William Buchholz
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-933-5.ch250
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An ontology comprises the explicitly articulated and shared concepts of a knowledge community or domain. These concepts are arranged formally in a taxonomy and are governed by specifically defined rules and axioms. Ontologies often play an important role in knowledge management information technology (KMIT). An enterprise knowledge management IT system, for example, may use an ontology “to facilitate communication, search, storage, and [knowledge] representation” (O’Leary, 1998, p. 58). A general survey of the literature suggests that ontologies are capable of improving performance in a large variety of knowledge management IT functions, especially relative to knowledgebases for best practices, lessons learned, human resource skills, Help Desks, FAQs, document collections, standards and regulations, products, services, proposals, and the like. In addition, as we look to the future, ontologies will function centrally in agent-mediated knowledge management (AMKM), distributed knowledge management (DKM), and the Semantic Web (Daconta, Obrst, & Smith, 2003; Fensel, 2001; Heflin, Volz, & Dale, 2002; McGuiness, 2002), as these technologies become pervasive in a global economy that distributes KM knowledgebases across companies and cultures.

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