Rescuing endangered knowledge : a systems approach
Author(s)Ritchie, Shawn W., 1965-
Woodie C. Flowers.
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This research involves the identification and definition of"Endangered Knowledge" and outlines a tool that a firm can use to identify, capture, and reutilizes endangered knowledge. Endangered knowledge (EK) is valuable knowledge firms acquire during product development that has a high potential to be erased from a firm's memory. Two primary factors contribute to endangered knowledge. First, the firm does not believe the knowledge has future value, or does not take the time to correctly assess the value of the knowledge. Product development teams are usually under a great deal of time and financial pressures, and once a particular piece of knowledge has been acquired and applied to a specific process, it is quickly discarded. Second, an individual in a firm may realize that a piece of knowledge could have value to their team or another team in the future, but have no system in place which will enable them to effectively store and communicate that knowledge. In both cases, the knowledge is lost, ultimately costing the firm time and money to replace the lost learning. This paper can be broken up into four sections. The first section includes an introduction to endangered knowledge and provides two case studies where different product development teams wasted time and money because they were unable to access knowledge acquired by other members in their firm. The second section defines the terminology, (knowledge vs. information, learning vs. teaching, transfer vs. transform) and highlights knowledge management (KM) initiatives in existence today. The third section outlines five essential steps a knowledge management system must address in order to be effective. The final section introduces a new methodology product development teams can use to capture and reuse, or "rescue" endangered knowledge.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 1999.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 80-81).
DepartmentSystem Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
System Design and Management Program