AllBestEssays.com - All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report
Search

Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration

Essay by   •  August 31, 2011  •  Case Study  •  4,903 Words (20 Pages)  •  1,538 Views

Essay Preview: Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration

Report this essay
Page 1 of 20

Communications of the Association for Information Systems (Volume13, 2004) 265-289 265

Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration by C. Wagner

WIKI: A TECHNOLOGY FOR CONVERSATIONAL

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND GROUP

COLLABORATION

Christian Wagner

Department of Information Systems

City University of Hong Kong

iscw@cityu.edu.hk

ABSTRACT

Wikis (from wikiwiki, meaning "fast" in Hawaiian) are a promising new technology that supports

"conversational" knowledge creation and sharing. A Wiki is a collaboratively created and

iteratively improved set of web pages, together with the software that manages the web pages.

Because of their unique way of creating and managing knowledge, Wikis combine the best

elements of earlier conversational knowledge management technologies, while avoiding many of

their disadvantages. This article introduces Wiki technology, the behavioral and organizational

implications of Wiki use, and Wiki applicability as groupware and help system software. The

article concludes that organizations willing to embrace the "Wiki way" with collaborative,

conversational knowledge management systems, may enjoy better than linear knowledge growth

while being able to satisfy ad-hoc, distributed knowledge needs.

Keywords: Wiki, knowledge management, conversational knowledge management, weblog,

groupware, group decision support system.

I. BACKGROUND

On May 19, 2003 the New York Times published an article under the heading "New Economy:

Businesses are starting to toy with the Wiki, an offbeat technology for fostering Web interaction"

[Cortese, 2003]. The article reflects the current view of Wikis, as a knowledge management tool

with significant potential impact, but little organizational acceptance at this time. Wikis are among

the newest of several conversational technologies with an impact as knowledge management

tools [Wagner et al., 2003].

Over the last several years, knowledge management gained increased attention as a source of

competitive advantage. Rick Thoman, past CEO of Xerox, a two-time winner of the MAKE (Most

Admired Knowledge Enterprises) Award, describes knowledge as the company's "life blood"

[Barth, 2000]. At the same time, companies are struggling with effectively managing knowledge.

A survey by Frappaolo and Wilson [2003] for instance shows that the majority of organizationally

relevant knowledge (68%) still does not find its way into information systems.

Conversational knowledge management, generally facilitated through discussion forums and online

communities, offered a model for low cost and high impact knowledge management, whether

in the form of communities of practice for industries (e.g., once famous VerticalNet's communities

266 Communications of the Association for Information Systems (Volume 14, 2004)265-289

Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration by C. Wagner

[Demers,2000]), or narrow discussion groups using Yahoo Groups [Schulte, 2002] or similar

means.

Over time, conversational technologies grew beyond listservs or web based discussion forums.

One of the newer technologies in this group is the Wiki, a collaborative tool that enables groups to

jointly create content in an almost "anarchic" fashion. Wikis and their potential impact on

knowledge management are the focus of this article. The questions guiding this exploration will

be "do Wikis matter?" and (if so) "why do Wikis matter?"

The article is organized as follows. Section II discusses conversational technologies and their

applicability to knowledge management. The characteristics and applicability for knowledge

management and collaboration tasks are described in Section III. Section IV explores the

organizational impact and potential hindrances to Wiki application. Section V draws conclusions

and outlines future research directions.

II. CONVERSATIONAL KNOWLEDGE CREATION

Conversational knowledge creation emerged as the most popular way for organizations to create

knowledge, largely in the context of online or virtual communities (e.g., [KPMG, 2003]). In

conversational knowledge creation, individuals create and share knowledge through dialog with

questions and answers. The Cluetrain Manifesto [Locke et al., 2000] strongly advocated this

concept of conversational exchanges by postulating, for example, that "markets are

conversations" (Table 1). The conversational model of knowledge creation is different from other

models, where knowledge is for instance created through abstraction or aggregation of

information, as in data or text mining.

Table 1. Cluetrain Manifesto Theses Related to

Conversational

...

...

Download as:   txt (36.4 Kb)   pdf (328 Kb)   docx (28.6 Kb)  
Continue for 19 more pages »
Only available on AllBestEssays.com
Citation Generator

(2011, 08). Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration. AllBestEssays.com. Retrieved 08, 2011, from https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/Wiki-A-Technology-for-Conversational-Knowledge-Management/9317.html

"Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration" AllBestEssays.com. 08 2011. 2011. 08 2011 <https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/Wiki-A-Technology-for-Conversational-Knowledge-Management/9317.html>.

"Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration." AllBestEssays.com. AllBestEssays.com, 08 2011. Web. 08 2011. <https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/Wiki-A-Technology-for-Conversational-Knowledge-Management/9317.html>.

"Wiki: A Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group Collaboration." AllBestEssays.com. 08, 2011. Accessed 08, 2011. https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/Wiki-A-Technology-for-Conversational-Knowledge-Management/9317.html.