Design science research for personal knowledge management system development - revisited

Schmitt, Ulrich (2016)

CITATION: Schmitt, U. 2016. Design science research for personal knowledge management system development - revisited. Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 19:345-379.

The original publication is available at https://www.informingscience.org

Article

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The article presents Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) as an overdue individualized as well as a collaborative approach for knowledge workers. Designing a PKM-supporting system, however, resembles a so-called “wicked” problem (ill-defined; incomplete, contradictory, changing requirements, complex interdependencies) where the information needed to understand the challenges depends on upon one’s idea for solving them. Accordingly, three main areas are attended to. Firstly, in dealing with a range of growing complexities, the notion of Popper’s Worlds is applied as three distinct spheres of reality and further expanded into six digital ecosystems (technologies, extelligence, society, knowledge worker, institutions, and ideosphere) that not only form the basis for the PKM System Concept named ‘Knowcations’ but also form a closely related Personal Knowledge Management for Development (PKM4D) framework detailed in a separate dedicated paper. Reflecting back on a United Nations scenario of knowledge mass production (KMP) over time, the complexities closely related to the digital ecosystems and the inherent risks of today’s accelerating attention-consuming over-abundance of redundant information are scrutinized, concluding in a chain of meta-arguments favoring the idea of the PKM concept and system put forward. Secondly, in light of the digital ecosystems and complexities introduced, the findings of a prior article are further refined in order to assess the PKM concept and system as a potential General-Purpose-Technology. Thirdly, the development process and resulting prototype are verified against accepted general design science research (DSR) guidelines. DSR aims at creating innovative IT artifacts (that extend human and social capabilities and meet desired outcomes) and at validating design processes (as evidence of their relevance, utility, rigor, resonance, and publishability). Together with the incorporated references to around thirty prior publications covering technical and methodological details, a kind of ‘Long Discussion Case’ emerges aiming to potentially assist IT researchers and entrepreneurs engaged in similar projects.

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