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Assessing your organisation's knowledge management health

Jackson, P. and Klobas, J. (2001) Assessing your organisation's knowledge management health. In: 9th Specials, Health and Law Libraries Conference, 26 - 29 August 2001, Melbourne, Australia


In order to manage knowledge, a clear definition and understanding of the processes associated with creating, storing, and sharing knowledge is required. The authors derive their definition and understanding from the sociology of knowledge. Based upon a social-constructivist theory of knowledge with a strong and established theoretical base, we present a model that describes and interconnects knowledge processes.

This model gives us a clear set of concepts with which to develop a methodology for assessing knowledge management health, and for managing the knowledge environment during projects which require transfer of knowledge. The theoretical basis of the model suggests that if all processes in the knowledge transfer model are working well, then knowledge transfer is working well. If there is a breakdown in one or several of the knowledge transfer processes in the model, then knowledge transfer may be degraded. The point therefore is to optimise each of the knowledge transfer processes.

Software development and implementation are knowledge management processes par excellence, and are essentially concerned with creating and moving abstract concepts through a chain of staff roles until their ultimate codification into programming rules and data definitions. A practical tool has been introduced to information systems professionals and used in two projects. The tool is described in this paper, along with a summary of information systems professionals' responses to it, and suggestions about how the model and tool may be used by knowledge managers.

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