Given the lip service often paid by the technology publications to the more critical strategic, process-related, social and human elements of expertise management, this original proof of the interview of Dr. Yogesh Malhotra conducted by Debra Dagostino for CIO Insight Magazine will be of interest to our worldwide community members. Enjoy!
Expertise Management: New Myths and Old Realities
Don't get overly confused by similar sounding acronyms such as expertise location management (ELM) systems, knowledge management systems, electronic yellow pages, corporate yellow pages, or the good old fashioned 'directory.' At the very basic functional level, they are all essentially same: means for storing and sharing specific data and information for a specific audience. Also, at the same functional level, regardless of the name given to them, the same issues of user motivation and commitment essentially determine their success or failure. User commitment and user motivation are the core issues that will ultimately determine if high quality data, information, and knowledge are shared or used or are even created to begin with.
IN RETROSPECTIVE: New Myths and Old Realities. See, for example the 2001 survey of Knowledge Management Practices and Technologies from CIO Insight. Read up on the practices, systems, and technologies. In particular, carefully read the last section about 'Objections' to KM. These are really the key challenges responsible for failure of prior technologies and why other technologies that don't address those challenges will also fail. Then... reflect for a moment after you encounter a new acronym (such as ELM), is it really new or we have already seen this earlier. Also, consider: Why did the 'old' not deliver on its promise? Is the 'new' really so new or is it the same 'old' thing? Let the vendor or analyst respond to these questions in plain and simple terms. And then think if what is new really matters for what you are trying to achieve. Finally, remember that the difference that makes sense for your business performance is the only real difference that matters for you regardless of the label! Almost all other surveys share the same common finding about failure of technologies in managing people and process issues, but this one will suffice as one such example.
CIO Insight Cover Story on Expertise Management: Citing Dr. Yogesh Malhotra of the Global Risk Management Network and Global Risk Management Network Resources on Knowledge Sharing and Expertise Management. (PDF Version)
Expertise Management and Knowledge Management: New Myths and Old Realities: Abridged text of the edited interview of the Global Risk Management Network published in CIO Insight.
Dr. Yogesh Malhotra’s Interview with the CIO Insight Magazine, July 2004
My interest is in knowing about expertise location systems (such as those offered by Ask Me, Tacit, Participate, etc.). The focus is on the trend and whether or not it's a viable new approach to knowledge management, which has pretty much become a dirty word in the IT world at this point. That said, I would appreciate if you could provide some insights on this topic.
It is important to distinguish between the long-term trends and short-term fads or hyperbole. There have been many philosophical discussions about differences between data, information, knowledge and wisdom. However, understanding about pragmatic relevance of such distinctions is scarce. Given the trendy-ness of the IT solutions, often hyped by vendors as easy solutions for managing knowledge, KM has had somewhat of a backlash in the IT sector in the United States. The hype about artificial intelligence and expert system technologies and their potential for sense making in some academic and analyst segments in the USA also shares the responsibility for the above backlash.
However, a broad worldwide review of KM across multiple industry and government sectors across countries of the world shows sustained long term and growing interest. The key contrast is in terms of holistic understanding of KM as distinct from IT and data management that have been the domain of information technologies until now. This issue relates to your first question and is important. Some IT analysts have often 'pushed' the same old IT and related technologies under the fancy label of KM. However, in most countries across Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and Africa, a broad based interest in KM focuses on holistic understanding of people, processes, and technologies. In this perspective people and processes are considered equally important, and perhaps more important, within the strategic and competitive contexts. Therefore, the very essence of what various IT systems can do in the context of KM begins and ends with people and processes.
Specifically, IT systems for KM - unlike transaction-focused systems - "depend" upon potential users to make their use. In absence of lack of motivation, commitment, or uptake of the users to search and use knowledge and share their knowledge with others such systems just cannot function. Also, such knowledge creation, use, renewal, and sharing processes have to occur within the strategic context of performance outcomes.
The key question at the beginning of any KM quest is: Why do we need it, what are its expected performance outcomes? We are referring here to strategic execution of relevant goals, objectives, and deliverables? The next question is: how can we inculcate the right culture, commitment, and motivation that are necessary for sustained knowledge creation, use, renewal, and sharing to occur. The final question is what specific technology or technologies can best serve these purposes. For any technology choice, it is important to consider not only what process and people performance issues are relevant today, but also how they will be adapted and scaled tomorrow. Therefore, any technology decision should NOT constrain the future needs for adapting the system to enterprise's strategic needs and what people are willing and able to deliver. Therefore strategic execution should guide what people 'should' do and reconcile it with what people 'could' do. This is critical for reducing the 'gap' between performance outcomes achieved and original targets set based upon related IT investments.
Why has knowledge management failed to live up to its promise? Is it a technology issue or a cultural one, or something else entirely?
KM in the United States, particularly the breed of KM sold as 'silver bullets' by the IT vendors and analysts has failed to live up to its promise. It is not surprising at all. Why does one see similar percentages of failures across various kinds of KM-IT systems? Consider BPR, CRM, or other IT systems - if these can be considered as 'just' IT systems - or consider various types of KM-IT systems in private and public sectors. We often read about 70%-80% failure rates for many such systems across both types of sectors. IT-focused KM has failed to live up to its promise in the USA because of the oversold expectations about what 'out of the box' IT solutions can deliver. In fact, most business and IT experts have now come to understand that despite or inspite of the hyperbole of IT vendors and analysts, procuring the IT system is just the beginning of the process. Successful enterprises and managers now realize that the old process of getting and customizing IT solutions for 'static' performance targets does not work. Nor does trying to force fit IT-KM solutions on existing people and process related problems yield anything but failure. Success of most KM technologies is dependent upon the socio-psychological context in which they are appropriated, used, misused, or abused by the users. It is equally dependent upon the strategic context of performance outcomes within which such use connnects to organizational metrics for performance. Given the dynamics of the changing competitive and environmental contexts as well as evolving technology and business practices, this makes the process all the more interesting. This also answers your question about why many KM system implementations fail. They fail, because the major challenges are in terms of implementing and sustaining KM systems rather than in identifying or procuring technologies at any given point in time.
Hence, it is neither technology nor culture issue only, it is an issue of creating a social community and also understanding how such community can offer sustainable value propositions for the participants and the community facilitator.
How do services such as expertise management stand to fill the void left by KM?
Your question reminds me of Mark Twain's comment adapted to read that the news about the void left by KM are greatly exaggerated. KM seems to be doing quite well in most countries around the world except for in the USA where it has suffered from oversold expectations and hyperbole of the IT vendors and IT analysts. A quick search on Google shows 3,070,000 entries for "Knowledge Management", not counting the various synonyms and related phrases. The first search on "Expertise Management" shows a conference document that defines "Expertise Management" in terms of its key focus on "the human components, the cognitive, social, cultural and organizational aspects of knowledge work, as well as information storage and retrieval issues."
Expertise management IT solutions seem to be more of a fad rather than a sustainable KM phenomena. This needs some reflection. Expertise management has been there since decades, if not centuries, when the era of expertise and specialization started. We saw a different type of specialization early in the last century with scientific Taylorism and industrial engineering. We are observing a growing need for different type of 'multidimensional' expertise in the recent era. As apparent from the above discussions, most decisions that have strategic implications, depend upon people, and can benefit from available technologies. More importantly, most new discoveries and advancements are now occurring outside the 'stovepipe' and 'silo' mentalities of business, science, and technology specializations of the last century, but across their intersections. Information and communication technologies become an interesting an important part of realizing many of these, however they critically depend upon understanding of the applied context. Knowledge is not stored in technologies, but is realized in execution, application, and action. The more you move into unstructured and non-routine activities, it is more so. Traditional information processing and decision-making capabilities were suited to routine and structured contexts of knowledge applications. Many of the advanced knowledge capabilities depend upon questioning or rethinking the status quo rather than taking a 'me too' approach based on imitating others. Often the question is not of playing the game, but of understanding when any game is loosing its value, and redefining the game.
Let me delve a bit deeper into what constitutes expertise, gives it value, and how such expertise gets shared. Location of expertise is in the mutual shared context of those who seek that expertise and those who need such expertise. In absence of such mutual shared context, expertise may exist but it it is neither perceived as valuable or relevant. Expertise is located in the mutual frame of reference of the two parties conducting the exchange. The more shared this frame of reference is - in terms of problems, solutions, and their application contexts - more efficient and effective is the exchange. Lack of expertise seems to result from the prejudices and biases that may block recognizing expertise even if it is situated right next to you. Developing and acquiring expertise requires a sense of humility and a sense of balance. Regardless of the topical focus, humility is needed for recognizing that even if we know what is there to know, we need to continuously question, and renew it. Balance is required for being open to one's own convictions about what is there to know while being open to the strongest counter-perspectives that serve the purpose of devil's advocate. Proactively seeking different and alternative points-of-view is an asset in this frame of reference rather than a liability in this perspective.
However, most IT solutions have been designed for convergence of questions and related 'right' answers and cannot 'enable' such divergence. Therefore, implementation of IT-KM solutions with keen sensitivity to (socio-psychological) needs of people is important. Also, it is critical to continuously assess such expertise in the context of what are the expected outcomes of strategic execution. If strategy demands adaptation, expected outcomes change and the logic of the KM systems has to adapt accordingly for sustainable performance.
In summary, I do not see any void left by KM. I see it as growing and thriving and encompassing most aspects of expertise management.
Although there are a number of vendors in the expertise location space, the market is still extremely small ($100 million according to Gartner). What is the reason for the slow adoption rate? Will companies catch on?
It is a question of perspective. Any business decision maker must check what percentage of such IT-centered 'predictions' by IT analysts really map out as forecasted. My article forthcoming in the Journal of Knowledge Management deconstructs how similar 'narrowly focused' predictions about 'Real Time Enterprise' systems have not really panned out. You will find its electronic version at:
That article is a sequel to my prior piece Why KM Systems Fail and expands on some very applied issues pertinent to this discussion. You may find it relevant as it questions some so called 'trends' that can be better characterized as 'fads'.
Given the recent state of the IT analyst industry (on the heels of the turmoil in financial analyst industry), I would take any such projection with a grain of salt. These two industries are interesting examples of why expertise location industry (including such analysts) is facing renewed challenges. One key challenge is that most of the information provided by them is now commoditized. Therefore the premium is more on wisdom and knowledge than upon information or data.
A review of the state of IT analyst industry would show that their traditional competitive advantage has been eroded as increasing and convenient access has become available to primary experts. Such primary experts were the source of secondary data and research for which the analysts served an important role as intermediaries. Recently, the analyst industries are trying to evolve beyond being just purveyors of 'research' to getting more involved in execution. After all, value of any such 'research' can only be judged in its application. Having said so, I think that analysts would increasingly need to be better informed based upon first-hand experiential understanding of the 'big picture' and the application context. A quick reading on the latest incarnation of IT under the acronym of 'ELM' aka Expertise Location Management, raises important questions. Is the technology really new given that such e-mail scanning systems that categorize and archive messages in databases have existed for at least 2-3 years? Is the application new given that management of expertise is one of the most recognized facet of KM highlighted in most prior bestsellers on KM? Or, are the outcomes new given that storage, archival, and search technologies that provide similar level of functionality have already existed? Therefore the key question is: What is new about the new acronym, except for the label itself?
I am not surprised at new 'labels' being affixed on known technologies, systems, processes, and outcomes again and again. Before KM became the rage, many top executives who were active in BPR, quality management, and other similar areas contacted me. They asked: if KM is the next big thing and if they should call whatever they produced KM. My response was that giving a different name to a failing product, process, or system cannot create new value. I emphasized that they need to focus on delivering innovative customer value propositions that their customers want rather than re-labeling existing products and services with new acronyms. Alas, the same process repeated again few years later after many companies had already started calling whatever they were delivering or selling as KM. Now facing the backlash against KM, something of their own making, they were in the search for the next fancy label to put on whatever they were trying to sell. Let us take the latest acronym of ELM systems, here are some 'big picture' issues we need to assess if it is just another fad, or something more interesting.
First, as noted earlier expertise has been traditionally located not in online databases, but in experts across various parts of society - industry, research, science, business, and academia. As we speak many of the structures of these parts are undergoing changes primarily around evolution of work and organizations. The global shift to information-based knowledge economies and knowledge societies is challenging the wisdom of some experts of the last eon. It is also creating new experts who learned mostly by experiencing and doing since such post-modernist perspective has yet to find its way in formal education structures traditionally relied upon for developing base level expertise. Also, unprecedented inter-connectedness of the global village is heralding some interesting trends for the global markets for specialized expertise valued broadly by the market forces.
In my view, it is difficult to demarcate, as Gartner has done, where the expertise location market begins and ends. One would consider most consulting firms in different business technology games in the expertise location game. So would be many free lancers, cooperatives, associations, and societies who represent specific types of expertise. In a related perspective, all coaching, training, and education activities would qualify for the expertise development and management sector. Of course, I am referring to specific social entities that are bounded by specific social contexts of what constitutes expertise and how it may be accessed, valued, and applied. Specific information and communication technologies when applied in many such contexts could possibly result in such purveyors of expertise.
As noted earlier, the notion of expertise lies in the mutual shared context of those who seek that expertise and those who need such expertise. Also, as I said before, in absence of such mutual shared context, expertise may exist but it cannot do very much. Therefore, many "vendors" in this space have a challenge in developing the socio-psychological affiliation of the experts or of those who want to access their expertise. I have seen some plays that have been trying to play on the margin using the 'talent scout' model and matching many highly educated or professionally qualified professionals with relevant opportunities. Similarly, since mid-1990s, I have seen online plays that attempted to play the role of matchmakers for so called experts and those seeking their expertise. However, the challenge for most expertise location and management plays is that what anchors the experts or those who seek their expertise to the "vendor" or the market maker beyond the first transaction. Similar problems exist in terms of the assessment of expertise and the balancing of interests and concerns of all concerned parties. Other problems relate to the measurement and pricing of specific expertise before it is delivered or applied as well as the development of trust and relationship necessary for doing any 'transactions'. These are all interesting problems that pose challenges unlike the commoditized tangible artifacts one may find listed in many online catalogs that are more adaptable to the transaction logic most companies are already familiar with.
Many companies have already developed their internal expertise location markets in terms of corporate yellow pages while many organizations also maintain their own rolodexes of external experts. Many professional publications and magazines publish profile of experts in their relevant business technology sector periodically. Many institutions and corporations often do studies of top experts and sources in specific areas of business technology research and practice. Similarly, many venture capitalists are often valued less for the financial investments and more for their rolodexes that can provide to scarce but highly valued expertise.
Incidentally, a recent study by Leonard J. Ponzi of IBM published in the 2004 American Society for Information Society and Technology monograph titled Knowledge Management Lessons Learned: What Works and What Doesn't (Edited by Michael E. D. Koenig and T. Kanti Srikantaiah) reviews the development of the Knowledge Management discipline over the past decade and concludes that: "Knowledge management is one emerging discipline that remains strong and does not appear to be fading."
Is this the next "wave" of knowledge management, or do you feel that expertise location services belong more under the HR umbrella with human capital management programs and the like?
As noted earlier, I do not see expertise location as a long lasting trend. It seems more of a 'fad' just like many other information and communication technologies (and companies) that are attempting to fulfill similar needs for matching the supply and demand of data and information. In contrast, I see KM as a growing and thriving phenomenon that encompasses most aspects of expertise management discussed above. Most countries and nations and governments are increasingly cognizant of KM as a much broad based societal phenomena critical to human development and advancement to the knowledge economy. You will find a more detailed discussion on these issues in my recent expert background paper sponsored by the United Nations that was the basis for the keynote I delivered at the inaugural meeting of their KM Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the New York headquarters. It is accessible online at:
The complete report of the meeting on worldwide national focus on knowledge economies and knowledge societies is accessible at:
Your question is particularly interesting given that you have shared some interesting names of companies that emphasize tacit knowledge and participation in this space. This portends growing awareness about the people issues relevant to success of the technology platforms. The people issues are of course relevant to the realization of expertise management besides the strategic issues. Some of my recently published articles on both people and process issues that offer a balanced focus on the socio-psychological and strategic perspective of IT-KM are accessible at:
If this may be considered as a next "wave" of knowledge management, one must be cognizant of many other simultaneous "waves". One needs to keep in perspective that as we see more experimentation and with evolving business practices and technologies, many more such waves are in the future. Regardless, one needs to realize that KM seems to be more long lasting phenomena going beyond any such waves. Of course, an apparent problem is in terms of the various definitions and interpretations of KM, many of which had a short shelf life. More discussion on this is available in the aforementioned article forthcoming in the Journal of Knowledge Management (JKM). The same article also proposes my interpretation of KM that has been adopted and is in use by worldwide governments and corporations. As obvious, I see KM more in terms of the strategic outcomes that are sought and treat both technology and people issues as critical to realization of successful and sustainable KM. More discussion on this issue is in the JKM article.
Where do you see this market going in the future? For example, I can envision expertise location services being tied to performance management programs as well as e-learning and training programs, to help companies determine where their knowledge gaps are. I also imagine this as a great way for companies to deal with RFPs and build comprehensive virtual teams. And of course, I see these services being seamlessly woven into specific applications (supply chain, sales, etc.). Your thoughts?
With increasing interest in high-value knowledge needs one would see tremendous growth in the market for expertise development, location, and management. Having said that, one may suggest that the "location" aspect is more problematic given that you cannot constrain individual experts in exclusive relationship. Often, what gives such experts the expertise to begin with is their experiential insights that are based upon multiple relationships across different business, technology, and economic sectors. Expertise location certainly seems relevant to various types of formal and informal e-learning, training, and coaching possibilities. It may be related to performance management in the sense that external expertise can be brought to benchmark internal expertise. Again, this seems natural progression of what has already been happening over the past decade. Many US companies have been benchmarking their internal IT operations with external vendors. Often, in many cases, such expertise location has resulted into major outsourcing projects and more recently into major off shoring of most commoditized, routinized, and structured knowledge work flows and business processes. Having seen some of the most bureaucratic modes of handling simple RFPs by some of the largest companies (that will remain unnamed), I am not so certain about large corporations’ use of expertise location. Most large corporations often tend to rely upon their 'tried and tested' experts that are already on their internal rolodexes. In contrast, many US corporations (and more so in IT) already make use of external expertise to create on-demand virtual teams and virtual enterprises. Yes, I am referring to outsourcing and off shoring that have been becoming increasingly popular of late among the U.S. companies.
When you relate knowledge management with business process workflows and project management, there seem to be potential possibilities for interweaving expertise management with specific enterprise applications such as Supply Chain Management or Sales Contact Management. Again, the technologies that can help in developing such relationships already exist. Again, the primary challenges that seem to lie ahead are in terms of the strategic, socio-psychological, and cultural issues. A cover story on Knowledge Management (Knowledge Management: The Supply Chain Nerve Center (Interview with Inside Supply Management, Institute for Supply Management) published in the membership magazine of the Institute of Supply Management is directly relevant to this concern and it is available at:
Also, a research report that was commissioned by Intel Corporation delves deeper into these issues and is accessible online at:
PROPHETIC WISDOM ON EXPERTISE MANAGEMENT AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
Prophetic wisdom that will guide you in managing your expertise as well as expertise of others.
Just like a picture can equal to a thousand words, the pictures these single lines of wisdom evoke in our minds may be as important as reading tomes of research in print or online. This wisdom also suggests the challenges in devising new technologies or technology-based 'solutions' for managing human expertise and wisdom.
"Even when the experts all agree, they may well be wrong." - Bertrand Russell
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." - Buddha
"Imagination is more important than Knowledge." - Albert Einstein
"Some men see things the way they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream things that never were and ask, 'Why not?'" - George Bernard Shaw
"It is not the strongest species that will survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin
"The real problem is not whether machines think, but whether men do." - B.F. Skinner
"All of our present interpretations of the universe are subject to revision or replacement... there are always some alternative constructions available to choose among in dealing with the world." - George Kelly
"Solutions...are a temporary event, specific to a context, developed through the relationship of persons and circumstances." - Margaret Wheatley
"Now that knowledge is taking the place of capital as the driving force in organizations worldwide, it is all too easy to confuse data with knowledge and information technology with information." - Peter Drucker
"Knowledge resides in the user and not in the collection [of information]. It is how the user reacts to a collection of information that matters." - Charles West Churchman
"The wise see knowledge and action as one." - Stafford Beer quoting Bhagvad-Gita
"From a management point of view, the current division of human knowledge into disciplines is managerially stupid and an often evil design of science, which blocks off inquiry into critical issues because the issues don't fit into the disciplines." - Charles West Churchman
"Access to more information and more advanced decision aids does not necessarily make decision makers better informed or more able to decide." - Hedberg, B. & Jonsson, S.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the ways of the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, progress depends on unreasonable men." - George Bernard Shaw
"I find more and more executives less and less well informed if only because they believe that the data on the computer printouts are ipso facto information." - Peter Drucker
"Managers are not confronted with problems that are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consist of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes ... managers do not solve problems: they manage messes." - Russell Ackoff
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it--and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit on a hot stove lid again--and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore." - Mark Twain
"In the period ahead of us, more important than advances in computer design will be the advances we can make in our understanding of human information processing - of thinking, problem solving, and decision making." - Herbert Simon
"Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers..." - Richard Bach
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." - Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance." - Confucius
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F Kennedy
"Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge." - Kahlil Gibran
"Through zeal, knowledge is gotten, through lack of zeal, knowledge is lost; let a man who knows the double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow." - Buddha
"Knowledge must be gained by ourselves. Mankind may supply us with the facts; but the results, even if they agree with previous ones, must be the work of our mind." - Benjamin Disraeli
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius
"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." - Oscar Wilde
"An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them." - Werner Heisenberg
"Failure is only opportunity to more intelligently begin again." - Henry Ford
"But human experience is usually paradoxical, that means incongruous with the phrases of current talk or even current philosophy." - T.S. Eliot
BOOKS & ARTICLES RELATED TO EXPERTISE MANAGEMENT AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
Besides the books listed below, I also recommend other books and articles published by Peter Drucker, Chris Argyris, Sumantra Ghoshal & Christopher Bartlett, Peter Senge, Dorothy Leonard, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Wanda Orlikowski, Carla O' Dell, Karl Sveiby, Verna Allee and selected works of complexity experts such as Brian Arthur, Ralph Stacey, Paul Romer, and Kevin Kelly, management scholars such as West Churchman, Russell Ackoff, Hedberg & Jonsson, Clyde Holsapple, George Huber, Brian R. Gaines and socio-psychologists such as Edward Deci, Jerome Bruner, and, George Kelly. References to several of these works are found in the articles contained in the first online full-text book listed below.
Global Risk Management Network's Book on Knowledge Management (KMBook.com and ITUse.com)
[This is the only book - a compilation of full text articles - that I know of which brings together the various people, process, and technology related issues listed under Prophetic Wisdom, relates to works of many authors listed above, and many other known authors working on these themes.]
The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation
by Ikujiro Nonaka, Hirotaka Takeuchi
[A must read for everyone. Some emphasis on theory and philosophy, which is good if one has or can acquire the taste and patience for acquiring 'complex' expertise.]
Working Knowledge by Thomas H. Davenport, Laurence Prusak
[The classic that laid out the people, technology, and process aspects of managing and sharing knowledge with specific focus on technology based information systems.]
Information Ecology: Mastering the Information and Knowledge Environment
[This is another interesting read that influenced thinking underlying my article published in the UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, on how organizations can advance beyond Information Ecology to Knowledge Ecology.]
Cultivating Communities of Practice by Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, William M. Snyder
[This text is acquiring the status of a classic in cultivating communities of practice around knowledge sharing and expertise management.]
The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff, James Maxmin
[Perhaps its sub-title should read how more self-determined humans are shaping the demand for expertise management and knowledge sharing in new workspaces and knowledge markets.]
Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations by Thomas A. Stewart
[Another classic that raised interesting questions and issues about value of information and knowledge and the understanding about intellectual capital.]
Good to Great by Jim Collins
[This business best seller has interesting insights into managing the technology and people aspects of expertise management and more importantly connecting these to performance issues.]
Creating Value with Knowledge: Insights from IBM Institute for Business Value
[This is a compilation of re-printed articles with focus on knowledge sharing and expertise management with distinct focus on value.]
Making Markets: How Firms Can Design and Profit from Online Auctions and Exchanges by Ajit Kambil, Eric Van Heck, E. Van Heck
[Case studies with focus on designing auctions, exchanges, electronic markets, and price discovery mechanisms that weave together human interactions and use of new technologies.]
Knowledge Management and Virtual Organizations, edited by Yogesh Malhotra
[Includes some articles by worldwide experts and scholars on relating expertise management and knowledge sharing in virtual organizations and virtual communities.]
Knowledge Management and Business Model Innovation, edited by Yogesh Malhotra
[Includes some articles by worldwide experts and scholars on relating expertise management and knowledge sharing with new business models across different sectors of the economy.]
There are others that may be related to expertise management and knowledge sharing, but these are all that I can think of right now.
WEB SITES RELATED TO EXPERTISE MANAGEMENT AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
Besides the above web sites, the major web sites on knowledge management have some or more coverage on these themes. Few that I am aware of are listed below:
http://www.kmmagazine.com/ ('case study based journal', subscription required)
http://www.KMWorld.com/ (KM IT developments, subscription required)
Some other related sites are available in the index maintained by Clyde Holsapple:
There may be many more. However, if they want to be discovered first they need to figure out how their expertise can help them get discovered so that they can share their knowledge with the world. Try a search on the top 8-10 search engines and see what comes up, one starting point for doing a query on all main search engines and other top sources is:
It is understandable that expertise management is a relatively new area, one may expect to see many new efforts and web sites in the forthcoming years. Some web sites that have existed in the past around online communities of expertise and knowledge sharing are mentioned in the following article:
Enabling Knowledge Exchanges for E-Business Communities
(published in the Information Strategy: The Executive's Journal)
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