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Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research




Christer Carlsson

IAMSR/Abo Akademi University

Draft 1.5

August 2, 2006

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Executive Summary

Knowledge Mobilisation has five parts: (i) creating, building &
forming knowledge; (ii) activating latent knowledge; (iii)
searching for, finding and systematising hidden knowledge, (iv)
making knowledge mobilisation operational with MAS
technology, and (v) expanding the limits of the possible in the
structures of everyday life by making knowledge mobilisation
part of mobile value services and using mobile technology

(i) a start
up project in Finland on Knowledge
Mobilisation, to


(ii) a joint strategic research
project on Knowledge Mobilisation, which (iii) will

European Centre of Excellence in Knowledge Mobilisation

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Mobilisation [Peter Keen]

To mobilise: “make or become ready for action”

Contrast mobilisation with management:

Information management
: the transaction processing and
data base era: organize data to turn it into information

Information mobilisation
: the Web and its prodigies, bar
coding: create mechanisms for access to and distribution of
information; “google” as a verb

Knowledge management
: a spectrum of information
resources and communication facilitators: supply

Knowledge mobilisation
: activation of information and
communication as needed, where needed, when relevant and
to whom; demand

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Mobilisation [Peter Keen]

Standard corporate intranet: product information, inventory status

Knowledge management resource; users access it centrally “@”

Sales rep does not tap into inventory information via desktop

not in
the form and structure he needs

and he does not know how to
modify it

Field technicians can’t access it anyway; need to contact the “office”
and find an information broker as they are not given own access

Out in the field, sales rep needs unanticipated information to meet a
client contact situation; not foreseen in the knowledge base

Field technician needs unanticipated inventory and product data

needs to describe the data over a mobile phone

The inventory status has changed; outdated info used for decisions

Give them mobile knowledge access and knowledge mobilisation

significant time & cost savings and the work is done

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research



There are quite a few definitions/ideas what

is about
[as collected by Thomas J. Beckman]:

Knowledge is organized information applicable to problem solving

Knowledge encompasses the implicit and explicit restrictions placed
upon objects (entities), operations and relationships along with general
and specific heuristics and inference procedures involved in the situation
being modelled [Sowa]

Knowledge is reasoning about information and data to actively enable
performance, problem
solving, decision
making, learning and teaching

Knowledge consists of truths and beliefs, perspectives and concepts,
judgments and expectations, methodologies and know
how [Wiig]

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Typologies

Typologies are defined, categorized and described in terms of
knowledge type
conversion, structural features, elementary
properties, purpose and use, and conceptual levels [Beckman]:

Tacit knowledge [Nonaka
: knowledge of experience (body
skills), simultaneous knowledge (here and now), analogue knowledge

Explicit knowledge [Nonaka
: knowledge of rationality
(mind), sequential knowledge (there and then), digital knowledge

Brooking has defined four conceptual levels of knowledge:

setting or idealistic knowledge

Systematic knowledge

Pragmatic knowledge

Automatic knowledge

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Management

The theory development around Knowledge Management
[KM] has been carried out for about 15 years [Beckman]:

KM is the systematic, explicit and deliberate building, renewal and
application of knowledge to maximize an enterprise’s knowledge
effectiveness and returns from its knowledge assets [Wiig]

KM is getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time so
they can make the best decision [Petrash]

KM applies systematic approaches to find, understand and use
knowledge to create value [O’Dell]

KM is the formalization of and access to experience, knowledge and
expertise that create new capabilities, enable superior performance,
encourage innovation and enhance customer value [Beckman]

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Management

There are ten general principles of KM [Davenport]:

Knowledge management is expensive (but so is stupidity)

Effective management of knowledge requires hybrid solutions involving
both people and technology

Knowledge management is highly political

Knowledge management requires knowledge managers

Knowledge management benefits more from maps than models, more
from markets than hierarchies

Sharing and using knowledge are often unnatural acts

Knowledge management means improving knowledge work processes

Access to knowledge is only the beginning

Knowledge management never ends

Knowledge management requires a knowledge contract [i.e. intellectual
property issues]

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Management

There are six steps forming a KM process [Holsapple

Acquiring knowledge
: extracting, interpreting, transferring

Selecting knowledge
: locating, retrieving, transferring

Internalizing knowledge
: assessing, targeting, depositing

Using knowledge

Generating knowledge
: monitoring, evaluating, producing, transferring

Externalizing knowledge
: targeting, producing, transferring


1980 Digital Equipment Corporation [XCON, expert system]

1989 Price Waterhouse [KM integrated in business strategy]

1991 Harvard Business Review [Nonaka

1994 Large consulting firms [KM services offered to clients]

1996 Various firms and practitioners [KM became a hype movement]

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Management Markets

Google brought back 655 million references to

in 0.29 seconds [quite an active reference]

KM has become embedded in the policy, strategy and
implementation processes of worldwide corporations,
governments and institutions.

The global KM market was estimated [Malhotra] at USD 8.8B
in 2005; the KM technology is expected to be part of the CRM
market, which is estimated at USD 148B in 2006 and KM is
expected to save USD 31B in annual re
invention costs at
Fortune 500 companies; the broader KM application context
which includes learning, education and training shows
significantly larger markets

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Management Failures

Knowledge Management is described as “getting the right
information to the right person at the right time”; this builds on
the assumption that all relevant knowledge can be foreseen and
stored in databases and modified, enhanced and developed with
software, rules and practices [Malhotra]

KM builds on the following assumptions [Malhotra]

The same knowledge can be re
used by any human mind (or computer)
to re
process the same logic to produce the same outcomes

The same outcomes will be needed and delivered again and again
through an optimal use of input resources

The system’s primary objective is to achieve the most efficient means for
transforming pre
specified input to predetermined outcomes

There is no need for subjective interpretation of information

Knowledge Mobilisation Joint Research


Knowledge Mobilisation Potential

Knowledge Management may be valid for a static world in
which pre
specified inputs, processing logic and the expected
outcomes represent an optimal mode of activities

Knowledge Mobilisation [adapted from Malhotra] develops
relevant technologies for

Intelligence in action which requires an active, affective and dynamic
representation of knowledge as a dynamic construct

Active: knowledge is adaptive to a changing context

Affective: cognitive, rational and emotional [subjective interpretation]

Dynamic: proactive and adaptive reinterpretation of data, information and

Continuous re
assessment of performance outcomes

“Knowledge resides in the user and not in the collection”
[Churchman]; “knowledge, unlike information, is about beliefs
and commitment” [Nonaka