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Knowledge Management: Can Librarians Do It?

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Can Librarians Do It? Lee Chu Keong Nanyang Technological University Short Answer Yes! Changes That Are Needed A shift in perspective on the concept of knowledge ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Knowledge Management: Can Librarians Do It?


1
Knowledge Management Can Librarians Do It?
  • Lee Chu Keong Nanyang Technological University

2
Short Answer
  • Yes!

discomfort
But, some changes are needed!
3
Changes That Are Needed
  • A shift in perspective on the concept of
    knowledge
  • A shift in perspective on the concept of
    silence
  • A shift in perspective on the concept of
    intermediary

4
Traditional Role of Libraries
  • Selection Selecting and acquiring available
    information in the marketplace, based on user
    needs and quality standards, within the available
    budget
  • Storage maintaining the availability of
    publications through long-term storage and
    preservation
  • Service making the information resources
    available through facilities and procedures for
    on-site consultation, lending and document
    delivery
  • Support giving the user guidance and assistance,
    including the development and maintenance of
    support systems such as catalogues, on-line help
    systems, websites,

5
Traditional Role of Libraries
  • Selection Selecting and acquiring available
    information in the marketplace, based on user
    needs and quality standards, within the available
    budget
  • Storage maintaining the availability of
    publications through long-term storage and
    preservation
  • Service making the information resources
    available through facilities and procedures for
    on-site consultation, lending and document
    delivery
  • Support giving the user guidance and assistance,
    including the development and maintenance of
    support systems such as catalogues, on-line help
    systems, websites,

Books
Periodicals
documents
CD-ROMs
Databases
6
Knowledge Perspective 1
  • As Object vs As Process

Positivist Axioms ? knowability of the universe ?
factual nature of scientific knowledge ?
irrelevance of value judgment
Interactional ? environmental ? relational ?
context
7
Knowledge Perspective 2
  • As point on a continuum

8
Knowledge Perspective 3
  • As potential of a very powerful sort

9
Information Sources
  • Information Sources

dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies,
almanacs, handbooks, directories, atlases,
gazetteers, biographies, abstracts indexes
annual reports, patents trademarks, statistical
sources, market research reports, white papers,
stock data, company information,
10
Knowledge Sources
Knowledge Sources
human being(s)!
11
Knowledge A Public Good
  • non-excludable
  • non-rivalrous
  • Goods are excludable if a person can be prevented
    from using it
  • Goods are rivalrous if one persons use of the
    good diminishes another persons use

He who receives an idea from me, receives
instruction himself without lessening mine as he
who lights his taper at mine, receives light
without darkening me.
12
What IS Knowledge Sharing?
  • Knowledge sharing takes place each time you
    communicate what you are doing, who you are, or
    what you know to one person or to many people,
    and covers a variety of activities a talk with
    a colleague at the coffee pot, an educational
    situation, a document in a database, an email, an
    information board with notices, etc.
  • Petersen Poulfelt (2002)

13
  • Knowledge sharing involves networking to become
    acquainted with what others know.
  • Wiig (1999)

14
  • Knowledge sharing is the deliberate act in which
    knowledge is made reusable for one party through
    its transfer by another.
  • Lee and Al-Hawamdeh (2002)

15
Be Careful
  • If nature has made any one thing less susceptible
    than all others of exclusive property, it is the
    action of the thinking power called an idea,
    which an individual may exclusively possess as
    long as he keeps it to himself but the moment it
    is divulged, it forces itself into the possession
    of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess
    himself of it.
  • Jefferson (1813)

16
Knowledge Sharing Critical to Knowledge
Management
17
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20
Why Share Knowledge?
  • To prevent the reinvention of the wheel
  • To minimise loss of knowledge through various
    means
  • To enable the spread of best practices
  • To construct meaning together
  • To build social capital
  • The practical problem, however, arises precisely
    because these facts are never so given to a
    single mind, and because, in consequence, it is
    necessary that in the solution of the problem
    knowledge should be used that is dispersed among
    many people.

21
Knowledge Sharing Types
22
Sharing Knowledge Reasons
  • A need to learn
  • ? to size up a person
  • ? to increase understanding of a complex
    issue/phenomenon/problem
  • ? to clarify concepts
  • A need to tell
  • ? to inform
  • ? to express opinion or stand
  • A need to get another opinion from outside the
    box
  • A need to short circuit
  • A need to teach
  • A need to build or maintain relationships
  • A need to self-aggrandize

? Participation in knowledge sharing
23
Silence
  • Attitude of most libraries Silence Please!
  • In knowledge management
  • Silence denotes a lack of knowledge sharing
  • Silence implies an unwillingness to share ones
    knowledge
  • Rethink the concept of silence!

24
The Framework
25
Barriers Attributable to Actors
  • Communication People Skills
  • Absorptive Capacity
  • Reputation
  • Appreciation of Importance of Knowledge
  • Incompatible Personality
  • Disciplinary Ethnocentrism
  • Status Hierarchies
  • Technophobia
  • Cognitive ? Hinds Pfeffer
  • Motivation ? Hinds Pfeffer

26
Barriers Attributable to Channel
  • Document
  • Inability of the actors to tailor the knowledge
    shared to the needs and situation of the user
  • Knowledge is fixed, sometimes for posterity
  • Low bandwidth (zero social presence)
  • Face-to-Face (Unmediated)
  • Ability of the knowledge recipient to request
    customization, clarification, or elaboration of
    the knowledge shared

27
  • The richest form of knowledge sharing (High BW)
  • The knowledge can be tailored directly and
    immediately, and made relevant to the needs of
    the user
  • Coincidence of both time and location is required
    in this mode of knowledge sharing
  • Often unrecorded (little or no permanence),
    therefore lending itself to distortion
    attenuation
  • Face-to-Face (Mediated)
  • Dependent of technology

28
Barriers Attributable to Knowledge Being Shared
  • TACIT vs EXPLICIT
  • Sharing ones expertise can be risky because of
    the difficulty involved in articulating
    preferences based largely on tacit knowledge
  • user-interface specialists (simply know, but
    cannot explain)
  • nurses (insistent inner voice, hunch)
  • In organisations that insist on hard data,
    sharing ones tacit expertise via opinions and
    intuitions can convey a lack of certainty or
    clarity, undermining ones standing in the
    organisation

logic rationale evidence
29
Barriers Attributable to Organisational
Environment
  • Organisational structure
  • Reward system and incentives for knowledge
    sharing ? compensation for time energy
  • Availability of time
  • Availability of knowledge sharing champions
  • Office layout (Third Space, storking)
  • Staff tenure or length of service
  • Management support
  • Organisational culture

30
Barriers Attributable to Climate
  • Barriers arising from the larger picture, which
    may affect the relationship with the
    organisation
  • Economic condition of the nation, governmental
    policies, and societal culture
  • When jobs are at stake, networks are withdrawn
    and individual knowledge is closely guarded as
    protection against termination (Bonaventura,
    1997)
  • Foreign talent policy
  • Societal culture (e.g. collectivistic pressure)

31
Librarian as Barrier Breaker
  • Traditionally, libraries have perform an
    intermediary function between publishers (and
    other information producers) and end-users
  • Can libraries now reinvent themselves and be
    intermediaries between knowledge source and
    knowledge source?
  • Can libraries break barriers and build
    people-to-people links
  • Can libraries be knowledge intermediaries

32
Conclusion
  • Libraries and their librarians CAN do knowledge
    management
  • Rethinking / repositioning / new perspectives are
    needed
  • Three areas have been suggested
  • Rethink the concept of knowledge
  • Rethink the concept of silence
  • Rethink the concept of intermediary
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