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Knowledge Mapping
ETL525 Knowledge Management
Tutorial Two

11 December 2008

K.T. Lam

Last updated: 10 December 2008

What is Knowledge Mapping?
Knowledge mapping is an ongoing quest within an
organization to:
discover the location, ownership, value and use of
knowledge artifacts;
learn the roles and expertise of people;
identify constraints to the flow of knowledge;
highlight opportunities to leverage existing knowledge.
Knowledge mapping is a practice consisting of
survey, audit, and synthesis.

Source: Grey D (1999)

What is Knowledge Map?
Knowledge map is a navigation aid to explicit
(codified) information and tacit knowledge,
showing the importance and the relationships
between knowledge stores and dynamics.

Source: Grey D (1999)

What is Knowledge Map? (cont.)

Knowledge map is an association of items of

information (e.g. process, network, policy,
geography, ) preferably visual, where the
association itself creates new, actionable
information (adapted from Vail).

Source: Ebener et al. (2006)

Knowledge Mapping Process
Knowledge mapping is the process of creating
a knowledge map.
The process consists of the following steps:
Acquire data (through, e.g. survey)
Manipulate data (to produce first order data)
Store data (to form knowledge mapping database)
Process data (analysis, aggregation and
contextualization to produce higher order data)
Visualize data (to produce knowledge maps)

Source: Ebener et al. (2006)

Contents of Knowledge Map
A knowledge map whether it is an actual map,
knowledge yellow pages or a cleverly constructed
database points to knowledge but it does not contain
it. It is a guide not a repository (Davenport and Prusak,
1998, p.72).
Example contents of problem-based knowledge maps:
Intellectual capital guide (to display where the firms
knowledge is embedded and likely to grow)
Implement change in the firms technology (to direct users
to when, how and who will move from the old to new
Accountability tree (to locate who is responsible for what
and when)

Source: Wexler (2001)

Issues on Knowledge Mapping
Scope an exercise for the whole organization or a
part of it?
Timeliness an one-time initiative or requiring on-
going updating efforts?
Completeness and level of granularity can all
concerned knowledge be completely mapped? how
Design issues to reduce miscommunication and
increase communication.
Dissemination of deliverables in the form of written
reports/documents, websites, databases? navigation
interfaces for users? mapping software needed?
Case study a steel company
Kim et al. (2003) presented a case study on
building the knowledge map for an organization in
steel industry.
Knowledge map approach to represent explicit
and tacit knowledge within an organization.
Knowledge map with nodes as knowledge and
links as the relationships between knowledge.
Constructed a knowledge map of hot rolling
process, the core process in the steel
Case Study a steel company

Procedures of building the knowledge map:

Defining organization knowledge
Establishing the knowledge ontology and developing the
Process map analysis
Producing process maps based on task flows (business
Knowledge extraction
Extracting knowledge based on each process defined in a
process map.
Extraction techniques: interviewing, document analysis,
system analysis, knowledge workshop.
Case Study a steel company

Knowledge profiling
Producing a knowledge profile of extracted knowledge.
Reviewed the knowledge list with domain experts; refined
unidentified and duplicated knowledge.
Knowledge linking
Confirming links as found in the profiling and identifying new
Very helpful in identifying knowledge flow and association.
Knowledge map validation
Performing user validation on the created knowledge map,
with structured walkthrough with domain experts.
Ebener, S et al 2006, Knowledge mapping as a
technique to support knowledge translation, Bulletin of
the World Health Organization, vol,. 84, no. 8, pp. 636-642.
Grey, D 1999, Knowledge mapping : a practical
overview. Available online at:
Kim, S et al. 2003, Building the knowledge map: an
industrial case study, Journal of knowledge management,
vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 34-45.
Wexler, M 2001, The who, what and why of knowledge
mapping, Journal of knowledge management, vol. 5, no. 3,
pp. 249-263.