Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective

Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective

Miltiadis D. Lytras (Effat University, Saudi Arabia), Robert D. Tennyson (University of Minnesota, USA) and Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos (Universidad de Oviedo, Spain)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: November, 2008|Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 422|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-976-2
ISBN13: 9781599049762|ISBN10: 1599049767|EISBN13: 9781599049779|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781616925536
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Social networks are collections of individuals linked together by a set of relations. The linkage of social networks to people and business contexts as well as to critical government domains is important for the emerging information ecosystems of the knowledge society.

Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective concentrates on strategies that exploit emerging technologies for the knowledge effectiveness in social networks. This comprehensive book delivers an excellent mix of information for readers and is a must for those thirsty for knowledge on social networks and information systems.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborative work systems
  • Competencies
  • Discussion Forums
  • Individual profiles
  • Inter-organizational network
  • Knowledge Management
  • Knowledge maps
  • Metadata
  • Organizational Memory
  • Semantics
  • Tacit Knowledge
  • Taxonomies
  • Team dynamics
  • Workflows

Reviews and Testimonials

This book promotes the state of the art on Social software exploitation for Interactive Learning Environments as a milestone enabled by the evolution of Web 2.0 technologies and approaches.

– Miltiadis D. Lytras, Athens University of Economics and Business

This book will be of interest to policy makers, academics, and practitioners in computing, IT education, Web technologies, knowledge management, and telecommunication.

– Book News Inc. (February 2009)

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Social Networks, Social Software and Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a perceived or proposed second generation of Internet-based services—such as social networking sites, professional communities of practice, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize the creation of knowledge and intellectual capital, online collaboration and sharing among users. This new emerging era poses critical challenges for the development of Interactive Learning Environment. Let’s briefly explore the topics of knowledge management, intellectual capital and technology enhanced learning.

Managing knowledge-based resources is not a new problem and there have been other theories that have tried to tackle it. Intellectual capital is the latest development in this line of research. In particular, the theoretical roots of intellectual capital come from two different streams of research: strategy and measurement. While the first stream studies knowledge management –knowledge creation, acquisition, diffusion, capitalization, conversion, transfer and storage-, the second stream of research focuses on the measuring of intellectual capital. This stream has advanced towards the building of intellectual capital statements and the development of international standards on intellectual capital measuring and reporting.

Knowledge Management is the set of processes that allow using knowledge as a key point to add and generate value. Moreover, it includes not only processes of creation, acquisition and transference of knowledge but also the reflection of that new knowledge in the organization’s behaviour. Whilst organizations recognize the importance of creating, managing and transferring knowledge, so far they have been unable to translate this competitive need into organizational strategies. In broad terms, two major types of knowledge management could be identified: operational knowledge management and strategic knowledge management. First, the main concern of operational knowledge management is to connect people to the system being used for the distribution and transfer of knowledge. Second, strategic knowledge management is a process that links organizational knowledge with 1) the design of organizational structures that foster knowledge, 2) business strategy and 3) the development of knowledge workers.

On the other hand, a broad definition of intellectual capital states it is the difference between the company’s market value and its book value. Knowledge-based resources that contribute to the sustained competitive advantage of the firm form intellectual capital. However these resources are not registered in the financial accounts. In contrast with tangible resources, the payoff and value of investments in firm’s current stock of knowledge (intellectual capital) will not appear in the financial accounting until later on. By all these reasons, knowledge-based resources must now being identified, dissected and analyzed.

Intellectual capital is formed by three components or subconstructs: human capital , structural capital and relational capital. Human capital reflects the set of knowledge, capabilities, skills and experience of the employees of the company. It represents the accumulated value of investments in employee training, competence and future.Structural capital represents organizational knowledge that has moved from individuals or from the relationships between individuals to be embedded in organizational structures, such as organizational routines, policies, culture or procedures. Generally structural capital is divided into technological capital and organizational capital. Technological capital represents industrial and technical knowledge, such as results from R&D and process engineering. Organizational capital includes all aspects that are related with the organization of the company and its decision making process, for example organizational culture, organizational structure design, coordination mechanisms, organizational routines, planning and control systems, among others. Finally relational capital reflects the value of organizational relationships. In general, it has been accepted that these relationships were mainly focused on customers, suppliers, shareholders, and the Administrations, among others, without including the employees, and therefore adopting an external perspective.

Technology enhanced learning is the best term to describe the domain of knowledge society technologies as applied in the learning context: "Learning for anyone, at any time, at any place”. With the shift towards the knowledge society, the change of working conditions and the high-speed evolution of information and communication technologies, peoples' knowledge and skills need continuous updating.

Learning, based on collaborative working, creativity, multidisciplinary, adaptiveness, intercultural communication and problem solving, has taken on an important role in everyday life. The learning process is becoming pervasive, both for individuals and organisations, in formal education, in the professional context and as part of leisure activities. Learning should be accessible to every citizen, independent of age, education, social status and tailored to his/her individual needs. To meet these social challenges is a leading issue of research on the use of technology to support learning (e.g. The Technology Enhanced Learning Action within the 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development). In the context of the knowledge society, the focus of research in this area has been set on applications of technologies for user-centered learning, building on the concept of human learning and on sound pedagogical principles, with the key objectives to be:

  • To increase the efficiency of learning for individuals, groups
  • To facilitate transfer and sharing of knowledge in organisations
  • To contribute to a deeper understanding of the learning process by exploring links between human learning, cognition and technologies
  • To promote humanistic visions for a better world based on open learning for all

    According to the ideas mentioned above, the book Knowledge Networks: The Social Software PerspectivE has three main goals: 1) To promote the state of the art on Social software exploitation for Interactive Learning Environments as a milestone enabled by the evolution of Web 2.0 technologies and approaches; 2) To provide a reference edition for the area with main emphasis to be paid on social network analysis for Learning; and 3) To become a reference edition for people (policy makers, government officers, academics and practitioners) thirsty for knowledge on Social Software for Learning.

    The book is formed by 14 chapters which include hot topics such as Collaborative tools for learning groupware as Interactive Learning Environments, Design variables and conditions for knowledge sharing and creation systems, Knowledge Management Strategies at Artifact/ Individual/ Team / Organizational/ Inter-organizational Levels, New forms of interaction in knowledge sharing and creation systems, Blogging and enterprise blogs as a new strategic tool, Collaborative filtering, Analysing social interaction for finding knowledge among Web users, Semantic Desktops, Social Network Analysis to support implicit learning and sharing within educational environments, Learning and Knowledge Communities within higher education, Analysis of Large Online Communities for Building Intellectual Capital, Web Communities of Practice for Sharing, Creating, and Learning, Network Analysis for Building Social Networks within Learning Communities, Implicit, Formal, and Powerful Semantics in Communities of Practice,Metadata and Annotation Techniques for Automated Support of Collaborative Learning, Folksonomies, tagging and other collaboration-based categorisation systems and Wikis, semantic Wikis and other collaborative knowledge creation systems, among other topics.

    Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

    Miltiadis D. Lytras has co-edited/co-edits, 25 special issues in International Journals (e.g., IEEE Transaction on Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Internet Computing, IEEE Transactions on Education, Computers in Human Behaviour, etc.) and has authored/[co-]edited 12 books (e.g., Open Source for Knowledge and Learning Management, Ubiquitous and Pervasive Knowledge Management, Intelligent Learning Infrastructures for Knowledge Intensive Organizations, and Semantic Based Information Systems). He is the founder and officer of the Semantic Web and Information Systems Special Interest Group in the association for information systems ( He serves as the (Co) Editor-in-Chief of 12 international journals (e.g., International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, International Journal on Social and Humanistic Computing, International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems, International Journal on Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism, International Journal of Electronic Democracy, International Journal of Electronic Banking, and International Journal of Electronic Trade) while he is an associate editor or editorial board member of seven more.
    Robert D. Tennyson is currently a Professor of Educational Psychology and Technology in the Learning and Cognition, at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his faculty position, he is also the Program Coordinator for Psychological Foundations of Education. His published works range from basic theoretical articles on human learning, to applied books on instructional design and technology. He is editor of the scientific journal, Computers in Human Behavior, published by Elsevier Science which is now in its 17th year, as well as serving on several editorial boards for professional journals.

    His research and publications include topics such as cognitive learning and complex cognitive processes, intelligent systems, complex-dynamic simulations, testing and measurement, instructional design, and advanced learning technologies. At the present time, he is working with a German colleague on basic research in learning complex-advanced knowledge.

    His international activities include directing a NATO-sponsored Advanced Research workshop (Barcelona) and a NATO Advanced Study Institute (Grimstad, Norway)—both on the topic of Automated Instructional Design and Delivery. He has recently directed an institute on technology in Athens and Kuala Lumpur. His other international activities include twice receiving a Fulbright Research Award to Germany and once to Russia. His teaching interests include psychology of learning, technology-based systems design, evaluation, and management systems.

    Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos is a professor in the Department of Business Administration and Accountability in the Faculty of Economics at The University of Oviedo (Spain). Her teaching and research interests focus on the areas of strategic management, knowledge management, intellectual capital, and China. She serves as an Associate Editor for the Behaviour and Information Technology journal. Additionally, she is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital (IJLIC) and the International Journal of Strategic Change Management (IJSCM). She is also Editor-in-Chief of IGI Global’s International Journal of Asian Business and Information Management (IJABIM), as well as editor for a number of IGI Global book publications and full book series.