The New Generation of Knowledge Management for the Web 2.0 Age: KM 2.0

The New Generation of Knowledge Management for the Web 2.0 Age: KM 2.0

Emilia Currás (Autonomous University Madrid, Spain) and Moez Limayem (University of Arkansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-611-7.ch122
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Abstract

Today, due to spurred social (e.g. the “Millennials”) and technological (e.g. Broadband Internet, Mobile Technology, GPS1, Web 2.0), etc) changes, organizations are transformed in an economic environment that is more than ever competitive. In the context of the Social Organization in the Web 2.0 age, collaboration mediated by technology, social networking and virtual communities, culture of awareness and innovation have become new levers to put Collective Intelligence at the service of the organization. In such an organization, all employees can equally participate in creating, using and sharing information and knowledge. The “Individual”- knowledge worker, plays a central role in this case.
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Traditional Knowledge Management

The interest in KM dates back to the early 90s when companies realized the strategic value of knowledge as a competitive resource and a factor of stability for their survival (Spender, 1996). There is more than one definition of KM. Mentzas (2004 p.116) defines KM as the “discipline of enabling individuals, teams and entire organizations to collectively and systematically create, share and apply knowledge, to better achieve the business objectives”. “KM efforts can help individuals and groups to share valuable organizational insights, to reduce redundant work, to avoid reinventing the wheel per se, to reduce training time for new employees, to retain intellectual capital as employees turnover in an organization, and to adapt to changing environments and markets” (McAdam and McCreedy, 2000 (as sited in Wikipedia).

According to Ikyjiro Nonaka (1994), Knowledge Creation is a spiralling and continuous process of interactions between explicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge which is codified and transmitted as information in formal and systematic language (e.g. rules, procedures) and tacit knowledge which is personal and deeply internalized, embodied in practice and action and so hard to be formalized and communicated (e.g. talent, hand-turn) (Polanyi, 1966). Spender (1996) has qualified a part of this tacit knowledge as implicit which is the only part that could be codified. The interactions between the explicit and tacit knowledge lead to the creation of new knowledge. The combination of the two categories makes it possible to conceptualize four conversion patterns: Socialization, Externalization, Combination and Internalization (Nonaka, 1994).

The Japanese culture inspired Ikyjiro Nonaka and and Noburo Konno to introduce the concept of ba in 1996 to represent a shared space for emerging relationships that serves as a foundation for Knowledge Creation (Nonaka, 1998). This space can be physical (e.g. office, dispersed business space), mental (e.g. shared experiences, ideas and ideals) or any combination of them. This concept which is difficult to be translated in Western languages, could be defined as the pooling context in which knowledge is shared, created and used through interaction.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Knowledge Management Systems: Refers to IT based systems for managing knowledge in organizations, supporting creation, capture, storage and dissemination of knowledge.

Socialization: Enables the conversion of tacit knowledge through direct interaction between individuals through join activities by observation, imitation, practice and networking.

Web 2.0: The second generation of web development and design based on social software.

KM 2.0: The new generation of KM allowing incorporated and pervasive KM for social and virtual organizations.

Enterprise 2.0 or Enterprise Social Software: The use of Web 2.0, emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.

Collective Intelligence: Refers to knowledge created from human interactions and interpersonal networking.

Social Capital: The set of resources embedded within the relationships among actors within a network.

Millennials: A new generation of younger, college- and university-educated workers born between 1980 and 2000 and grown up with the Internet, also known as Generation Y or Digital Natives.

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