Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

A Conceptual Model for the Creation of a Process-Oriented Knowledge Map (POK-Map) and Implementation in an Electric Power Distribution Company

Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

A Conceptual Model for the Creation of a Process-Oriented Knowledge Map (POK-Map) and Implementation in an Electric Power Distribution Company

Article excerpt

Introduction

In order to effectively manage knowledge in organizations, knowledge workers and managers need to know the organizational knowledge resources and flows well. A knowledge map is a useful technique to reach this goal. Knowledge maps provide clear, purposeful and structured images of the existing knowledge in the organization. There are different approaches for preparing knowledge maps but only some are based on organizational processes. A knowledge map lets the users know "who knows what?" and "where is the location of knowledge in the organization?" (Holsapple, 2004). It also shows the existing knowledge and its flow in the specialized areas of the organization. Knowledge models are prepared in the frame of goals and knowledge processes of the organization, and organizational memory is created with the help of knowledge maps, which in turn prevents rework, and a waste of time and money (Wexler, 2001).

Some of the challenges that companies are facing due to the lack of knowledge maps are:

--They have problems in doing some of the organizational duties and missions and they do not know who has the knowledge and ability to help.

--The process of solving problems that has happened before happens again and again because the learning from them is not documented (Tserng, Yin, & Lee, 2010).

--They do not have a proper criterion for evaluating knowledge in the work processes.

--They do not know the available knowledge areas on the way of implementing organizational projects or processes, and what the situation is in each of them.

Knowledge maps have significantly contributed to the success of knowledge management in the company in a way that identifying, measuring and visualizing the knowledge resources of the company is considered as part of the main process of knowledge management (Subrt & Brozova, 2007; Farquharson, 2004).

Knowledge mapping is a tool for determining the knowledge layout in the organization and helps the knowledge presentation using different knowledge maps. Identification and modeling of the knowledge areas that directly and indirectly help the organization to reach its strategic objectives are the basic steps in any knowledge management planning (Busch, Richards, & Dampney, 2001). Knowledge mapping reveals the knowledge assets of the organization to the entire workforce who have access to them. These maps connect the experts to each other and allow the novices to identify the experts faster and use their experience and skills to solve their problems (Kim, Suh, & Hwang, 2003). They further assist in a faster search process and access to the necessary knowledge by the workers, and reduce the working time. Some advantages of knowledge mapping are:

--analyzing knowledge and arranging elements together;

--introducing the company's knowledge and experiences, as well as workers' knowledge and their place in the company (Chen, Lin, & Tsui, 2007);

--detecting the role and place of each knowledge relative to other fields;

--identifying the current knowledge situation and necessary knowledge and determining the existing gaps in the knowledge areas;

--determining the effect of knowledge areas on key performance indicators (KPIs), which are measures that emphasize and focus on aspects that play a significant role in an organization's current and future success (Dabbagh, 2001);

--avoiding the purchase of repeated knowledge;

--lessons learned management (LLM) in projects and learning from previous experiences; and

--avoiding workers' knowledge and experiences exiting after they leave the company (for reasons such as retirement, resignation and management changes) (Buesser & Ninck, 2004; Wexler, 2001).

Literature Review

Drawing a knowledge map is a process with which organizations can identify knowledge assets within the organization (individuals, processes, contents and technology). …

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