Introduction to Knowledge Management
Dept. of Library and Information Science
National Taiwan University

Instructor: Muh-Chyun Tang


Course Description                    
This class is designed to provide an introduction to the theories and applications regarding the creation, identification, representation and transfer of knowledge in organizational context. 

During the course of the semester, the students will
1. Acquire a basic understanding of the identification, collection, dissemination and creation of knowledge in organization.
2. Acquire a basic understanding of the social-techno environment within which knowledge is created and disseminated.
3. Gain hand-on experiences with KM techniques such as knowledge audit, social network analysis, knowledge elicitation interview, and creation of community portal using content management software.
4. Cultivate a sensitivity to the structure of task environments that sets the parameters for successful KM activities.    

Course schedule


Topic Note
1
(9/14)
Syllabus; introduction Self-introduction on class portal (your backgrond, interests, personality types, and anything that you believe will help a total stranger to know you better)
2
(9/21)
Knowledge economy and intangible assets; Knowledge work; organizational culture
TedTalk:David Logan's Tedtalk on Tribal leadership

Seemann et al. pp. 85-92. Building intangible assets; in Morey, Maybury, & Thuraisingham (2000). Knowledge Management: Classic and Contemporary Works.
Examples of practices to encourage innovation at 3M
3
(9/28)
Knowledge management systems and practices
Guest speaker
In-class social network survey
*Post the articles of your choosing in the discussion forum

4
(10/5)
Visualizing knowledge domain: intro to WoS and VosViewer
Case study 2.1.  pp. 46-53. in
Newell et al. (2009). Knowledge-intensive organizations. in Managing Knowledge Work

5
(10/12)
Guest speaker
6
(10/19)
Knowledge-intensive organizations;  Spiral of knowledge and the concept of "Ba"
Task, organization and problem solving (The Bavelas-Leavitt experiment)
The Knowledge-Creating Company by Ikujiro Nonaka 
7
(10/26)
Knowledge in organization; communities of practice
 TedTalk:Heffernan on the power of collaboration
Wenger, E. C., & Snyder, W. M. (2000). Communities of practice: The organizational frontier. Harvard business review, 78(1), 139-146.


8
(11/2)
Guest speaker
 TedTalk: Morieux on organizational complexity 
Morieux, Y. (2011). Smart rules: Six ways to get people to solve problems without you. Harvard Business Review, 89(9), 78-86.

9
(11/9)
Knowledge sharing
Social network and Social capital
Gephi demonstration
Cross, R., & Prusak, L. (2002). The people who make organizations go-or stop.Harvard business review, 80(6), 104-112.
Burt(2005) pp.15-23
10
(11/16)
Knowledge sharing
Social network and Social capital;
Boundary spanners, structural hole
TedTalk: how social network makes us smarter Alex 'Sandy' Pentland
Parise, S., Whelan, E., & Todd, S. (2015). How Twitter Users Can Generate Better Ideas. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(4), 21.

11
(11/23)
Knowledge audit Liebowitz, J. et al. (2000). The knowledge audit.
*Diagnosis of the hot spots
12
(11/30)
Knowledge creation in teams
TedTalk:the “candle experiment”
What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team


13
(12/7)
Decision making in teams
Team work; groupthink;  information cascade
TedTalk:Marshmallow Challenge
The Belbin team roles
Sunstein, C. R., & Hastie, R. (2014). Making dumb groups smarter. Harvard business review, 92(12), 90-98.



14
(12/14)
How to measure your social intelligence
Team problem solving and decision making mechanism
Desert survival experiment
Video clips that introduce Delphi methods,Part 1

Part 2
How does rank-choice voting work?

Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups, Science
Goldman, p.81-82.
15
(12/21)
Knowledge in market
Wisdom of crowds
Discussion of your final topic
Surowiecki (2004),Ch1, 3, 8,9
Phillips, K. W. (2014). How diversity makes us smarter: Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent, and harder-working. Scientific American.


16
(12/28)
Diversity and innovation
Shermer (2017), How to convince someone when fact fail. Scientific America
How politics breaks our brains The Atlantics

*17
(1/4)
Discussion of your final project Leonard, D. and Straus, S. (1997).  Putting your company's whole brain to work. Harvard Business Review

*18
(1/11)
Knowledge audit presentation

Assignments and Grading

A.   Participation
Portal participation (45%)
A NTU Cool class portal is created for you to gain first-hand experience in participating online "communities of practice".
You will be able to download lecture powerpoint files, readings, online resources, and  post your comments on the class materials, as well as give feedbacks to your peers using this portal.
This portion of your grade will be determined by you engagement in the class portal, judged by the instructor and your peers by the likings received by your peers. 
a. Each student is required to post comments on talks by the two invited guest speakers.
b. On the 3rd week of the class, you are to decide which of the three readings you are to comment on and inform the classs your choices no later than the third week of the semester.
c. You are also to comment on at least two TEDtalks we will be watching during the class throughout the semester.
In your posting, try to comment on what you have learned, what you do not understand, and what interests you most. The postings should be no shorter than two paragraphs.
b. Besides the post your comments, you are also encouraged to give feedback to others' postings, which includes commenting and "liking" through the portal. Extra credits will be given for giving peer feedback.

B.    Group projects

Students will be assigned into groups of 3 to 4 to conduct two team projects (see below for details). For each team project, besides the overall group report, each member should prepare a personal report (no more than a page) explaining your contributions and what you have learned from the assignments.

1. Domain visualization project (15%)
Each group will prepare a co-word network visualization for a knowledge domain to give a bird-eye view of a research topic/knowledge domain.
1.1. First conduct
an interview with a researcher/graduate student (preferrablly in sciences, engineering and bio-medical fields) on the topic s/he is working on. Conduct a literature search using the query terms provided by your interviewee in Web of Science.
1.2. Perform vocabulary control of the author assigned keywords present in the search results.
1.3. Input the data into VosViewer, a bibliometric visualization tool, to produce a visualization of the main research areas in the knowledge domains.
1.4 Present the visualization to your interviewee, ask her/him to help label the major research topics resulted from modularity analysis.   

2. Knowledge audit project (40%)
For this project, each group will conduct a knowledge audit for an organization (loosely defined here, it can be an unit or a team created to perform a certain set of functions or tackle specific problems. An ideal size of the organziation to be interviewed is about 10 to 50 people).
To complete the project, follow the following steps:   
2.1.  What's the organization's
task and information environments (1-3 pages)
Provide the institutional context within which the organization/unit operates.
What are the objectives of the organization?
What is the nature of its tasks and information environment? (e.g. in terms of complexity, change of pace uncertainty, mutual dependence...etc. See Ch. 13 in 林東清)
Draw a concpet map to represent the tasks involved and knowledge required in the organization.
2.2. What kinds of knowledge is needed to achieve its objectives?  (2-3 pages)
Identify the locations
where the knowledge resides in the unit (See, for example, Wasko & Faraj, 2000), which might include documents, expertise, and organizational practices.
Apply the spiral of knowledge theory by Takeuchi & Nonaka (1995), see if you could elicit one or two stories or anecdotes that demonstrate the dynamics between implicit and explicit knowledge within the unit. You might also want to present this part of your finding with a concept map.
2.3. Through what channels are the knowledge acquired and shared? (1-2 pages)
The use of ICT, face-to-face communication, social network etc.
To trace the knowledge flow, you are encouraged to
conduct a social network analysis of the informal network of knowledge sharing within the organization.  
2.4. Conduct a "hot-spots" survey, produce hot spot probability that assess the innovative capacity of the organization. (1-2 pages)  

2.5. Make recommendation to KM activities (1-2 pages)   
Identify the specific KM strategies that are currently in use, comment on their strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, report the role of IT plays in KM.

Based on your analysis, recommend management tools or strategies that you believe will help achieve its objectives more effectively.
Write a report and prepare for an oral presentation (20 minutes) for your project.        

References             
       Awad, E. M. Hassan M. Ghaziri (2004). Knowledge Management.
       Gladwell, Malcolm (2002). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Back Bay Books: New York. (Chinese title:引爆趨勢 舉手之勞成大事/葛拉威爾著 ; 齊思賢譯. --初版. –台北市 : 時報文化 ; 2000(民89)
       Bryan, L.L., C. L I. Joyce (2007).
Mobilizing Minds: Creating Wealth From Talent in the 21st Century Organization
       Ayres, Ian (2007). Super Crunchers: why thinking-by-numbers is the new way to be smart. Bantam.
       Cross, R; R. J. Thomas (2009). Driving Results Through Social Networks: how top organizations leverage networks for perfromance and growth. Wiley.
       
Cross, R., Parker, A., & Sasson, L. (2003). Networks in the knowledge economy.
       Davenport T. and Prusak (2000). Working Knowledge. 
       Surowiecki, J. (2004). The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations. New York: Doubleday. (Chinese title: 群眾的智慧 : 如何讓個人、團隊、企業與社會變得更聰明 / 索羅維基(James Surowiecki)著; 楊玉齡譯. 臺北市 : 遠流, 2005[民94] 版本項 初 版).

        Wenger E. C., Richard McDermott, William M. Synder (2002). Cultivating  communities of practice : a guide to managing knowledge. Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business School Press. (Chinese title: 實踐社群 : 推動學習型組織之輪/愛丁納.溫格(Wenger ,Etienne ), 理查.麥代謀(Richard  McDermott), 威廉.施耐德 (Snyder ,William M. ) 合著 : 黃維譯.—第一版 行.—台北市 : 天下遠見, 2003 (民92)
        Haythornthwaite, C. (1996). Social network analysis:  approach and technique for the study of information exchange. Library and Information Science Research, 18, 323-342. 
        知識管理 Knowledge Management/林東清 著--初版. –台北市:  弘智文化;2003 (民92)
        Blair, D. (2002). Knowledge management: hype, hope or help? Journal of  the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 53 (12), 1019-1028.
        Ferguson, G. S. Mathur, and B. Shah (2005). Evolving from information to insight. Sloan Management Review, 46 (2), 51-58. 
        Gupta A. K., V. Govindarajan (2000). Knowledge management’s social dimension: lessons from Nucor Steel. Sloan Management Review 42(1), 71-80.
    Gratton, L. (2007). Hot Spots: Why some teams, workplaces, and organizations buzz with energy-and others don't. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
       
Ikujiro, Nonaka (1991). The knowledge-creating company. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 69 (6). pp. 96-105.

        Ives, W., B. Torrey, C. Gordon (2002). Knowledge sharing is a human behavior. In D. Morey, M. Marbury, and B. Thuraisingham (eds.) 2002. Knowledge management: Classic and contemporary works. Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. pp.99-129.
        Liebowitz, J. (2007). Social networking: the essential of innovation. Scarecrow.
        Liebowitz, J. et al. (2000). The knowledge Audit. Knowledge and Process Management, 7(1).pp. 3-10.
        Leonard, Dorothy (2002). Tacit knowledge, unarticulated needs, and empathic design in new product development. In D. Morey, M. Marbury, and B. Thuraisingham (eds.) 2002. Knowledge management: Classic and contemporary works. Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. pp.99-129.
        Newll, S. et al. (2002). Managing Knowledge Work. Palgrave Macmillan.
        Seemann, P., D. D. Long, S. Stucky, & E. Guthrie (2000). Building intangible assests: a strategic framework for investing in intellectual capital. In D. Morey, M. Marbury, and B. Thuraisingham (eds.) 2002. Knowledge management: Classic and contemporary works. Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. pp.99-129.
        Newll, S. et al. (2002). Managing Knowledge Work. Palgrave Macmillan.

        Simon, H. A. (1991) Bounded Rationality and Organizational Learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 125-134.    
        Wenger, Etienne C., Snyder, William M. (2000). Communities of Practice: The Organizational Frontier, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 78 (1). pp.  139-145.
        Nardi & O'Day (1999). Information ecology: using technology with heart.

        http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_5/nardi_chapter4.html  
        Wasko & Faraj (2000). Why should I share? Examining social capital and knowledge contribution in electronic networks of practices. MIS quarterly.