Journal of Information Science, 33 (6), 2007 – interesting articles

[German title: Journal of Information Science, 33 (6), 2007 – interessante Artikel]

A stage model of knowledge management: an empirical investigation of process and effectiveness 643-659
Hsiu-Fen Lin

Abstract: Knowledge management (KM) is now widely recognized to be important to the success or failure of business management. Seeking to better understand the determinants of the evolution of KM, this study focuses on two main problems: (1) whether firms change their KM processes over time to improve KM effectiveness as well as develop their KM practices, and (2) whether socio-technical support results in more mature KM practices. This study draws on the previous literature to identify key dimensions of KM process (knowledge acquisition, knowledge conversion, knowledge application and knowledge protection), KM effectiveness (individual-level and organizational-level KM effectiveness) and socio-technical support (organizational support and information technology diffusion). The evolution of these dimensions is studied in the form of a stage model of KM that includes initiation, development, and mature stages. Data gathered from 141 senior executives in large Taiwanese organizations were employed to test the propositions. The results show that different stages of KM evolution can be distinguished across dimensions of KM process, KM effectiveness, and socio-technical support. Implications for organizations are also discussed.

Key Words: Knowledge management • stage model • socio-technical support • empirical study

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Creating science and technology information databases for developing and sustaining sub-Saharan Africa’s indigenous knowledge 737-751
Williams Ezinwa Nwagwu

Abstract: In this article, indigenous knowledge is defined as holistic of all forms of knowledge emanating from an indigenous community. The critical relevance of local science and technology information (STI) databases in the development and sustainability of Africa’s indigenous knowledge is discussed. It is advocated that local African STI databases should be considered required development infrastructures because they will provide information resources that are more adequate for national planning and management than their international counterparts. Furthermore, the various stakeholders and their roles are identified and the policy environment of STI databases in Africa examined. Constraints notwithstanding, local databases for African STI resources are envisaged to enhance global distribution and sharing of Africa’s indigenous knowledge.

Key Words: information policy • science and technology information • databases • indigenous knowledge • sustainable developments

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Moving beyond tacit and explicit distinctions: a realist theory of organizational knowledge 752-766
Ashok Jashapara

Abstract: This paper challenges the popular notions of tacit and explicit organizational knowledge and argues that its philosophical underpinnings derived from Gilbert Ryle are problematic due to their logical behaviourist perspective. The paper articulates the philosophical problem as the neglect of any role for the mind in organizational activity and the representation of mental activity as purely a set of behaviours. An alternative realist philosophy is advanced taking into account the potential of adopting a number of competing philosophical perspectives. The paper forwards a realist theory of organizational knowledge that moves beyond the surface behaviours of tacit and explicit knowledge and argues that collective consciousness and organizational memory play primary and deeper roles as knowledge processes and structures. Consciousness is not a Hegelian world spirit but rather a real process embedded in people’s brains and mental activity. Further, the paper argues that organizational routines provide the contingent condition or `spark’ to activate organizational knowledge processes. The implications of this model are explored in relation to the measurement of intellectual capital. The theory developed in this paper represents the first attempt to provide a coherent philosophically grounded framework of organizational knowledge that moves organizational theory beyond neat conversion processes of tacit and explicit knowledge.

Key Words: organizational knowledge • realism • consciousness • memory • tacit knowledge • explicit knowledge • past experience • organizational routines • philosophy

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© 2007 Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

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