Mapping the relationship between knowledge management and information architecture

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This dissertation defines knowledge in terms or traditional epistemological ideals and as a strategic resource. Knowledge management is defined in terms or the ability or organizations to manage knowledge as a strategic resource in order to gain all advantage from it. In the knowledge management framework, knowledge is presented as a continuum consisting of tacit, implicit and explicit knowledge. Tacit and implicit knowledge is managed through the acknowledgement of the social nature of knowledge. One method to achieve this is communities of practice. On the other end of the spectrum, explicit knowledge is very close in nature and character to information. Due to the expansion of available information resources the design and structure of information (explicit knowledge) for effective retrieval has become very important. Information architecture is a field that specializes in the design and structure of information for effective retrieval. Traditional information architecture tools such as metadata and subject classification address some of the issues, but experience difficulty in heterogeneous environments such as the Internet. Topic maps are considered as a possible solution to the concerns of metadata classification and subject based classification. Due to the extent and nature of the information recorded in a topic map, it becomes an information resource in itself. Topic maps also act as an enabling technology for knowledge management as it maps the complex relationships between concepts and include a range of information resources. The conclusion of this dissertation is the representation of a conceptual model based on the themes developed in this dissertation. The main advantage of the conceptual model is the clear and direct link between knowledge management and information architecture.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 106-115).