Organizational Wiki as a Knowledge Management Tool

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Fernando Sousa, Manuela Aparicio, Carlos J. Costa paper. SIGDOC 2010.

Fernando Sousa, Manuela Aparicio, Carlos J. Costa paper. SIGDOC 2010.

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  • 1. Organizational Wiki as a Knowledge Management Tool Fernando Sousa Manuela Aparicio Carlos J. Costa ISCTE-IUL Lisboa / Portugal
  • 2. Summary
    • Knowledge Managament
    • KM Models
    • Wiki Systems
    • Hypotheses
    • Empirical Study
    • Study Object
    • Methodology
    • Results
    • Conclusion & Future Work
  • 3. Knowledge Management
    • “ Knowledge Management Means Different Things to Different People” (Mishuda)
    “ The learning and knowledge that we have, is at most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant” Plato Information Integrators Document Management Knowledge as Financial “Asset” “ The Learning Organization” Software Change Management
  • 4. Knowledge Management
    • Knowledge is seen as one of the most important assets in any organization (Nonaka)
    • KM initiatives are usually focused in technological solutions considering only explicit knowledge (Chen & Chen)
    • Change to a relational and collaborative approach, using strategies that promote tacit knowledge sharing among employees (Chou et al, Parise)
  • 5. KM Models
    • The SECI model (Nonaka & Takeuchi)
    Socialization Externalization Combination Internalization Tacit knowledge Explicit knowledge Tacit knowledge Explicit Knowledge from
  • 6. KM Models
    • The four competencies of a learning organization model (Sprenger)
    Absorption Diffusion Generation Exploitation
  • 7. Wiki Systems
    • Wiki Systems are regarded as a type of online collaborative writing tool. (West & West)
    • Wikis amplify knowledge sharing and capturing. (Tilley & Giordano 2003)
  • 8. Hypoteses
    • H1: Wikis are irrelevant in the socialization process;
    • H2: Wikis are predominantly used for internalization;
    • H3: Wikis are mostly used to diffuse knowledge within the organization.
  • 9. Context (1/4)
    • IT corporate department
    • wiki is in use for about 7 years.
    • Started to serve only one team of the IT department
    • Over the years, its usage spread to other teams of the department
  • 10. Context (2/4)
    • The wiki supports work activities:
      • Software development,
      • Technical documentation,
      • Tracking, reference information,
      • Setup information, configurations, application
      • Maintenance & operations
      • Project management(meeting agendas, status reports, ideas saved for later, standards and practices)
  • 11. Context (3/4)
    • The wiki supports work activities:
      • Technical support (best practices, customer support information-sharing, software downloads
      • Ad-hoc collaboration
      • Posting of general information and knowledge management
      • Vacation schedules
      • How-tos,
      • Best practices
      • Corporate procedures
  • 12. Context (4/4)
    • Types of users:
      • Project managers, team leaders, and external resources (longterm basis), like software developers, testers and technical support
      • This wiki is for internal use only, short term humam resources do not have access
  • 13. Study Object
    • Try to understand how employees use the wiki in their work processes
    • To assess whether the wiki may,be regarded as a valid contribute to KM
  • 14. Methodology
    • Literature review
    • Pre-test questionnaire
    • Survey (33 questions on 7 components; SECI & 4 competencies LO)
    • Likert Scale 1 to 7 (never/ all the time)
    • Survey was advertised by email and at the top of every page of the wiki
    • 70 people answered (75% of the wiki users)
  • 15. Results (1/6)
    • Users that participated use the wiki for 3 years until the present date
    • 65.7% of the users keep the profile page whith their contacts
    • 51.4% refer to their specialties and project portfolio
  • 16. Results (2/6)
    • Wikis and knowledge conversion (based in Nonaka,)
  • 17. Results (3/6)
    • Wiki is seldom used for socialization, workers prefer to contact the author for little changes of the content (H1- wikis are irrelevant for socialization)
    • This suggests that the wiki might be a starting point for communication
    • The results show no significant difference between both socialization and externalization (t-test)
    • Few people contribute to explicit knowledge
  • 18. Results (4/6)
    • Correlation between externalization (adders) and combination (synthesizers) in the knowledge conversion processes
  • 19. Results (5/6)
    • Low frequency of the combination process indicates that contents are not structured or semi-structured,
    • May confirm that users avoid changing contents they perceive and being owned by others
    • Show reluctance in reorganizing the contents
    • Wikis are used for internalization
    • Employees capture explicit knowledge and reuse in internalization
  • 20. Results (6/6) Learning Organization Model
    • The wiki contributes primarily to knowledge diffusion (Mean; 4.454; Std. Deviation:0.858), thus corroborating hypothesis H3.
    • Tacit knowledge is not being externalized (Mean: 3.306 )
  • 21. Conclusion
    • This study shows how a wiki is being used in an organizational context
    • Internalization is prevalent in the process of KM
    • Enables the socialization process as users can easily exchange ideas, experiences and suggestions, since they keep their own pages up to date
    • Diffusion of knowledge within the organization is the most developed competency
  • 22. Future Work
    • Study comparing the users answers to the logs
    • Integrating the usage of the wiki to the entire organization
    • Develop plug-ins to make the wiki friendlier to a non IT user
  • 23.
    • Thank You
    • :-)