Continuum of Context Explication: Knowledge Discovery Through Process-Oriented Portals

Continuum of Context Explication: Knowledge Discovery Through Process-Oriented Portals

Stefan Smolnik (University of Paderborn, Germany), Stefan Kremer (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland) and Lutz Kolbe (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2005010102
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Abstract

For a company to be consistently oriented toward its customers and their processes, it needs to customize its intra-corporate processes and systems. Customer process-oriented portals that integrate companies’ systems and provide transparent access to information objects stored in these systems seem to offer a solution. However, one key problem is finding relevant information objects in systems that are not only growing, but also being disseminated. There is the additional challenge of making knowledge available at the right time and the right place. Companies’ competitive advantage is rooted in this knowledge advantage as well as in the capability to transform this superior knowledge into market-driven business processes. The research questions addressed in this article are how the value of information objects is affected by the context in which it is considered, and how associated contexts can be uncovered for given situations. We introduce a continuum of context explication comprised of the relationships between data, information objects, and knowledge, and their contexts, according to their degree and ease of context explication. The extremes of the continuum would therefore be data with no context to explicate and knowledge with rich, person-specific context. We conclude that discovering implicit meanings and expressing those meanings explicitly increases the potential value of information objects. In addition, we evaluate the full-text search, attribute-based search, and topic maps as approaches for knowledge discovery through customer process-oriented portals as well as providing patterns that indicate when to apply which approach. Two small case studies of knowledge discovery through such portals are presented. We conclude with suggestions for future research based on our final deductions in respect of the study.

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