Developing a domain ontology for knowledge management technologies

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-07-2016-0177
Pages28-44
Published date12 February 2018
Date12 February 2018
AuthorParvin Hashemi,Ameneh Khadivar,Mehdi Shamizanjani
Subject MatterLibrary & information science,Information behaviour & retrieval,Collection building & management,Bibliometrics,Databases,Information & knowledge management,Information & communications technology,Internet,Records management & preservation,Document management
Developing a domain
ontology for knowledge
management technologies
Parvin Hashemi and Ameneh Khadivar
Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, Alzahra University,
Tehran, Iran, and
Mehdi Shamizanjani
Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to develop a new ontology for knowledge management (KM)
technologies, determining the relationships between these technologies and classification of them.
Design/methodology/approach The study applies NOY methodology named after Natalya F. Noy who
initiated this methodology. Protégé software and ontology web language are used for building the ontology.
The presented ontology is evaluated with abbreviation and consistency criteria and knowledge retrieval of
KM technologies by experts.
Findings All the mainconcepts in the scope of KM technologiesare extracted from existingliterature. There
are 241 words, 49 out of them are domain concepts, eight terms are about taxonomic and non-taxonomic
relations, one termrelates to data property and 183 termsare instances. These terms are used to develop KM
technologiesontology based on three factors: facilitating KM processes, supporting KM strategies and the
position of technology in the KM technology stage model. The presented ontology is created a common
understanding inthe field of KM technologies.
Research limitations/implications Lack of specific documentary about logic behind decision making
and prioritizing criteria in choosing KM technologies.
Practical implications Uploading the presented ontology in the web environment provides a platform for
knowledge sharing between experts from around the world. In addition, it helps to decide on the choice of KM
technologies based on KM processes and KM strategy.
Originality/value Among the many categories of KM technologies in literature, there is no classifying
according to several criteria simultaneously. This paper contributes to filling this gap and considers KM
processes,KM strategy and stages of growthfor KM technologies simultaneouslyto choice the KM technologies
and also there existsno formal ontology regarding KM technologies. This studyhas tried to propose a formal
KM technologiesontology.
Keywords Ontology, Knowledge management processes, Knowledge management strategies,
Growth stage for knowledge management technology, Knowledge management technologies
Paper type Research paper
`
1. Introduction
Luan and Serban (2002, p. 85) insist the importance of knowledge management (KM)
with presentations Knowledge management is the Holy Grail of the modern company,
much rumored but rarely found.Organizations demonstrate a growing interest in KM since
they have recognized that effective application of knowledge assets and resources make
them more innovative, enable them to meet customersdemands and to help them survive in
an ever-growing competitive economy. Several factors are presented as enablers of KM and
technology is one of them. In fact, the goal of KM is facilitating the implementation
of knowledge processes, and technologies facilitate creation, share and application of
knowledge (Luan and Serban, 2002; Tyndale, 2002).
Technologies that can support KM or KM technologies are presented from various aspects.
A common approach describes them from the view point of KM processes (Razmerita et al., 2009;
Dalkir, 2005). Furthermore, technologies have described as part of KM system architecture
Online Information Review
Vol. 42 No. 1, 2018
pp. 28-44
© Emerald PublishingLimited
1468-4527
DOI 10.1108/OIR-07-2016-0177
Received 7 July 2016
Revised 24 May 2017
Accepted 15 June 2017
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1468-4527.htm
28
OIR
42,1
(Chua, 2004; Benbya and Belbaly, 2005). Sometimes these technologies have been studied from
their relationship with KM strategies (Merono-Cerdan et al., 2007; Saito et al.,2007).
However, there is no comprehensive framework that has a consolidated approach covering all
the factors in KM technologiesclassification.
This study presents a new classification of KM technologies based on their support of
KM processes and KM strategies as well as the status of these technologies in growth stages
of KM technologies whereas the existing frameworks have studied only a limited number of
factors to classify the KM technologies. In order to delineate the relationship between these
elements, the concept of ontology is applied. Ontology is an explicit specification of a
conceptualization,stated by Gruber (1993). One of its advantages is creation of a platform
for sharing knowledge, in particular, domain.
In the classifications proposed for the KM technologies, no formal language has been used.
In this study, however, the ontology of KM technologies is delineated via three factors
processes, strategies and growth stages of technologies in formal language.
Taking improper technologies in implementation of different phases of KM most often
wastes time, energy and other resources. Ontology of KM technologies proposes a proper
classification of these technologies in different phases, the proposed classifications are
compatible with KM strategies. As a result of the formal language used in the ontology,
it can be easily developed and updated and also help decision makers on the right choice of
KM technology.
2. Literature review
2.1 KM technologies
Today knowledge is perceived as a strategic necessity and the dominant paradigm
regards knowledge as a power. In current economy, knowledge has become an asset even
more valuable than land, labor and capital (Kumar Agarwal and Anwarul Islam, 2014).
Hence, in recent decades KM has gained critical importance. However, there is no
universal consensus on a unique definition of KM and researchers have provided
definitions from different aspects. Ngai and Chan (2005) regard KM as series of processes
that enables organizations to create, acquire, store, conserve and distribution of
knowledge within the organization. In the current study, we find Ngai and Chans
definition of more relevance with respect to our methodology.
KM can be considered as a cycle with different phases such as acquisition, creation,
codification, sharing, access, usage and reuse of knowledge. Kimiz Dalkir (2005), however,
combines different views of researchers about phases of KM cycle, such as Wiig (1993),
and Bukowitz and Williams (2000) and provides an integrated cycle with three
comprehensive phases:
(1) knowledge capture and/or creation;
(2) knowledge sharing and dissemination; and
(3) knowledge acquisition and application (Dalkir, 2005).
These phases are shown in Figure 1.
The power of technology to support KM phases is widely recognized. The amount of
knowledge and information to capture, store and share, the geographical distribution
of resources and consumers and dynamic development of information has the use of
technological tools indispensible (Lindvall et al., 2002, 2003; Chua, 2004).
A wide range of technologies that support KM or KM technologies exists, but the
problem is the selection of appropriate technology that can have desired effect on
KM processes and improve organizations performance. Given a broad range of
KM supporting technologies, the choice of the right KM technology is of critical
29
Knowledge
management
technologies

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