Managing Knowledge in Organizational Memory Using Topic Maps

Managing Knowledge in Organizational Memory Using Topic Maps

Les Miller (Iowa State University, USA), Sree Nilakanta (Iowa State University, USA), Yunan Song (Iowa State University, USA), Lei Zhu (Iowa State University, USA) and Ming Hua (Iowa State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-540-5.ch018
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Abstract

Organizational memories play a significant role in knowledge management, but several challenges confront their use. Artifacts of OM are many and varied. Access and use of the stored artifact are influenced by the user’s understanding of these information objects as well as their context. Theories of distributed cognition and the notion of community of practice are used to develop a model of the knowledge management system. In the present work we look at a model for managing organizational memory knowledge. Topic maps are used in the model to represent user cognition of contextualized information. A visual approach to topic maps proposed in the model also allows for access and analysis of stored memory artifacts. The design and implementation of a prototype to test the feasibility of the model is briefly examined.
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Organizational Memory And Knowledge Generation

Organizational memory (OM) is a stored collection of organizational history reflected among the many parts (Walsh & Ungson, 1991). It includes both stored records and tacit knowledge and covers the various facets of organizational tasks, employees, and their task environments (Argote et al., 2003; Choy et al., 2005; Lee et al., 1999; Nonaka & Konno, 1998). Because it can be a large and valuable repository of information and knowledge, several researchers have recognized the import of organizational memory in effecting organizational performance (Akgun et al., 2006; Brockman & Morgan 2003; Jennex & Olfman 2002; Ji & Salvendy, 2004; Lesser & Storck, 2001).

Ackerman and Halverson (2004), however, take a critical view of prior research on OM and argue for a theoretical base to properly define and empirically validate future research. They state that as socio-technical systems, organizations and their memories conform to social structures and norms while employing technical models. They use the theory of distributed cognition to develop a theoretical foundation for organizational memory. The basic tenets of this theory are that knowledge evolves from a community of practice and that cognition and inferences result from the shared meaning among the participants (hence the distribution) (Hollan et al., 2000). Communities of practice fulfill a number of functions with respect to the creation, accumulation, and diffusion of knowledge in an organization through exchange and interpretation of information, by retaining knowledge, by stewarding competencies, and providing homes for identities (Wenger, 1998). Collective thinking creates knowledge that otherwise would not be evident. Additionally, changes in state of the memory, as in change from internal to external representation via artifact changes or through the movement of information among the participants (trajectory of information), are necessary to fully utilize an OM. A cycle of changes comprising contextualization to decontextualization and again to recontextualization of the information object takes place as organizational members relive their experience through the stored information object or artifact. An essential feature of knowledge management systems is this capability to change the state of the information object.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Nick Bontis
Preface
John P. Girard
Acknowledgment
John P. Girard
Chapter 1
Peter Stoyko
This chapter describes how organizational culture is both a “vessel” for preserving organizational memory and a force that conditions the way... Sample PDF
Organizational Culture and the Management of Organizational Memory
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Chapter 2
Nicholas N. Bowersox
Recent business practices over the past decade have been tainted with corporate restructuring strategies such as downsizing, reorganizations, and... Sample PDF
Downsizing and Building Organizational Memory: A Paradoxical Relationship between “Brain-Drain” and “Brain-Gain”
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Chapter 3
Nicholas P. Robinson, Prescott C. Ensign
This chapter argues that a trusting corporate culture predicated on values that emphasize sharing and encourage interactions amongst stakeholders at... Sample PDF
Effective Stakeholder Knowledge Sharing for Effective Organizational Memory
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Chapter 4
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses the revision of the SECI model originally based on Japanese organizational culture into a model based on American... Sample PDF
Revising the SECI Model for American Organizational Culture
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Chapter 5
Parissa Haghirian
A growing interest in the various aspects of knowledge transfer within multinational corporations has been evidenced by a recent surge in empirical... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer within Multinational Corporations: An Intercultural Challenge
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Chapter 6
Patrice Dunckley, Suzanne Roff-Wexler
This chapter provides perspective and practical techniques that individuals and organizations can use to maximize knowledge transfer efforts. It... Sample PDF
Valuing a Multiplicity of Views: How to Tap Informal Networks to See the (W)hole
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Chapter 7
Haris Papoutsakis
This chapter explores the ways that Knowledge Sharing Networks support the flow of organizational knowledge within a firm. Based on the assumption... Sample PDF
Organizational Knowledge Sharing Networks
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Chapter 8
Raul M. Abril, Ralf Müller
This chapter suggests established research approaches to capture and validate project lessons learned. Past research indicates that due to the... Sample PDF
Lessons Learned as Organizational Project Memories
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Chapter 9
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses employee recall due to training presentations. Recall is an employee’s ability to remember what they knew or have learned via... Sample PDF
Will You Recall What You Knew?
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Chapter 10
Maria de los Angeles Martin, Luis Olsina
With the aim to manage and retrieve the organizational knowledge, in the last years numerous proposals of models and tools for knowledge management... Sample PDF
Added Value of Ontologies for Modeling an Organizational Memory
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Chapter 11
Juha Kettunen
This study analyses how strategic management is integrated with budgeting in the cities using the Balanced Scorecard approach, which provides a... Sample PDF
The Collective Process and Memory of Strategic Management
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Chapter 12
Kimiz Dalkir
Research on how organizational memories can be created, preserved and made available for future reuse in NPOs is presented. An initial review of the... Sample PDF
Organizational Memory Challenges Faced by Non-Profit Organizations
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Chapter 13
Susan G. McIntyre
The case study of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI), a Canadian... Sample PDF
Creating and Sustaining Meta Organizational Memory: A Case Study
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Chapter 14
David Bennet, Alex Bennet
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of the basic concepts related to the unconscious life of an organization, and then addresses specific... Sample PDF
Associative Patterning: The Unconscious Life of an Organization
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Chapter 15
Michael JD Sutton
This chapter introduces the research domain of knowledge management educational programs and issues associated with the preservation of knowledge... Sample PDF
A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of Knowledge Management Educational Programs
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Chapter 16
Marie-Hélène Abel
Learning can be considered an outcome associated with acquiring new competencies (Sicilia, 2005) and adding new knowledge. A competence is a way to... Sample PDF
An Organizational Memory Tool for E-Learning
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Chapter 17
Sajjad M. Jasimuddin, N.A.D. Connell, Jonathan H. Klein
It is generally recognized that Walsh and Ungson (1991) “provided the first integrative framework for thinking about organizational memory”... Sample PDF
Understanding Organizational Memory
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Chapter 18
Les Miller, Sree Nilakanta, Yunan Song, Lei Zhu, Ming Hua
Organizational memories play a significant role in knowledge management, but several challenges confront their use. Artifacts of OM are many and... Sample PDF
Managing Knowledge in Organizational Memory Using Topic Maps
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About the Contributors