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LECTURE 8 Amare Michael Desta


Title: Knowledge Management: Organizational and Systems perspectives Author: E Yu Last modified by: mas01md Created Date: 11/10/2003 1:19:12 AM Document presentation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: LECTURE 8 Amare Michael Desta

LECTURE 8 Amare Michael Desta
Decision Support Executive Information Systems
Managing knowledge in knowledge work How
operations are organized in traditional work
e.g. in manufacturing sector
  • Different operations follow each others in
    logical order until the task is completed

Managing knowledge in knowledge work - (Contd.)
  • Could the same happen in knowledge
  • work or is it chaotic or less
  • organized by its nature?
  • What is the difference between the logistics of
  • physical components
  • information / knowledge components?

Knowledge flow (logistic) and utilization of
knowledge resources
Knowledge acquisition -defining the
requirements -localizing knowledge -accessing
knowledge -absorptive capacity
Knowledge creation reuse -skills
competencies -tools methods
Knowledge Management, (KM) - the need and the
  • The move from an industrially-based economy to
    a knowledge or information-based one in the 21st
    Century demands a top-notch KM System to secure a
    competitive edge and a capacity for learning.

Knowledge Management the importance
  • The new source of wealth is K, and not labor,
    land, or financial capital. It is the intangible,
    intellectual assets that must be managed.
  • The key challenge of the Knowledge -based economy
    is to foster innovation

The Knowledge Economy
  • For several decades the world's best-known
  • forecasters of societal change have predicted
  • the emergence of a new economy in which
  • brainpower, not machine power, is the critical
  • resource.
  • But the future has already turned into the
  • present, and the era of K has arrived.
  • "The Learning Organization," Economist
    Intelligence Unit
  • But do you all agree?

The Knowledge Economy rest on THREE pillars
  • The role that K plays in transactions it is what
    is being bought and sold both the raw material
    and the finished goods
  • The concurrent rise in importance of K assets,
    which transform and add value to knowledge
  • The emergence of ways to manage these materials
    and assets, or KM

Two Kinds of Knowledge
  • K is intangible, dynamic, difficult to measure,
  • BUT without it no organization can survive.
  • Tacit or unarticulated K is more personal,
    experiential, context specific, and hard to
    formalize is difficult to communicate or share
    with others and is generally embedded in the
    heads of individuals and teams.
  • Explicit K can easily be written down and

The main issues are how to
  • Design and install techniques and processes to
    create, protect, and use known K.
  • Design and create environments and activities to
    discover and release K that is not known, or
    tacit K.
  • Articulate the purpose and nature of managing K
    as a resource embodying it in other initiatives
    and programs.

Do we really need KM System?
  • Competitive success will be based on how
    strategically intellectual capital is managed
  • Capturing the knowledge residing in the minds of
    employees so that it can be easily shared across
    the enterprise
  • Leveraging organizational knowledge is emerging
    as the solution to an increasingly fragmented and
    globally-dispersed workplace

Do we really need KM System? (Contd)
  • Instead of constantly reengineering and
    downsizing talented people are assets to be
    developed for a global 21st Century
  • The reuse of knowledge saves work, reduces
    communications costs, and allows a company to
    take on more projects.

The Successful Managing of Knowledge
  • Focus on FIVE tasks
  • Generating knowledge
  • Accessing knowledge
  • Representing and embedding knowledge
  • Facilitating knowledge
  • Transferring knowledge
  • It is a process of instilling the culture and
  • helping the people in it find ways to share and
  • utilize their collective knowledge.

KM the enablers
  • Leadership
  • Knowledge champions, such as CKOs
  • Culture
  • Access
  • Technology
  • Learning Culture

More on the importance of Corporate Culture
  • Changing the culture is imperative.
  • To create a climate in which employees volunteer
    their creativity and expertise, managers need to
    look beyond the traditional tools at their
    disposal finding ways to build trust and develop
    fair process.
  • That means getting the gatekeepers to facilitate
    the flow of information rather than hoard it.
  • And offering rewards and incentives

The technological divide
  • Generating organizational K invariably means
    converting the tacit K of the individual into
    explicit K accessible by all.
  • IT is most effective when it enables this
  • social process.
  • Organizations must think through their
    technological systems.
  • Technology such as Intranets and advanced
    collaborative software have made KM possible.

Organizational Changes
  • Lines between departments and operating divisions
  • KM even completely collapses boundaries
  • A KM system cannot work through hierarchies
  • Individual and team learning process must become
    the true driver of organizational learning

Organizational Knowledge - Why is it Important?
  • Knowledge can be embedded in processes, products,
    systems, and controls
  • Knowledge can be accessed as it is needed from
    sources inside or outside the firm
  • It is versatile and can be transferred formally,
    through training, or informally, by way of
    workplace socialization
  • It is the essence of the competitive edge!

Why KM? Whats the big deal?
  • By instituting a learning organization
    (KM-intensive), there is an increase in employee
    satisfaction due to greater personal development
    and empowerment.
  • Keep your employees longer and thereby, reduce
    the loss of intellectual capital from people
    leaving the company.
  • Save money by not reinventing the wheel for each
    new project

Why KM? Whats the big deal? (Contd.)
  • Reduce costs by decreasing and achieving
    economies of scale in obtaining information from
    external providers.
  • Increase productivity by making K available more
    quickly and easily.
  • Provides workers with a more democratic place to
    work by allowing everyone access to K

Why KM? Whats the big deal? (Contd.)
  • Learning Faster With KM
  • Learning fast to stay competitive
  • KM software and technological infrastructures
    allow for global access to an organizations K,
    at a keystroke

Successful KM programs the indications
  • Information is widely disseminated throughout the
  • Accessible at a fast rate of speed.
  • Virtual communities of practice share what is
    known in a global fashion, independent of time
    zones and other geographic limitations.
  • Business without boundaries broad, often virtual
    in nature.
  • Collaboration to support continuous innovation
    and new K creation.

KM and future scenarios
  • Where are we going? What are we here for?
  • People need awareness of the whole in what
    direction is the organization going?
  • To have a goal to reach in the future can provide
    great incentive for a KM initiative.
  • Effective leveraging lies within an
    organizations capacity for rethinking and
    recreating. Scenario thinking can help us see the
    blind spots, and help us create the future we

Sustainability of a KM endeavor
  • There are three fundamental processes that
  • sustain profound changes such as the
  • introduction of a KM system
  • - developing networks of committed people
  • - improving business results
  • - enhancing personal results
  • To achieve sustainability, there must be a
  • focus on learning and learning how to harness
  • the learning capabilities that lead to

Sustainability of a KM Endeavor (Contd.)
  • For significant change to lead to sustainability,
    hierarchical control must be put aside.
  • The emergence and development of informal
    networks must be supported so that people can
    share their tacit knowledge and help one another.
  • Managers need to surrender control.
  • And mental models need to be examined.

KM Software Tools
  • Globalserve
  • Knowcorp
  • Hyperknowledge
  • MicroStrategy
  • The Molloy Group
  • KnowledgeX Inc.
  • WebFarming.com
  • Softlab Enabling Tools
  • Imagination
  • Excalibur Technologies
  • Imaging Solutions
  • Grapevine Technologies
  • Intraspect Software
  • Milagro The Power of Imagination

Knowledge Management - the essence
  • Is understanding and valuing intangible assets
    over tangible.
  • Understanding that human and intellectual capital
    are the greatest resources
  • Managing the skills and competencies that lie
    within an organization, and allowing them to
  • Allowing people to be the best that they can be
    optimizing performance.

KM Systems the main focus
  • Key questions Id like to raise
  • What is the relationship between KM systems?
  • Can knowledge serve as a unifying concept for
    understanding organizations and systems?
  • Can there be design principles and techniques
    based on KM concepts, for designing organizations
    and their systems?

KM as a management concept / approach
  • A parade of management ideas
  • Classical administrative theories 1940s
  • Scientific management (e.g. Taylor) 1950s
  • Human relations approach
  • TQM 1980s
  • BPR 1990s
  • KM !! 2000
  • ??
  • Is KM one among many approaches?
  • Shouldnt knowledge be a fundamental concept for
    understanding and managing organizations?

Knowledge in Computing IS
  • The trend is toward (increasingly explicit)
  • knowledge representation in systems
  • Programs 1960s-
  • Database schemas (data independence from
  • Conceptual data modeling (domains, enterprises)
  • Knowledge-based systems (knowledge about world
    separate from inference engine) 1980s-
  • Knowledge sharing among systems (ontologies)
  • Software agents 1990s-
  • Semantic web 2000s-
  • The Question is What is the role of knowledge in
    IS? Shouldnt
  • knowledge be a fundamental concept in IS?

What is the role of knowledge in IS, and IS
  • There is knowledge in
  • User organization
  • Developer organization
  • Various artifacts
  • Where is the knowledge?
  • What kinds of knowledge?
  • Whose knowledge?
  • How does knowledge get into the systems?
  • What is change effected?

Knowledge in organizations and systems
  • Management is about achieving effectiveness
    through K and action
  • Info systems (development) is about converting
    (organizational) K into (automated) action.
  • Can there be a theory of K and action to help
    understand, analyze, and design organizations and
    their systems?
  • Broader perspective
  • K as unifying concept
  • How to design effective organizations and systems?
  • Limited KM perspective
  • How to manage the knowledge in organizations and

KM systems as specialized classes of systems or
applications e.g., Alavi Leidner 01
Marwick 01 Smith Farquhar 00
  • Groupware
  • Data mining
  • Learning tools
  • E-bulletin boards
  • Knowledge repositories and databases, FAQs
  • Discussion forums
  • Knowledge directories
  • Expert systems
  • Workflow systems
  • Taxonomies
  • Document classification
  • Portals metadata
  • Text search
  • Summarization
  • Relationships discovery
  • Visualization

Contrasted with more conventional information
Five Paradigms of IT Support - a rough typology
1. the processing paradigm
Here, the focus is on the processing (usually
fixed a priori) E.g. sales orders processing,
bank account statements, teller machine
  • Qualities emphasized
  • speed
  • accuracy
  • correctness
  • ...

Info. structures data items lists
arrays trees ...
  • Info. operations
  • calculate
  • transform
  • ...

2. the repository paradigm
Here, the focus is on the storage and
retrieval E.g. document management systems,
online catalogues, databases...
  • Qualities emphasized
  • persistence
  • accessibility
  • integrity
  • security
  • ...

Info. structures records links/ relationships
indexes catalogues ...
  • Info. operations
  • create/read/ update/delete
  • lookup
  • navigate
  • integrate
  • ...

3. the tool paradigm
The focus is on enabling the user E.g.
spreadsheet, word processing...
  • Qualities emphasized
  • usability
  • flexibility
  • extensibility
  • ...
  • Info. operations
  • manipulation of users information
  • ...

Info. structures conceptual information
structures e.g., cells in spreadsheets ...
4. the medium paradigm
Here the focus is on communication E.g. email,
teleconferencing, groupware
  • Qualities emphasized
  • presence
  • fidelity
  • authenticity
  • privacy
  • ...

Info. structures message conversation conference
  • Info. operations
  • send/receive
  • share
  • ...

5. the agent paradigm
Here the focus is on assisting the user E.g.
mail filters, web crawlers, knowledge discovery...
  • Qualities emphasized
  • ability
  • intelligence
  • trustworthiness
  • ...
  • Info. operations
  • planning goal achievement
  • understanding
  • delegation
  • ...

Info. structures Goals tasks/plans conceptual
structures interdependencies among agents...
How much domain knowledge is embedded in the
Least Embedded knowledge
Most Embedded knowledge
  • Knowledge Media? A provocative concept Suggests
    that we need to span the full range

Major design questions for organizational
information systems
  • The term K Media suggests that an
    organizations IS
  • would be a mix of systems with more/less embedded
  • Major design questions
  • - Who needs what K to achieve what objectives /
  • - How much to embed in machines?
  • - Where in the organization?
  • - How to make tradeoffs benefits vs. risks
  • E.g. speed, accuracy, economy vs. inflexibility,
  • risks, loss of control,

What design methods and techniques are available?
  • Most conventional IS analysis and design
    techniques are focused on data processing
  • HCI research has strengthened design methods
    especially for media and tool
  • The Key Question is
  • How to bring in knowledge concepts for designing
    organizations and systems?

Modelling Strategic Actor Relationships and
Rationales - modeling framework
One possible approach...
Strategic Actors
  • have goals, beliefs, abilities, commitments
  • are semi-autonomous
  • freedom of action, constrained by relationships
    with others
  • not fully knowable or controllable
  • has knowledge to guide action, but only partially
  • depend on each other
  • for goals to be achieved, tasks to be performed,
    resources to be furnished

Modelling systems organizations in terms of
Strategic Dependencies among actors
(Patient Health Service provider)
Strategic Dependency Relationship
I want
Actor A
(No Transcript)
Strategic Rationales about alternative
configurations of relationships with other actors
Why? How? How else?
Analysis and Design Support
  • opportunities and vulnerabilities
  • ability, workability, viability, believability
  • insurance, assurance, enforceability
  • node and loop analysis
  • design support
  • raising issues
  • exploring alternatives
  • evaluating, making tradeoffs
  • justifying, settling
  • based on qualitative reasoning

conventional systems modeling
agents implicit knowledge
  • 2. goals (limited) explicit knowledge

Premises, key concepts
  • Actors are semi-autonomous, partially knowable
  • Strategic actors, intentional dependencies
  • have choice, reasons about alternate means to

wants and abilities
Intentionality Autonomy Sociality Identity
Boundaries Strategic Reflectivity Rational
In conclusion Question for you
  • In the context of KM and systems
  • - What is organizational knowledge?
  • Org. knowledge is in people and machines
  • - How is it collected, structured, and managed?
  • Includes human automated processes
  • - How does this impact an organization?
  • Systems need to be designed in organizational
    context, with attention to K action of
    strategic actors

In conclusion Contd.
  • In the context of KM and systems
  • - What tools do AI KM provide to do the above?
  • Various technologies offer different capabilities
    with limitations risks need analysis design
  • Conventional systems analysis and design
    techniques are ill-equipped for analyzing
    knowledge action of strategic actors
  • AI and KM offer ideas for new frameworks
  • How are the issues of KM related to DSS?

  • R. Smith A. Farquhar. The Road Ahead for
    Knowledge management An AI perspective. AI
    Magazine. Winter 2000.
  • A.D. Marwick. Knowledge Management Technology.
    IBM Systems Journal. 40(4)814-830. 2001.
  • M. Alavi D.E. Leidner. Knowledge Management
    Knowledge Management Systems Conceptual
    Foundations and Research Issues. MIS Quarterly.
    25(1)107-136. 2001.
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