Knowledge Management Systems Procedural Development
Javier Andrade (University of A Coruña, Spain), Santiago Rodríguez (University of A Coruña, Spain), María Seoane (University of A Coruña, Spain) and Sonia Suárez (University of A Coruña, Spain)
Copyright: © 2009
The success of the organisations is increasingly dependant on the knowledge they have, to the detriment of other traditionally decisive factors as the work or the capital (Tissen, 2000). This situation has led the organisations to pay special attention to this new intangible item, so numerous efforts are being done in order to conserve and institutionalise it. The Knowledge Management (KM) is a recent discipline replying this increasing interest; however, and despite its importance, this discipline is currently in an immature stage, as none of the multiple existing proposals for the development of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) achieve enough detail for perform such complex task. In order to palliate the previous situation, this work presents a methodological framework for the explicit management of the knowledge. The study has a formal basis for achieving an increased level of detail, as all the conceptually elements needed for understanding and representing the knowledge of any domain are identified. The requested descriptive character is achieved when basing the process on these elements and, in this way, the development of the systems could be guided more effectively.
During the last years numerous methodological frameworks for the development of KMS have arisen, the most important of which are the ones of Junnarkar (1997), Wiig et al (1997), Daniel et al (1997), Holsapple and Joshi (1997), Liebowitz and Beckman (Liebowitz, 1998; Beckman, 1997), Stabb and Schnurr (1999), Tiwana (2000) and Maté et al (2002). Nevertheless, the existing proposals do not satisfy adequately the needs of the organisation knowledge (Rubenstein-Montano, 2001; Andrade, 2003) due to their immaturity, mainly based on the following aspects:
The research efforts have been mainly focused on the definition of a process for KMS development, ignoring instead the study of the object to be managed: the knowledge.
The definition of such process has eluded in most of the cases the human factor and it has been restricted only to the technological viewpoint of the KM.
The first aspect regards the necessary study of the knowledge as basis for the definition of the Corporate Memory structure; this study should identify (i) the type of knowledge that has to be included in that repository and (ii) their descriptive properties for the Corporate Memory to include all the features of the knowledge items that it stores. The definition of that structure would enable also the definition of a descriptive process for creating KMS by using the different characteristics and types of knowledge.
However, and despite the influence that the object to be managed has on the management process, only the Wiig (1997) proposal pays attention to its study. Such proposal identifies a small set of descriptors that support the formalisation (making explicit) of the knowledge although, (i) its identification does not result from an exhaustive study and (ii) it does not enable a complete formalisation as it is solely restricted to some generic properties.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Knowledge Management: Discipline that tries to suitably provide the adequate information and knowledge to the people indicated, whenever and how they need them. In such way these people will have all the necessary elements for best performing their tasks.
Knowledge Management System: System for managing knowledge in organizations, supporting the addition, storage, notification and localization of expertise and knowledge.
Methodological Framework: Approach for making explicit and structuring how a given task is performed.
Corporate Memory: Physical and persistent storage of the knowledge in an organisation. Its structure is determined by the knowledge formalisation schema.
Knowledge Formalisation Schema: Set of attributes for describing and formalising the knowledge.
Knowledge: Pragmatic level of information resulting from the combination of the information received with the individual experience.
Commission of Knowledge Management: Team in charge of the Knowledge Management project.