Updated: 7/7/06; 3:39:00 PM.
Connectivity: Spike Hall's RU Weblog
News, clips, comments on knowledge, knowledge-making, education, weblogging, philosophy, systems and ecology.

 Friday, November 29, 2002

Matt Mower and I (Spike Hall) Are Both Concerned:

... many intranets are a reflective tool rather than a creative one.

In this I mean that, quite often an intranet lags behind what an organisation does.  Documents will be put up, after the fact.  A department or project will create a view that must be updated and infrequently is.  Basically the intranet is an afterthought and not a living breathing part of the work of the organisation.  More like a gallery than a factory.

This seems to me to be dead wrong, but possibly a fact of life.

I am asking," Why?". So much is lost, i.e., the access to an accelerated group learning of principles and techniques necesssary to reach difficult group, department or organizational goals.

I can think of at several possibilities, for example:

1) not everyone is proficient at either the technology or the reflective documentation of thought that is involved in , say, klogging our way to a better future. Thus if the klogging is to be done it adds workflow to the technologist's day yet the technologist is not necessarily the 'reflective' sort so that the intranet klogging effort requires collaboration and training time be added before klog-based creation can occur. In short, it may be that the intraorganizational problems created by klogging are perceived to be greater than the benefits. AND/OR

2) Several forms of distrust: first---that others see one's thinking before it meets traditional specs for completeness and elegance and thus will cause loss of status. (intra-group distrust), second: the more obvious security concern--that if someone takes our notes then they could sell them to a competitor who could then (with a more massive assignment of person power-- picture MS) solve the problem sooner and thus get to copyright or patent sooner.(inter-group distrust)

[Connectivity: Spike Hall's RU Weblog]

Summary: In this entry I begin with tacit knowledge (from Ikujurio Nonaka) and relate it to (a) klogging and (b) klogging with a community of respondents

The following summary thanks to the Knowledgeboard summary article on Knowledge management Models: a state of the art .

Ikujurio Nonaka, a professor at Hitotusbashi University and the University of California at Berkeley, articulated a model of [base "]knowledge creation[per thou] in a series of articles and books dating from the early 1990s. The SECI (Socialization, Externalization, Combination, Internalization) model first appeared in 1991 and attained recognition as a useful and rigorous approach to describing the ways knowledge is generated, transferred and re-created in organizations. In brief, the model incorporates the following:

* Two forms of knowledge (tacit and explicit)

* An interaction dynamic (transfer)

* Three levels of social aggregation (individual, group, context)

* Four [base "]knowledge-creating[per thou] processes (socialization, externalization, combination and internalization).

The model proposes that a "knowledge-creating company" consciously facilitates the interplay of tacit and explicit forms of knowledge. This is accomplished through systems and structures, and a corporate culture, which facilitate the interaction of four knowledge-creating processes, per the following:

* Socialization: the sharing of tacit knowledge between individuals through joint activities, physical proximity.

* Externalization: the expression of tacit knowledge in publicly comprehensible forms.

* Combination: the conversion of explicit knowledge into more complex sets of explicit knowledge: communication, dissemination, systematization of explicit knowledge.

* Internalization: the conversion of externalized knowledge into tacit knowledge on an individual or organizational scale. The embodiment of explicit knowledge into actions, practices, processes and strategic initiatives.

Digging in:

Ikujurio's externalization of tacit knowledge appears on the face of it to describe what I was processing in Improved Weblogging: Seeds and Notes as I described my sense of progressive 'ownership' of an idea. However, I believe that what I said, and am coming to believe, is that there are layers of tacit which move from

(1)absolute ignorance (i.e., no connection to an idea at all), through

(2)some stirrings (caused, if we follow Nonaka's model, by transfer in a social context ) which are made up of fragmented pieces of just barely pre-verbal[this I would say is the first layer of tacit knowledge] understanding, through

3, 4, 5 ... n [self-reflexive recursive activity] until we have (n+1) a "linguified" statement that meets the knowledge-maker's criteria for public presentation, to

(n+2,n+3,n+4,n+5 ... n+i) which sequence is completed when originator [and collaborators? see below] agree that the inquiry (ala Dewey,see bottom of entry) is complete.

From stages n+2 on, I believe, acceleration and breadth of coverage will be markedly enhanced by the knowledge-maker's opening participation to a community of knowledge-making respondents.

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Spike Hall is an Emeritus Professor of Education and Special Education at Drake University. He teaches most of his classes online. He writes in Des Moines, Iowa.


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