Knowledge Sharing and Pervasive Computing: The Need for Trust and a Sense of History

Knowledge Sharing and Pervasive Computing: The Need for Trust and a Sense of History

Phillip W.J. Brook (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-220-6.ch015
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This chapter explores the implications of knowledge sharing in an era of pervasive computing, and concludes that, perhaps counter-intuitively, people will need to come together more to establish the trust that is necessary for effective knowledge sharing. Practices such as team-work should result in closer ties between peers, and this relationship can encourage increased sharing of knowledge related to the work at hand. With the advent of pervasive computing, the question can be asked as to what the impact of this technology could/will have on the sharing of knowledge in a team situation. At the same time, the changing attitudes to how knowledge is acquired make it even more important that knowledge is acquired in its historical context, which may be best achieved by person-to-person knowledge transfer. It is argued that these social aspects will be more important in a world of pervasive computing than in conventional businesses.
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This chapter is concerned with the implications for the sharing of knowledge that arise when pervasive computing technologies are adopted in an organisation. The term knowledge sharing (KS) is used in preference to knowledge management (KM) so as to move the focus away from an implied (by common practice) focus on technology, to a focus on the social aspects. The literature on KM that has developed over the last twenty years or so has generally been written from one of two broad perspectives: the theoretical issues related to the representation of knowledge in an automated environment, or the psychological / biological aspects of knowledge representation in people. When these two perspectives are combined, there is much concern about how internal knowledge (especially tacit knowledge) is transformed into explicit knowledge that may be captured, stored and disseminated in some automated way.

An area that has received less attention is the issue of how the sharing of knowledge is encouraged by organisational designs and actions. For example, it is accepted that effective knowledge sharing cannot be mandated by management decree, but that teams routinely share knowledge when there is a common purpose to be achieved. The introduction of pervasive computing into this environment raises additional questions, centred on what the social conditions need to be for effective knowledge sharing when face-to-face contact become less and reliance on computer-mediated communication increases.

In an environment of face-to-face communication, participants have available to them cues other than the words that constitute the communication. These cues have been well-documented as providing much-needed information about the communicator, such as temperament, attitudes and reactions to the interactions taking place. As a reaction to these needs, the use of such computer-mediated communications as emails and similar different-time / different-place means of communication have not replaced more personal forms of communication: face-to-face meetings still are a regular business activity. As somewhat of a compromise, video-conferencing and similar technologies have been used with varying degrees of success.

Pervasive computing (synonym: ubiquitous computing) refers to a contemporary trend towards computing devices being incorporated into artefacts and the environment in such as way as to make their presence effectively invisible. That is, it is not necessarily apparent to the users of this computing ability that in fact computing devices are being used. It is a trend that is accelerated by a number of related technologies, especially communication (particularly) wireless technologies. In the context of this chapter, the important characteristics of pervasive computing are taken as being the uses of computer-mediated communication that are available essentially anywhere at any time, leading to people spending less time in traditional office environments, and therefore less time in the physical presence of others. Other defining characteristics of pervasive computing, such as location-awareness, are also of interest to the extent that they may affect communication and / or knowledge sharing. In addition, acknowledgement is given to such technical developments as video streaming that are available on computing platforms.

When we acquire information, we need to judge the veracity of the source, that is, make some assessment as to its “correctness” or “reliability”. Traditionally this has been by assessing its authorship and relationship to other trusted sources. With the advent of electronic sources, much of this ability has been taken away: authorship is not clear (if stated at all), rarely are references available (or indeed given). One view about this is that the decline in publishing books (excluding the one-week holiday fillers), and the decline in reading has diminished the appreciation of the history of development of an idea: no longer do we see the trials and mistakes made in arriving at “what we know” today. By not being aware of these lessons of history, we may repeat them. To overcome this problem, it is argued that by knowing the source (that is, the authorship) of knowledge we can judge its quality, and that one way that this can be achieved is by person-to-person communication, be that electronically mediated or otherwise. Through such a person-to-person interaction, the lessons of history may more readily emerge.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Jeffrey Soar
Varuna Godara
Chapter 1
Varuna Godara
Pervasive computing is trying to make the dreams of the science fiction writers come true—where you think of some type of convenience and you have... Sample PDF
Pervasive Computing: A Conceptual Framework
Chapter 2
Varuna Godara
The need for more and more flexibility (in terms of time and location) in business operations, contextbased services, decentralization of business... Sample PDF
Pervasive Business Infrastructure: The Network Technologies, Routing and Security Issues
Chapter 3
Deo Prakash Vidyarthi
The proliferation of the capable mobile devices has given the opportunity to utilize these devices for various purposes. The mobile devices being... Sample PDF
Computational Mobile Grid: A Computing Infrastructure on Mobile Devices
Chapter 4
Mark J.W. Lee
This chapter investigates the use of mobile digital technologies for learning, or mobile learning (mlearning), across a variety of education and... Sample PDF
Mobile and Pervasive Technology in Education and Training: Potential and Possibilities, Problems and Pitfalls
Chapter 5
Gaya Prasad
Microorganisms are ubiquitous in their presence. They are present in air, soil, water, and all kinds of living creatures. Varieties of microbes have... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Computing for Microbial Forensics and Bioterrorism
Chapter 6
Jonathan G.M. Pratt
This chapter presents the major findings of case study research investigating uncritical assessment of an institution-wide learning management... Sample PDF
Falling Behind: A Case Study in Uncritical Assessment
Chapter 7
Yvonne Lee, Martin Kornberger
In the rapidly changing digital marketplace, firms increasingly try to look for new ways to acquire, engage, and retain their consumers. In doing... Sample PDF
Strategizing in the Digital World: Aligning Business Model, Brand and Technology
Chapter 8
Helena Halas, Tomaž Klobucar
This chapter explores the influence of pervasive computing on companies and their businesses, with the main stress on business models. The role of... Sample PDF
Business Models and Organizational Processes Changes
Chapter 9
Te Fu Chen
To date, identifying barriers and critical success factors (CSFs) and integrating business model in implementing e-business for SMEs, have not been... Sample PDF
The Critical Success Factors and Integrated Model for Implementing E-Business in Taiwan's SMEs
Chapter 10
Lawan Ahmed Mohammed
The change in physical structures of computing facilities into small and portable devices, or even wearable computers, has enhanced ubiquitous... Sample PDF
Security Issues in Pervasive Computing
Chapter 11
Grace Li
Pervasive computing and communications is emerging rapidly as an exciting new paradigm and discipline to provide computing and communication... Sample PDF
Deciphering Pervasive Computing: A Study of Jurisdiction, E-Fraud and Privacy in Pervasive Computing Environment
Chapter 12
Reima Suomi, Tuomas Aho, Tom Björkroth, Aki Koponen
Accurate identification of individuals is a cornerstone of any modern society. Without identification, we cannot recognize the parties of different... Sample PDF
Biometrical Identification as a Challenge for Legislation: The Finnish Case
Chapter 13
Antony Glambedakis
This chapter sets out to inform the reader about the impact of pervasive computers in aviation passenger risk profiling. First is an overview of the... Sample PDF
Pervasive Computers in Aviation Passenger Risk Profiling
Chapter 14
Penny Duquenoy, Oliver K. Burmeister
There is a growing concern both publicly and professionally surrounding the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and... Sample PDF
Ethical Issues and Pervasive Computing
Chapter 15
Phillip W.J. Brook
This chapter explores the implications of knowledge sharing in an era of pervasive computing, and concludes that, perhaps counter-intuitively... Sample PDF
Knowledge Sharing and Pervasive Computing: The Need for Trust and a Sense of History
Chapter 16
Patrice Braun
In view of the fact that women are playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, this chapter examines business skilling in the... Sample PDF
Advancing Women in the Digital Economy: eLearning Opportunities for Meta-Competency Skilling
Chapter 17
B.K. Mangaraj, Upali Aparajita
The future of pervasive computers largely depends upon culture studies of human societies. This forms a challenging field of social research because... Sample PDF
Cultural Dimension in the Future of Pervasive Computing
Chapter 18
Genevieve Watson
Pervasive computers cover many areas of both our working and personal lives. This chapter investigates this phenomenon through the human factors... Sample PDF
Outline of the Human Factor Elements Evident with Pervasive Computers
Chapter 19
Kalawati Malik
This chapter analyses the impact of computer and video games on the development of children. First introductory part of this chapter informs its... Sample PDF
Impact of Computer and Video Games on the Development of Children
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