Knowledge management

nigerianfortyfortΔιαχείριση

6 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

62 εμφανίσεις


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

1

Abstract

Today it’s common that organizations “reinvent the wheel” just because they don’t have an overview of
what knowledge that already exists within the walls of the organization. This
thesis

aims elaborate on this
phenomenon by a case study at the co
mpetence development department of company
Alpha
, using the
CommonKADS methodology. The investigation concludes that from a system perspective a “knowledge
map” could be used to increase the accessibility of knowledge in the investigated process, which is

characterized by a high degree of tacit knowledge. There are although difficulties, as knowledge markets,
that have to be addressed. The discussion among else

elaborates on if the knowledge markets present in the
investigated process can be solved using o
ur notion of a “dynamic knowledge map”.


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

2


Abstract

................................
................................
................................
...............................

1

1. INTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
..........

4

1.1

Problem domain

................................
................................
................................
.............................

4

1.2 Organizational structure

................................
................................
................................
.................

4

1.3 The current situation

................................
................................
................................
.......................

4

1.4 Opportunities

................................
................................
................................
................................
..

4

1.5 Choice of subject

................................
................................
................................
............................

5

1.6 Target group

................................
................................
................................
................................
...

5

1.7 Goal

................................
................................
................................
................................
................

5

1.8 Hypothesis

................................
................................
................................
................................
......

5

1.9 Questions

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

5

1.10 Problem limitations

................................
................................
................................
......................

6

1.10.1 Organizational scope

................................
................................
................................
.................

6

1.10.2 Economical feasibility

................................
................................
................................
...............

6

1.10.3
Technical feasibility

................................
................................
................................
..................

6

1.10.4 Knowledge Engineering scope

................................
................................
................................
..

6

2. METHOD

................................
................................
................................
.......................

7

2.1 CommonKADS

................................
................................
................................
..............................

7

2.2 The OM worksheets

................................
................................
................................
.......................

8

2.2.1 OM1

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

8

2.2.2 OM2

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

8

2.2.3 OM3

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

8

2.2.4 OM4

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

8

2.2.5 OM5

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

8

2.3 Qualitative interviews

................................
................................
................................
.....................

8

3. BACKGROUND

................................
................................
................................
.............

9

3.1 Knowledge

................................
................................
................................
................................
.....

9

3.1.1 Data

................................
................................
................................
................................
.............

9

3.1.2 Capta
................................
................................
................................
................................
............

9

3.1.3 Information

................................
................................
................................
................................
..

9

3.1.4
Knowledge

................................
................................
................................
................................

10

3.1.5 Codification of tacit and explicit knowledge

................................
................................
.............

10

3.1.6 Existing IS systems for knowledge transfer and codification

................................
....................

11

3.2 Knowledge Management and Knowledge Engineering

................................
...............................

12

3.2.1 Definition of knowledge management

................................
................................
......................

12

3.2.2 The role of knowledge engineering in knowledge management.

................................
..............

13

3.3 Knowledge Mapping

................................
................................
................................
....................

14

3.3.1 C
onstruction and visualization

................................
................................
................................
..

14

3.3.2 Practical construction

................................
................................
................................
................

15

4. RESULT & ANALYSIS

................................
................................
...............................

17

4.1 What and Which type of knowledge?

................................
................................
...........................

17

4.2 The Employee managers and the Personnel’s knowledge

................................
............................

17

4.3 The Compe
tence departments need of knowledge

................................
................................
.......

17

4.4 Evaluations of systems

................................
................................
................................
.................

18

4.5 Cultural issues

................................
................................
................................
..............................

20

5. CONCLUSION

................................
................................
................................
.............

21

6. DISCUSSION

................................
................................
................................
...............

22

6.1 How to present the map

................................
................................
................................
................

22

6.2 The Dynamic Knowledge Map

................................
................................
................................
....

22

6.2.1 Definition

................................
................................
................................
................................
..

22


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

3

6.2.2The role of stewards

................................
................................
................................
...................

24

6.2.3 Conclusion concerning dynamic knowledge map

................................
................................
.....

24

6.3 Knowledge atlas

................................
................................
................................
...........................

25

6.4 The importance of inform
al networks

................................
................................
..........................

25

7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

................................
................................
..........................

26

8. LITERATURE LIST

................................
................................
................................
....

27

9. APPENDI
X

................................
................................
................................
...................

28


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

4

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Problem domain

First we would like to point out that the investigated organization wishes to remain anonymous throughout
the paper and will there
fore be referred to as company
Alpha
. The organization

of company
Alpha

today is
characterized by a very strong project oriented approach. An employee can be involved in any number of
projects at any department. The most common project organization is that with a project leader that acts as a
delegate and coo
rdinator. The members of the team reports to the project leader once or twice a week to
deliver the assignments they have completed during the week. Today one of the biggest problems at
company
Alpha
s’s competence development departement is the fact that t
here are little or no way of
knowing what projects are underway throughout the organization and which people are involved in these
projects. Strongly connected with this problem is also the fact that it is today very difficult to get a good
picture on the
competences that the employees possesses, this problem is the focus of this paper.

1.2 Organizational structure

The organizational structure that is relevant for us in this paper is presented in figure 1.
Throughout the organization there are approximate
ly 130 “Employee Managers”
further on called EM. These EM’s are responsible for making sure that their group of
employees are performing and delivering what is expected of them. If one employee
group needs more staff or other competences the EM’s turn to e
ither the competence
development or recruitment department. The fact mentioned in the problem domain
chapter, that it is very difficult to get a good picture on what competences the
employees possesses often leads to a new recruitment being made even thou
gh that
there might be an employee in
-
house that already has the knowledge required, and
doesn’t have to spend time learning “the ropes” within the organization. Of course this
is an ineffective way, there would be great benefits for the company if there w
ould be
some way of first investigate whether or not it would be possible to recruit someone
from within the organization.








Figure 1; domain structure

1.3 The current situation

Company
Alpha

is today using a module for competence ha
ndling that is incorporated with their current
business administration software IFS, this module was implemented roughly 2 years ago, but is quite
rudimentary and difficult to handle according
to a representative for the competence

development
department

d
epartment, and few people tend to use it. This is probably mainly because there is little gain
for those that are expected to use it, mainly the EM’s. The EM’s are supposed to, after each evaluation talk
to update the employees profile in the system. This,

as mentioned above, is rarely done.


1.4 Opportunities

If it was possible to somehow implement a knowledge based system that would give the
Competence
development

department a good overview of the competences that exists “in
-
house” there would be
increase
d benefits for many of the actors within this domain. The personnel at the competence development
department would gain knowledge about where and who they should put their resources, regarding
education and so on. The recruitment department would be able t
o look for competences within the
company before making an external recruitment.

CD

Depart.

Personnel

group


Employee

Manager

Personnel


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

5

1.5 Choice of subject

The area of knowledge engineering and management is a cross
-
scientific domain and contains aspects from
computer science and organizational management.
We believe that the interplay between the system and
organization will become increasingly important in the future. Companies are today realizing the
importance of investigating this area and not only to look at the system and organization as two isolated
actors. Knowledge has become a new buzzword in the management and computer science area, by
highlighting knowledge throughout the organization, companies are given new perspectives, which can
result in a better understanding of how to manage knowledge as a
n asset
.

1.6 Target group

This paper is intended mainly for the investigated organization and those interested in knowledge
management and engineering. The report may also be of value for those looking for insights about the
above mentioned scientific area
s; we believe that this paper gives a starting point for people and
organizations that are in the beginning of knowledge engineering incitement.

1.7 Goal

Investigate whether or not a KBS, and in that case, what type would solve the specified problem
.

1.8 H
ypothesis


If knowledge based system is introduced in the problem domain described in the introduction chapter the
accessibility of knowledge will increase. We would like to point out that the hypothesis only concerns the
domain that is in focus of this pa
per.

1.9 Questions

Which KBS contains functionality to support increased accessibility of knowledge?

This question aims to elaborate on which system would be suitable for the given process. In order to
successfully answer the question it is necessary to in
vestigate which type of knowledge that is present
within the domain. It is not enough to only look at a new information system from a pure system
perspective, there is e.g. organizational aspects that need to be addressed, a successful computerized system
must have the support of the organization. Therefore it is important to investigate if the system derived
from the above question will be suitable for the organization in focus.


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

6

1.10 Problem limitations

1.10.1 Organizational scope

This thesis only address
es organizational aspects that are connected to knowledge management. It is also
important to clarify that the scope of this thesis only concerns the needs from competence development
department point of view.

1.10.2 Economical feasibility

This paper will
not include any economical aspects. This includes economical feasibility, possible financial
gain or loss for company
Alpha
.

1.10.3 Technical feasibility

This paper disregards any technical aspects of any kind regarding the proposed system and solution.

1.
10.4 Knowledge Engineering scope

As the process of knowledge mapping is only a small part of the complete knowledge engineering process,
we would like to clarify with the graph below where in the knowledge engineering process the knowledge
mapping fits in.

This paper only contains subjects within the circle marked as knowledge mapping scope.





Figure 2; knowledge engineering process
Knowledge
validation

(test cases)

Sources o
f
knowledge

(experts,

others)

Knowledgebase

Knowledge

representation

Explanation

justification

Inferencing

Knowledge

acquisition

Encodin
g

Knowledge mapping scope


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

7


2. METHOD

2.1 Commo
nKADS

The definitions and information’s regarding the CommonKADS methodology are taken from “Knowledge
engineering and management, The CommonKADS methodology” by Schreiber, Akermans, Anjewierden,
Hoog, Shadbolt, Van de Velden and Wielinga.

The CommonKADS m
odel suite was born from a need to
build industry quality knowledge based systems on a large scale in a structured, controllable and repeatable
way. The methodology saw first light in 1983, at that time the dominant methodology for developing KBS
was short
-
term prototyping with software running on hardware specific platforms. The CommonKADS
model suite consists of three groups of model, each with its own focus, this because there are several
different aspect that needs to be investigated.




Figure 3; The CommonKADS model suite


The organization model

aims to investigate and explain the problems and opportunities that the introduction
of a knowledge based
system would bring. This model also include functionality for investigating
organizational impacts and feasibility.


The Task model

investigates and maps the parts of the different processes that are in focus for the
investigation. It analyzes the global l
ayout, the inputs and outputs, preconditions and performance criteria’s
and needed resources and competences.


Agent model

focuses on the executors of a specific task. These executors can be human, a system or any
other entity that are capable of carrying
out a task


Knowledge model

specifies the knowledge needed to carry out a specific task. The model is non
-
implemental specific and gives a good picture concerning the role of the different knowledge components.


Communication model

describes the communicat
ion between the agents involved in carrying out a task


Design model

is derived from the other models containins technical specifications, architecture,
implementation platform etc.


In this paper we have been using the organization models since our main g
oal with using the
CommonKADS models have been to investigate the problem domain. In order to do this it is important to
know the structure, problems and opportunities of the organization.

Organization

model

Task

model

Agent

model

Design

model

Communication

model

Context

Concept

Artifact

Knowledge

model


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

8

2.2 The OM worksheets

2.2.1 OM1

The worksheet contains a list which

draws the outlines of the perceived problems and opportunities, which
are put into an organizational context. The aim is to relate these problems and opportunities to e.g. missions
and goals of the organization, external factors, strategy etc.

2.2.2 OM2

T
his document is somewhat derived from OM1 since it relates to a specific problem and opportunity
previously described. The worksheets contains information regarding the structure of the organization, the
process in focus (this can with success be achieved
via a UML activity diagram), the people involved, the
type of resources involved (information systems, equipment, technology etc.), knowledge as a resource
needed and used within the process in focus. The last aspect is culture and power, which pays attent
ion to
the different “invisible” factors such as unwritten rules, styles of communication, different networks etc.

2.2.3 OM3

This document provides a break
-
down of the processes specified in the OM2 worksheet. The worksheet
provides an indication on how kn
owledge intensive the process is and what knowledge is used. The
document also provides us with information on who is performing the task, list of resources used and how
significant the task is.

2.2.4 OM4

The knowledge assets specified in the OM3 worksheet

is further broken down and investigated throughout
the OM4 worksheet. The document specifies with the aid of the previous worksheet who is the owner, what
knowledge assets are used and where it is used. The OM4 worksheet also provides information regardin
g if
the knowledge used is in the right form, right place, right time and right quality. The OM4 is meant to be
used as a analysis document, showing different aspects of the knowledge used and how it can be improved
(form, place, time and quality).

2.2.5 O
M5

The OM5 worksheet is a feasibility and descision supporting document. The worksheet contains
information derived from OM1
-
4 with focus on business
-
, technical
-
, project feasibility and proposed

actions. Due to the limitation of this thesis this document

is not included in our investigation.


2.3 Qualitative interviews

This paper is based on qualitative interviews with a representative from Company
Alpha
. These interviews
have been carried out at the company in question and have been held on a informal le
vel, we have
therefore chosen not to include the interviews in this paper as it would consists of a large amount of pages.
The result of the interviews are provided in the appendix in a structured way with the aid of the
CommonKADS worksheets, and are furt
her elaborated in the result and analysis chapter
.


Considering the nature of the investigated domain and the problems associated with it, we believe that the
collecting of data and facts could have been carried out in no other way than with qualitative de
ep
interviews.



Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

9

3. BACKGROUND

3.1 Knowledge

The concept of knowledge is the foundation of this thesis. This part of the background chapter aims to
elaborate on this subject. As discussed below the definition of knowledge isn’t straightforward and
confusio
n of this matter has resulted in enormous expenditures in failed technology initiatives (Davenport
and Prusak, 1995). This section starts with a definition of “data”, “capta”, and “information” as these
concepts are closely related to knowledge.

3.1.1 Dat
a

As mentioned above there don’t seem to be one single definition of knowledge nor is there of data.
Checkland and Holwell (1998) have collected some of them and one is “Data represents unstructured
facts” (Avison and Fitzgerald 1995). The working definiti
on for the book “Information, Systems and
Information Systems” is however Kasabovs: “data is the factual raw material which becomes information”.
Davenport and Prusak (1998) use the following definition “data is a set of discrete, objective facts about
eve
nts. In an organizational context, data is most usefully described as structured records of transactions”.
Note that according to Checkland and Ho
l
well data represents unstructured facts but put in an
organizational context data is to be thought of as stru
ctured according to Davenport and Prusak (1998).

3.1.2 Capta

According to Checkland and Holwell (1998) “it (is) useful in discussions to refer specially to that data
which (is decided) relevant and which we therefore know we want to collect”. This data t
hey call capta.
They continue with “Data is the starting point in our mental processing. Capta are the result of selecting
some for attention”. In other words, the moment we choose to give data attention it turns into capta. This
doesn’t mean that the data

turned into capta is of any relevance to us. Davenport and Prusak (1998) write
“too much data can make it harder to identify and make sense of the data that matters”. A reflection is that
just having data won’t do you any good it’s the data that you turn
into capta that helps. And to find this
data can be more difficult if you have a lot of it. Checkland and Holwell (1998) argue that one lack in
today’s’ definitions is that there is no distinction between the gigantic mass of data that could be selected
fo
r processing, and the tiny amount which actually does. This is important because fundamentally the
purpose of Information System is to process capta.

3.1.3 Information

“Think of information as data that makes a difference” Davenport and Prusak (1998). You
can think of
information as a message that makes a difference for the user, it has a meaning and it adds value. An
interesting fact to note is that even not getting a message can be of information for the user according to
Checkland and Holwell (1998). Che
ckland and Holwell write that it’s all depending of the context when
acquiring information from data. They also argue that one of the greatest lacks in the broad body of
definitions available today are that they don’t emphasis that different people can att
ribute different
meanings to the same data. There are numerous ways to add value to data, Davenport and Prusak considers
the following methods important:




Contextualized: we know for what purpose the data was gathered



Categorized: we know the units of anal
ysis or key components of the data



Calculated: the data may have been analyzed or key components of data



Corrected: errors have been removed from the data



Condensed: the data may have been summarized in a more concise form




Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

10

3.1.4 Knowledge

We start of by

two definitions of knowledge




Davenport and Prusak’s (1998) states that knowledge is “a fluid mix of framed experience, values
and contextual information and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and
incorporating new experiences and in
formation. It originates and is applied in the minds of
knowers. In organizations, it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but
also in organizational routines, processes, practices, and norms”.



Steven Alter (1996) writes in his boo
k Information systems “knowledge is a combination of
instincts, ideas, rules and procedures that guide actions and decisions. In this sense, a person may
remember a lot of facts or a database may contain a lot of facts without having much knowledge”.


To p
ut it simply knowledge derives from information as information derives from data. According to
Davenport and Prusak (1998) this transformation happens through;




Comparison: how does information about this situation compare to other situations we have
known



Consequences: what implications does the information have for decisions and actions



Connections: how does this bit of knowledge relate to others



Conversation: What do other people think about this information


3.1.5 Codification of tacit and explicit know
ledge

From the discussion above we can make a distinction between two types of knowledge: tacit and explicit.
We choose to discuss these knowledge types in the same subsection as codification of knowledge, as these
are closely coupled. The aim of codificat
ion is to put knowledge into a form that makes it accessible to
those who need it. The primary challenge in codification of knowledge is the question of how to codify it
without losing its distinctive properties such as contextual richness, the human cogni
tive dimension and
thus turning it into less vibrant information or data (Davenport and Prusak, 1998, Skyrme, 1999).
Knowledge, which is written down or expressed in a tangible form such in a procedure or database, is
called explicit (Skyrme, 1999). Tacit
knowledge on the other hand resides in people’s minds and is
difficult to articulate. It includes insights experiences, judgment and many other aspects of know
-
how and
know
-
why (Skyrme, 1999). Davenport and Prusak (1998) argue that it incorporates so much
accrued and
embedded knowledge in that its rules may be impossible to separate from how an individual acts. However
because of the substantial value that resides in tacit knowledge it can be worth the effort to try to capture it.
(Davenport and Prusak, 199
8). Capturing this knowledge can save costly mistakes and help prevent
reinventing the wheel (Skyrme, 1999). Davenport and Prusak (1998) argue that due to the characteristics
of tacit knowledge mentioned above the codification process can be limited to loc
ating someone with the
knowledge, pointing the seeker to it, and encouraging them to interact. This technique is called knowledge
mapping and is further discussed in chapter 3.3. Mapping who knows what in an organization creates an
essential knowledge inve
ntory, but it does not guarantee the ongoing availability of knowledge. Having
access to knowledge only when it’s “owner” has time to share it or losing it entirely if she leaves the
company are significant problems that threaten the value of the organizat
ions knowledge capital. Firms
must therefore have strategies for preventing such loses. This can be done through mentoring or
apprenticeship. One area of research dealing with ways to capture tacit knowledge through computerized
systems is Artificial Intel
ligence (AI) further discussed in chapter 3.1.6.



Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

11

3.1.6 Existing IS systems for knowledge transfer and codification

In this subsection we will elaborate on what information systems (IS) can achieve in the knowledge
management area. Skyrme (1999) discuss t
wo areas: the first one is making better use of the knowledge that
already exists in the firm. And the second is the creation of new knowledge and its conversion into valuable
products and services. Laudon and Laudon (2000) identify four areas where IS ca
n come into use, that is
creating, distributing, sharing, and capturing of knowledge. The first three areas support information and
knowledge work and the last one turns to Artificial Intelligence (AI). When we discuss the use of IS we will
use Laudon's no
tion. Considering the distribution of knowledge, Laudon and Laudon (2000) give examples
such as managing and coordinating the work of data and knowledge workers. These workers can be
supported by Office Automation Systems as a great deal of knowledge work
takes place in offices. Office
Automation Systems can be defined as “any application of information technology that intends to increase
productivity of information workers in the office” (ibid). Examples of such systems are word processing
and desktop data
base software. They continue, “Knowledge work is that portion of information work that
creates new knowledge and information. For example knowledge workers create new products or finds
ways to improve existing ones” (ibid). Knowledge Work Systems (KWS) sup
ports this kind of work.
Examples are CAD and Virtual Reality (VR). Another way of handling knowledge is to share it. Laudon
and Laudon (2000) write, “Although many knowledge and information work applications have been
designed for individuals working alon
e, organizations have an increasing need to support people working in
groups”. Group Collaboration Systems support this work. Examples are Groupware, and Intranets. Intranets
can provide the foundation for knowledge environments in which information from a

variety of sources and
media can be shared, displayed, and accessed across an enterprise through a simple common interface
according to Laudon and Laudon. They also claim that these solutions are appropriate for easier tasks and
are often cheaper than gro
upware and thus presents and option for smaller business. Laudon and Laudon
(2000) explain how organizations capture and codify their knowledge as quoted below: “Organizations are
using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to capture individual and coll
ective knowledge and to codify
and extend their knowledge base”. They continue with a short definition of AI, “Artificial Intelligence can
be defined as the effort to develop computer
-
based systems (both hardware and software) that behave as
humans”. It is

important to keep in mind that artificial intelligence is usually only applicabale to a limited
domain (ibid).



Figure 4; Laudon and Laudon’s framework for knowledge based systems

Share knowldege

Group collaboration tools

Distribute knowledge

Office automation tools

Cr
eate knowledge

Knowledge work systems

Capture and codify

Artificial intelligent systems


Groupware


Intranets


Word processing


Desktop publishing


Imaging and web publicantions


Electronic calendars


Expert systems


Neural nets


Fuzzy logic


Genetic algorithms


Intelligent agents


CAD


Virtual reality


Investme
nt workstations


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

12

3.2 Knowledge Manage
ment and Knowledge Engineering

Creating a KBS is a knowledge engineering activity. Knowledge Engineering takes place within a
Knowledge Management Strategy, and these two areas can almost be seamlessly linked together (Screiber,
Akermans, Anjewierden, Hoog
, Shadbolt, Velde and Wielga 2000). To elaborate on these areas and their
connections are important as they set the scope and boundaries of this thesis.

3.2.1 Definition of knowledge management

There ar
e

many reasons to why the management of knowledge has
become a hot topic. We have chosen to
highlight two of them provided by Skyrme (1999);
An increasing proportion of today’s wealth creating
industries is knowledge intensive, and they are growing several times faster than traditional industries.
There is a
lso increasing value in intangibles as brands, patents, copyrights and other formal or intellectual
property, and know
-
how.
Knowledge pose in many ways a key asset for companies (e.g. Davenport and
Prusak (1998), Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) and Ahmed Kok an
d Loh (2002)) and the success of an
organization partly depends on its ability to gather produce, maintain and disseminate its knowledge. One
of managements responsibilities is thus to develop procedures and routines to optimize the creation, flow,
learnin
g, protection and sharing of knowledge and information. Based on this, a definition of knowledge
management is to systematically and actively manage and leverage the stores of knowledge (Laudon and
Laudon, 2000). Screiber, Akermans, Anjewierden, Hoog, Shad
bolt, Velde and Wielga (2000) provide the
following graph to visualize knowledge management:







Figure 5; Know
ledge management visualization


The upper part of the model, the knowledge management level, consists of management parts. Screiber,
Akermans, Anjewierden, Hoog, Shadbolt, Velde and Wielga (2000) define knowledge as a resource and
argue
that it is the kno
wledge management levels

responsibility to make it available; at the right time, at the
right place, in the right shape, with the needed quality and at the lowest possible costs. Knowledge
management then initiates and executes knowledge management actions
, which operate at the object level.

Skyrme (1999) uses the notions of levers and foundations, which we believe can be applied at the object
level to further elaborate on important factors. Levers are processes, people, measurement, information and
space
and their function are amplifying the contribution of knowledge. Foundations can be divided into two
groups; hard and soft. Their function is two provide the capacity and capability that embeds knowledge into
the organizations infrastructure. A hard knowle
dge infrastructure support knowledge collaboration and
example of such are groupware and intranet. A soft knowledge infrastructure develops knowledge
enhancing roles, skills and behaviors. Both Skyrme (1999) and Screiber, Akermans, Anjewierden, Hoog,
Shadb
olt, Velde and Wielga (2000) emphases that the knowledge type is critical to which knowledge
management actions that are suitable.


Knowledge management level

Knowledge object level

Knowledge
management
actions

Report
experiences


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

13

According to Davenport and Prusak (1998) it is also important to stress that “relevance is far more
important than completen
ess” and that it is important to analyze the usefulness and importance of the
knowledge management incentives because managing all corporate knowledge would be immense and
futile task. Another important fact is that there is no silver bullet in knowledge m
anagement. That is, there
is no all compassing knowledge management strategy suitable for all organizations. On the contrary a
successful knowledge management strategy is often intimate coupled to the organization in which it is
developed. Returning to fig
ure 5, Screiber, Akermans, Anjewierden, Hoog, Shadbolt, Velde and Wielga
(2000) identifies the process within the management level with the following figure:





Figure 6; the knowledge management process


According to this figure, knowledge management is a cyclic process consisting of three different
management activities; Conceptualize, reflect and act. The main goal of the conceptualize activity are to get
a vi
ew on the knowledge in the organization and its strong and weak points. The result of this activity may
make problems, opportunities weaknesses visible, which need to be reflected upon in order to identify
possible improvements. Acting means initiating the

agreed
-
upon improvements plans and monitoring their
success. We believe that Ahmed Kok and Loh (2002) sum up this process by identifying change as an
important concept. They argue that it is the company’s ability to handle change, which produces both
oppo
rtunities and risk, which is the key driver to a successful knowledge management project.

3.2.2 The role of knowledge engineering in knowledge management.

As noted above knowledge engineering can almost be seamlessly linked to knowledge management. There
are however some essential differences as the areas are attached to different organizational roles with a
different scope, purview and discretion. Knowledge engineering operates at the object level in figure 5 and
the purpose of knowledge engineering is to

conceptually model some part of the organization at different
levels of detail and develop a Knowledge Based System. This activity is initiated by knowledge
management. KBS’s should be viewed as potential tools for knowledge management. They offer potenti
al
solutions to knowledge resource problems detected, analyzed and prioritized by knowledge management.
The outputs of a Knowledge engineering activity usually provide valuable feedback and insights to
knowledge management, a lot of the models and results
produced by both knowledge management and
knowledge engineering activities can be used by both groups (Screiber, Akermans, Anjewierden, Hoog,
Shadbolt, Velde and Wielga 2000). The knowledge engineering methodology used in this paper is
CommonKADS, which we
re previously discussed in the method chapter.

Conzeptualize


Identify
knowledge,analyze
strength/weaknesses

Ref
lect


Identify improvments
and changes

Act


Implement changes and
monitor improvments


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

14


3.3 Knowledge Mapping

This subsection elaborates on knowledge mapping since we identify this as an appropriate solution in the
result. The idea of knowledge mapping was put into the context of different knowl
edge types in the
background chapter knowledge. The knowledge map was one of the earliest and most successful knowledge
management incentives (Seemann and Cohen, 1997). The basic notion of knowledge mapping is to create a
solution that point to where knowl
edge resides, in for example an organization, rather than containing it and
encouraging the knowledge seller and buyer to interact by different means (Seemann and Cohen, 1997;
Davenport and Prusak, 1998). In most cases they point to people with particular
expertise but they can also
identify repositories of important documents or other forms of codified knowledge (Seemann and Cohen,
1997). There are several motives for creating a knowledge map. We have identified three of them of interest
for our investigat
ion:




Seemann and Cohen (1997) argue that in many organizations individuals and groups have no
structured way to find out whether knowledge they need exists in the organization, and if so where
it can be found. They are often referred to informal networks,

which may result in that employees
make do with mediocre or even faulty knowledge simply because it is more accessible. This leads
for example to that team and individuals repeat mistakes just because they don’t have access to
past experience. Another con
sequence may be “reinvention of the wheel” as they are working their
way through problems that already have been solved elsewhere in the organization, which results
in wasted time.




Looking on knowledge mapping from a management point view it can provide a

common frame of
reference against which to discuss knowledge resources. Gordon (2000) writes that a knowledge
map can be a good starting point for other knowledge management incentives. By using a
knowledge map managers can get a better picture of the kno
wledge in the organization and focus
their attention to areas of greatest need, and by that decide on the correct course of action. One
example of this can be that it is easier to identify other needs of knowledge based systems as
Groupware and knowledge w
are housing and show in a structured way what they are intended to
achieve (Gordon, 2000). Managers at different levels of the organization have different needs of
information, which a knowledge map can aim to serve. For instance, the board of directories
may
want answers to strategic questions about the knowledge resource of the whole company but are
unlikely to want to know about the knowledge at a detailed operational level. The training manager
may want to use a map to plan training and to help organize

training in areas that have been shown
to be at greatest risk to the company. The manufacturing manager may want a clear visualization
of the knowledge used in a particular manufacturing area and may want detailed analysis so that
actions can be planned t
o protect and develop the knowledge asset.




Another motive for using a knowledge map solution according to Davenport and Prusak (1998) is
if the characteristics of the knowledge is tacit, and thus is hard to codify. The notion of tacit
knowledge is further

elaborated in the background subsection about knowledge.


We agree with Davenport and Prusak (1998) who argue that due to the characteristics of tacit knowledge
the codification process can be limited to locating someone with the knowledge, pointing the s
eeker to it,
and encouraging them to interact.

3.3.1 Construction and visualization

To the best of our knowledge there is no “one way” to construct a knowledge map. On the contrary the
design of a knowledge map is highly individual for different organiza
tions with different goals and motives
etc. There are however guidelines. First of all we believe that its important to point out that an
organizational chart is usually no substitute for a knowledge map since knowledge goes beyond
conventional departmenta
l boundaries (Davenport and Prusak, 1998). When constructing a knowledge map
solution it is, as with all knowledge management incentives, important to identify an area of interest and
evaluate its relevance, usefulness and importance to the organization. I
t is usually not a good idea to try to
map or codify all corporate knowledge, “relevance is far more important than completeness” (Patricia
Seemann cited by Davenport and Prusak, 1998). As stated above, knowledge maps contain information
about knowledge ra
ther than knowledge itself. Seemann and Cohen (1997) write that “a knowledge map
represents an area or structure that helps the map reader finds his or her way around the actual place” and

Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

15

that “knowledge maps have been successful because they address an i
mportant familiar organizational
problem”. A knowledge map should represent a knowledge activity such as: corporate yellow pages,
represent a process, define a question and decision tree (Seemann and Cohen 1997). One can argue that a
knowledge map answers
questions about whom, what and where


who has what essential knowledge and
where can it be found.

3.3.2 Practical construction

Seemann and Cohen (1997) argue that the “connections” is the essential purpose of the knowledge map,
that is: “Whether it conne
cts people to the knowledge they need or organizes elements into a coherent
whole, it is the connecting that shows what the knowledge is for and makes it available for use when and
where it is needed”. There are several ways to publish or visualize a knowl
edge map. The aim is however to
make the work of the employees better and more efficient by using the knowledge map, not to make things
more complex or confusing. Two examples of ways to construct a knowledge map are by graphic
representation, which is ach
ieved by actually using the notion of a map or chart in the construction. Or by
using text based directories printed or in a computerized form (Seemann and Cohen, 1997). We believe that
it is also possible to combine these to ways. Davenport and Prusak (19
98) states that the information needed
to create a knowledge map often already exists in the organization, but is usually in fragmented or
undocumented form. To derive the information needed they suggest “the snow ball example”. That is
talking to knowledg
e sources suggested by one person, then following up with the people they mention and
then the people those suggest. By taking this approach they believe it’s possible to derive whatever
information one need, no matter how specialized or distant it is. Whe
n designing a graphical knowledge
map Gordon (2002) suggests an approach of using conceptual diagrams as a powerful way of representing
knowledge. He states “Concept diagrams can be used to describe fairy complex concepts and are suitable
for both machine
and human interpretation. They are seen as a knowledge representational method that
employs graphical structures… This offers interesting opportunities for future work on knowledge mapping
by creating a framework that could allow knowledge maps to be trans
formed into other machine
understandable representations”. Gordon (2002) also believes that conceptual diagrams can constitute a
powerful learning tool. Here the notion of learning dependencies is an important concept:





Figure 7; learning dependencies


Learning dependency is a human centered approach to mapping the structure. Learning dependency means
that it is necessary to know “x” befo
re knowledge “y” can be fully known. In the example given in the
figure above it is necessary to know how to use a mouse before one can open file in a windows based
environment. According to Gordon (2002) learning dependencies provide at least some encoura
gement that
it is really knowledge that is being managed. That’s because one of the prerequisite for stating that
something is knowledge is that it is true. There also needs to be some justification for believing that
something is true. Learning dependenci
es can deliver this justification as “x” is dependent of “y” and
thereby “y” justifies “x”. We interpret Gordon’s (2000) notion as knowledge maps are not only reserved for
mapping knowledge in organizations, but can also be applied to the human way of perf
orming reasoning,
one could thus argue that our brain consists of a knowledge map linking together all of our conceptual
frames. We believe that L. Van Warren (2002) supports this when he states that “one measure of
intelligence is the ability to filter an
d chain together a set of facts to establish a cause and effect relationship
Know how to open a file in a windows
based operating system

Know how to use a mouse


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

16

in the world at large”. He also argue that with a computer based visual organizer, which we recognize as a
knowledge map, it is possible to at least tenfold the number of facts th
at one can remember chained
together. We believe that this discussion is important as we think it shows that by introducing a knowledge
map in an organization awareness is promoted. This is important as an organization benefits when decision
makers and emp
loyees have a good understanding of the domain that they are working in. If an
organization is able to exert knowledge and develop a computerized knowledge map it is easier to master
the central facts of the domain and the chains of reasoning emanating for
m that domain (Warren, 2002),
thus it is easier for decision makers and employees to grasp a bigger domain. A sum up can be that the
better knowledge maps organization posses the easier it is to grasp the domain as shown in figure 8 below.
The angle of the

slope may vary depending of the complexity of the domain.


Figure 8; the learning curve

Work in order to
grasp th
e domain

Quality of knowledge map


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

17

4. RESULT & ANALYSIS

The result is as described in

the method chapter based on qualitative interviews, whose overall outcome we
have structured in the OM sheets of the CommonKADS method (see appendix). The investigation has been
carried out on a high abstraction level in order to keep a manageable scope f
or the thesis. Thus we have not
dealt with the exact procedure in detail during the investigation. Due to the qualitative nature of the
investigation that this paper is based on, it is preferable to combine the result and analysis chapters (Patel
and David
sson, 1994). We are only aiming to satisfy the knowledge need of the competence development
department.

4.1 What and Which type of knowledge?

As can be distinguished from the background chapter it is essential to know the character of the knowledge,
e.g. t
acit or explicit, to successfully codify it. Therefore we start by defining the knowledge type in order to
concretize which knowledge based system that would be suitable for the investigated process at company
Alpha
. Based on the OM
-
sheets derived from the

qualitative interviews with competence development
department we argue that it is the knowledge of the personnel’s individual and collective knowledge and
the employee managers knowledge that are interesting to investigate in the scope of this paper.

4.2
The Employee managers and the Personnel’s knowledge

As stated in figure 3, in the appendix, the employee managers have knowledge concerning the personnel
and the personnel groups. That knowledge comprises which type of competence the personnel have, and
wh
ich project they have carried out and are currently carrying out. We believe that this knowledge is to
some extent tacit, in the way that the employee managers knows the personnel on an individual level and
have knowledge about their needs and motivations
etc. We also however think that some of their
knowledge could be extracted into explicit form example of such is; knowledge about personnel groups and
the individual personnel’s competences, also knowledge about personnel group and project history should
b
e possible to derive. The collective knowledge of the personnel and the personnel’s individual knowledge
are to a great extent tacit and concerns for example know
-
how, experience and judgment of how to solve a
particular task or problem presented during a
project. Explicit knowledge that can be found mainly resides
in documents and manuals but also in the projects outcome. Today there are no structured procedures to
document that knowledge. The personnel should be able to define their own competences, and
should have
some idea about which competences that exists in the personnel group to which they belong. The
substantial amount of tacit knowledge present at the personnel and employee managers puts certain
constraints on the knowledge
-
based system. As state
d in the background chapter concerning tacit
knowledge it may incorporate so much accrued and embedded knowledge in that its rules may be
impossible to separate from how an individual acts, and thus is hard to codify in a system without losing its
distinct
ive properties.

4.3 The Competence departments need of knowledge

As can be concluded from the introduction chapter and further derived from figure 3
-
5 in the appendix the
competence development department is involved with the tasks: competence development
inquiry and
competence development decision. A breakdown of the decision process reveals that it is crucial for the
competence development department to be able to perform an internal search for competence in order make
a decision regarding competence deve
lopment actions. A further analysis of the decision process reveals
that it is constituted by three parts; an internal search for competence, an external search for competence
and finally a decision concerning a preferable course of action. The internal se
arch for competence is
critical since the other tasks are heavily dependent on this task. The internal search for competence it is also
obviously the most interesting process for this thesis. Therefore we have conducted a further breakdown of
this process
using the knowledge asset work sheet of the OM model. As can be concluded from figure 5 in
the appendix, the knowledge needed to search and evaluate internal knowledge is not available to the
competence department in a structured way. Today that knowledge
is dispersed throughout the
organization. In the investigated process it resides mainly with the employee managers and personnel. The
internal search for competence can result in two different courses of action:


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

18


1.

The competence development department will
make some sort of educational effort

2.

An external recruitment to satisfy the need of competence e.g. recruitment of a new employee or
hiring of a external consultant

4.4 Evaluations of systems

Having the tacit character of the knowledge in mind and adding

the need of the competence development
department defined above we will use Laudon and Laudon’s figure (previoulsy dicussed in background
chapter) to discuss which type of knowledge based system that would be suitable for the investigated
process. We here

recognize “share, capture and codifying knowledge” as interesting for further discussions
within in the scope of our investigation.


It is possible to capture and codify tacit knowledge, using some kind of artificial intelligence solution.
Usually this i
s however only suitable for a limited area of domain, and we thus dismiss the idea of
codifying the knowledge as not reasonable and suitable for the purpose in question. As stated in the
background chapter the tacit nature of the knowledge often limits the

codification process to locating
someone with the knowledge, pointing the seeker it, and encouraging them to interact, which we recognize
as a knowledge sharing solution. We believe that a knowledge map solution, which typically refers to
people, or/and t
o documents and structured knowledge, would be suitable for these purposes. Introducing a
knowledge map in the investigated process would make it easier for the competence development
department to find already existing knowledge, which according to Davenp
ort and Prusak (1998) can pose a
fundamental problem. It would potentially also diminish the problem of localness of knowledge. That is;
people usually get knowledge from their organizational neighbors, which causes the competence
development department to

make do with less than optimal knowledge. When localness is present
asymmetry of knowledge can arise, which is evident in the investigated process. Without some structured
way of mapping the knowledge in an organization, this asymmetry can be a threat. Wh
en there is
asymmetry of knowledge; one department of the organization has abundant knowledge on a subject, which
another department lacks but needs (Davenport and Prusak, 1998). This phenomenon causes high search
costs, which we perceive as one of the big
gest problems of the competence development department. One
could say that the distance between buyer and seller of knowledge prevents a transaction from taking place.


Another reason for using a knowledge map solution is due to the fact, that it is the i
nvestigated process first
real knowledge management incentive. By using a knowledge map managers can get a better picture of the
knowledge in the organization and focus their attention to areas of greatest need and thereby decide on the
correct course of a
ction. One example of this can be that it is easier to identify other needs of knowledge
based systems, as Groupware and knowledge ware housing, and show in a structured way what they are
intended to achieve (Gordon, 2000). As it is out of the scope to imp
lement and analyze the success of a
knowledge map in the investigated process we have found literature support of successful implementations
in organizational environment similar to ours; Gordon (2000) state in his article “Creating Knowledge maps
to suppo
rt explicit knowledge management” that knowledge maps have been used with positive results
from the competence development departments point of view, as it can help to organize competence
development and training in areas that have been shown to be at grea
t risk to the company. Another case
that also support the use of knowledge maps is given by Davenport and Prusak (1998) in their book
“Working knowledge” and concerns a knowledge map developed at Microsoft. The aim of the knowledge
map was to map the compe
tences of system developers not just as they entered the company, but in an
ongoing fashion in order to better be judge which education efforts that would be appropriate for the
individual employee in the company.




Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

19

We believe that the knowledge needed i
n order
to create a knowledge map is available through
the employee managers as well as from the
personnel group and the personnel. As stated
above, the employee managers’ posses’
knowledge about personnel groups, personal
competences of the employees, pro
ject history
etc. The personnel group and personnel’s
knowledge about their own competences might
not be suitable for a knowledge map solution
considering political issues. As Davenport and
Prusak (1998) argue; organizational knowledge
maps are political d
ocuments and if knowledge
is considered to be genuinely important to an
organization and those who have it are
recognized and rewarded, then the knowledge
map will become a picture of status and success.
The same also goes the other way around; if the
know
ledge map is used for mapping personnel’s
knowledge in order to perform e.g. cut downs in
the organization, there can be resistance from
using it. Thus it is important to keep these
factors in mind when constructing the
knowledge map. Another factor to con
sider is
that the employee manager’s knowledge is less
dispersed than the personnel’s. We thus propose
that the knowledge map mainly is to be derived
using the employee managers’ knowledge




Figure 10; domain structure and derviement of knowledge map

Competence

Development

dept.

Employee
managers

Personn
el group

personnel

1

1..x

1

1

1

1..x

The employee
managers
knowledge about
the personnel
group and
personnel is to
be

used when
constructing the
map.


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

20

4.5

Cultural issues

In figure 2 (see appendix) in the subsection “Culture and Power”, we have identified factors which we
believe are interesting to continue to analyze since they can have consequences for the conclusion of this
investigation. A characteristi
cs of the investigated process is the fact that the employee managers and to
some extent the employees hoard knowledge. We believe that this is done both intentionally and
unintentionally. Unintentionally in the sense of that there don’t exist any structur
ed way of transferring
knowledge to the competence development department as concluded in chapter 4.4. Intentionally is due to
that knowledge is perceived as power by the employee managers, and if other people know what they know
their power may dissipate.

Knowledge is thus a trading merchandize and if there don’t exist any real
incitement for them to share their knowledge they won’t give it away. The hoarding of knowledge is
obviously a problem from the competence development departments point view when th
ey are searching
for information about internal competences. We believe that theories about knowledge markets can be
applied here. Davenport and Prusak (1998) argues that recognizing knowledge markets with players as
sellers, buyers, brokers, and a price s
ystem is of great importance when dealing with how knowledge moves
through an organization. They also emphasis that people within an organization usually don’t share their
knowledge if they don’t gain anything. The competence development department can be
recognized as
buyers of knowledge, as they are trying to resolve an issue whose complexity and uncertainty precludes an
easy answer. If they succeed to buy the right knowledge when analyzing internal competencies they can
make a better and more efficient d
ecision about competence development efforts. The employee managers
can be recognized as brokers and sellers of knowledge. They are brokers in the sense that they know which
competences that exist in their domain and could make a connection between sellers

and buyers of
knowledge. From the competence development department’s point of view they are also sellers of
knowledge, as they have a substantial quantity of interesting knowledge about the personnel groups and
personnel etc. But as concluded above they
tend to hoard their knowledge. This can be explained if one
applies the price system. Inside a company the currency for knowledge is seldom money. Instead Davenport
and Prusak (1998) identify three different sorts of payments; reciprocity, repute and altru
ism. Reciprocity
means that the seller of knowledge will share his knowledge if he expects to get something in return. This
can be done directly in the sense that the knowledge buyer becomes a seller another time, or indirectly
which is coupled to the conc
ept of repute. In this case the knowledge seller believes that if he is known for
sharing knowledge, which will make others in the company more willingly to share knowledge with him.
Today this obviously not the case from employee managers’ point of view.
One reason for this could be that
the competence development department doesn’t have any knowledge of interest for the employee
managers. Because employee managers hoard knowledge, which the competence development department
need, they have a knowledge mon
opoly. The investigated process would clearly benefit if this monopoly
were to be resolved. Another incitement for the resolving of the monopoly held by the employee managers
is that of knowledge creation. Creation benefits from the interplay of knowledge,

this interplay can generate
new knowledge. Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) use the notion of “redundancy” for this dependency and
states that it is an important concept for knowledge creation. There are many ways companies can
overcome the inefficiencies post
by knowledge markets. One of them is the use of information technology,
as in this case a knowledge map. The main role of information technology should however only be to
provide a good infrastructure. It is a known pitfall to expect software alone to solv
e problems identified
with for example knowledge markets. Here the management has a big responsibility, which is out of the
scope of this paper to investigate.



Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

21

5. CONCLUSION

Having the character of the knowledge, the need of the competence development de
partment and the
literature support in mind we believe that we can answer our hypothesis: “If a knowledge based system is
introduced in the problem domain the accessibility of knowledge will increase”. System wise we conclude
that the accessibility of know
ledge will increase by the introduction of a knowledge map. A knowledge map
is suitable compared to other knowledge based systems, since the aim of a map is not to codify the
knowledge there will be no loss of its distinctive properties such as contextual
richness. A knowledge map
solution also fulfills the motivation factors stated in chapter 3.3. As the construction of the map is highly
dependent of thorough investigations of the process at company
Alpha

we have chosen to not extend this
discuss since the

paper is carried out on a high abstraction level. We have however devoted a subsection of
the background chapter to construction issues. The map would preferably be derived using the knowledge
that the employee managers posseses concerning the competences

of the personnel and personnel groups, as
their knowledge is most unified, objective, and structured. However as concluded in the subsection about
cultural issues there are difficulties which have to be addressed in the area of knowledge markets. The
emp
loyee managers have a knowledge monopoly and hoards the knowledge that would be interesting to
incorporate in the knowledge map for various reasons. Thus although it would be preferable, system wise,
to derive the knowledge needed in order to create the kn
owledge map from the employee managers it may
be practically impossible. The solution of this problem is mainly managerial, and the role of information
technology should principally be to provide a good infrastructure. As the focus of this thesis is on sys
tems
role in knowledge management, we will however elaborate on what we call “dynamic knowledge mapping”
to at least partially address the knowledge monopoly in the discussion chapter.


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

22

6. DISCUSSION

6.1 How to present the map

As briefly introduced in the
background chapter there are different ways to construct and present a
knowledge map, the overall aim is to make work better and more efficient. Not to make things more
complex or confusing. Three different examples are given in the background chapter 3.3.
2 of how to
construct the map; one is by graphic representation, another is by using text
-
based directories and finally we
believe that one could use a combination of the two. We will not extend this discussion applied on the
investigated process as this i
s out of the interest of this thesis to investigate. We will however elaborate on
pro and cons of computerizing the map in this chapter, as this is closely related to how easy it is to update
the knowledge map which we belive is critical for the success of

a knowledge map in the invetsigate
process. Our opinion is agreed upon by Seemann and Cohen (1997); Gordon (2002) and Davenport and
Prusak (1998). As Davenport and Prusak (1998) states that organizations are dynamic, and a printed
knowledge map begins to
grow out of date as soon as it is created. Seemann and Cohen (1997) extend this
discussion and argue that publishing a new edition of a printed map that has grown out of date is expensive,
difficult and largely pointless; by the time the revis
ion has been
edited, designed,
and printed, it to will be
out of date. This is of course an extreme, one could also think of a knowledge map drawn on news print in a
team meeting room which may not be so hard to update (Seemann and Cohen, 1997). As Identified above a
c
omputerization of the map makes it easier revise and update. Seemann and Cohen (1997) also agree with
this notion and add that: “The computer is an ideal medium for documents that is not meant to be read in a
linear way because its value depends on links a
nd connections”. Another benefit of computerizing the map
is that it can be embedded in for example other communication networks and thereby enable knowledge
seekers immediately to connect with knowledge sources that they locate.

As one can conclude from t
he
above discussion a computerized map is obviously much easier to revise and redistribute than a printed one.
Small and large changes can be made at any time, there is no printing cost, and distribution over a network
is almost instantaneous (Seemann and
Cohen, 1997). Those are all characteristics which we believe would
greatly benefit the knowledge map suggested for the investigated process. Problems that we have
recognized with a computerized approach mainly concerns “trust”, we believe that this can cau
se problems
concerning the computerization. The role of trust in knowledge transactions helps explain why knowledge
initiatives based solely on the belief that a computerized system creates communication seldom deliver the
expected benefits. A computerized

system is often impersonal and doesn’t promote reciprocity interchange
of knowledge nor does it grant the seller of knowledge any repute which is recognized as important factors
in knowledge markets. The role of trust has been out of the scope to further
investigate applied to the
investigated process. When comparing the pro and cons we firmly believe that a computerization of the
map is preferable. To be useful over time a knowledge map must be a living fluid document supported by
mechanisms for continual
ly correcting, enhancing, and recognizing information (Seemann and Cohen,
1997). In other words it needs to be dynamic, a notion that we will continue to elaborate on in the section
below.

6.2 The Dynamic Knowledge Map

6.2.1 Definition

In this subsection w
e will introduce our notion of a “dynamic” knowledge map. To the best of our
knowledge this concept has never been discussed this way before. One of the corner stones of this approach
is Skyrme’s (1999) discussion about transfer of tacit knowledge. Skyrme
(ibid) believes that one way to
facilitate transfer of tacit knowledge is to add knowledge enriching features, examples of such are:




Adding contextual information to data


where was this information used? What factors need to be
considered when using it



Providing annotation


adding informal notes to individual data items



Providing links to experts



Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

23

We believe that through Skyrme’s (1999) notion integrated in for example a collaboration system a
powerful knowledge map could be derived. This knowledge map

could have dynamic characteristics as it
would to some extent update it self, which is further discussed below. To explain the domain we provided
in the figure below:


Figure 11; domain of dynamic knowledge map


A
prerequisite for the dynamic knowledge ma
p is that the personnel
produce

some tangible output.

The idea
is
that personnel’s working in group or by them self conducts

the
ir work through a suitable tool,

for
example a group collaboration tool. Examples of interesting features that may be incorporat
ed in the tool
are a portfolio for documents, possibilities to carry out discussions and uploading of files etc. There are of
course numerous ways that the tool could be structured, one example is around the work process. All
information entered into the s
ystem would be enriched by contextual data according to Skyrme’s (1999)
notion provided above. One example could be a document which are enriched with contextual data as;
author, date, keywords about the content, and which project does the document belong
to etc. The
document would then be saved in a structured manner using a database. This way the document or output
produced may not contain the authors actual knowledge, meaning that a person just reading the output
produced might not be able to perform the

same job as the author. The output does however points out that
the author presumably have some knowledge about the output produced. We would like to emphasis that
the idea is not to save tacit knowledge per se. As pointed out in the background chapter an
d further
discussed in the conclusion it is hard to save tacit knowledge due to that it incorporates so much accrued
and embedded knowledge in that its rules may be impossible to separate from how an individual acts. The
information saved in the database
would then be a good base for deriving a knowledge map. We believe
that this process could to some extent be done automatically, although we recognize the need of stewards
which are further discussed below. Techniques for constructing the map are discussed

in the background
chapter 3.3.2. When the map has been derived other persons in the organization could then use it to locate
interesting knowledge and competences. Another benefit due to the dynamic knowledge map is that it is not
only a map for locating
competences, but e.g. documents saved in the database would also be available. A
knowledge seeker could therefore to some extent evaluate the seller’s knowledge before making a contact.
Seemann and Cohen (1997) also uses the notion of dynamic knowledge map
s, but not in the broad way that
we have suggested, they for example use the notion of stewards in a different way, which is further
discussed below. They do however argue for what we recognize as a feedback mechanism. They state that
users should be able
to validate and question changes, they continue to write that the knowledge map
“might also include an easy way for users to communicate the impact of the (map) on their particular jobs,
this would be a way of testing and measuring the value of the (map),
and identifying its weaknesses and
essential strengths”. We think that this is a good idea which could constitute an essential part of the map.
Seemann and Cohen (1997) also argue that the knowledge map must be protected from to much change
Information

Seller

Knowledge map and steward

buyer

Emplo
yee

Working with

Collaboration tool

Contextual inf.

added

Saved in db

Knowledge

map derived

Supervised

by steward

Employee searching

for knowledge

Information

contextual


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

24

they state; “ba
sic parts and links must be as read only”. We to some extent challenge this statement and
believe that the knowledge map must be open for all change just as long as they are well founded in the
corresponding organizational space. When Cohen (2002) uses the

notion of dynamic in relation to
knowledge map he believe that the map should support capability to provide statistical analysis of the map,
its structure and the parameters assigned. This could be a interesting feature for the competence
development depa
rtment as it could provide functionality to evaluate competence development efforts
.

6.2.2The role of stewards

As stated above we believe that the knowledge map to some extent could be derived automatically, but we
also recognize the need of stewards. This

subsection aims to elaborate in this notion, and also argue that the
employee managers of the investigated process might be suitable for this task. Seemann and Cohen (1997)
state that without stewards the value of the knowledge will quickly decline. They
also believe that stewards
are responsible for incorporating new content into the map and revising or deleting outdated, the substance
of the changes should be provided by the users. We partially agree with their notion but would like to
change the focus o
f the stewards’ responsibility from being responsible to incorporate new content to a
more supervising role. Thus we believe that stewards have an important role in supervising and revising the
content that is being generated from the collaboration tool an
d database into the knowledge map. Stewards’
main responsibility should be to maintain an overall good structure of the map. It is however important to
state that stewards must respected by the users and have the experience and intelligence needed to
under
stand evaluate the map (Seemann and Cohen, 1997). In the investigated process we believe that this
would be a suitable task for the employee managers as they have a good conception of how the organization
is structured and works.

6.2.3 Conclusion concerni
ng dynamic knowledge map

By using some kind of collaboration tool, with the possibility to add contextual data, and from that
collaboration tool more or less automatically derive which competences that are present in the organization
a truly dynamic knowle
dge map can be created. The main advantage of the dynamic knowledge map is that
it fluently updates itself as competences vary in the organization. We do however recognize some
weaknesses of this approach. A mayor threat is locating a suitable tool, which
fits the intended purposes. In
the discussion above we have discussed features of tools that have potential for the dynamic knowledge
map. It has however been out of the scope of this thesis to conduct further investigations of tools available
on the marke
t that incorporates these features. The notion of a dynamic knowledge map is posing an
interesting prospect for organizations thinking about introducing some kind of knowledge mapping
solution.

Responsible for incorporating
information in the knowledge
m
ap suggested in the result are
the employee managers as can be
derived from the figure (right).
In the dynamic knowledge map
this information will, as
discussed above, be derived from
the work of the personnel and
personnel groups. As concluded
in the resu
lt chapter a knowledge
map can have a function in the
process of resolving the
knowledge monopoly held by the
employee managers. Using a our
notion of a dynamic knowledge
map it would however no longer
be the employee managers
responsibility to incorporate

new
information in the knowledge
map, they would as stated above
have a more supervising role.
Thus the knowledge monopoly
would further decline.

Competence

development

dept.

Emplyee managers

Personnel group

personne
l

1

1..x

1

1

1

1..x

Knowledge map

suggested in the


result

Dynamic

knowledge
map


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

25

6.3 Knowledge atlas

Intended for our notion concerning the dynamic knowledge map and more explicitly elaborat
ed on in this
subsection is the idea of covering more than one aspect of the investigated process at company
Alpha
.
Seemann and Cohen (1997)
use

the concept of a knowledge map to describe this idea. They argue that if a
knowledge map can answer questions a
bout who what and where, the knowledge atlas also answers
questions about when, why and how
-

when in the process is a certain knowledge needed, how different
activities and areas of knowledge related, and why are different activities taking place. A knowle
dge atlas
brings together different knowledge maps produced in the organization and relate them in order to create a
rich picture of the whole. An example in the investigated process could be to combine a map of
competences in the company with
an

organizat
ional chart. By doing this the value of each map increase as
it is put into the context of other maps
.

6.4 The importance of informal networks

One could argue that a knowledge map have several advantages over informal networks in an organization.
They can
give a better view of the global competences in a firm and can thus diminish localness of
knowledge etc. We however feel that it is important to point out that we believe that knowledge map in no
way is a substitute for informal networks, rather a compleme
nt. Considering the charachter of company
Alpha
s organizational structure as described in the problem domian chapter, we think that if one were to try
and implement a knowledge map as a subsitute for the already established informal networks, one would
ser
iously cripple the organization’s creativity. It is however out of the scope of this paper to investigate the
impacts on these netowrks that we belive an implementation of a knowledge map would bring. It is curcial
to realize that informal networks are imp
ortant for e.g. knowledge creation. The aim of the knowledge map.
should thus be to strengthen informal networks instead of weakening them and provide better knowledge
markets (Davenport and Prusak, 1998)
.



Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

26

7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Throughout the many steps in
volved in writing this paper we have recieved alot of help from different
persons and we would therefore like to thank Jonas at the kompetence development departement at the
investigated organization for helping us with information needed in order to write

this report, our supervisor
Larry Hennesy for giving us guidence, our examiner Dr. Guohua Bai and Jan Björkman at the IAM institute
at BTH for providing us with the inital contact with the organization.


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

27

8. LITERATURE LIST




Alter, Steven “Information
system: a management perspective 2
nd”

The Benjamin/Cummings Company,
Inc, 1996.


Besanko; David; Dranove, David; and Shanley, Mark ”Economics of strategy” John Wiley & Sons (2000)


Davidow, William H. and Malone, Michael S. “The virtual corporation: Cu
stomization and Instantaneous
response in manufacturing and service; lessons learned from the world’s most advanced companies 1
st

ed”
Library of Congress Cataloging
-
in
-
Publication Data, 1992.


Davenport, Thomas & Prusak, Laurence “Working Knowledge: How

Organizations Manage What They
Know” President and Fellows of Harvard College, 1998.


Gordon, John L. ”Creating Knowledge Structure Maps to support Explicit Knowledge Management”,
2000. www.akri.org


Laudon, Kenneth C. and Laudon, Jane P. “Management I
nformation Systems: organizations and
technology in the networked enterprise 6
th

ed (international edition)” Prentice
-
Hall, 2000


Nonaka, Ikujiro and Takeuchi, Hirotaka “The knowledge creating company: how Japanese companies
create the dynamics of innovati
on” Oxford University Press, 1995


Patel, Runa and Davidsson, Bo “Forskningsmestodikens grunder” Studentlitteratur 1994.


Pervaiz K. Ahmed, Lim Kwang Kok and Ann Y. E Loh ”Learning through knowledge management”
Butterworth
-
Heinemann, 2002.


Screiber, Guus;

Akermans, Hans; Anjewierden, Robert de Hoog; Shadbolt, Nigel; Van de Velde, Walter;
and Wielga, Bob “Knowledge engineering and management: the CommonKADS methodology”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000


Seemann, Patricia and Cohen, Don ”The Geogr
aphy of knowledge: From Knowledge Maps to the
knowledge Atlas”, 1997.


Skyrme, Dr David “Knowledge Management: Making it Work” 1999.
www.skyrme.com


Skyrme, Dr David “Knowledge Management Solution


The IT contribution
”.
www.skyrme.com


Van Warren, L. “Knowledge Mapping the Corpus”, 2002. www.wdv.com













Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

28

9. APPENDIX


Figure 1


Figure 2



Organizational model

Variant aspects OM
-
2

Structure

See figure1

Process

See figure 2

People

Cost
umer, Employee Manager, Personnel Group, Personnel,
Personnel Management, Competence Development dept.

Resources

Sufficient technical equipment

Knowledge

?

Culture and Power

Hoarding of knowledge,

Knowledge is perceived as power.

Organizati
onal model

Problems and opportunities worksheet OM
-
1

Problems and opportunities

-
no structure for reusing of knowledge

-
no structured approach to competence development

-
bad communication between the personal leaders and the personnel
department

-
no str
ategy or policy for sharing knowledge

Organizational context

-
short term gains are preferable against long term gains

-
develop mobile communication services

-
etc

Solution

-
some kind of computer based system for saving knowledge

-
mapping knowledge

-
c
hange alt. develop new work routines


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

29

Figure 3











Organizational model

Process Breakdown Worksheet OM
-
3

NO

Task

Preformed by

Whe
re?

Knowledge
Asset

Knowledge
Intensive?

Signifi
cance

1

Project
assignment

Employee
manager


Knowledge
concerning:
Personnel and
gro
up
competence;
Current work
situation

Y

1

2

Project
development

Project
Group(manag
er
-

employees).
Employee
manager


Knowledge in
order to carry
out assigned
project

Y

1

3

Project
supervision

Employee
manager


Knowledge
concerning:
Personnel and
Pers
onnel
Group. Goals
and Current
state of Project.

Y

2

4


Competence
development
inquiry

Competence
development
department,
Employee
manager.


Need of
competence

Y

1

5

ref figure 4

Competence
development
decision

Competence
development
department


Knowle
dge
concerning:
competence
development.

Y

1

6

Competence
development
action

Internal or
external
educator with
the right
competence


Competence
about the area
in question

Y

3


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

30




Figure 4

Organizational model

Process Breakdown Worksh
eet OM
-
3

NO.

Task

Preformed by

Whe
re?

Knowledge
asset

Knowledge
Intensive

Signifi
cance

1

Internal
search for
competence

Competence
development
department


Knowledge
concerning the
competences
within the
company

Yes

1

2


External
search for
competence

Competence
development
department /
Recruitment
department



Knowledge
concerning :

Need for
competence

Available
workforce

Educational
opportunities

Yes

2

3

Decision
concerning
course of
action

Competence
development
department /
Recruitment
department



Assessment of
available
opportunities

Yes

2



Figure 5

Organizational model

Knowledge Assets Worksheet OM
-
4

Knowledge Asset

Possessed by

Used In

Right form?

Right place?

Right
Time?

Right
Quality?

Knowledge
concerning
internal
competences

Employee
man
agers

1. Internal
search for
competence

No

No



Knowledge
concerning the
organizational
structure

Employee
managers

Competence
development
department

1. Internal
search for
competence

No

Yes


No




Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

31




figure 6 Organizational S
tructure

1

1..X

1..X

1

1..X

1

Competence development

Employee manager

Personnel group

Personnel


Finding the right knowledge, a case study in knowledge mapping

Blekinge

Institute of Technology

Johan Bolmsten and Martin Andersson

32









Competence
development

Personnel
group

Empl
o
yee
manager

C
usto
mer

Project spec:

Distribution of project

Project Development

Project supervsion


Comptence effort

Comptence


Development inquiry

Finished
project:

Project Delivery


Figure 7 activity diagram

Decsion about

competence effort