Tagging Classification Blog

Here is my very last blog for this course. It’s sad to be ending it, but it’s also good to move on to new beginnings. Now, on to tagging classifications. I got off to a rough start with tagging, because it took me a bit to figure out cite-u-like. My first tagging system was fairly basic, starting with two or three top tags that were shortened to represent larger concepts. As I was uploading my citations for my last few blogs and the first one for April, I hand-wrote out my tags on yellow notebook sheets. I realized as I took down my first and second generations of tags, which became more complex mid-March when more tags came into the picture, that they formed categories. These categories became my final tiers that you all will see here. I use hyphens to signify tags that have relationship levels, since Cite-u-like does not allow for hierarchy of terms, and for my system to make sense, it needs to be visible.

I only have one top tier tag, “knowledge”, which is shorthand for knowledge management. Each of my 38 entries has this tag. There are also second and third tiers, as well as free form tags and unique tags. This will make sense in just a minute.

First Tier Tag: Knowledge

Second Tier Tags: Actions, Types, Communication, Community, Technology, Discipline, Tactiness, Information

Actions represents things that people do using KM; Types are categories of KM that emerge as groups. Community is short for “communities of practice”; communication is exactly what is states- it’s about people communicating in person and online. Technology indicates that a specific technology is discussed or where technology is the focus. Discipline indicates that a particular KM article has crossover with a specific topic or field. Tacitness indicates that it discusses that concept or mentions Polyani’s “Tacit Knowledge” quite frequently. Information is short for “information society”.

Third Tier Tags: (ACTIONS) Creation, Strategy, Exchange, Transfer, Sharing, Learning, Ignoring, Control, Hiding, Analysis, Conversion; (TYPES) Business, Collaboration, Organization, Disasters, Academic, Government, Crisis, Rural, Economic, Military, History; (COMMUNICATION) Relationships; Mentorship ; (COMMUNITY) Craft, Creative, Professional, Virtual; (TECHNOLOGY)Email, EmailAlternative, Newsmedia, Socialmedia; (DISCIPLINE) Sociology, Literature, Politics; (INFORMATION) Informationinequality

Under Actions, are all of the ways that KM can be done, acted, etc. Under Types, are all of the types of places/fields/environments where KM has been studied (context). Under Communication is relationships. Under Community are the types of communities studied. Under Technology are they types of technologies that were studied in KM. Under Discipline are the types of disciplines that it can be in (literature also includes articles that had literary references). Under “Information society” is information equality. These categories are all fairly self explanatory.

Fourth Tier Tags: (TRANSFER) Outsourcing; (DISASTERS) Oil spill, Hurricanes, EmergencyPlanning; (SOCIAL MEDIA) Wikis, Blogs, Microblogs; (SOCIOLOGY) Social Theory; (ANALYSIS) Risk

These tags are under the third tier tags. In the tagging system, a fourth tier tag looks like this one: Actions-transfer-outsourcing. This means, that a KM related actions was taken (transfer) which is related to KM outsourcing. For disasters, these are either types of specific disasters discussed or methods of planning discussed; similarly, under social media are types of social media that are discussed in great depth. Sociology has the subtag for social theory. The last indicates an analysis of risk management.

Fifth Tier Tags: (MICROBLOGGING) Twitter; (SOCIAL THEORY) Socialvs.Intellectual

I promise that this is my last tier of tags, then it’s on to the frequently used/easily categorized, and the unique tags. The fifth tier tag looks like this one: discipline-sociology-socialtheory-socialvs.intellectual. This is to indicate that the selected concepts are related to one another. The first tag, “Twitter” is the type of microblog that is discussed; socialvsintellectual refers to social capital vs. intellectual capital, which is a subconcept of social theory.

Frequently used/ Easily Categorized Tags: Realworldapplication; theoryanalysis; theorygeneration; theorymodification; modelgeneration; Frameworkgeneration; Culture; Libraries; Web2.0Classification; Negative

Realworldapplication is noted when an author actually applies KM theory to the real world (generally outside of corporate and disasters). Theoryanalysis refers to an article which spends much of it analyzing KM theory or social theory; theorygeneration is for when an author has created a new theory. Theorymodification indicates that an author has modified it to a specific use in a method that is noticeable outside of the norm. Modelgeneration and Frameworkgeneration note when an author has created either a new model or a new framework. Culture describes when an author either analyzes a general or an institutional culture or discusses a specific cultural concept. Libraries indicates that the article discusses or mentions libraries in a KM context. Web2.0Classification notes when an author has studied Web2.0 or Web2.0 specific technologies to classify them in a KM context. I thought it was significant to note when a new method of understanding KM or a narrowly focused context came up in the literature to see when authors created/generated or modified theories, models, and frameworks for new ideas or perspectives that could change the field. Negative indicates that the author’s perspective is very negative, which does seem unusual in the KM field.

People Tags: Billgates; Orr; IsabellaofSpain; HenryFord; KingArthurreference

These tags refer to the specific persons who are either notable scholars or historic figures that are mentioned in said article.

Corporate Tags: Dell; HP; Starbucks; BP; Japanautomotive

These refer to specific corporations that are well known and are mentioned here.One referes to a specific place.

Other Unique Tags: KMmeetsRM; HTVE; Newsanalysis; Futurepresent; Electronic-vs-inperson; ChineseKM; Identification; CompanyPromotion; Stickiness; Storytelling; Positivecorrelation-trust-reputation

The first denotes KM meeting risk management; the next the high-risk, high tension environment KM. Newsanalysis indicates that it is an analysis of news media. Futurepresent indicates a perspective that takes in both the future and the present; Electronic-vs-inperson indicates a comparison of communication types. ChineseKM indicates a study that focuses on a Chinese company. Identification notes the identification of multiple types of KM. CompanyPromotion notes that the author is looking into methods of promoting companies. Stickiness denotes how tacit knowledge can be difficult to describe. Storytelling is exactly what is says it is, and the last tag denotes a type of relationship where a company’s reputation grows the more people trust it.

Thank you for reading this post. I know that it’s a bit long, but it helps to puzzle out my tagging system. Having been a Sociology major in college, I try to see the trends between different things, and this tagging system is meant to make sense of the trends which emerge between the articles themselves.




Knowledge Transfer- The Firm?

Szulanski (1996) discusses something that we have all had to deal with in the workplace- either trying to train a new person, learning a new skill ourselves, or being trained as the new person. What Szulanski (1996) calls this is “sticky information” or “sticky transfer” but really it seems to boil down to the idea that information doesn’t always get into our heads in a way that’s clean and simple. Processing, teaching and learning information is a bit like trying to feed a toddler- some days, the kid comes out spotless and eats like a champ; other days, the kid manages to get covered in food because they missed their mouth, or got things on their hands, or knock over the honey jar in the middle of lunch. It’s the same idea with information- we get it from other people or try to teach it to them, but there are things that happen in the middle of the process that we can’t explain to someone else, because there is not way to explain it to them. You have to pick up some pieces of information as you go, like learning an instrument, a teacher can have you learn pieces, notes, the methods of rhythm and playing it, but the emotion and the actual doing of it have to come from you.

Pillet and Carillo (2015) discuss the idea that people communicate in different ways, which makes sense. Some people are going to early adopt a new technology, some are going to adapt it to their needs, and others are going to struggle with it. I agree with their assertion that email can be quite frustrating, and while it does allow people to communicate over long distances, it doesn’t really seem to help people understand one another. It’s a bit like putting out post-it notes, if it’s longer than that, chances are people aren’t going to read it. I do like the idea that there is more to life than email and that there are further technologies out there for our use that can cause less of the frustration in knowledge transfer that Kamyrn discusses and Mary hints at when she discusses email.

Hara( 2009) touches on this in their book, because some forms of informal knowledge sharing can be more “tacitly” oriented, and thus more sticky. It felt in places as if Hara (2009) was having a hard time expressing themselves about certain ideas, perhaps becuase the idea in and of itself was tacit, causing some linguistic runarounds trying to get there. Knowledge management, though, always seems to link right back to Polyani every time, which makes me wonder, who will be the next big voice in KM  to surpass him? Will there be one? Can anyone do it? I sometimes wonder which researcher will crack the code, making tacit information able to be coded, but that idea also scares me. What happens when people can explain the greater mysteries of life? Will stories still have power? It’s interesting to ponder about in terms of KM, because it seems like each piece tries to tell a new story using pieces of older ones.

Hara, N. (2009). Communities of practice: Fostering peer-to-peer learning and informal knowledge sharing in the work place. Information Science and Knowledge Management (Vol. 13). Berlin: Springer-Verlag

Pillet, J. C., & Carillo, K. D. A. (2016). Email-free collaboration: An exploratory study on the formation of new work habits among knowledge workers. International Journal of Information Management, 36(1), 113–125. doi:10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2015.11.001

Szulanski, G. (1996). Exploring internal stickiness: Impediments to the transfer of best practices within the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17, 27-43. doi:10.1002/smj.4250171105

We Built this City… On Knowledge Management?

Alavi (2001) points out the gaps throughout knowledge management, which hasn’t been something that’s discussed in depth in this particular field. I enjoyed that these authors discussed that people don’t necessarily follow the prescribed patterns; the idea that knowledge can be quantified or put into a box is something that this author discusses and it isn’t something that can be discussed within the confines of the discipline. Why does knowledge management seem to think that knowledge, even when it’s tacit, is something that can be boiled down to a simple concept? Alavi (2001) talks about how this presents a problem for knowledge management. It seems like everything that’s been talked about in this semester’s work feels like trying to make a magic growing towel into it’s original growing shape, rather than expanding things.

Lam (2009) discusses how knowledge gets transferred outside of the community as a form of outsourcing. Outsourcing information seems to follow the general trend, because jobs have already gone in that direction. It makes sense that knowledge would follow the same trend. It’s odd though how this knowledge outsourcing has been brought outside by social media- if someone moves outside of the community, then they can get information right off of Facebook or Twitter to keep up with people’s lives, instead of from their neighbors. How do we outsource information from one another? What type of information gets outsourced the most and when? Do letters count or does it need to be more formalized information or from companies? Can it be applied outside of it’s field? AKeller discusses knowledge transfer, and I have to wonder if the concept that she talks about relate to what Alavi (2001) hints at but doesn’t state directly in their discussion of KM theory.

Stock (2011) discusses the concept of “Information Cities” and it seems to be a bit futuristic in the imagery. Perhaps I am a bit too imaginative, but it looks like the end of “Meet the Robinsons” (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/j-y_l-EH_Tk/maxresdefault.jpg) I know that this is actually about how information creates power and had positive potential for those who have access to it, like HereticalPoetical discusses. It seems like Stock’s (2011) perspective seems to have a more neutral tang than most of the other information society related articles, but it comes down to the reality of our current information access problem, which is that the rich both have the information and control it, while people with less education or money lack access to it. How does KM propose to fix this disparity? What can be done? Unfortunately, it seems like this is not something that KM wants to address.

Lam, W., & Chua, A. Y. (2009). Knowledge outsourcing: An alternative strategy for knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(3), 28-43.

Stock, W. G. (2011). Informational cities: Analysis and construction of cities in the knowledge society. Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 62(5), 963-986.

Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2001). Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 107-136.

Knowledge Theory

Blackler (1995) studied knowledge management from the perspective of various sociological theories, including conflict, activity and other theories. This also discussed the concept of enculturation, where culture is so ingrained in people that they do not seem to realize that their behavior is based on these norms, which does seem to factor in with some of the theories that Blackler (1995) discussed, such as activity theory. The reason for this is that activity theory does involve the activities that people do in their daily lives, so  thinking about it, wouldn’t enculturation be more of a factor in Blackler’s (1995) examination?

Tsoukas (2001) also discusses this idea when talking about language and how Castillian grammar just “was” rather than trying to have it be expressed so that people can better understand it. It seems to be an excellent example of enculturation, since people don’t often even think about institutional norms once they have adjusted to the environment. However, Tsoukas (2001) seems to favor in person communication rather than electronic formats, whereas Trkman (2011) seems to be more in favor of electronic communication assisting in building of networks between individuals within a company as well as with persons outside of the community.

It seems like so much of our knowledge organization, sharing and exchange is all couched within a specific cultural context, like Mary’s example of the fireman and RHXMAXSONLIS’s discussion of organizational culture.Why is so much of our knowledge context a bi-product of our environment? Does the rapid globalization that we are experiencing, as well as the diversification of the US affect the culture that we are couched in or is this related more towards family and friends? How do we decide what is cultural and what is merely a bi-product of information exchange?

It seems a bit confusing to try and establish which is which. What are the factors that are cultural which help people decide to share with one another? One of the rather glaring gaps between these three articles is that none of them discusses how to overcome cultural barriers, language barriers, and social customs which are different to share information with one another. How do people do this? It seems like people have always found a way to foster trade, and in our rapidly globalizing world, there must be a way for people to communicate with one another despite boundaries. I do understand the point of Tsoukas’s(2001) example, however, because so much of language is based entirely on context. In different parts of the world, the same word in Spanish can mean different things or the word will exist in one place and not another, due to having blended with native languages or neighboring languages.

Blackler, F. (1995). Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations: An overview and interpretation. Organization Studies, 16(6), 1021-1046. doi:10.1177/017084069501600605

Trkman, P., & Desouza, K.C. (2012). Knowledge risks in organizational networks: An exploratory framework. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 21(1), 1-17. doi:10.1016/j.jsis.2011.11.001. Available here: SSRN Print

Tsoukas, H. (2001). What is organizational knowledge. Journal of Management Studies, 38(7), 973-993. doi:10.1111/1467-6486.00268

The Good Old Fashioned Way?

Hansen (1999) discussed how different firms use a variety of knowledge management techniques to push their companies boundaries further and to become successful. Innovation was talked about, as well as the idea of having to be “cutting edge” (Hansen, 1999). It seems like survival in the business world comes down to buzzwords for creativity. It also is interesting that HP relied on using “person-to-person” communication, which seems to boil down to old fashioned word of mouth communication like Nonaka (1999) discussed. It’s interesting that one of the most effective methods of exchanging knowledge is such an old fashioned one, like stories or legends, like Kamryn discussed in this week’s post about the “Once and Future Information Society”.

Goggins and Mascaro (2013) discuss rural IT firms knowledge exchange, and it seems unsurprising that the relationships forged that were considered “going native” are the ones who people talked to directly the most. While electronic communication is great, it can be hard to understand the nuances of communication on skype or chats, because of technical issues, bad lighting, poor sound, or not being able to read the other person’s’ expression. However, people’s work does tend to seep into their most direct social circles, which are usually friends and family who the person would communicate with on a daily basis, so it makes sense that professions would run in families because of the amount of tacit knowledge that could be passed on through conversation.

Brown and Dugid (1991) discuss in-person communications between technology workers. Conversation seems to be a reoccurring theme, this week. Perhaps there is part of most people’s process of working through problems, that talking with someone tends to help. There are prescribed patterns that we turn to, especially with technology, such as using a search engine first or turning a device off and then on again to fix a problem. When these don’t work, we then seek out what we know first, which is exactly what the folks that Orr and Brown and Dugid (1991) discuss. It’s the idea again, that our lives become a story through the many tellings and conversations that we have. This type of conversation is what Amin (2008) would consider a “craft” oriented community of practice, since the people who work there share the same lexicon and the same type of work.

Amin (2008) also discusses “virtual” communities, where people forge relationships using technology, which is what the military personnel in Nory and Mahon (2012) do to access information with one another in small information. It is interesting to think about how people have invented methods to have conversations over a short period of time at a long distance. It comes back to creativity again, as we have found a way to make our devices allow us to talk to one another.

Goggins, S. P., & Mascaro, C. (2013). Context Matters: The Experience of Physical, Informational, and Cultural Distance in a Rural IT Firm. Information Society, 29(2), 113-127. doi:10.1080/01972243.2012.758212

Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. (1991). Organizational learning and communities-of-practice: Toward a unified view of working, learning, and innovation. Organization science, 2(1), 40-57.

Hansen, M. T., Nohria, N., & Tierney, T. (1999). What’s your strategy for managing knowledge?. The Knowledge Management Yearbook 2000–2001.

Jones, N. B., & Mahon, J. F. (2012). Nimble knowledge transfer in high velocity/turbulent environments. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(5), 774-788. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uky.edu/10.1108/13673271211262808

Amin, A., & Roberts, J. (2008). Knowing in action: Beyond communities of practice.Research policy, 37(2), 353-369.





What are you not telling me? Relationships and Disasters

Last time I had discussed the idea that the mind can do tricky things to us in terms of how we process things. While there is an independent portion of knowledge management, this week’s theme centers on teamwork. Connolley et. Al (2012) discusses the rarity in relationships where people lack trust with one another, and thus hide information, and how they do so via avoiding the person, their question, or giving false information. It makes me think about how trust relationships within the workplace affect those similar to the ones discussed in Wasko and Farj (2005), where the knowledge is within a contained environment. While these are opposite of one another, the fact that trust and forging connections through working with others fosters knowledge exchange is not surprising. I also think that this may be what determines knowledge sharing and who is in charge during emergency situations, as discussed by Ibrahim and Allen (2012). It also may determine who people believe and turn to in times of severe distress, such as disasters, in terms of the news media. Who do people rely on and trust and why? If people don’t rely on the media, what will happen to them- Chua (2007) mentions how despite an overload level of information, people did not understand what they were being told to do and what was going on during these disasters, which takes me back to Ibrahim and Allen (2012) by asking who were the voices that people trusted? What made the “heroes” or “leaders” step forward? Did people forge stronger communal ties during this time of trouble or did they distrust one another and hide information? I suppose it depends on the individual in question, since communal behavior and information exchange is hard to assess, given that the risks in Massingham’s (2010) discussion may be harder to apply to an emergency situation.

However, emergency situations are a special case, and though these are relevant to KM, the workplace is also a site for knowledge management. Up to this point, I had always felt that networking was overemphasized a bit, but as HereticalPoetical states it may determine one’s job security. RHMAXSONLIS658′s “communities of practice” may be what lessens taking the negative perceptions of taking risks,, and it may promote information exchange, however this may increase knowledge hiding if the community becomes cliquey  (Massingham 2010, Wasko and Farj 2005, and Connolley et. Al 2012). So the real question that this leave us with is how and why do people choose certain other persons to become a positive part of the knowledge community, while selecting others to be outsiders? Is this an organic process or is it deliberate? Does it depend on similarities or differences?


Chua, A. Y. K. (2007). A tale of two hurricanes: Comparing Katrina and Rita through a knowledge management perspective.Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 58(10), 1518-1528.

Connelly, C. E., Zweig, D., Webster, J., & Trougakos, J. P. (2012). Knowledge hiding in organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(1), 64–88. doi:10.1002/job.737

Ibrahim, N. H., & Allen, D. (2012). Information sharing and trust during major incidents: Findings from the oil industry. Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 63(10), 1916-1928.

Massingham, P. (2010). Knowledge risk management: A framework. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(3), 464-485.

Wasko, M. M., & Faraj, S. (2005). Why should I share? Examining social capital and knowledge contribution in electronic networks of practice. MIS quarterly, 29(1), 35-57.

Theoretical Jumble

This week’s readings took some deciphering, as the articles involved lengthy messages and analysis in two cases. Nonaka discusses KM in the context of management theory and levels, while also discussing how tacit knowledge can be parsed into sub-theories, regarding knowledge transfer from one type of knowledge to another as well as from the same type of knowledge going from tacit to explicit. While this discussion had a level of depth, it was a bit mind-boggling in the sheer volume of theory which it examined. Spender, on the other hand, focused more exclusively on philosophy and theories which linked in to the author’s rather pessimistic version of KM, which was supposed to focus on how law firms function, but spent more time discussing how one theory relates to another philosophy. Colon-Aguiree made the most sense of the three, though the author’s jumping from one story to the next caused a rather jolting narration style.

Colon-Aguirre related KM through stories of employment and references to literatures. Spender used philosophy, and Nonaka used pure theory to discuss KM. While each proposes a unique theory, all three give a more critical analysis of Polyani than any of the previous authors have. Rather than the more typical tone of admiration, Polyani’s work is taken into new areas of usage. This transference seems to add something to Polyani, as it makes the applications of KM more complex and yet somehow more understandable in a typical academic way. Perhaps this is simply my familiarity with the social sciences and rudimentary philosophy.

Nonaka had the best quote of all the article authors thus far, “Mind is distinct from the brain in the same way that computer software is distinct from hardware”. I’ve thought about this for some time, and it seems to almost link into the metaphysics of Kant, which Spender discusses. Colon-Aguirre also discusses this through storytelling. It comes back to the idea which RHMaxsonlis658 discussed about humanity affecting KM, that our fundamental humanness is what brings KM into real life. It seems like this links to this quotation, as analysing the self and the world within the parameters of human consciousness is part of humanity’s history. It reminds me of Descarte, “I think therefore I am”. This signifies that the self (mind) is separate from the functions which we do without thinking (the part of the brain which makes us breathe) in a way that we actually think about. It’s all a bit dizzying to think about, isn’t it? How will we manage this knowledge?

Colon-Aguirre, M. (2015). Knowledge transferred through organizational stories: a typology. Library Management, 36(6/7), 421-433. doi:10.1108/LM-06-2014-0073

Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization Science, 5(1), 14-37.

Spender, J. C. (1996). Making knowledge the basis of a dynamic theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17, 45–62. doi:10.1002/smj.4250171106

Knowledge and organizations

Organizations, technology, and communication form the backbone of most organizations and most interpersonal relationships, which are all tied to one another. Knowledge, in its bases, is information that we have gathered exchanged or instinctually know. Kang, Rhee and Kang (2010) studied how people transfer knowledge from one another. Boiled down to it’s basics, it seems to be common sense, as people (organizations) rely more on sources when they are unsure of knowledge, that they try to capture and explain knowledge which is difficult to explain and quantify, and that there are things that are beyond our explaining to others (though the explanation makes sense to us). These also apply to organizations and producing materials based on a person’s work for future archiving and transfers, as it often makes less sense to the person who comes into that position or uses the materials later. Argote and Ingram (2000) discuss how people in organizations interact with keeping “reservoirs” and the “transfer” of information from individuals within the organization. These scholars go looking for knowledge exchange through everyday tasks and practical learning, in a format that reminds me of Dervin’s “Sense Making”, in that they are trying to make sense of how people store and transfer knowledge from one another. It makes sense that people’s interactions with tools represent things such as lost information, struggle to understand new versions of technology, and how people gain knowledge within the organization exchanged through communication and through tools because interacting with technology that is designed by people who understand the form more than the ordinary person may be too close to the technology to realize how users see it. I was most interested in the portion which focused on tools, since it seems to focus on people exchanging information through tools less efficiently than they did in past, but it seems that people have always exchanged information through workplaces. Even though people do email and use electronic communication, people still have in person or phone conversations if knowledge is not transferring well.  In contrast, Wang and Lu (2010), study the interaction within organizations within times of crisis and handle it successfully, which follow patterns of both in-person and electronic communication though like Argote and Ingram, “documentation” is a part of this process to understand how crises and difficulties can be handled.  Powell and Snellman (2004) handle the last gap in the process of how people interact with information and others and technology to gain knowledge or to exchange it. It addresses the problems with ITC, from forms which work well early becoming the norm to problems that people have with adopting new technologies. Unlike the readings from my last post, this approach seems to incorporate a more positive view of the information society which we are coming to live in and will do so in the future.

While all of these discuss knowledge management, a few of these also discuss or hint to tacit knowledge. It seems like tacit knowledge is almost an itch we can’t scratch, it’s that bit on the tip of your tongue, the “I know this, I know this” and the confusion that comes from knowing something but not being able to figure out how or why one knows it. This can be complex to handle within an organizational setting, and while all of these authors address some of it, it seems as if this is a form of tacit knowledge as well.

Wang, Wei-Tsong, & Lu, Yu-Cheng. (2010). Knowledge transfer in response to organizational crises: An exploratory study. Expert Systems With Applications, 37(5), 3934-3942.

Argote, & Ingram. (2000). Knowledge Transfer: A Basis for Competitive Advantage in Firms. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 82(1), 150-169.

Powell, W., & Snellman, K. (2004). THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY. Annual Review of Sociology, 30, 199-220.

Kang, Jina, Rhee, Mooweon, & Kang, Ki H. (2010). Revisiting knowledge transfer: Effects of knowledge characteristics on organizational effort for knowledge transfer. Expert Systems With Applications, 37(12), 8155-8160.

When Literature Collides with Knowledge Management and Theory

Both Tremblay (1995) and Rule and Besen (2008) reference Porat’s vision in detail. While Rule and Besen (2008) presents Porat as being more neutral in perspective, Tremblay believes that Porat is far too optimistic. Too, both discuss Gates, though in Rule and Besen (2008) Gates is simply a reference amongst other luminaries and not the focus of making Gate’s business practices/empire/success as being an independent idea in and of itself. In general, the two both contain the same feeling: that this information society does not present a message of hope, but rather a darker perspective on the future. While some of this originates with theorists in Rule and Besen (2008), Tremblay’s is entirely his/her own, as he struggles to make sense of the world’s changing.

Tremblay (1995) is right in the idea that people follow their fields in terms of what they believe, as well as what we believe in terms of news and the media. The idea, however, that either he/she and Rule and Besen (2008) are free of bias is interesting, as both seem to have a rather gloomy slant on the future of information technology. It’s interesting that neither goes into the technology theory about early adopters and the patterns which they establish for behavior and making new technology popular. Both seem to believe that people do not use new technologies due to a lack of push for newer technology, rather than including ideas such as new technological malfunctions, cost, and problems such as the digital divide. While both articles are scholarly in nature, Tremblay (1995) relies on references to literature (though he does not directly discuss Fahrenheit 451, the future he/she describes seems to be like a cross between this and the film Brazil) and some theory to support his/her argument. Rule and Besen (2008) takes a much more scholarly approach, but it is one that is repeated by some historians over and over- the idea that the arts are simply supplementary rather than central, and that history and technology take too long to come into their own. Rather, it seems that history has been driven by art in it’s darkest hour, at least for the masses (Perhaps this sounds a bit like bread and circuses). Like Mary discusses, ideas take time to move from one part of the mind to another in terms of what type of knowledge we possess, likewise history and theory do the same within the social consciousness, going from tacit which we would simply act upon to being studied and possibly immortalized as a theory. This brings up Lucas (2005)’s point about trust being the key to people’s relationships within a corporation, and thus how people outside the corporate sphere view the company- it all seems to circle back to the point that people ignore the social patterns by which we live, and that this would turn up in an analysis of history and theory as well, thus driving the need for a negative to neutral image of the future.

Rule, J. B., & Besen, Yasemin. (2008). The once and future information society. Theory and Society, 37(4), 317-342.

Lucas, L. M. (2005). The impact of trust and reputation on the transfer of best practices. Journal of Knowledge Management, 9(4), 87-101.

Tremblay, G. (1995). The information society: From Fordism to Gatesism. Canadian Journal of Communication, 20(4), 461-482.


Wikis and Social Patterns

Wikis seem to be a somewhat  controversial form of knowledge management in terms of social context. Levy focuses on them as being a “level three” tool for Web 2.0, meaning essentially that they are dependent upon this particular platform (or are at least quite well integrated with it). Her discussion also gets into how they are a “collaborative tool”, which seems to link up well with the ideas of Grace (2009) and Yuan, Zhao, Liao, and Chi (2013), as they all discuss wikis as a form of communication between people within an organization or simply through internet context.

Within the articles of Grace (2009) and Levy (2009), eBay and Wikipedia are discussed as being a major examples of how popular wikis affect the general social consciousness, in terms of how they function. Grace (2009) discusses eBay in terms of arbitrary controls and social interactions, which Levy(2009) describes as being “improved over time”. This “improvement” could be seen as the “social capital” described by Yuan, Zhao, Liao, and Chi (2013), as a platform gains strength and usability as it grows in terms of usage. This also seems to apply to all of the discussions of Wikipedia, though all three discuss the idea of social controls being imposed upon e-environments and tools, which make it possible to have this controlled environment which also allows for information exchange. This may be why Grace (2009) and Yuan, Zhao, Liao, and Chi (2013) think of Wikis as a social tool as a part of the workplace environment, as it Wikis can be both informative and controlled within a specific context for specific information needs better than other social media platforms (Facebook, Tumblr, etc.).

All of these article study a similar thing- how do humans control technology, and in turn, how is our information access controlled by one another. What programs allow certain behaviors and why? Which gain popularity and usability, while others become quickly outdated? Knowledge management not only pertains to how people gain knowledge, but to how people control it as well. RHMAXSONLIS658 touched on through the idea of “knowledge transfer”, and KamyrnWeis discussed it as “societal interactions” in their blogs. All of the authors all dance around this idea in one way or another, but it’s inevitable that we think of KM as being integrated within a social setting, since the beginnings of human communication- knowledge exchange is typically through another person, whether verbally or electronically. I think that sometimes the intense focus is on how social media is changing communication, when really it seems more like communication is simply being channeled differently. The people that we interact with, whether online or in person, are the recipients of an action/piece of information, and while electronic communications may seem more complex or convoluted, so are verbal communications. An unreliable Wikipedia post is just as bad as a poorly given speech with outdated statistics. An eBay exchange that  goes well bears a similarity to the same patterns of receiving good customer service at the store. Perhaps this comes back to Polyani, but if we are relying on human interaction through either medium, aren’t the mental pathways that we take in that interaction similar to one another (there are differences, but there are also similar emotions and thought processes)? I’m not sure if there is an answer to these questions, but the more information I read for this course, the more it seems to point in this direction.


Grace, Tay Pei Lyn . (2009). Wikis as a knowledge management tool. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(4), 64-74.

Levy, Moria . (2009). WEB 2.0 implications on knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(1), 120-134.

Yuan, Y., Zhao, X., Liao, Q., & Chi, C. (2013). The use of different information and communication technologies to support knowledge sharing in organizations: From e‐mail to micro‐blogging.Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(8), 1659-1670.