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Knowledge Management Foundations

Lecture 2: The Knowledge

Management Cycle
Week 4: KM Cycle

Š Major KM Cycles
„ Knowledge-Information Cycle(ACIIC
Knowledge Economy)
„ Meyer and Zack KM Cycle
„ Bukowitz and Wiliams
„ McElroy KM Cycle
„ Wiig KM Cycle
KM Cycle Processes

Š Knowledge Capture
Š Knowledge Creation
Š Knowledge Codification
Š Knowledge Sharing
Š Knowledge Access
Š Knowledge Application
Š Knowledge Re-Use
Knowledge-Information Cycle

Š The ability to manage knowledge is

becoming ever more crucial in the
knowledge economy
„ Where creation and diffusion of knowledge are
increasingly important factors in competitiveness
„ Knowledge is a commodity now
z Embedded in products, especially hi-tech products
z Embedded in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile
Knowledge Economy & the
Knowledge- Information Cycle
Š Some paradoxes of knowledge:
„ Using knowledge does not consume it
„ Transferring knowledge does not lose it
„ Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it
is scarce
„ Producing knowledge resists organization
„ Much of knowledge walks out the door at the
end of the day
Knowledge -Information Cycle/2

Š Need to systematically identify, generate, acquire,

diffuse, and capture the benefits of knowledge that
provide a strategic advantage
Š Clear distinction must be made between
information – which is digitizable, and knowledge –
which exists only in intelligent systems
„ Knowledge-information cycle looks at how information
is transformed into knowledge and vice versa via
creation and application processes
Knowledge-Information Cycle/3
Knowledge-Information Cycle
Š Establish appropriate information management systems and
Š Identify and locate knowledge and knowledge sources
within the organization
Š Code knowledge (translate knowledge into explicit
information) to allow re-use economies to operate
Š Create networks, practices, and incentives to facilitate
person-to-person knowledge transfer where the focus is on
the unique solution
Š Add personal knowledge management to the organizational
repertoire (“corporate memory”)
M. Zack KM Cycle
Zack KM Cycle/2
Zack KM Cycle/3

Š The Meyers Zack model is an information-

processing model
„ Adapted to knowledge content
„ Refinement step is a crucial one
„ Also – the notion of renewal
„ Based on notion of an information asset
McElroy KM Cycle

Individual &
Formulate Codified Knowledge
Knowledge Knowledge Knowledge Claim
Claim Claim Claim Evaluation

McElroy KM Cycle/2

Information about:
•Surviving knowledge claim
•Falsified knowledge claim
•Undecided knowledge claim

Knowledge Organizational
Production Knowledge
McElroy KM Cycle/3

Š Organizational knowledge is held collectively in

both individuals and groups
Š Knowledge use either meets or fails to meet
business expectations
Š Matches lead to reuse
Š Mis-matches lead to adjustments in business
processing behaviour (learning)
Š Clear step where knowledge is evaluated and a
conscious decision is made as to whether or not it
should be incorporated into organizational memory
Bukowitz and Williams


USE Knowledge


Bukowitz and Williams /2

Š Get: seeking out information

„ Tacit and explicit
„ Being selective when faced with information
Š Use: combine content in new and interesting
ways to foster innovation in the organization
Š Learn: learning from experiences
„ Creation of an organizational memory
Bukowitz and Williams/3

Š Contribute: motivate employees to post

what they have learned to a knowledge base
„ Link individual learning and knowledge to
organizational memory
Š Assess: evaluation of intellectual capital
„ Identify assets, metrics to assess them and link
these directly to business objectives
Bukowitz and Williams/4

Š Build and Sustain: allocate resources to

maintain knowledge base
„ Contribute to viability, competitiveness
Š Divest: should not keep assets that are no
longer of any business value
„ Transfer outside the organization e.g.
„ Patent, spin off companies etc.
Wiig KM Cycle

Š Processes by which we build and use knowledge

„ As individuals
„ As teams (communities)
„ As organizations
Š How we:
„ Build knowledge
„ Hold knowledge
„ Pool knowledge
„ Apply knowledge
Š Discrete tasks yet often interdependent & parallel
Wiig KM Cycle/2
•Personal experience
•Formal education and training
Build Knowledge •Intelligence sources
•Media, books, peers

Hold Knowledge •In people

•In tangible forms (e.g. books)

•KM systems (intranet, dbase)

Pool Knowledge
•Groups of people- brainstorm

•In work context

Use Knowledge •Embedded in work processes
Wiig KM Cycle/3
•Personal experience
•Formal education and training
Build Knowledge •Intelligence sources
•Media, books, peers

Hold Knowledge •In people

•In tangible forms (e.g. books)

•KM systems (intranet, dbase)

Pool Knowledge
•Groups of people- brainstorm

•In work context

Use Knowledge •Embedded in work processes
Building Knowledge

Š Learning from all kinds of sources to:

„ Obtain Knowledge
„ Analyze Knowledge
„ Reconstruct (Synthesize) Knowledge
„ Codify and Model Knowledge
„ Organize Knowledge
Obtaining Knowledge

Š Create new knowledge

„ Research and development projects
„ Innovations, experimentation, trial and error
„ Reasoning with existing knowledge
„ Hire new people
Š Import knowledge from existing sources
„ Elicit knowledge from experts
„ Acquire from manuals, books, other documents
„ Transfer people between departments
Š Observe the real world
Analyzing Knowledge

Š Extract what appears to be knowledge from

obtained materials
„ Analyze transcripts, reports about new concepts
„ Listen to explanation and select key concepts
Š Abstract extracted material
Š Identify patterns to describe, estimate
Š Create explicit relations between knowledge
elements (e.g. causal, correlation, contribution nets)
Š Verify that extracted content is correct through
Reconstruct (Synthesize)
Š Generalize analyzed materials to obtain broader
Š Generate hypotheses to explain observed behaviour
in terms of causal factors
Š Establish conformance between new and existing
knowledge (validity, coherence)
Š Update total knowledge pool by incorporating new
„ Discard old, false, outdated, no longer relevant
Codify and Model Knowledge

Š Represent knowledge in our minds by building

mental models
Š Model knowledge by assembling declarations and
relational statements into a coherent whole
Š Document knowledge in books and manuals
Š Encode knowledge into knowledge bases
(computerized KBS tools)
Organize Knowledge

Š Organize new knowledge for specific uses

„ E.g. sequence for diagnostics, help desk, FAQs
Š Organize new knowledge according to an
established framework
„ Categorize according to organizational standards
„ Taxonomy, ontology, official list of key words,
attributes, linguistic/translation guidelines….
Building Knowledge -
Š Market research
„ Focus groups
„ Surveys
„ Competitive intelligence
„ Data mining on customer preferences
Š Synthesis of lessons learned (what worked, what
didn’t) – generate hypotheses
„ Validate using customer satisfaction questionnaire and
„ Document as training manual for marketing to this
specific target market
Wiig KM Cycle/4
•Personal experience
•Formal education and training
Build Knowledge •Intelligence sources
•Media, books, peers

Hold Knowledge •In people

•In tangible forms (e.g. books)

•KM systems (intranet, dbase)

Pool Knowledge
•Groups of people- brainstorm

•In work context

Use Knowledge •Embedded in work processes
Holding Knowledge

Š In people’s minds, books, computerized knowledge

bases, etc.
„ Remember knowledge – internalize it
„ Cumulate knowledge in repositories (encode it)
„ Embed knowledge in repositories (within procedures)
„ Archive knowledge
z Create scientific library, subscriptions
z Retire older knowledge from active status in repository (e.g. store
in another medium for potential future retrieval – cd roms, etc.)
Holding Knowledge -
Š Company owns a number of proprietary methods
and recipes for making products
Š Some knowledge documented in the form of
research reports, technical papers, patents
Š Other tacit knowledge can be elicited and
embedded in the knowledge base in the form of
know-how, tips, tricks of the trade
„ Videotapes of specialized experts explaining various
„ Task support systems
Wiig KM Cycle/5
•Personal experience
•Formal education and training
Build Knowledge •Intelligence sources
•Media, books, peers

Hold Knowledge •In people

•In tangible forms (e.g. books)

•KM systems (intranet, dbase)

Pool Knowledge
•Groups of people- brainstorm

•In work context

Use Knowledge •Embedded in work processes
Pooling Knowledge

Š Can take many forms such as discussions, expert networks

and formal work teams
Š Pooling knowledge consists of:
„ Coordinating knowledge of collaborative teams

„ Creating expert networks to identify who knows what

„ Assembling knowledge – background references from

libraries and other knowledge sources
„ Accessing and retrieving knowledge

z Consult with knowledgeable people about a difficult problem,

peer reviews, second opinions
z Obtain knowledge directly from a repository – advice,
Pooling Knowledge -
Š An employee realizes he or she does not have the
necessary knowledge and know-how to solve a
particular problem
Š She contact others in the company who have had
similar problems to solve, consults the knowledge
repository and makes use of an expert advisory
system to help her out
Š She organizes all this information and has subject
matter experts validate the content
Wiig KM Cycle/6
•Personal experience
•Formal education and training
Build Knowledge •Intelligence sources
•Media, books, peers

Hold Knowledge •In people

•In tangible forms (e.g. books)

•KM systems (intranet, dbase)

Pool Knowledge
•Groups of people- brainstorm

•In work context

Use Knowledge •Embedded in work processes
Using Knowledge

Š Use established knowledge to perform routine tasks, make

standard products, provide standard services
Š Use general knowledge to survey exceptional situations,
identify problem, consequences
Š Use knowledge to describe situation and scope problem
Š Select relevant special knowledge to handle situation,
identify knowledge sources
Š Observe and characterize the situation, collect and organize
Š Analyze situation, determine patterns, compare with others,
judge what needs to be done
Using Knowledge (con’t)

Š Synthesize alternative solutions, identify options, create new

Š Evaluate potential alternatives, appraise advantages and
disadvantages of each, determine risks and benefits of each
Š Use knowledge to decide what to do, which alternative to
„ Rank alternatives & test that each is feasible, acceptable
Š Implement selected alternative
„ Choose and assemble tools needed
„ Prepare implementation plan, distribute it, authorize team to proceed
with this solution
Using Knowledge - Examples

Š Expert mechanic encounters a new problem

Š Gathers info to diagnose and analyze
Š Synthesizes a list of possible solutions with the
tools he knows are available to him
Š Decides on the best option and uses it to fix the part

Š Non-routine tasks are approached in a different way

than familiar, standard ones
Five Critical Knowledge
Functions for each KM Cycle Step
Š Type of knowledge or skill involved
„ Securities trading expertise
Š Business use of that knowledge
„ Increase the value of a retirement fund portfolio
Š Constraint that prevents knowledge from being fully
„ Expert will retire at the end of the year with no successor
Š Opportunities, alternatives to manage that knowledge
„ Elicit and codify knowledge before person retires
Š Expected value-added of improving the situation
„ Valuable knowledge is not lost to organization

Š Selected knowledge management models