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The Suitability of Topic Maps Tools for Knowledge Creation with Stakeholders

Thesis, by Isabelle Kern

This thesis is a research on how Topic Maps are suitable for knowledge creation within a company.

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With regard to knowledge management, firms mainly acquire explicit knowledge, i.e. knowledge that can be easily collected in the form of documents or databases and which can be easily transferred from one person to another. As this type of knowledge is available to everybody, it builds o basis for competitive advantages for the firm, as such benefits can only be established and maintained if firms also consider tacit knowledge. This in turn strengthens the position of the “knowledge holder” so to speak, as tacit knowledge is tied to persons and their experiences, and is consequently difficult to explicate. However, both the firm and the employees become more knowledgeable if they succeed in finding a balance between explicit and tacit knowledge.

In both cases, Information Technology (IT) supports and enables the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Knowledge management without IT is inconceivable, as knowledge needs to be adapted to a dynamic surrounding, must be easily understood and assimilated by employees (and other stakeholders) with different backgrounds, and must be quickly spread to any place in the world the company is active.

For this reason,an attempt is made to combine the three pertinent research streams in this thesis: the Stakeholder View, knowledge management and IT. In the following sections, they are briefly described. They are divided into two main parts: First, the theoretical part comprising the Stakeholder View, Knowledge Management, Information Technology and the methodology applied to the case studies. And second, the empirical part in which the case study results and the conclusions are presented.

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