Knowledge Dissemination in Portals

Knowledge Dissemination in Portals

Steven Woods (Boeing Phantom Works, USA), Stephen R. Poteet (Boeing Phantom Works, USA), Anne Kao (Boeing Phantom Works, USA) and Lesley Quach (Boeing Phantom Works, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1945-6.ch076
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Category: Processes of Knowledge Management

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Background

Traditionally, the dissemination of corporate knowledge has taken a number of different forms. First, there are the methods of classic library science often as implemented by a formal corporate library staffed by trained librarians (Taylor, 2000). This is used for things that are well established: e.g. textbooks, established how-to knowledge on a subject, published papers on a subject, and so on. Second, it has long been necessary to disseminate official policy and procedure through “Command and Control” processes and associated media. In addition, certain industries also require configuration control processes for special classes of information such as product data, drawings, and manufacturing rejection and acceptance documentation. These are all subject to an authentication process, flowing top-down to intended users. A third, extremely important, approach to knowledge maintenance and dissemination has been through mentoring and establishment of departments aligned to technical specialties and communities of interest. This last type of approach is particularly well suited for tacit knowledge. A fourth category of knowledge sharing applies to the communication of explicit knowledge among peers but also includes dissemination to management and other reference groups. This method applies to information that is less formal and frequently ephemeral. See Table 1.

Table 1.
Summarization of four traditional dissemination methods
          Methods          Types of Information          Tacit/Explicit          Scope of Control          Status of Information
          1. Corporate Library          Formal: books, research periodicals, white papers          Explicit          Enterprise-wide          Stable
          2. Command and Control          Formal: documentation of standards, regulations, policies, procedures          Explicit          Enterprise-wide          Relatively stable
          3. UndocumentedInformal: skill, experience, expertise          Tacit          Local          Both Stable and Ephemeral
          4. Uncontrolled          Informal: test notes, presentations, lessons learned, emails          Explicit          Local          Both Stable and Ephemeral

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