A Complex Adaptive Systems-Based Enterprise Knowledge Sharing Model

A Complex Adaptive Systems-Based Enterprise Knowledge Sharing Model

Andrew P. Sage (The MITRE Corporation, USA) and Cynthia T. Small (George Mason University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-070-7.ch016
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Abstract

This chapter describes a complex adaptive systems (CAS)-based enterprise knowledge-sharing (KnS) model. The CAS-based enterprise KnS model consists of a CAS-based KnS framework and a multi-agent simulation model. Enterprise knowledge sharing is modeled as the emergent behavior of knowledge workers interacting with the KnS environment and other knowledge workers. The CAS-based enterprise KnS model is developed to aid Knowledge Management (KM) leadership and other KnS researchers in gaining an enhanced understanding of KnS behavior and its influences. A premise of this research is that a better understanding of KnS influences can result in enhanced decision-making of KnS interventions that can result in improvements in KnS behavior.
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Cas-Based Modeling Of Enterprise Knowledge Sharing

The enterprise KnS model developed here models enterprise knowledge sharing from a complex adaptive systems perspective. Hypothetical concepts that are fundamental to the development of this CAS-based model and to this research include:

  • 1.

    Knowledge sharing is a human behavior performed by knowledge workers;

  • 2.

    Knowledge workers are diverse and heterogeneous;

  • 3.

    Knowledge workers may choose to share knowledge; and

  • 4.

    The KnS decision is influenced by other knowledge workers and the KnS environment.

Enterprise knowledge sharing is the result of the decisions made by knowledge workers, individually and as members of teams, regarding knowledge sharing. As depicted in Figure 1, there are two major decisions (rectangles) that a knowledge worker makes: “Share Knowledge?” and “Type of Knowledge to Share?” This research models the KnS decisions as being influenced by the attributes of the individual knowledge worker, the KnS behavior of other knowledge workers, and the state of the KnS environment. Previous KnS studies and research identify factors that influence KnS behavior. However, few address the heterogeneity of knowledge workers and how the attributes of the individual knowledge worker, and knowledge worker teams, impact KnS behavior. The emergent enterprise KnS behavior, noted by the diamond shape in Figure 1, is the result of the interactions of the knowledge worker with the KnS environment and other knowledge workers. Relevant aspects of enterprise KnS behavior and the associated KnS influences are discussed in the sections that follow.

Figure 1.

Enterprise KnS influence diagram

Enterprise KnS behavior takes on many forms. It can be a conversation around a water fountain, e-mail sent to a co-worker or a group forum, a presentation to a small group, an enterprise “best-practice” forum, or documents published to a corporate repository. Murray (2003) categorizes KnS activities into technology-assisted communication (videoconferencing, databanks/intranet, e-mail, and teleconferencing), meetings (face-to-face interaction, seminars and conferences, social events, and retreats), and training and development (mentoring, instructional lectures, video tapes, and simulation games). This research combines the two types of knowledge (tacit and explicit) and the ontological dimension (individual, group, and organization) of knowledge creation presented by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) to derive the types of KnS behavior for the model. The KnS behaviors investigated and incorporated in the enterprise KnS model are as follows:

  • 1.

    Individual tacit: This behavior includes sharing tacit knowledge with an individual or individuals, such as face-to-face interactions in informal or formal meetings.

  • 2.

    Individual explicit: This behavior includes sharing explicit knowledge with an individual or individuals, such as through sending e-mail or hard copy material to select individual(s).

  • 3.

    Group tacit: This behavior includes sharing tacit knowledge with a group, such as face-to-face interactions with a community of interest, community of practice (CoP), or organizational unit.

  • 4.

    Group explicit: This behavior includes sharing explicit knowledge with a group, such as posting or contributing to a community of interest, CoP, or organizational unit repository, Web site, or mailing list server.

  • 5.

    Enterprise tacit: This behavior includes sharing tacit knowledge in an enterprise-wide forum, such as presenting at a technical exchange meeting or other forum that is open to the entire enterprise.

  • 6.

    Enterprise explicit: This behavior includes sharing explicit knowledge in a manner that makes it available to anyone in the enterprise, such as publishing in a corporate-wide repository or enterprise-wide intranet.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Knowledge Management and Virtual Organizations
Chapter 1
Fernando Garrigos
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Interrelationships Between Professional Virtual Communities and Social Networks, and the Importance of Virtual Communities in Creating and Sharing Knowledge
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Chapter 2
Luis V. Casaló
The rapid growth of virtual communities has created a new interest in researchers. Indeed, understanding these communities is especially relevant... Sample PDF
The Role of Trust, Satisfaction, and Communication in the Development of Participation in Virtual Communities
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Chapter 3
Cesar Camison
Organisations are finding it more difficult to keep abreast with the pace of change. The continuous rise of business opportunities and the increase... Sample PDF
Can Virtual Networks Encourage Knowledge Absorptive Capacity?
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Chapter 4
Montserrat Boronat Navarro
In this study we adopt an inter-organizational view to examine virtual organizations. Thus, we understand this phenomenon as a strategic agreement... Sample PDF
Knowledge Integration Through Inter-Organizational Virtual Organizations
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Chapter 5
Mark E. Nissen
In today’s increasingly networked world of organizational practice, information and computer technologies are enabling people and organizations to... Sample PDF
Visualizing Knowledge Networks and Flows to Enhance Organizational Metacognition in Virtual Organizations
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Chapter 6
Eduardo Bueno Campos
The aim of this chapter is to deepen the concept of ‘Communities of Practice’ (CoPs) from the understanding of a reference framework for knowledge... Sample PDF
Model on Knowledge-Governance: Collaboration Focus and Communities of Practice
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Chapter 7
Josep Capó-Vicedo
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Knowledge Management in SMEs Clusters
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Chapter 8
Raquel Sanchis
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Tools for Supporting Knowledge Management: Knowledge Internalization Through E-Learning
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Chapter 9
Cesar Camison, Carlos Devece, Daniel Palacios, Carles Camisón-Haba
In this chapter we describe a practical tool useful to managing knowledge in the firm. It has already been introduced and tested in several firms... Sample PDF
The Value of Virtual Networks for Knowledge Management: A Tool for Practical Development
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Chapter 10
M. Eugenia Fabra, Cesar Camison
Companies are increasingly conscious of the fact that the achieving of their objectives, together with the improvement of their competitive... Sample PDF
Human Capital and E-Learning: Developing Knowledge Through Virtual Networks
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Chapter 11
Júlio Da Costa Mendes
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The Development of Knowledge and Information Networks in Tourism Destinations
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Chapter 12
E. Claver-Cortés
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E-Government Challenges: Barriers and Facilitators in Spanish City Councils
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Chapter 13
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Chapter 15
Editor Conclusions  (pages 278-279)
Cesar Camison
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Editor Conclusions
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Chapter 16
Andrew P. Sage, Cynthia T. Small
This chapter describes a complex adaptive systems (CAS)-based enterprise knowledge-sharing (KnS) model. The CAS-based enterprise KnS model consists... Sample PDF
A Complex Adaptive Systems-Based Enterprise Knowledge Sharing Model
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Chapter 17
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Chapter 19
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About the Contributors