CHAPTER 11: Managing Knowledge and Collaboration
I. Question 2 (Chapter 11 - Page 442)
What types of systems are used for enterprise-wide knowledge management and how do they provide value for businesses? 1. Define and describe the various types of enterprise-wide knowledge management systems and explain how they provide value for businesses a. Structured knowledge systems
The essential problem in managing structured knowledge is creating an appropriate classification scheme to organize information into meaningful categories in a knowledge database that can be easily accessed by employees. Once the categories for classifying knowledge have been created, each document needs to be "tagged," or coded, so that search engines can retrieve it and the quality of search results can be improved. Structured knowledge systems perform the function of implementing the tagging, interfacing with corporate databases where the documents are stored, and creating an enterprise portal environment for employees to use when searching for corporate knowledge.
All the major accounting and consulting firms have developed structured document and engagement-based (case-based) repositories of reports from consultants who are working with particular clients. The reports typically are created after the consulting engagement is completed and include detailed descriptions of the consulting objective, participants, and the practices used to achieve the client's objectives. These reports are placed in a massive database to be used later for training new consultants in the company's best practices and for preparing new consultants joining an existing on-site consulting team. b. Semi-structured knowledge systems
Semi-structured information is all the digital information in a firm that does not exist in a formal document or a formal report. It has been estimated that at least 80 percent of an organization's business content is unstructured—information in folders, messages, memos, proposals, e-mails, graphics, electronic slide presentations, and even videos created in different formats and stored in many locations.
Increasingly, firms are required to track and manage this semi-structured content in order to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and other government legislation, and to manage their information assets more efficiently. Firms subject to Sarbanes-Oxley, for instance, must retain digital records of employee e-mail and phone conversations for a minimum of five years. Large firms such as Coca-Cola need to keep track of all the images of the Coca-Cola brand that have been created in the past at all their worldwide offices, both to avoid duplicating efforts and to avoid variation from a standard brand image. c. Knowledge network systems
Knowledge network systems provide an online directory of corporate experts in well-defined knowledge domains and use communication technologies to make it easy for employees to find the appropriate expert in a company. Some knowledge network systems go further by systematizing the solutions developed by experts and then storing the solutions in knowledge database as best-practices or frequently asked questions (FAQ) repository. Knowledge network systems address the problem that arises when the appropriate knowledge is tacit knowledge residing in the memory of expert individuals in the firm. Because such knowledge cannot be conveniently found, employees expend significant resources rediscovering knowledge. An International Data Corporation (IDC) study estimated that the average cost of redundant effort in Fortune 500 companies exceeds $60 million per year per firm. 2. Describe the role of the following in facilitating knowledge management: portals, wikis, social bookmarking, and learning management systems a. Portals
The major commercial knowledge management system vendors have integrated their content and document management capabilities with powerful portal and collaboration technologies. Enterprise...
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