A comparative study of the business value of computer-based mapping tools in knowledge management

Gebhardt, Johan Wilhelm Ludwig (2008-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the past decade or two companies started to realise that competitive advantage is not only achieved by optimising their business value chain, but also in managing the knowledge in the company. This led to the development of different knowledge management models and to millions of dollars being spent on knowledge management implementations across the world. Although there were huge successes, a large number of initiatives were spectacular failures - believed to be mainly caused by the linear method of capturing and presenting knowledge. Computer-based mapping tools is a new generation of personal computer (PC) based tools that allow people to present knowledge graphically. Since the focus of most research into computer-based mapping tools has been on the educational use of mapping tools, the focus of this study will be on the business use of these tools. Thus a number of common, off-the-shelf computer-based mapping tools were evaluated to determine whether they can add business value. From the evaluation a decision matrix was developed to assist knowledge workers in selecting the best tool for a specific application. The primary activities of the knowledge value chain model were investigated to select a series of business activities where the use of computer-based mapping tools could possibly generate more business value in the execution of the business activity. These activities were then measured against a set of criteria that was developed in order to evaluate the different computer-based mapping tools. It was found that the selected software applications could be clearly separated based upon their theoretical and philosophical backgrounds into concept mapping tools and mind mapping tools. It was further found that the possible business value that could be derived through the use of these tools is more dependent on the selection of the correct type of tool, than on the selection of a specific software package. Lastly it was found that concept mapping tools could be used across a broader spectrum of business activities. The research also reached the conclusion that the use of concept mapping tools will possibly add more value to a business than the use of mind mapping software.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gedurende die afgelope dekade of wat het maatskappye al meer begin besef dat hulle mededingingsvoordeel nie net geleë is in hoe goed hulle die besigheid se waardeketting kan optimiseer nie, maar dat die kennis in die maatskappy ook beter bestuur moet word. Dit het tot gevolg gehad dat 'n aansienlike hoeveelheid kennis bestuursmodelle ontwikkel is en dat miljoene dollar gespandeer is op die implementering van kennis bestuurstelsels. Ten spyte van groot suksesse wat behaal is, was daar ook totale mislukkings. Die vermoede bestaan dat een van die redes vir die mislukkings die liniêre manier is waarop kennis vasgevang en aangebied is. Rekenaar-gebaseerde karteringspakkette is 'n nuwe generasie van persoonlike rekenaar programmatuur wat gebruikers in staat stel om kennis grafies voor te stel. Die meeste navorsing oor die gebruik van rekenaar-gebaseerde karteringspakkette het egter op die opvoedkundige aspek daarvan gefokus. In hierdie navorsing val die fokus eerder op die besigheidsgebruik van sodanige gereedskap. 'n Aantal algemeen beskikbare, van-die-rak pakkette is ge-evalueër om vas te stel of hulle waarde tot 'n besigheid kan toevoeg. Vanuit hierdie evaluering is In keuse-matriks saamgestel om kenniswerkers in staat te stel om die beste pakket vir 'n spesifieke besigheidsaktiwiteit te kies. Die primêre aktiwiteite van die kennis waardeketting model is ondersoek ten einde 'n aantal besigheidsaktiwiteite te kan selekteer wat moontlik meer waarde tot die besigheid kan toevoeg deur die gebruik van rekenaar-gebaseerde karteringspakkette. Die geselekteerde aktiwiteite is gemeet teen 'n reeks kriteria wat ontwikkel is om die verskillende rekenaar-gebaseerde karteringspakette teen mekaar op te weeg. Die navorsing het bevind dat die geselekteerde programmatuur pakkette hoofsaaklik in twee groepe val op grond van hulle teoretiese en filosofiese funderings, naamlik konsepkaarte en gedagtekaarte. Verder is vasgestel dat meer besigheidswaarde ontsluit word deur die keuse van die regte tipe programmatuur vir 'n spesifieke aanwending as deur die keuse van In spesifieke programmatuur pakket. Laastens is bevind dat konsepkaarte oor 'n wyer verspreiding van besigheidsaktiwiteite gebruik kan word. Eventueel kan afgelei word dat die gebruik van konsepkaarte meer waarde tot 'n besigheid sal toevoeg as die gebruik van gedagtekaarte.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18151
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