Breaking the knowledge acquisition bottleneck through conversational knowledge management

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Breaking the knowledge acquisition bottleneck through conversational knowledge management
Authors: Christian Wagner [edit item]
Citation: Information Resources Management Journal 19 (1): 70-83. 2005 January.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Link(s): Paper link
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Breaking the knowledge acquisition bottleneck through conversational knowledge management is a publication by Christian Wagner.


[edit] Abstract

Much of today’s organizational knowledge still exists outside of formal information repositories and often only in people’s heads. While organizations are eager to capture this knowledge, existing acquisition methods are not up to the task. Neither traditional artificial intelligence-based approaches nor more recent, less-structured knowledge management techniques have overcome the knowledge acquisition challenges. This article investigates knowledge acquisition bottlenecks and proposes the use of collaborative, conversational knowledge management to remove them. The article demonstrates the opportunity for more effective knowledge acquisition through the application of the principles of Bazaar style, open-source development. The article introduces wikis as software that enables this type of knowledge acquisition. It empirically analyzes the Wikipedia to produce evidence for the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach.

[edit] Research questions

"Seeking a solution to the problems of organizational knowledge acquisition, the article makes the following argument. First, it introduces previous approaches to knowledge acquisition, identifies four limitations, and offers evidence for these limitations. The article then refers to Bazaar style (software) development (Raymond, 2001) as a potential direction for knowledge asset creation. It then explains the concept of conversational knowledge management and advocates wiki technology and the “wiki way” (Leuf & Cunningham, 2001) as a possible approach to using Bazaar-style methods in conversational knowledge management. An empirical analysis of the viability and effectiveness of the approach follows.

The research sought to address two questions through empirical analysis. 1. Is conversational knowledge management, as demonstrated in Wikipedia, consistent with Bazaar-style knowledge asset creation? 2. Is conversational knowledge management, as illustrated by Wikipedia, able to achieve the benefits of Bazaar-style development?"

Research details

Topics: Other content topics, Quality improvement processes, Other participation outcomes [edit item]
Domains: Knowledge management [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis, Explanation [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Case [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined" [edit item]
Research design: Case study [edit item]
Data source: Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Cross-sectional [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Website [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Article, History [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Not specified [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"Wiki technology and the wiki way of collaboration show a feasible model for knowledge acquisition and maintenance. Wikipedia offers an illustration of the effectiveness of this approach. The research demonstrates that users of a wiki-based knowledge asset (i.e., Wikipedia) apply Bazaar-style methods and techniques in their conversational knowledge asset creation. The research also suggests that knowledge acquisition through collaboration and conversation can lead to super-linear knowledge asset growth and continuous quality improvement.

Not surprisingly, there are several caveats. For instance, knowledge quality cannot be measured or managed easily. The quality of Wikipedia articles, for instance, remains a source of arguments. Therefore, future research will need to investigate the quality of the resulting knowledge based on content. In addition, knowledge creation with wikis relies on a strong and positive social contract among its contributors and on subject matters that are not controversial. These conditions are not always present. Wikipedia does have guidelines in place to handle disorderly participants and to maintain a neutral point of view (NPOV) in articles. But Wikipedia clearly relies on the social capital within its community. Studies of less strong communities will have to be part of the future research in order to determine knowledge losses due to lack of social capital. Furthermore, Bazaar-style knowledge management relies on volunteers who are genuinely interested in the cause. This may not be a paradigm for organizations where knowledge assets are not free. Future research will need to explore the applicability of open source knowledge management when the intellectual property is at least partially proprietary. Finally, the discussed approach to knowledge management appears to work, partly because it can engage increasing numbers of participants to deal with a growing task domain. One has to wonder about the limits of growth of this scenario. Considering both the positive findings and the challenging questions, it appears that Bazaar-style knowledge acquisition using wikis will be a promising application for the practice of knowledge management as well as a rich source of interesting research questions."

[edit] Comments

"Wiki technology and the wiki way of collaboration show a feasible model for knowledge acquisition and maintenance. Knowledge acquisition through collaboration and conversation can lead to super-linear knowledge asset growth and continuous quality improvement."


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "Breaking the knowledge acquisition bottleneck through conversational knowledge management"RDF feed
AbstractMuch of today’s organizational knowledge sMuch of today’s organizational knowledge still exists outside of formal information repositories and often only in people’s heads. While organizations are eager to capture this knowledge, existing acquisition methods are not up to the task. Neither traditional artificial intelligence-based approaches nor more recent, less-structured knowledge management techniques have overcome the knowledge acquisition challenges. This article investigates knowledge acquisition bottlenecks and proposes the use of collaborative, conversational knowledge management to remove them. The article demonstrates the opportunity for more effective knowledge acquisition through the application of the principles of Bazaar style, open-source development. The article introduces wikis as software that enables this type of knowledge acquisition. It empirically analyzes the Wikipedia to produce evidence for the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach.nd effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Added by wikilit teamAdded on initial load +
Collected data time dimensionCross-sectional +
CommentsWiki technology and the wiki way of collabWiki technology and the wiki way of collaboration show a feasible model for knowledge acquisition and maintenance. Knowledge acquisition through collaboration and conversation can lead to super-linear knowledge asset growth and continuous quality improvement.growth and continuous quality improvement.
ConclusionWiki technology and the wiki way of

collabWiki technology and the wiki way of collaboration show a feasible model for knowledge acquisition and maintenance. Wikipedia offers an illustration of the effectiveness of this approach. The research demonstrates that users of a wiki-based knowledge asset (i.e., Wikipedia) apply Bazaar-style methods and techniques in their conversational knowledge asset creation. The research also suggests that knowledge acquisition through collaboration and conversation can lead to super-linear knowledge asset growth and continuous quality improvement.

Not surprisingly, there are several caveats. For instance, knowledge quality cannot be measured or managed easily. The quality of Wikipedia articles, for instance, remains a source of arguments. Therefore, future research will need to investigate the quality of the resulting knowledge based on content. In addition, knowledge creation with wikis relies on a strong and positive social contract among its contributors and on subject matters that are not controversial. These conditions are not always present. Wikipedia does have guidelines in place to handle disorderly participants and to maintain a neutral point of view (NPOV) in articles. But Wikipedia clearly relies on the social capital within its community. Studies of less strong communities will have to be part of the future research in order to determine knowledge losses due to lack of social capital. Furthermore, Bazaar-style knowledge management relies on volunteers who are genuinely interested in the cause. This may not be a paradigm for organizations where knowledge assets are not free. Future research will need to explore the applicability of open source knowledge management when the intellectual property is at least partially proprietary. Finally, the discussed approach to knowledge management appears to work, partly because it can engage increasing numbers of participants to deal with a growing task domain. One has to wonder about the limits of growth of this scenario. Considering both the positive findings and the challenging questions, it appears that Bazaar-style knowledge acquisition using wikis will be a promising application for the practice of knowledge management as well as a rich source of interesting research questions. source of

interesting research questions.
Data sourceWikipedia pages +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Breaking%2Bthe%2Bknowledge%2Bacquisition%2Bbottleneck%2Bthrough%2Bconversational%2Bknowledge%2Bmanagement%22 +
Has authorChristian Wagner +
Has domainKnowledge management +
Has topicOther content topics +, Quality improvement processes + and Other participation outcomes +
Issue1 +
MonthJanuary +
Pages70-83 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inInformation Resources Management Journal +
Research designCase study +
Research questionsSeeking a solution to the problems of orgaSeeking a solution to the problems of organizational

knowledge acquisition, the article makes the following argument. First, it introduces previous approaches to knowledge acquisition, identifies four limitations, and offers evidence for these limitations. The article then refers to Bazaar style (software) development (Raymond, 2001) as a potential direction for knowledge asset creation. It then explains the concept of conversational knowledge management and advocates wiki technology and the “wiki way” (Leuf & Cunningham, 2001) as a possible approach to using Bazaar-style methods in conversational knowledge management. An empirical analysis of the viability and effectiveness of the approach follows.

The research sought to address two questions through empirical analysis. 1. Is conversational knowledge management, as demonstrated in Wikipedia, consistent with Bazaar-style knowledge asset creation? 2. Is conversational knowledge management, as illustrated by Wikipedia, able to achieve the benefits of Bazaar-style development?

the benefits of Bazaar-style development?
Revid10,687 +
TheoriesUndetermined
Theory typeAnalysis + and Explanation +
TitleBreaking the knowledge acquisition bottleneck through conversational knowledge management
Unit of analysisWebsite +
Urlhttp://www.igi-global.com/article/information-resources-management-journal-irmj/1286 +
Volume19 +
Wikipedia coverageCase +
Wikipedia data extractionLive Wikipedia +
Wikipedia languageNot specified +
Wikipedia page typeArticle + and History +
Year2005 +