Knowledge Patterns and Knowledge Refactorings for Increasing the Quality of Knowledge

Knowledge Patterns and Knowledge Refactorings for Increasing the Quality of Knowledge

Jörg Rech (Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, Germany), Raimund L. Feldmann (Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering, USA) and Eric Ras (Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, Germa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-140-7.ch017
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Abstract

Knowledge management is a relatively young discipline. It has accumulated a valuable body-of-knowledge on how to structure and represent knowledge, or how to design socio-technical knowledge management systems. A wide variety of approaches and systems exist that are often not interoperable, and hence, prevent an easy exchange of the gathered knowledge. Industry standards, which have been accepted and are in widespread use are missing, as well as general concepts to describe common, recurring patterns of how to describe, structure, interrelate, group, or manage knowledge elements. In this chapter, we introduce the concepts “knowledge pattern” and “knowledge anti-pattern” to describe best and worst practices in knowledge management, “knowledge refactoring” to improve or change knowledge antipatterns, and “quality of knowledge” to describe desirable characteristics of knowledge in knowledge management systems. The concepts are transferred from software engineering to the field of knowledge management based on our experience from several knowledge management projects.
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Introduction

The ability to learn from knowledge gained in past projects to determine success factors and reasons for failure is a key factor for organizational learning. Consequently, knowledge management (KM) as well as learning management (LM) are important for any quality improvement initiative to succeed. Researchers and practitioners have defined and installed a multitude of models, theories, and systems comprised of valuable and recurring knowledge that is waiting to be reused in KM systems. However, the quality of the knowledge gained, the technical KM system used, or the social KM method applied is neither easy to evaluate, nor is it easy to improve. This is partly due to the fact that there exists no universal KM system that is suitable for all kinds of organizations. In practice, each system has to be adapted and tailored to the individual needs of an organization. Examples of aspects influencing the design of KM systems include the improvement and learning strategies applied, the physical structure of the organization (e.g., different sites and locations), and the organization’s logical structure (e.g., departments, projects, and working groups). Defining a KM initiative and implementing a KM system in an organization remains a time consuming and often error-prone endeavor. As a result, knowledge on how to avoid errors or shorten the time for implementation is in high demand.

Such knowledge on KM systems has been documented in the form of success factors (Mathi, 2004) (Thomas, 2006) (Morisio et al., 2002), success models (Jennex & Olfman, 2004, 2006), success measures (Jen & Yu, 2006), reference architectures for KM systems (Davenport & Probst, 2000; Mertins, 2003), or worst practices (Fahey & Prusak, 1998). They typically preserve knowledge about a whole KM system or initiative. But (complete) reuse of existing solutions is neither common nor do standard schema libraries or COTS collections for creating a KM system exist. Hence, support for a consistent set of KM systems, which would allow for easy integration of existing knowledge into an organization’s specific system, or for sharing and exchanging knowledge with other organizations, is still missing. Especially such easy exchange and wide-spread use would help to detect flaws and misbelieves in the existing body of knowledge, and thereby would help to significantly increase the quality of knowledge. Even commonly accepted best practices on how to structure knowledge, how to design an interface for a KM system, or how to start a storytelling session are hard to find. Unlike in other disciplines, general concepts or rule of thumbs documenting recurring patterns of how to describe, structure, interrelate, group, or manage knowledge are still missing.

During the mid-1990s, the concept of “design patterns” was developed in software engineering to describe best practices regarding the design of software systems in a structured way. Design patterns are used to represent knowledge that is based on experiences captured in several real-world projects and is widely accepted. This semi-formal representation is often used for describing and presenting the gained knowledge.

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