DoILike CiteULike?

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 10.07.53 PM.png
My tag cloud from my CiteULike.

So first off, let’s talk about my tags. My most obvious tags are knowledge-management, knowledge, knowledge-creation, knowledge-sharing, and knowledge-transfer. That makes complete sense for a body of work I read for a knowledge management class.

Secondly, what patterns do I have? I noticed a pattern of REPETITIVE WORD-descriptor. For example, I used knowledge-WORD and organizational-WORD a lot (knowledge-management, knowledge-creation, knowledge-sharing, knowledge-transfer. knowledge-production, knowledge-society AND organizational-adaptation, organizational-change, organizational-knowledge, organizational-knowledge-management, organizational-learning). I think that’s an easy way to make sure I don’t use duplicate tags that mean the same thing. Like instead of saying knowledge-sharing and sharing-of-knowledge or organization-processes and processes-in-organizations I know that if there is the word ‘knowledge’ or ‘organization/al’ in the potential tag, I always start with the main word to keep the tags simplified (even if they make more sense the other way).

Another pattern I see is tagging unusual or weird words that may seem minor but are what stood out to me in the articles and will make me remember them. For example, I read multiple case studies but tagged the ones that I liked as ‘case study’. I tagged the two papers I read that referenced the same Xerox study as ‘xerox’. I tagged the paper about rural ICTs as ‘rural’ to remember. Same with ‘urban-planning’.

This isn’t a pattern but I did create tags before I read the papers and then went back and changed them or added to them after I read the articles in order to make sure they were completely accurate.

Lastly, what methodology would I suggest for future tagging? I would suggest a little more pre-planning. I would tag before reading like I did and would, if possible, tag as a collection so that you keep your tagging schema in mind OR I would write the schema down so it can be referenced. This is especially important as you first are starting to create your methodology so you don’t have to fix as many mistakes.

I also believe that you can’t really have too many tags but after looking at my tag cloud, I realize that, after the fact, I don’t know what some of these mean. That means I need to either a) be more explicit in my tagging so I have context or b) don’t use as many random tags. I think I would lean towards being more explicit because having more avenues to organize knowledge is a good thing to me.

I like tagging to be a mix of planning and organic thought. I like to go in with a vague plan and structure and then let the information I’m tagging guide me into how it wants to be tagged. I always find that a pattern emerges, whether you intend it to or not.

In the end, for my first try at tagging academic work (but definitely not tagging period because I’m an avid Tumblr user), I like it went pretty well. I ThinkILike CiteULike. 😀

Words: 490
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Can Risk be a Reward?

This is the last post with ‘content content’ of the semester and I’m both sad (because it’s been fun) and excited (because I’ll be done and GRADUATING). So… let’s continue.

Trkman and Desouza4 is all about knowledge and the risks associated with sharing it. While all the theory didn’t interest me a ton I did like the how basis for the paper. Organizations must have a competitive edge in order to stay afloat in today’s economy. A large part of achieving this goal is to share knowledge. This paper made really clear (at least more than others I’ve read) the true costs of sharing knowledge. It’s not always ‘risk-free’. This article has one statement that screams to me as important to realize AND understand.

While knowledge sharing is valuable it cannot be done in a haphazard fashion. The improper sharing of knowledge and a loss of knowledge during transfer can have disastrous results. (pg. 3)

They mention the how if knowledge sharing had happened effectively 9/11 could have been prevented and we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq due to its supposed ‘weapons of mass destruction’. I don’t know if any of that is true but it does put the risks into perspective. I feel this is the type of paper any organization must have as required reading in order to understand the risks of not having proper knowledge management and, like I mentioned last week, helps with the ‘burden of proof’ for knowledge managers. I also liked that part of the paper that Raphael mentioned about how “a low-risk relationship might be preferred over one which is more beneficial but which also bears a higher level of risk, necessitating additional expenditure of resources to curtail said risk”. That brings the how ‘management of risk’ into perspective.

Due to my background (leadership minor) and this class, the part of Jones and Mahon’s¹ paper that stood out to me what the bit on leadership. They say:

In the development of any effective knowledge management capability, leadership is important. As we have noted several times, the development of tacit knowledge relies on strong relationships and networks (Weiss et al., 2010). It is the leadership team that needs to keep the flexibility and relevance of tacit knowledge processes alive in the organization and to demonstrate by their own actions that tacit knowledge and its transfer is important (however see Erhardt, 2011 for a different view).

One of the challenges of management is to recognize that decisions in high velocity/turbulent environments cannot wait for complete information and knowledge – it is the ability to combine explicit knowledge and limited information with tacit knowledge that yields unique breakthrough solutions. (pgs. 779-780)

This reminds me of one of my previous posts where I say (in regards to the Challenger disaster managers), that the managers “didn’t know enough to understand the information presented to them in order to make a fully informed decision. The managers were ignorant; they had the information but not the education or knowledge. Being blind due to ignorance not lack of awareness should never happen”. The Challenger disaster was obviously a ‘high velocity/turbulent environment’ and they obviously didn’t participate in ‘nimble knowledge transfer’.

Powell and Snellman’s³ article is one of the driest ones I have read this semester. It is conversational, I’ll give it that. The only thing of merit I gleaned from this article is on page 213 where they discuss the change in the job market. They say:

There’s a growing research suggesting that some of the new jobs that have been created over the past two decades are fundamentally different from the ones that have been lost. The new jobs tend to favor educated workers over those with less education and skills.

This was published over a decade ago, in 2004, but I don’t think the sentiment has changed. How jobs work are different now. I was watching Quantico last night and there was a scene where this older FBI agent was talking about how his job as a handler has changed so much over the decades and he’s considered a dinosaur even though he still has amazing contributions he could make. This reminded me of this paper. The jobs are changing fundamentally, yes. But that doesn’t mean we should forget how they were. And all the education in the world can’t make up for something with no real life experience or basic common sense/decision making skills.

Nahapiet and Ghoshal² write an interesting paper on organizational advantage. I had never really thought about social capital in a business sense but, after reading their paper, it made a lot more sense. I definitely will take this knowledge into any future job I have about how social and intellectual capital can be used to the organization’s advantage… if treated right.

Words:

Words I Had to Look Up

None this week! Isn’t that cool?!


References

¹ Jones, N. B. and Mahon, J. F. (2012). Nimble knowledge transfer in high
velocity/turbulent environments. Journal of Knowledge Management,
16(5):774–788.

² Nahapiet, J. and Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and
the organizational advantage. The Academy of Management Review,
23(2):242–266.

³ Powell, W. W. and Snellman, K. (2004). The knowledge economy. Annual
Review of Sociology, 30(1):199–220.

Trkman, P. and Desouza, K. C. (2012). Knowledge risks in organizational
networks: An exploratory framework. The Journal of Strategic
Information Systems, 21(1):1–17.

Knowledge Management Systems

I probably should have read these articles BEFORE I wrote my 15 page paper on knowledge management systems but alas, hindsight is 20/20. The first article I want to talk about is Chalmeta and Grangel’s² article. Their KM-IRIS methodology is intense. Like, really really intense and dense. Like has been the case in most of my college career, this article was hard for me to get into. The 5 ‘lessons’ that were in the case study did speak to me however. They really reiterated a lot of the topics I’ve covered this semester and over my entire graduate tenure.

1. In order for enterprises to integrate knowledge management effectively with all their existing business processes, both management and employees must understand and assimilate the strategic business value of KM. These key participants must understand that KM is not simply a technological strategy but rather a business strategy that is essential for the success of their individual departments and of the organization as a whole.

I really liked this because I made clear that in order for KM and a KMS (or any new technology, really) to work, everyone must be on the same page. The understand must be there that this new technology has worth to each person using it. The technology must be explained and their input taken or they will reject the technology purely because they don’t understand it.

2. The knowledge-oriented business model is seldom practised and poorly known, regardless of whether we are talking about an operational or management level.

Education. KM isn’t an automatic thing. It doesn’t come naturally to most people and even those it comes naturally too, the skill still needs to be honed. Educate the management about KM and how it works AND WHY it is important to them. Management does not want to do something, in my experience, unless it is shown to be beneficial to them.

3. Historical factors like culture, power, etc., condition people and companies not to share knowledge.

When trying to implement knowledge management (and record management) into a business, the organizational culture MUST be taken into account. Organizational structure and power dynamics within the organization may need to be nicely addressed in order for KM and a new KMS to be supported.

 4. There is a need for more scientific production showing KM methodologies and business experiences. As Blair (2002) says, experts learn from case studies.

Case studies and papers need to be written so burden of proof doesn’t have to fall on the poor sods just trying to do their job and help their organization manage their knowledge by convincing the management to give them the funds to do so.

5. The need to encourage the training of staff in KM. It has been shown that staff training programs do not include the participation of employees in courses or other types of events related to KM.

Not just the management needs to understand KM.  Everyone in the organization does because everyone in the organization plays a role in KM. If a manager is telling you to do something, wouldn’t you like to know why? Training the staff in KM will help smooth the process and engage everyone in KM.

Now, Alavi and Lender¹. It felt very similar in style and content to Chalmeta and Grangel but that just may be me. The fourth lesson from Chalmeta and Grangel talks about case studies being needed and Alavi and Lender state:

Research is now needed that moves beyond the source and state to consider the conditions that facilitate knowledge creation. (pg. 126)

They also mention the barriers to KM and how organizational culture must shift, like Chalmeta and Grangel talks about.
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Pillet and Carillo³ brings up the illustrious Web 2.0 again. I love their research model. It’s model that when you look at it, it just makes sense (which is rare for me). I love it’s simplicity and the fact that it still says a lot. It shows the relationship between habits and the perceived attitudes towards knowledge sharing.

I thought that Yuan, Zhao, Liao, and Chi’s4 concept of using generations of ICTS to help support knowledge sharing in organizations was interesting. Instead of trying to create one ICT for all, they have different generations of ICTs (e-mail to instant messaging and telephone to video conferencing) and making sure they work together and knowledge sharing is happening.

Words:

Words I Had to Look Up

None this week! Isn’t that cool?!


References

¹ Alavi, M. and Leidner, D. E. (2001). Review: Knowledge management and
knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research
issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1):107–136.

² Chalmeta, R. and Grangel, R. (2008). Methodology for the implementation
of knowledge management systems. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 59(5):742–755.

³ Pillet, J.-C. and Carillo, K. D. (2016). Email-free collaboration: An
exploratory study on the formation of new work habits among knowledge
workers. International Journal of Information Management,
36(1):113–125.

Yuan, Y. C., Zhao, X., Liao, Q., and Chi, C. (2013). The use of different
information and communication technologies to support knowledge
sharing in organizations: From e-mail to micro-blogging. Journal of the
American Society for Information Science and Technology,
64(8):1659–1670.

Information Society

First off, the title of Rule and Besen’s article is fantastic. It’s The once and future information society which is a play off Arthurian legend which I love. So that was a good start to the article. When Audrey ended her blog post with “Here’s to the future and, hopefully, job security” it only made me a little (re: a lot) paranoid as I come up to my graduation. I read this right before I started this article and I think that’s why the part that drew me in was the section called ‘The rising importance of formal education’.

10c52dfI’ve put myself into all this debt to get a Master’s degree in order to join a specific profession but as I look for jobs, all of them are saying ‘5-7 years experience required’ or ‘expertise with xyz’ (xyz being all these systems you can’t get experience in unless you get a job that uses them…). It’s very disheartening. What’s all this education for if employers don’t use it as a foundation and mold you into their perfect employee? Rule and Besen even say “Much of the skill necessary for most work roles is acquired on the job”. Welp… Especially as I look for a job in the archives profession and they require “a MLS/MLS with a concentration in archival studies” which my school doesn’t even offer. I think the argument I’ve heard about why the LIS professions requires a Master’s degree can be summed up in one quote from this article:

As a number of writers have argued, formal educational credentials may simply serve as a ‘screening device’ or proxy for other qualities of interest to employers – congenial manners, steady work habits, or the status attributed to formal education. (pg. 336)

Tremblay³ laid out a good general overview of the information society and different theories that relate to that idea, however depressing it is (thanks go to Rachel for preparing me for that). I got what Tremblay was saying but it didn’t link to knowledge management in my mind.

Now Stock². That was cool. I loved the urban planning combined with knowledge management. This whole papers concept of access and accessibility and openness was a dream. It sounds absolutely amazing and if more people understood the concepts, ideas, and suggestions (like the Icelandic model of their entire population having access the licensed literature) in this article, knowledge managers, librarians, archivists, and all related professionals wouldn’t have such a hard time getting our jobs supported  FULLY.

This weeks readings were… diverse and interesting to say the least. Some of my favorites so far.

Words: 433

Words I Had to Look Up

None this week! Isn’t that cool?!


References

¹ Rule, J. and Besen, Y. (2008). The once and future information society.
Theory and Society, 37(4):317–342.

² Stock, W. G. (2011). Informational cities: Analysis and construction of
cities in the knowledge society. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 62(5):963–986.

³ Tremblay, G. The information society: from fordism to gatesism. Canadian
Journal of Communication20.4 (Fall 1995): 461-482.

Informing Practices & ICTs

ict01general1So this week I read some intense articles. The first was Goggins and Mascaro’s¹ Context Matters: The Experience of Physical, Informational, and Cultural Distance in a Rural IT Firm. I have always liked learning about ICTs and their implementation. Their take on distance in relation to a rural IT firm is fascinating. The whole paper was interesting but the part that stood out the most to me was the commoditization of ICT labor. With technology and software that used to be extremely expensive and available only to large firms becoming open-source and therefore available to anyone, smaller region IT firms are able to offer services like larger urban firms. This means that rural areas no longer have to be ‘behind the times’. Rural area business can now be ‘cutting edge’. I also liked how they talked about how developing and training local workers in the mid-level data analysis skills a firm is looking for, the employees will have a greater impact of developing the local community than getting a dead-end job at a call center (for example! They used that examples!)

Schultze’s² article seemed like it was waaaaay longer than it needed to be which made it extremely hard to get through. My take away from this article was that there are three informing practices:

  • Ex-pressing: This is when a person converts their tacit knowledge into ‘informational objects’ (explicit knowledge) that are ‘independent of the knowledge worker’ used to protect the workers against ‘attacks on their competence’. (i.e.- recording all the worker does and when)
  • Monitoring: This is when a person collects information from an objective perspective without letting the observed knowing so as to not contaminate the information. (i.e.- remote monitoring a call so the person being monitored does not know)
  • Translating: This is when a person creates information by analyzing and manipulating data in order to disseminate it across multiple platforms. (i.e.- creating an answer and question set by understanding all the parts of the user’s needs)

I like this break down. I think it would be useful to know this when trying to work in any business.

The last article³ talked about heuristics. Which…. I had no idea what it was.  Heuristics are mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision and heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution (Source). It also talked about the different types of knowledge which we’ve talked about a lot before.

Words: 413

Words I Had to Look Up

None this week! (…except heuristics which I defined in the post…) Isn’t that cool?!


References

¹Goggins, S. P. and Mascaro, C. (2013). Context matters: The experience of
physical, informational, and cultural distance in a rural IT firm. The
Information Society, 29(2):113–127.

²Schultze, U. (2000). A confessional account of an ethnography about
knowledge work. MIS Quarterly, 24(1):3–41.

³Spender, J. C. (1996). Making knowledge the basis of a dynamic theory of
the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17:45–62.