Tools for Exploration and Exploitation Capability: Towards a Co-evolution of Organizational and Personal Knowledge Management Systems

By Ulrich Schmitt.

Published by The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management: Annual Review

Format Price
Published online: April 6, 2016 $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) has been envisaged as a crucial tool for the growing creative class of knowledge workers, but adequate technological solutions have not been forthcoming. The novel concept and PKM System, introduced in a series of prior publications and firmly rooted in design science research, provides the means for life-long learning, resourcefulness, creative authorship, and teamwork throughout an individual’s academic and professional life and for his/her role as contributor and beneficiary of organizational and societal performance. As such it opens up opportunities to de-centrally tackle Knowledge Management (KM) by employing grass roots, bottom-up, lightweight, affordable applications. Although this means departing from the centralized institutional top-down developments and strengthening individual sovereignty and personal capacities, it is not meant to be at the expense of Organizational KM Systems, but rather as the means to foster a fruitful co-evolution. This article’s aim is to make the settings and benefits of such a co-evolution more transparent. It portrays the PKM integration visually by aligning it to Earl’s Seven Schools of KM Framework and by exploring the potential benefits. One of the advantages of the meme-based PKM concept is that the exploring and the exploiting of the information and knowledge resources are far more effective and efficient than the current document-centric approach. Hence, better exploration (knowledge development) and exploitation (knowledge use) of their human capitals ought to benefit individuals and institutions alike by strengthening the fitness of knowledge workers and the ambidexterity of their employing organizations. Accordingly, a co-evolutionary PKM-OKM approach is able to provide a dynamic capability, which increases the capacity of an organization to purposefully create, extend, or modify its resource base—including tacit (attitude and leadership), explicit (knowledge bases, rules, and strategies), and encapsulated knowledge (products and services), as well as its wider ecosystem (involvement with the community).

Keywords: Personal Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management, Knowledge Society, Ambidextrous Organizations, Schools of KM, Knowledge Worker, Design Science Research, Traceability, Memes, Knowcations

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management: Annual Review, Volume 15, 2015, pp.23-47. Published online: April 6, 2016 (Article: Print (Spiral Bound)). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.164MB).

Prof. Ulrich Schmitt

Professor, University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa, Gaborone, Botswana, Botswana