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
Advertisements

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.
Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.12.05 PM

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.

Organizational Learning

These readings were a bit dense and hard to get through in my opinion.

Let’s start with Blackler¹. The part that stood out to me the most was the Activity Theory, Knowing and Doing section. I didn’t quite understand what Vygotsky was getting at but the Xerox example was so spot on to my personal experiences I kind of had flashbacks to working at the call center. As I’ve mentioned before, I trained/coached new agents in my department. When I read what Blackler wrote (referencing a study by Orr):

In the first place the stories they tell you to their serve a key informational function, preserving and circulating essential news about particular problems. Second, the storytelling has an educational function: not only do the technicians learn about particular faults on the machines, they also help the participants develop their diagnostic and troubleshooting skills. Finally, the stories provide an opportunity for technicians to establish their identity within the community of technicians itself; as newcomers contribute to the storytelling process they begin to both demonstrate their identity as professionals and to contribute to the collective wisdom of their group.¹ (pg. 1036)

I felt this chill come over me as I realized the value of how I used to run my training classes. I knew there were reasons we talked about our experiences and told examples from real life. I knew they worked but I didn’t quite understand the impact and importance of doing so. What some people see as water cooler gossip can actually be a way of sharing knowledge and organization learning. That’s really awesome!

The first thing I noticed about the Brown & Duguid² was the term downskilling in the tags the authors placed on the text. This is a term I used at the call center for when we had an agent who was trained for a higher level of call queue, work in a lower call level queue in order to lower the wait time. I had never heard of this queue outside call center work so I was interested to see what these authors had to say about it. They don’t outright define it but they reference it to mean the same thing.

An ostensible downskilling and actual upskilling therefore proceed simultaneously. Although the documentation becomes more prescriptive and ostensibly more simple, in actuality the task becomes more improvisational and more complex. The reps develop sophisticated noncanonical practices to bridge the gulf between their corporation’s canonical approach and successful work practices, laden with the dilemmas, inconsistencies, and unpredictability of everyday life. The directive documentation does not “deprive the workers of the skills they have;” rather, “it merely reduces the amount of information given them” (Orr 1990a, 26).

This is very much what we did at the call center. Corporate would tell us what we needed to do and we would find the easiest most efficient way to do so. Corporate has these ideas sometimes they think are great but in reality don’t really work in the real world. So these ‘corporate demands’ aka the “corporation’s canonical approach” need “noncanonical practices” aka work arounds in order for “successful work practices” to occur.

This reminds me of when I learned about ICTs and how they sometimes don’t work because the company that created the ICT doesn’t take into consideration real life use of the ICT. People are lazy and those in the positions they’re trying to force and ICT on or make corporate demands of, typically already know the best way to meet these demands and don’t need to be told step-by-step what to do. Hmmm… maybe corporations should think about speaking to the people they’re trying to make demands of to see how they actually work.

I liked Huber’s³ discussion of unlearning (defined as purposeful and intentional forgetting of knowledge). It wasn’t long (you should definitely check it out on pls 104-105) but it had some good points like: “unlearning opens the way for new learning to take place”.

Words: 662

Words I Had to Look Up

Downskilling: Downskilling refers to a process of reducing the talent or skill level of a position, job, or vocation primarily for the purpose of decreasing short-term cost (Source).

Prescriptive: Giving exact rules, directions, or instructions about how you should do something. Providing rules and opinions that tell people how language should be used (Source).

Noncanonical: Not included within a canon or group of rules (Source).  The origins of this word are biblical but my understanding of this word comes from fan fiction. Canon from fan fiction means: All of the events which *expressly* happen in the fandom. Meaning, everything, person, event, statement, that happens in the show, movie, or book is canon. For example, Megabyte’s real name being Marmaduke is canon because it expressly says in Origin Story that it is. Everything that happens in the show is canon. This is sort of used like a law for fan fiction. Alternate universes are where an author deliberately ignores, goes against, or stop paying attention to canon in order to create their own canon (Source). So noncanonical practices would be them making their own non-sanctioned workarounds to corporate practices.


References

¹ Blackler, F. (1995). Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations: An
overview and interpretation. Organization Studies, 16(6):1021–1046.

² Brown, J. S. and Duguid, P. (1991). Organizational learning and
Communities-of-Practice: Toward a unified view of working, learning,
and innovation. Organization Science, 2(1):40–57.

³ Huber, G. P. (1991). Organizational learning: The contributing processes
and the literatures. Organization Science, 2(1):88–115.

 

Knowledge Management & Social Media

I love reading about social media. It’s a very relevant topic to me. I use social media all the time AND I use it for my internships and classes (this one… :D). I decided to start with the Levy³ article as a way to ease into today’s readings.

Levy talks about the WEB 2.0 (I don’t quite get why she capitalizes it but whatever…) issue and its implications on Knowledge Management (again why is she capitalizing it? I’m just going to use KM). Let’s start with what WEB 2.0 is. WEB 2.0 has many definitions. O’Reilly says it is:

The business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.³ (pg. 121 from O’Reilly)

That is long and can be confusing. I like it when Mayfield says “Web 1.0 was commerce. Web 2.0 is people” (pg. 121 from Singel). McLean says WEB 2.0 is “the catch-all descriptor for what is essentially a much more dynamic internet computing” (pg 121 from McLean). Weinberger defines WEB 2.0 as “an establishment of ‘open architecture, its lowering of the barriers to publishing, the ease with which people can connect ideas, increase in available bandwidth and compu[t]ing power’” (pg. 121 from Weinberger). Weinberger is essentially talking about evolution of the web rather than revolution.

All these different definitions culminate in one definition for me. WEB 2.0 is a dynamic, people centric evolution/revolution of how people use computers.

I really like how Levy made me think about knowledge management in a WEB 2.0 era. She talks about how, with WEB 2.0 and social media becoming how society interacts and shares knowledge, those that were previously not sharing knowledge in organizations are now doing so. Because sharing is such a way of life now, sharing while at work is more nature and less cumbersome than it used to be. I never connected the two in my head before but it makes total sense. Thanks Levy.

Well Hemsley & Mason² even mentions Polanyi at the beginning of my favorite section of his article. Polanyi is everywhere! They write:

For example, wikis support individual participation in group knowledge production, and this coproduction process can make explicit more of the social knowledge. One of the assumptions behind the architecture of wikis is that knowledge is emergent, not static. The knowledge made available through wikis thus can be expected to be more fluid than in more fixed media and may be viewed as more current.

Blogging also arguably contributes to an increase in the availability of knowledge. Hsu and Lin find that knowledge sharing for reasons of it altruism and reputation building are positively related to attitudes bloggers have about blogging and their intention to continue to use blogs (Hsu and Lin, 2008).² (pg. 152)

A lot of the research I’ve done for this degree has been in blogs because they are the sources that are most up-to-date and current like Hemsley & Mason say. I actually got into a discussion (/argument)  with my parents yesterday about how blogs aren’t ‘real’ sources (that’s that they think). Blogs may not be ‘academic’ sources but a lot of the blogs I read and the ones I’ve cited in my papers were just as well sourced (and a lot of times better written) than the academic sources I’ve read. AND when you’re doing research on trigger warnings and whether they should be used in library’s, there are no academic sources so blogs, wikis, and news sites are the only place you can find to cite.

I also love that they mention “contributes to an increase in the availability of knowledge” because that what I see blogs as. There are not enough scholars in the word to write academic and peer-reviewed articles that can cover the amount of knowledge being produced through blogs.

Grace’s article about Wikis as KM tools made me feel a bit dumb. I’ve used my knowledge from working at a call center throughout my academic career and I have just know realized that the database of knowledge called IRIS (Integrated Resource Information System), that we used where I worked was a WIKI! It was this interactive repository of knowledge that we used constantly throughout the day to source our knowledge and tell customers the facts. The only issue with it is that IRIS wasn’t easy to edit for the people who used it. IRIS was maintained by corporate and edits had to be submitted and approved. Towards the end of my career there, they were finally taking the suggestions we submitted (from those who actually used the site) seriously and making changes where it was more like the Wikis Grace talks about.

I really like these readings.

Words: 827

Words I Had to Look Up

None this week! Isn’t that cool?!


References

¹ Grace, T. P. L. (2009). Wikis as a knowledge management tool. Journal
of Knowledge Management, 13(4):64–74.

² Hemsley, J. and Mason, R. M. (2012). Knowledge and knowledge
management in the social media age. Journal of Organizational
Computing and Electronic Commerce, 23(1-2):138–167.

³ Levy, M. (2009). WEB 2.0 implications on knowledge management.
Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(1):120–134.

Trying to Understand Polanyi & Knowledge

So… I took this class because I love knowledge management and my boss told me this class would be better for my future than the other option I was looking at. I will totally admit that the past 3 weeks have consisted of me freaking out because of the syllabus and Polanyi. I do not understand academic speech very well, especially not when it is written. I learn and understand best through verbal instruction and conversation. After I met with Dr. Burns on Monday I feel much better about this class so I am just going to jump in. Bear with me and here we go…!

Polanyi², Polanyi, Polanyi… I finally finished the book and what I took from Polanyi about knowledge can be summed up with two quotes. The obvious:

We can know more than we can tell.² (pg. 4)

and the two types of knowing:

Such is the functional relation between the two terms [specifiably known and tacitly known] of tacit knowing: we know the first term only by relying on our awareness of it for attending to the second.² (pg. 10)

But to be honest, that’s not the part that got to me. His view of existentialism is what drew me in and made me think.

The conception of morality established by this movement [modern existentialism] eliminates the distinction between good and evil, and it is pointless therefore to express opposition to it by moral reprobation. The unprecedented critical lucidity of modern man is fused here with his equally unprecedented moral demands and produces an angry absolute individualism. But adjacent to this, the same fusion produces political teachings which sanction the total suppression of the individual.² (pg. 59)

1454720084I was discussing this quote with my platonic life partner Sarah, trying to figure out what Polanyi was trying to say. She said that modern existentialism is where “philosophy has reached a point that people don’t know what to complain about because everything is vague and they still want to complain about something”.

We talked about how our view (from an existentialist point of view) of society has changed from being a collective conscience to the fact that we are individuals. As individuals, we don’t have a purpose unless we make one for ourselves. We make our own fate. AND, if we make our own fate, what is considered good and what is evil? If we are individuals and make our own fate, then others can’t tell you that you’re a bad person because there is no good and evil.

Because society has shifted where we are so aware of everything we can and cannot make ourselves into AND at the same time society has moral demands on us, it creates an angry individual. As Sarah says, “Just look at public education and you’ll see. Standardized testing”. This is the part of Polanyi that made the most sense to me.

HOWEVER, I learned more about knowledge from the other article I read!

350px-Knowledge_spiral.svgNonaka¹ had a lot of interesting things to say and was a good first article to read (especially after the confusion that was Polanyi). I was especially drawn to the ‘conversion of knowledge’. When I think about knowledge, the different types of knowledge, and how knowledge can be converted, I think about converting tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. Nonaka talk about how there are 4 different types of conversion: tacit→tacit aka socialization, explicit→explicit aka combination, tacit→explicit aka internalization, and explicit→tacit aka externalization. Nonaka talks about how socialization, combination, and internalization are connected to organizational theory but externalization hasn’t been explored as much.

The ‘spiral of knowledge’ was interesting as well. Nonaka says “Organizational knowledge creation, as distinct from individual knowledge creation, takes place when all four modes of knowledge creation are ‘organizationally’ managed to form a continual cycle” (pg. 20). I really like this. To me it’s saying that an organization can’t develop and succeed (through organizational knowledge creation) unless all aspects of knowledge and knowledge creation are working together like a well oiled machine. I love how Nonaka views knowledge.

Words: 674

Words I Had to Look Up

Tacitunderstood without being openly expressed; implied (Source)

Physiognomy: the art of determining character orpersonal characteristics from the form or features of the body, especially of the face OR the outward appearance of anything, taken as offering some insight into its character (Source)

Reprobation: disapproval, condemnation, or censure (Source)

Epistemology: a term first used by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier to describe the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge; it is also referred to as “theory of knowledge”. Put concisely, it is the study of knowledge and justified belief. It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired, and the extent to which knowledge pertinent to any given subject or entity can be acquired (Source).


References

¹ Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation.
Organization Science, 5(1):14–37.

² Polanyi, M. (1966). The Tacit Dimension. Doubleday, Garden City, NY, 1
edition.