Article

New Insights for Relational Capital  pp167-182

Kaisa Still, Jukka Huhtamäki, Martha G. Russell

© Jun 2015 Volume 13 Issue 1, Following ECKM and ICICKM 2014, Editor: Meliha Handzic and John Dumay, pp155 - 254

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Abstract

Abstract: In this paper, we concentrate on relational capital, manifestation of the old adage ⠀it is not what you know but who you know⠀. We propose that in this networked world, the importance of relationships between multiple stakeholders created by key personnel and financing becomes fundamental, and hence understanding and measuring those becomes fundamental, too. Accordingly, we highlight that there is a need to go beyond social, individual or personal relationships and organizational context, as well as beyond the limitations of the dyadic (one actor to one actor) view on relationships. Hence, we are introducing the ecosystem as the context for measuring relational capital. This paper builds on a construct of ecosystemic relational capital, cr eated for understanding and measuring the importance of relationships in the context of ecosystems. It looks at the totality of relationships both at organizational level and at individual level, measuring the structures and characteristics related to ind ividuals, organizations as well as the ecosystem as a whole (Still et al. 2014a). We acknowledge that the initial framework emphasizes the ⠜networking capabilities⠀ element of relational capital, with less attention to the element of ⠜customer loy alty and reputation⠀, which is the motivation for building on the construct. The processes of ecosystemic relational capital are already seen to be built on the possibilities afforded by the volumes of digital data, mostly from social media, providing d etails on the relationships between various actors related to various regions, sectors, technologies and products. However, we propose enhancing the holistic integration for better understanding and measuring of relational capital with the application of methods of social network analysis (SNA), network visualizations and social media analytics. In this paper, we present concrete examples of the enhanced framework. At the same time, we acknowledge that there are many other avenues for obtaining novel in sights for relational capital with these analytics

 

Keywords: innovation ecosystems, relational capital, social capital, visual ecosystem analytics, social network analysis, social media analytics, innovation indicators

 

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Journal Article

Model to Support Patent Retrieval in the Context of Innovation‑Processes by Means of Dialogue and Information Visualisation  pp87-98

Paul Landwich, Tobias Vogel, Claus-Peter Klas, Matthias Hemmje

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 198

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Abstract

Innovations are an essential factor of competition for manufacturing companies in technical industries. Patent information plays an important role within innovation‑processes and for human innovators working on innovations. Innovation‑processes support the combination of cross‑organisational spread information and resources from patent databases and digital libraries is necessary in order to gain profit for innovation experts. The central challenge is to overcome the current information deficit and to fulfil the information need of the experts in the innovation‑process. Classical information retrieval (IR) research has been dominated by the system‑oriented view in the past. A user formulates a query and then evaluates the elements found through the query according to their relevance. But this rather static setting does not always correspond to the communication and interaction needs of humans. IR systems should explicitly support also the cognitive abilities of the users in order to realize a dynamic dialogue between the user and the system. An information dialogue which does not only support an individual query but also the complete search process is necessary. Only in this way is it possible to satisfy an information need and support the innovation‑process. In this paper we present in detail three innovation scenarios to highlight the challenges of advanced information systems, query reusability and result visualisation. By defining the essential activities and conditions of a search task, it is possible to develop user interfaces which offer assistance in the form of a connection of dialogues. From this we derive the elementary information sets and activities in the next step. An example illustrates the applicability and utility of the innovation scenarios described and shows how the activities satisfy the user's information dialogue context. As part of the example we apply a cognitive walkthrough on a patent database. Aiming for an implementation of Daffodil‑System we will benefit from these results.

 

Keywords: information retrieval, innovation-process, interactive systems, patent retrieval, result visualisation, information visualisation

 

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Journal Article

Pictures of Knowledge Management, Developing a Method for Analysing Knowledge Metaphors in Visuals  pp405-414

Daniel Andriessen, Eja Kliphuis, Jane McKenzie, Christine van Winkelen

© Aug 2009 Volume 7 Issue 4, ECIC 2009, Editor: Christiaan Stam, Daan Andriessen, pp397 - 534

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Abstract

Knowledge management (KM) is difficult to pin down. It means different things in different organisations. The deliberate use of metaphors has been used to communicate what KM is about. This metaphorical communication can be even more enriched using visual as well as language mechanisms: "a picture paints a thousand words" suggests we can capture more resonances of a complex subject like KM through visuals than through a description alone. In addition, visuals are perceived to transcend the limitations of language, which can be an obstacle to communication. Yet, no method currently exists that we can use to identify KM metaphors used in visuals. This paper describes our search for a method to analyse metaphors used in visuals about knowledge management. Our objective was threefold: 1) identifying new metaphors for KM in visuals that can enrich KM theorizing, 2) developing a way to identify which visuals are the most powerful in communicating KM theory, and 3) improving the use of visuals as a way of assessing students studying KM. We found that analysing metaphors used in KM visuals is possible using a method that focuses on the dominant metaphors in a visual.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, intellectual capital, visuals, metaphor, analysis

 

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Journal Article

Contextual Adaptive Knowledge Visualization Environments  pp1-14

Xiaoyan Bai, David White, David Sundaram

© Jan 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECKM 2011, Editor: Franz Lehner, pp1 - 109

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Abstract

As an essential component of knowledge management systems, visualizations assist in creating, transferring and sharing knowledge in a wide range of contexts where knowledge workers need to explore, manage and get insights from tremendous volumes of data. Knowledge visualization context may incorporate any information in regard to the decisional problem context within which visualizations are applied, the visualization profiles of knowledge workers as well as their intended purposes. Due to the inherent dynamic nature, these contextual factors may cause the changing visualization requirements and difficulties in maintaining the effectiveness of a knowledge visualization when contextual changes occur. To address the contextual complexities, visualization systems to support knowledge management need to provide flexible support for the creation, manipulation, transformation and improvement of visualization solutions. Furthermore, they should be able to sense, analyze and respond to the contextual changes so as to support in maintaining the effectiveness of the solutions. In addition, they need to possess the capability to mediate between the problem and the knowledge workers through provision of action and presentation languages. However, many visualization systems tend to provide weak support for fulfilling these system requirements. They do not provide adequate flexibility for adapting the visualizations to fit different knowledge visualization contexts. This motivated us to propose and implement a flexible knowledge visualization system for better aiding knowledge creation, transfer and sharing, namely, Contextual Adaptive Visualization Environment (CAVE). CAVE provides flexible support for (1) sensing and being aware of changes in the problem, purpose and/or knowledge worker contexts, (2) interpreting the changes through relevant analysis and (3) responding to the changes through appropriate re‑design and re‑modelling of visual compositions to address the problem. In order to fulfil the requirements posed above, we developed and proposed conceptual models and frameworks which are further elucidated through system‑oriented architectures and implementations.

 

Keywords: knowledge visualization, knowledge visualization context, knowledge creation and sharing, CAVE model, CAVE framework, and CAVE implementation

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Creation and Visualisation by Using Trade‑off Curves to Enable Set‑based Concurrent Engineering  pp75-88

Zehra Canan Araci, Ahmed Al-Ashaab, Maksim Maksimovic

© Mar 2016 Volume 14 Issue 1, ECKM 2015, Editor: Andrea Garlatti and Maurizio Massaro, pp1 - 88

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Abstract

Abstract: The increased international competition forces companies to sustain and improve market share through the production of a high quality product in a cost effective manner and in a shorter time. Set‑based concurrent engineering (SBCE), which is a core element of lean product development approach, has got the potential to decrease time‑to‑market as well as enhance product innovation to be produced in good quality and cost effective manner. A knowledge‑based environment is one of the important requ irements for a successful SBCE implementation. One way to provide this environment is the use of trade‑off curves (ToC). ToC is a tool to create and visualise knowledge in the way to understand the relationships between various conflicting design parame ters to each other. This paper presents an overview of different types of ToCs and the role of knowledge‑based ToCs in SBCE by employing an extensive literature review and industrial field study. It then proposes a process of generating and using knowledg e‑based ToCs in order to create and visualise knowledge to enable the following key SBCE activities: (1) Identify the feasible design space, (2) Generate set of conceptual design solutions, (3) Compare design solutions, (4) Narrow down the design sets, (5) Achieve final optimal design solution. Finally a hypothetical example of a car seat structure is presented in order to provide a better understanding of using ToCs. This example shows that ToCs are effective tools to be used as a knowledge sou rce at the early stages of product development process.

 

Keywords: Keywords: set based concurrent engineering, trade-off curves, knowledge creation, knowledge visualisation, knowledge reuse, new product development, innovation

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008 / Apr 2009  pp1‑198

Editor: Roy Williams

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Editorial

This special edition of the journal is a selection of the best papers from the recent European Conference on Knowledge Management, held at Southampton Solent University in 2008. Several of the papers addressed the shift to what is increasingly being called knowledge ecologies, within the more general field of digital ecologies (see IEEE 2009)

Vanessa Lawrence's keynote speech on Ordnance Survey: underpinning Great Britain with geographic information set the tone for the conference, and set the standard for key aspects of knowledge management and knowledge ecologies. The Ordnance Survey (OS) is an exemplary case study of how to create well mapped data and maximise its use in today's digital ecologies. This case study combines the best aspects of interoperability at the level of data with the best aspects of dynamic, complex and even open systems at the level of information and knowledge creation and exchange. Intelligently mapped data is at the heart of the OS topological information system, creating uniquely identified data objects which are the building blocks for the four layers of the Master Map: topography, address, integrated transport, and imagery.

More importantly from a knowledge management point of view, this integrated Master Map crosses seamlessly from data base management, to information systems, to traditional knowledge management and into knowledge ecologies. A range of commercial and community organisations can build on the Master Map, using elements from it, to create their own maps from their own perspectives, such as housing, health care, flood management, or policing. These different, user‑generated derivative maps create a knowledge ecology, which is a dynamic, flexible, and adaptable set of meta‑mappings (literally and figuratively) or what might be called 'map‑ups', which people can read, write and contribute to, link to, and mash‑up with their own data.

The intelligent data is itself dynamic and changing, and in a ""mobile, transient society and economy where location is a dynamic resource within business"" (Lawrence op. cit.), the data has to be accurate and constantly updated. The figures are impressive: 460M data fields, 1.8M changes per annum, 0.5M updates per annum, of which 99.9% are updated or added within 6 months of completion on the ground, and a potential resolution of 20mm for information on reticulation.

The Open Space initiative, for non‑commercial use only, provides a base and a framework for social mapping or map‑ups. In the first year it involved 900 developers and 156k visitors. The Explore programme allows people to create routes, tag points of interest, and share pictures, news and events.

Lawrence summed up the Ordnance Survey approach as the challenge to ""establish principles to make information sources accessible and connectable"", an elegantly simple framework for knowledge management in the service of knowledge ecologies.

Maracine et al describe knowledge ecosystems (KE) as a new kind of digital ecosystem which is an ""active and dynamic process, that … helps the building, growth, sharing and forgetting of knowledge"". They explore this in healthcare systems for home rehabilitation, which differ from other KEs because of the role and importance of the patient: in practice the entire ""life"" of the ecosystem gravitates around the patient and their personal rehabilitation chain.

Managing Intellectual Capital is now central to the EU strategy, so small and medium sized companies (SME's) must play their part in this. Mertins, Wang and Will's study analyses the different rankings of IC factors across 5 major economic sectors, and leads to some interesting conclusions, for instance that ""the traditional distinction between Industry and Services is improper for researching the strategic impact of IC. Rather companies should be classified by comparing the actual business models"".

Third sector organisations are also applying KM. In this case study, Reilly describes the way resource priorities, programme funding and dispersed Authority inhibit successful KM. There is widespread support for the discovery of knowledge, but it is subject to diverse interpretation, and consensus on how to apply it is difficult to achieve. Reilly proposes a relational knowledge domain to promote a more holistic approach in value driven organisations, to integrate and optimise KM. There seems to be similar issues in the corporate sector too, as Brännström and Giuliani have found, namely that one of the difficulties in IC reporting is that ""goodwill is substantially based not on particular components of IC, but on the synergies between them"". Another problem with IC reporting, and with FRS IFRS3 in particular is that some firms deliberately ""want to continue to use goodwill as a 'blackbox' to avoid disclosing some items to analytic scrutiny by outsiders"".

The link between descriptions and analyses of real business situations and personal experience can be used to build a real consensus. The Socratic Dialogue (Remenyi & Griffiths) involves much more than a simple verbal agreement. Participants try to clarify the meaning of what has just been said by testing it against their own experiences. In this way the limitations of individual experience which stand in the way of a clear understanding can be made conscious, and these limitations can hopefully be transcended.

Garcia‑Perez & Ayres's paper outlines an approach where elicitation and transfer, and possibly also creation, are carried out in one process. This involves identifying key experts and stakeholders, who then work together to develop a representation of the experts' domain knowledge. They conclude that ""communicational problems are minimised because the main interaction will take place between domain experts and their stakeholders. Also, discussion of their own experience with colleagues through a process of modelling their expertise significantly increases experts' motivation to share knowledge"".

Begley et al outline their 'new' theory of the firm, its relationship to networked society, and to other theories of the firm, within KM. They see the firm as a 'connected temporary coalition' perspective (based on Taylor, 1999; 2006), within an interactive model of the firm, containing diverse types of relationships, collections of both closely coupled and loosely coupled systems that configure, dissolve and reconfigure over time, forming a distinct capability in leveraging collective knowledge assets.

A new approach to systems development for KM is presented by Moteleb & Woodman, which is based in action research and Grounded Theory, using a number of business problems experienced by organizations. The KMSD approach is highly participatory, requiring full involvement of members of an organization, in three interacting aspects: envisioning knowledge work behaviour, design of knowledge management system (KMS), and identifying technology options. The KMS design integrates organizational, social and technological aspects of the system.

Landwitch et al have developed a more interactive and dynamic process for Information Retrieval in which the IR systems explicitly support the user's query requirements, but also their cognitive abilities, to realize a dynamic dialogue between the user and the system. This is aimed at satisfying both the information needs of the users, and the innovation‑process. Smith deals with the specifically human elements of what could also be called knowledge ecology, integrating cultural and process issues, and ""issues of organisational adaptation, survival and competence in and increasingly discontinuous environment. Rather than being a process problem, poor knowledge emergence from a new system is more likely to be a communication and learning problem where there is a failure to engage with the individuals who are within the system"".

Vedteramo & de Carolis advocate a community‑based approach to KM in the growing sector of project‑based organizations. Projects are typically temporary, and much learning may be lost when they disband, the storage of lessons learned is not effective, the databases are not widely used and the people are too engaged in their projects to share knowledge or help other people cope with similar problems. Vedteramo suggests the adoption of McDermott (1999)'s ""double knit organisation"", integrating project teams and communities of practice.

Webb uses open ended diaries and strategically resourced reflection on the diaries, and provides material on management and complexity theory for managers to use, to reflect on and make sense of their practice and learn from it. This provides ""multiple first person accounts and opened up new avenues of exploration and … [suggests that is could also be used for] the stimulation, initiation and development of knowledge transfer activities on particular themes.

Koolmees et al have developed and tested a new Knowledge Management Scan which assesses six basic KM abilities in an organisation , based on a survey of 15 statements per ability, and is based on work on value based KM, and different organisational learning types. The abilities are: to produce, anticipate, respond, learn, create and to last. The Scan produces an understanding of the organisation's overall learning ability, in terms of single, double and triple loop learning.

Harorimana's case studies describe how knowledge gatekeepers contribute to the benefits of the firm's internal capabilities, without being paid for their role. However, the informal nature of people's roles as gatekeepers makes their job difficult to recognize, and therefore requires some form or rewards.

Evans and Wensley's research on network structure and trust explores the extent to which network principles determine the level of trust in Communities of Practice. They provide a detailed analysis of the how trust is established and how it functions in CoP: in self‑directed teams, mutual trust takes the place of supervision, and this has a positive impact on knowledge sharing and on innovation.

Rees and Protheroe recommend the joint development of KM and kaizen practices (continuous improvement), embedded into the redevelopment of an existing strategy set, to facilitate the development of knowledge value, and show how this is implemented in the higher education sector.

Aidemark points out the ongoing confusion in the theoretical base of KM, and specifically highlights the complexity and paradoxes that arise between knowledge as information on the one hand, and as competence (or know‑how) on the other hand, and provides models which should improve our awareness of these problems, and help us in developing strategy.

And finally, Devane and Wison, in their paper on Non‑managed Knowledge, provide an interesting critique of traditional approaches to knowledge 'management' and knowledge transfer, and suggests that Coverdale's focus on the development of skills is a better foundation for a company's success. They argue that knowledge should not be seen as something extrinsic, and external that can be managed 'for' individuals, but rather as something intrinsic, in which case the best approach is to allow individuals to manage it themselves.

Conclusion

The papers in this special edition provide new ideas, new critiques, and new research on KM. Most of them in some way also address the very welcome shift from 'management' to 'ecologies', which adds more emphasis on personal roles and at the same time, more emphasis on networking, content and knowledge creation beyond the confines of the traditional Weberian institution. Lawrence's approach is an interesting exemplar of how this can be done, as it integrates well mapped data and basic information structures with flexible, customisable and personalisable knowledge creation and sharing. Perhaps this could be called 'connectable interoperability'?

 

Keywords: action research, agency, assessment, learning organisation, brokerage, case study, certification, closure, communities of practice, cultural memes, culture, digital ecosystem, dynamic knowledge, enterprise renewal, financial accounting, flows of knowledge, goodwill, grounded theory, groups design, healthcare knowledge ecosystem, home health rehabilitation, homophily, information retrieval, information visualisation, innovation intellectual capital, innovation-process, intellectual capital statement audit, interactive systems, kaizen, knowledge audit, knowledge communities, knowledge creation, knowledge elicitation, knowledge gatekeeper, knowledge management frameworks, knowledge management in higher education, knowledge management scan, knowledge management systems, knowledge management systems development, knowledge sharing, knowledge strategy, knowledge transfer, leading firms, network structure, nonprofit organizations, organisational form, organisational learning knowledge, organiz

 

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