Organizational Wiki as a Knowledge Management Tool


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

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Organizational Wiki as a Knowledge Management Tool

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