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CAPTURING TACIT KNOWLEDGE. Lecture Four (Chapter 4, Notes; Chapter 5, Textbook). Last Week’s Review. Knowledge Creation and Sharing Knowledge Infrastructure Knowledge Management Architecture Build versus Buy Decision. This Week’s Topics. The Knowledge Capture Process

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capturing tacit knowledge


Lecture Four

(Chapter 4, Notes;

Chapter 5, Textbook)

last week s review
Last Week’s Review
  • Knowledge Creation and Sharing
  • Knowledge Infrastructure
  • Knowledge Management Architecture
  • Build versus Buy Decision
this week s topics
This Week’s Topics
  • The Knowledge Capture Process
  • How To Identify Experts
  • Single vs. Multiple Experts (Pros and Cons)
  • Interview As Knowledge Capture Tool
  • Sources of Errors and Problems in Interview
stages of kmslc

Evaluate Existing Infrastructure

Form the KM Team

Knowledge Capture

Design KM Blueprint

Verify and validate the KM System

Implement the KM System

Manage Change and Rewards Structure

Post-system evaluation

Stages of KMSLC

Iterative Rapid Prototyping

what is knowledge capture
What Is Knowledge Capture ?
  • A process by which the expert’s thoughts and experiences are captured
  • A knowledge developer collaborates with an expert to convert expertise into a coded program
  • In simple terms, we want to “know” how experts know what they know
three important steps
Three important steps
  • Use an appropriate tool or technique to elicit information from the expert
  • Interpret the information and infer the expert’s knowledge and reasoning process
  • Use the interpretation to build rules that represent expert’s solutions
improving the knowledge capture process
Improving the Knowledge Capture Process
  • Focus on how experts approach a problem
  • Look beyond the facts or the heuristics
  • Re-evaluate how well the problem domain is understood
  • How accurate the problem is modeled
using a single expert
Using a Single Expert


  • Ideal when building a simple KM system
  • A problem in a restricted domain
  • Easier to coordinate meetings
  • Conflicts are easier to resolve
  • Shares more confidentiality than does multiple experts
using a single expert cont d
Using a Single Expert (cont’d)


  • Sometimes expert’s knowledge is not easy to capture
  • Single expert provides only a single line of reasoning
  • Expert knowledge is sometimes dispersed
  • Single expert more likely to change scheduled meetings than experts in a team
using multiple experts
Using Multiple Experts


  • Complex problem domains benefit from expertise of more than one expert
  • Working with multiple experts stimulates interaction
  • Allow alternative ways of representing knowledge
  • Formal meetings often a better environment for generating thoughtful contributions
using multiple experts cont d
Using Multiple Experts (cont’d)


  • Scheduling difficulties
  • Disagreements often occur among experts
  • Confidentiality issues
  • Requires more than one knowledge developer
  • Overlapping mental processes can lead to “process loss”
developing a relationship with experts
Developing a Relationship With Experts
  • Create the right impression
  • Understanding the expert’s style
  • Prepare well for the session
  • Decide where to hold the session
approaching multiple experts
Approaching Multiple Experts
  • Individual
    • An extension of single expert approach
  • Primary and secondary
    • Start with the senior expert first, on down to others in the hierarchy
  • Small groups
    • Each expert tested against expertise of others in the group
analogies and uncertainties in information
Analogies and Uncertainties in Information
  • Experts use analogies to explain events
  • Expert’s knowledge is the ability to take uncertain information and use a plausible line of reasoning to clarify the fuzzy details
analogies and uncertainties in information cont d
Analogies and Uncertainties in Information (cont’d)
  • Reliable knowledge capture requires understanding and interpreting expert’s verbal description of information, heuristics, etc.
  • For example, words like possible, likely, and definite show relationships between words and belief
the interview as a tool
The Interview As a Tool
  • Commonly used in the early stages of tacit knowledge capture
  • The voluntary natureof the interview is important
the interview as a tool cont d
The Interview As a Tool (cont’d)
  • Interviewing as a tool requires training and preparation
  • Convenient tool for evaluating the validity of information acquired
types of interviews
Types of Interviews
  • Structured: Questions and responses are definitive. Used when specific information is sought
  • Semi-structured: Predefined questions are asked but allow expert some freedom in expressing the answers
  • Unstructured: Neither the questions nor their responses specified in advance. Used when exploring an issue
variations of structured questions
Variations of Structured Questions
  • Multiple-choice questionsoffer specific choices, faster tabulation, and less bias by the way answers are ordered
  • Dichotomous (yes/no) questionsare a special type of multiple-choice question
  • Ranking scale questionsask expert to arrange items in a list in order of their important or preference
guide to a successful interview
Guide to a Successful Interview
  • Set the stage and establish rapport
  • Properly phrase the questions
  • Question construction is important
  • Listen closely and avoid arguments
  • Evaluate session outcomes
things to avoid
Things to Avoid
  • Taping a session without advance permission from the expert
  • Converting the interview into an interrogation
  • Interrupting the expert
  • Asking questions that put the domain expert on the defensive
things to avoid cont d
Things to Avoid (Cont’d)
  • Losing control of the session
  • Pretending to understand an explanation when you actually don’t
  • Promising something that cannot be delivered
  • Bring items not on the agenda
sources of error that reduce information reliability
Sources of Error that Reduce Information Reliability
  • Expert’s perceptual slant
  • Expert’s failure to remember just what happened
  • Expert’s fear of the unknown
  • Communication problems
errors made by the knowledge developer
Errors Made by the Knowledge Developer
  • Age effect
  • Race effect
  • Gender effect
problems encountered during the interview
Problems Encountered During the Interview
  • Response bias
  • Inconsistency
  • Communication difficulties
  • Hostile attitude
  • Standardized questions
  • Lengthy questions
  • Long interview
next week s preview
Next Week’s Preview
  • On-site Observation (Action Protocol)
  • Brainstorming (Conventional & Electronic)
  • Consensus Decision Making
  • Nominal Group Technique
  • Delphi Method
  • Repertory Grid
  • Concept Mapping
  • Blackboarding
nonaka s model of knowledge creation and transformation



e.g., Individual and/or Team Discussions



e.g., Documenting a Team Meeting



e.g., Learn from a report and Deduce new ideas



e.g., Create a Website from some form of explicit knowledge; Email a Report

Nonaka’s Model of Knowledge Creation and Transformation
knowledge infrastructure
  • Content core: Identify knowledge centres
  • People core: Evaluate employee profiles
  • Technical core: The totality of technology (S/W and H/W) required to operate the knowledge environment





. . . . .





User Interface

(Web browser software installed on each user’s PC)








Authorized access control

(e.g., security, passwords, firewalls, authentication)

Collaborative intelligence and filtering

(intelligent agents, network mining, customization, personalization)

Knowledge-enabling applications

(customized applications, skills directories, videoconferencing, decision support systems,

group decision support systems tools)


(e-mail, Internet/Web site, TCP/IP protocol to manage traffic flow)


(specialized software for network management, security, etc.)

The Physical Layer

(repositories, cables)

Data warehousing

(data cleansing,

data mining)


(document exchange,


Legacy applications

(e.g., payroll)


build vs buying
Build vs. Buying

OptionCostTime FactorCustomization

In-house Usually high Much shorter than High, depending

developmentdevelopment byon quality of

user staff

Development Usually low Depends on skills High to the user

by end users set, system priority, specifications

and so forth

Outsourcing Medium to high Shorter than High


Off-the-shelf Low to medium Nil Usually up to

Solution 80% usable

styles of expert s expressions
Styles of expert’s expressions
  • Procedure type
    • methodical approach to the solution
  • Storyteller
    • focuses on the content of the domain at the expense of the solution
  • Godfather
    • compulsion to take over the session
  • Salesperson
    • spends most of the time explaining his or her solution is the best
preparing for the session
Preparing for the session
  • Should become familiar with the project terminology
  • review existing materials
  • Learn the expert’s language
deciding where to hold the sessions
Deciding where to hold the sessions
  • Beneficial in recording the expert’s knowledge in the environment where he or she works
  • An important guideline is to make sure the meeting place is quiet and free from interruptions