Effective Knowledge Management Using Wikis

Effective Knowledge Management Using Wikis

Jeffrey Hsu (Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ, USA), Gary Bronson (Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ, USA) and Zhongxian Wang (Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJKBO.2017100103
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Abstract

This paper presents a discussion and in-depth exploration of using Wikis for providing support to, and for the effective maintenance of, knowledge management systems. Specific issues, considerations, and relevant areas for which Wikis can be most effective are addressed. This includes identifying both strengths and weaknesses of Wikis as they apply to the various types of knowledge management requirements, including information capture, retention, dissemination, updating, and security concerns. A conceptual and research framework of the major impacts, challenges, and issues is also presented, as well as areas for future research.
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Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management is a broad discipline comprising numerous sub-areas and topics; as such, it is useful to first define, and then to examine, some of the major areas that comprise a KM system.

A useful definition of knowledge management is as a process, using a multi-disciplinary approach, for the capture, development, sharing, and effective use of organizational knowledge for achieving organizational objectives (Davenport, 1994; Dalkir & Liebowitz, 2013).

In practice, this means capturing the knowledge and information found in an organization, storing it in retrievable form for use and update, ultimately to benefit the organization. It could include, for example, capturing and retaining specific knowledge about a company’s operations and functions, plans that must be shared, commented, and updated by one or more groups within the organization, trade secrets and company proprietary development, or expertise relating to a specific area within the firm (Dalkir & Liebowitz, 2013). Although there exists a wide range of views on the exact elements encompassing the theory and practice of KM (Bray, 2007, Langston & Robbins, 2006), there is broad agreement that the central elements of KM must include an organization's culture and people, processes and structure, and technology, as listed in Table 1.

Table 1.
Central elements of a knowledge management system
ComponentPurpose
PeopleFocuses on the interaction of people and culture viewed as an ecological whole.
OrganizationalFocuses on the design of processes and structures to maximize knowledge processes.
TechnologicalFocuses on those areas of technology that enhance knowledge creation, retention, updating, and sharing.

Adapted from Alavi and Leidner (1999).

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