Journal of Information Science, 33 (4), 2007 – interesting articles

[German title: Journal of Information Science, 33 (4), 2007 – interessante Artikel]

Peter Johan Lor and Johannes Jacobus Britz
Is a knowledge society possible without freedom of access to information?   387-397

Abstract: Modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) are seen not only as allowing global economic activities and the sharing of knowledge, but also as favouring transparency and democracy by creating space and a public sphere for civil society. The internet, and in particular the world wide web, have proved a powerful tool in both the manipulation of economic activities and the mobilization of civil society. Much is made of the democratizing effect of ICTs in e-government. Yet there are governments that attempt to control in an authoritarian manner both who accesses the internet and what content may be accessed and used. The question arises whether an information society and, more critically, a knowledge society can develop in the absence of freedom of access to information, freedom of expression and freedom to access the digital economy. Against this broad background the authors put forward four pillars of a knowledge society: (a) ICTs and connectivity, (b) content and the usability thereof, (c) infrastructure other than ICTs, and (d) human capacity. They attempt to evaluate the effect of authoritarian governmental control of access and content on each of them. It is argued from an ethical perspective, and more specifically from a perspective of social justice that, while a technologically oriented concept of the information society may not be incompatible with severe state control, a more multi-dimensional knowledge society cannot develop under such circumstances. Freedom is fundamental to participation in a knowledge society. Purely pragmatic arguments lead to the same conclusion.

Key Words: knowledge society • information society • ethics • access to information • freedom of information • digital divide

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Mu-Jung Huang, Mu-Yen Chen, and Kaili Yieh
Comparing with your main competitor: the single most important task of knowledge management performance measurement  416-434.

Abstract: The single most important task of knowledge management (KM) performance measurement is comparing your company with its main rivals. Most of the metrics and methods of knowledge measurement that have been developed are concentrated on measuring the knowledge within the organization, which may be nice to know, but is not critical. In this paper, we propose a methodology for comparing a firm’s knowledge management performance with its major rivals using the Analytical Network Process (ANP) to obtain a clear direction of the effort required to gain or maintain a competitive advantage. The ANP approach employed in the present study is a theory of multiple criteria decision making (MCDM), and is good at dealing with tangible and intangible information. Our methodology is designed to make a detailed comparison of a firm’s KM performance with that of its main rivals, in order to be able to provide effective information for improving its KM and to increase its decision-making quality. This paper makes three important contributions: (1) it develops a comprehensive model, which incorporates a variety of issues for conducting KM performance measurements in comparison with major rivals; (2) case experience is provided to help us understand the advantages and disadvantages of the methodology for KM performance measurement from a practical point of view, and (3) the results obtained from exploring the case firm present changes that the case firm can make, implying that the case firm must reinforce its knowledge creation and internalization so as to improve its position in comparison with its most competitive rivals. The method proposed by this paper is generic in nature and is applicable to benefit any firm.

Key Words: competitiveness • analytical network process (ANP) • multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) • knowledge management (KM) • quantitative modeling

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© 2007 Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

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