Formal and Emergent Standards in KM

Formal and Emergent Standards in KM

Helen Hasan (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-931-1.ch032


A natural consequence of the advance of human knowledge is an increase in the complexity of business, government and social organisations, supported and integrated by technological systems. It is now impossible to operate in this environment without a web of standards, sometimes expressed as laws and regulations, and sometimes as best practice guidelines, benchmarks or course content of educational programs. Standards can emerge through converging practice, through the dominance of one player in the market or through the work of an official Standards Development Organisation (SDO). There is no shortage of work for SDOs, which exist within most countries and at the international level. In addition to formal standards there exist myriads of frameworks, models, sets of guidelines or taxonomies that are used to influence and direct practice particularly on developing topics or where formal standards are inappropriate. Such informal emergent standards can be anything from a simple diagram to a comprehensive documentation of best practice, a generalised model or a taxonomy resulting from extensive research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Framework: A conceptual structure composed of parts fitted and united together to give coherence.

Knowledge Eco-System: A complex set of interrelations in an organisation between people, processes, technology and content.

Emergent Frameworks and Models: Contain useful items and methods that have come from common use in successful practice.

Standards Development Organisation (SDO): A national or international body officially authorised to produce standards.

Taxonomy: Often used for a review of a new area to classify or arrange the collection of emerging frameworks.

Authorised Standard: The formal output of an SDO, usually in the form of an accepted document and can be prescriptive or descriptive.

Model: Any useful representation of reality.

Standard: Includes anything taken by general consent as the basis of comparison, an approved model, a grade of excellence, a determination of fitness for purpose, or behaviour that is socially desirable.

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