CCT 355: E- Business Technologies Class 4: Information/Knowledge Management Systems

CCT 355: E-Business Technologies

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CCT 355: E-Business Technologies. Class 4: Information/ Knowledge Management Systems. Administration. Check your presentation date Case study questions? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: CCT 355: E-Business Technologies

CCT 355: E-Business TechnologiesClass 4: Information/Knowledge Management Systems

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Administration• Check your presentation date• Case study questions? • Should be a narrative – not an information/interview dump –

what would your audience (e.g., me) think interesting about what you learned in your conversation?

• Consider this similar to a biographical piece in business/popular press literature – a compelling story about their work challenges – more why and how than simple fact dumps

• Due next week – hard copy in class please • Pam’s lecture on Sheridan IS context – now next week

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An overview of KM• Remember data, information, knowledge, wisdom?• KM systems exist between info -> knowledge – repositories

and channels to coordinate information to create knowledge

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A multitude of information channels…• Example: you’re new at your job – how do you learn how to

do it well?

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1st generation KM• 1st generation – technology centered – focused on data

architecture, access, rights management, etc. • Basically, build a database and release it • Would also include explicit training systems – e.g., computer-

based tutorials, etc. • Problems with this approach?

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Information and Organizational Politics• Collective ownership of information complicated • Orlikowski’s Lotus Notes case – consultants resisted sharing in

knowledge database• Carrots v. sticks – can you compel people to share knowledge?

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UX Issues• UX = User eXperience • Early KM systems roots in CS/digital libraries – made sense to

information scientists, few others• Difficult UI/UX = frustrations in adoption and use and negative

attitudes to use

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Information Overload• KM = too much of a good thing?• Knowing everything is not possible or pragmatic - information

shutdown usually the result of trying• Coping mechanisms?

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Information Sharing/Access/Control

• KM systems can and do limit access• Access limitations often make sense, sometimes don’t –

examples?• Establishing proper levels of access and workflow a concern

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Towards a 2nd Generation of KM• Constructivist approach – knowledge as embedded in social

and cultural reality, grows from that. • Understanding benefits and consequences of knowledge

sharing• Accounting for incentives for sharing – intrinsic and extrinsic• Promoting multiple channels of learning

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Tacit and Explicit Knowledge Sources

• Explicit knowledge – recorded information, can be transferred with relative ease

• Tacit knowledge – “know how” or “know why” – built from experience, cannot be easily captured and transferred

• Examples?• Databases fine for explicit information – but do you facilitate

tacit knowledge sharing?

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Nonaka and Takeuchi: SECI

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SECI Process• Socialization – beginning of transfer of tacit knowledge• Externalization – conversion to explicit form• Combination – integration/synthesis of other explicit

information pieces into new information reources• Internalization – re-embodiment of new knowledge as

standard practice• Cyclical process moving up from individual to group

knowledge• Social and constructivist foundations – all about interaction

and sharing in context

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Nonaka and Takeuchi: “ba”

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Ba?• Somewhat of an art – context and its manipulation to create a

positive ecology/environment for information sharing• Originating – where people share stories• Interacting – a more consciously designed structure of social

interaction, transfer of tacit stories to explicit knowledge• Cyber/systemizing – role of IT in integrating explicit knowledge• Exercising – synthetic application and return to information

sharing environment

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Information and Time• Information sometimes decays over time• Old information can even frustrate current interpretation• But information about past can be valuable• Examples?

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KM in fluid contexts• In high-turnover domains (examples?), information transfer

especially complicated• Often a consistent need to share organizational experience

and realities with new entrants, very difficult at times to capture or share information of departing members

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Example: FSAE• Teams make small formula style racecar• 500 teams worldwide (including many in Japan, and a local


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Local Challenges at Cornell• KM challenges – 2000 reports – how to access?• Database a failure – why? • Google solution – great but impossible at time (now, different

story)• Decided to work on creating/maintaining ba instead –

establishing a culture of learning• *very* high turnover raised challenges – maintaining success

over five years difficult

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A Conflict Between Serious Leisure and Organizational Structure?• Serious leisure (Stebbins, 2007) – voluntary activities pursued

by intensely and intrinsically motivated individuals who have a strong connection and self-identity with the activity

• How to bridge from serious leisure context to a knowing organization?

• “We are in danger of becoming the best organized 35th place team in history.” – tensions between creative and intrinsic impulse and the need for organization

• A delicate balance… you need both!

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Activity Theory

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Activity Theory• Historical foundations – human activity mediated by social and

cultural factors in dialectical fashion• A complex model for information studies (e.g., Nardi, 1996)• AT triangle – (Engestrom, 1987)• Not stable, but fashioned by contradictions – multiple possible

points of conflict and contradiction that need to be resolved to achieve activity

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Conflict within components


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Conflict between components


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Conflict over time

Year 1

Year 2


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Conflicts between competing activites