Tagging

Tagging 2

This is my final blog post about my course in Knowledge Management. Additionally, this is likely the post that reflects the most vulnerability of my grasp of knowledge management concepts. Part of our course requirement was to develop a bibliographic reference account manager. As a researcher, I am familiar with other software to aid in reference management such as EndNote and Mendeley. However, I was not accustomed to the CiteULike interface, and I feel like I am still in uncharted territory.

The image above showcases my tagging of the 34 articles I read and synthesized for Knowledge Management over the course of the semester. I bring out many of the salient constructs and concepts that are apparent throughout many of our readings including tacit and explicit knowledge, the social aspects of knowledge management, and the relational maintenance required in creating and sharing knowledge. Clearly, there are terms I used more frequently to categorize my reading, but I feel it lacks structure and does not provide a clear picture of my understanding of the course content.

ThrougOscar-canhout many of our discussions this semester, we have talked about how people are reticent to change. In the context of managing my references, I have to say that I am guilty. In the past, I have tried to adopt several reference management technologies, but for whatever reason, I turn into Oscar the Grouch when navigating these systems. I think that this is just me being overwhelmed in the face of new knowledge AND a new way to manage this knowledge. I have an existing knowledge management system that is an amalgamation of Dropbox and OneNote technologies. Surprisingly enough, I can search and reference effectively, but I remain unconvinced this is the most efficient process.

In sum, I remain a CiteULike novice. In a course filled with future librarians, I am sure this is appalling. That said, in the future,  I would like to have a more closely guided instruction with reference management interfaces and creating efficient tagging systems. Maybe my summer to-do list?

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The Information Society: A Cloudy Forecast

I recently shared an article with my Twitter community members about the post-work economy in response to Dr. Burns’ tweet about a hotel’s robot concierge. Since then, I have often thought about my place in the workforce and my value as a social scientist to the larger economic picture. In consideration of Tremblay (1995) and Rule and Besen (2008), I think rhugenwrites gets it right by saying the future they forecast concerning the “information society does not present a message of hope, but rather a darker perspective on the future” (2016, para. 1). road_cloudy_by_neonxlt-d39l3rb

Tremblay (1995) points out that due to fast-paced developments in technology, phrases such as  “the information society” and “the knowledge economy” are often used interchangeably. Although Tremblay doesn’t offer clear distinctions of each, he does provide interesting ways for us to consider the changes in our society by labeling our past in the context of Henry Ford and our present in the context of Bill Gates. These comparisons illustrate clear differences from past to present, but perhaps most importantly, it serves as a catalyst to question where we go from here. Tremblay (1995) discusses the fact that our society has been through changes in the way we think about work, providing the example that “laid-off workers in the primary sector shifted to the secondary sector, and those in the secondary sector moved on to the tertiary sector, after often long and painful transition periods. But there are no more sectors” (para. 60). If, in fact, there are no more sectors, what do we do? How do we prepare? How might we embrace and adapt to changes in our society?

If, in fact, there are no more sectors, what do we do? How do we prepare? How might we embrace and adapt to changes in our society? Cowan, David, and Foray (2000) discuss the economic issues associated with the “intellectual property rights regime and the disclosure conventions of various epistemic communities” (p. 250). Can we work together to foster new sectors in the face of these tensions?

As scholars, I believe it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Powell and Snellman (2004) define the knowledge economy as “production and services based on knowledge-intensive activities that contribute to an accelerated pace of technical and scientific advance, as well as rapid obsolescence”(p. 201). These authors point out that existing research on the knowledge economy focuses on knowledge production rather than its impact. It makes sense that Powell and Snellman (2004) assert that this shortcoming is neglectful. They maintain that “a key insight of the productivity debate is that significant gains in productivity are achieved only when new technologies are married to complementary organizational practices”(p. 215). As a health and risk communication researcher, I know that more communication is not always better. Studying dissemination and the impact of knowledge is crucial in the era of big data.

Regardless of all the gloom and doom I can muster in considering the future, I remain optimistic. Rule and Besen (2008) say  “those whose work involves social analysis are also inclined to believe that such understanding promotes all sorts of other good effects. Educated understanding of social life supposedly encourages economic growth and prosperity; it renders the individuals who incorporate it more productive and successful; it makes organizations more egalitarian and effective; and it reduces the role of destructive conflict in human affairs” (p. 341).

Leonardo-Dicaprio-Cheers

Here’s to the future and, hopefully, job security.

 

 

 

 

References

Cowan, R., David, P. A., & Foray, D. (2000). The explicit economics of knowledge codification and tacitness. Industrial & Corporate Change, 9(2), 211-253.

Powell, W. W., & Snellman, Kaisa. (2004). The knowledge economy. Annual Review of Sociology, 30, 199-220. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100037

Rule, J. B., & Besen, Yasemin. (2008). The once and future information society. Theory and Society, 37(4), 317-342. doi:10.1007/s11186-007-9049-6

Tremblay, G. (1995). The information society: From Fordism to Gatesism. Canadian Journal of Communication, 20(4), 461-482.

 

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?

internet-of-things-concept-illustration

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.

References

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