Indigenous Knowledge Management in the Kelabit Community in Eastern Malaysia: Insights and Reflections for Contemporary KM Design

Indigenous Knowledge Management in the Kelabit Community in Eastern Malaysia: Insights and Reflections for Contemporary KM Design

Alvin Wee Yeo (Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations, Center of Excellence for Rural Informatics, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia), Tariq Zaman (Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations, Center of Excellence for Rural Informatics, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia) and Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer (Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/jskd.2013010103
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

Knowledge audits and assessment help organizations to identify the status of knowledge processes and develop strategies to manage their knowledge-based assets. The structure of Indigenous Knowledge Management Systems (IKMS) is different from the organisation’s Knowledge Management (KM) systems and mainly based on the tacit and implicit knowledge forms. Hence, the existing organisation’s knowledge audit and assessment tools are not addressing the inherent structure of IKMS. The paper addresses this gap and uses a methodological approach for the assessment of Indigenous Knowledge Management (IKM) processes. The approach is tested in the indigenous Kelabit community of Bario in East Malaysia. The methods used for data collection are survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The study finding argues that indigenous communities exercise the processes of storage, leveraging, sharing and applying knowledge. These processes are a combination of the knowledge and the ways in which this knowledge is put into practice in their daily life activities. These processes may be different but not less effective or less efficient in comparison to organisation’s KM processes. The study will help Information and Communication Technology (ICT) researchers to better understand the structure of IKMS and then use this understanding for designing the technological solution for IKM.
Article Preview

2. Background

The indigenous communities have an inherent system for managing their knowledge resources which has withstood and proved its sustainability over thousands of years of dramatic events (Sveiby, 2007). The communities have unique ways and processes to manage, preserve and transfer this knowledge from generations and on the basis of relationships (intergenerational) and power structures (Williams, Consulting, Guenther, Conatus, & Arnott, 2011). Unlike the organisation’s KM structures where technology and databases are the essential parts of the system, IK lives in the memory, oral literature, collective intelligence and activities of the community. For example, the World Oral Literature Project, describes a variety of IK forms of oral literature which includes ritual texts, curative chants, epic poems, musical genres, songs, spells, legends, recitations, life histories and historical narratives (University of Cambridge, 2012).

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Reset
Open Access Articles: Forthcoming
Volume 9: 4 Issues (2017): 2 Released, 2 Forthcoming
Volume 8: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2011)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2010)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2009)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing