Applying a Knowledge Evaluation Framework in the Nigerian Public Sector

Ejeh, Patrick and Hall, Lynne (2018) Applying a Knowledge Evaluation Framework in the Nigerian Public Sector. 19th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2018). (In Press)

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Abstract

Effective knowledge management requires available, complete knowledge that can be readily accessed when undertaking organisational processes and functions. In most organisations in developing countries, knowledge is frequently paper-based, however, there is increasing digital provision. The Nigerian public sector aims to use Information Technology to manage digital knowledge and, in doing so, improve organisational performance. To streamline digitalisation, existing knowledge used by staff in fulfilment of their duties could be digitised. Before digitising, we created an approach to assess existing knowledge, a five-stage Knowledge Evaluation Framework. This used task decomposition to identify and assess knowledge use in task fulfilment, with interviews, task walkthroughs and observation used to gather task data. The framework merged established approaches including Hierarchical Task Analysis, Skills-Rules-Knowledge Framework and Swimming Lane Sequence Diagrams to diagrammatically represent knowledge use in tasks. Using these diagrams, knowledge walkthroughs assessed knowledge availability, completeness and correctness in the Nigerian public sector reviewing the documents identified as the knowledge sources. The final stage, outcome assessment, focuses on the typical results of task fulfilment reviewing historical data from completed activities. The Knowledge Evaluation Framework was successfully applied in the Nigerian Public Sector, with tasks decomposed and knowledge tasks, actors and sources identified. Staff believed that knowledge was available and of high quality, however, contrary to these expectations in the knowledge walkthroughs we found that knowledge was often missing, obsolete or incorrect. Further, we found that whilst tasks may be knowledge-based, typically staff in the Nigerian public sector used their own, implicit “Guess Knowledge” rather than accessing organisational knowledge. The outcome assessment highlighted that there were significant problems with inappropriate, often guess knowledge use resulting in project delays and increased costs. Use of the Knowledge Evaluation Framework enabled us to explore existing knowledge provision and in doing so, to identify that there are significant knowledge gaps requiring knowledge creation. In addition, we identified that cultural change is needed, with knowledge valued and used rather than largely ignored. These findings have significant implications for the future design of a knowledge management system and highlight the potential of this method to explore knowledge use in an organisation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Computing > Human-Computer Interaction
Computing
Divisions: Faculty of Computer Science
Depositing User: Lynne Hall
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 08:53
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 08:53
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/9686

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