Knowledge Power for the People

In an era of WEB 2.0, the power of sharing knowledge is driven by technology and created by individuals and the organizations or communities of practice that guide them. All the technology at our disposal creates an exponential opportunity for knowledge management practice and application. So, what is WEB 2.0? Furthermore, what is WEB 1.0? What makes these technologies so different?


Levy (2009) details the differences between these technologies. Think of version one as a vehicle for commerce and version two as a driving force for people. The Internet has become a platform for building networks that engage users. If we think about how we use the Internet, we may reflect on how our needs vary and how this impacts the responsive design of platforms. The passive user approach collects our activity history and provides an added value, such as recommendations for products based on our past purchase behaviors. This passive user is becoming a relic of the WEB 1.0 era. As our expectations progress, so does technology. We are now active users – we add to the content of others (e.g. hashtags) and collaborate with others (e.g., Google Docs, Wikis). The ways we evolve as users affect individuals and organizations.

For the individual, platforms for social media provides a communication infrastructure that is malleable and impressionable (Hemsley & Mason, 2013). We can build and change our social networks, gain social interaction and feedback, and share and re-share the knowledge and perceptions ourselves and our networks. Because of these functions, we can reduce the tangible and intangible costs of social exchanges. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube allow us to self-publish and collaborate toward a collective intelligence (Levy, 2009).

infrastructureSo, how do these technologies supporting knowledge management affect organizations? First, we live in a world the connected consumer. Organizations that seek to stay connected and relevant to these consumers must exist in the WEB 2.0 ecosystem. Because the organization lives with us in this complex system, the customer becomes part of the knowledge management equation (Chua & Banerjee, 2013). We live in a viral world where knowledge spreads similar to that of a disease epidemic (Hemsley & Mason, 2013). Grass-root viral events often occur, most notably when hashtags are hijacked. These events may spiral out of control, which makes crisis communication a critical element of an organization’s strategic social media planning. Recognizing the role of the customer in knowledge management has a significant impact on how we view brands. For example, Chua and Banerjee (2013) details the success of Starbucks in their customer knowledge management approach, recognizing that “Starbucks redefines the roles of its customers through the use of social media by transforming them from passive recipients of beverages to active contributors of innovation” (p. 245).

In addition to customer knowledge management, it is critical for organizations to recognize the value WEB 2.0 brings to the employee experience. As millennials filter into today’s workplace, WEB 2.0 services are expected (Levy, 2009). Not only are these services commonplace, but they also provide a way for the employee to assimilate to and participate in the larger organizational culture. For example, Grace (2009) details the advantages of using Wikis. Wikis are “a democratic, accessible community of uses responsible for its own content, support by an open model of knowledge creation and communication” (p. 64). These communities come in various shapes and sizes as detailed by Kamryn in her recent blog. Despite security and data migration issues, the Wiki offers novel and easy solutions for knowledge management and organizational culture-building.

The savvy organization recognizes the importance of WEB 2.0 to the customer, the employee, and the brand. Viewing the ecosystem as a web of active users benefits organizational and customer knowledge management. An awareness of the strengths and challenges of new platforms will help organizations find their place in the modern communication infrastructure.


Chua, A. Y. K., & Banerjee, S. (2013). Customer knowledge management via social media: The case of Starbucks. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17(2), 237-249. doi:10.1108/13673271311315196

Grace, T. P. L. (2009). Wikis as a knowledge management tool. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(4), 64-74. doi:10.1108/13673270910971833

Hemsley, J., & Mason, R. M. (2013). Knowledge and knowledge management in the social media age. Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 23(1), 138-167. doi10.1080/10919392.2013.748614

Levy, M. (2009). Web 2.0 implications on knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(1), 120-134. doi:10.1108/13673270910931215

Chua, A. Y. K., & Banerjee, S. (2013). Customer knowledge management via social media: The case of Starbucks. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17(2), 237-249. doi:10.1108/13673271311315196

Knowledge Continuity


“Knowledge continuity is analogous to business continuity” (Dalkir, 2009, p. 3137).

Nonaka (1994) believes that social knowledge exists on both the individual and collective levels and is created by and fundamental to the collective actions of a group. Alavi and Leidner (2001) cite three common applications of knowledge management including the coding and sharing of best practices, the creation of corporate knowledge directories, and the creation of knowledge networks (p. 114). Knowledge creation and retention are incredibly valuable for organizations, particularly in the age of big data and highly varied employee turnover rates.

In consideration of the need to create and retain intellectual capital, it is important to note that knowledge includes various perspectives. These frames of reference distinguish knowledge as being (1) a state of mind, (2) an object, (3) a process, (4) a condition for accessing information, or (5) a capability (Alavi & Leidner, 2001). Although all of these perspectives are valuable viewpoints of knowledge, perhaps the most important is knowledge as a capability. Developing ways to “enhance intellectual capital by supporting development of individual and organizational competencies” is crucial (Alavi & Leidner, 2001, p. 111). I believe that viewing knowledge as a capability contributes more to the pragmatic knowledge of an organization. A repertoire of best practices is handy to have in a pinch.


Planning and implementing ways to manage organizational knowledge contributes to sustainable shared meaning among organizational members. Developing practical systems for employees provides a database of organizational language and its uses. According to Hara (2009), “a common language not only indicates a shared comprehension of explicit knowledge (e.g., meaning of words), but also signifies the existence of tacit knowledge (e.g., metaphors and values)” (p. 14).

Establishing a knowledge management system (KMS), which is an information technology-based system “developed to support and enhance the organizational processes of knowledge creation, storage/retrieval, transfer, and application” seems like a daunting task (Alavi & Leidner, 2001, p. 114). Several years ago, I worked for two of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States. Both organizations provided intranet access to vast information systems designed to help me perform my job duties. Even with these systems, I often consulted Google for help with technology issues for which I could not find answers. Individual, procedural knowledge was crucial in helping me to resolve customer issues. My gargantuan corporate system just didn’t have what it takes. That said, if a hugely successful tech company doesn’t have all the knowledge needed to sustain employee success, what does this mean for smaller businesses?


Hansen, Nohria, and Tierney (1999) offer a codification (people-to-documents) versus a personalization (person-to-person) perspective in What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge?  It seems as if codification was the strategy in my prior experiences, but what of personalization? The personalization approach is a way to transfer knowledge that cannot be codified into “brainstorming sessions and one-on-one conversations” (Hansen, Nohria, & Tierney, 1999, p. 2). Personalization seems more appropriate than codification for smaller businesses or those with more innovative organizational structures. Nevertheless, these authors offer several questions organizations must address before deciding to adopt a specific strategy.

In addition to organizational size, other considerations must be made in the decision-making process of KMS development. Chalmeta & Grangel (2008) propose a five-phase methodology for organizations considering adopting and developing a Knowledge Management System. This proposal is thorough and helpful in adopting best practices; however, the authors acknowledge limitations such as organizational culture and the type of stakeholders involved with the organization.

In my future as a member of many communities of practice, I foresee further challenges in how to manage intellectual capital. I base this prediction on the fact that I currently struggle with managing shared Dropbox folders. Nonetheless, I know that my intellectual contributions and those of my colleagues are an important product of education and hard work. In the words of Dalkir (2009), “these tangible by-products need to flow from individual to individual, between community of practice (CoP) members and, of course, back to the organization itself, in the form of lessons learned, best practices, and corporate memory” (p. 3131).


Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2001). Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 107-136. URL: (Links to an external site.)

Chalmeta, R., & Grangel, R. (2008). Methodology for the implementation of knowledge management systems. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(5), 742-755. doi:10.1002/asi.20785

Dalkir, K. (2010). Knowledge management. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (3rd Ed.). doi:10.1081/E-ELIS3-120043816

Hansen, M. T., Nohria, N., & Tierney, T. (1999). What’s your strategy for managing knowledge. Harvard Business Review. URL: (Links to an external site.)

Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization Science, 5(1), 14-37. URL:

Tacitness & Shared Meaning


“In all our waking moments we are relying on our awareness of contacts of our body with things outside for attending to these things. Our own body is the only thing in the world which we normally never experience as an object, but experience always in terms of the world to which we are attending from our body. It is by making this intelligent use of our body that we feel it to be our body, and not a thing outside.” (Polanyi, 1969, p. 16)

This excerpt, like many others in Polanyi’s The Tacit Dimension, tends to prompt stepping a bit outside your comfort zone to consider implicit and explicit knowing. I agree with Mary, who recommends a piecemeal approach to Polanyi’s text. Kimble’s (2013) unpacking of tacit knowledge is helpful in connecting Polanyi’s ideas to present reality. Perhaps the strongest connection is a critical view of positivist ideas. There exists a divide among researchers who agree to disagree about the researcher’s role in research. As social scientists, are we separated from our subjects?

I believe that a researcher is an instrument, no matter how much we try to remove ourselves from the discovery of knowledge. In both qualitative and quantitative studies, my personal interpretation is salient in my discussion of findings. I agree that knowing is a marriage of the tacit and explicit. Although I do not personally like to be ascribed to a certain “camp”, I assume you would describe me as a constructivist or an interpretivist.

I am still finding my way in the scholarly world, and recently I engaged in discussion with those embarking on similar decision-making for qualitative methods. To answer burning questions regarding sample size in qualitative research, Baker and Edwards (2012) reviewed the “tacit knowledge of a series of renowned social scientists who come from a range of epistemological and disciplinary positions but who share an expertise in qualitative research” (p. 3). This research fueled Fugard and Potts (2015) development of a quantitative tool to aid in study planning. It seems clear that the tacit has epistemic value for improving research methods and subsequent knowledge management.

Big Ts and little ts aside, if you are unable to express knowledge, does it exist? I believe Polanyi is correct in supporting both proximal and distal knowledge. Following the dense reading of Polanyi’s work, I did some searching for extensions of the ideas he presented in the sixties. I found interesting points from Haldin-Herrgard, who describes the epitomes of tacit knowledge with the help of an iceberg-style illustration. These epitomes include intuition, skills, insight, know-how, beliefs, mental models, and practical intelligence – all of which are placed on a spectrum of the extent of abstraction and the activities they affect. It is interesting to see know-how described as tacit knowledge.

My husband is quite the handyman – a bricoleur of sorts. His tacit knowledge abounds as he takes on projects without prior experience with the specific task at hand. I watch as he turns the distal into proximal, the tacit to the explicit, as he explains to me how he installed our attractive security lights onto the outside of our garage. This know-how exists, creates shared meaning, and lights my path through the snowy driveway to my car.


Baker, S. E., & Edwards, R. (2012). How many qualitative interviews is enough? Expert voices and early career reflections on sampling and cases in qualitative research. Retrieved from

Fugard, A. J., & Potts, H. W. (2015). Supporting thinking on sample sizes for thematic analyses: A quantitative tool. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, (ahead-of-print), 1-16.

Haldin-herrgard, T. (2004). Diving under the surface of tacit knowledge. In Fifth European Conference on Organizational Knowledge, Learning, and Capabilities.

Kimble, C. (2013). Knowledge management, codification and tacit knowledge. Information Research, 18(2). URL: (Links to an external site.)

Polanyi, Michael. (2009). The tacit dimension. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1966) URL:

First Day

The beginning of a new semester is a fresh start. With a laptop and hundreds of dollars of books in hand, I am ready for the odyssey before me. I am arriving at the halfway mark of my first doctoral semester. The memes were right – a Master’s program pales in comparison to a doctoral program. Have you had a nice, long, relaxing winter break?


The to-do list NEVER ends. Research, data analysis, writing, course prep, self-loathing, etc.

I am experiencing a lot of anxiety prior to this semester. What will my classes be like? Will my research be accepted? Why am I doing this? Can I do this? Symptoms of the dreaded impostor syndrome.


My most important discovery is that a positive attitude goes a long way. Also sleep. And coffee. And wine.


All kidding aside, I am ready for what this semester will bring. New information and new faces. Happy spring semester!


Premarital Counseling

My last post promised more details about the premarital counseling sessions that my husband and I were required to attend. Premarital counseling helps couples to prepare for marriage, to ensure a healthy relationship, and to identify relationship strengths and weaknesses  – all of these things may help conquer future problems during a marriage (Mayo Clinic, 2011).  I knew that many couples do attend therapy prior to marriage, but honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from our first session.  My husband and I are both quite open with our communication with one another, but neither of us knew how to feel about including a third party in the mix.









Our therapist was great – he is employed by our church and provides counseling to members at a highly discounted rate.  Dr. L was extremely personable and thankfully engaged in humor to make each of the interactions a bit less awkward.  We covered many topics including communication, love, family, boundaries, budgets, and *gulp* SEX.

After a bit of research, I found that Dr. L utilized a solution-focused type framework in our counseling.  This type of counseling helps couples discuss and come to a general consensus about what the future of their marriage looks like, and develop strategies that will aid in establishing their vision (Murray & Murray, 2004).  Although some of the tools covered in this research weren’t used, Dr. L included other exercises like an in-session questionnaire concerning relationship strengths and weaknesses, a survey about family life and relationships taken separately, and a take-home assignment of creating a family budget.  All of these exercises were surprisingly helpful. R and I thought we knew everything about each other – turns out there was more to discover!

What did we discover?

Our families are very different!  We were definitely aware of this, but we weren’t fully aware of how this may present obstacles in the expectations within our marriage.








Our personalities don’t have as many similarities as I thought.  I’m extreme in my people pleasing quest while he has established better boundaries than I have.

When it comes to decision-making, I’m a talker while he is a thinker.  We learned that just because I talk about things, it doesn’t mean I make snap-decisions.  Although he doesn’t talk about things, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care or doesn’t want the same things.

We learned the value of a purity vow prior to marriage.  We both agreed that it made our bond stronger.  Sex is very important part of marriage – God created it!  I’ve learned to become more comfortable in talking about sex in our relationship, but honestly the conversation we had to have about this in counseling was AWKWARD!!!!!!!!  Nothing could have prepared me for that!







Lastly, but most importantly, R and I learned about trusting in God for everything within our marriage.  We have incorporated praying together in our relationship, which has been a truly joyful experience.  We hope to continue to work on sharing devotional time together.

We are currently enjoying the beginning of our journey, and we look forward to conquering obstacles together by placing God first.


Getting Married

Tis the season for weddings, including my own!


Getting married is a HUGE deal.  Not just the event, but the commitment itself.  I’m all like, “if you go before I do I’m gonna tell the gravedigger that he better dig two”.  But seriously.

My husband is truly the man I prayed for as a little girl.  I told God, specifically, that I wanted a boy with blue eyes and dark hair who was fun and loved animals, especially cats, as much as I do.  He possesses all these qualities.

Of course, there are added bonuses:

  • Devout UK fan
  • Thoughtful
  • Kind
  • Caring
  • Generous
  • Considerate
  • Hilarious

He is also an unbelievable protector, who makes me feel safe no matter the situation.

*end gratuitous gushing*

The whole point of this post is to inform those reading this that it was hard work to get married!  The planning was a bit stressful, but I’m talking about the time we took to get to know each other better in the months proceeding our marriage.

The first thing we did was attend a message series at our church called The Vow.  This incredibly intimate sequence of both practical and biblical truth was extremely eye-opening.  Even if you are not getting married, these messages are still relevant to every individual.  Definitely a must watch!

The next step we took was marriage counseling.  Although somewhat voluntary, it was a requirement set forth by our church.  A six-session sit-down with a stranger probing into our love and sex lives may not sound appealing; however, it strangely became a bonding process for my husband and me.  I will share more about this in my next post.

For now, I leave you the song played in our recessional.  Sorry Blake Shelton – Dave Barnes did it best!


It’s been a long time…

It has been a long time since I’ve posted anything.  I’ve been living the high life in the nerd kingdom and honestly it is often hard to muster the strength to even look at a computer screen after hours of straining the nog to come up with thoughtful ideas that may require citation one of these days.  I don’t want to make any sort of promises; however, I plan to blog more regularly this summer.  This statement will require further review once the fall semester begins…can you believe I am halfway through a master’s program?

wait-what-dogSome of you who may be familiar with the person I was prior to Jesus’ intervention would find my newly nerd ways to be quite surprising.  I know that I continually surprise myself, which is hopefully a good thing.

I enjoy what I do, as hard as it may be sometimes.  I am guilty of not giving enough credit to my undergraduate professors.  It’s hard work to research, study, write, and teach all at the same time.  It often feels like being on a medieval rack…or maybe just one of those super complex yoga poses, which would inevitably result in a hard face plant.

face plant kitteh





Although I am nervous about the upcoming fall semester, I will try my best to enjoy my summer.  See yuns at the lake.


The Finish Line

I haven’t posted in a while…I’ve been in a bit of a rut.

For the past 3 months, I have been training for my first half-marathon.  My workouts consisted of 4 running days and 2 cross-training days.  My running days varied between 3 and 5 miles, with a weekly long run thrown in the mix at a max of 12 miles.  All of my runs were consistent running with an average pace of 9-11:30 minute mile depending upon whether I was tempo, easy, etc.  My cross training regimen consisted of strength training, cardio/strength circuits and Krav Maga.

During this increasingly strenuous training schedule, I became more aware that my body was not adapting well to long runs.  I began to feel sick to my stomach on any run greater than 6 miles; I could not eat for up to 2 hours post-run.  My legs were tired, my toes ached and belly churned.  I became increasingly negative about the big race.

Then, I ran a “tune-up” 10 mile race to prepare for my half.  It went well!  I paced around 10:20 per mile, which was 25 seconds faster than my goal.  I was feeling better about the big race, but I still carried around a lot of anxiety.







A week after the 10 miler, I went for a long run.  I planned on an easy run, and going about 13 miles.  At mile 5, I noticed some discomfort in my left knee.  By mile 7, I was unable to run without a consistent achy pain.  I stopped.

The RICE method filled the following week.  I took a break from running, and focused on cross training.  By the following Thursday, I tried again.  I could pace for about 2 miles, but after that, pain.  I gave it another week.







It was the Thursday before the race.  I taped and braced, but I was unable to run for more than 30 seconds on the indoor track without pain.  I broke down in tears at the gym.  I had to accept what felt like defeat.  I had worked so hard.  I had put every ounce of myself into a finish line that I would not cross.

March 30th came, and went.  I see the posts and pics of Run the Bluegrass finishers and I am consumed by mixed feelings.  I am so proud of all the runners!  I just wish I could have raced with them.






Today, I am still unable to run without pain, but I’m confident that I will bounce back.  I hope to finish at the Autism Speaks 5K on the 20th.  Prayers are greatly appreciated.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

Psalm 34:18-20

The Miles Ahead

It is acceptable to say that I am a confident person.  I have been called strong-willed by multiple people, and to me, that is a HUGE compliment.  It is atypical to become a strong-willed person overnight.  Almost always, a strong-willed person has had to overcome a myriad of obstacles that served to mold them into a down and dirty, teeth-clenching, goal-setting maniac.


If everything in life was in our favor what a world this would be!  We would never have bad mornings that created a spiraling and terrible rest of the day.  My hair would always look as though I cared enough to fix it.  Results from a new fitness regimen would be instantaneous; there would be no weight gain or debilitating muscle soreness and fatigue.  There have been days that I have been so sore that it was excruciating to walk – these were the moments I began to wonder if I was determined or just plain crazy.


I have struggled many times during my journey to re-awaken my inner athlete.  When I began “running” in May of 2012, I couldn’t run more than a couple of minutes at a time.  Thank goodness for Couch to 5K on my iPhone (I highly recommend this for the beginner – I promise it works!).  I have to admit that I was extremely jelly of the random “runner” on my neighborhood path.  There she was, bounding along with her perfect ponytail and strong stride, leaving me in the proverbial dust.


There were days that I prayed for the strength to walk out my front door.

I kept at it.  I told myself that any time I spent on the pavement was beneficial.  I started to appreciate simpler things like sunny days and the smell of laundry as I passed houses in my neighborhood.  As I connected with the outside world, being perfect didn’t seem that important.  I ran my first 5K in July of 2012, and had a blast!


Running can provide life with a lot of perspective.  Joel Osteen, a popular televangelist, has an excellent way of relating running to life.  He says that while running you must focus on here and now.  The past is obviously behind you, and if you look back too often you risk stumbling and scraping your knees.  If you focus too far into the future, or upon how many miles you have left to go, it’s incredibly easy to become overwhelmed and tempted to give up.

So as I look forward to my longest race ever tomorrow, I must remind myself that I am prepared for here and now.


And hey, when you are running your first race of a particular distance, you’ve automatically achieved a PR.

Here’s to that finish line,



Bunny Friendly Beauty

I’ve been asked by a few lovely ladies to divulge my scoop on transitioning to a cruelty free beauty regimen.  The full move to all vegan products can be daunting, and it is something I’m still experimenting with.  All of this is based on my personal research, and I always recommend doing research before you try/buy.

Here are the goods I think are best so far:

Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash & Body Lotion

Yes to Carrots – available at Wal-Mart and Walgreens


gud (made by Burt’s Bees) – my fave is Pearanormal Activity


St. Ives Daily Hydrating Lotion – it has a clean scent, and leaves my skin very soft.


Kiss my Face Peaceful Patchouli Body Lotion – I promise you won’t smell like too much like a hippie (wink wink).



Tom’s of Maine – the best is Wild Lavender; buy 2 to keep one on hand because this does not have antiperspirant.  Aluminum is bad for your boobies, and face it ladies – sweat is a natural human function.



Tom’s of Maine – the Wicked Fresh Cool Peppermint kind tastes the best, and has the longest lasting freshness.


Lip Care

Burt’s Bees – some vegans may give you stink face over the beeswax, but I’m not one of them.  Some of their products (i.e. body wash) has milk ingredients, so read the label before venturing into other products.  Also, Yes to Carrots has colored gloss that’s good.




Kinesys is simply the best by far for poolside, sport and everyday use.  I unfortunately learned this the hard way as you can see in the above picture.



Nature’s Gate – I like their acne line.  It is very gentle and soothing.


Yes to Carrots – I use their Yes to Cucumbers Calming Moisturizer and make-up removing wipes (this one won an Allure award).  Also, I use Yes to Blueberries Firming Eye Cream.


And finally, make-up.  This one has been rough!  I’ve been through multiple brands and make-up meltdowns to give you the down and dirty.

Concealer, Base, Blush, Bronzer, Eye Color & Brushes

Everyday Minerals – this brand is the stuff online shopping dreams are made of.  They send you free samples so you can find your shade, and they have super-fast shipping.  It’s very gentle for my sensitive skin, and has staying power.  Their matte-base is buildable and gives Bare Minerals a serious run for their money (without the icky chemicals).


Mascara, Eye Color & Primers

e.l.f (eyes lips face) – yes, this brand, found at Target, is cheap as dirt and awesome!  I use their waterproof mascara for long-lasting lashes and bronzer for my décolletage.


Urban Decay – available online or at Sephora.  Their Primer Potion is part of my everyday routine.  My fave shade is Sin, which can be worn alone or with shadow.  It’s a rose gold shade, which is trending now.  All of their eye colors are vivid, long lasting and well worth the money.  Their vegan friendly products are identified clearly on the package.


I hope you find this guide helpful in your journey.  Remember, don’t be overwhelmed – it’s best to transition gradually to avoid emptying your bank account.  Keep in mind that any one choice you make to make the lives of animals better and the future of our Earth brighter is making a difference.  Good luck!