Title page for ETD etd-06262008-123525

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Botha, Antonie Christoffel
Email acbotha@iafrica.com
URN etd-06262008-123525
Document Title A new framework for a technological perspective of knowledge management
Degree PhD (Computer Science)
Department Computer Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof D G Kourie Supervisor
  • knowledge
  • tacit knowledge
  • explicit knowledge
  • knowledge management
  • knowledge conversion life cycle
  • rapid change
  • organizational change
  • organizational learning
  • intellectual capital
  • collaboration
  • advanced search
  • externalization
  • internalization
  • socialization
  • knowledge sharing
  • knowledge creation
  • knowledge representation
  • taxonomy
  • ontology
  • e-learning
  • knowledge portals
  • knowledge discovery
  • text mining
  • semantic KM aspects
  • the Semantic Web
  • communities of practice
Date 2006-09-05
Availability unrestricted
Rapid change is a defining characteristic of our modern society. This has huge impact on society, governments, and businesses. Businesses are forced to fundamentally transform themselves to survive in a challenging economy. Transformation implies change in the way business is conducted, in the way people perform their contribution to the organisation, and in the way the organisation perceives and manages its vital assets which increasingly are built around the key assets of intellectual capital and knowledge.

The latest management tool and realisation of how to respond to the challenges of the economy in the new millennium, is the idea of "knowledge management" (KM). In this study we have focused on synthesising the many confusing points of view about the subject area, such as:

  • a. different focus points or perspectives;
  • b. different definitions and positioning of the subject; as well as
  • c. a bewildering number of definitions of what knowledge is and what KM entails.

There exists a too blurred distinction in popular-magazine-like sources about this area between subjects and concepts such as: knowledge versus information versus data; the difference between information management and knowledge management; tools available to tackle the issues in this field of study and practice; and the role technology plays versus the huge hype from some journalists and within the vendor community. Today there appears to be a lack of a coherent set of frameworks to abstract, comprehend, and explain this subject area; let alone to build successful systems and technologies with which to apply KM.

The study is comprised of two major parts:

  • 1. In the first part the study investigates the concepts, elements, drivers, and challenges related to KM. A set of models for comprehending these issues and notions is contributed as we considered intellectual capital, organizational learning, communities of practice, and best practices.
  • 2. The second part focuses on the technology perspective of KM. Although KM is primarily concerned with non-technical issues this study concentrates on the technical issues and challenges. A new technology framework for KM is proposed to position and relate the different KM technologies as well as the two key applications of KM, namely knowledge portals and knowledge discovery (including text mining).

It is concluded that KM and related concepts and notions need to be understood firmly as well as effectively positioned and employed to support the modern business organisation in its quest to survive and grow. The main thesis is that KM technology is a necessary but insufficient prerequisite and a key enabler for successful KM in a rapidly changing business environment.

2006 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Botha, AC 2006, A new framework for a technological perspective of knowledge management, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06262008-123525/ >


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