Added Value of Ontologies for Modeling an Organizational Memory

Added Value of Ontologies for Modeling an Organizational Memory

Maria de los Angeles Martin (National University of La Pampa, Argentina) and Luis Olsina (National University of La Pampa, Argentina)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-540-5.ch010
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With the aim to manage and retrieve the organizational knowledge, in the last years numerous proposals of models and tools for knowledge management and knowledge representation have arisen. However, most of them store knowledge in a non-structured or semi-structured way, hindering the semantic and automatic processing of this knowledge. In this chapter the authors specify a case-based organizational memory ontology, which aims at contributing to the design of an organizational memory based on cases so that it can be used to support better decision-making. One ontology goal is to serve as a base for the organizational knowledge exchange with semantic power, which can facilitate the reuse, interoperability, and automatic processing by agents. In addition, the ontology aims to be at a high level from which other more specific representations can be formulated. In order to illustrate its utility a practical case is shown.
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The organizational knowledge management represents a key asset to support decision-making processes by different organizational stakeholders. The main aim of knowledge management systems is to manage, store and retrieve the organizational knowledge, so that it can be used later to learn, share knowledge, solve problems, and ultimately to support better decision-making processes (Conklin, 1996; Dogson, 1993). Therefore by having a well-developed organizational memory that supports the structuring, reusing and processing of organizational knowledge is a primary decision (and likely a success factor) to achieve such an effective management.

Nonaka and Takeuchi have said that an organization cannot create knowledge itself. Conversely, the knowledge creation basis for an organization is the individual’s tacit knowledge; and tacit knowledge is shared through interpersonal interactions (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). In the same direction, Hedberg (1981) has said that an organization does not have brain, but it has cognitive systems and memories. The organizational stakeholders act as the agents of organizational learning, and a link between them and organizational learning systems have to be established.

Therefore, in order to reach and maintain the organizational effectiveness and competitiveness, an organization needs to learn from past and present experiences and lessons learnt and to formalize organizational memories for enabling to make explicit the individual’s tacit knowledge -and why not community’s tacit knowledge as well.

It is worth mentioning that one of the possible classifications of organizational knowledge can be, namely: public/private, explicit/implicit (or tacit), and formal (syntactically and semantically structured)/informal (unstructured). One of the main goals of an organizational knowledge management strategy is to make explicit the individuals’ implicit knowledge, to try to formalize the informal knowledge in order to allow machine-processable semantic inferences, and to make the knowledge public or private depending on the strategic policy at different organization levels.

So far most of the current knowledge management systems capture and store the knowledge in repositories of documents like manuals, memos, and text files systems, and the knowledge transfer is made by means of meetings, courses or by documented manuals and guides. This traditional form of storing and transferring knowledge causes loss of time and high investment in human resources, since it does not consider powerful mechanisms of semantic and automatic processing of knowledge.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Nick Bontis
John P. Girard
John P. Girard
Chapter 1
Peter Stoyko
This chapter describes how organizational culture is both a “vessel” for preserving organizational memory and a force that conditions the way... Sample PDF
Organizational Culture and the Management of Organizational Memory
Chapter 2
Nicholas N. Bowersox
Recent business practices over the past decade have been tainted with corporate restructuring strategies such as downsizing, reorganizations, and... Sample PDF
Downsizing and Building Organizational Memory: A Paradoxical Relationship between “Brain-Drain” and “Brain-Gain”
Chapter 3
Nicholas P. Robinson, Prescott C. Ensign
This chapter argues that a trusting corporate culture predicated on values that emphasize sharing and encourage interactions amongst stakeholders at... Sample PDF
Effective Stakeholder Knowledge Sharing for Effective Organizational Memory
Chapter 4
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses the revision of the SECI model originally based on Japanese organizational culture into a model based on American... Sample PDF
Revising the SECI Model for American Organizational Culture
Chapter 5
Parissa Haghirian
A growing interest in the various aspects of knowledge transfer within multinational corporations has been evidenced by a recent surge in empirical... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer within Multinational Corporations: An Intercultural Challenge
Chapter 6
Patrice Dunckley, Suzanne Roff-Wexler
This chapter provides perspective and practical techniques that individuals and organizations can use to maximize knowledge transfer efforts. It... Sample PDF
Valuing a Multiplicity of Views: How to Tap Informal Networks to See the (W)hole
Chapter 7
Haris Papoutsakis
This chapter explores the ways that Knowledge Sharing Networks support the flow of organizational knowledge within a firm. Based on the assumption... Sample PDF
Organizational Knowledge Sharing Networks
Chapter 8
Raul M. Abril, Ralf Müller
This chapter suggests established research approaches to capture and validate project lessons learned. Past research indicates that due to the... Sample PDF
Lessons Learned as Organizational Project Memories
Chapter 9
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses employee recall due to training presentations. Recall is an employee’s ability to remember what they knew or have learned via... Sample PDF
Will You Recall What You Knew?
Chapter 10
Maria de los Angeles Martin, Luis Olsina
With the aim to manage and retrieve the organizational knowledge, in the last years numerous proposals of models and tools for knowledge management... Sample PDF
Added Value of Ontologies for Modeling an Organizational Memory
Chapter 11
Juha Kettunen
This study analyses how strategic management is integrated with budgeting in the cities using the Balanced Scorecard approach, which provides a... Sample PDF
The Collective Process and Memory of Strategic Management
Chapter 12
Kimiz Dalkir
Research on how organizational memories can be created, preserved and made available for future reuse in NPOs is presented. An initial review of the... Sample PDF
Organizational Memory Challenges Faced by Non-Profit Organizations
Chapter 13
Susan G. McIntyre
The case study of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI), a Canadian... Sample PDF
Creating and Sustaining Meta Organizational Memory: A Case Study
Chapter 14
David Bennet, Alex Bennet
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of the basic concepts related to the unconscious life of an organization, and then addresses specific... Sample PDF
Associative Patterning: The Unconscious Life of an Organization
Chapter 15
Michael JD Sutton
This chapter introduces the research domain of knowledge management educational programs and issues associated with the preservation of knowledge... Sample PDF
A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of Knowledge Management Educational Programs
Chapter 16
Marie-Hélène Abel
Learning can be considered an outcome associated with acquiring new competencies (Sicilia, 2005) and adding new knowledge. A competence is a way to... Sample PDF
An Organizational Memory Tool for E-Learning
Chapter 17
Sajjad M. Jasimuddin, N.A.D. Connell, Jonathan H. Klein
It is generally recognized that Walsh and Ungson (1991) “provided the first integrative framework for thinking about organizational memory”... Sample PDF
Understanding Organizational Memory
Chapter 18
Les Miller, Sree Nilakanta, Yunan Song, Lei Zhu, Ming Hua
Organizational memories play a significant role in knowledge management, but several challenges confront their use. Artifacts of OM are many and... Sample PDF
Managing Knowledge in Organizational Memory Using Topic Maps
About the Contributors