Knowledge Management and Information Technology

Postgraduate seminar (2014/2015)

There exists a multitude of ideas and practices that may be subsumed under the heading of Knowledge Management (KM). The aim of the seminar is to discuss different approaches and concepts of knowledge and develop an understanding and appreciation of the rise of Knowledge Management and its relation to ICTs. Through lectures and student-led presentations intends the seminar to demonstrate that Knowledge Management is much more than an assemblage of (ever changing) technological tools that allow more people to collaborate in a faster and more pervasive fashion. Rather Knowledge Management is complex, and very often defined by social and organisational factors. Based on real life case studies will we explore how issues such as location, work practices, political or normative issues, and workarounds are instrinsinc to knowledge sharing and management activities.

Seminar aims and objectives:

The aim of the seminar is to encourage students to appreciate the complex nature of Knowledge Management and develop a critical understanding of the notions of knowledge, knowledge sharing and management. In order to do so students will be asked to apply theoretical perspectives to real world cases to examine and jointly discuss what Knowledge Management and Information Technologies can and cannot do.

After following this seminar students should be able to:

  • appreciate the history and development of Knowledge Management and develop an understanding of some of the key themes that have arisen;
  • develop, understand and evaluate many of the opportunities and limitations that arise from the use of information systems for managing knowledge in and across organisations;
  • have gained familiarity with a particular area of Knowledge Management through the application of theoretical concepts on a specific case study;
  • develop group competencies and an interest in team working;
  • synthesise the different elements of understanding in a verbal presentation and in an essay.

Schedule

  1. Introduction
  2. Lecture: Modes of Knowledge Production
  3. Lecture: Sharing Knowledge I: Communities of Practice
  4. Lecture: Sharing Knowledge II: Information Overload, the Filter Bubble and implications for large-scale knowledge management initiatives
  5. Lecture: Sociomaterial Approaches to Understanding Knowledge Management Systems
  6. Guest Lecture: Knowledge management, IT and the work place (Stefan Domanske)
  7. Guest Lecture: ENGAGE – an open data community platform (Evangelos Argyzoudis)
  8. Session on Academic Writing
  9. Guest Lecture: HINARI – access for developing countries to health research literature (Barbara Aronson)
  10. Student-led presentations
  11. Student-led presentations
  12. Student-led presentations
  13. Lecture: Conclusion, reflections, questions

External speakers

Evangelos Argyzoudis, senior R&D consultant, INTRASOFT S.A, Greece

Abstract — Open Data is considered a source of innovation and growth with potential for pan-European and global impact. The prospective re-use of Open Data by researchers, software developers, journalists and public administrators depends on the quality/relevance of the published datasets, but also the willingness of different stakeholders to collaborate, share knowledge and experiences. The ENGAGE platform (www.engagedata.eu) has resulted from the need to facilitate the re-use of Open (Government) Datasets and provides end users with the means to interact socially and to actively contribute to the improvement of dataset quality. The tools and methods used to trigger the desired user behaviour and the efforts to bootstrap a self-sustained user community will be described and discussed. ENGAGE is a collaborative project funded under the European Commission FP7 Programme

Short CV Mr. Argyzoudis’s professional experience is on implementing and managing IT projects for a number of EU IT service providers. His employment record involves R&D Consulting both in academic and industrial organisations, within the context of European funded projects. Mr. Argyzoudis joined INTRASOFT International as a Senior R&D Consultant with areas of expertise and focus ranging from Open (Government) Data, Semantic Interoperability and System Integration to Collaborative Platforms and Ambient Intelligence. Mr. Argyzoudis holds a MSc in Network Systems with Distinction and a BEng in Computer Systems Engineering, both from the University of Sunderland, UK.

Barbara Aronson, HINARI co-ordinator, World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland

Abstract — In wealthy countries, new technology has enabled us to communicate, work and manage our lives more quickly and conveniently, and has broadened the scope and reach of the services we depend on. In poor countries, new technology has made it possible to deliver services which never existed for most of the population, such as banking, telephones, and libraries in universities. Since 2001 the HINARI programme, set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) together with major publishers, enables the poorest countries to gain free or almost free access to one of the world’s largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Up to 13,000 journals (in 30 different languages), up to 29,000 e-books, and up to 70 other information resources are now available online to health institutions in more than 100 countries, areas and territories. In the guest lecture we will discuss some of the pertinent benefits and challenges of such a global Knowledge Management initiative. For example many thousands of health workers, teachers, students and researchers may benefit from access to health research literature and are enabled to contribute to improve world health. Challenges cover in particular cultural change management, political and organisational issues, and technical infrastructure demands.

Short CV — Ms. Aronson initiated the HINARI programme at WHO. She managed HINARI and coordinated the WHO Library until her retirement in 2008. She continues to work as Institution Management consultant with HINARI and her sister programmes AGORA, OARE and ARDI, collectively known as Research4Life. Barbara Aronson holds an MA in Library and Information Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Stefan Domanske, CIO, County Council Lüneburg

Abstract — Technical skills change the way we understand our daily work: As much as technical skills have evolved over the last ten years, so has the perception of an office job. IT managers are being confronted more often by the demands of users, which are familiar with user-friendly services such as Facebook or Dropbox, that can no longer be met with the traditional way of running a corporate IT. Landkreis Lüneburg’s IT department has responded to these challenges and equipped every workplace with collaboration and knowledge management tools, such as instant messaging and wiki-like databases. In the guest lecture you will learn how these tools shape the way people collaborate and get their work done, and how citizens can connect with government agencies.

Short CV Mr. Domanske is head of the IT department of Landkreis Lüneburg, the county’s administration unit. He has been involved in egovernment projects since the late 1990s. His professional experience bridges the gap between public administration, economics and computer science. Stefan Domanske holds a graduated degree in public administration as well as in business informatics.

 

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