Knowledge Elicitation and Mapping: Ontology as an Instrument of Design and Organizational Learning

Knowledge Elicitation and Mapping: Ontology as an Instrument of Design and Organizational Learning

Paul Jackson (Edith Cowan University, Australia) and Ray Webster (Murdoch University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-140-7.ch018
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Abstract

This chapter is concerned with engaging end-users in the design and development of knowledge management systems. The identification, capture and use of contextual knowledge in the design of knowledge management systems (KMS) are key development activities. It is argued that tacit knowledge, while often difficult to capture, can be extremely useful as contextualising knowledge to designers of KM systems. A methodology was developed to combine soft systems methodology, causal cognitive mapping, and brainstorming to provide a set of knowledge requirements. The methodology appears to offer an effective platform for making sense of non-routine yet rigorous knowledge work. The interventions enacted by the consultant and involving project stakeholders and end users facilitates individual, group and organizational learning through a metacognitive process of understanding the relationships and dynamics of shared group knowledge. Engagement with the methodology, in addition to causing tacit knowledge to be made explicit, enables second-order ‘deutero learning’, or ‘learning how to learn’. The combination of activities presented forms a metacognitive process which is both a form of proactive individual and organizational learning and an endeavour which adds to organizational memory. The identification, capture and use of contextual knowledge and their use in engaging end-users in the design of KMS will result in better user-system interaction.
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Introduction

This chapter is concerned with engaging end-users in the design and development of knowledge management systems. The identification, capture and use of contextual knowledge in the design of knowledge management systems (KMS) are key development activities and it is suggested that the metacognitive tasks involved in formalising tacit knowledge, when undertaken by stakeholders and end-users, adds to and enhances organizational learning and organizational memory. By linking process modelling, elements of soft systems methodology and cognitive mapping for knowledge elicitation, the stakeholders in the case study improve both the knowledge management system design process and organizational learning. These are important activities which can enhance organizational learning (Tsoukas & Mylonopoulos, 2004b, Snowden, 2002). Metacognition involves thinking about the aspects and processes involved in cognition itself - thinking about one’s own thinking, memory and perception etc. Here, we are concerned with stakeholders and end-users reflecting on two types of knowledge: implicit/unconscious knowledge and explicit, conscious, factual knowledge and the process of transforming the former into the latter.

The interface between business activities known as ‘knowledge work’ and the group of technologies referred to as ‘knowledge management systems’ is a key area for organizational change and organizational learning. While there continues to be much debate about the relationships between organisational learning and the use of knowledge management systems to augment this process, the interface between the knowledge work activities and the technologies used to manage them has to be considered a crucial area (Awad & Ghaziri, 2004; Becerra-Fernandez et al., 2004; Malone et al., 2003) In addition, while there are many formal notations to rigorously capture and document information systems requirements for the purposes of design, a more difficult yet critical area also exists: that of capturing the knowledge processes of creating, finding, sharing and using knowledge to achieve good business outcomes. A key challenge taken up here then, is to construct representations which will assist in the design of appropriate tools and management solutions to support those activities and in doing so involve end-users in a manner which will enhance the development process and eventual outcomes. The activities involved also entail developing processes that can facilitate and augment organizational learning.

This chapter therefore has been concerned with contextual knowledge and organizational learning, more specifically with the identification, capture and use of contextual knowledge in the design of knowledge management (KM) systems. It was proposed that this is an important process which can augment organizational learning through enhancing object learning and making tacit knowledge explicit.

The elicitation and analysis of operational and management knowledge and the design of systems to contain and give access to that knowledge still seem to focus largely upon explicit forms of knowledge. Even design ontologies (Guarino, 1998; Maedche et al, 2003), which appear to offer comprehensive methods for the rigorous capture of shared conceptualisations, generally remain in the comfort zone of knowledge that can be written down. As Robillard (1999) says:

Software engineers have placed a great deal of emphasis on documenting the final representation of the knowledge structure, or the source code, but only recently the rationale, or process, of knowledge crystallisation. (Robillard, 1999, p92).

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Murray E. Jennex
This is the third volume in the Advances in Knowledge Management and I thought it appropriate to start this volume with some reflection on where KM... Sample PDF
Reflections on Knowledge Management Research and Practice
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Chapter 2
Peter Keen, Margaret Tan
The chapter proposes a simple framework termed ‘knowledge fusion’ to extend the rigor and relevance of knowledge management (KM). It points to some... Sample PDF
Knowledge Fusion: A Framework for Extending the Rigor and Relevance of Knowledge Management
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Chapter 3
Hazel Taylor
This chapter explores the concept of ‘tacit knowledge’ and how organizations can foster the sharing and exchange of tacit knowledge. Various views... Sample PDF
Tapping Tacit Knowledge
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Chapter 4
Andrea Hornett, Eric W. Stein
This chapter adds to our understanding of knowledge management as an evolving body of concepts, relationships, strategies and practices. Using... Sample PDF
Advances in Knowledge Management: Mapping Ideas that Shape Practice
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Chapter 5
Clyde W. Holsapple, Kiku G. Jones
Just as Porter’s value chain model identifies classes of business activity that can be performed in ways that contribute to a firm’s... Sample PDF
Knowledge Chain Activity Classes: Impacts on Competitiveness and the Importance of Technology Support
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Chapter 6
Rahinah Ibrahim, Mark E. Nissen
Tacit knowledge attenuates particularly quickly in organizations that experience discontinuous membership: the coming and going of organizational... Sample PDF
Developing a Knowledge-Based Organizational Performance Model for Improving Knowledge Flows in Discontinuous Organizations
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Chapter 7
Frank Land, Urooj Amjad, Sevasti-Melissa Nolas
The purpose of this chapter is to argue the case that the study of Knowledge Management should embrace considerations of ethics and accountability.... Sample PDF
Accountability and Ethics in Knowledge Management
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Chapter 8
Chay Yue Wah
The study aims to understand the social and organizational factors that influence knowledge sharing. A model of knowledge management and knowledge... Sample PDF
Social Capital and Knowledge Sharing in Knowledge-Based Organizations: An Empirical Study
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Chapter 9
Charlie C. Chen, Rong-An Shang, Albert L. Harris, Zhi-Kai Chen
A knowledge management system (KMS) project transcends functional departments and business partners. The success of KMS implementation is highly... Sample PDF
A Structured Method for Evaluating the Management of a Knowledge Management System Implementation
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Chapter 10
Murray E. Jennex, Stefan Smolnik, David T. Croasdell
This chapter explores knowledge management, KM, and knowledge management system, KMS, success. The inspiration for this chapter is the KM Success... Sample PDF
Toward a Consensus Knowledge Management Success Definition
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Chapter 11
Elsa Rhoads, Kevin J. O'Sullivan, Michael Stankosky
This research chapter investigates the status of knowledge management (KM) practices implemented across federal agencies of the U.S. government. It... Sample PDF
An Evaluation of Factors that Influence the Success of Knowledge Management Practices in U.S. Federal Agencies
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Chapter 12
Kevin Laframboise, Anne-Marie Croteau, Anne Beaudry, Mantas Manovas
This article reports on a study that investigates the knowledge transfer between an information systems/ technology (IS/IT) department and non-IT... Sample PDF
Interdepartmental Knowledge Transfer Success During Information Technology Projects
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Chapter 13
Claudio Vitari, Jennifer Moro, Aurelio Ravarini, Isabelle Bourdon
The purpose of this chapter is to contribute to the improvement of the acceptance of information systems (IS) devoted to the codification and... Sample PDF
Improving KMS Acceptance: The Role of Organizational and Individuals' Influence
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Chapter 14
Michael J. Zhang
While a great deal has been written about how information systems (IS) can be deployed to facilitate knowledge management for performance... Sample PDF
IS Support for Knowledge Management and Firm Performance: An Empirical Study
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Chapter 15
Wei Li, Alexandre Ardichvili, Martin Maurer, Tim Wentling, Reed Stuedemann
The goal of this study was to explore how national (Chinese) culture influences knowledge sharing in virtual communities of practice at a large... Sample PDF
Chinese Culture and Virtual Knowledge Sharing in a Multinational Corporation
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Chapter 16
Gilles Balmisse, Denis Meingan, Katia Passerini
In this chapter, we update earlier research on the state of the art Knowledge Management (KM) tools and present key evaluation criteria that can be... Sample PDF
Selecting the Right Knowledge Management Tools: Software Trends and Key Evaluation Criteria
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Chapter 17
Jörg Rech, Raimund L. Feldmann, Eric Ras
Knowledge management is a relatively young discipline. It has accumulated a valuable body-of-knowledge on how to structure and represent knowledge... Sample PDF
Knowledge Patterns and Knowledge Refactorings for Increasing the Quality of Knowledge
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Chapter 18
Paul Jackson, Ray Webster
This chapter is concerned with engaging end-users in the design and development of knowledge management systems. The identification, capture and use... Sample PDF
Knowledge Elicitation and Mapping: Ontology as an Instrument of Design and Organizational Learning
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Chapter 19
Aurora Vizcaino, Juan Pablo Soto, Javier Portillo, Mario Piattini
Efforts to develop Knowledge Management have increased in recent years. However, many of the systems implanted in companies are still not greatly... Sample PDF
Helping to Develop Knowledge Management Systems by Using a Multi-Agent Approach
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Chapter 20
Mirghani Mohamed, Michael Stankosky, Vincent Ribière
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the requirements of Knowledge Management (KM) services deployment in a Semantic Grid environment. A wide... Sample PDF
Adopting the Grid Computing & Semantic Web Hybrid for Global Knowledge Sharing
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Chapter 21
Sineed Paisittanand, L. A. Digman, Sang M. Lee
The creation and the use of knowledge have increasingly been regarded as important issues for management. A wide range of studies have investigated... Sample PDF
The Effect of Knowledge Process Capabilities and Knowledge Infrastructure Capabilities on Strategy Implementation Effectiveness
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About the Contributors