Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A framework for evaluating knowledge-mapping tools

This month an article I co-authored with Wolf Huijsen and Marjan Grootveld, titled 'A framework for evaluating knowledge-mapping tools', was published in the Journal of Knowledge Management. Here's the abstract:
Abstract
Purpose
This article describes the Knowledge-Mapping Framework the authors designed based on their theoretical and practical research on knowledge mapping. It also shows the practical use of the Framework for companies interested in knowledge-mapping tools.

Methodology/Approach
In the first place the authors position their research in the context of knowledge management and knowledge-mapping research and practice. An example of their practical research on knowledge mapping is given as a preliminary step to describe their Knowledge-Mapping Framework. The use of this Framework is illustrated. Finally, the authors validate their Framework against a number of commercially available tools with knowledge-mapping functionality.

Findings
The authors found that their Framework is useful, insightful and robust when applied to new knowledge-mapping tools/functionality.

Research limitations/implications
The important issue how to embed knowledge-mapping tools in organizations is not considered to be in the scope of this article.

Practical implications
Based on concrete examples the authors illustrate the practical implications of their Knowledge-Mapping Framework for companies. The Framework can be used for defining knowledge-mapping tool requirements, the assessment and comparison of commercial tools, and the assessment of available knowledge in an organization.

Originality/value of paper
Knowledge mapping and its use have been a research issue for some time. Companies have also adopted knowledge-mapping tools to support and stimulate knowledge sharing in their organizations and to help employees find the expertise they are looking for. But no research has been done on how to help companies decide what kind of knowledge-mapping tool they need or how any tools they already have can be combined in a knowledge-mapping tool. This article describes a unique and new Framework the authors devised to help companies do just that.
Samuel

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