Communities of Practice Essay

Communities of Practice Essay

Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice Second Edition Kimiz Dalkir foreword by Jay Liebowitz Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice Second Edition Kimiz Dalkir foreword by Jay Liebowitz The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England © 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher. For information about special quantity discounts, please e-mail special_sales@mitpress.mit.edu This book was set in Stone Sans and Stone by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited. Printed and bound in the United States of America. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Dalkir, Kimiz. Knowledge management in theory and practice / Kimiz Dalkir ; foreword by Jay Liebowitz. — 2nd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-262-01508-0 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Knowledge management. I. Title. HD30.2.D354 2011 658.4’038—dc22 2010026273 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Contents Foreword: Can Knowledge Management Survive? Jay Liebowitz 1 xiii Introduction to Knowledge Management Learning Objectives Introduction 1 1 2 What Is Knowledge Management? 5 Multidisciplinary Nature of KM 8 The Two Major Types of Knowledge: Tacit and Explicit Concept Analysis Technique 11 9 History of Knowledge Management 15 From Physical Assets to Knowledge Assets 19 Organizational Perspectives on Knowledge Management Library and Information Science (LIS) Perspectives on KM Why Is KM Important Today? 22 KM for Individuals, Communities, and Organizations Key Points 26 Discussion Points References 2 27 27 The Knowledge Management Cycle Learning Objectives Introduction 31 32 Major Approaches to the KM Cycle 33 The Meyer and Zack KM Cycle 33 The Bukowitz and Williams KM Cycle 38 The McElroy KM Cycle 42 The Wiig KM Cycle 45 An Integrated KM Cycle 51 Strategic Implications of the KM Cycle 54 31 25 21 22 vi Contents Practical Considerations for Managing Knowledge Key Points 57 Discussion Points References 3 57 58 Knowledge Management Models Learning Objectives Introduction 57 59 59 59 Major Theoretical KM Models 62 The Von Krogh and Roos Model of Organizational Epistemology 62 The Nonaka and Takeuchi Knowledge Spiral Model 64 The Choo Sense-Making KM Model 73 The Wiig Model for Building and Using Knowledge 76 The Boisot I-Space KM Model 82 Complex Adaptive System Models of KM 85 The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) KM Model The inukshuk KM Model 90 Strategic Implications of KM Models 92 Practical Implications of KM Models 92 Key Points 93 Discussion Points References 4 93 95 Knowledge Capture and Codification Learning Objectives Introduction 89 97 97 98 Tacit Knowledge Capture 101 Tacit Knowledge Capture at the Individual and Group Levels Tacit Knowledge Capture at the Organizational Level 118 102 Explicit Knowledge Codification 121 Cognitive Maps 121 Decision Trees 123 Knowledge Taxonomies 124 The Relationships among Knowledge Management, Competitive Intelligence, Business Intelligence, and Strategic Intelligence 131 Strategic Implications of Knowledge Capture and Codification 133 Practical Implications of Knowledge Capture and Codification 134 Key Points 135 Discussion Points References 136 135 Contents 5 vii Knowledge Sharing and Communities of Practice Learning Objectives Introduction 141 141 142 The Social Nature of Knowledge 147 Sociograms and Social Network Analysis Community Yellow Pages 152 149 Knowledge-Sharing Communities 154 Types of Communities 158 Roles and Responsibilities in CoPs 160 Knowledge Sharing in Virtual CoPs 163 Obstacles to Knowledge Sharing The Undernet 169 168 Organizational Learning and Social Capital 170 Measuring the Value of Social Capital 171 Strategic Implications of Knowledge Sharing 173 Practical Implications of Knowledge Sharing 175 Key Points 175 Discussion Points References 6 176 177 Knowledge Application Learning Objectives Introduction 183 183 184 Knowledge Application at the Individual Level 187 Characteristics of Individual Knowledge Workers 187 Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Objectives 191 Task Analysis and Modeling 200 Knowledge Application at the Group and Organizational Levels Knowledge Reuse 211 Knowledge Repositories 213 E-Learning and Knowledge Management Application 214 Strategic Implications of Knowledge Application 216 Practical Implications of Knowledge Application 217 Key Points 218 Discussion Points Note 219 References 219 218 207 viii 7 Contents The Role of Organizational Culture Learning Objectives Introduction 223 223 224 Different Types of Cultures 227 Organizational Culture Analysis 229 Culture at the Foundation of KM 232 The Effects of Culture on Individuals 235 Organizational Maturity Models KM Maturity Models 239 CoP Maturity Models 244 238 Transformation to a Knowledge-Sharing Culture Impact of a Merger on Culture 256 Impact of Virtualization on Culture 258 246 Strategic Implications of Organizational Culture 258 Practical Implications of Organizational Culture 259 Key Points 262 Discussion Points References 8 262 263 Knowledge Management Tools Learning Objectives Introduction 267 267 268 Knowledge Capture and Creation Tools 270 Content Creation Tools 270 Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery 271 Blogs 274 Mashups 275 Content Management Tools 276 Folksonomies and Social Tagging/Bookmarking 277 Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) 279 Knowledge Sharing and Dissemination Tools 280 Groupware and Collaboration Tools 281 Wikis 285 Social Networking, Web 2.0, and KM 2.0 288 Networking Technologies 292 Knowledge Acquisition and Application Tools Intelligent Filtering Tools 298 Adaptive Technologies 302 297 Strategic Implications of KM Tools and Techniques 303 Practical Implications of KM Tools and Techniques 304 Contents Key Points ix 304 Discussion Points References 9 305 306 Knowledge Management Strategy Learning Objectives Introduction 311 311 311 Developing a Knowledge Management Strategy Knowledge Audit 318 Gap Analysis 322 The KM Strategy Road Map 325 316 Balancing Innovation and Organizational Structure Types of Knowledge Assets Produced Key Points 336 Discussion Points References 10 337 338 The Value of Knowledge Management Learning Objectives Introduction 339 362 362 Additional Resources 11 359 360 Discussion Points References 339 339 KM Return on Investment (ROI) and Metrics 343 The Benchmarking Method 345 The Balanced Scorecard Method 351 The House of Quality Method 354 The Results-Based Assessment Framework 356 Measuring the Success of Communities of Practice Key Points 328 333 364 Organizational Learning and Organizational Memory Learning Objectives Introduction 365 365 365 How Do Organizations Learn and Remember? 368 Frameworks to Assess Organizational Learning and Organizational Memory The Management of Organizational Memory 370 Organizational Learning 377 The Lessons Learned Process 378 Organizational Learning and Organizational Memory Models 379 369 x Contents A Three-Tiered Approach to Knowledge Continuity Key Points 390 Discussion Points References 12 391 392 The KM Team Learning Objectives Introduction 385 397 397 398 Major Categories of KM Roles 402 Senior Management Roles 403 KM Roles and Responsibilities within Organizations 410 The KM Profession 412 The Ethics of KM 413 Key Points 419 Discussion Points Note References 13 420 421 421 Future Challenges for KM Learning Objectives Introduction 423 423 424 Political Issues Regarding Internet Search Engines The Politics of Organizational Context and Culture Shift to Knowledge-Based Assets KM Research A Postmodern KM 446 Concluding Thought Key Points 14 447 448 Discussion Points References 449 450 KM Resources 453 The Classics 453 KM for Specific Disciplines International KM 455 KM Journals 440 442 455 Key Conferences 456 454 427 429 Intellectual Property Issues 433 How to Provide Incentives for Knowledge Sharing Future Challenges for KM 425 435 Contents xi Key Web Sites 457 KM Glossaries 457 KM Case Studies and Examples KM Case Studies 458 KM Examples 459 KM Wikis 459 KM Blogs 459 Visual Resources 460 YouTube 460 Other Visual Resources 460 Some Useful Tools 460 Other Visual Mapping Tools Note 460 Glossary 461 Index 477 458 460 Foreword: Can Knowledge Management Survive? The title of this foreword, “Can Knowledge Management Survive?” is perhaps rather strange for this second edition of this leading textbook on knowledge management (KM). However, as the KM field has taught us to be “reflective practitioners,” this question is worth pondering. Knowledge management has been around for twenty years or more, in terms of its growth as a discipline. Even though the roots of knowledge management go back far beyond that, is knowledge management generally accepted within organizations, and is KM a lasting field or discipline? To answer the first question, we can review some anecdotal evidence that suggests KM is more widely accepted within certain industries than others. Over the years, the pharmaceutical, energy, aerospace, manufacturing, and legal industries have perhaps been some of the leaders in KM organizational adoption. In looking toward the future, the public health and health care fields are certainly well positioned to leverage knowledge throughout the world. And as the graying workforce ensues and the baby boomers retire, knowledge retention will continue to play a key role in many sectors, such as in government, nuclear energy, education, and others. So, KM has permeated many organizations and has the propensity to propagate to others. However, there are still many organizations that equate KM to be IT (information technology), and do not fully grasp the concept of building and nurturing a knowledge sharing culture for promoting innovation. Many organizations do not have KM seamlessly woven within their fabric, and many organizations do not recognize or reward their employees for knowledge sharing activities. It is getting harder to find the title of a “chief knowledge officer” or a “knowledge management director” in organizations, suggesting two possibilities. The first is that KM is indeed embedded within the organization’s culture so there is no need to single it out. The second proposition is that KM has lost its appeal and importance, so there is no need to have a CKO or equivalent position, especially in these difficult economic times. xiv Foreword Probably, both propositions are true, depending perhaps on the type and nature of the organization. So, returning to the first question about KM being widely accepted within today’s organizations, the jury is still out. It may be simply an awareness issue in order to show the value-added benefits of KM initiatives. Or it may be that KM was the “management fad of the day” and we are ready to move on. I believe that KM can have tremendous value to organizations by stimulating creativity and innovation, building the institutional memory of the firm, enabling agility and adaptability, promoting a sense of community and belonging, improving organizational internal and external effectiveness, and contributing toward succession planning and workforce development. KM should be one of the key pillars underpinning a human capital strategy for the organization. As with anything else, some organizations are leaders and some are laggards. Those who recognize the importance of KM to the organization’s overarching vision, mission, and strategy should hopefully be in the winning side of the equation in the years ahead. Let us now address the second question posed, “is KM a lasting field?” In other words, does KM have endurance to stand on its own in the forthcoming years? This relates back to whether KM is more an art than a science. KM is certainly both, and as the KM field has developed over the years, an active KM community of both practitioners and researchers has emerged. There are already well over ten international journals specifically devoted to knowledge management. Worldwide KM conferences abound, and individuals can take university coursework in knowledge management, as well as being certified in knowledge management by KM-related professional societies and other organizations. There are funded research projects in knowledge management worldwide, both from basic and applied perspectives. In addition, there are many KM-related communities of practice established worldwide. So certainly there is an active group of practitioners and researchers who are trying to put more rigor behind KM to accentuate the “science” over the “art” in order to give the KM field lasting legs. On the other hand, there is the “art” side of KM. Like many fields that draw from a multidisciplinary approach, especially from the social sciences, there is art along with the science. Whether KM contributes to “return on vision” versus “return on investment” indicates some of the difficulty in quantifying KM returns. There certainly is a “touchy-feely” side to KM, but there is a sound methodological perspective to KM, too. Here again, the jury is still out on whether the KM field will last. So what needs to be done? This is where textbooks such as Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice Can Knowledge Management Survive? xv play an important role. This textbook, in its second edition, marries the theory and practice of knowledge management; namely, it provides the underlying methodologies for knowledge management design, development, and implementation, as well as applying these methodologies and techniques in various cases and vignettes sprinkled throughout the book. It addresses my first question of having knowledge management being more widely accepted in organizations by discussing how KM has been utilized in various industry sectors and organizational settings. The book also emphasizes the “science” behind the “art” in order to address my second question regarding providing more rigor behind KM so that the field will endure in the years ahead. Professor Dalkir, a leading KM researcher, educator, and practitioner, uses her insights and experience to highlight the important areas of knowledge management in her book. People, culture, process, and technology are key components of knowledge management, and the book provides valuable lessons learned in each area. This book is well-suited as a reference text for KM practitioners, as well as a textbook for KM-related courses. This book, and others, is needed to continue to take the mystique out of KM and provide the tangible value-added benefits that CEOs and organizations demand. Professor Dalkir should be commended on this new edition, which will hopefully propel others to be believers in the power of knowledge management. As this happens, the answers to my two KM questions will be quite obvious! Enjoy! Jay Liebowitz, D.Sc. Professor, Carey Business School Johns Hopkins University 1 Introduction to Knowledge Management A light bulb in the socket is worth two in the pocket. —Bill Wolf (1950–2001) This chapter provides an introduction to the study of knowledge management (KM). A brief history of knowledge management concepts is outlined, noting that much of KM existed before the actual term came into popular use. The lack of consensus over what constitutes a good definition of KM is addressed and the concept analysis technique is described as a means of clarifying the conceptual confusion that still persists over what KM is or is not. The multidisciplinary roots of KM are enumerated together with their contributions to the discipline. The two major forms of knowledge, tacit and explicit, are compared and contrasted. The importance of KM today for individuals, for communities of practice, and for organizations are described together with the emerging KM roles and responsibilities needed to ensure successful KM implementations. Learning Objectives 1. Use a framework and a clear language for knowledge management concepts. 2. Define key knowledge management concepts such as intellectual capital, organizational learning and memory, knowledge taxonomy, and communities of practice using concept analysis. 3. Provide an overview of the history of knowledge management and identify key milestones. 4. Describe the key roles and responsibilities required for knowledge management applications. 2 Chapter 1 Introduction The ability to manage knowledge is crucial in today’s knowledge economy. The creation and diffusion of knowledge have become increasingly important factors in competitiveness. More and more, knowledge is being thought of as a valuable commodity that is embedded in products (especially high-technology products) and embedded in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile employees. While knowledge is increasingly being viewed as a commodity or intellectual asset, there are some paradoxical characteristics of knowledge that are radically different from other valuable commodities. These knowledge characteristics include the following: • Using knowledge does not consume it. • Transferring knowledge does not result in losing it. • Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce. • Much of an organization’s valuable knowledge walks out the door at the end of the day. The advent of the Internet, the World Wide Web, has made unlimited sources of knowledge available to us all. Pundits are heralding the dawn of the Knowledge Age supplanting the Industrial Era. Forty-five years ago, nearly half of all workers in industrialized countries were making or helping to make things. By the year 2000, only 20 percent of workers were devoted to industrial work—the rest was knowledge work (Drucker 1994; Barth 2000). Davenport (2005, p. 5) says about knowledge workers that “at a minimum, they comprise a quarter of the U.S. workforce, and at a maximum about half.” Labor-intensive manufacturing with a large pool of relatively cheap, relatively homogenous labor and hierarchical management has given way to knowledge-based organizations. There are fewer people who need to do more work. Organizational hierarchies are being put aside as knowledge work calls for more collaboration. A firm only gains sustainable advances from what it collectively knows, how efficiently it uses what it knows, and how quickly it acquires and uses new knowledge (Davenport and Prusak 1998). An organization in the Knowledge Age is one that learns, remembers, and acts based on the best available information, knowledge, and know-how. All of these developments have created a strong need for a deliberate and systematic approach to cultivating and sharing a company’s knowledge base—one populated with valid and valuable lessons learned and best practices. In other words, in order to be successful in today’s challenging organizational environment, companies need to learn from their past errors and not reinvent the wheel. Organizational knowledge is Introduction to Knowledge Management 3 not intended to replace individual knowledge but to complement it by making it stronger, more coherent, and more broadly applied. Knowledge management represents a deliberate and systematic approach to ensure the full utilization of the organization’s knowledge base, coupled with the potential of individual skills, competencies, thoughts, innovations, and ideas to create a more efficient and effective organization. Increasingly, companies will differentiate themselves on the basis of what they know. A relevant variation on Sidney Win …